From: Bedfordshire UK
All Allied units are on Sicily, so there has to be an invasion, or a crossing of the straights at MESSINA, or both.
The initial turns are used in preparing Sea Transport points for amphibious invasions, Air-drops for the two Allied airborne divisions and allocating Combat Supply to the units chosen to make the landings on the mainland.
See image below - purchased 6 sea transport points and 2 airdrops, which will be available in the following turn.
I did not fully apply the Combat Supply House Rule that I will be using later (this will be noted in later turns), as this is a first try at this scenario, only restricting maximum combat supply to level 2 (yellow) for airborne units and allowing units allocated for amphibious operations to be fully supplied to level 3 (green). Realising later that the Axis units begin with limited combat supply by scenario design, I will apply the house rule in full for the remainder of the game and all subsequent games.
'Fuel and Supply' slider now re-set to 30% - 70% in favour of more supply, as the campaign requires more transport preparation at this stage.
The early turns are also an opportunity to set airforce orders priorities to win Air Superiority and run Interdiction to slow the movement of Axis units and get some air recon on Axis deployment. Ground Support priority will not be required until units begin to land and ground combat is likely.
Strategy: decided to land as far up the map as possible and to split the invasion force, US to the West coast at SALERNO, British to the East coast near BARI and landing on both coasts will allow me to exploit whichever is most successful. This will avoid being penned into a single landing zone, but risks defeat in detail if the Germans have the strength.
A crossing at REGGIO is going to cost a lot of fuel and time to move up the length of the peninsular to join the landing forces, but will save shipping delays and act as a diversion, possibly holding German units away from the landing areas further North.
Supply is the key during the preparation/build-up phase, providing combat supply is the priority to build up selected unit combat effectiveness, as there is initially not much movement to burn fuel, but some fuel is still required to move supplies and build transport capacity, therefore, moved the priority slider to 30% fuel – 70% supply, with the intention of moving the slider back in favour of fuel, as the campaign becomes more mobile, hoping that it does get mobile.
The on-map supply level (shown by a map supply overlay) represents the level of basic supply (food, etc.), but also indicates the ease, or not, of getting supplies to any particular unit. When units are in low supply, it requires more fuel to get the supplies to those units, whilst units which are closer to the supply sources are easier to provide with supplies.
Basic supply is abstracted and is managed by the AI, with units in supply automatically getting their basic needs to survive, but units which are too far from supply sources to fully receive basic supply will suffer disruption. You have to decide which units get combat supply(ammunition) and allocate this supply to units which will be in combat. This brings in command decisions, as to which units are going to have to fight, in defence, or attack and how much will you build them up. This will depend on your plans, building up units in parts of the front where you intend to attack, but also where the enemy might attack you, leaving units weak invites disaster. There are stages of unit combat supply (shown by the triangle bottom right of the unit counter) , black – no combat supply, red - unit capable of limited offensive operations, through yellow, into green, for full combat supply and high fighting effectiveness. Units showing combat supply with a black triangle will not be able to attack and will defend at reduced effectiveness
The game requires you to plan ahead and also anticipate enemy intentions, to ensure that combat supply is available (setting the fuel/supply priority slider) and that combat supply is distributed to the right units, in the necessary quantities to achieve your objectives and deal with enemy actions – simple.
Allied commanders also need to have supply allocated to amphibious/airborne capacity to move units by sea/air attack (Axis doesn't do landings), balancing the supply points spent on combat, with the need for transport capacity, against the amount of supply and fuel coming into the theatre – simple
The settings are easy and quick to operate, but fiendishly difficult to balance and, as in real life, can go seriously wrong if you become too ambitious.
In this scenario all units start on red combat supply levels, so the first action is to choose the units that will be your strike force, check the withdrawal list, no point in building up a unit that will soon leave the theatre, before you can make use of it. You get a warning indicator (unit icon ID goes red) 3 turns before unit withdrawal, but you might want to know sooner, so check the ‘Reinforcement Status’ withdrawal list. Another balance decision, how useful is a unit and is there time to get the best out of it.
Units vary in their quality/efficiency, shown in the top right-hand corner of each unit icon, a black triangle shows low efficiency, red is average, yellow is high quality and green are elite units. Which will you use in your strike force and how can you make use of the lower efficiency units.
'During the resolution phase, withdrawals are resolved first, then reinforcement of friendly hexes, then attacks and then movement. The sequence as to which attacks or movements are resolved first, or whether attacks take place before a withdrawal occurs, is based on a formula whereby units with better quality(efficiency) and supply and lower rates of disruption get off the mark sooner.
How events will resolve will depend heavily on the decisions you make and the condition and quality of the units involved, there are no guarantees'.
This game is a refreshing change from odds based games, here there is a level of realistic uncertainty, the odds are still applied, but you don't know what they are, you only have judgement to guide your actions. The manual is full of percentages for combat and terrain effects, but as the manual notes, there are no guarantees.
You need to build enough sea and air transport capacity (measured in stack points) to move those units you have chosen to build up with combat supply. The Allies will not have enough supply to simultaneously provide all the transport capacity and combat build-up needed, so it will have to be staged. Provide the initial transport capacity and enough fully supplied assault units, then as the invasion proceeds, prepare more sea transport capacity and combat supply additional follow-up units. Some units may have to go into action without full supply and be built up later. Should the follow-up units be infantry, or armour, will depend on how the operation is going, as it is going to be a problem if you have taken several turns building up armour and you now need infantry – it is not easy to be great general.
Large units (more stack points), especially armoured divisions, need more transport capacity, maybe you need some smaller brigades to be quickly ready to deploy if you need support in a hurry and don't have much transport capacity left. A small unit, ready immediately, might be better than no unit at all, or maybe not, these decisions become fiendishly complex, for what is a very simple game. Ranger/Commando units cost less to transport than other units and are high quality units, which can be deployed in a hurry and, although small units, can raise the overall quality/efficiency score when in a stack with other units.
Some units are below full strength and can be provided with replacements, but you only have a certain number of suitable replacements for each nationality and type of unit. For example, there are no airborne, or ranger/commando replacements, if you burn them out, they are gone, kaput. For example, US infantry units have to take replacements from their own allocation and not from armoured, or other national allocations. Again you have a balance to make, use all your replacements too early and you may struggle to keep units effective later, or have you put your replacements where they can be most effective.
The game refers to the range of Allied air cover from Sicily, but it is not clear what this range is. The maximum range of an air-drop from Sicily are the hexes around NAPLES (about 25 hexes), which by inference is the range of Allied fighter cover and it is expected that this range with stretch further North when FOGGIA is captured, as the airfields here are referred to in the PFE Manual.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/27/2017 12:42:19 AM >
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