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AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign

 
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AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 11:26:06 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Scenario - The Italian Campaign 26th Aug 1943 – 8th May 1945 - PFE v1.04

Axis – AI

Handicap Level – Neutral

Game scale – hex size, 12 kms (7.5 miles) – turn length, 4 days Summer, 6 days Winter.

Map and Unit Counter mods from CHEMKID applied,

Map Mod: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3820441
Counter Mod: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3818611

This mod package has transformed the look of the game and greatly improved the immersion effect, by bringing a real map appearance.

Why Italy ?

The US had been building up its own forces and equipment after having being brought into the war by Pearl Harbor and, with a declared policy of 'Germany First', there was a need to get US ground troops into direct contact with the Wehrmacht, preferably before the US Mid-term Elections, due in November 1942.

The pending operation for 1942, 'Sledgehammer', was recognised as a near suicidal gesture to help Soviet forces on the Eastern Front, but the seizure of a bridgehead in Northern France would require mostly the use of British troops, with the expectation of heavy losses.

The alternative was 'Gymnast', an attack in North Africa, which the British favoured, as linking in with their own existing North African Strategy and seemed to entail less risk. Roosevelt was convinced and, against the advice of Marshall, agreed with Churchill to what became the 'Torch' landings.

The final exchange of telegrams on this issue, between Marshall and Roosevelt, concluded with Roosevelt overruling Marshall and signing off, unusually for him with the words 'Commander in Chief', to emphasise the finality of the decision. Roosevelt did not often overrule his military advisors and had immense respect for Marshall, but with this decision a joint Allied Mediterranean Strategy was initiated, culminating in the Italian Campaign.

The Allied force was truly a United Nations, which the game reflects, featuring units from the US, Britain, Canada, India, New Zealand, France, Poland, South Africa, Brazil and Greece, either already on the map, or listed to arrive as reinforcements during later turns.

The eventual victory in North Africa and the capture of Sicily brought the Italian Fascist government to its knees in late 1943 and looking for a way out of the war. It was expected that an Allied invasion of the Italian mainland would not be contested by Italian units and would cause a quick collapse of the Italian government, but how would German forces react, even whilst they were heavily engaged on the Eastern Front :

Recent additional reading :

Masters and Commanders – Andrew Roberts, The record of Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Brooke, as political leaders and Chiefs of Staff, facing the most important and contentious decisions of the Western Allies during WW2. The tensions and strains of running what became the most successful wartime coalition, but the enormous effort and conflict in resolving the very different priorities of the various Allied nations. The Mediterranean Strategy being one of the most divisive issues facing these commanders, during the lead up to the invasion of mainland Europe.

This has nothing much to add to the detail of actual campaigns, but is a fascinating insight into the 'behind the scenes' discussions that created the plans and operations, which became the Western Allies contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
…..............................................................................................................


Each unit has a 'Stacking Value' (yellow circle on unit counter), which indicates the size of the unit. Each type of terrain in a hex has a stacking limit, therefore the combination of units which can be stacked in the same hex depends on the size of the units and the terrain in each hex.

Each unit can make one action each turn and, when selecting a unit, a panel will appear with unit information and all the action options available for that unit.

Only those actions available to use will be shown by these buttons, for instance, if you don't have enough sea transport points, then the 'amphibious move' options will not appear.

When a unit is selected to move, an overlay appears to indicate the hexes eligible for a move and when the move is selected, the unit counter will move to the designated hex. However, all actions are only actually completed after the 'end of turn' button has been selected. Therefore, if you come back to that unit later, you will find it back in its original position, but if you select the unit again, a cursor will indicate where on the map it has been ordered to move to.

When in contact with an enemy unit the 'movement' option is not available, 'attack' and 'withdraw' options will show. Only after the unit has disengaged from contact in the next turn will the standard movement option become available.

Any and all actions can be cancelled, or altered, up until the 'end of turn' button is selected.

All this takes some getting used to, as you are no longer simply clicking and moving units, as all actions, for both sides, are resolved simultaneously at the end of the turn, any unit may not get to its selected position, as the enemy may get there first, or a unit may fail to disengage from contact.

The whole system needs more anticipation and care, as things may not happen as you expect, but it is much more realistic than moving units like chess pieces on a game map. Strategy must take into account the unexpected and moves which are too ambitious are likely to fail.

Game on !

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon
Post #: 1
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 11:29:36 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
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.

Manual extract:

'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'.

end quote

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.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/27/2017 12:42:19 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 2
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 11:34:53 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
I start immediately in Turn 1 by sending a British force, consisting of 5th Infantry Div., 46th Infantry Div. and 4th Armoured Bde., across the straits at MESSINA. All these units have limited combat supply (red triangle) and are not high quality (red triangle – average), but they are not expected to become heavily engaged, merely to lure Axis units South and save sea transport in getting into action.

Red combat supply triangle on the lower right of the unit counter means unit can only attack at low intensity, but as these units are only intended as a diversion, or an attempt to draw attention away from landing areas and no serious attack is intended until they are better supplied. Black combat supply triangle means a unit cannot attack at all. Green combat supply triangle means that a unit can attack at greatly enhanced effectiveness.

I select the units in MESSINA which I want to use in amphibious and airborne landings and progressively provide combat supply to build up the effectiveness of the units.

Also I have arranged the preparation of Sea Transport points and two Air Drops progressively, to avoid using up too much supply any one turn, until there is enough capacity to launch the first sea and airborne landings.

I have 25 air points available, allocating 14 to Air Superiority and 11 to Interdiction. Air Superiority is to inflict losses on the enemy airforce and win air superiority, Interdiction missions slow the ground movement of enemy units and provide air recon, Ground Support should not be required just yet.

Early air recon (from interdiction missions) shows the German 26th Pz Div. covering the beach South of SAPRI and the 29th Motorised just North of COSENZA, there is another motorised div. in the CASSINO area.

I don't think it realistic to scout the coast to find an empty beach to throw in a landing, as these landing operations required weeks and sometimes months of planning, so I choose the landing beaches before starting the game and will have to stick to the plan (will discuss - Invasion Planning House Rule - later).

By turn 3 the advanced British force is making its way up the 'toe' of Italy, just reaching COSENZA and expecting to encounter the German motorised div., seen in this area. Meanwhile, I continue to prepare the landing forces and I have changed the air priorities to include some ground attack capability (air superiority 10 pnts, ground attack 8, interdiction 7). This turns out to be premature, as the Germans seem to have retreated and I have lost some air recon., no longer knowing the position of the Axis units.

'Fuel and Supply' slider now re-set to 50% - 50%, preparing for the units moving into action as the campaign requires more movement at this stage.

The British landing force units are now combat supplied and I initiate the Eastern Landing Operations at BARLETTA and BARI, with the intention pulling Axis attention into this area and make the landings near SALERNO easier. The main landing force is the 1st Canadian Infantry Div. and the 231st Infantry Bde., both high quality units with full combat supply (see note, combat supply house rule). 1st. Airborne Division has airdropped beside the river OFANTO to cover the extended Northern Flank, whilst the elite 2nd Commando Bde. has landed South of BARI to cover the Southern flank and hopefully secure the port. There does not seem to be any defence on this coast, which is a relief after the apparent loss of air recon. I chose to establish the flank positions as far away from the main beaches as possible to delay any Axis intervention and to gain time to bring in follow-up units undisturbed.







The map and counter mod transforms the game, even though the game system is the most important factor, how a game looks contributes immensely to the enjoyment of the play.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/26/2017 11:39:42 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 3
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 11:47:28 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 4 – 7th September 1943
Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 10 / Ground Support – 8 / Interdiction – 7

Preparation of Sea Transport points continues and these will be used on the next turn, calculating how many points will be required to lift the total stacking points in the units chosen for the next landing.

'Fuel and Supply' slider now re-set to 70% - 30% in favour of more fuel as the campaign requires more movement at this stage.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

1st CDN is moved to support the Airborne, the Commandos take BARI and 231 Bde. remains on the beach-head in case any hidden German units appear out of the hills, it would be clumsy to lose a beach-head so soon.

In response to the landings the game has established three beach-head symbols and the first task is to establish a workforce to get the beach supply capability going. I prioritise on beach 24,47 in the centre, but expect to get the port at BARI working soon, which should provide the bulk of the supply in the following turns.

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head




With more Sea Transport points and an Air-drop available I could have decided to land more units on the Eastern beach-head, as now that friendly beaches are available there, the cost of sea transport is less ( -1 per unit), but I decide stick with the plan and launch new landings South of SALERNO with the US units which have now been combat supplied. I know that the HG Mot Div. is near SALERNO, but the plan for the invasion has been made (house rule) and must be either carried out as planned, or cancelled (ghosts of Arnhem).

The landing force is the US 45th Infantry Div. (quality - average), with 82nd Airborne dropping to hold the inland flank and the Rangers landing to secure the beach behind the river SELE, which I plan to make the main supply delivery beach-head. The German 29th Motorised Div. is revealed to be retreating from SAPRI and is South of the landings.

I have posted a larger image to show the effect of CHEMKID's map and counter Mod, which is magnificent, with terrain and rivers showing clearly. The full map appearance gives a great strategic 'feel' and is a joy to use. Also the highlighted unit, the US Rangers, shows how crowded the unit counter can become, as in the top left corner there are symbols for 'Commando' (yellow square 'C') and 'Mountain' (red square 'M') capable unit, overlaid with the red triangle showing that this unit cannot exert a ZOC. This is significant, as the effect of ZOCs are very important in this game. Also visible is the British 1st Airborne Division, showing a blue square 'P', indicating parachute capable. On the Eastern beach-head is 231st Inf. Bde., which is another unit too small (stack size 1) to exert a ZOC, shown by the red triangle top left corner.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/14/2017 12:06:21 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 4
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 11:52:54 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 5 - 11th September 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 10 / Interdiction – 5

Continue to prepare Sea Transport Points for follow-up forces.

Changing air-force orders with more emphasis on Ground Support, but still with Air Superiority and Interdiction capability.

The forces which crossed at REGGIO are still working their way North, ensuring that there are no Axis units hiding in the hills South of the landing zones. The supply overlay shows that supply capability is spreading up behind them from REGGIO and that they will have to stop at some stage, to build up combat supply.

Herman Goering Mot Div. (seen near earlier SALERNO by air recon) appears in SALERNO, with a stack size of 5, this is a big unit ! SALERNO is a port and, if the Western landing force is to have a port, they will have to capture SALERNO, or break through to NAPLES.

The CDN Inf. Div. from the Eastern landing force is pushing inland with a view to closing the gap between the two landings, whilst the British 1st Airborne is covering the road from the North.

German 1st FsJ Div. appears, moving to cut off the Allied beach-heads from each other, again with a stack number 5.

The game provides reports at the start of each turn, this time with the comforting news that :

German 94th Infantry Div. reported arrival at port of PESCARA
German 65th Infantry Div. reported arrival at port of GENOA

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

No reaction from HG Mot. Div. at any time during US landings, the AI seems to be content to block further advance North.

I have chosen Southern beach, protected behind the river SELE, as the main Western beachhead and assigned 6 workers to increase supply (3 left in general reserve – min. 2 needed in worker pool to allow further invasions).

82nd ABN ordered to reinforce 45th Inf. if it is attacked, gave the same order to Rangers, but cancelled it, as the beach-head must be secured for the US 36th Inf Div., due to land SALERNO southern beach tomorrow.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

British 2nd Commando Bde. has captured the port of BARI and 6 port workers allocated (min. req. 5). Port is not yet in operation, supply overlay shows beach-head supply only, but having this port should transform the situation soon and more units can be shipped in, as they are released into my command.

231 Inf. Bde. continues to protect the main landing beach-head, whilst the Commandos hold BARI as the port is brought into use, in case there are any roving Axis units which have not been spotted. These two units are small and exert no ZoC (shown by lack of triangle in the unit counter left top corner), therefore they have limited blocking power, but are expected to delay long enough to allow larger defending units to be moved in.

The force moving up from the South has been reinforced by 56th Inf Div. and has split, with part moving up the coast to pass through SAPRI and support the SALERNO landing force, whilst two divisions move inland through CASTROVILLARI. From here they can continue North and cover the gap between the West and East landing zones, or turn toward TARANTO and capture another port.




The Allied force is badly extended by the need to cover as much ground as possible before Axis units arrive in force, but they will soon have to draw together to form a coherent line.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/9/2017 7:59:29 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 5
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:01:05 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 6 – 15 September 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 8 / Ground Support – 12 / Interdiction – 4
Still preparing more Sea Transport points for more follow-up units to be sent into the landing areas.

'Fuel and Supply' slider now re-set to 70% - 30% in favour of more fuel as the campaign requires more movement at this stage.

The German reaction is now revealing itself :




The stacking value on the Axis unit counters is a clue to how big the units are, but under FoW this is limited, after units have been in contact and after combat the enemy unit counters will show actual unit strength points.

Interdiction now not so important, as I know where the German units are, they have arrived and ground support missions are now more important

UK 7th Armoured Div. arrived MESSINA, with little combat supply, but I am anxious to get it ashore ASAP.

8th IND Inf. Div. and 3rd US Inf. Div. to be released next turn (total stack size 7 – Amphibious Move requirement 5)
78th UK Inf. Div. and 34th US Inf. Div. to be released in two turns

Note 'Amphibious Move' requires 1 naval transport point less than 'Amphibious Invasion', also Amphibious Invasion needs 2 worker points left in the pool to service departure from MESSINA

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

Still no reaction from HG Mot. Div. at any time during US landings ???

82nd ABN Div. moved out to the East to cover the road from that direction and 36th Inf. Div. moved up into the line against the HG Mot. Div., hoping that it can be levered out of SALERNO.


UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

Have amphibious sea lift capacity for one British Armoured Brigade and one Armoured Division already in Sicily, need lift capacity for the new divisions as they become available (5 Sea Transport points will be made available). 7th Armoured Div. and 23rd Armoured Bde. sea transported into the Eastern bridgehead. I decided to transport these units even though they have been released with low combat supply, as they are urgently needed in the bridge-head, but I missed an opportunity, because the game has the facility, through the 'Reinforcement Status' panel, to add combat supply to units before they arrive at MESSINA and are released for use. A very useful feature and a chance missed.

Strong German reaction 26 Pz / 16 Pz / 15 Mot / 1stFsJ closing in British 1st Airborne and 1st Canadian Inf. Div., which look exposed as the German units move in, so the immediate need is to pull back towards BARLETTA and the beaches, I thought the US beach-head was under greatest threat and the British would come to the rescue, now looks the other way round. I was becoming concerned that the landing had been extended too soon which appears to be the case, the air recon had not picked up any of these German units. Complacency Kills !

Thoughts of quickly joining up the beach-heads are fading

UK Sector from MESSINA

Units pushed North along the coast to SAPRI and towards the centre at POTENZA, the UK 4th Armoured Brigade is in the coastal group to bring armoured support to the US beach-head, as the US 1st Armoured Div. will not be released for another 11 turns.

I was considering a move towards TARANTO for another port, but supply from MESSINA is good and I need as much force as possible to threaten the German position against the BARLETTA bridge-head, moving into the Axis rear through POTENZA.

From the reports I know that there are more German units coming.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/26/2017 11:56:42 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 6
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:16:42 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 7 – 19 September 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 8 / Ground Support – 12 / Interdiction – 4

I was moving the supply/fuel slider to give more priority for fuel, but now supply is looking short, so changed my mind and re-set 40% Fuel and 60% supply. Now units are coming into contact with the enemy, there will even greater need for combat supply. There will shortly be a gap in new unit arrivals and less need to spend supply points on sea transport points, so the supply situation should start to get better. I was so anxious to get more units landed on the beach-heads and in getting sea transport points to do that, meaning supply has dropped to a low level.

The manual comments - 'PFE cannot be played well without understanding how fuel and supply affect play' – that is turning out to be very true, so I need to go back to the manual and make sure that I understand what the full implications are in moving that Fuel/Supply slider.

One Amphibious point costs 1 Supply Point and 25 Fuel Points , during the first 27 turns, the cost in Supply Points increases for turns later in the game. Therefore, fuel has to have a high priority in planning landings, but I think I have been too quick to allocate combat supply for units, which are not immediately going to be in combat. I thought I would need a lot of fuel to buy these points, but it is supply that has run out during this turn, partially because I started allocating combat supply to units still in the 'Arrivals' list. Here is where I found out that this is one action you cannot reverse, whilst all other actions can be changed, or cancelled, the Arrivals list has no cancel button, once you have allocated combat supply, that's it.

This game really makes you think !

As well as setting general air-force mission priorities, you can set which specific units receive highest priority on ground attack support.

Revised all the unit Air Priority allocations, now that the initial excitement of the landings is over, with units in the front-line having a priority of 2 and all others at air priority 1, until the main focus of action become clear. The highest priority (3) will be used in critical situations.

Taken 3 Sea Transport points for the next US division being released in the following turn, then there will be no more new arrival unit releases until turn 17 and there will be an opportunity to build up a supply surplus for future ground operations. However, units enter the theatre carrying low supply and will need additional combat supply, before they can take offensive operations.

This could be the reason for the lack of offensive activity from the German units, especially HG Mot., as they may be arriving without the combat supply to launch offensive operations. That information is not visible on the German unit counters, but it is possible that up to now, they have only been able to take blocking positions.

Spreading the Allied effort over two beach-heads has extended the forces, but stretched the German response and made the early capture of a port possible. It remains to be seen whether it will bring the rewards to warrant the risks, but at least the game allows some variation on the theme of the campaign.




This image shows the situation before any movement is selected, but allocated air ground support and showing the supply overlay. Supply is available at the port of BARI, now operating in the bottom right of the map, but not yet connected with the forces further North.

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

HG Mot. has still not reacted, checked scenario start conditions from the Axis stand point and units start with red combat supply triangle, which means units can only attack at low intensity. The AI has chosen not to attack the beach-head, but just hold SALERNO, blocking access to the nearest port on the Western coast, which will force the US forces to rely on supply over the beaches.

Chose to make hex 12,45 the main Western zone bridge-head, as it is protected by the SELE river and so this is where I have placed the most beach-head workers.

UK 4th Arm. Bde. could be switched across the hills onto the POTENZA road, to create more of a threat in the centre, but a fortification is now showing North of PORTENZA where the Germans could already be in residence. Also, the road through the hills may not be the best place to commit the few tanks available and, if the Germans are already in the central hills, it may be better to outflank them along the coastal route through the SALERNO beach-head.

It becomes even more important to send the 82nd Abn. out to secure the road from of the beach-head to the east, but as the 82nd is in contact with HG Mot, this can only be achieved with a withdraw order and we will have to wait until the next turn to see if it is achieved.

The mountains East of SALERNO are now becoming significant as they could form part of a firm defensive line for the Axis, unless the Allies get up there first. However, there is the risk of overextending the bridgehead, before more support arrives and there is no port to capture South of NAPLES itself.

Send the Rangers up into the hills to cover the flank ??

US 3rd Inf. Div. landing to cover the 12,45 beach-head (now up to 74% efficiency – so subtracting some of the workers), 3rd Inf. has been rushed into the bridge-head and, here also I have missed the opportunity to add combat supply whilst the unit was still in the 'arrivals' list.

I had selected one principal beach-head from the landing beaches on each coast, allocated additional workers to get these efficient quickly, but secondary beaches, allocated the minimum number of workers, have only reached efficiency near 40%. On the East coast I have taken some of the additional workers off the beaches (still left with more than minimum) and redeployed them to BARI to speed the opening of the port.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

The withdrawal of the CDN and ABN divisions back towards the beaches was accomplished without interference, as the Germans were content to establish a defence on the River OFANTO. The Axis AI seems to want to defend the approaches to the airfields at FOGGIA, because if the Allies capture FOGGIA and its airfields, then it will extend air cover over Northern Italy beyond NAPLES.

However, whilst the Axis holds FOGGIA they can mount air attacks on Allied ports, which might slow the delivery of supply and divert workers into port repair, rather that unloading. Port Attacks are available to the Axis only and the Allies must maintain sufficient air superiority to suppress them, as such attacks can be very damaging. Possession of FOGGIA also allows Axis air power to interdict Allied ground movement beyond Allied air cover from Sicily (which is the area North beyond ROME).

Ordered 7th Arm. Div. straight from the beach-head, even though with minimum combat supply, to seize a bridge-head across the river OFANTO, on the direct road to FOGGIA.

23rd Arm. Bde. and 231 Inf. Bde. extend the line back towards the Western beach-head, now that the surprise of meeting the Germans in force has been dealt with and a plan is developing.

I have added an aircraft symbol to the modded map that I am using, to indicate the importance of FOGGIA in the air war.

Supply is beginning to flow into the port at BARI, but no further at this stage.

4th Arm. Bde. is staying on the Western coastal road to provide armoured support against HG Mot. Div. at SALERNO, whilst the infantry divisions take the route into the hills, whilst waiting to see what the Rangers encounter around POTENZA, as they also move into the hills from the Western beach-head.

Air recon has shown fortifications appearing at POTENZA, which is an indication that there are German forces there, but knowing what they are will help decide what happens next.

It looks like the initial objective for the Western force should be NAPLES and the objective for the Eastern force should be FOGGIA, whilst preventing the Axis from forming a fortified defence line. The front has to be kept moving, so that the Germans cannot have time to dig-in.

After the uncertainties of the landings, a strategy is starting to become clearer.

Now several turns have been played, the game system is showing itself. Like other Frank Hunter titles the game system is simple to operate, but that simplicity hides a potentially complex combination of decisions. Which is what this game is all about, it's the decisions which are the core of the game, without too much of the player's time taken up with making things work and not spending time moving counters round the map, but making command decisions.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/27/2017 12:02:07 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 7
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:25:48 PM   
Rasputitsa


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Turn 7 - end of turn:




This shows the planned positions of Allied units, extending the lines and expecting to take a bridge-head over the river OFANTO, only after the turn resolution will it be seen how much succeeds.

The lower display bar shows how the levels of fuel and supply have become unbalanced and I shall have to pay more attention to that.

I have used the unit information box buttons to allocate priority for air ground support, for those units potentially going into combat, but that will depend on the Axis reaction. The overall airforce Ground Support setting is high, giving up some of the advantages of Interdiction.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/9/2017 12:26:35 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 8
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:29:28 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
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Turn 8 – 23 September 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 8 / Ground Support – 12 / Interdiction – 4

Supply entering the theatre was 5 points and it will take a little time to build up, meanwhile fuel stocks are looking OK, anticipating that combat supply is going to be needed in earnest soon. Set Fuel 50% - Supply 50%.

Take a look at the Overall map to see if Interdiction has revealed any other Axis units, but interdiction is set low so not expecting much. I had Ground Support set high expecting combat, but the Germans have been satisfied to sit in defensive positions and dig fortifications.

British 78th Inf. Div. available at MESSINA and deciding whether it is worth more sea transport points to move it to a beach-head. The next reinforcement is the US 1st. Armoured Division, now 9 turns away. I must remember to allocate some combat supply before it arrives and prepare the sea transport point to get it into the landing area.

Looking at the Supply Status overlay the units that have moved overland from REGGIO and are still supplied from MESSINA are now reaching the limits of useful supply. They are in hexes down to 30% capability and there will be fuel penalties for delivering supply at that range. The main Western beach-head hex (12,45), which has been given priority and the most workers, is now at 93% capacity and generating supply at 56% at that beach-head, although this quickly fades inland where the Rangers are in 32% .

Two things need to happen, the units travelling North need to link up to the beach-head supply, but more importantly the Western forces need a port, SALERNO. HG Mot. Div. needs to be dealt with and quickly. The US now has 4 divisions in the beach-head and now needs start to take on the offensive.




This is the image of the start of the turn, with the bridge-head over the river OFANTO secured.

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

34th Inf. Div. arrived at MESSINA, with sea transport points available to amphibious move into the Western beach-head, I am moving it into the main beach South of the river SELE so that it will not become pinned by HG Mot. and will be free to move inland.

82nd Abn. planned move to cut the roads from SALERNO to NAPLES, 3rd Inf. to move into mountains above SALERNO to avoid this feature being taken by the Axis, 36th and 45th Inf. attack HG Mot. to pin that unit. I don't expect HG Mot. to simply roll over, but am hoping to set up a more powerful attack next turn. US 34th Inf. Div. has just arrived in the beach-head, joining 4th Arm. Bde. which has come up from the South. Meanwhile, the US Rangers ordered to move inland and link up with the Eastern landing force, which has sent 1st Arm. Bde. out, to complete the link.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

The Commandos have been sent to seize TARANTO, provided there is no defence

8th Indian Inf. Div. landed to protect BARI, where the port is 64 % functional, but I need to move this unit to connect BARI supply to the rest of the EASTERN beach-head. The lack of supply stopped me preparing sea transport points for 78th Div., which would have been useful to ship into BARI freeing Indian Inf Div to complete the task of joining the beach-head, alternatively I risk leaving BARI unprotected.

I decide to take the risk of leaving BARI and the beaches unguarded to get the offensive going and link up the supply chain, 78th Inf. Div. is in MESSINA with sea transport points to move into BARI next turn. I just wanted to get the whole thing moving, but if there Germans in those hills it will be a mess.

The safe option was to bring a unit back from the front to provide the link-up, but I think I have waited too long and need to get moving towards FOGGIA..

Central Front

It's all very weak in the centre and reports show that more German units are arriving in theatre, the balance is between more air interdiction to slow them down, or more ground support to help the attacks, but there still has to be air superiority missions otherwise none of the other missions can happen.

The centre British force, now 3 divisions strong is ordered to POTENZA where there are fortifications, but did the Axis units stay in position.

If all goes well I hope soon to have started offensive operations on both East and West Fronts, linked up the two beach-heads and connected the supply chain.

Unless the AI has any cards up its sleeve.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/13/2017 8:56:45 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 9
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:39:41 PM   
Rasputitsa


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Here is the image of the end of Turn 8, with unit planned movements shown :





Attacks are ordered against HG Mot. Div. at SALERNO and on the flank of the German river OFANTO line, also the Rangers from the West and the 1st Canadian Arm. Bde. from the East will attempt to close the gap.

The British divisions coming overland from the South are appearing on the edge of the map at POTENZA, provided the planned movement succeeds. These attacks and moves are what is planned, but only the turn resolution will show what the results will be.

Is the fortification shown at POTENZA occupied, that will only be revealed when the 46th Inf. Div. gets there.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/11/2017 8:46:50 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 10
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:51:13 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
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From: Bedfordshire UK
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Turn 9 – 27 September 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 5 / Interdiction – 10
Fuel 70% - Supply 30%

Increased Interdiction at the expense of Ground Support, as I am still concerned that there may be Axis units moving around in the rear areas and there is no clear idea where the Germans are going to make a stand. Air recon. shows fortifications at NAPLES and FOGGIA and the AI will not want to lose either position

Bad news and good news, the attack to widen the bridge-head over the OFANTO initially failed, but the German 15th Div. suffered more loses, 6 against Allied loses of 4 and the Germans suffered more disruption loss, 9 against none for the Allied units. The Allied casualties have been shared across the three units attacking, so no single unit has suffered too much.

I have got replacements for the British 7th Armoured and the 1st Canadian Infantry Divs., but there are no replacements for the Airborne, so it is not a good policy to keep them in the front line, but hold them in reserve against breakthroughs, or further air-drops.

The main thing is that the Germans seem to have abandoned the river OFANTO line and POTENZA was undefended.




The Allies did not achieve all that was planned and the Western and Eastern forces are still not linked, but the Eastern front is now fully connected to a nearly full working port (BARI) and the 78th Inf. Div. has been shipped in to defend the port, whilst there were no Axis units in the hills to threaten BARI.

I think landing on both East and West coasts, although not concentrated and potentially weakening both landings, has stretched the Axis response. The two fisted approach means the Axis cannot fully concentrate on either front.

German 24th Pz Div. and 94th Inf. Div. seen at FLORENCE, hopefully the increased priority to air interdiction should slow them down.

I have shuffled the port and beach workers to provide workers to get SALERNO operational, 4 workers are the minimum requirement and I have allocated 7 to speed the effort, however the port is still vulnerable with HG Mot. in the adjoining hex.

Looking at Reinforcement Schedule, 231st Inf. Bde. will be withdrawn in 6 turns, whilst US 1st Arm. Div. will arrive in 8 turns. The task is to ensure that 231st is not in a vital position when it is withdrawn and that 1st Arm. is combat supplied before arrival.

Over turns 12/13/14 there will be a significant reinforcement of 3 Divs. and 2 Bdes., but until then we must make do with what we have.

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

To the West, the HG Mot. Div. did not wait to be attacked, but withdrew and the Americans have SALERNO. The port is still under threat, as the Axis has moved the weight of its forces to this front. The 82nd Abn. did not get into its blocking position, but I have the mountains overlooking AVELLINO, which is an important protection for the port and bridge-head.

The Rangers did not make the ground ordered, but are in a linking position in the hills between POTENZA and the SALERNO beach-head.

I want to exchange 82nd Abn's position in the mountains with 3rd Inf. Div., as there are no airborne replacements and I don't want to risk wasting the 82nd in the front line.

But how, with mountain stacking limits stopping the two units occupying the hex for a changeover.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

The Commando unit did not move on TARANTO and may have had supply problems, too many units on the move at the same time, but the move has been ordered again.

I cannot give the units in the centre near POTENZA combat supply, as they are in hexes with less that 25% supply capacity, so the supply situation has to be improved. If supply improvement is not possible, then units will have to be withdrawn to areas where they can be built up and then returned to the front. The supply shortage here is due to the connection all the way back to MESSINA, as soon as a link to either bridge-head is made, there will be an improvement. The road connection back to MESSINA is not continuous, as I cut some corners in the rush NORTH.

With most other games I might drive through the gaps to victory, but PFE imposes the constraints of reality.

I sent the Commando Bde. to check out the route to TARANTO and take the port if possible, but this was not the best unit to send, as it is slow moving and cannot exert a ZoC, giving limited blocking power. One of the armoured brigades would have been much better and completed the task more effectively, but with Germans using Pz and Mot. Divs. on the river OFANTO, I thought it better to keep the tank units on that front line.

The good result will be that when, and if, the Commandos take TARANTO, they will be well positioned at a port to be used on an amphibious raid further up the coast. I am looking at the beaches around VASTO and TERMOLI, with the possibility of landing the Commando Brigade, to create a diversion and to probe Axis positions in that area. The unit could be withdrawn if there is serious opposition, or reinforced with other units, if necessary. Air recon. is already showing the German 65th Inf. Div. (arrived GENOA on Turn 5) now at TERMOLI.

The Rangers could do the same job on the beaches around CAPUA and ANZIO, which comes back to having Amphibious Operations House Rules.

I had already decided to have a house rule restricting combat supply for units using amphibious invasion/move to level 2 (yellow triangle, or less). Airborne unit should carry level 1 combat supply (red triangle) and not be able to exceed this level until connected to a main supply line (combat supply can only be applied in hexes with supply level 25%, or more). I wasn't fully applying the house rule, but after the experience of this AAR will do so from now on.

The next element of a house rule would be to require the selection of landing hexes in advance, it is just not realistic to have landing forces choose empty hexes at the last minute, for an invasion, which historically had to be planned weeks, or months in advance. Except in the case of a new start scenario, where the landing hex selection should be on the first turn, but with no further delay.

The house rule is that landing hexes for an amphibious invasion must be selected in advance by 2 turns for each stacking point to be landed. Air-drop hex selection must be 2 turns in advance, or 8 days in summer turns, noting that planning for 'Market-Garden' took one week, although much of the planning had been done in advance for operations which had been cancelled.

The player has a choice to wait 8 turns before landing a stacking size 4 unit (2x4), or land a smaller unit like the Rangers with a 2 turn delay, expecting to bring in more units by amphibious move to the captured beach. Risking an enemy attack on the initially very weak beach-head, remembering that Rangers and Commandos do not exert a ZoC and have limited power to block the movement of enemy units.

All this is purely arbitrary, but I thought that there should be some form of planning delay, all ideas and comments gladly accepted.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/27/2017 12:20:33 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 11
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 12:54:37 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
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Turn 9 - end of turn






The image shows the positions that units have been ordered to move to, subject to turn resolution.

The Axis has abandoned the river OFANTO line and moved forces over to confront the Americans around SALERNO, but there are several German units unaccounted for, 1st FsJ, 15th Mot. and 26 Pz Divs. are no longer visible, but they cannot have left FOGGIA undefended, so they must be somewhere nearby.

HG Mot. Div. is firmly holding on and too close to the port at SALERNO for comfort, it has to be dealt with.

These are powerful units to blunder into, so any advance towards FOGGIA will have to be cautious. Whilst over toward SALERNO, Axis 16th Pz and 3rd Mot. are moving to block the link-up of the beach-heads. The Rangers were in the hills inland, but too lightweight to do much without support.

So choice, keep going toward FOGGIA, or concentrate on linking the two beach-heads and help the Americans to push the Axis back from the newly won port at SALERNO and getting supply linked up.

Going with the second choice, hold on the OFANTO and firm up the position in the centre. However, I can still send a probe towards FOGGIA and see what is there (8th Indian and 23rd Arm. Bde.).

Have to clear the roads North out of POTENZA to create to supply link with the Eastern beach-head. The race North from REGGIO has not left a clear supply link, with some parts of the road not continuously connected to supply.

The Rangers move back into the mountains above the Eastern beach-head, as it would be disastrous if the Germans got into that perfect defensive terrain, so close to the beaches and port, whilst the British divisions from South are coming close enough to fill the gap.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/21/2017 1:04:25 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 12
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 1:32:45 PM   
Yogi the Great


Posts: 2001
Joined: 4/10/2007
From: Wisconsin
Status: offline
Thanks for this Rasputitsa great job. This is true gem of a game that most seem to not be aware of. Just maybe your AAR will get a few to give the game a try. I still haven't purchased his other game (Danube) but do plan too. As you have pointed out the uncertainty of if and/or will a unit be able to move where you tell them adds some interesting realism.

Thanks again

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Hooked Since AH Gettysburg

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Post #: 13
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 1:54:06 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Sorry it has taken so long, as I had planned to do this some time ago. I was held up by family problems, but mainly in losing my system to 'Windows 10', which is going to be a factor again later as I post more turns.

However, the game goes on despite 'Windows 10'.

Thanks for the comments.

After making some progress with this AAR, the plan is to get back to the AAR running on 'Campaigns on the Danube'.

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Yogi the Great)
Post #: 14
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 2:04:37 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
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Turn 10 – 01 October 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 5 / Interdiction - 10

After a month, game time, of this campaign it is time to review, the winter is coming closer and, although the landings have been secured and the link-up is imminent, it is still 19 hexes to ROME and historically the Allies didn't get there until June 1943 and there is a long way to go, but it is 24 hexes back to REGGIO, so I am past the half-way stage to ROME and then another 30 hexes to the PO valley. Mountains all the way.

Supply has sorted itself out on the route from REGGIO and the road has become a continuous supply line, so nice to see that the AI tidies up the rear area. It's still a long way from MESSINA and the one unit still relying in that supply (5th Inf. Div.) is down to 15% supply and suffering 20% disruption. The link to the BARI supply chain should be completed this turn and it has been a useful experience in how not to run supply.

Adding to the potential house rules, in that airdrops can only be mounted from airfield complexes, which are MESSINA and FOGGIA and I have added these airfield symbols to my map. The game may already require this, I just haven’t had an opportunity to check it in the game. Either way, to move an airborne division requires hundreds of transport aircraft and several large airfields, which are limited in Italy.

There are barely enough Allied units to form a line across the peninsular, but forming a line will not permit a concentration for offensive operations.

German 2nd FsJ Div. seen in Rome, more paratroopers ! 24th Pz Div. in FLORENCE, so it is useful to scan the overall map to see what has appeared in the rear areas. It's not infallible, sometimes units are on the main map and not visible on the overall display.




This image shows the position at the beginning of the turn after the moves of the previous turn have been resolved.

US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

I have got SALERNO, which is the main prize and I have drafted workers into the port (needed 4, allocated 7), but initially only at 22% capacity. Now BARI and SALERNO are available, I have shut down all, but the main beach-heads in each landing area, to free up workers to get the ports fully operational, including TARANTO (needed 8, allocated 9). BARI is at 100%, so dropped to the minimum 5 worker points, it will only need more if it suffers damage and repairs are needed.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

Found the missing Axis units, dug into fortifications on the approaches to FOGGIA (1st FsJ. and 15th Mot.), with the 8th Indian Inf. Div. fortuitously achieving an end run along the coast, which has set up the 15th Mot to being outflanked. When I ordered 8th Indian forward it was a probe into the unknown as no Axis units were visible, but a gap has been found, which must be reinforced. Also notice that the FoW is clearing a little, as 15th Mot. Div. has been in combat, it now shows the unit strength points (unit counter left lower corner), but HG Mot. is still in the FoW and blank.

The more action there is, the more information you get.

78th Inf Div. has arrived in BARI and the choice was to send it up the road to PORTENZA, to open up another supply route to the central hills, or straight into the front, supporting 8th Indian against the FOGGIA defence. The AI seems to be sensitive to being out-flanked so beefing up the end-run along the coast seems to be an opportunity not to be missed. Hustling the Axis out of another defensive position would be a great coup.

On second thoughts I switched the moves, 7th Arm. Div. moves to support the 8th Indian Inf. on the coast, 78th Inf. moves in to complete the flanking movement against German 15th Mot. Div., the game system is simple and flexible.

I could have directed 7th Arm Div all the way to FOGGIA, as it has the movement points, but combat supply is low and this unit is not in a condition to operate alone deep in the enemy rear.

Getting FOGGIA will extend air cover over Northern Italy, but after FOGGIA there is a whole series of river lines to cross if progress is to be made up the coast.

The overall plan is to try and out manoeuvre the German units into FOGGIA, whilst pressing the Axis away from SALERNO. SALERNO now has 36th Inf., 45th Inf. Divs. and 4th Arm. Bde. to protect the port and build up for an attack on HG Mot..

Embarrassingly, I may have been operating the Fuel/Supply slider in the reverse sense and not getting the result I had expected. Fuel got quite low last turn, but I think I have it sorted now. I was probably too free with combat supply in the beginning and some units are over-supplied, but it will all balance as the game progresses.

Added replacements to 1st Canadian Inf. Div., whilst it is not moving this turn. The game system only allows one action each turn, which keeps things simplified. This is a deliberate design decision and the turn length (4 days) is adjusted to match.

The two Allied airborne units have been withdrawn from the front line and will be used as reserves in case of breakthrough, or emergency, as they are too valuable to be worn down in defending mud and have no replacements to repair serious losses.

The next arrival is the US 1st Arm. Div. and rather than find a big bill for combat supply and sea transport points (stacking size 5) when it is released, I will spread the cost by preparing these items progressively over the next few turns.

I have left the overall airforce priorities unchanged, with an emphasis on Interdiction to find and slow Axis units, whilst also shuffling the individual units ground support priorities to reflect where I think the danger lies.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/21/2017 1:08:44 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 15
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 2:21:03 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 11 – 05 October 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 5 / Interdiction – 10

Fuel/Supply re-set 50%/50%

231st Inf. Bde. will be withdrawn in 4 turns, so no point in getting it too involved, but unfortunate that it will be taking away 2 combat supply levels with it, but a lesson in not being too anxious to spread combat supply around. I have ordered this unit out of the front line to PORTENZA, to then send South and open the supply route to TARANTO, before it leaves the theatre, so will get some use before it goes.

The Axis seems to have abandoned the fortifications on the approaches to FOGGIA, but I guess they haven’t gone far. I was lucky that when the Axis retreated from the OFANTO line and were no longer visible, I happened fortuitously to direct 8th Indian Inf. Div. into a gap along the coast. This gave the opening to bring up more units and force them to abandon the line, or be encircled.

The Allies are closing in on FOGGIA, but more fortifications have been seen ahead. However, the terrain is opening up with out-flanking opportunities via VIESTE on the coast.

Mouse-over coastal towns and cities and it will show port 'landing capacity' in the game screen lower information bar. VIESTE shows landing capacity 0, so it is not a viable port, only the surrounding beaches might be of use.

Supply is now linked up and all units are in high enough supply to receive combat supply, with the unit that was suffering disruption from low supply now in good condition. The overall Fuel and Supply figures are looking better, although supply always seem to be short in this scenario. The long supply line from MESSINA was burning up fuel in transport costs, so I think I can now edge the slider over towards more supply, as fuel for transport this is no longer such a factor with both BARI and SALERNO working.




I am going to need a lot more supply, if I am going to feed combat supply into some of these bigger units, many now on low combat supply level. I am slowly building up sea transport points (will need 4 to move 1st Arm. and more if a Commando raid is needed) and I will also load combat supply before the unit actually arrives, so there will have to be an allowance for that.

The two landing zones are fully connected and each coast has a functioning port, with SALERNO at 44% capacity. I have closed operations on all the beaches on the Eastern landing zone, whilst keeping the main beach on the Western landing zone operational until SALERNO is at 100%. This makes more workers available to speed up work on SALERNO and provides the minimum 2 workers left in the pool to service the amphibious operation to move US 1st Arm. Div., when it arrives at MESSINA.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/13/2017 9:10:59 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 16
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 2:29:59 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 11 continued:




The image shows the positions the Allied units have been ordered to move to, including an attack on HG Mot. Div., now hidden under the attacking stack and in the East units ordered to close in on FOGGIA, not knowing what is there.

Overall plan is to force the advantage along the Eastern coast and to push toward NAPLES in the West, whilst keeping the fronts linked across the central hills and the Commandos are available at TARANTO for a diversionary raid.

More reports of German units entering the theatre, with 90th Pz Grenadier Div. arriving. Keeping the airforce settings with higher Interdiction to try and slow them down.
....................
There is problem exchanging units in low stacking mountain terrain, where one unit has to move out before the next can more in, risking leaving vital hexes empty for a time. Still not sure how this works, but maybe using the 'reinforce adjacent' button, which seems to put two units in the same hex, regardless of stacking limits, as long as one is eventually moving out.

Here is a comment from Frank, indicating that it was a known problem and should be better in later versions of the game:

quote

The problem of rotating units in and out of the line. You want to withdraw a unit from a frontline hex and at the same time reinforce the hex with a new unit. Currently (Initially) the chances of the reinforcing unit moving into the hex means there is a good chance the hex will be vacant when the first unit withdraws

Instead of changing the way stacking works, which would be a big issue, what I'm doing here is increasing the chances of the reinforcing unit doing just that. If the unit is in good order (little to no disruption) it should be practically automatic. It is automatic if it’s an armoured or mechanized unit.

end quote

The point here is that the exchange should be 'practically' automatic, but there is a chance that the exchange will not take place and an important hex may be left vacant.
....................
US Sector SALERNO Beach-head

Now in a position to attack HG Mot. Div. and push towards NAPLES, except that two of the US Divs. are low on combat supply, but I don't have enough supply points to provide this right now. Do I go with what I have, or wait until all units can properly supplied ?

This is one of the decisions that the game constantly presents to you in trying to get a good balance, as I have been using supply to prepare sea transport for 1st Arm., have I compromised the ability to carry out current operations.

I decide to attack now, as the AI has shown a sensitivity to being outflanked and doesn’t have enough units yet to form a continuous line. I order a stack attack with the units at SALERNO (4th Arm. Bde., 36th and 45th Inf. Divs.), with all units on level 2 Ground Support priority. 82nd Abn. ordered from reserve into the coastal hills hex to the secure the road out of SALERNO (edit: 82nd fails to make this move, because of stacking limits when Allied units failing in the attack on HG Mot., fall back and block 82nd's planned route). I didn't want HG Mot. retreating into these hills and blocking the road. I could add 3rd Inf. Div. into the attack (edit: found I could not have added to the attack, due stack limits), but I need to hold the mountains overlooking SALERNO, because if the Germans get into those mountains they could be difficult to re-capture. The Rangers are holding another mountain hex and although it is a small unit, they are elite troops and have the same capabilities as mountain troops (see 'M' indicator top left unit counter), so should be OK.

I can see Axis 29th Mot. Div. sitting in fortifications at BENEVENTO, so I will order an advance by the Allied divisions in the centre to close-up to that position and see what else is there and also try and cut the road from BENEVENTO to FOGGIA, which the Germans may be trying to use as a base for a defence line. The next East/West road across the hills is between NAPLES and TERMOLI and these lateral roads are import for the defence.

UK Sector BARLETTA Beach-head

Nothing is visible ahead except fortifications, some of them abandoned and the terrain is widening out into the FOGGIA plain. I have ordered a general advance to the lateral road to conform with the movement in the US sector and, as there must be a defence at FOGGIA , I have units closing in on the town from three sides. I am pairing infantry divisions with an armoured unit, 1st Canadian Inf. Div. has 23rd Arm. Bde. and 7th Arm. Div. is paired with 78th Inf. Div.. 7th Arm. had been travelling with 8th Indian Division, but as this is a low quality unit I have switched 78th Inf. and sent 8th Ind. to secure the flank through VIESTE.

If FOGGIA turns out to be a problem, then the coast road though VIESTE will provide a by-pass to get units behind FOGGIA. When FOGGIA is taken then aircover can be extended into Northern Italy.

I am keeping 1st Abn. Div. in reserve and taken the opportunity to load combat supply, although general supply levels are low again. I am using each turn's supply allocation to the full, with little possibility of building up a stockpile.

This is not so much of a problem whist I can manoeuvre the Axis out of its defence positions, but if there is any prolonged combat then there will have to be a supply reserve.

Reallocated air support priorities, to help the attack from SALERNO, otherwise airforce mission priorities remain the same.

Last look as the Overall Map to see the big picture, then hit the button.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 9/27/2017 12:46:35 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 17
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 4:29:32 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 12 – 09 October 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 10 / Interdiction – 5

Bad news and good news - again.

231st Inf. Bde. continuing in its mission to open the supply routes back to TARANTO, whist on the unit counter the '231st' name text has turned 'red' to warn that the unit will imminently be leaving the theatre. However, it is best to keep checking the 'Reinforcement Status' button to be able to prepare well in advance for units leaving and arriving.

SS Pz Bde. seen near GROSETTO, 2nd FsJ Div. still in Rome.

26th Pz Div. in fortifications at CAPUA, backing up the NAPLES front and maybe starting a defence line on the next lateral road.

The AI is making the best of the Axis units that I can see in, or near the front line. Below are the Axis units that have been identified in theatre by reports, or air recon.

16 Pz
26 Pz
24 Pz - withdrawn 13.10.43

1 FsJ
2 FsJ - Rome 01.10.43
SS StR

HG Mot Div
3 Mot Div
15 Mot Div
29 Mot Div
90 Pz Gren.

65 Inf
94 Inf
305 Inf

Many of them are not in the front line, what are they doing ?




US Western Sector

Bad news is the attack out of SALERNO failed, with significant losses and the HG Mot. Div. is still firmly in place. The ground support missions took place in full (5 out of 5), although I could probably have given more overall priority to Ground Support. If the attack is to be renewed and it must, there will be more air support, air settings reversed in favour of more ground support.

The Allied forces suffered more casualties, but HG Mot. suffered more disruption, if the pressure can be kept up then they will break, but it comes down to combat supply to increase unit effectiveness.

4th Arm. Bde. suffered little, or no damage, because with only a low combat supply it attacked at low intensity. When the attack is renewed there will have to be better preparation and the attacking units will need more combat supply, which, with the supply situation as it is, may take some time .

The AI had 29th Mot. Div. in fortifications at BENEVENTO, which effectively stopped an easy outflanking manoeuvre on that side, as it would make a bigger set-piece battle necessary, which I am not ready for yet, but now 29th Mot. has moved to close-up with the Allied line.

I had ordered 82nd Abn. into a flanking position on the coast road, but as the move played out the 82nd moved off to join the line with the British units well inland. I have no idea why that happened and will have to replay the move from game save to try and see what happened.

After checking the game save, the order is correct and I can see of no reason why 82nd. should have taken itself off in entirely the wrong direction.

Because the attack on HG Mot. failed all three attacking units fell back to the SALERNO hex, blocking the route to the hex designated for 82nd., by the hex stack limits. 82nd seems to have wandered off looking for another way round. I will file this in support. I re-ran the turn and it happened again.

This is a feature of the game that it resolves combat before movement, but it would have been better that if 82nd had been blocked that it should have stayed where it was. However, the lesson is to pay more attention to hex stack limits.

Added combat supply and some replacements to units in SALERNO for another crack at HG Mot. Div. next turn, this game requires planning and patience to set the situation up, rather than wasting resources on failure. My excuse is that the AI had not held on before, even after the previous Allied attack failed, it still withdrew. I got suckered into another badly prepared attack.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/15/2017 10:10:17 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 18
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 4:46:00 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline



Here is the situation after the Allied units have fallen back into SALERNO after the failed attack on HG Mot. Div., whilst in the EAST the British units have closed in on the Axis 3rd Mot. Div. discovered in the FOGGIA fortifications, meanwhile 8th Indian is out on the flank in VIESTE. The AI is covering the flanking move with 15th Mot. in a fortified blocking position.


I have had a problem transferring this game back onto my 'Windows 10' desktop, after being away using a laptop with 'Windows 7'.

The game has worked well in 'Windows 10' before, but after the transfer things happened with movement and supply, see Tech Support threads.

I have put the game back onto 'Windows 7' and restarted and it is playing normally, just have to re-write the turn narrative. Which is a shame, because in the part of the turn I have lost in the restart, I had a good result taking FOGGIA, nearly encircling 3rd Mot. Div., stopping it escaping and causing its destruction. I need to destroy Axis units, as I cannot win the campaign by merely pushing them back.

On the restart I was not so lucky with the combat results, which is good, because it shows the game is not running to script and has variable results.

As with other games from Frank, there is no dross, there's no useless chrome, if it's on the screen then it's important.

The game so far has been challenging, even against the AI, using house rules to make it more realistic and not so easy to surprise the AI. I haven't handled supply as well as I should, but it is easy to be wise afterwards, but it's not so easy to anticipate and predict where you will need the combat supply.

Frank has really captured the essence of the Italian Campaign for the Allies, with all the problems and frustrations of the historical situation.

'Real Life' takes over for a while, then back with the next series of turns.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/11/2017 8:57:50 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 19
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 6:32:02 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 13 – 13 October 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 7 / Ground Support – 13 / Interdiction – 4

Fuel looks OK, so edged the slider again toward supply – Fuel 30% / Supply 70% - although still using more fuel and supply than is entering the theatre.

I lose the battle, but FOGGIA and its airfields are captured as German 3rd Mot. Div. has retreated back to the river FORTORE and blocked the encircling advance of 5th Inf. Div., which was going to cut the road, perhaps I should have delayed the attack until the units in the centre (encircling) had got into position. I took the safe option, because now the big stack of units at FOGGIA is free to move in support the advanced Allied units, if I had delayed the attack they would have been blocked by the FOGGIA defence and be unable to help, if the encircling units in the centre had run into trouble.

Note: before the restart, turn 13 had the Axis 3rd Mot. Div. trapped and destroyed, replaying the turn did not have such a good result, with 3rd Mot. escaping and now resurrected - drat!!





29th Mot Div. attacked in the centre, hitting 46th Inf. Div. (one of the weaker units), but failed to breakthrough, with both units retreating, with the Germans suffering greater losses.

The AI spotted the weak spot and I should pay more attention, maybe providing more combat supply to weaker units to improve their effectiveness, but I don't have much combat supply and is it better used by higher quality units like 1st Canadian ?

Just as well that I had brought 1st Abn. out of reserve and ordered it back into line, that has provided a firm base for defence in this sector. 1st Abn. Div. now moving out on a wider flanking movement, noting that this unit is in contact and the only options are attack, or withdraw, but on first selecting the unit the potential withdraw hexes are many, however, after selecting the unit several times, sorting through alternative moves, the withdraw options reduce to single hex moves (is this a bug ?).

The units at FOGGIA, except 1st Canadian, are sent to close in on the Axis units ahead. 7th Arm. Div. provided with combat supply for the next turn.

Again, the game forces you to think through the options.

US Western Sector

Time for another try at HG Mot., now all units in SALERNO have level 2 combat supply and I can shift the ground support priority back from FOGGIA, to these units ?

29th Mot. has left the fortifications at BENEVENTO and is not so much of a block to a flanking movement on HG Mot..

Here's the choice on this front, attack HG Mot. again now, or take another turn, or two, to build up more combat supply and move into positions along the coast and towards BENEVENTO where a flanking threat can develop. HG Mot. is a big powerful unit (strength 19), as now we have been in contact with these Axis units, we can see the strength points which were not visible before. Shifting HG Mot. is not going to be easy, if it decides to hold its ground.

I decide on the slow approach and manoeuvre to encircle the HG Mot., before launching another attack. The problem is that most units are in contact with enemy units and are pinned, with the only movement option being to 'withdraw'. They can withdraw and then move forward again next turn into better positions, but that is using up time.

Then changed the plan, as it was too difficult to get out of the net of ZOCs and so planned for a wider outflanking movement North of BENEVENTO, which might work, if no new Axis units pile in. Caught in a clinch and launching another attack on HG Mot., to try and wear it down, with increased Ground Support. I am losing patience and this is not a well prepared attack, but I have to move HG Mot. Div. back and get some room for the follow-up armour to break out of this narrow beach-head.


UK Eastern Sector

7th Arm is a potentially useful unit, it was not involved in the FOGGIA attack (due lack of combat supply), but has pulled back, I take the opportunity of the new turn's supply to build it up for later.

I have FOGGIA and aircover and potential airdrops can now take place further North, well beyond Rome, which is a big strategic advantage.

I am still only faced with 4 Axis divisions, what are all the others doing ?

The combat results are showing that the AI is sending units into battle with full combat supply (level 3 ) and this may be why only a few units are coming into action, as like me, there is not enough combat supply to fully equip all units. I should learn from the AI, but I am trying make up as much ground as possible whilst I can.

The option would be to stop advancing for a few turns to build up a supply stockpile, but giving the AI a breathing space might cost more pain later.

However, when the ground battles stop and they will have to stop for a while, because there is not the combat supply to keep attacking, then I will switch to more Interdiction and try and find out what the missing Axis units are up to.

8th Indian Inf. Div. task is going to be to pin 15th Mot. Div., because whilst in 'contact', the 15th Mot. is limited to 'withdraw / attack' moves and not able to use its full movement capability. Even a low quality unit (black triangle top right) with low combat supply (red triangle lower right) can be of use, just by being there. You will see the move actioned in the next image.

After FOGGIA, the next objective on this front is TERMOLI, which a mouse-over shows has a 'landing capacity' of 7 and an additional access for supply will be needed as the front moves North. VIESTE shows no landing capacity (no port) and the beaches are now captured by Allied land forces (8th Indian Div.) and not eligible for amphibious landings.

The AI is demonstrating that you can do a lot with 4 units, as ZOCs can catch units in a spiders web, where movements get tangled.

Decide to launch a Commando raid to cut the cost road at 19,35, between VASTO and TERMOLI. House rules mean that the landing can be made in 2 turns (should be 21st October – Trafalgar Day). Game says 'No Eligible Beach', moved Commandos to the beach at BARLETTA, to see if that works for amphibious invasion and is close enough.

No idea why BARI to the beach 19,35 is 'Not Eligible', MESSINA to SALERNO is 20 hexes, BARI to 19,35 is no further, the minimum dock workers are available in the pool and I have more than enough sea transport points.

Selecting other units, which should be able to make an 'amphibious invasion', with the same 'No Eligible' beach result.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/15/2017 10:20:38 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 20
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/9/2017 6:48:23 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Turn 14 – 17 October 1943

Weather Clear
Air Priority Superiority – 9 / Ground Support – 10 / Interdiction – 5

Both attacks on the HG Mot. at SALERNO and 3rd Mot. at FOGGIA failed, but in both cases, either the losses suffered by the Axis units, or the threat of outflanking movements, caused them to withdraw.

AVELLINO is captured, BENEVENTO and FOGGIA are undefended and the Axis is setting new defence lines on NAPLES in the West and the river FORTORE in the East.

The capture of FOGGIA and its airfields is strategically important, as it extends the range of air cover and airdrops North of ROME.

Meanwhile, the Commandos are sitting on BARI ready for an amphibious raid, but the message box just says 'No Eligible' beach. I have sea transport points, the Commandos are in a working port and there are ample workers in the pool, so I don't know why the beaches are not eligible.

The AI seems to know when to hold on and just when to pull back, making use of interlocking ZOC to create a snare to trap the Allied units and kill free movement. Due to the simultaneous movement of WEGO, better quality units are able to move first and faster to evade the trap.

More Axis units are now appearing at the front, I guess the AI is finding more combat supply to bring them into use.




This is the position at the beginning of Turn 14, after the orders of the pervious turn have been executed.

In the West the Axis units have retreated from SALERNO and the port is safe, in the East FOGGIA is taken.

Supply lines have all been connected and the ports are up to full capacity.

Allied units were showing some losses with strength points shown in the lower left corner of the unit counter, first figure shows actual strength, whilst the figure in brackets is the potential full strength of the unit. I have provided replacements.

The preparations for the arrival of the US 1st Arm. Div. are completed, the sea transport is available and combat supply has already been allocated using the button in the 'Arrivals' panel. This unit will put some punch into the attack in the West.

It has been a lesson in strategy from the AI in how easy it is to use interlocking ZOCs to hold a line with so few units and it can only get worse in the mountains and winter weather.

This is a good time to take a breather and consider the next stage, as in Churchill's words - 'this is the end of the beginning'.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/22/2017 1:17:08 PM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 21
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/15/2017 2:31:21 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
During the write-up of this AAR I have alluded to house rules, which I intend to use to get more realism and help out the AI.

….................................................................................................................................................................................

Landings North of Rome (above hex row xx,27)

This first House Rule came from earlier discussion on the on this forum, as the AI is likely to over-react to landings in the rear areas and tends to abandon its positions prematurely :

Forum quote,

After securing the airbase at Foggia, the Allies can Para Drop as far north as Livorno. Doing a drop here kills the AI, as it will then start pulling everything back north to deal with this threat, thus allowing the Allies to march steadily and unopposed up the boot. I haven't played a PBEM, but I could see this strategy being exploited (there are other choice areas to land as well). Has anyone else noticed/used this?

House Rule : maximum stack points permitted for landings = 1 (e.g. small unit raid only) , above hex row xx,27 (Rome)

I will try this restriction allowing only small landings, but if that still causes problems for the AI, then it would have to be no landings at all North of ROME.

….................................................................................................................................................................................

Combat Supply

It is possible to provide units with full combat supply (level 3), then allocate them to airdrops and amphibious invasion.

Airborne units, in particular, have to travel light and are vulnerable until connected to overland supply, as occurred at Arnhem, where the British airborne units were isolated for more than a week and could not maintain effectiveness.

House Rule : airborne units can only be supplied to combat supply level 1 (red triangle) prior to an airdrop and can only be supplied to higher levels when connected to overland main supply sources.

Units using sea transport for amphibious invasion are equipped for beach assault and will not necessarily be able to carry all types of supply for normal operations.

House Rule : units allocated to amphibious invasion can only be supplied to combat supply level 2 (yellow triangle) prior to an invasion and can only be supplied to higher levels when connected to overland main supply sources.

Exception : units may have been fully supplied, before it became necessary to allocate them to landing operations, it would be useful if the game had a facility to remove combat supply from units, but without this option, some units will not be able to comply with this house rule. However, most landing operations take place at the beginning of a scenario, when this house rule can be easily implemented.

….................................................................................................................................................................................

Invasion Planning

It is not realistic to be able select landing beaches, or airdrop hexes at short notice, taking advantage of empty undefended hexes. In reality all such operations needed a planning period, therefore, beaches and airdrop hexes must be selected in advance and cannot be changed, without a further planning period.

House Rule : landing hexes for amphibious invasion must be selected in advance, at 2 turns for each stacking point to be landed and the invasion must be made to the selected hexes, or re-planned after a further similar delay.

House Rule : landing hexes for airdrops must be selected 2 turns before the drop and the drop must be made to the selected hexes, or re-planned after a further 2 turn delay. (how long can the drop be delayed ?)

Airdrops can only be launched from MESSINA, or FOGGIA, (edit) this is already in the game system.

….................................................................................................................................................................................

Minimum Air Allocations

Not all aircraft are capable of all missions, in reality some ground support aircraft cannot be used to win air superiority and vice versa.

Within the game controls it is possible to set all air power to any one mission type, which is not realistic and permits total concentration, for instance, on ground support. There is the proviso that total commitment in the game to Ground support, or Interdiction, might compromise Air Superiority, but it is still not a realistic option.

House Rule : air power sliders cannot be selected below 5, there must always be at least this minimum level set to any missions types.


….................................................................................................................................................................................

If the AI has any vulnerabilities it is only sensible to mitigate these with house rules, otherwise the game becomes a series of gamey moves to an unsatisfying victory.

If more realistic features add to the challenge of the game, then that is an additional advantage.

I shall be using these house rules during the remainder of the AAR and in all subsequent games.

All comments gratefully received.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 2/24/2017 7:52:10 AM >


_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 22
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 2/24/2017 7:56:59 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Additional House rule:


Port Restriction with Adjacent Enemy Unit

The 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 18 (sFH 18) had a range of 14,400 yds (13,325 m), or over 8 miles, which is more than the dimensions of one hex, meaning that when an enemy unit is adjacent to a port hex, the port could be brought under long range artillery fire. This would heavily restrict the operation of the port, meaning that it could not be brought fully into use.

For comparison the US 105mm M2A1 howitzer could fire over 7 miles, as could the British Ordnance QF 25-pounder, which is nearly the width of a game hex.

Historically, bringing a port under artillery fire is an effective way of closing the port, or would severely reduce the capacity of the port.

It is likely that only units of a certain size (division) would have heavy artillery available in their TOE.

Panzer (Armoured) and Pz Grenadier (Motorised) units had mobile artillery (AFV) available,
'Wespe' 10.5 cm leFH 18 howitzer – 11,600 yds (6.5 mls)
'Hummel' 15 cm sFH 18 L/30 howitzer - as sFH 18 above

House Rule : workers cannot be allocated to a port when an enemy unit with a stack value of 3, or more, is in an adjacent hex, any workers already allocated to the port must be removed, whilst a qualifying enemy unit is adjacent.

Exclusion : paratroops (FsJ) cannot restrict port operations, as they do not have heavy artillery available.

This rule does not apply to beach-head operations, as beach installations are more dispersed and unlikely to involve civilian workers.

Note: PFE hexes are 'roughly' 12 kms = 7.5 miles (PFE Manual)

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 23
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 11/28/2019 4:29:05 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Bump !

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 24
RE: AAR v1.04 Italian Campaign - 12/30/2020 4:04:22 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 2875
Joined: 6/30/2001
From: Bedfordshire UK
Status: offline
Bump !

_____________________________

"In politics stupidity is not a handicap" - Napoleon

“A people which is able to say everything becomes able to do everything” - Napoleon

“Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress" - Napoleon

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 25
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