From: Bedfordshire UK
Turn 18 – 02 November 1943
Air Priority Superiority – x / Ground Support – x / Interdiction – x .... still to be decided.
1 point of additional airpower available
The attacks in the East worked, against 65th Inf. the attack rated a success and the German unit retreated to TERMOLI, the attack in 15th Mot. was rated a failure, but the German unit was forced to withdraw. However, the withdrawal was blocked by the successful attack on the 65th, which allowed Allied units to seize a bridge-head over the river FORTORE and 15th Mot. was forced to surrender.
I needed success on the FORTORE to try and relieve pressure on the NAPLES front, where Axis units are piling in.
I think the concentration of airpower into ground support was crucial. In the attack on the 65th the ground units got 8 out of 8 in air support and against the 15th Mot. it was 6 out of 6. I thought the attack on the 65th had to succeed to trap the 15th and so it seems to have been. However, I have had to give up air recon. and interdiction further North, to concentrate on ground attack missions.
This image shows the beginning of Turn 18, before any orders are selected and the overall situation looks much better. It was looking as though the front had fractured and becoming a mess, but it looks more organised now.
Meanwhile, in the West NAPLES has been taken and 9 workers drafted in to get the port operational, leaving 2 workers in the pool to service amphibious operations, but still no eligible beach hexes for the Commandos to attack.
Note : now introduced a house rule on using workers when enemy units are adjacent to a port and NAPLES workers withdrawn.
US Western Sector
British 4th Arm. Bde. and the Rangers were not attacked, so 36th Inf. did not move in the reinforcement move and now adding badly needed, but delayed, combat supply.
Which leaves just enough supply (5 pnts) to provide combat supply to US 1st Arm. Div. waiting at SALERNO. I have had the Fuel / Supply slider at 20% fuel and 80% supply, but there is still insufficient supply and not much fuel.
The US front has now stabilised from NAPLES and near CAPUA along the river to BENEVENTO, but the UK 4th Arm. Bde. and the Rangers stack is still vulnerable, facing two Axis Motorised Divisions and an SS Mot. Bde., but overall looking better than it was.
However, the AI knows where the weak spots are and has concentrated three powerful units against US 36th Inf. Div., which has low combat supply (red) and therefore low effectiveness. The stack next to 36th (4th Arm. and Rangers) does not exert ZOC as units are too small. Here is a weak point that needs to be supported, but combat takes place before movement, so even if I had spare units, they could not get there in time. The only support available is to use 'reinforce adjacent', which will act before combat, and/or pour in the air ground support to help if there is an attack, but then that valuable resource is wasted if the Germans don't attack. Planes circling overhead that could have been used elsewhere, hope the Germans enjoy the air show and I have lost effective interdiction for another turn................. Decisions, Decisions.
UK Eastern Sector
46th Inf. Div. retreated again for no apparent reason, even though not having been attacked. I have loaded 46th with full combat supply (level 3 - green) to try and improve effectiveness, but am I wasting supply putting it into a low quality unit, when a good quality unit could do more. Another of the balance issues that the game constantly presents, I have to 'beef up' these low strength units.
The units in the bridge-head over the FORTORE, after the successful attack, are all showing levels of disruption and have two Panzer divisions to face, but TERMOLI is almost in reach and I need that port to keep supply going on this front.
Many of the British units have no, or low, combat supply (see 78th Inf. Div. - combat supply level 0, black), so not much can happen for a while, but we are now over one more river. Looking at the map, only another 14 rivers to go till the PO valley – great !!!
Used up all the supply again.
I hope to prepare an airdrop as soon as the supply position allows, just to see how it will work and how far North it can be used, as part of a longer term plan.
It seems that airpower ground attack had a significant part in these attacks and happy with the effect of the house rule which stops all the player's airpower being directed into ground attack, which could then be focused on one battle, by setting high priority to one unit, or stack of units. Total direction of all airpower would not be realistic and limiting it gives the Axis AI more of a chance, with more of a challenge for the player.
The game definition of failure, or success, in combat, is whether the attacking units have been able to take over the target hex. In the attack on 65th Div. the Allied units gained the hex and the 65th retreated, but survived, attack successful. In the attack on the 15th Mot. the Allied units failed to gain the hex and the attack was rated as failed, but the 15th was so damaged that it was destroyed trying to withdraw with nowhere to retreat to. The game rating of success and failure is questionable, but success is often decided on more than the battle itself.
< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 4/9/2021 7:06:43 PM >
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