Mediterannean war

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fran52
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by fran52 »

which is important as every single naval vessel needs to be represented.
And not only,the main problem was to ensure the supply of troops for both the Axis and the British.For the British there was also the problem to supply Malta.From this problem air and sea battles ensue.This is what makes it interesting the Mediterranean war otherwise it's a game like 100 others.
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by warspite1 »

ORIGINAL: fran52
which is important as every single naval vessel needs to be represented.
And not only,the main problem was to ensure the supply of troops for both the Axis and the British.For the British there was also the problem to supply Malta.From this problem air and sea battles ensue.This is what makes it interesting the Mediterranean war otherwise it's a game like 100 others.
warspite1

The main campaign game would have to have as its core the following:

- Mussolini can't quit North Africa voluntarily
- The Germans will help out its weak ally
- The British can't quit Malta voluntarily
- The British have to commit a certain number of units to the defence of Greece.

It is these events that shaped the campaign and would form the 'historical scenario'.

There would also of course be the option to explore a whole myriad of what-ifs involving the invasion of Malta, no British assistance to Greece, Spain entering the war (and the chances of a whole powder keg going up if the Germans give in to Spain and the knock on consequences with Petain, Mussolini and the Free French), Turkey, Vichy declaring for Germany, no Japanese war etc etc.
As a wise man once asked:

War - What is it good for?
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RFalvo69
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by RFalvo69 »

For a "historical" scenario, Italy shouldn't be able to attack Malta as soon as the hostilities start. When Italy declared war, there was a 7-10 days window during which Malta was defenseless. Nothing could have stopped an invasion. Both Britain and the Maltese considered a given that this would have been Mussolini's first move.

A game based on this insight would always see Italy invading Malta on the first turn, thus removing at once one of the most interesting problems (and motivators) of the campaign.
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Orm
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by Orm »

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

For a "historical" scenario, Italy shouldn't be able to attack Malta as soon as the hostilities start. When Italy declared war, there was a 7-10 days window during which Malta was defenseless. Nothing could have stopped an invasion. Both Britain and the Maltese considered a given that this would have been Mussolini's first move.

A game based on this insight would always see Italy invading Malta on the first turn, thus removing at once one of the most interesting problems (and motivators) of the campaign.
1) Did the Italians know, for a fact, that Malta was defenceless?
2) And could Italy scramble together an effective enough invasion force, and launch the invasion, before the Maltese defences were to strong?
3) Couldn't Malta have created an impromptu defence force that could have contested a minor invasion long enough for aid to arrive?
4) And wouldn't Italy have had to be sure that there would be no interference from the Royal Navy before launching such an invasion?
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RFalvo69
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by RFalvo69 »

ORIGINAL: Orm

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

For a "historical" scenario, Italy shouldn't be able to attack Malta as soon as the hostilities start. When Italy declared war, there was a 7-10 days window during which Malta was defenseless. Nothing could have stopped an invasion. Both Britain and the Maltese considered a given that this would have been Mussolini's first move.

A game based on this insight would always see Italy invading Malta on the first turn, thus removing at once one of the most interesting problems (and motivators) of the campaign.
1) Did the Italians know, for a fact, that Malta was defenceless?
2) And could Italy scramble together an effective enough invasion force, and launch the invasion, before the Maltese defences were to strong?
3) Couldn't Malta have created an impromptu defence force that could have contested a minor invasion long enough for aid to arrive?
4) And wouldn't Italy have had to be sure that there would be no interference from the Royal Navy before launching such an invasion?
This is a "what they knew" vs. "what the player knows" situation - something that I don't think will ever get a definite in answer in the art of wargame design.

My source, unfortunately, is only in Italian. "La Marina Italiana tra Vittoria e Sconfitta, 1940-1943" by Giorgio Giorgerini. Anyway, when Italy declared war on Jun, 10th 1940 the door to Malta was open. They were resigned to be invaded that night and were only able to offer a token resistance. When nothing happened, on the island they thought that maybe the invasion was programmed for the second night. At the end the British were baffled by the Italian no-show: who, after all, declares war without an attack plan in the pocket ready to be executed (sometimes even before declaring war)?! Especially against an obvious and undefended target... The above comes from British sources.

It turned out that Italy did. Nothing was researched. Nothing was ready. Invading Malta was never in the cards. The answer to "what about the interference from the Royal Navy"? very possibly was "Who cares? We are not going to do anything anyway."

Just consider how, even on the only front where Italy started military operations (the French front) there wasn't a plan and intelligence about the enemy was limited to token recon flights. The attack was launched from the barracks: "Cross the border and... do something!" That's how Italy entered the War.

(Not that things changed when this "already won war" revealed itself to be anything but. Months later, Greece was attacked with the same level of preparation - and the results we all know).

Returning to Malta, thus the problem becomes: how should I treat the idea of Italy invading Malta? IMHO, there are three answers, with no correct one:

- I'm Mussolini! We allow the idea that Italy readied herself before entering the War; the Italian player should thus be able to assault Malta and occupy it on the first turn. We accept that the Italians did their homework and acted in a sane way.

- Mussolini leads! Italy cannot invade Malta until conditions XY have been met. Until then, we must assume that the Italian planners are uninterested in Malta "because the Duce isn't", and the rule reflects this.

- Strange contortions: the game presents an unrealistic situation where Malta is, somehow, already an impregnable fortress at the beginning of the game, and both Italian and German forces - along with blood, toil and sweat - are needed to topple it. This to ensure "historicity". For other examples of "Strange contortions" see France 1939-40.

Each game designer will then pick his own, according to his idea for his own game.
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"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")
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RangerJoe
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by RangerJoe »

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

ORIGINAL: Orm

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

For a "historical" scenario, Italy shouldn't be able to attack Malta as soon as the hostilities start. When Italy declared war, there was a 7-10 days window during which Malta was defenseless. Nothing could have stopped an invasion. Both Britain and the Maltese considered a given that this would have been Mussolini's first move.

A game based on this insight would always see Italy invading Malta on the first turn, thus removing at once one of the most interesting problems (and motivators) of the campaign.
1) Did the Italians know, for a fact, that Malta was defenceless?
2) And could Italy scramble together an effective enough invasion force, and launch the invasion, before the Maltese defences were to strong?
3) Couldn't Malta have created an impromptu defence force that could have contested a minor invasion long enough for aid to arrive?
4) And wouldn't Italy have had to be sure that there would be no interference from the Royal Navy before launching such an invasion?
This is a "what they knew" vs. "what the player knows" situation - something that I don't think will ever get a definite in answer in the art of wargame design.

My source, unfortunately, is only in Italian. "La Marina Italiana tra Vittoria e Sconfitta, 1940-1943" by Giorgio Giorgerini. Anyway, when Italy declared war on Jun, 10th 1940 the door to Malta was open. They were resigned to be invaded that night and were only able to offer a token resistance. When nothing happened, on the island they thought that maybe the invasion was programmed for the second night. At the end the British were baffled by the Italian no-show: who, after all, declares war without an attack plan in the pocket ready to be executed (sometimes even before declaring war)?! Especially against an obvious and undefended target... The above comes from British sources.

It turned out that Italy did. Nothing was researched. Nothing was ready. Invading Malta was never in the cards. The answer to "what about the interference from the Royal Navy"? very possibly was "Who cares? We are not going to do anything anyway."

Just consider how, even on the only front where Italy started military operations (the French front) there wasn't a plan and intelligence about the enemy was limited to token recon flights. The attack was launched from the barracks: "Cross the border and... do something!" That's how Italy entered the War.

(Not that things changed when this "already won war" revealed itself to be anything but. Months later, Greece was attacked with the same level of preparation - and the results we all know).

Returning to Malta, thus the problem becomes: how should I treat the idea of Italy invading Malta? IMHO, there are three answers, with no correct one:

- I'm Mussolini! We allow the idea that Italy readied herself before entering the War; the Italian player should thus be able to assault Malta and occupy it on the first turn. We accept that the Italians did their homework and acted in a sane way.

- Mussolini leads! Italy cannot invade Malta until conditions XY have been met. Until then, we must assume that the Italian planners are uninterested in Malta "because the Duce isn't", and the rule reflects this.

- Strange contortions: the game presents an unrealistic situation where Malta is, somehow, already an impregnable fortress at the beginning of the game, and both Italian and German forces - along with blood, toil and sweat - are needed to topple it. This to ensure "historicity". For other examples of "Strange contortions" see France 1939-40.

Each game designer will then pick his own, according to his idea for his own game.

Italian units start at their garrison locations, peacetime TO&E, peacetime ammunition stocks, unknown enemy locations and strengths, . . .
Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

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RFalvo69
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by RFalvo69 »

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
Italian units start at their garrison locations, peacetime TO&E, peacetime ammunition stocks, unknown enemy locations and strengths, . . .
Hmmm... Let's say that both Italy and Britain start "unprepared" regarding Malta (the historical situation) and with freedom of action. I guess that Italy would try to rush and put together a slapdash invasion plan, while Britain at the same time tries to scrap everything not nailed down, reinforce the island-fortress and deny the seas to the Italian fleet. It could be a very interesting mini-game by itself.

This would be quite unrealistic, however. Italy was unprepared because Mussolini didn't prepare for war (he didn't want to go to war, full stop; it was Hitler's success in France that convinced him to "have 1,000 dead to throw on the armistice table" so to get the spoils without the fight). There is no realistic reason to think that the Italian high-command would have started planning after June, 10th if they never saw the necessity to do it before (or after...)

However, the reverse applies too: if we write a "Mussolini doesn't plan!" rule, then the British player can, unrealistically, leave Malta "alone" and use his forces elsewhere for a while until the "Mussolini panics about Malta!" rule kicks in - thanks to a knowledge that his historical counterparts didn't have.

I guess that we can take a leaf from "OCS: The Last Blitzkrieg" and write a rule that paralyses the Italian forces for at least a while but still requires for the British to reinforce Malta. After that, everything goes.
"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")
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RangerJoe
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by RangerJoe »

ORIGINAL: RFalvo69

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
Italian units start at their garrison locations, peacetime TO&E, peacetime ammunition stocks, unknown enemy locations and strengths, . . .
Hmmm... Let's say that both Italy and Britain start "unprepared" regarding Malta (the historical situation) and with freedom of action. I guess that Italy would try to rush and put together a slapdash invasion plan, while Britain at the same time tries to scrap everything not nailed down, reinforce the island-fortress and deny the seas to the Italian fleet. It could be a very interesting mini-game by itself.

This would be quite unrealistic, however. Italy was unprepared because Mussolini didn't prepare for war (he didn't want to go to war, full stop; it was Hitler's success in France that convinced him to "have 1,000 dead to throw on the armistice table" so to get the spoils without the fight). There is no realistic reason to think that the Italian high-command would have started planning after June, 10th if they never saw the necessity to do it before (or after...)

However, the reverse applies too: if we write a "Mussolini doesn't plan!" rule, then the British player can, unrealistically, leave Malta "alone" and use his forces elsewhere for a while until the "Mussolini panics about Malta!" rule kicks in - thanks to a knowledge that his historical counterparts didn't have.

I guess that we can take a leaf from "OCS: The Last Blitzkrieg" and write a rule that paralyses the Italian forces for at least a while but still requires for the British to reinforce Malta. After that, everything goes.

How about this:

Take something from WITP:AE and have many of the Italian units with a static device so it can't be moved. Also, have limited amounts of supply with most of the supply not located with the units able to move. Slowly, those static units get upgraded to remove the static device, if nothing else change the device to a mobile device.

If using a system where the players have to "buy" units so they can be loaded onto ships and aircraft, that could also be done.
Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
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gamer78
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by gamer78 »

Reminds me what politician Süleyman Demirel have said. Aegean is not Greek lake or a Turkish one. It is a sea. [:)] whose war we see in whole Mediterannean?
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Capt. Harlock
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by Capt. Harlock »

- Mussolini leads! Italy cannot invade Malta until conditions XY have been met. Until then, we must assume that the Italian planners are uninterested in Malta "because the Duce isn't", and the rule reflects this.

I humbly suggest that this is the correct one. There can be a rule that no Italian invasion can be launched until the French Navy has been neutralized. Il Duce would not have been eager to send troopships into the face of combined British and French opposition. (and I don't buy the idea of Malta being defenseless; 9.2 inch coast defense guns are no light matter.)
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RE: Mediterannean war

Post by Orm »

When Capt. Harlock speaks, I listen. [&o] [:)]
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