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FAB: Sicily» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Oh What a Lovely War! (Turn One - July 10 & 11) rss

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James Webb
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The sun was shining in the Mediterranean as the combined forces of the British 8th Army and the US 7th Army began their cowardly invasion of Italian territory/liberation of Sicily from jackbooted terror (delete as applicable).

The Allies went with the historical landings, with the British leaving beach Bark West open.

With the sound of naval guns battering the shore, the landing craft disgorged their contents over the shore as the invasion began.

The US 82nd Airborne dropped onto the beaches at Scoglotti, supporting the US 2nd as it stormed the Garrison, while the British 1st Airborne dropped behind the lines at Palazzalo Acreide.

While the 82nd and 2nd cleaned up, the 1st Airborne had a tough time. This was a minor mistake by the Allies, as the 1st could only drop adjacent to two other areas containing friendly troops, meaning that Palazzalo Acreide was the only option. They would have to dislodge the Italian Garrison from mountainous terrain without asset support (the 1st can't trace supply through the enemy-held beaches behind them).

The Axis had no such restrictions and sent assets to support, sensing an chance to give the Allies an early bloody nose.

The Untried Garrison was Disordered by the sudden appearance of Bren-wielding British soldiers in their midst, but they fought back bravely from their well-defended positions. The 1st took a step loss, and caused no damage in return. Unless the British opened up one of the adjacent beachheads, the 1st would be out of supply at the end of the turn - but this would be an extremely, extremely unlikely situation.

There were dogfights above Syracuse as the Axis committed their meagre air support to the defence of the crucial port. The Royal Navy pounded the Axis defensive fieldworks into dust while the elite 51st Highland Division stormed the beaches. The 51st secured the beachhead without any losses, and rolled well enough to eliminate not only the Garrison but also the Italian artillery and 15th Panzergrenadier assets sent to support the defence.

Syracuse was in Allied hands, opening up supply to the 1st Airborne and obtaining one of the tasty Fading Italian Morale counters. The loss of their only starting elite and artillery assets made the Axis reluctant to commit further assets to these opening battles.

(As an aside, have any Axis players ever managed to prevent the Allies capturing Syracuse on their first turn?)

All the other beaches fell to the Allies with minimal loss, as expected.

The Axis responded by using one of their valuable Engineer assets to damage the port at Catania, and then they used their single strat move to get one block of the 15th Panzergrenadiers to Adrano while the other block stayed in reserve.

The Livorno motorised units crossed over to Mazzarino to harrass the US, and other units began the long, long trek from the west of the island to support their embattled comrades in the southeast.

It's a tricky situation for the Axis, because a lot of their units begin out of position, but the Untried Garrison movement restriction and the event that frees the US 7th Army from its zonal restrictions mean that they can't totally abandon the western part of the island.

However, in the meantime, the US 7th Army are vulnerable to even weak units on their flank, while the strongest Axis units can be thrown at the British.

Speaking of which, the Axis spot an opportunity. The 1st Airborne are looking lonely there at Palazzalo Acreide. The Italian Garrison limps to Sortino, and both blocks of Panzer Division Hermann Goering are sent to teach the arrogant British a lesson. The outnumbered Airborne division is hit by the mechanised infantry, presenting the Axis with an opportunity to score a significant victory.

The Axis decides to commit the rest of its valuable assets to the battle, sending the XVI Engineers and both units of HG Panzers in support. The British are, in turn, forced to commit their remaining assets - No. 3 Commando and a detachment from 1st Canadian - to help prevent the Airborne being crushed under the armoured fist of the fascists. The Allies only blessing is that now they will benefit from the harsh terrain of the region.


The Axis counter attack at Palazzalo Acreide.

The British perform excellently, rolling a maximum 5 hits in defensive fire. The Axis have to take their mandatory step loss, and then have a difficult decision to make. They can abort the attack, or push on. If they push on they will lose another step and all of the committed assets, before rolling 7 dice in attack, needing 4s to hit.

There is an agonising delay as the Axis weighs up their options. Totally eliminating the 1st Airborne is unlikely, but there is a fair chance of forcing significant losses on the 8th Army. On the other hand, it would mean the total elimination of valuable formations, including the only remaining Axis armoured assets - those Panzers will definitely be needed later in the game...

No doubt to the Fuhrer's disgust, the Axis eventually decide to save the assets and abort the attack. This is possibly a choice that will come back to haunt the Axis.


After the battle, the Axis having been on the receiving end of British pluck.

The sun sets on the 11th July, with the Allies safely ensconced on the beaches. The besieged 1st Airborne waiting for the inevitable support from the rest of the 8th Army, while the US 7th Army looks to have a clear run into the heart of Sicily...

VPs: Axis 7.


The beachheads are secure, and the Axis look a bit thin on the ground...


Axis assets at the end of the first turn. Four other assets were put into the bag during their Reinforcement phase, and are not displayed here. What you can see is the heavy losses the Axis took to their armoured assets.


Allied assets at the end of the first turn. They'll lose one of the Naval Support counters, but other than that the rest of the used assets will go into the bag. The US kept some of their available assets back. The capture of the Niscemi airfield next turn looks inevitable.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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I have a feeling that the German attack on the paratroopers will cost them the game as there is now nothing to stop the Americans from gaining a lot of very valuable terrain on turn 2
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Jim Cavallari
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Nice report James! Have you ever played using the optional invasion site rules? I have not, but I'm curious to try.
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James Webb
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JimboThulu61 wrote:
Nice report James! Have you ever played using the optional invasion site rules? I have not, but I'm curious to try.


Not yet. It would result in a different, and very interesting, experience I think.
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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I have (twice). It does indeed result in a far different game for the first half of the game. For the Allies both the risks and (potential) gains are much higher, so its an option that is perfect for Patton-style gamer 😄
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Sean McCormick
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Nice AAR. Great game.
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James Webb
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Turn two can be found here.
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