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Board Game: Invasion: Sicily
Invasion: Sicily» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Invasion Sicily: Would Patton approve or is it a Full Monty? rss

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Michael Ziegler
United States
Huntingdon Valley
Pennsylvania
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I have always been interested in this particular operation for the allies since I first saw the situation presented in the famous movie of 1970, "Patton", where George C. Scott received the academy award for best actor and refused it. Over the years, the real Patton has been replaced by the George C. Scott "Patton" in a lot of articles and pictures that cover something about him today.

What struck me about it was the "French" dinner, arranged by Codman and presented by Patton to describe his plan for the Invasion of Sicily. Patton whips out a board with maps,and with fellow Generals drinking a lot of wine, he describes what is really an ancient plan for invading that island by the Greeks. It started with a landing at Syracuse and eventual capture of Palermo and cutting the retreating Germans at Messina.
"George, you would have made a great General for Napoleon" one responds. "Oh, but I did, General, I did" or something like that (referring to his claim of reincarnation.)

Now, I finally acquired this Gamut of Games Rand version of the Invasion. The reason I wanted this one is that it most parallels what can be guessed at or derived by seeing that movie. Yes, it is from the 70s also, and consists of game development about what it was in that era.

So, I have now played through the historical version for this first ever review, and I promise I will add to the collection to test theories as they arise, because this game allows for a lot of "What ifs".

The results were exactly what happened in the real campaign. A 1.5 to 1 Minor Victory by the Allies. Here are some things to know about when you play this game:

1. The Germans cannot afford a tit for tat campaign.
2. The Allies need to continually expand the "front" with invasions, especially within the first four turns to avoid point accumulations by the Germans for not taking certain cities or towns and to keep from getting "bottled up" by the German/Italian defenders.
3. The landing at Syracuse will be tight until you can get enough troops up from other beach landings to assist.
4. Unless you are careful as the Allies, you can lose Gela VERY easily. The lines have to be kept tight. You need to use defensive naval fire and offensive Aircraft fire to assist troops in getting beyond the beaches.
5. British troops are worth more than others for the Allies. Be careful how they are used!
6. Don't lose your Paratroops. Either side!
7. Italians are only worth 1 point, in other words, almost worthless and their loss is not a serious matter.
8. The Allies get 22 points if they eliminate every German from the island before the 15th turn. This CAN happen easily, as Axis forces can't take exchanges and change is not available for losses called for in the CCC tables.
9. You have 3 choices of charts to attack. IN some cases, an all out attack is called for, in others, a limited attack works better. A mobile attack seems best when you need the defender to retreat rather than be totally defeated.
10. There are a lot of exchanges in this game.

Palermo was taken but not until turn 7. By this time the Germans were going to be defeated, that was certain. If you do get a chance to play the Germans, maximize your defense, make them pay for ground and don't give away important ports for the sake of keeping lines in order if you can.

All things considered, plus the additional opportunities presented with charts and cards that change conditions for battle for the whole campaign, it is a good simulation of this operation. A nice game for an old time player and younger player to be instructed therein.
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Dave Cruces
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New Mexico
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Nice Review-Succint and to the point. I think the movie favored George over Monty meeple
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