The General Staff Archives

Europa Games and Military History

Month: March 2004

Jan II 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: The weather holds, and remains winter in the north and mud in the south.

Initial Phase: The scheduled reorganization for this turn is put on hold, as the units necessary to accomplish it are not properly placed.
A 3-2-8 reg‘t is rebuilt (eliminated in the first turn so long ago) using 3 of the 5 available Greek mtn Rps. The mxd B on Rodi goes on naval patrol, as does an SM81 in Albania (as I finally decided to try and stem some of the reinforcements flowing into Greece from the islands from the north end of the Peloponnesus…doh.)(Of course, as previously stated, none of these ports are legal for the Greeks to ship to since they cannot enter the Central Med.)

Mov‘t Phase: Greek units move to assault the recently lost hex at 3704.
Since the hex‘s defense is only 10, it is assumed that much better odds than the previous 2:1 -1 can be acquired. To help in this endeavor, both Allied fighters fly CAP over the hex, to help drive off the pesky Italian DAS. The Italian fighter previously sent to Rodi returns via staging, and all 4 Italian fighters fly CAP to the same hex. The Allies choose to remain on CAP standby.

Combat Phase: The Italians sniff out a possible 2:1-1, 4 or 3:1 -1 combo that would result in a zoc scam. A single 2 pt bomber adds .5 points to hex 3603, which should prevent the 2:1 -1. The remaining Ju87 and Z.1007b fly DAS to 3704, with the 4 Italian fighters on CAP switching to escort. Without the Ju87‘s DAS, the attack will go in at 4:1 -1. If it gets through, the odds will drop to 3:1 -1. The Z.1007b is there primarily to increase the odds the Ju87 gets through. The Allies decide the risk is worth it, and both CAP planes switch to intercept, resulting in the first air-to-air combat of the Italian-Greco war. Both planes bypass. The four fighters, each with a 3 attack, get two free attacks on the bypassing P24 & Glad. The MC200 scores an R result against the P24 (rolls of 5 & 9 for these two attacks), but the Glad gets through the escorts (rolls of 9 & 1l.) Random allocation puts the Glad on the vital Ju87, but it rolls a 9 resulting in a no effect.
The Ju87 manages to score an R. The Greek command, not to be dissuaded by the air combat over the hex or last turn‘s near disaster, chooses to launch the attack to regain lost motherland. Unfortunately, the thin Green line (to paraphrase) is equal to the task, and the 23rd and 49th Italian Inf Divisions earn their Roman legion eagles by driving the poor Greeks off again with another AR (rolled a 1 at 3:1 -1). The Greek commander comments that at this rate he‘s going to retreat himself back to Thermopolae. The resulting retreat results in hexes 3804 and 3703 vacant, and Ioannina defended by the artillery reg‘t from last turn‘s Italian attack. At this point it‘s obvious that the God of War prefers the name Mars to Ares…

Exploit Phase: The Greek motorized infantry rgt rushes to protect Ioannina, bringing the def up to 2 pts, though this may or may not be sufficient to hold the vital road junction. The British Blenheims decide to launch a raid on the port of Valona since all Italian fighters are now inop, but they roll a 4 and fail to score a hit.

Italian Player turn

Initial phase: Three more infantry divisions along with a construction regiment and ski battalion show up for duty in Albania. Unfortunately, the Ju87‘s, so critical to the past two turns successful defense against Greek offensives, are withdrawn for duty elsewhere. The two forts that have been under construction for the past two months are completed. The Brits leave the Well 1C stood down again.

Mov‘t Phase: All reinforcements move to Albania and then towards the front without incident. In a triumph of Italian arms, 2 empty hexes are seized, while an attack is set up against Ioannina. The possible assault on Melos is delayed again, since it is decided that long range fighter cover over the hex would better ensure victory and the Italians are not yet willing to bring in German support (i.e., they‘re racking up too many juicy Vps and don‘t want to give them up until they get close to maxing out.) Feb II is targeted as the best possible time to pull off this stunt, as the Vps will be close to the 50 pt max at this point.
A minor fighter/bomber raid is staged at Thessalonike, where the Brits have stationed their Blenheim with 1 pt AA (virtually all other flak having moved to Athenai.) Weather and poor rolling results in no AA or bombing hits by 3 air units (two combined to get to 1 pt bombing strength.) At the end of the Italian mov‘t phase the Allied High Command flies both of its fighters as CAP over Ioannina.

Combat Phase: The Italians can assault Ioannina under two scenarios…
the first would involve only supplied mountain troops much as the assault the previous turn. In this case, a 6:1, -1 would result, without air support. This would unfortunately lead to only 2 mountain divisions in Ioannina, an 8 pt defense, and a very likely target in the following turn. On the other hand, an 8:1 -3 with all available troops could be launched, using no supplies and not requiring air support to brave the Allied CAP. Since this also puts 10 points of less precious infantry into the seized hex, the Italians go with this plan. A 5 is rolled, and a Greek 2-1-6 Artillery rgt along with the only motorized elements of the Greek Army enter the dead pool.

Exploit Phase: The Z.506 launches in another attempt to hit the Blenheims at Thessalonike, getting by Greek AA (1 column, 9 rolled), and scoring a hit with a 6. Feeling lucky, the Z.1007b attempts to terror bomb Athenai, but snake eyes on the flak roll puts it into the aborted pile.

End of game turn: The Italians collect 8 Vps (the max) for hexes in Greece.

End of 6-month territorial ownership period: The Axis collects nothing for Greece or Yugoslavia. The Allies collect 10 Vps for Crete, but nothing for Greece or Albania (they have never owned all of Greece in any of their own initial phases…) VP totals are now Italians 40, Allies 7.

Jan I 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: Weather remains poor, with winter in the north and mud in the south. For the first time, the Med turns rough as well.

Initial phase: The first Allied air reinforcements arrive, with a Brit Glad showing up, along with 1 ARP each for the Greeks & Brits. The Greek one is used to put the Greek bombers back into service.

Movement phase: Engineers continue to clean up rail hits along the north-south rail line (a process begun last turn.) The Greek high command decides to concentrate troops more dramatically, and 6-8 pts are left defending all but 3 hexes, with those 3 each having 18-23 points. Hex 3705 looks to be the target, which would allow the Greeks to enter Albania for the first time.

Combat phase: All available DAS flies in support of the threatened hex in Albania. Greek strength is limited due to stacking and winter artillery rules, so only 42 points can manage to attack, faced by 13 points of Italians (including 2 construction regiments still furiously building a fort by dynamiting the frozen ground) and 2.5 points of DAS (1/2 and ½ again due to DAS & weather.) Despite the long odds (2:1 -1), the Greek command decides that it’s now or never and launches the attack…. Rolling a 2 for an AR! Newspapers in Rome trumpet the defeat the new Roman legions have inflicted upon the Greeks, declaring once again that Athens is just around the corner. The 5 Pst Alp XX and the 19 Vnz Inf XX earn numerous awards and battle ribbons as well as a legionnaire eagle, and mistresses are trucked in from the far corners of the empire for the divisional staffs.

Exploit: The one motorized rgt of the Greek army moves into hex 3805 (seized back from the Italians last turn), to solidify it’s defenses, since a number of the troops which garnered the AR came from this hex. Bomber units position themselves on Crete, protected by the P24, ready to bomb any sea mov’t from Rodi (the Italian Marines’ mov’t there apparently having been spotted.) The new Glad moves to Athens to protect it from marauding Italian bombers.

Italian Player turn

Initial Phase: A wealth of new reinforcements for the front arrive, consisting of 4 new divisions and a corps level artillery regiment. The Allied high command has apparently sniffed out the possible naval assault from Rodi, as both bombers on Crete go on naval patrol. (Since they are at different bases however, this means little, since the weather is rough and their 1 pt bombing factors halved, even a successful contact roll wouldn’t allow a bombing attempt.)

Mov’t Phase: Three divisions land at Valona and admin move toward the western part of the front. The fourth division, along with the corps artillery land at Durazzo and admin towards the eastern front. Allied naval power fails to interfere. Having just discovered that RPs are better placed on map, and can move about, the Ju52 transports two mountain RPs to Koritsa. Limited port capacity prevents the stockpiled Inf RPs in Italy from moving to Albania.

At the front itself, the Greek retreat has stranded a single 2-1-6 artillery reg’t alone in a hex, which would make a fine addition to the Italian line. Two possible approaches to the attack are considered… an 8:1 -1 using supplied mountain troops (with possible air support for a (9:1), or an 8:1 -3 (again with a possible (9:1 using air) with all troops unsupplied. Supplies are plentiful, due to the fact the Italians only launched attacks on the first turn of the game. However, limiting the attack to mountain divisions would lead to them being alone in the conquered hex, an 8 pt stack approachable from 3 hexsides. It’s decided to allow the Greek rgt an extra shot at getting away so that regular Italian infantry will be in the conquered hex.

The possible naval assault out of Rodi and aimed at Melos remains on hold, since the weather would almost certainly mean the Marines would be disrupted upon landing, therefore failing to gain ownership of the hex and port, and allowing Greek units to simply naval transport into the port and wipe them out…

Combat Phase: The attack is launched against 3704 at 9:1 -3 (I decided to add the air), but a 1 is rolled and the artillery calmly retreats down the road to its rear (there was an empty hex that I could have taken the would have allowed a zoc scam, but this hex would have been surrounded by 4 hexes in the Greek turn, and I didn’t think trading an Italian division for a Greek rgt worth the cost.)

Exploit Phase: A number of strikes are made against the Greek rail line again, garnering 1 hit. Another port bombing attempt against Mytilene fails. At this point, with VPs accumulating through the ownership of Greek hexes, there is little need to send unescorted bombers to brave the Allied fighters or 5 pts of AA. With the seizure of one hex of Greece thanks to the Greek AR, the Italians go back up to 5 VPs for hexes in Greece, bringing the VP totals to 32 to -3.

Dec II 40

Allied Player Turn

Weather: A 4 is rolled, so winter arrives in the mountains of northern Greece, while the mud arrives in the south.

Initial Phase: More minor Greek reinforcements arrive, while the 4 Mtn X converts to the 15 Mtn Div. Due to poor weather (most likely), the Well C is not called up this turn. Neither side flies CAP or harassment. Three bomber units on Rodi go on naval patrol. The 10th Greek inf III, trapped on Kerkyra for 4 turns now without supply and isolated, gives up the ghost by failing its first U-4 survival check.

Mov‘t Phase: A few minor tweeks along the Greek lines, while units immediately behind join them. The Greek high command has decided to put pressure on the western part of the Italian lines, Greek stacks ranging from 13 to 16 points in this sector. Six or 7 points are in the east.

The last of regiment of the 5th Mtn XX on Crete departs, using AEG‘s naval loading/mov‘t gambit. It and its brethren continue mov‘t along the west coast of Greece. The Keph static brigade loads on another NTP, but remains in port at this time.

Combat phase: Italian analysis reveals that the Greeks can do no better than 2:1 -1 anywhere along the mountain portion of the MLR. The western most hex has only 6 pts of defense however (due to the increased combat mods, since for the Italians it is safer to be in rough than mountains thanks to Greek mountain proficiency.) Here, the Greek high command tentatively has a 5:1 -2 attack. All available DAS flies in support of this hex. Italian DAS is greatly enhanced by the recent arrival of the Ju87‘s despite the departure of a number of Italian bombers currently on Rodi. After DAS, the limited Allied GS available (1 bomber, 1 tac point) can bring the odds up to no better than 3:1 -2. Even so, the Greek high command decides that if they are to gain back any Greek territory they must attack. The attack starts off inauspiciously, with Greek counter DAS AA failing to drive back any of the three planes flying in support of the Italians. The final attack goes go in at 3:1 -2 (a 3 in 6 chance for a positive result, but a 2 in 6 of either an AR or the dreaded AH.) Greek mountain units attack despite snow and poor terrain, and get a 6 for their efforts. The Italians, obviously expecting the attack, fight a successful fighting withdrawal (result is DR, with no losses to either side.)

Exploit phase: The Keph brigade travels along the Greek coast via naval mov‘t, with the intended mov‘t to bring them to Athenai under cover of darkness and protected by Greek fighters stationed there.
Unfortunately, Italian bombers on Rodi have a small window to strike and attempt to do so at hex 15:1415. The Z.506b float plane bombers fail to locate the target (+3 for calm seas, -4 for distance, a 6 being required). Surprisingly, the Mxd B unit in the garrison‘s forces rolls said 6 and finds the unit‘s transports ducking in and out of safe spots along the coastline. Two points of flak fails to drive off the offending bombers, and in a fit if pique, the Italians show their mettle by successfully rolling yet another 6 and putting the unit and NTP into the dead pile.

Italian Player turn

Initial phase: Little of significance occurs, with another Italian Mtn XX showing up for service in Albania, along with some German Ju52‘s.

Mov‘t phase: The reinforcing mtn XX ships to Valona without incident, and then moves overland down the coast road to help out along the front where the Greeks appear to be concentrating. The 5 Pst Alp XX moves into the line at 26:3705 as that appears to be the most threatened hex at this point (now able to be attacked from 3 sides, this unit brings the hex up to 13 def points, which should prevent anything better than a 3:1, and perhaps less.) One regiment of a broken down infantry XX moves into the line with the retreating forces from the Greek attack, along with the Albanian 1st Inf X, bring hex 3706 up to 9 points. Since it can now only be attacked from a single hex, a 2:1 -1 should be the limits of Greek attack ability on the western flank of the Italian line.
The other broken down III moves up Kerkyra and crosses the straight, while the HQ moves from Valona down the coast road so the unit can form back up next turn. Finally, the SM marine II admins up to Koritsa, then catches a ride by air from the Ju52‘s to Rodi for a possible assault in the Aegean.

In the air, with no ability to attack in the mountains and poor weather, the Italians instead choose to focus on bombing. Four bombing raids are launched on rail hexes to further limit Greek rail mov‘t. One hit is achieved by a combination of MC.200 fighers and SM.81‘s just west of Thessalonike, on the western side of the Axios. The „extra“ bombers on Rodi return to Albania as part of this mov‘t. Finally the Mxd B attempts to bomb the port of Mytilene on Lesbos, but fails to achieve any appreciable damage.

Combat & Exploit phases: Nothing occurs, literally!

End of game turn: The Italians collect 4 Vps for their hexes in Greece, bring the totals to 27 to -3. All in all, while Mussolini is perturbed by the recent successful Greek counter-attack and the failure of his mighty military to reduce Greece to a client state, the Italian high command is well pleased.

Dec I 40

Weather: Another 2 is rolled for weather, leaving the D zone in mud and the E zone clear. Greek offensive operations will likely be delayed another turn. The Med remains clear (1 rolled)

Initial Phase: No significant Greek reinforcements. The Well 1C is again called up at the cost of 1VP. The Greeks choose to fly CAP with their fighter over Khania. The Italian mixed bomber unit on Rodi is again placed on naval patrol.

Mov‘t phase: The Greek navy successfully brings another reg‘t on Crete off the island and into the western port of Amalias, this time the HQ of the 5th Mtn Div. Elsewhere, the 23rd Rgt of the 13 Mtn Div is brought off the Aegean eastern isles (specifically Khios). A combination of night loading and mov‘t prevents Italian interference in these maneuvers.

The British Blenheims again launch an attack on Rodi, with the Italian Mxd F again rising up to challenge. This time things go better for Mussonlini‘s air force, and the bombers are driven off (7 mod‘d to 6 on the -1 chart R‘s the bombers, 6 mod‘d to 7 misses the fighters.)

Combat phase: The Greek high command looks about for possible attacks, and sees nothing better than 3:1 -3 in rough terrain, or 2:1 -2 in mountains. Greek units stand down and await better weather for the drive to Valona.

Exploit phase: It has become obvious that the British are sending their Blenheims in as a stalking horse to clear the way for the Wellington‘s in the exploit phase. They stage another raid on Rodi, but their luck is no better. 3 pts of AA misses (10) as does the 6 strat strength Wellington (2 rolled).

Dec I 40 Axis Player Turn:

Initial Phase: One infantry and one alpini division are placed at Brindisi, as is the Italian Ju87 unit. SM.79-1‘s withdraw temporarily.
2 Infantry Rps go into the pool, but remain unspent. The Greek fighter stages and then flies CAP over Athenai, to prevent a recurrence of last turn‘s terror bombing raids. Unfortunately, this unit cannot be everywhere at once…

Mov‘t phase: The reinforcing 37 Mod Inf division is broken down with the smaller rgt sent to Kerkyra to bottle up the Greek 10th Inf rgt, still starving along the northern coast of that isle. Allied naval interference fails to make contact. The SM marine battalion then shifts up to the port of Valona, with naval interference again making no contact. Next a large convoy including the remaining portions of the 37th Mod Inf and the 5 Pst Alpini Div make their way to Valona without incident.

To ensure the unguarded Blenheims based at Khania don‘t escape Italian attention, a three air group raid is launched, 2 bombers staging from Albania and Italy to Scarpanto, and the 3rd the Mxd B direct from Rodi.
Flak misses all 3 units. The air units line up and bomb one at a time, declaring the mission only after the previous unit has made an attempt.
The first, the Z506, misses the airfield/unit with a 2 on the 2 column.
The Mxd B then rolls on the 1 column, improving the roll if not the results (3). Finally, the SM.81 on the 1 column gets even closer (5), but still misses. All units return to Rodi and its environs, leaving the island a large aircraft carrier.

Next, a CR.42 transfers to Rodi across Greece to help mitigate the British attempts to bomb that island. At a minimum, this should likely force the Brits to bomb at night. A CR.32bis pulls back from Koritsa to cover Valona.

Continuing with bombing, the Z.1007b unit attempts to break the rail line leading north from Athenai, just southeast of Levadia. The unit rolls a 6 and destroys the rail line.

Finally, the last air unit left operative (excepting last turn‘s heroic MC.200‘s, which can accomplish little considering the weather and their range (since bombing empty airfields does me little good!)), the brand new Ju87‘s, launches an attack against the rail junction just east of Karditsa. The mud has no real effect (4 halved to 2 is the same column), and a 4 is rolled, +1 for type D, resulting in a second rail hit.

On the ground, little is accomplished, other than shuffling 4 3-4-6 Inf XX‘s about to keep units fully functional for supply (a single hex of the Italian line is out of general supply due to the mud… the units in this hex exchange places with their neighbors each turn in the standard practice.) Some more minor shifting goes on around the eastern part of the Italian line, while the just arrived reinforcements admin up from Valona to the western part of the line.

Combat phase: No Allied DAS opportunities exist. No attacks are launched.

Exploit: No mov‘t or air missions.

End of game turn: Italians collect 5 more Vps for hexes in Greece.
Totals are now 23 Axis to -3 Allied.

Nov II 40

Initial phase: Weather rolls result in mud in D, clear in E, with clear seas in the Med. The Metaxas line garrison is met, so Greek units may now freely pass over the Strimon. Minor reinforcements arrive on the islands in the Aegean. The Allied high command again elects to call up the Well 1C out of the mid-east (-1 VP)

Mov‘t phase: Things are more eventful in the air and on the sea than in the mud of northern Greece, but only just. First, an unescorted air raid with British Blenheims is launched against the port of Rodi, out of Khania. The Italian Mxd F rises up to meet the challenge, but in air to air both units miss (F rolls 10, B rolls 6). Italian AA is equally inept, failing to drive back the aggressors (10 on the 1 column.) Fortunately, the British bombers are stricken by the sites of the ancient citadel of the Knights of the Temple, and fail to score a hit against the port while taking snapshots. Next, one rgt of Greek mountain troops loads at Khania, with the Greek AF flying CAP, and moves around to western Greece to the port of Amalias. (This port is later determined to be illegal for Greek shipping, as it sits on the central med, which the allies are not allowed to enter. We later declare these successful evasions of the the Italian fleet and press ahead.) A second loads on the island of Samos. This is in range of Italian air units on naval patrol at Rodi, so an air raid is launched to catch the Greeks just as they complete loading, but prior to their nighttime departure.
Unfortunately, the Italian bombers get lost in the deepening twilight and fail to make contact (1 rolled).

On the ground, units directly behind the main line of resistance move up, while those further back admin towards the front. The heaviest concentration of Greek troops is in the mountains northwest of Ioannina and 2 hexes just east of this position. Along the last row of mountain hexes before the valley of Phlorina the Greeks are weakest. This is the point at which the Italians are strongest, but there is little chance of any Italian success given Mussolini‘s lack of mountain troops and the poor terrain and weather. Admin‘d troops make up a second line along the length of the valley. Both sides appear to be settling in for a long campaign to come.

Combat phase: The Italians fly a number of DAS missions, mostly to ensure no surprises, though it is expected no attacks will be launched in the mud. Still, the Greek command could get one 3:1 -2, though it would be launched by the single largest stack of Greek troops which are blocking the road to the road juncture at Ioannina. Mussolini judges the risk the Greeks will launch such an attack as minimal, considering the one in three chance of an AR or the dreaded AH, which would be an unmitigated disaster for the Allied high command. Elsewhere only 2:1 -2‘s are available. As expected by the Italian high command, no attacks are launched.

Exploit phase: The called up Well 1C launches a another port raid, this time against Rodi, no doubt due to the distance to Albania and the poor weather in that region. Both AA and the bombing attempt are misses (9 and 1 respectively.)

Nov II Italian Player Turn:

Initial Phase: A pair of forts are begun in the mud, one at Koritsa and the other in the mountain hex along the road leading to Ioannina. 1 ARP is spent to bring back the aborted fighter from the Thessalonike raid.

Mov‘t phase: Little but some line shuffling is accomplished, in preparation for the possibility of winter/snow weather next turn.
Planes remain on stand-by in case of DAS.

Combat phase: The Allied high command launches no DAS, and no attacks are made by the Italians.

Exploit phase: Three fighters launch airfield attacks against Larissa , where the Greek bombers are currently based. AA misses all three, and the 2 0 pt fighters combine to make a single attack against the airfield and air unit, likewise missing. The MC.200 with 1 pt (+1, halved) however rolls a 6 and sends the Greek bombers to the boneyard (aborted.)

Another large air op is launched against Athenai, including all Italian bombers from all locations. Five bombers reach Athenai, and the 1 pt AA is insufficient to drive any of the offenders away (though they get very close!). Obviously the AA scared the Italian pilots, as their strategic terror bombing attacks result in only 1 hit (2 would have been average.)

At end of game turn: The Italians collect another 5 Vps for hexes, plus the one for the terror bombing hit against Athenai, bringing their total to 18. The Allies currently have -2.

Nov I 40

Initial Phase: The Greek army mobilizes. Numerous reinforcements are poised to rush to the front and fill up the Metaxas line. The British Well 1C is called up at the cost of -1 VP for on-map use. Italian bombers fly limited harassment missions, intended to slow this Greek push to the front (1 along the western coast to keep a few units from the reaching the front along the coastal road, and one at Phlorina, which should prevent any significant reinforcement of hex 14A:4215, which the Italians decide might be a possible point of attack next turn should the weather prove supportive. The Mxd B on Rhodes is put on naval patrol.

Mov’t Phase: The British Expeditionary Corps moves to Khania, with the Italian Mxd B moving to intercept. No Greek CAP is flown over the hex, so the Italian bombers will be unopposed. They successfully make contact (+3 for calm seas, -3 for distance, 5 rolled), AA is ineffectual (7 rolled on 2 column); however, Italian bomb sites are inadequate and the bombs are lucky to find the earth (thanks only to gravity), much less the harbor with the British ships unloading the Brit 14th Brigade (1 rolled.)

In the East, the Metaxas line is more than fully manned. On the main front, all hexes in front of the Italian lines are retaken, with most held in strength. Along the western coastal road, only a single 2 DS rgt holds the coast. The hex just east of Koritsa, 14A:4215, is abandoned as untenable (Italian newspapers trumpet the success of Italian arms and the imminent fall of Athens.)

Of interest, Thessolonike is turned into a veritable AA fortress… by the end of the turn, both the British and Greek short range bombers will be based here (no fighter cover, as this unit remains in the south covering Athenai.)

Combat Phase: The two remaining Italian bombers fly DAS to the only hex where a 3:1 might be possible. The Greek high command finds no attacks at better than 2:1 odds (+0 however due to Greek mountain prowess.) Still, the conservative commanders choose to launch no attacks, apparently unwilling to risk the possibility of significant retreats on any “1”s.

Exploit phase: A single Wellington C stages a night raid on the port of Valona, no doubt hoping to find an armaments ship in the port (the massive damage rule is in effect for ports which are standard supply terminals.) 3 pts of AA is ineffective thanks to B and a night mission mods (which also prevents any intercept attempts.) Fortunately for Mussolini’s troops, the Wellington’s miss (2 rolled.)

Nov I 40 Italian player turn:

Initial phase: For the odd weather turn, a 2 is rolled, leaving both zone D & E in clear (with Mud guaranteed Nov II, this is seen as an excellent turn of events by the Italian high command.) Italian units arrive in Brindisi and Bari for transport to the front. The combined Allied AF flies no CAP or naval patrol. The Italian quartermaster is stripped of his rank and assigned to a penal company as he failed to notice that breaking attack supply down into resource pts occurs in step 8 of the initial phase, while fort building must begin in step 6… therefore a construction reg’t at Koritsa is forced to wait impatiently for the necessary cement and supplies until next turn, thereby losing the good digging weather.

Mov’t phase: In naval interference, the Allies manage some small success in impeding Italian reinforcements. Two successful contacts are made, with a 2-3-6 Art III resulting in no effect and a 3-4-6 Inf XX returned to port. Italian troops take advantage of the weather to improve their lines. Great fanfare is held when another hex of Greece is seized thanks to the retreat of the hated foe. (14A:4215, previously abandoned by the Greeks in their turn.) Many medals are handed out and Mussolini calls for a parade… Athens is just around the corner.

A possible attack is set up against a 5 pt stack that might lead to a breakout, though with bad weather coming it’s unlikely the attack will be launched. The attack would go in at 3:1 -2 at best, so in actuality it’s hoped that perhaps the Allied AF will be tempted to fly DAS, which might therefore be intercepted. Failing that, the Italians will be satisfied with adjusting their lines and waiting for mud to ensure any Greek counter-attack is thwarted.

The island of Kerkyra could have been cleared in the good whether, but it is determined that the tank battalion/artillery rgt combo, or a full division necessary for this action are better used elsewhere in the line. Let them eat rats…

Combat phase: Metaxas notes the weak Italian situation for what it is and declines to fly DAS. The combat phase passes without fanfare.

Exploit phase: Little occurs on the ground, other than the aforementioned tank II moving forward into the lines. In the air, the Italian AF commander decides to take advantage of the good weather and show the Greek AF whatfor, seeing as how it has impudently chosen to base so close to the front… AA be damned! A raid of 2 bombers with 1 tac pt and a fighter also with 1 tac pt sweep into the base unmolested by flak… bomb rolls of 2, 1, 1 however indicate that the Italian pilots may have been missed by flak due to their having dropped their loads prior to actually getting to the base! Not to be deterred, the Italian Goering sends forth 2 more fighters, with 0 tac bombing strength for another attempt at the Allied bombing force. Lucky flak catches one of these with an abort (2 rolled). The fighter that gets through rolls a 3 and misses, but at least these two found the base…

At end of game turn: The Italians collect 5 VPs for owning 5 hexes in mainland Greece.

Oct II 40 Italian player turn

Set-up:

The Greeks have chosen to defend Ioannina in strength, with both of their 5-6 Mtn XX’s in the immediate area, though a gap along the coast in the non-mountainous terrain exists. To the northeast of the 8th & 9th Mtn XX’s a line of border troops and mountain regiments exists all the way up to Yugoslavian border, with but a single unit in each hex, and most unsupported. Not wishing to get trapped along the coast (having seen similar things in various “alternate universes”), Mussolini chooses to ignore the bait of the coastal gap and instead sets up in strength in the northeast part of the line. Assaults on 3 hexes, each with 1 effective defensive point are planned. The lower line in Albania is screened with a single division in each hex, though one division will move a single hex into Greece (VPs are VPs after all). The northern Italian line includes Centauro, not typically a mountain asset, but with all 3 hexes along the border expected to fall, including Kastoria and its critical road junction, a modest exploit should gain an extra hex or two, plus with zoc ownership should generate a few extra VPs as hexes fall under the admittedly temporary sway of the new Roman legions.

Axis Initial Phase: Reinforcements arrive in Brindisi, awaiting transport to the Albanian front. Meanwhile, despite seeing the Italian buildup along the border, the Greek P.24F’s decide against flying any CAP and therefore will not be in a position to hinder Italian offensive air ops along the border (though they will remain a threat to any Italian ops against the capital.) The Greek Mxd bomber is placed on naval patrol to help fend off any Italian adventures in the Aegean.

Axis Movement Phase: The Italian 19 Vnz XX temporarily moves 1 hex to the rear, pinning the Grk 10th Inf rgt across the narrow straits of Kerkyra in ZOC’s, which will prevent any reaction attempts on that isle. The SM Marine II slips aboard its ANTP at Durazzo and heads south along the coast, attempting a landing at the town and port of Kerkyra. (The one house rule in effect gives the Italians a single ANTP in the Adriatic to use against Greek islands only. No landings allowed on the Greek mainland.) Greek interference is light, and the marines land without incident, surrounding the hapless 10th without supplies along the northern beaches. (Interference roll of 4 on 12 column) With luck, it will soon starve as it is now out of supply and isolated (will attack at ¼ strength should it choose to do so).

Following this, the 19th Vnz XX moves south again, leaving the defense of the straights to an Albanian brigade and crosses the border into Greece proper.

Finally, the Italian navy brings across 3 rgt’s of motorcylists, which land at Valona uneventfully (3 rolls on 12 column all miss). They wind their way forward to the front…

Axis Combat Phase: There is no possibility of Greek DAS, and there is no Greek AA along the frontier, so Italian GS ops occur along the border to make the 3 planned attacks go in at best possible odds. The first Italian attack goes in at 26:3601, 7:1 odds even (-2 mountains, +2 mountaineering.) Result is 3 for a DE, eliminating the 32nd Ev Mtn III. The 2nd goes in at 7:1 -2 against hex 26:3602, resulting in a 2 and an HX, killing the Grk IX Bdr X and the Italian 6 Ao Cav III. The final attack goes in at 7:1 -2 against Kastoria, in hex 26:3501 and results in a 3 for a meager DR, pushing back the XIII Bdr X along the road to Phlorina. Overall, the Italian attacks are a great success and Mussolini is well pleased… numerous medals are passed around and Italian newspapers declare that Greece will fall before the first snows fall!

Exploitation Phase: Centauro advances further into Greece, to gain ownership of hexes via ZOC as a VP scam, then retreats back to Italian lines, as Il Duce is feeling a bit conservative despite his public bravado. Italian motorcycles bolster the lines in critical locations, and the Italians look to their rear for reinforcements to continue the big push :) The bomber on Rhodes, lacking anything better to do and unwilling to risk air-to-air combat with the Greek fighters, chooses to strat bomb the port of Lesbos. A roll of 2 misses.

At end of game turn: The Italians garner 7 VPs for owning 7 unisolated hexes in Greece, though only 4 of these are on or behind Italian lines… heh, VPs are VPs!