Allied Player turn
Weather: Double 2s, for mud in the north and south of Greece, while the seas stay calm.
Initial Phase: The Greeks reorganize 3 divisions, previously delayed, but choose to save their 1 British ARP, leaving the Blens aborted. A number of reinforcements arrive on the eastern Greek isles. Due to the mud and the unlikeliness of a Greek offensive, all Italian bombers on Rodi & in Albania go on naval patrol.
Movt Phase: Greek reinforcements from the islands are forced to land at Alexandroupolis due to the Albanian naval patrol. Minor shifting in the lines. Unwilling to let the Italians continue to threaten the peace on Melos, the British decide to move their 14th Infantry Brigade from Crete to Melos. A combination of night loading & movt should see them safely there, but just to be sure, the P24s of the Greek AF fly CAP over Melos. So begins one of the most dramatic series of rolls that will have functionaries in the halls of Whitehall scurrying to and fro looking for cover from ol Winston. Mussolini, feeling invulnerable at this point, decides to launch his Mxd B (a 1B2) into the teeth of the Greek CAP (P.24s are 4F4). Needing a 4 or better to make naval contact, a 4 is rolled. The P24s immediately switch to intercept, but in air to air they roll a 10 (needing a 8 or less for a positive result.) The Mxd Bs at least roll a 7, thereby not adding insult to injury. Two points of flak fails to drive off the Italian bombers (9 rolled) and then the Italians calmly roll a 6 (6 required) and sink the NTP and 14th Infantry Brigade in the Melian harbor. The newspapers in Rome declare Italian arms supreme while those in London scramble for rudimentary calculators to figure the odds and decry the luck of the dice. Mussolini declares the bomber pilots Heros of the Roman Republic, and gives the unit an honorary S code (this is the same unit that previously sunk the Keph. Static brigade at maximum distance intercept range (requiring double 6s for contact and to hit.)
Combat phase: The MC.200 flies cap over Ioannina. Unwilling to give up three more hexes of Greece, Metaxas launches no attacks this turn (a quote from the Greek commander.)
Exploit phase: Zippo.
Italian Player turn
Initial Phase: More infantry arrives, though this time it is targeted for the northern Albanian front. The aborted Z1007b bomber is brought back into service (leaving 2 ARPs).
Movt Phase: Four infantry divisions land at Durazzo and Valona, and admin through the mud into northern Albania. The North Albanian garrison moves out of barracks and heads this direction as well.
Apparently Hitler has given Mussolini some forewarning of possible intervention. Perhaps the Germans are not nearly as impressed with Italian arms as they are with the fact that Athens is still in Greek hands? Some minor shifting of mountain troops back to the eastern part of the line, while some infantry moves into this area as well. Hexes in the east now approach 14-16 points in locations, while those in the west are 10-11 defense, sufficient to ensure no better than 3:1 in the mountains, or 2:1 along the coast. No attacks are planned, though one is threatened in the hope that Greek fighters might come up. Since there are no more British troops in the area, and its thought that no Greek troops can get to Melos, its decided to collect one more turns Vps before launching the long planned assault on the island.
Combat phase: Unfortunately the Allied fighters do not come up, so Italian fighters stand down. No attacks are in fact launched (a 4 or maybe 5 to one -3 might have been possible, but the hex gained would have been fairly unimportant.)
Exploit phase: The Italian AF goes back on the offensive. A combined fighter/bomber raid is launched against the Greek bombers located in eastern Crete, but a 3 is rolled for a miss. Two rail bombing missions are launched against the rail junction at 5014 (a hex the Greek engineers have spent a lot of time in.) The second raid by the Z.506 hits (obviously this and the Mxd B on Rodi are my prized bombers.) The recently converted BR.20M launches a night terror bombing raid on Athenai and while the 7 points of flak miss with a 6, the bombers also just miss with a 5 (halved due to mud, -1 to night, needing a 6 to hit.)
End of game turn: The Italians garner 8 more Vps, leaving them just 3 shy of maximum gains for hexes in Greece. Tally is now 48:7.