Allied Player turn
Weather: A 1 is rolled so both D & E go clear.
Initial phase: The port of Athens is opened as an Allied supply terminal, thereby allowing non-Greek units to draw general supply from the port. All other units across the front go back into supply as the muds dry and the roads clear up. Two more Aus. Inf Xs show up for duty in the Balkans, the 17th & 19th, along with additional attack supply. A Mtn & Static X are formed up in Athenai, The Greek fighter is rebuilt at the cost of 1 Grk ARP. Greek attack supply just east of Prevesa along the western coast is converted to resource points.
On the Axis side a decision must be made regarding air resources. Units may be held in reserve for possible DAS use, or some or all may be used for harassment or naval patrol. The unexpectedly clear weather is a boon to offensive operations, to include possible counter-attacks by the Greeks. On the other-hand, clear weather from this point forward is now a guarantee, and the Greeks must surely realize that the handwriting is on the wall regarding German entry into this part of the war. If the Greeks, especially those along the southern front in western Greece are to defend against possible German attack the shift must occur this turn if it is to happen at all. Even more critical for the Axis, Greek units cannot be allowed to run to the Spherkios with the intention of turning the Peloponnesus and Spherkios line into a fortress. Finally, should additional Allied units land on the mainland, that would improve the chances of Greek morale remaining high in the event of German entry. It is believed by the Italian high command that the Greeks are likely to run either east, south or both and that they will not attempt to counterattack. Even if this is in error, it would be more beneficial to lose a stack of Italians, even two perhaps, in exchanges than let the Greeks escape southwards. For this reason, long range bombers in Albania are put on naval patrol, in the hopes that they might catch Allied troops unloading in Pireaus. Remaining tactical bombers and long range bombers in Italy fly harassment missions to hexes 26:3901 (2 harassment hits), 26:4004 (1 hit) and 26:4203 (2 hits). Only a few fighters with tac bombing factors remain to provide DAS should it prove necessary.
Movt phase: The Allies open up the turn by bringing the additional reinforcements and previously returned units across from Egypt in a mass convoy. The convoy cannot avoid intercept by the single Mxd B on Rhodes, but a contact roll of 1 leaves the transports unspotted. After this, Hurri1s based on Crete launch to fly CAP over Athenai to protect the unloading. Prior to entering into night movt on the approach to Athenai, Ju88As out of Albania launch another attempt at almost max range. A 2 contact roll returns them to base without having spotted the units. Finally, the transports reach Athenai and begin unloading. The Italians launch a final attempt to bomb the fleet, despite two fighters in or over Athenai. This is done for two reasons: first, to prevent the Allies from reaching the point at which they avoid a -1 modifier on the presumed upcoming Greek demoralization roll. The second reason is that there are 3 Italian ARPs in the bank and its believed any losses to the fighters can be made up fairly quickly. Regardless, a 6 is rolled for contact and the ships are spotted in the port unloading Aussie infantry.
The Greek fighter springs up to intercept and the Brit Hurricanes swiftly switch to intercept as well. Random allocation puts the Hurricanes on the Italian BR20Ms, while the P24Fs match words with the Italian Z506bs. Unfortunately for the Italians, very good Allied rolls and very poor Italian ones result in numerous smoking holes in the Athenian countryside filled with the remains of Italian bombers and crews (5 and 8 rolled for first combat, and 3 and 7 for second, results in two Ks vs the Italians.) So much for my banked ARPs!
Additional naval transport missions bring the Australians on Crete to Athenai, and the Lesbos static unit into Alexandroupolis in Thrace.
In ground movt Mussolini anticipated the Allied movt exactly and Greek forces stream away from the front. The south is denuded, with a single division holding a 3 hex frontage. The six hex frontage in the east is similarly stripped, leaving hexes of between 2 and 12 points, depending upon terrain, facing the strongest Italian forces. Due to harassment, mountains and distance, Greek forces breaking contact are scattered from Prevesa to Trikkala in the west and center, and then along the coastal rail in the east. Thessalonike is abandoned completely after its airfield is destroyed. Air fields at Kavalla and Alexandroupolis air similarly smashed, as are most rail hexes in north central Greece.
Allied forces form full divisions, with the British armored and artillery and the Australians forming up in front of the Spherkios river, their backs to the river. The New Zealanders form up just northwest of Korinth, but leaving the port and canal empty. Perhaps hoping to entice the Axis into an air drop?
Combat/Exploit phases: Nothing of note occurs.
End of Apr I 41 Allied player turn: Seeing the expected Greek retreat from the front lines and the unexpectedly good weather, the Germans declare intervention without pressuring Yugoslavia.
German Surprise player turn
Initial Phase: The Bulgarians move to passive participation. German 12th Army assembles at its launch points along the Greco-Bulgarian border. There are a number of possible overrun opportunities, including one along the Metaxas line and some further past the lines if the planned combats work out appropriately.
Movt Phase: 4th, 5th & broken down elements of the 6th Mtn XXs open the action by overrunning the northeastern most hex of the Metaxas line (2 unsupported points, in Mtns, 20 pts of mtn troops halved due to improved fortified hexside.) They spread out behind the lines, preparing to attack two more of the Metaxas line hexes from the rear.
5th & 9th Pzr Divs, laegered in the mountains, exploit the gap and shoot into the mountain pass at hex 14A:4407, preparing to attack Metaxas line 4308 from the rear. In Thrace, Das Reich SS Mot. Inf XX along with the Wehrmachts 60th Mot. XX cross the Greco-Bulgarian frontier, overrunning the border guards stationed on the rail hex leading into Bulgaria, and then continue further into Thrace, overrunning the units in Alexandroupolis while they are still in their encampments.
Unfortunately, these units had just destroyed the air base located in this hex. Back in the west, 2nd & 11th Pzr supported by 73rd Mtn and odds and sods set up for a frontal assault through the mountain/Metaxas hexside into hex 4209. 46th & 72nd Inf along with the Leibstandarte SS Mot Inf XX do likewise against 4309. Finally, 50th & 164th Lehr Inf XXs support the panzers in attacking 4308 by fixing its defenders in place.
Combat Phase: Large numbers of Luftwaffe aircraft arrive overhead to ensure the best possible odds, in large part due to the poor terrain and fortified hexsides. Most important, the two western most hexes are severely attacked with GS as killing these hexes will allow further overruns to the southwest, with the possibility of cutting off or isolating most of the Greek army facing or fleeing from the Italians.
The mountain pass at 4405 is attacked and taken from the rear by 4th Mtn XX (7:1, +0 due to mountaineering, 3 rolled for a DE.) Hex 4206 is taken at 5:1 +0 odds by the remaining Mtn divs, but at the cost of a rgt of German gebirgsjaegers (1 rolled for HX). The Greek 14th Inf XX is destroyed in hex 4308 by the sandwiching German troops (7:1, -2, 6 rolled for DE), its cadre destroyed by German zocs. The western most hex, with 18 points of GS, is taken at 8:1, -1 odds with a 4 rolled for a DE. Lastly, 4309 is taken by frontal assault at 6:1 -1 odds with a 4 rolled for a DE. At the end of combat, all hexes of the Metaxas line are in the hands of the Wehrmacht, except the eastern most hex along the Aegean sea, northeast of Kavalla.
Axis regular player turn
Initial Phase: Destroyed Italians float planes are rebuilt. Attack supply is broken down into Res Pts, and 1 of these breaks down into 6 airfield repair points to fix the Scarpanto airfield in a later turn.
7th Fallschirmjaeger and its support elements arrive in Germany for use in the Balkans, with two plans made for operations in the Aegean island area. Allied bombers fly harassment to Katerine, currently occupied by the Greek 18th Inf Div and assorted AA assets.
Movt Phase: In Thrace, mountain and motorized units overrun the single remaining Metaxas line hex, then move back west along the rail line.
Then, a complicated series of maneuvers occurs in the Thessalonike area and to its southwest that will enable the Germans to quickly shoot the Thessaly gap (iirc my Thucidides correctly, I believe this is the area south and southeast of Mt Olympus.) First, the Greek 20th Inf XX just west of Thessalonike is overrun at 10:1 odds by a combination of infantry and Pzr units (2nd & 11th Pzr, 46th Inf, GD Lb Mot Inf III, 128 Art X, 501 & 787 Art III for 40 pts). Next, the Greek 18th Inf XX at Katerine is overrun at 10:1 by Pzr and other mot. German units (2nd, 5th, 11th Pzr Xxs, the Pzr III of the 9th Pzr XX, GD Lb Mot Inf III, 180 Lr Hvy AA III, & 612 mot Art III for 46 pts vs 4.5 in Greek def.) Upon entering the hex, the 3 divisions and the Hvy AA fire harassment abatement, getting a modified 16 pts rolled, abating the 1 point of harassment in the hex. This allows the LSSAH mot Inf XX to shoot the gap, overrunning hex 4812 and Larisa (4913), each with a single unsupported Greek point in defense. German units then admin move through the wide open gap, with the Das Reich XX reaching as far as 15B:0114 from its start point in eastern Thrace! In other developments, the Greek 12th Inf is set up for assault by 73rd Mtn and other German infantry XXs, while the Italians setup for attacks along the frontier roadblocks (some not so much roadblocks, as they consist of 7+ pts of mountain units in some places) which the Greeks abandoned the previous turn. In rear areas, Italian troops admin away from the Albania-Yugoslavian border, as no assaults will occur in this area.
Engineers repair the airbase at Thessalonike and Kavalla, while others repair the broken rails just across the border. The 3 IIIs of the 7th Fallschirmjaeger rail and fly into Sofia, while the Sturm para III & air landing II fly into Kavalla. In a single bright spot for the Allies, 1 attack supply is sunk by Allied raiders in the Adriatic, while 2 inf Rps are returned to ports. The Axis responds by having the remaining inf Rps flown in by Luftwaffe transports. The Bulgarians are forgotten in the shuffle (they can move within Bulgaria only at this level of participation) but since its likely Greek resistance will collapse soon and there are no Greek units in Thrace at this point, their participation at this point is moot.
Combat phase: The Greek 12th Inf div in Edessa is reduced by inf/mtn assault, but not destroyed (6:1, +0, 2 rolled for DR, zoc kill by cadre escapes to mtns in hex 4413.) The Italian Mech corps, led by the redoubtable 131 Cn Lt Arm XX destroys a 2 point Greek hex and enters the Phlorina valley (5:1, +3 at hex 4414, 6 rolled for DE.) Its zoc seizes Phlorina itself. Then north along the mountains the Greek 13th Mtn XX is destroyed by the Italian Alpini Corps (all Mtn units participate), at 6:1, +0 including 20 pts halved in GS, 4 rolled for a DE, with the cadre killed by the Centauros zoc. Next, the Greek 51st Mtn III retreats in good order out of the mtns, despite great Luftwaffe support, pushed out by Italian infantry assault (6:1, -2, 3 rolled for DR). Lastly, the isolated Greek 1st Mtn XX is destroyed by infantry assault in the rough terrain at hex 3904 (8:1, -1, 4 rolled for DE, cadre killed by zocs.)
Exploit phase: The 46 pt stack from the movt phase (no combat for these boys) overruns 4 pts at Trikkala, then spreads out north to south from Trikkala to southeast of Karditsa, facing 3 Greek Mtn divisions that were fleeing southeast to the Spherkios line. This temporarily isolates the 4 divisions and support troops still facing the Italians.
The two SS divisions move in from the southeast abutting the Pzr XXs, with Das Reich taking the mountain hex at Karpenesion, threatening to isolate virtually the entirety of the Greek army. 60th mot Inf XX with support troops takes the port and damaged airfield at Volos, then moves up to face the mixed Allied group centered on the broken down Aussie XX defending Lamia, just north of the Spherkios.
End of game turn: The Vps have not changed, at 42:6 in favor of the Axis. The Allies lost 48 pts of unisolated troops and 8 pts of isolated troops these two player turns, at the cost of 3 pts of Gerbirgsjaegers.