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Apr II 41

Allied Player turn

Initial Phase: King Moonopolis rallies his troops despite the extremely threatening position and the Greeks refuse to reduce their morale (Demoralization roll is a 6, with no mods since sufficient Allied troops are on the mainland and no others apply.) This puts the Axis in a time bind, since a quick surrender would have practically been assured on a 1-4 roll (getting within 5 hexes of Athenai forces the Greek gov‘t to escape.) Since the Greeks refuse to give up the ghost despite their predicament, the Axis lambasts the central and southwestern parts of northern Greece with harassment missions. Two are flown in the central area since a proper mov‘t unimpeded by harassment would have allowed a Greek division to get a zoc on the unoccupied Katerine hex, which would have temporarily put all German units south of this point out of supply.

Five more missions are flown between Arta and Patrai to keep the Greeks from admin moving into the Peloponnesus. Unfortunately Das Reich‘s zoc doesn‘t quite cut off the Greeks to the northwest. These air units park at a temporary airfield built by Italian construction units along the west coast and at Larisa, slightly overstacked, but the operative units will be able to transfer out to ensure no significant issues. A final harassment mission escorted by a Me109E & Mc200 is flown to just south of the Spherkios, but Allied fighters choose not to get involved. The Greeks begin forts at Lamia and in the rough hex just south of the Spherkios, but it is expected these positions will both fall before the forts are completed (2 turn construction time, since there is only one engineer unit in each hex.) A third fort is begun just northwest of Korinth, but the Axis high command does not expect it to play a part in the upcoming campaign to take Athenai and destroy the Greek government.

Mov‘t through Exploit phases: A 12 point stack of Greeks joins the cadre of the 12th Inf XX at the mountain hex of 4514, just west of Veroia. The remainder of Greek units along the previous main front form a three hex front from 3801 to 4002, while 11th Mtn XX moves up to 4004 to delay the advance of the Italians. The units that were fleeing southeast form a front running northeast to southwest from 4101 to Missolonghi at hex 4603, though the strength is inconsistent from hex to hex. The front also includes a salient at Karditsa. Along the Sperkios, the Ipp Cav XX and various border trash moves up to hold Lamia. The 6th Australian Inf XX and Brit 1st Arm X move into the mountains at 0414. The New Zealander‘s admin around from the Peloponnesus and into the rough hex at 0413. The Greek 10th Inf III moves to hex 4601, protecting the flank of the western Greek front by holding the flank of the lake hexside. Allied air units change bases, but accomplish little due to overwhelming Axis superiority in the air.

They are particularly hampered by Axis ownership of the airbase at Larisa, which had only a single pt of damage against it. On Crete, the 43 RPC const X repairs the airfield at Rethymnon (a surprise to the Axis, since they would expect the Allies to prefer as little airfield capacity on Crete as possible.) It then moves to Khania, while the Rethymnon static III currently garrisoning Melos abandons that island and moves by sea to its home on Crete. It fails to damage the airbase at Melos in its haste to vacate the island. The many Luftwaffe units in the Dodecanese on naval patrol choose not to interfere with this mov‘t, as there is no fighter with range to engage the Hurricanes on CAP over the destination hex.

Axis Player turn

Initial phase: All Greek units except the northernmost units are back in supply and unisolated. Lots of harassment air units remain inop, which will limit to a degree the offensive action that can be taken in the south, since roughly 45% of possible GS is unavailable. German attack supply shows up in Germany. The Allies CAP Athenai with the Greek fighter unit. The Axis high command sends a diplomatic note to the Greeks reminding them that they did not use any of their Rps or special Rps last turn. The Axis allows units to be rebuilt and moved up to a second line north of Athenai, and to garrison Patrai and Athenai itself. This empties the Allied pool of all Rps except a single Brit ARP & .5 Inf Rps.

Mov‘t phase: Since the Greeks now have 5 pt hexes, there are no real overrun opportunities. A one point hex, unsupported in the mountains could have been overrun at hex 4302 by Das Reich, which would have reisolated 6 Greek divisions and various non-divisionals, but it would have allowed 4 other mountain divisions and strong non-divisionals to escape to Patrai next turn. Instead, it moves to hex 4502 in preparation to assault the division guarding Agrinion. Victory here will allow an exploit to 4602, which would in turn permanently cut off all Greek troops to the west and north of the Spherkios/Patrai.

Supporting this mov‘t, 6 engineer units furiously repair seven rail breaks along the main high volume line in east-central Greece. The 4th, 5th and remaining III of the 6th Gebirgsjaeger XX‘s rail along the low volume and high volume lines into southern Greece (11th Pzr is forced to remain in place to prevent Greek zoc‘s from inhibiting this mov‘t). Two options are looked at. A pair of weak attacks against the Greek 10th Inf III and 6th Australian could be launched, but there is limited air available to support both attacks. Perhaps a 2:1 +0 across the Spherkios and a 4:1 +0 against the 10th. Any loss against the 10th would reduce the single mtn xx, and prevent a zoc from prohibiting mov‘t to 4602, which is Das Reich‘s intended goal. Success against the 6th Australian would turn the Spherkios early, but might result in critical casualities. Since there are still 2 more turns after this before VP penalties start to accrue, the more conservative set of attacks is decided upon. All mtn divisions will focus on the 10th, ensuring its destruction. Pzr units will exploit to 0415, which will turn the Sperkios and hopefully allow assault at both hexes by a combination of mountain units on the western hex and Pzr units directly across the river next turn. Success should leave just the Greek remnants rebuilt „last“ turn to defend Athenai and its approaches. Hopefully a NODL won‘t keep the Axis away from the Greek capital, as there are few troops available to form one. Two Pzr units engage Greek Mtn XX‘s in the plains, while the Italians continue their „relentless“ drive against the Greeks facing them. The single 13 pt hex at 4514 is completely surrounded by Italian infantry, though perhaps one hex might face a 2:1 suicide attack next turn (DAS will remain available to lower the chance of a Greek assault.)

Italian mountain divisions admin around from the northern Albanian front into southern Greece via the Olympian gap. The Volos airfield is repaired, but there are no engineers left to repair Larisa due to the emphasis on rail break repair. Much infantry and armored units move to strike at Lamia, and its destruction is virtually assured by the planned massive assault. Attack supply and Res Pts are SMP‘d and railed forward to prepare for later turn assaults. Bulgarian units enter Thrace, annexing that area to their country. Engineer units enter hexes that might be used to build temporary airfields, as necessary. Finally, Operation Melian Dialogue is launched by the Sturm Para III and Sturm air landing II. Two transports and a glider stage to Kavalla, then carry the units to Melos, where they are dropped on the now abandoned airfield. This operation would have taken place regardless, but the disruption rolls are poor, so it is good for the Axis that the island had just been abandoned. The Para III rolls a 2 (no mods due to good weather and clear terrain) so it remains undisrupted and seizes the island, port and airfield. The air landing II rolls a 1, but the use of gliders provides a +1 mod, so it too remains undisrupted. The airfield is fully usable, so Me109E‘s will be transferred in during the exploit phase to provide air cover over Athenai and all of Crete. (The SM marine II had been part of this op, but its participation is cancelled and a different op is planned for it when the island is abandoned by the Allies.) Likewise, the best naval patrol aircraft and the Italian float plane will head for this base, which should seriously impair the Allies‘ ability to naval transport about the Aegean! Three attack supply are sea transported into Valona, as is 1 Lt Arm RP, all unimpeded by Allied naval assets. Finally, the 7th Fallschirmjaeger is flown into Rhodes and surrounding airbases by transports on one way transport missions. Its HQ is railed into Thessalonike.

At the end of the mov‘t phase, the British Hurricanes fly CAP over the threatened 10th Inf III. The Axis counters with CAP by an Me109E and an Mc200.

Combat Phase: The Allies fly the Blen out of Athenai on DAS. The Hurricanes switch to escort. Both Axis cap planes switch to intercept.
The Me109E‘s engage the escorts, while the Mc200‘s engage the Blenheims.
In the first pairing, the Messerschmitts roll a 6, aborting the Hurricanes, while the escorts roll a 10 and fail to score a result. The Mc200‘s also roll a 6, aborting the bombers. The Blenheims roll a 4, but this merely returns the Italian fighters. This makes up for the losses the Italian bomber corps suffered a turn or two ago…

In combat, an 8:1, -2 is launched against the Greek 51st Mtn III, destroying it with a roll of 4 for a DH. In the west, much combat supply is expended to cadre the Greek 11th Mtn Div (8:1, -1, 1 rolled for DR, zoc cadres unit). The Greek 10th Mtn is destroyed to a man by the 2nd Pzr and GD Lb mot Inf III (3:1, +3, 5 rolled, DE, cadre killed via zoc). The Greek 2nd Mtn XX is similarly destroyed by the 11th Pzr and 294th Inf XX‘s, plus odds and sods (4:1, +2, 4 rolled, DE, cadre zoc‘d.) These two attacks were almost cancelled since the Greeks were not isolated prior to combat and therefore the special replacements would simply reappear in Athenai, but is decided that 2.5 pts probably won‘t make or break the campaign against Athenai, and killing the divisions helps clear up the western flank (feels good too!)

Unfortunately, the assault by the LSSAH allows the Greek A Corps Cav III to get away (9:1, -2, 1 rolled for a DR.) The assault on the semi-critical hex guarded by the Greek 10th Inf III goes as planned however (11:1, -1, 6 rolled for DE.) The last attack of the turn as an automatic success, a 9:1 +1 vs the 12 Allied points at Lamia. The Ipp Cav XX, and Eng X, 2 Bdr X‘s and the W art X enter the dead pool despite the roll of 1.

Exploit Phase: 5th Pzr with support troops cross the western Spherkios, outflanking the 6th Australian. Das Reich enters 4602, and will be out of full supply, but cuts off and isolates all Greek Army elements north of Patrai and the Spherkios line. 11th Pzr moves to enter the western line in the mountains at Karpension. LSSAH overruns the A Cav III, but chooses not to enter the hex, as its rear would have been threatened since no other troops could have reached the hex it would be departing.
The Centauro group enters hex 4301, putting the squeeze on the Greek 17th Mtn XX. The 294th Inf entered Karditsa in the combat phase, and further to the north the Gross Deutchland Mot III III enters the line northeast of the nearly surrounded 17th Mtn. Finally 2nd Pzr and other motorized troops enter the hex north of the Spherkios vacated by the 5th Pzr.

A large air mission is then launched against Athenian air fields to put the Greek AF out of commission. An Me109E staging through Melos escorts 3 gruppen of Ju88A‘s and another of He111H‘s. The Greek fighter on CAP refuses to engage. Unfortunately for the Axis, Athenian AA is well sighted, and three 3‘s and a 6 are rolled, aborting 2 Ju88As and the He111H. The single Ju88A that gets through fails to score a hit against the Greek bombers when it rolls a 4.

End of game turn: Vps remain the same, 42:6. The Allies lost 22 unisolated and 4 isolated strength points, for no Axis losses.

Apr I 41

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 X‘s 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.

Mov‘t 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, Hurri1‘s based on Crete launch to fly CAP over Athenai to protect the unloading. Prior to entering into night mov‘t on the approach to Athenai, Ju88A‘s 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 it‘s 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 P24F‘s match words with the Italian Z506b‘s. 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 K‘s 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 mov‘t Mussolini anticipated the Allied mov‘t 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 Zealander‘s 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.

Mov‘t Phase: 4th, 5th & broken down elements of the 6th Mtn XX‘s 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 Wehrmacht‘s 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 XX‘s 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), it‘s cadre destroyed by German zoc‘s. 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.

Mov‘t 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 XX‘s, 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 III‘s 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 it‘s 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.) It‘s 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 Centauro‘s 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 zoc‘s.)

Exploit phase: The 46 pt stack from the mov‘t 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 XX‘s, 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.

Mar II 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: In an Italian disaster (you‘ll see why later,) a 5 and 6 result in mud across Greece and rough weather in the Med.

Initial phase: The Brits arrive for a massive reinforcement of the Greeks. Seeing the build up, Mussolini launches his fleet in an attempt to establish a naval presence in the Eastern Med and Aegean. The British and Italian fleets meet off Cape Matapan, and the Italian arms are victorious (a 6 rolled for a successful Italian interference sortie.) The Brits will now need to deal with not only Axis air power in Albania and the Dodecanese, but Italian battleships and cruisers patrolling eastern waters. Axis air power will unfortunately be mitigated by the very poor weather.

Mov‘t through Exploit phases: Minor tweeks along the front. The real action is at sea and in the air. Since large convoys are no more successful than smaller ones, the Allies launch transfers to Greece in dribs and drabs. First, an attack supply point moves to Khania, both interference rolls failing on the 6 column, and it gets through. (Pair of 6‘s rolled for Eastern med & Aegean interference.) Next, the 4th NZ inf X heads for Khania. 8 and 5 on interference means the unit makes it to Khania. Z1007‘s just southwest of Rodi fail to make contact with a 4, and the unit unloads without incident. Next the 6th NZ heads for Khania, with 7 and 6 rolls failing to interfere in this mov‘t. Z506‘s out of Scarpanto fly through the Hurricane patrol zone, but they allow the mov‘t. The 506‘s fail to make contact however, with a 2 rolled.

Next on the docket is the 16th Aus Inf X, which heads for Kalamai.
(Illegal, but switched to Gythion once this is realized.) An interference roll of 2 gives the Italians hope, but this turns out to be a safe roll for the Brits as well as the effects chart roll results in no effect. The BR20M‘s launch out of Valona, and make contact with a 6.
AA fails with a 7 rolled, but the bombing attempt is off widely (1 rolled.) Lastly, the HQ of the 6th Aust XX heads for Kalamai, but a 12 on the interference chart generates a positive result for the Italian fleet. On the effects chart, a 3 is rolled, and the HQ is returned to Port Said (finally!) At this point, Metaxas decides that he has had enough of the war, and gives up his authority, retiring to quiet island in the Aegean. In his stead, the King takes direct command of the Army, Navy and all Allied forces (Dean Moon takes over mid-turn for Master Broshot.) After a quick review of the rules, the King requests that all Allied forces still in Egypt proceed forthwith to Athenai. A single massive convoy launches with the Hq of the 2nd Nz XX, the 3rd Nz Inf X, the W Art X, the 57th Brit Lt AA II and 1 attack supply point. Main elements of the Italian fleet track this large force down and get in amongst the convoy forcing it to scatter to the 4 winds. The transports with the 3rd Nz Inf X escapes in the confusion, but each of the other 4 groups is contacted by the Italian Eastern Med Squadron (4 of 5 contact rolls successful). The Italians successful sink the transports carrying the 57th Lt AA II and the attack supply. Those carrying the Art X are forced to turn tail for Egypt, while the 2nd Nz XX HQ managed to hide in the squalls of the rough seas and avoid the Italians busily sinking British transports. The two groups of transports carrying the New Zealanders link up again and proceed into the Aegean, avoiding contact with the Italian Aegean Squadron. Ju88A‘s then launch out of Scarpanto, attempting to meet the transports just outside of Athenai.
Unfortunately for the Luftwaffe, the poor weather and distance prevent contact from being made (+2 for range, -3 for rough seas, 4 rolled need a 6 to contact.)

On the gournd, the King begins a pull back from the line, straightening the line in the south but giving up all but the 3 southern-most hexes of the Cham region to Italian control (one mtn & one rough hex are retreated from since Greek hexes are no longer providing the Axis with Vps and thereby shortening the line by 16 miles.) The majority of Greek strength still lies to the south, where hexes are between 14 and 19 pts each. To the east, hexes are 5 to 6 points strong and bumped up in the last mtn hex row before the Phlorina valley. Further to the east, the King launches a reasonably aggressive scorched earth campaign, blowing both bridges over the lower Axios, 2 rail hexes on either side of the northern bridge near the Yugoslavian border as well as another rail hex at Phlorina itself. He also orders the destruction of 2 of the 3 airfield capacity points at Thessalonike.

The Dodek Mtn III is brought across from Samos and moved into Metaxas line in eastern Greece, while the Ipp Cav XX makes it‘s way from the Peloppenesus into western Greece, slomping through the mud on its way to the line. Allied troops move north as well, with the 1st Arm X just shy of the Spherkios, the previously landed New Zealander‘s heading past Korinthos northwest and the 16th Aus Inf X making it‘s way north from Gythion. On Crete, the 43rd RPC Const X moves to occupy Rethymon, previously emptied when its static III was sent to garrison Melos.

A planned air operation is cancelled (Dean tells me he cancelled something, but I‘ve no idea what.) At this point, mov‘t ends, as does the Allied turn since they plan no combat nor exploit mov‘t.

Axis player turn

Initial Phase: It is decided not to pressure Yugoslavia at this time.
The odds are roughly even that a positive result would occur for the Axis, but with a 2/3rds chance of poor weather and no desire to see a Mud-krieg in Yugoslavia, the Germans decide to wait until Apr I 41.
During the supply check, it is realized that most Italian units in the eastern part of the line are out of supply, as are most of the Greek units in the south. This would have had no impact on the Allied mov‘t, so the units are brought up to their proper U status. Another supply officer is shot, as I decide later in the turn I would have liked to have some GSPs available in case the weather remains mud and the Italians in the east go U-2, but by the time I realize this, it‘s too late to do anything about it. 1 German ARP is used to bring back the previously aborted Ju88A unit. There are no other reinforcement activities. No Allied air missions at this time.

Mov‘t Phase: The Allies open the turn by transferring the Allied bomber force off Crete and landing it at Athenai, where it will be protected by the heavy AA presence in that city. The Hurricanes remain on Crete on standby.

The Italian high command sees a possible offensive opportunity in the east, so plans are laid for a possible combat against on of the weak, eastern most hexes of the Greek line. In the meantime, the units in the south occupy the two hexes given up by the Greeks. Once again, parades are held in Rome and Valona, and fascist recruiters are busily signing up warm bodies. Infantry troops are shifted south, while the mountain troops, currently in the southeast bend of the line move northeast. The 4th Cns Alpini division breaks down to further the offensive opportunities. The troops of 4 mountain divisions (one broken down), plus a ski battalion, three artillery regiments, the 131st Cn Lt Arm XX and some other combat motorized odds and sods converge on Kastoria and the hex just southwest of this point, planning an attack on hex 14A: 4415, currently defended by the just the Greek 15th Mtn Div, a reserve division by all appearances (4-5-6).

Combat Phase: There are no DAS opportunities as all Allied bombers have flown. The Greek high command fails to notice the build-up, or simply does not care, so the Hurricanes make no attempt to fly CAP over the at risk hex (Dean was busy and declared no missions since I had yet to fly any even though he hadn‘t looked at the file to my knowledge. I‘m not sure it would have mattered, and I may be mistaken about this to boot!)

The Italians put two fighters on GS, which bumps the odds up a bit (24.5+.5 for GS to 5, +1 for greater than 50% mountaineering, -2 for mud, -2 for mountains). Additional air units could raise this a bit more, if every air unit in the theater excepting those assigned to the Rhodes garrison are brought in. It is decided that it‘s worth the additional chance for a positive outcome (5:1 -3 has 2 AS, 1 EX, 1 HX & 2 DR‘s; 6:1 -3 has 4 DR‘s, 1EX and 1 DH). All a/c from across the command fly GS, and a 2 is rolled in combat, for a DR. 131 Cn Lt Arm XX, the 2 Tri Alpini XX, 2 corps level art III, the ski II and the 4 M Arm II seize the hex. The plains of Phlorina lay before the victorious Italians. However, all planes are forced to base in Albania or Italy, so there is nothing to prevent Allied naval mov‘t in Rhodes or Scarpanto except the garrison air units.

Exploit Phase: M/C units move into Kastoria to solidify the hex now that the Lt Arm XX has advanced.

I wish I had some GSPs in case of the likely poor weather, since my 17 pt hex will be U-2, but c‘est la guerre.

End of game turn: No VP occurring events, so the totals remain 42:6 in favor of the Axis.

Mar I 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: A 3 & 4 result in mud in the north and clear in the south, and calm seas in the med.

Initial phase: The first significant British reinforcements arrive, consisting of the 1st Arm X. A colonial construction unit also makes an appearance. The Allies lose 1 VP for not having the required garrison on Crete. For the Axis, everything except the F‘s goes on naval patrol.

Mov‘t phase: The engineers fix things, and troops begin to shift towards Corinth and Patrai to protect these vital choke points. The line between the Albanian and Bulgarian front begins to solidify. The construction unit moves from Egypt to Khania, thereby reestablishing the Cretan garrison. This mov‘t is not interfered with by Axis planes, since their preferred target is the tankers of the 1st Arm X. These folks wait until the exploit to sea move.

Combat phase: No planes really available for DAS, and no need anyway due to mud. No combat.

Exploit: Fearing the Axis air units on Scarpanto, the Allies begin an attempt to reduce this base. The P24‘s and the Blens attempt an airbase bombing raid. The Italian Mxd F and German Me110‘s rise up to the challenge, with Mxd F taking on the escorting P24‘s while the heavier 110‘s head for the bombers. In air to air, a 3 and 5 result for the interceptors and escorts, resulting in both planes aborted (Italian 2F2‘s facing Greek 4F4‘s consider this a fair trade.) The Me110‘s roll an 8, compared to the Brit‘s 11, so the Blenhiems are driven off with an R. Expecting a follow-up raid with the British Hurricane 1‘s, G50bis‘s out of Albania stage to the Dodecanese and fly CAP over Scarpanto. As expected, the Hurricane‘s then launch. The Me110‘s scramble away just in case, while the CAP switches to intercept and the Hurricanes choose to keep their bomb racks loaded. Unfortunately for the Axis, this apparently doesn‘t slow them significantly, and both units miss one another (7 for Axis, 10 for Allies). An AA roll of 7 does little on the 1 column, and then the Hurricanes roll a 5 for a hit against the German Ju88A‘s. The 1st Armored then departs Egypt able to avoid a long range intercept out of Scarpanto. They head for Kalamai and unload there (this is later determined to be illegal since the port is on the central med, an area not officially in-play in the BF scenario, but they could just as easily have landed at Gythion, which would have been Aegean, so it makes little real difference.) Long range naval patrol out of Albania launches, first a Z506 which successfully contacts the unloading transports with a 5. AA fails with a 7, but the bombers roll a 1 and a 4 for their two strikes and miss the 1st Armored and it‘s associated NTP. Five NTP mov‘t points later the BR.20M‘s launch , also from Valona, and they too successfully find the unit unloading at Kalamai.
Unfortunately a lucky 3 on AA drives the bombers off, which is fortunate indeed since a 4 and 6 would have been the bombing results. C‘est la guerre (or whatever the Italian equivalent.) The tanks head towards Corinth…

Axis Player turn

Initial phase: ARPs bring back the aborted Mxd F on Rodi. German ARPs that should have arrived aren‘t discovered in time, so they won‘t get the chance to bring back the aborted Ju88A until next turn (errata question and answer arrived after files posted.) More reinforcements for the front, artillery and construction units, which will head for the Greek front this time. Another Ju88A is called up at the cost of -2 Vps.

Mov‘t phase: Naval interference has no effect on the Italian units headed to Albania. Four more raids by the Me110‘s and 3 Italian bombers on the Melian port result in a single hit. Three railroad strike missions result in a single hit west of Thessalonike (thanks to the returned Ju87B/R unit!). A rail-marshalling yard strike by the BR.20M‘s gets by flak but misses (this unit‘s commander is fired, as despite the recent conversion to new and improved airframes, they haven‘t hit a thing yet!)

Combat & Exploit: Nada…

End of turn: VP totals are now 42 to 6 in favor of the Axis

Feb II 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: A pair of 6‘s is rolled, resulting in snow in the north, mud in the south, and rough weather in the Med (and putting the kebosh on the planned naval assault on Melos thanks to significant disruption mods.)

Initial phase: Some more Greek reorganization amongst border troops results in 2 new Greek divisions. The Mxd B goes back on naval patrol, but the „good“ attacking weather leaves the bombers in Albania on standby for DAS.

Mov‘t phase: The engineers scurry about fixing rail hits. Minor tweaks in the line, and the beginnings of a line in the gap between the Albanian front and the Metaxas line begin forming. Having had enough of the Melian outrages, the Allies fly both fighters in CAP over Melos, then move one of the Cretan static brigades to the island using night loading & mov‘t & CAP to cover. Mussolini scrambles for his rules book and determines that this is apparently legal, since the troops aren‘t coming from mainland Greece. Drat! Ah well, it will at least cost the Allies another VP in the next garrison check. He decides that discretion is now the better part of valor, and even the mighty Mxd 1B2 cannot likely survive two attempts at air to air. No doubt the pilots felt they‘d have made it easily, but even if they had, the Greeks are obviously now willing to do whatever it takes to get somebody on that blasted island, and some other island riff-raff would undoubtedly have loaded up later in the turn even with a successful bombing run. Guess we should have launched the Melian assault earlier without benefit of air cover… live and learn.

Combat phase: DAS flies in Albania, but the Greeks launch no attacks despite the „good“ weather.

Exploit: Nothing significant.

Italian Player turn

Initial phase: More reinforcements arrive for the front. The Allied bombers on Crete go on naval patrol again, though with the rough weather this will mean little. For the first time the Italians call up Luftwaffe units (an Me110 & a Ju88A)(since they have now almost maxed out on Vps for Greek terrain.)

Mov‘t phase: Infantry divisions continue moving towards the Yugoslavian frontier in Albania. A number of port bombing attempts are made on Melos to prevent additional units being shipped in, but all 4 fail. A rail road bombing mission likewise fails, while BR.20M‘s terror bombing Athenai are driven off with a R result by AA.

Combat & Exploit: Zippo… Due to the practically guaranteed mud next turn, most Italian bombers and both the called up Luftwaffe units end the turn in the Dodecanese.

End of game turn: Due to having called up Luftwaffe support, the Italians stop garning Vps for hexes in Greece. With the -4 Vps for these air units, totals are now 44 to 7 in favor of the Italians.

Feb I 41

Allied Player turn

Weather: Double 2‘s, 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.

Mov‘t 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 & mov‘t should see them safely there, but just to be sure, the P24‘s 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 P24‘s immediately switch to intercept, but in air to air they roll a 10 (needing a 8 or less for a positive result.) The Mxd B‘s 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 Hero‘s 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 6‘s 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).

Mov‘t 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 it‘s thought that no Greek troops can get to Melos, it‘s decided to collect one more turn‘s 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.

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.

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