The special “Iraq Campaign” Scenario demonstration has been great fun for me at the wargame table. Even though it superficially might have the appeal of a small highway chicken stand compared to the bigger and grander Europa campaign games, the WW design product makes the Iraq campaign in its broader WW ME Campaign Scenario aspect a fascinating and convoluted labyrinth of wargame play. I’ve spent hours analyzing the Allied forces means of approach to the Iraqi Coup redoubt at Baghdad and also the prospects of and possibilities for Axis Intervention into the Iraq campaign.

The current WW ME/“Iraq Campaign” Scenario demonstration game play has evolved from a Europa “historical outcome” campaign to what might be defined as a typical “prolonged” Iraqi campaign. In WW Rules play, this probably occurs when the Allies fail to successfully roll a Coup Collapse on the Axis initial phase they have the +5 Modifier “if this is the first turn (only) that a supported allied unit is adjacent to an Iraqi-owned Baghdad,” which was apparently successfully accomplished “historically” in the May II 41 Axis initial phase. In a “prolonged” Iraqi campaign a big battle for the Iraqi partial city hex of Baghdad (22A:2825) apparently becomes the critical wargame event striven for by the Allies to hasten the end of the campaign, many times finished in the ME Campaign Scenario play by using the Optional Rule Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table.

In the broader WW ME Campaign Scenario context, in addition to Syrian campaign considerations, this Allied anxiety for “haste” is precipitated by Rule 38I-Iran. Here it says “for game purposes, the Allied player is required to invade Iran. He may not invade (enter) Iran before Aug I 41. He loses 3 VPs during each Allied initial initial phase from Oct I 41 on if he has not invaded Iran. He loses 1 VP during each Allied initial phase if he has not invaded Iran.” Finally, in relation to Axis game play possibilities on the Europa Near East map groups, the rule also says “…Axis forces may enter and operate in Iran without violating Iranian neutrality.” Allied forces may only invade Iran. Although technically Optional Rule 38J6-Axis Intervention in Iraq doesn’t allow any Axis intervention forces to enter Iran, it probably could/should be modified to allow for Axis Intervention forces to enter Iran in the very narrow and limited time range in between the Allied ownership of the Baghdad hex and an Iraqi Coup Collapse occurring via the dice rolls done using the Variable Iraqi Coup Collapse Table in the Axis initial phases.  Of course there’s no way for the Axis to supply them in Iran, but their presence there might help delay Iranian Surrender.

The use of the Ger 2-6 Inf III SV 288 is another issue in the Iraq campaign in Europa, and as an Axis player in a WW ME Campaign Scenario I’ve never wanted to use it. But that’s only because it’s a valuable German unit in the Western Desert map group when it comes in the Med/NA Command on the Oct I 41 turn as a mot inf III. But maybe the Axis player could get it back if he spends a Med/NA Command Ger inf RP prior to receiving it on the Oct I 41 turn, assuming its certain demise if it’s ever air transported into Coup Iraq via a Rules-necessary stop-over in Vichy Levant, assuming only one LW Ju 52 T type air unit is available. However, as I understand it, many of the soldiers of the Ger SV 288 inf III were volunteers from the Bosnia region of Yugoslavia (eg., European Muslims) does apparently make it a wise choice for an Axis intervention to Iraq ground force. An alternative unit I used to toy with decades ago in WD games using the NE module was the Italian para-inf III Tonini, composed as I understand it of “Libyans,” but they may have been Italian colonist Libyans living in the Cyrenaica region rather than the local Islamic natives. So I’m still not sure if Tonini is a suitable alternative to SV 288.  At least Tonini had the honorific “para-infantry” designation so characteristic of the elite Italian fascists and Nazi Germans of the war era called upon to perform these one-way destinations to certain death or captivity.

Remaining is the immediate issue at hand of what to do about the rules error done on the WW ME/“Iraq Campaign” Scenario demonstration’s Jun I 41 Allied turn game report posted at the EA on March 29 (#63414). This involved Rule 9A-[Attack] Procedure in a combat involving the Iraq 1-0-8 Lt Arm X 1 at swamp hex 22A:2822, three hexes E of Baghdad, with the Br c/m X Hab. There was also a subsequent June I 41 Axis turn game report posted later that same Sat. evening (#63415). Because the special Iraq Campaign Scenario demonstration is being done to hopefully popularize the WW ME Scenario Campaign game with the EA audience, and because it’s also being done both “for fun” at the EA and for Europa wargame study and analysis by those interested EA grognards (if any), I’ve decided for a wargame “re-do” of the Jun I 41 game turn. The re-do will commence with a “new” or “revised” Jun I 41 Allied turn ME/“Iraq Campaign” Scenario demonstration game report and will continue on from there. The only change in the original at-start force dispositions will be the location of the Iraq 1-0-8 Lt Arm X 1, which will be placed with the Coup Iraq stack at the Baghdad partial city hex at 22A:2825 instead of its original end of turn placement (done on the May II 41 Axis turn exploitation phase) by itself at swamp hex 22A:2822. Quite a bit of thought was given to placing it at its originally planned spot of 21A:4402, before the last minute change to swamp hex 22A:2822, which led to its attack next turn by the Br 2-1-10* Mot Inf X Hab. But not this time.