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After Action Reports & Scenario Analysis

CH 37: Forgotten Years

 

2 March 1936

Description: The Italians have a convoy under escort has 5.5 turns to exit the playing area. The board 25 hill is the dominant feature. The Italians enter on 25GG5 and must exit on 25Y10. To traverse this path the Italians must move along the road in a shape that reminds me of a backward question mark. Waiting for them on the hill is an ambush party of Ethiopians. 8 squads of cavalry reinforce the ambush on turn 4B. A smattering of dunes on board 28 covers the cavalryís approach and more sand covers the board 25 buildings. Cactus hedges and cactus patches are in effect for the scenario.

Victory Conditions: The Italians win if they exit > 25 CVP off hex 25Y10. Trucks are worth 5VP and each Ethiopian squad eliminated adds 1 to the Italian total.

The opposing forces:
The Ethiopians have 8 squads that setup on board 25 or 28. They have 2 lmg and a 20L atr and 2 leaders at start. Half of the Ethiopian force starts HIP. A generous allotment of concealment counters ensures the Italian make for an even better shell game.

The Italians have six squads, 3 leaders, 2 machine guns, and a dm mortar (which will never be assembled or used). They load up in 3 trucks, 2 x Fiat 611B, 2 x Lancia 17M, 2 x L3/35 and one of those wonderful L3/ lf with the 32 fpf flame-thrower.

All in all the OB had many good toys for each side.

The Defense:
Unlike Circle the Wagons these Ethiopians can all setup adjacent to the road in a number of places and six and eight fpf attacks against trucks are nothing to scoff at. Those light machine guns and the atr also have a very real chance of taking out a tank. Also unlike Circle the Wagons there is no CVP cap. The Ethiopians can die to the man in their attempt to kill the Italians. 8 Ethiopian squads reinforce near the end game. They enter on camel and must charge! How often does one have the opportunity to do a cavalry charge?

The Setup:
25S2 HIP 337w/20mm atr; 8-1
25Y6 HIP 337w/lmg
25AA9 HIP 337/lmg
25W1 HIP 337
25V4 ? 337
25W5 ? 337
25X6 ? 337
25Z4 ? 337
25U5 ? x 2
25Z3 ? x 2
25W10 ? x 2
25BB4 ? x 2
28K3 ? x 4

The Attack:
The first thing to look at is just how far the armored cars and tanks have to move. It will be turn 5 before the Italians can exit their AFVs. The Infantry will also require five turns to move off board even with road bonus. The Italian player has two options on the attack. The first is to stick to the road and barrel there way through. The other is to run the tanks with or without infantry support over the hill in the vicinity of 25BB5 and rejoin the column further down. I prefer to mass the attack especially since; in a sense, the attacker is defending against an ambush. The Lancia 17M lead followed by the 3 L3s then the three trucks and finally the 2 Fiats. Each armor platoon gets two squads and a leader to accompany it. By using leader bonus, road bonus they can maximize their movement rate and the tank/AC gives them armor assault benefit as well. I decided against mounting up the infantry in trucks because it should be far easier to kill a truck in this scenario.

The AAR:

Turn 1 & 2
The Italian fires his machine guns at several possible locations where the Ethiopian could be. They get lucky and roll snakes. The Ethiopian squad is CRd. Iím still left wondering about the wisdom of such shots since with a SAN of 4 and a B# of 11 on most guns, it is probably as likely that something bad will happen as good as a result of these attacks.

Turn 3A
The Ethiopian moves the Lancia Armored Cars forward with 2 squads and a 6+1 when adjacent to 2 x ? The Italians search. They find both concealed squads but lose the 6+1 and a 347 after two successful search casualty die rolls. The Lancias both fire on the newly revealed Ethiopian squads and pin both. Next the L3s roll up. A BFF shot from the L3/lf ELRs one of the Ethiopian squads. At this point the Ethiopian 20L atr takes a shot at the L3/lf he hits and he kills. During the DFPh another Ethiopian reveals himself and gets a ROF run of four shots with the lmg. Two of those shots result in stuns, which recalls the Lancia. At this point the Ethiopian is feeling real froggy so he takes two 1 fpf shots at the trucks (3 to immobilize, 2 to kill) but both are to no effect.

Turn 3B:
The lmg turns itís attention to the other Lancia hits it and kills it with snakes. The Italian sniper exacts revenge by killing the 7-0 that was with the lmg squad. The LLMC breaks the squad. The crew escapes the Lancia but dies for FtR a little later. The Italian mmg shots at the atr squad and 8-1. They manage to pin the leader and break the squad. The Ethiopian also manages to tie up one of the Italian squads in CC.

Turn 4A:
The broken squad with the atr is attacked by a L3/35. The tank breaks the mg but does keep the pesky squad dm. The other tank also moves up. In the DFPh the Ethiopians immobilize one of the trucks and break a 7-0 & 347.

(The big mistake. Italian ASSUMES that cavalry can gallop for 18MF!) Review of the cavalry rules for the imminent charge reveal he can extend that to twenty. #$%^.

Turn 4B:
The Ethiopians rally the 337 w/atr and promptly shove a round up the tail pipe of the L3/35 that just tried to hose it. The tank is immobilized. The charge results in 1 dead 337, 3 broken 337 and a broken 9-2; (all survived their bailout roll). For the Italians one hex that was charged contained a broken 7-0, a broken 347, and a good order 347 w/lmg. They managed to break two of the squads that charged them but the third squad managed to get into their hex. The 347 broke itself on a FPF shot. The 337 squad then managed to destroy the truck but the crew survived. Both Italians squads and the 7-0 died for FTR. The crew was dispatched in CC.

At this point the Italian only had 25 CVP left capable of exiting and didnít believe they could accumulate 25 VP so they resigned.

After Thoughts:
The Ethiopian Dice were very hot. The atr group and the lmg group both deserve medals. Itís hard to say if it is balanced or not but it was intense. The entire Italian attack moved to slowly. Iím not sure if moving over the hill with the L3s would be beneficial or not but Iíd give it a whirl next time since the wander down the road until we get mauled approach didnít work. Give it a 6 on the fun scale.

Mark

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