SoN 8 Last Hope at New Flower
28 Jul 1936
Description: The war was thought over but even though 10,000 Italians occupied the Ethiopian capital 50,000 armed Ethiopian were scattered in the surrounding hills. Now New Flower would become the seen of a bold & desperate counter attack.
Victory Conditions: The Ethiopians win if they control 10Y5 and any three hexes adjacent to 10Z6 with 10Z6 inclusive.
The terrain modification SSR is a bit confusing. FWIW I decided that the market stood as stated in the SSR and that hex 10AA7 would remain a stone building.
The Terrain: The scenario is played on three half city boards 23, 20 and the village side of 10. There are several overlays that open up the terrain a bit change stone buildings to wooden ones, make bypass possible, and reduce building height.
The Opposing Forces:
The Italians start with the 2 half squads (a well digging crew) HIP on an open ground road hex. This is a weird SSR setup. They receive 4 squads two trucks and to Lancia armored cars on turn two. An additional five squads enter on turn 3. Finally five more squads enter on turn 4.
The Ethiopians have 22 squads with 4 leaders and 3 machine guns.
The Defense: Find blocking positions to interdict the Ethiopians and fall back. There goal is to stay alive and continue to hinder movement to the victory hexes. The biggest advantage are the two armored cars the Ethiopians have nothing to stop them with save CC.
The Attack: Attack in two columns left and right of the hexrow Y road. Stop for nothing.
Turn 1A: The Italians setup the two hs in hex H6. This gives them a 2 - 2 attack versus the bridge exit hex at G5. 3 squads pin another goes berserk and 1 squad dies. Give those soon to be dead hs medals.
Turn 1B: The Italian hs pull out. The Ethiopians break the mmg The hs split to cover a bit more area with fire. The fighting withdraw is on.
Turn 2A: The berserk squad gets into a hs hex but the hs breaks on a fpf shot and routs away. All the Ethiopians now get across both bridges.
Turn 2B: The other hs breaks on a 1 – 3 shot trying to dash to safety. The first reinforcement group two squads cross the hexrow Y divider to protect the turn 3B reinforcement area. There is a very real danger that it will be over run and occupied next player turn by the Ethiopians. 2 squads stay on the other side. The Lancia’s sit tight in the middle interdicting roads.
Turn 3A: The berserk Ethiopian squad charges the broken Italian half squad which yet again routs away. The Ethiopians press hard and will be able to interdict the turn 3B reinforcements.
Turn 3B: The Italians continue to fall back. The reinforcements each take 1 fpf residual fire power attacks. The Italians are on line from 20T9 to 20GG2. The two trucks go to the entry hex of the turn 4 reinforcements to get them to the battle sooner.
Turn 4A: The Ethiopians prep fire to keep one squad dm and breaks another. The Italian defensive fire goes on a pinning spree. Maneuver ensures the death for failure to rout of 1.5 squads. The half squad that dies for ftr was in the same hex as the berserk squad. The berserking will go on!
Turn 4B: The Italian infantry falls back in good order. With the Lancia’s he decides to try some over runs on squads that last turn were pinned or had advanced into the street. But both Lancia’s failed their non platoon movement dr. The Turn 4 reinforcements are loaded on trucks and carried off to market.
Turn 5A: The Berserk squad finally dies as it charges the Lancia on a 24 – 2 shot. The Ethiopians are feeling the pressure and press hard but it costs them two more squads.
Turn 5B: The Italian left flank has crumbled. The right flank has stabilized and presents a bad dilemma for the Ethiopians. Either deal with the Italians on their flank in which case they will never get to the market or take the Italian fire perhaps break along the way. They will be forced to do the latter to win. The market itself is held by six Italian squads and two Lancias will be able to bring there fire power to bare as well.
Turn 6A: The Ethiopian line runs from 18FF7 to 10U2. They continue to push hard and another squad is dead on a 5 – 2.
Turn 6B: The Italians keep falling back on the left. On the right the Italians creep along the board edge so that they can bring flanking fire on the Ethiopian defense and ultimately encircling fire.
Turn 7A: Its very apparent that the Ethiopians will need a miracle to win. The Ethiopian Sniper is activated twice and manages to kill two Italian trucks. In there attempt to encircle the Ethiopian force two squads break. Four more are broken in the Defensive fire phase. The Ethiopians have 5 good order squads left with a realistic chance of only rallying two of those squads. Both flanking squads will die for failure to rout in the next player turn. So the Ethiopian player resigns.
Final Thought: I don’t believe the Ethiopians have enough fire power to beat the Italians. Further, the Ethiopians have no real effective way to deal with the Lancias. Take the Italians use the first two reinforcement groups to fight a fighting withdrawal. Use the third group to grab the market place. Go for breaks. Often in these Ethiopian Italian scenarios there simply is not enough leadership for the attacker. The attacker is forced into the choice use my leaders to keep up the velocity of attack or rally the squads but never get to the victory area. Consequently a broken squad is usually not going to rally back to effect the end game. For balance? Add a 20mm atr to the Ethiopian OB: Take away one squad from the turn 3 and turn 4 reinforcements. Even that may not be enough.
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