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-   -   DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40 (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=46451)

RERomine October 11th, 2010 03:57 PM

DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
1 Attachment(s)
Italy vs. GB

Mission: Delay, North Africa, 6/1940 - grouped objectives.

Enemy: Regiment Strength – 3-5 Tank Co, 5-7 Infantry Co, 5-7 Artillery Bn, plus ATG and AAA. Strike aircraft unlikely. Average force experience, ~75.

Terrain: Map = 100x100. This is a typical desert map, complete with wadis, soft sand, rough and some impassible terrain. The map appears to be plateau with the low ground the the south and the top in my deployment zone. Elevation ranges from a high of 40 to a low of 0, but the majority of the map is level 30. Criss crossing the map are wadis (bordered by rough terrain with rough or impassible bottoms) and simple gullies (earthen or sand slopes and bottoms). On the enemy half of the map and southern half of my side are where they are most prevalent. The wadis are located in such a way to create channels heading to the west and a barrier from the south with a few passes. Visibility = 88.

Troops: Brigade Strength – 3 Armor Co. (M11/39 type), 6 Infantry Co., 1 Support Co (4xHMG sec., 6x47mm ATGs, 4x65mm IGs, 4x82mm Mort. sec., 1xEng. Plt, 6xAAMG sec., 2xAutoblinda 40 ACs, 1xFO and 4xSupply Trucks plus trucks for transport).

From Support Points: 1xSpotter Plane, 4xLevel Bombers. Average force experience, ~65.

Notes: This is my second campaign battle with the Italians and there was no refit permitted after the first battle. Three tanks were destroyed in the first battle. In addition to that, I have one that took damage immobilizing it and have an additional four sand pillboxes; they got stuck in the sand in the last battle and are still immobilized in this battle even though they aren't damaged. Various infantry and machine gun units also have some carry over casualties as well. I took 70 casualties in that battle, but don't know if it counts tank crews.

Time: 41 Turns


The terrain is very nice for a delay. Starting from the north edge, about 500m outside my deployment zone is a gully. It angles toward my deployment line and more or less meanders south once it gets there. This will make a very nice ad-hoc defensive position for my infantry. South of the objectives is a line of wadis that head east-west. It has only three gaps, each no more than 150m wide, that can easily be covered by my infantry. The enemy could try to move through these wadis, but progress would be very slow. This will allow a small number of infantry and guns adequately cover this southern flank.

Approaches from the east are varied. Gullies could be used to get close, but the AI won't use them. This means they will push through one or more of the four channels created by wadis to the east. All of these can be easily covered from the top of the plateau or various positions on my side of the deployment line.

Both sides have tanks that really are bad during this time of the war. Italian tanks are slow and have thin armor. At least they are better dealing with infantry, but I can't help but think the game has made the M11/39 tanks better than they really were. The only advantage the most British tanks have is speed. Their armor on most models are just as thin as on the Italian tanks. A major down side is they typically have one machine gun and the 2-pdr doesn't fire HE ammo, so aren't good at dealing with infantry. If Matilda II tanks show up, I will have problems since my guns won't be able to penetrate short of point blank. I had enough trouble killing three Matilda Is during the first battle. Should Matilda II tanks show up, I'll hit them with indirect fire. Immobilized is good.

One thing that is always a concern against the AI is its use of scads of artillery. I expect the same here. British 25-pdrs aren't really expensive and I found out in my last battle that they can kill my tanks. It wasn't really a surprise. My tanks will have to shoot and scoot a lot because they will draw artillery fire once their position is fixed. Life will be rough for my sand pillboxes, however.


My defense plan is pretty straight forward. The gully passing in the north half of my deployment line is going to be where I will position my infantry. Four of my Infantry companies will have to push forward to take up positions, but they should be able to make it. My northern most company (Foxtrot) will have to go the furthest.

From south to north, here is how my Infantry will deploy and any support they will have:

Foxtrot: East-west line in wadi south of south objective group. Three ATGs will deploy in this area as well.
Echo: North-south line north of Foxtrot, in gully. One platoon will be held in reserve for Alpha or Bravo.
Delta: North-south line north of Echo in gully. They might have to push forward slightly to get into the gully. Tank company XRay will deploy to their rear.
Charlie: North-south line north of Delta in gully. They will have to push forward about 250m to get into position. Tank company Yankee will deploy to their rear.
Bravo: North-south line north of Charlie in gully. They will have to push forward about 350m to get into position. Tank company Zulu will deploy to the rear of Echo and Foxtrot.
Alpha: North-south line north of Bravo in gully. They will have to push forward about 500m to get into position. Tank company Zulu will deploy to the rear of Echo and Foxtrot.
Support Co: The engineers, infantry, HMG and light mortar will push forward into a wadi forward of the main line where hopefully their special weapons will allow them to deal with some of the enemy armor.

Two infantry guns and the remaining ATGs will deploy on top of the plateau to the rear of the main line, supported by machine guns. Additional machine guns and infantry guns will deploy to the south between the plateau top and the wadi covered by Foxtrot.

Two armored cars are positioned along the south edge. If the enemy tries to push infantry laden trucks through without armor support, they will move out and cut them up.

Just a quick note. I am putting my USSR campaign on ice for a bit. Fighting the same type of battles over and over again gets a little old, so a change was in order. The Italians should present a bit of a challenge, because their armor isn't all that great. Their infantry, once their experience increases, will be as good as anyones.

Below is a screen print of my final deployment. The infantry positions are reversed in the diagram.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 04:43 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 0 (Prep Fire)

No prep fire by either side. I'm surprised the enemy didn't sling something at me. They have to have tons of it.


Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 05:02 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 1

The enemy is advancing along the north and south edges in force. There are a few units in between but not many visible at the moment. Matilda II tanks are seen both north and south. I'm going to take a chance and send my level bombers in when it looks like they get near one of my registration points.

Along the south edge, the enemy faster movers will out pace the Matildas so I will be able to take out their light armor with ATGs and then rip into their trucks with my armored cars.

Delta, Echo and Foxtrot are moving forward to their objective positions. Charlie into position, where Bravo and Alpha didn't have to move.


Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: Zero.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 05:44 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 2

Dingos probing at the north central and salient in my line. The heaviest part enemy push seems to be heading towards the salient and maybe even my refused right flank. It is kind of a bad area, because they are coming in the low ground. My tanks can't draw a bead on this area, so I will have to depend on my ATGs to keep it sealed.

My main concern right now is along the northern edge, with two Matilda I tanks in the lead. I think I'm going to push some tanks up into the position with Foxtrot. This is the only way I'm going to get point blank shots at them.

A little further south some armored cars are approaching. My tanks took a few shots and popped one.

There is a high volume of dust being kicked up, so it is difficult for me to tell what the follow-up units are.


Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 1xRolls Royce A/C destroyed.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 06:59 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 3

Matilida Is and IIs, with a few A10s are advancing slowly west along the north edge. I plotted my bombers to hit this group, but it will take a while. In the meantime, I've got one platoon of tanks moving up into the gully for support. Foxtrot is almost in position. It is a good thing the enemy is sending slow units here or my infantry would have been in contact before gettting into position.

In the north central section of my line, a couple of platoons of armored cars are moving up to my line with one Dingo in the lead. The Dingo and another armored car have been destroyed.

Armored cars, Dingos and infantry in trucks are starting to spread out around the Alpha-Bravo salient. My infantry opened up, without any success. One of the Dingos was assaulted, also without success. I've got two platoons of tanks moving in this direction, but the soft sand is forcing them to take an indirect route.


Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 1xRolls Royce A/C and 1xDaimler Dingo destroyed.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 07:49 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 4

The north edge has 12 tanks moving forward: Six Matilda Is, three Matilda IIs and three A10s. This is going to be a rough spot to hold. I've got bombers coming in, but there was no registration point here, so it will take a while. My infantry is moving into position and popped smoke to cover the advance of supporting tanks.

Tanks supporting Bravo are engaging armored cars to their front. Three more have been destroyed.

At the salient, the support units and Alpha are engaging Dingos and enemy infantry brought up by truck. The Dingos have been assaulted several times by Alpha, but they only have grenades. This aren't very good in assaults. The Dingos have popped smoke, so my tanks can't get a shot at the moment. Small arms fire is being traded but my infantry in the rough is in a better spot and fairing well. Flank AT guns did destroy one Dingo cruising along the flank, but failed against four ACs in the same area.


Friendly: Zero.

Enemy: 3xRolls Royce A/Cs and 1xDaimler Dingo destroyed. Estimated 5 casualties.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 08:34 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 5

The enemy is pushing close near the north edge, with lead elements about 300m away. That is going to be ugly, because I don't think four tanks and a company of infantry are going to hold up against the force heading toward them. Enemy infantry also in support trading fire with some of my squads as they get close.

Bravo has about a half dozen enemy tanks heading toward their left platoon. Most are A10s, with a few of Matilda Is in support. I should be able to handle these. The enemy armored cars heading toward the other flank platoon have lost one more. Enemy infantry also moving up on foot.

Enemy forces trying to push into wadi gap between engineers and Alpha. So far, they aren't making any progress. Taking fire from both sides is scoring against their infantry. An assault finally took out one of the Dingos. The only armored support at the moment is from armored cars, but it won't be enough. Flanking armored cars are down to one. Three were destroyed by antitank guns. I've got mortars plotted against the enemy hitting the salient.


Friendly: Estimated 5 casualties.

Enemy: 4xRolls Royce A/Cs, 1xDaimler Dingo and 1xTruck destroyed. Estimated 10 casualties.

RERomine October 11th, 2010 10:11 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 6

Alpha is bracing itself for the enemy attack, but they are moving slowly, glacier slow. They are still about 300m out at the closest with tanks trailing out about 500m. My bombers might make it in time to avoid a danger close strike. In the meantime, I'm hitting any infantry that appears in the area with machine guns and tanks. Zulu tanks are helping, but the enemy finally got around to raining steel. My count was 12 troops of 25-pdrs, but I might be off at touch. They scored Zulu's HQ tank. The enemy had three squads ripped in return.

Bravo is pretty much doing the same thing as Alpha, without the looming threat of Matilda II tanks. The spent their time also firing at infantry and capped an armored car by assault. Some A10s pushed into one of the gullies and are trying to move forward.

Down at the salient, Echo, Foxtrot and the support company traded fire with enemy units. The enemy took the worst end of it. While they have more armor support, it isn't helping much right now. They lost an armored car, a Bren carrier and another Dingo. The same squad that got a Dingo by assault got this one as well. Further south, ATGs got another armored car. There are a few tanks moving around, but nothing real dangerous, so my armored cars came out to join the mix. My four mortar sections hit and they were all on target. They accounted for the Bren carrier, plus a lot of infantry.


Friendly: 1xM11/39 tank destroyed. Estimated 5 casualties.

Enemy: 2xRolls Royce A/Cs, 1xDaimler Dingo and 1xBren Carrier destroyed. Estimated 25 casualties.

RERomine October 12th, 2010 11:41 AM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
Turn 7

Fighting is picking up along the north edge. Enemy tanks are getting close. Mine took a few shots and the Matilda IIs destroyed two of mine in response. My M11/39 tanks just aren't up to the task dealing with the slow moving monsters. The only thing that seems slower than those are my bombers. They are still two turns out and I have to hope they are on target. If they can thin the enemy numbers, maybe I can hold. There is a lot of small arms firing going on as well. At least I'm holding the enemy infantry pretty much at bay. Enemy artillery is still pounding the same area. Friendly tanks have pretty much bugged out one way or another.

Bravo is also feeling pressure, but mostly infantry. Several enemy squads have been turned. Three enemy A10s followed by infantry and a Matilda I are pushing west in a gully. They will be running into my infantry shortly. I can't get any shots with my tanks because they enemy is in the gully, so I'm moving a few up.

Things are hot and heavy down at the salient, but I'm fairing much better there. With mortar rounds raining down on the enemy infantry and armor support somewhat thin, they aren't making progress. Not counting Bren Carriers, they have three M13s, two Matilda Is and an armored car. ATGs took out three Bren Carriers and an armored car and my engineers destroyed another Bren Carrier by assault. The down side is more enemy trucks and tanks are coming up. This next group does have Matilda IIs with it.

Charlie and Delta companies are feeling kind of neglected right now. They aren't in contact with anyone and can't easily shift to either flank to help right now. There are four truck mounted 2-pdrs heading toward them, but machine guns should handle them easily.


Friendly: 2xM11/39 tank destroyed. Estimated 5 casualties.

Enemy: 1xRolls Royce A/Cs and 4xBren Carrier destroyed. Estimated 25 casualties.

RERomine October 12th, 2010 12:42 PM

Re: DAR: Italy vs. GB - North Africa 6/40
3 Attachment(s)
Turn 8

Up north, I had Alpha's left flank platoon pop smoke after I lost a tank to a Matilda II last turn. They are just about out of smoke because they used it to screen the move of the tanks into the gully earlier. The enemy seems to be trying to south shift around the infantry. One Matilida I moved into the smoke and got capped by my tanks on the other side. I would have been happier if it had been one of the Matilda IIs. There are six in this area and I have only three tanks there. One of my ATGs on the plateau was able to punch a hole in an A10, for what it is worth. Infantry fighting has been heavy, with the enemy still taking the worst of it. I've got light mortar fire coming in to button up the enemy tanks.

I lost two tanks in Bravo's sector. One that had bugged out from the artillery was destroyed by an A10. The other one was a sand pillbox. All it could do was sit there and take it. An A10 got it as well. In return, we punched a hole on one of them. Infantry fighting has been heavy. I would have more of an major edge if it weren't for a sniper out there somewhere. He is picking on exposed squads and racking up kills. The infantry and tanks are starting to separate, so I'm holding their infantry back. Hitting the enemy with light mortars here as well.

Enemy infantry showing up in front of Charlie in small numbers. Took a few shots, without luck. Tanks from Yankee company are moving north to help on the flank. Somewhere off on the enemy side of the map, a 2-pdr ATG is taking some shots at them.

Delta's sector also has infantry to their front, in addition to the truck mounted 2-pdrs. Those have been cut down by X-Ray tanks. Two trucks destroyed and one routed. The last one is trying to go it alone.

Enemy forces at the salient are giving up there and trying to push around Foxtrot. A13s are starting to draw fire from my ATGs here. The enemy is pretty beaten up here at the moment. The second wave with the Matilda IIs will liven it up again soon. At the salient itself, another armored car and Bren carrier were destroyed.


Friendly: 2xM11/39 tank destroyed. Estimated 10 casualties.

Enemy: 1xMatilda I tank, 2x2-pdr Portee trucks, 1xRolls Royce A/C and 1xBren Carrier destroyed. Estimated 25 casualties.

Attached are screen prints of the three main battle areas.

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