sabato 21 aprile 2012

New (official-house) rules for the Italian 3-4-6 squads?

Here in Italy there is a little but interesting conversation about why the Italian army is so badly represented in the ASL universe.

The general perception of how the Italian soldiers acted during world war two will tell us that they were not made for war. But is this concept really true? Every nation had their heroes and cowards but for some strange reason this is not the case for the Italian army. If we give a look to the available counters in ASL we will just have a confirmation of this strange way of thinking.

But the fact is that the Italian soldier was not so different from any other soldier from any other nationality, as all of them were men that were fighting for their own lives.

It is true that Italy as a nation was not ready for the second world war because of lack of equipment and lack of organization at the higher level, but when we speak about small scale tactical situations, things were completely different.

I will not write a list of all the situation were the Italian soldiers fought with bravery against all odds, but lot of them do exist so why not reconsider some aspects of the Italian 3-4-6 counters?

In an attempt to try to "fix" this historical fault, after some testing we realized that basically two aspects of the counter 3-4-6 were too penalizing.
We previously said that the Italian equipment was not so good so 3 seems a fair firepower, but if a full squad of Italian soldiers (3-4-6) is able to survive and engage enemy units in close combat, why not give them that +1 fp? I cant believe that a full Italian squad will have the same chance of an American half squad in close combat!
The other aspect is the broken morale of this counter. They are first line and they are treated the same way as conscript 3-3-6 on the reverse side. As first line means, they already had their training and their baptism of fire on the front line, so why not give them the same morale level of the good order side after February 1941?

domenica 1 aprile 2012

J110 - The Prelude to Spring - Part III

At the bottom of the fifth turn and in the present situation, the idea was to preserve my infantry and risk all the tanks the Germans have. The PZ IVh in the far south missed with the MGs but the main armament achieved to break a 4-5-8. The Panther survived the previous fire but failed to hit the IS-2 twice. The PZ IVj in the center did its work and penetrated the upper structure of the SU-100 marking his second kill of the day. Now the situation is critical for the Russians. May a lone but superior IS-2 survive against a Panther and two PZ IVj ?

The interdicting stack with the 8-0 leader is disengaging and repositioning on another line of defense, while all the other infantry is just avoiding the defensive fire of the Russians. The IS-2 finally took out the Panther while the crew was eliminated by the infantry nearby. What is going to happen we dont know but with the Panther out, the IS-2 will have less problems. My PZ IVj's will have to manouver and get a rear hit if they want to be successfull!

Another full turn passed and the Russians have not gained ground. We both have one tank less. The situation now seems even better for the Germans as the time is running out and the ground that is missing to exit is always the same and the infantry defending it is still in good order, concealed and with open ground in front of them. The tank superiority now is for the Germans even if the Russian tank have better armor and armament.

Sixth turn out of eight. The Russian infantry doesn't seems to find the way down and the last Russian tank is frontally assaulting the nearest German tank, using its armor at best. As a matter of fact, the 75L doesn't stand a chance to penetrate the frontal armor of the IS-2. Only a critical hit will have effect. Critical hit that missed to come in this turn. The berserk unit found his death while running in the open fields and another half squad was silenced with machine gun fire while triing to cross a road.

The Russian side, short on tanks and men, still want to push forward, using its last battering ram like a shield. They still have the minimum numbers for a possible win but it looks like all their things have to go right from now on.

Whatever will be the outcome of this battle, the crew of Panzer IVj named "Brigitte" will receive a posthumous Iron Cross 2nd Class. This will be awarded because of their act of bravery in front of overwhelming enemy forces. After taking out two Russian tanks (a T34/85 and a SU-100) they failed to stand against the IS-2. Now the last PZIVj have to manouver to avoid the front of the Russian beast. The German infantry is triing to position themselves in order to try to give the best opposition to the last assault of the enemy.

Here we have a picture of the Iron Cross 2nd Class mentioned before. The official criteria for the award was a single act of bravery in the face of the enemy, or actions that were clearly above and beyond the call of duty.
Approximately 3 million Iron Cross 2nd Classes were awarded, a high number indeed but it must be remembered that it was presented to Axis Allies and civilian uniformed organizations in addition to the armed forces (both Heer or SS).

The idea, now that I clearly saw that my remaining tank will not have a chance in a frontal 1vs1 with the IS-2, is to fill the gaps with ad hoc infantry units. The panzerfaust capability will now come in handy and the scattered wood hexes will become good stopping points versus both infantry and enemy tanks. If a good situation will arise the PZIVj will try to drive is gun toward the back of the IS-2.

As the Russians are diverting their attention to the left side, now it is impossible for them to achieve their winning goal. The first PF check failed but another Russian squad fell under German fire.

At the end of the seventh Russian turn, the situation will not give any chance to the attacking side. They will not have enough time and units to exit.

Here we can see the final positions when Joe decided to concede the game. This time the Russian advance was blocked but the desperate situation of the Eastern front (from late '43 till the end of the war) will not give hopes for the future....

The total number of DRs were 84 for me and 90 for Joe. All in all I felt a little bit more lucky than Joe, that never said a thing when I got some crucial low roll results. The 1,1 on the first tank kill and the sniper that killed the 9-2 leader were important moments and both were good for my side of the barricade.