TURN 6 RESULTS- GERMANY
Well the DAF certainly went out in style- of 389 movers on Playback, over 130 were Interdiction sorties- around 1/3rd and with a unit or 2 (e.g. 557th Artillery Battalion) evaporated.
Losses going in to the turn stand at 31-0 in Allies’ favor with an SV (47/100). We lost 3rd/1st Household Cavalry in the far north 10 clicks short of Rimini, but it and the 2nd served their purpose in keeping 26th Panzer Division from moving further south down the coast and restricting movement down the Coriano road further west.
1) Usual SOP with Typhoons on CS to aid in any AVs. Survivors in the Gothic Line seem shattered- we get a number of AVs and are able to herd units into a couple of single hexes (9,12 and 16,11) and a few larger pockets around Gemmano and Mondaino further west, which though not entirely cut off in the case of Gemmano will be extremely difficult to escape from. We’ll try to blow the bridge north of San Marino (2,9) to hinder reinforcement and/or escape. We’ll leave 10,13 alone because we don’t want it retreating into Mondaino.
2) The AVs allow for a lot of movement, and we move as much up north as possible- particularly arty concentrated around Cattolica to cover defensively pretty much everything and prepare for assaults next turn.
3) I’ve grouped units into 3 main task forces- Indians and some British, mostly infantry, units deal with the West in the hills and mountains, the Canadians deal with the central sector, including bearing down on remaining units in the Gothic Line from the North while British units approach from the South, and the Poles with a lot of British armor head for Rimini along the coast (and block 26th Panzer Division).
4) Attacks set up against 5,14, 9,12, 9,15, 11,14, 12,12, 16,11. 9,12 and 12,12 are Full Assaults/ML, the remainder LA/ML- the former because they’re almost guaranteed successes, the latter to minimize ‘turn burn’.
5) SUPPLY- OFTEN IGNORED OR RELEGATED. In moving units, there’s an effort to place in good supply- Road, RR Lines and adjacent to a relevant HQ. May seem minimally important, but over time in a scenario it’s a little like compound interest in that it all adds up without you really noticing. Here, with RRs at 60 supply value (we get RR Repair of 3 which this turn should repair the line all the way up to and including Cattolica (16,10/17,11 are busted too)), it’s quite a considerable boost to supply and readiness levels, hence combat effectiveness, and particularly recce values which are highly useful in attack to make/exploit breakthroughs. Without rail, supply up north would be 15 as it is now in 13,10 for example, with it we’ll get 30-60 odd.
Results: 90% of turn remaining.
1) Attack results: 5,14 (retreats) 9,12, 9,15, 12,12 (destroyed) 11,14 (holds), 16,11 (holds, 2 units destroyed).
2) Bridge at 2,9 remains- in hindsight probably a mistake given chances (12%) and new German engineers arriving who can repair immediately. I suppose it might take them from another task and zero out their MPs.
3) Casualties now 33-0. 55 VPs. 6 to go to an OV.
1) More units move up as attack results permit, including more arty now there’s less traffic south and some clearance of German units allows.
2) Attacks set up against 5,13, 11,14 (Mondaino- 2VPs), 16,11- all LA/ML with the usual Direct Arty Fire Support where possible. Arty units that have moved are placed to cover these hexes as much as possible to be able to provide Indirect Fire Support and defensively support units during the German turn again be wary of ranges, as sometimes a good % of guns are lower range than advertised (9 hex range units particularly).
3) Attack against 8,6 with Direct Fire Support from the Navy- all guns ‘reach’. Just to take the edge of their recce unit if possible, though this could be a mistake if it runs too long.
4) Typhoons to interdiction.
Results: 70% of turn remaining (90% - 2 rounds at 16,11).
1) Attacks: 8,6- we lost 3 armored cars, the Germans 3 squads and a truck. One round. Okay… 5,13 retreats.
2) 16,11 where the SP guns worry me regarding ‘turn burn’- the 2 Nashorns are destroyed but these ****** Semovente 90/53s seem impervious- perhaps we should have left them a way out to give all those reverse gears room for manoeuvre. 2 rounds, 2 evaps (2/1/993 and 2/525). Maybe armor next round (if I get one) will shift them. We took 10% casualties among the infantry here.
3) Mondaino took some heavy arty pounding but held- one round.
4) Casualties the same. Taking Mondaino and 16,11 will get us to an OV.
5) VICTORY LEVELS- LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. I always calculate these before I even start a scenario, to know firstly what I’ve got to keep to avoid an OL, SL, ML and secondly what I might be able to claw back and gain or retain to earn a D, MV, SV and OV. This determines initial strategy, whether offensive or defensive, because there are times when you can set yourself what turns out to be an impossible goal that leads to disaster when more modest expectations might have been fulfilled. Taking Rimini in this scenario is an example given your desperate loss intolerance as the Allies- at this point we could leave Rimini altogether out of the equation and focus on taking Gemmano, Croce and Coriano, then keeping them for a probable OV.
1) Attacks: 3,12, 11,14 (Mondaino), 16,11.
Results: 20% of turn remaining.
1) 3,12 held. Mondaino vacated by Germans, taking 50% casualties in 2 rounds of combat. At last!
2) 16,11. Semovento 90/53s finally destroyed after 5 rounds of combat. These SPGs plus infantry in towns are killers. As it is the hex is still held by a single- I kid you not- halftrack, even with a flank attack advantage here. We’re lucky to still have time to dig in- and of course launch some final assaults which will only go 1 round…
3) Taking Mondaino and 1 extra German LP take us to 61 and an OV.
1) Attacks: 3,12, 4,11, 5,12, 7,12, 7,13 (Gemmano) to start the final assault phase, 10,13, 16,11 to clear. All with Direct Arty Fire Support and Limited with those arty units without the MPs.
2) Air on Interdiction- check. Everything else dug in/on TR- check.
Results: Turn end.
1) 3,12 holds. 4,11 retreated, 5,12 holds, with 2 units retreated to 4,11, 7,12 2/278th Engineers eliminated/units advance.
2) 10,13 all units eliminated/unit advances, 16,11 and doing a somewhat incredulous double take here- that single half track survived an infantry/armor multi-brigade 2-round assault with direct arty support.
3) Gemmano (7,13) vacated- German 2/2/993rd evaporated, but no advance (Limited Attack). 3 Semovente 75/18 SPGs out of 11 destroyed.
Summary: Save for one halftrack, Gothic Line finally and completely destroyed. Moves are already afoot in the West to move out of the hills and up the river valleys towards Rimini.
Losses running at 36-1 and 63 VPs for OV.