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Thread: Five for Fighting - How Hockey Saved the Allies - An FtM AAR

  1. #321
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Unsurprisingly the pocketed force is clinging on for their lives and I do fear a sizeable Axis force appearing to your north before said pocket is finally closed. Very tense and action packed stuff.
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  2. #322
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Now we have some real action! It may or may not help to have the Mountain troops join in from across the strait. You can have them go in, and if the combat odds don't improve, cancel their supporting attack. Hmm, you could also try `support attack`. I'm not too sure what that is supposed to do exactly.
    Never tried support attack might have to sometime. Did not think of that before I'd finished the fight though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bashwell View Post
    I think a 'support attack' will cause them to enter the battle as reserves (the way any division coming late to a battle does), but if you win they WON'T automatically move in to the captured province, unlike troops you simply attacked the province with. I ended up using this in Barbarossa a lot, as I needed additional support from neighboring divisions, but I didn't want them to move out of their place in the line after the battle was (hopefully) won.

    P.S. I love this AAR!
    Nice that there's a way to do that without manually cancelling moves, which is what I usually do. P.S. Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Unsurprisingly the pocketed force is clinging on for their lives and I do fear a sizeable Axis force appearing to your north before said pocket is finally closed. Very tense and action packed stuff.
    Yeah, it's not like they're gonna get up and walk away like the Garrison troops, who i fear now may have been trying to escape. I need batches of enemy to stand and fight.
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  3. #323
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Forty-Nine - Up the Peninsula?

    This was written before yesterday, but I ran into Eddys in the space time continuum and fell asleep on his sofa, a Chesterfield of some description.

    Will Canada collapse the Axis pocket in Reggio de Calabria before the Italians send more men from up north? Will the USA and UK do anything at all before the USSR overruns Europe? Will "Western Europe" stretch from Naples to Sicily during the Cold War? What happened to all those hockey references we were led to expect? Hey, my team missed the playoffs, and their farm team, my home-town AHL club, just got swept in the first round. Plus, Shanahan banned me from hockey references for ten days for ragging on Russians as perimeter snipers. Then Ovechkin cross-checked me into the sofa. I'm pretty sure it was him.

    Where were we? Well, I'd landed troops in both provinces east of Calabria and launched an assault on two trapped units, including German armor. The Italians counter-attacked both of my provinces with Garrison troops from one province east of my two province. So I landed three divisions east of them. I'm pretty sure my own east will stay clear, we're running out of peninsula. I launched my attacks on the Italian Garrison troops at the end of the last chapter, but hid from you (for dramatic purposes) the fact that my attack payed immediate dividends.



    It's nice having all the Italians in one province in the sense that one attack knocks out both of their counter-attacks. It's not so nice in that now I have 20,000 men attacking 70,000 men. We'll find out whether Italian garrison troops are the equivilent of the Vichy French ones which caught me by surprise, or whether they're more like the far-from-frontline-troops I expected back then. I'm hoping that 20,000 battle-hardened Canadians will treat them like 70,000 peasants with pitchforks. I'd win that battle.



    Things are looking good for the good guys.

    A note on my strategy and concerns. I've played to the end of this chapter, and that's it. However, I have looked up Italy just to scope out the terrain. By which I mean only that I saw that Italy is generally two provinces wide [EDIT - or not! This is true only the the very far south]. I cannot land on both sides at the same time without risking my transports (and you know I'd never do that!), but I can land, then cross, or land, move my transports, and land again. My hope is to trap Italians a few times as I march up, like I did (mostly) in Africa, destroying pockets of enemies. Only this time one pocket at a time, there's lots of Italians in Italy. Who knew?

    But ... can I depend on captured supplies long enough to capture the enemy? Every landing creates two pockets, one full of Italians, one full of Canadians.

    Meanwhile. the battle that counts right now is going well.



    I was wondering how long I should keep the battle against the 70,000 garrison troops going when suddenly, I won!



    I'm guessing the AI made a conscious choice to get out while the getting was good (which means trouble for the future) rather than being defeated. That's 220 losses of 70,000 men. Even Garrison troops could have kept fighting for a bit longer. I can't cut off Rome from Italy's supplies, that's where supplies come from if youre Italy. I don't want to find 100,000+ enemy camped on their supply source, even if they are totally weak troops.

    A look at my supply situation does bode well for future attacks up the peninsula. Each province seems to have about three weeks supply, or more, even now.



    The Canadian air force bangs on. It'd be nice to see 100+ casualties, but I'll take what I can get. No sign of evemy aircraft. Hmm, I wonder if the Brits did more damage fighting over Sardinia than I'd imagined? Nah, the UK's job is 1) to be blamed for all problems and 2) not to help. So far they've been great at both since Cyrenaica.

    The air campaign took a disappointing turn when I realized my own ground attack forces were exhausted. They can repair and regroup just fine without moving, I checked, but they're gonna need time off. It turns out that there are other aircraft available to pick up the slack.



    Hey! We'll see if our fighters can't do something about them.

    On the ground, we're making real progress in Calabria.



    One of the two enemy units calls it a day, and we should be taking the province and more prisoners soon. Which reminded me, but only as I was writing up the chapters, the Italian navy wasn't coming out to fight me with zero ORG, it was trying to escape! If the Littorio went back into port, I have a reasonable shot at sinking their Battleship ("J 10!"). If not, I have a clean chance at three more destroyer groups, I believe. The port is not empty, I know that, but I do not know what's in there [Ed - some kind of boat]

    Let's see if we can't beat up on the Italian ground attack planes for a bit.



    Well, it's not like we annihilated them, but the before and after shots of the air wings shows a clear drop in ORG on the part of Italy.



    So there is that. A few more combats and they're gonna have to take a serious time-out and think about what they've done.

    And then suddenly, just when the Italian air force was well on their way to that promised time-out, the defense in Calabria collapsed.



    Note that we had only a 3-2 advantage in casualties on the ground, though that converts to 5-1 once you factor in prisoners. We're going to need many more prisoners if the fighting in Italy is all going like this. We faced worn-out troops, pinned from the beginning, and still only managed to inflict 50% more casualties than we took. Oh well, up the peninsula it is!

    Wait, don't we have friends coming out to play soon?



    Yes, yes we do.

    Last edited by InnocentIII; 28-04-2012 at 18:51.
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  4. #324
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    It's probably too late already, but if you were feeling saucy I'd land some men to cut off that stack of Italians before they could get away.

  5. #325
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    It's probably too late already, but if you were feeling saucy I'd land some men to cut off that stack of Italians before they could get away.
    That's actually what I'm hoping for, just sat down to play some more. I logged in to say "oops". Italy is not 2 provinces wide, except in the small part I looked at - the instep of the boot, i.e. very far south. Almost all the rest is 3 wide. Not impossible, obviously, but not the super convenient layout I described in the chapter.

    I really do need to cut off troops, deprive them of supplies, and then deprive them of life (+/or freedom). Otherwise I'll need a much bigger army than Canada is capable of to take Italy.
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  6. #326
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Good stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    Note that we had only a 3-2 advantage in casualties on the ground, though that converts to 5-1 once you factor in prisoners. We're going to need many more prisoners if the fighting in Italy is all going like this. We faced worn-out troops, pinned from the beginning, and still only managed to inflict 50% more casualties than we took. Oh well, up the peninsula it is!
    This bodes well for the future.

    Really though Canada seems to be in the ascendancy, Italy scrabbling for troops as you push northwards. Once again Canada is showing the rest of the allies how it is done.
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  7. #327
    Germany and Italy are probably having fun times rationalizing between putting troops on the Central European front and Italian front right now, so you shouldn't have a hard time pushing forward as long as there aren't any large stacks blocking your path. The problem is getting the USSR to stop advancing so quickly. I bet that by January they'll be near Berlin.

  8. #328
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Good stuff.

    This bodes well for the future.

    Really though Canada seems to be in the ascendancy, Italy scrabbling for troops as you push northwards. Once again Canada is showing the rest of the allies how it is done.
    Let's hope they learn fast, I'd really like some numbers in Western Europe, if only to keep the final score reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by croguy View Post
    Germany and Italy are probably having fun times rationalizing between putting troops on the Central European front and Italian front right now, so you shouldn't have a hard time pushing forward as long as there aren't any large stacks blocking your path. The problem is getting the USSR to stop advancing so quickly. I bet that by January they'll be near Berlin.
    Yeah, the USSR advance is the real clock right now. The massive battle in Messina way back when looked to be an uber Balkans campaign, or the USSR just got going very early.
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  9. #329
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Fifty - Taking Another Slice of Italy

    Italy is our chance to absorb the lessons of Africa [Ed - you meant "apply" right? Did you even read this before posting? Me - three or four times, which is not actually better than "no"]. Recall that Africa was two or three provinces deep, top to bottom, while Italy is the same, side to side (in fact, further up it's top to bottom again). In Africa, Canada landed troops in every port (mostly for supply reasons), dividing the enemy into pockets, but not applying overwhelming force to any of them. Well, not as much as we could have. They were divided. We were divided.

    We face so many more troops in the defense of Italy that I don't really have that problem because I don't really have that option. I need to take a SLICE out of Italy, then do it again, and again. In this way I hope to destroy the enemy army piecemeal, and work my way up the peninsula. The tough nut, of course, should be Rome, where Italian supplies come from. Wikipedia says: "Rome is called the 'Eternal City' because it's eternally in supply [citation needed]." On the other hand, we hope to isolate and destroy the enemy fast enough where they probably will not run out of supplies, but it would be nice to have the option.

    We left off last time with a Canadian landing chasing a big stack of Italian garrison troops out of their position, but German Mechanized and Mountain troops winking in and out of sight to the north. Either they're commanded by Heisenberg, or somebody taught them fan dancing.



    The Italians might be Garrison troops, and they didn't fight long last time, but that's still 70,000 guys. Canada's entire army numbers only about double that single stack. First thing I do when I load up the save is check for the Italian battleship Littorio, and call in ground support from the big boys.



    We'll see what comes from the USA and UK, but I'd really like to sink that battleship. On the other hand, my prior invasion call may be producting results!



    That's either the precurson to a true invasion, or the AI is laughing at me, "you meant bomb this space, right? We can't land there, it's German! There's probably krauts all over!"

    The Soviets seem to be finishing up in Greece. Pretty soon the Germans will be fighting over Germany itself, and not much besides.



    We order bombardment of the port and ships in port, but due to the low ORG of our air units (~2) and the short time before we capture Reggio de Calabria, no attacks are launched before the Italian prize leaves port.



    Geez, even without combat we can see that that's one nearly dead battleship. J-10! J-10!

    My attempts to set my own ship on a hunt for the plainly visible enemy results in numerous attempts by my ships to go to some other zone. You really should get an option: "attack them, right here, these guys I am pointing at, SHOOT THEM NOW!" Alas, I think saying J-10 a few more times would have been as effective. My ships do not engage the enemy.

    Perhaps if we call them out in the traditional Canadian way? No, not with a girl's voice saying "I'm so wasted", but with a landing!



    In retrospect, maybe I ought to have set my naval unit on "aggressive" and let them sit where they were. I mean, I can still see the battleship from here, when obviously the previous me who was playing the game moved on to other things. Idiot.

    The important thing is to cut off those 70,000-80,000 Italians below us, however, not sink the battleship. We look for an empty spot to set one bunch of guys so we can go get the other bunch. We fail to find an empty spot.



    Well, we need this to be over quick. The escaping Italian divisions are Garrison, which ought to be slow, but we do not have forever.

    "Sir, we found the Italian navy!"
    "Excellent work. I don't care how you do it, you must sink the Littorio!
    "Sir"
    "J-10! J-10!"
    "Sir, that's not a proper naval order"
    "Oh."
    "Also, it's not the Littorio, sir"
    "Um, is that good?"



    Wait. What, are these guys just leaving?



    "Check please!" I hope we sank somebody, that's a lot of enemy boats not fighting anymore.



    Yes! Victory at Sea! Scratch one bumpy-top!

    Looking at the reports, it's clear that one squadron of two untouched ships got away quickly, and Garibaldi is all we sank.

    We'll take it.

    Attention, all troops: the landing is not going as intended, some of you guys are gonna have to walk.



    The battle for Cosenza goes well right from the start, as expected, and sinking the Garibaldi was great, but we really need to get a move on!

    Last edited by InnocentIII; 01-05-2012 at 00:50. Reason: made fun of my grammatical error
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  10. #330
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    Now to hope, no know, that Canada's wildcats can prevail and not become stranded whales!
    Off to Ortona!
    Last edited by blsteen; 03-05-2012 at 04:56.
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  11. #331
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    The battle for Cosenza goes well right from the start, as expected, and sinking the Garibaldi was great, but we really need to get a move on!
    It is not so much that Canada need get a move on as the rest of the allies need do so! Russia is stealing all of the glory (well, maybe not stealing it, more making slow progress whilst many of her troops suffering wounds and so forth but you know what I mean). Good that you managed to sink at least one Italian ship, now to sink a few army divisons (quite how you sink army units I'll leave for you to work out!).
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  12. #332
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    Now to hope, no know, that Canada's wildcats can prevail and not become stranded whales!
    Off to Ortona!
    Well, at least in the direction of Ortuna!

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    It is not so much that Canada need get a move on as the rest of the allies need do so! Russia is stealing all of the glory (well, maybe not stealing it, more making slow progress whilst many of her troops suffering wounds and so forth but you know what I mean). Good that you managed to sink at least one Italian ship, now to sink a few army divisions (quite how you sink army units I'll leave for you to work out!).
    Funny you should mention sinking divisions, that worry is one of the reasons I didn't help with Japan. Also, I think that comes up later...
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  13. #333
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Fifty-One - Capture Those 80,000 Italians!

    Approximately eighty thousand Italians are racing up the coast, as only Garrison troops can race, while Canada invades the eastern shoreline with mountain troops who have trained their entire lives to hit the flat, sandy beaches. The marines are resting comfortably, waiting to land in the hilly terrain in the west as soon as this landing is done. Yes, mistakes were made.

    We need to drop off the mountain troops before we can land marines in the west to cut off the retreat of the enemy. I do not want to have to fight 80,000 men more often than I have to. Meanwhile, Slovakia is now a part of the USSR.



    So we have a big clock and a little clock running. Meanwhile, we catch an Italian ship alone!



    No, not the battlehip Littorio, which I think got away. And no, I have no idea why our infantry are walking to the southwest, into the water, without their ships. We win the battle in Cosenza, against the 9,000 Italians lagging behind the big group of 70,000.



    Meanwhile, the victory in Acri is taking ages, and we cannot go get the troops we need to land in the west until the troops we're landing in the east are ashore. Then, just when the battle number turns from yellow to red, we win!



    Speaking of disconcerting, one hour before the men reach shore, it looks like they still have quite a long time left before they arrive.



    Two battles start simultaneously. We are attacked in Acri by Axis men who are fleeing, if not technically retreating. And we're considered to be attacking units which must have just arrived in Cosenza.



    You can see that we're not too far from Taranto in the upper right, and that we need only land in the west to trap around 80,000 enemy.

    Here's a look at the terrain, and the message I got (I think) when I tried to see if I could stretch my initial landing force across the peninsula, just in case the second landing took too long.



    My forces still have 15 hours to wait before they can launch their next attack, anyway. It was the ongoing battle, just ended, which kept me from "retreating", and which made my guys look like they were ready to attack somewhere.

    My beachhead has plenty of supply, probably two or three weeks' worth. I move my ships north of Sicily to pick up the other men. Unfortunately, I cannot order the men in Cefalu to board ship in the Mediterranean. They can retreat onto a ship, I know that from Denmark. Either I don't know how to do it or the rules don't allow it. I get a confirming "beep", but no arrow. I can't run the clock too long to see if they're actually moving (and the display is delayed), because that would use up precious time.

    So we blow one of our three "Naval Base" cooldowns because it's really important to get our men in position soon.



    Of course, those guys were only in Cefalu because of my brilliant plan to let some nearly exhausted enemy cross Messina and get destroyed. In other words, I'd have had plenty of time to move them to a port if I knew the rules from the start. But now, with the enemy rushing out of my kill zone, as only Garrison troops can rush, I felt that I needed to load them immediately. I wasn't going to wait for them to walk to Messina.



    Oh, hey, there's the British Navy. We could have had the Littorio if you'd been here, guys! Or if I knew how to make my ships shoot at the enemy ships when I can see them sailing away. Meh. At least that reminds me to blame Britain for the Littorio's escape. I blame Britain for the Littorio's escape.

    I had a choice between fighting mechanized in the hills or mountain troops in the hills. Hmm tough choice. Being in a hurry, it was easy to decide to let the mechanized get away (because they'll retreat north, out of the kill zone) to make sure I cut off the escape of the 80,000 Italians who I was now counting on as being casualties.



    We were gonna have to fight in one province or the other.



    Looks like I made the right choice! Hey, what, did ten of our guys die laughing? Drown in the landing? Friendly fire? Their tiny force killed ten, we killed none? Damn, Canada's first time being shut out! Some troops are sent to clean up the map. Mostly I'm waiting for the marines to land.



    Well, it sure looks like we already cut off the retreat of a good many enemy.



    You'd think that when 50,000 or even 10,000 enemy are captured that someone would make a note of the fact and I'd get a report. If the lower ranks wanted to keep the massive number of prisoners a secret from the generals, you'd think they'd have a tough time doing it.

    "Who are those men, Sergeant?"
    "Um, those men, General? Those are the Americans you ordered, sir."
    "Why are they wearing Italian uniforms?"
    "Well, they were counting on the British Navy to bring them the correct uniforms."
    "Ah, is there anything the British Navy can't do wrong?"
    "Apparently not, sir."
    "Tell them to piss on the British Navy, will you Sergeant."
    "From here?"
    "And say something about hockey, will you, it's getting tougher to justify the title of this AAR."
    "It's really annoying when the goalie makes a needless pass in NHL 2012 for X-Box and chucks the puck over the glass."
    "I meant real hockey, Sergeant."
    "Oh. When your team is eliminated, a true hockey fan roots for the teams he hates most to suffer as much as possible."
    "Such as..."
    "Um, a game seven loss?"
    "and ..."
    "... At home?"
    "and ..."
    "in overtime, sir."
    "Good work, Sergeant. Now get those Americans proper uniforms and tell them to invade Europe."

    Instead of getting a message that we'd captured enough Axis soldiers to add 50% to the Canadian army if they switched sides, we have to deduce capture from the absence of enemy icons. Still, I'd say it looks like 80,000 Italians and Germans are going to take the rest of the war off.



    And that we've made a good start on southern Italy.

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  14. #334

  15. #335
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    Nice ... another leap to catch some more?
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  16. #336
    80,000 troops is, what, an entire army? WOW. Italy is in more trouble than the Flyers holding a lead. Or on the power play. Or trying to score. How did we make the playoffs again?

    Game 7 loss in overtime at home. You forgot one last part. Stanley Cup Finals. Which is so painful it has never happened before. Wikipedia says there have been only 2 Game 7s in the Finals decided in overtime, and both were won by the Red Wings at home 60 years ago. I suppose you could throw in theirr top scorer missing an open net and their goalie letting in a soft goal for good measure. Or you could make it an own goal. Pain... reaching... critical... levels... like Maximilian Largo in "Never Say Never Again"... when he's playing that video game... and also the fact... that the whole movie... was a remake of "Thunderball"... GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. #337
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Good show, eh what?
    Thanks! Hopefully we're running low on Italians.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprites View Post
    Nice ... another leap to catch some more?
    Absolutely! I hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by enf91 View Post
    80,000 troops is, what, an entire army? WOW. Italy is in more trouble than the Flyers holding a lead. Or on the power play. Or trying to score. How did we make the playoffs again?

    Game 7 loss in overtime at home. You forgot one last part. Stanley Cup Finals. Which is so painful it has never happened before. Wikipedia says there have been only 2 Game 7s in the Finals decided in overtime, and both were won by the Red Wings at home 60 years ago. I suppose you could throw in their top scorer missing an open net and their goalie letting in a soft goal for good measure. Or you could make it an own goal. Pain... reaching... critical... levels... like Maximilian Largo in "Never Say Never Again"... when he's playing that video game... and also the fact... that the whole movie... was a remake of "Thunderball"... GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
    Well, there's always a game 6 loss in double overtime with a skate in the crease totally legitimate goal I'm not still pissed about or anything. For me, it's losing in the third round when I had Game 7 tickets for the finals. I still have the tickets (they hand out tix two rounds at a time, and my group drafts them, I get 1/4 of a pair of season tickets). You guys sure made the Pens look bad there for a while. One last Flyers fact - remember the 8-0 blowout to end the series, what, '01? I was there, and I think Desjardins hit my son in the face with a puck (flipping them into the top of the net, one skipped the glass and came into the stands). He's got the puck, a plaque with the headline from the win, and a photo of him on the worst day of his black eye. I was watching like a hawk the whole time 20 guys were skating, turned to talk to him when all but the last Flyer left the ice after the pre-game skate.
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  18. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    At least that reminds me to blame Britain for the Littorio's escape. I blame Britain for the Littorio's escape.
    Quite right too! Curse you Britain, forever letting the Allies down.

    Good that in spite of another woeful performance from the British navy you are making such stunning progress. Although really I think the capture of over 80,000 Italians is rather overshadowed by the harrowing, yet epic, battle of Paolo.
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  19. #339
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Quite right too! Curse you Britain, forever letting the Allies down.

    Good that in spite of another woeful performance from the British navy you are making such stunning progress. Although really I think the capture of over 80,000 Italians is rather overshadowed by the harrowing, yet epic, battle of Paolo.
    I need somebody to blame for my mistakes! And the Brits should have told me how to play. And yea, hiding all those guys was a tough one. Let's hope for many more!
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  20. #340
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    Chapter Fifty-Two - Another Day, Another Pocket

    In the last chapter, we finished the capture of 80,000 Axis soldiers. Now we have to grab another chunk of Italy and we hope to capture another batch of defending soldiers. We need to pocket to be big enough to make another dent in our opposition, yet small enough that we don't have trouble digesting it. Fortunately, our last success brought us captured German training video which indicates that our enemies still have a few things to learn.

    Our first move is to plan a new invasion on the east side of Italy.



    I'm going to refer to Italy as east west [Ed - we'll see how long that lasts] even though much of it is more north-south. I always picture Italy more "upright" than it actually is and it'd be disconcerting to start thinking of the far side as north and the near side as south, even if that would be more accurate.

    In any event, we need to move troops to ports, apparently, to load them into ships. Life was so much easier in 1066, 1399 and 1836. So those troops near Calabria moving north? Well, they're going to have to return for pickup. Oops.

    As we move our troops via transport (inset) we take a look at the Russian advance. Russia has not recaptured 100% of Nazi-occupied Poland, but it has made inroads into German territory. I have to say, I don't see continuing the war with an Allies vs Comintern fight once the Axis are defeated. The USA and UK might not even have forces enough to make it a contest, but even if that were the case, it doesn't mean it'd be a good contest. Right now, I feel like Moe. Larry and Curley are much more powerful than Canada, but I'm the only one here with any clue as to what's going on.



    In the west, still on Halloween, we order the troops ashore to create the western barrier by moving mountain troops and others into the hills.



    Italy is four provinces wide in only a few spots, so I find a place where it's three provinces and plan to attack the middle province from both sides, if possible. The main thing is to cut off the right number of men and capture them.

    THE PLAN

    (laying out what I intend to do feels a little like Oceans '43)
    (it can't be Oceans 150,000)



    I can make arrows! Granted, the men in Albania are not themselves morons, but it does seem like only morons would defend Albania in force while losing Italy proper to the Steamroller of the North.

    The Plan is to land men in Province #1, move men to Province #3, and have #1 and #3 attack #2, cutting off the retreat of every Axis below them.

    I think I win this race.



    Note that I am only "attacking" with a few of my divisions, hoping to either land some with their ability to attack intact, or land them elsewhere. You know, captured supplies are great, but a source of supply would be nice, too. Like that port one province south. Errr, east.

    We landed! Note that I had no idea what I was talking about just now (I played less than 48 hours ago). I was attacking with all the guys. I think I only chose some, but used the tank button and got them all? I am not sure. Why not delete my stupid reference to something that wasn't true? Where's the fun in that?

    Anyway, someday I'll learn. It would have been easier and quicker to land the men in port rather than land them and force them to walk.



    We brush aside that garrison division when it arrives in Barletta, 24-3. Apparently the Germans don't like that score, and have no better sense than the Italians or Americans where the important battles are being fought.



    They kill another 142 in the next attack, and the Axis try to breakout of the pocket ... to the south?



    The initial report was a few hours earlier, and the Axis added to their attack in the meantime. I don't see what that gets them, unless the AI sees so few of my forces that it thinks it can win, or else this is an earlier planned move. I shouldn't talk, however, it's now that I realize all the troops I don't need in the immediate battle need to walk all the way back to Calabria for naval pickup.

    I win in Acri 4am the morning of the 3rd, losing 50 men and inflicting 700 casualties.



    My guess from this image is that we have 50,000-75,000 Italians likely to be trapped. That central garrison division will probably escape, and 50,000 could be too high, we'll have to see when we engage the enemy. Right now my trouble is the inability of the mountain troops to attack for nearly three days. Okay, I may refer to the map as North-South from time to time[Ed - hah! Me - you jumped ahead. Ed - so?]. Italy is so confusing, someone should capture it!

    We try to close the pocket, using 13,000 men to attack 8,000. Not the usual overwhelming force we'd like to have. We needed Bari, though, and it's important to grab a source of supply, even if it makes the battle a little harder.



    The trouble is not the bombing run, it's the Italians hitting where I'm closing the pocket and potentially escaping.



    So I make a move with the first troops to reach Reggio de Calabria. This landing might not look optimal - I did need to land where I could see - I want add to the pocket closing attack.



    More importantly, I can capture those Italians involved in that attack, if I move quickly. They are pinned in battle, I have a chance to reach their only good retreat destination before they can retreat. I hope.


    An HQ unit was already headed to Camerota there, my new beachhead, but bounced off and decided to move further in to the kill zone.



    I added troops from the south to the closing attack, figuring I could beat garrison troops to Potenza in a straight race. As long as we do, we have eight Italian units trapped in the new pocket. And hey, who could that be in Taranto?

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