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"Hcon 18: WWII 1943 Battle of Gela in Sicily in 15mm" Topic

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646 hits since 25 Jul 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Russ Lockwood25 Jul 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

I copied and pasted my H'con 2018 report from my AAR (a PDF) here. No photos, just the text about games I umpired and played in, observations, and other items of interest. The full PDF ran to 23 pages, so I split it up depending on the topic. This is my recap of my being a player in a 15mm Battle of Gela game. --RL

I was puttering around when I stopped to watch a 15mm WWII game based on the Battle of Gela in 1943 Sicily. The Herman Goring division and two Italian divisions were counterattacking to drive the US back into the water at Gela. It turns out they had a vacancy and asked if I wanted to give the World at War house rules a go. Sure thing!

They gave me the right flank Livorno Division: 33rd Infantry Regiment (16 infantry stands and 1 command stand), 34th Infantry Regiment (16 infantry stands and 1 command stand), 155th Bersaglieri Motorcycle Regiment (4 stands), 4th Motor Regiment (5 L5 tankette stands), 28th Artillery Regiment (4 100mm gun stands), 4th AT (w 47mm AT gun stands), and 1 division commander stand (General Domenico Chirielson). All told: 50 stands. That seems to me to be about a company per stand. Without going into the nuances, in the d6 system, basically I hit on 5-6 and saved/rallied on 5-6.

A ridge cut across the terrain: behind it and I couldn't fire at the Allies and the Allies could not fire at me. Up top, it's seen and be seen.

In the center of our Axis line was the Napoli Division (run by Louis) and our left flank was the Herman Goring Division (run by Joe).

From our left facing us was the US 1st Big Red One Infantry Division (run by Ken and against the HG Div), 45th Infantry Division (run by Michael), 3rd Infantry Division (run by Seamus), and coming on the right, the US 2nd Armored Division (run by Robert). The US had a slight qualitative edge on the Italians. Gela was the victory condition. Whoever had it won.

Sequence of Play

World at War uses a straightforward turn sequence of rally, artillery/ship barrages, air strafe/bombing, move, fire, and assault. Then the other side does the same.

Firing is basic 3d6 (4d6 for artillery), subtracting dice for target in cover, long range, etc. If I recall, one damage is a pin, two a suppress, and three an elimination. Regimental morale check when half the stands are gone.

Stands had a command range of 4 inches from each other.

The HG Division, plus all off-board artillery and air strikes hammered the Big Red One into oblivion, but couldn't make any headway against the 45th hunkered down in Gela.

The 3rd came to help, but the Napoli Division intercepted it. In the carnage that followed, both the 3rd and the Napoli started to lose stands, especially when the US 2nd armored arrived. On Turn 3, I moved the Livorno on top of the ridge in support and a series of assaults swept away the 3rd, the Napoli, and my own 33rd Regiment.

That left my Livorno against the now diverted 2nd Armor. That's the good news. The bad news is that the 2nd soon dispatched me, leaving the remnants of the HG without support and unable to drive towards Gela. On Turn 4, the Livorno was high-tailing it to Roma.

The game ended at that point: Allied victory.

Quirk of the Rules

World at War played quickly enough, although the sheer number of stands meant for a long turn per side in the beginning as you rolled lots of dice.

The quirk in an otherwise solid set was the Assault mechanic. Basically, troops would move to contact, maximum two on one, the defender would fire (if capable), and if attackers remained, the stands diced off with a few quality modifiers. No problem.

However, the side with more successful assaults causes the other side to take a regimental morale check. If failed, the entire regiment bolts off the table. This is an exception to the lose half stands to make a regimental morale check rule. I learned this first hand when my 33rd bolted.

On my turn, I pounded one stand of the remaining regiment in the 3rd Infantry, won the assault, and forced Seamus to check for the regiment. He failed the 50-50 roll and the 3rd disappeared off the table. The 2nd Armor returned the favor in Robert's turn and between the naval gunfire and tank gunfire, Livorno's 34th Regiment fled the table. A failed division morale check caused the rest of the division to flee.

The recommendation on the table was simply do the regimental morale check when half or more of the stands are gone.

Thanks, GM Pat, for inviting me to sit in -- I had a blast.

Rotundo26 Jul 2018 3:31 a.m. PST

No problem Russ. I was glad to have all of you. Seamus is my son. He really enjoyed himself and said you were a gentleman. Thanks for the kind words!

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