Thursday, August 2, 2018

Our First Game of Rommel: Soviets vs. Italians 1942

Two weekends ago (yes it took this long to find time to prepare this. Such a busy summer this year for me), me, Morten, and Nacho came to Nacho's house to play my first game of Rommel. Initially the plan was to pit my Italians vs. Greeks, or Greeks vs. Germans (using the Greek command material I created which you can find by clicking here , and which has unfortunately been ignored by most , bu not all, of the Rommel community :( ) but we decided instead to play a Soviet vs. Italian battle during 1942. Nacho and Morten's took over command of the attacking Soviets, and I of the defending Italians. Scenario was breakthrough. 

Setting the table

Scetch map of the terrain and development of the battle.

The soviets had a mechanized corps of an armored and infantry division, while I had at my disposal two infantry divisions. The terrain ended up being in my favor, with soft ground covering one flank, and mountains providing a good anchor for the other. 

The Soviet forces.

The Soviets decided to send the armored division on that flank of my position anchored on the high ground, because one of the objectives, at the far end of my flank was on low ground. Going in we both expected the armor to quickly overrun my open ground flank, with me having to fall back and taking as stand in the valleys among the mountains. Ultimately that is how it went, but it took considerable more time for the Soviets. Judicious use of my artillery support, fortifications, reserves, and the swapping of tired with fresh fores permitted me to hold the line for most of the day.Avanti Savoia!

A video AAR of the action!

I also counter-attacked. I am starting to see that this is routine in my war-gaming. Were reserves play a role (BBB, Rommel) I always counter attack (See my last BBB game of Chickamagua) and so I did here. Since the Soviet infantry division facing the soft ground flank did not attack, and with the target of relieving the pressure of my mountain flank, I sent my 2nd infantry division forward wit the goal of silencing the Soviet guns. In the end the urban terrain in the center worked as a redoubt for the Soviets permitting them to hold the line and my flank attacked failed, though it did pull out a couple of tank companies from the Soviet attack. In the end the pressure told. Slowly but surely I was forced to refuse the flank as the 1st Infantry Division was bled dry by the repeated Soviet armored attacks. In the end my front was contracted at a catastrophic point and it collapsed. But for one whole day my Italians fought tooth and nail!


Aspects of the table once set up and with the forces deployed.

In the end I  can say we really enjoyed the game. The battle felt like an operational level action. The rules were simple but provided excellent choices. The square grid greatly increased our generalship since we were able to notice things we would had missed n an open table. This created a more tense and richer game. Our next goal is to play an Italian-Greek battle.

The Soviets attempt to turn my flank.

The pressure mounts. The Italians refuse the flank.

The Soviets breakthrough! Fin!

Soviet guns!


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting your battle report I can never remember to pack a camera when I am playing! How did you get on with the command post mechanism? My regular opponent has found that if you are not careful when you refresh your CP you can be really short of actions for the next turn.

Konstantinos Travlos said...

I liked it. To be frank I never saved dice, so was always rolling the 6. Definitely there were times when I was lacking the dice for tactics.But that is why you keep a reserve. The CP will not save you. Good operational level thinking and keeping a reserve will.

Phil Dutré said...

I also like Rommel. However, for our second game, we did away with the Command Post chart and replaced it by cards in hand. Much easier to use and manage.

You can download my cards here: