BII testing guru Twinkle is my valiant opponent for this After Action Review (AAR). I will be playing this one blind as I’ve not played the scenario yet (as my testing time has primarily been with the editor and building custom battles). SSG Gregor has offered to lend his insights into the progress (or lack thereof!). Should be interesting
We'll fight it out in one of the main scenarios that BII will ship with... Operation Husky. This scenario is 30 turns and the requirement on the Allied player is significant: destroy as many Axis units as possible and reach Messina quickly!
The number of divisions on each side is roughly the same… but the Allied divisions are all standard or elite. A good number of the Axis divisions have substandard regiments. If not co-located with a standard or elite combat unit, the substandard Italian units stand a 70% chance of surrender if attacked! This makes the advance much easier as no combat resources are used when a unit surrenders (i.e. no artillery, general, etc…).
First let’s take a quick look at a battle map overview.
There is a limited road network that makes the British mission very tough. The Americans have enough room to maneuver but must go the long way around the island to reach Messina. Along the way there are four objectives which must be taken (Siracusa, Palermo, Catania, and Messina). Messina is the objective which provides points needed for the Allies to win… so it’s Messina or bust in this one!
Next let’s look at the four landing zones. Each includes its own supply source that opens around turn 2 or around turn 7… linking each pair of beaches is important for this reason. Each possible landing hex is indicated by a red square.
Now Thrive the Armourers!
Getting it Together!
The US 82d Airborne Division lands seven battalions of paratroopers. Three battalions of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), three battalions of the 505th PIR, and the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion. A new feature in BII is MERGED
units. The two PIRs will each reform into a four step regiment on turn 4. You can see by looking at the Information Popup (right click on hex where unit is located).
More detailed information is available in the Unit Display Area (click on hex where unit is located to see this).
Notice in the top right hand corner each of the units has a small number in a colored circle. The number is turns remaining until merge… green circle indicates that it is the unit which will be replaced by the merged regiment. A red circle means the unit will disappear from the map when the merge happens!
10 July 1943 -- Turn 1
Airborne drops go without incident as do the beach landings. American landings push toward Palermo (to the Northwest) and toward the East to secure the British flank.
In the British sector the landings go well and a path into Siracusa is cleared!
Finally, here’s a look at how the surrender feature works:
Forces prepare to attack…
…but the Italians will have none of that! No combat action bullets are expended. HooRay!