Panzer Grenadier Battles on August 17th:
Desert Rats #2 - Grande Vittoria Italiano Counter Attack #14 - A Little Help
Jungle Fighting #42 - Butaritari Counter Attack #15 - Dust Clouds
Counter Attack #13 - The Marines at Obong-ni
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First Shot, 2nd AIF
Afrika Korps #1
(Attacker) Italy vs Australia (Defender)
Formations Involved
Australia 2/6th Infantry Battalion
Australia 6th Infantry Division
Italy 158º Reggimento Fanteria "Liguria"
Italy 63ª Divisone Fanteria "Cirene"
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for AfKo001
Total
Side 1 6
Draw 9
Side 2 20
Overall Rating, 32 votes
5
4
3
2
1
2.91
Scenario Rank: 480 of 566
Parent Game Afrika Korps
Historicity Historical
Date 1940-12-30
Start Time 16:45
Turn Count 8
Visibility Day
Counters 16
Net Morale 1
Net Initiative 0
Maps 1: AK1
Layout Dimensions 88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
Play Bounty 67
AAR Bounty 40
Total Plays 35
Total AARs 18
Battle Types
Kill Them All
Patrol
Rural Assault
Conditions
Off-board Artillery
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Afrika Korps maps + counters
Introduction

Australia's contribution to the Allied war effort, the "Second Australian Imperial Force," spent the first year of the war training and preparing for battle. While Indian and British formations invaded Italian-ruled Libya, the Aussies remained in Palestine. When operations in East Africa and Greece called away the veteran Allied troops, the Australian infantry hurried forward. By the time the first units reached the front the battle had moved west to the Italian-held fortress of Bardia. On the afternoon of 30 December an Italian infantry force advanced against the observer positions of the 2/2nd Field Regiment. In the way stood Company D of the 2/6th Infantry Battalion.

Conclusion

The Italian company advanced as if they expected no opposition and when fired on they dug in and returned fire before retreating. Captain Little's company fought the first Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) infantry action of the Second World War. Seventeen Italians were killed and two captured.


Display Order of Battle

Australia Order of Battle
Army
Italy Order of Battle
Regio Esercito

Display AARs (18)

Advance at Bardia
Author caryn (2)
Method Face to Face
Victor Italy
Participants unknown
Play Date 2010-01-11
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Introduction

This excellent scenario exhibits all the best qualities of Panzer Grenadier. The action is historical, and forcing an outcome other than the historical one is a substantial undertaking; getting poor quality troops to pass through very high quality troops and reach a specific geographic objective. The Italians were likely probing the Allied lines in an area they presumed weak, while the Australians were "on the line". In such situations, training and leadership predominate, and the Italians had neither.

The Plans

The objective being quite simple, the plans are equally simple. The Australians need to protect the OP, the Italians to overrun it. The sole Italian advantage is one 10-Strength Off-Board Artillery factor. This may be enough, if the Italians draw at least mediocre Leaders, which is not likely. The Australians have two units dug-in, and three rifle platoons to screen the OP, with the signal advantage four leaders.

The Australians

The Australians can screen the OP with their rifle platoons, which are a match for the Italians and much better led and trained. The two heavy weapons may be dug-in in support, and if luck is not wholly against the Australians, the Leader mix will allow them to spare the Sergeant or a Lieutenant to handle the 3-Inch and HMG in covering the OP. The three rifle companies can then manoeuver as need be to stop any Italian movements on the OP.

The Italians

For the Italians, the thing requires them to flush the Australians and rush the OP, hoping one unit survives to enter the hex (regardless of how). Thus they keys are bringing down the OBA and Mortar fire on the Australian units ahead of the Italian infantry advance, and then pushing into the objective hex with everything, punhcing at the Australians with the OBA and Mortar constantly.

The Battle

Luck was, indeed, wholly against the Australians. The Italian OBA was devestating, the Italian infantry platoons led with dash and displaying considerable élan of their own, and the Australians lethargic and prone to panic. What should have been a fairly simple fight degenerated into a stunning Australian rout. The Italians not only entered the Australian OP, they owned it.

Conclusion

One of the reasons I love this scenario---even though I had my ass handed to me (and I have an ample ass)---is that it so clearly shows how Chance can shift the balance of a fight where the margins are within the possible. The forces are actually fairly equal. The Australian advantage in Leadership is balanced against the Italian OBA, and as any veteran of Panzer Grenadier knows, artillery can ruin an infantry company's day in a hurry. There are a couple of almost-average Italian Leaders, and my opponent drew them; there are some lousy Australian Leaders, and I drew them. I could not manage to roll a Morale Check to save my life, while my opponent rolled so well he actually offered to swap dice with me (FYI---they were all my dice, so I declined). This is a great little scenario.

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First Steps with the First Shot
Author Kiwiwriter
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2011-07-09
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

I played the scenario solitaire, as I am trying to learn the game system, and the scenario is a good learning tool. Very few units, a small battle area, not much interfering terrain. The Italians moved on the Australian left to take their objective, and the Australians attacked the Italian right flank. Heavy Australian machine-gun and mortar fire erased an Italian lieutenant and rifle platoon, but Italian off-board artillery and machine-guns stymied the Australian attack further. Overall, the battle was a draw, but a good learning experience. The keys to the game are morale and leadership. You seek to demoralize the enemy, then kill him, and without leadership, you can do nothing. The Australians had much better leadership than the Italians, but the Italians had off-map artillery. I'm not sure what scenario I'll play next.

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First Shot, First AK Game
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2014-04-23
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

I spotted this short, sweet scenario when I first opened the scenario book after the purchase. Great little scenario for learning and maintaining knowledge of the rules. I like to use the Impartial Leader Selector routine from the PGHQ, and loved the mix of leaders I got for this game. Australians with 9 morale for the Captain, a Lieutenant and the Sergeant, and an 8 for the other LT, while the Italians got a Capitano with a 7-0-0 and a Tenente with a 9-1-0. The Italian LT lead off with the infantry while the capitano lead from the rear with ineffectual artillery and mortar support. With little more than a few disruptions, I was feeling pretty lucky for the Italians on turn 4 so left the cover of the Wadi in an effort to close with one of the two dug in Australian positions after they Australians had used all their turn 4 action segments with no results. It just wasn't to be, as the Italians rolled a 1 and Australians a 5 for turn 5 initiative. This allowed the Australian mortar and other dug-in troops to disrupt and demoralize the Italians sitting waiting their turn to assault the Australians. With the third Australian action segment, the infantry and HMG platoons assaulted into the Italian hex, finishing off the infantry and chasing off the disrupted tenente. With all 3 Italian infantry platoons gone now, I called it a game at the end of turn 5. I want to use this as a training scenario to introduce some of my local gaming friends in the near future.

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Aussies Needed a Better General
Author KirkH
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2010-07-05
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Australians set up dug-in in a pair of hexes two hexes north of 1821 with their mortar unit a further two hexes south. Italian mortar and offboard artillery traded fire with Australian mortar unit. Italian infantry advanced slowly southward and moved east, staying at 3+ hexes distant from Australian guns. Italians then moved west and entered hex 1821 after withstanding numerous opportunity fire chances. Australians should have set up one hex farther south, with 1821 adjacent to them. Need to play this one again.

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Italians surprise the Aussies
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2011-05-08
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

This was a solo effort to get going with AK. It is a short introductory game, 8 turns infantry only, where the Italians just need to enter a specific hex to win, the Aussies need to stop them. In my play the Italians rushed forward to take on the Aussie OP fire, fortunately the fire was weak and the Italians were able to approach the dug in Aussie positions. They assaulted the dug in positions and were able to drive back the Aussie mortar and INF platoon before a second INF and HMG came to the rescue. The Italians scored a step losses on the Aussie reinforcements and get locked in assault. A second group of Italians move toward the victory hex and are hit with OP fire, disrupting them. The following turn they recover as the Aussie fire weakens. By the seventh turn the Italians are able to assault and survive the attack to achieve the victory.

A good little scenario, balanced but the Italians will need a little luck to get to the victory hex.

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Italian Advance
Author driddle01
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2011-06-07
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

A really quick and small action. Basically, one company for each side. The Aussies set up near the victory point hex but spread out to try and keep the Italians from sneaking through. The Italians set up at the edge of their area with the intention of rushing the defenders. The action starts as the Italians move forward. The Aussies try some long range defensive fire to no effect. The Italians continue to advance, and the Aussies begin to rotate their defense around as the attackers try to rush for the victory hex. The Italians set up a fire base to try and pin the defenders, while a flanking force starts to circle. The Aussies continue to fire and pin the attackers. They are able to disrput one platoon of Italians, but others continue to advance. As time is running down (only eight turns), the Aussies make one last fire at the advancing Italians to try and disrupt them. The fire fails and the Italians circle around into the victory location. Italian victory!

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Rolled Pasta
Author Buquis
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2011-10-22
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Sure. Sure I remember my first action there mate. We was up on a little hill lookin' at another hill side about 2 klicks away. The Captain, he says "Well crap, right at dinner time." He didn't much care for his dinner late. Well, he orders Seargent Nickles to move two platoons over to the right flank and start to dig in. Had a 3 inch mortar move a bit, couple hundred meters, and set up behind us. Then we see they got a mortar set up at its max range to hit our front lines. Some Ofzer stayed with 'em. Probably intended them to move up as their attack platoons moved in. Some officer moved them in at a good pace. He seemed to know what he was about but first appearances can be deceving.

All of a sudden we started gettin' shelled from who knows where. Didn' do crap as the Yanks say. But, every 15 minutes here it came. That really pi ... err set the Captain off. So this Lieutenant is commin' in like gang busters right up the Captains nose. So the Capn, he lets the HMG and a platoon let it go. Fair dinkum. That Lt went of his nut. Totally disrupted his actions I guess. Then he lost 2 platoons, they ran off fast as a dingo in heat. Third one was acting stupid too. A bit later you could see that LT. look up and just start screaming. Took off like a 12 year old. Well by then We were able to get a unit around behind that ball o' noodles at the hill bottom and the Captain took the nearest infantry platton along with the HMG and took out half of them. Wasn't 15 minutes later that last squad was chased right of the battlefield. We held our whole line and what was left of them was jus' runnin'. 'Cept for their leader, a captain we learned later, and his mortar crew. They were "chasing" the others.

Pretty easy day that one. Wish the rest had been so easy. I'd still have both my arms.

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Dreaming Big
Author deleted
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2012-04-13
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

The Italians began their day with the artillery in a deep valley with the troops just south on a small dune (no elevation in this scenario). The Aussies had dug in on top of and just north of the objective, with their Arty just in front of it. The Italians had very little time to take the flag, so to speak, and attempted to move quickly. All they did was move quickly into heaven, or hell.

The Aussies had a great view of the Italians attempting to quickly move forward, their big gun showering the Aussie gun, but causing no real damage. Stopping just short of the opposing infantries’ ranges, the Italians set up for what would be a quick-dash attempt at the objective, the idea being to take the hex, thus “winning” the scenario, although the battle fought afterwards to keep it would be ugly. They never made it that far.

They were pounded by great dice from the sky and the dug in troops showed no mercy. Sometimes digging in is bad and I intend to rerun the scenario purposely digging in the Aussies again, but this time trying a different mode of attack from the Italians. I think the arty guns on both sides are a little useless, or I just don’t know how to use them correctly yet, but they just traded volleys while the infantry ran beneath them. The Italians were able to use the mandatory 1-hex no-friendlies-to-fire rule to their advantage, and that saved them a little, but the Allied troops were just too strong.

Certainly, as noted in the conclusion, this one is balanced towards the Allies, and it showed here. Good little scenario (with a really big map) that shows how to use the line of fire rules and how to exploit them on both sides. Note that the Aussies must set up knowing how these rules are going to affect their shots. They have the advantage of knowing the Italians have to run as they only have 2 hours to get it done.

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Encore, encore!
Author deleted
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2012-04-14
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Encore, encore!

Played this scenario again, and really focused on the Italians, but it just didn’t matter. The Aussies really want to be dug in here, as the only arty is on the 10 column 1x per turn, so unless you cannot roll your way out of a dice tower, you should be fine. In this case, the Italians tried to rush the objective, to at least grab a draw, but it did not even matter. It was not opportunity fire that did it; it was a lucky shot by the one 3 incher. The Italians rolled poorly and disrupted half their stack, and were totally immobile the rest of the game. The other stack of Italians was not about to charge this goal alone, and the time just ran out. The Aussies got a step loss before that happened, so I guess technically it was a draw, but it was sure ugly for the Italians.

I am amazed that PGHQ shows so many Italian victories on this scenario. Maybe if I hung the Aussies out instead of digging them in…but why do that? I played both sides to win, which means my Aussies are digging to China on this one!

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Un combate de ida y vuelta
Author enrique
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2012-04-15
Language Español
Scenario AfKo001

Este pequeño combate reproduce el bautismo de fuego de la primera unidad australiana en África. Se trata de una escaramuza entre una compañía italiana y otra australiana. Los italianos tienen como misión entrar en un hex determinado. Los australianos deben impedirlo y eliminar, además, dos unidades enemigas.

Los italianos se despliegan en un wadi y avanzan hacia el hex que tienen como objetivo. Los australianos, que se desplegaban primero, habían formado una pantalla defensiva por la previsible vía de acceso de los italianos. Éstos intentan sortear la pantalla y son blanco del fuego de oportunidad enemigo, que desorganiza alguna unidad. Sucesivamente los australianos maniobran para impedir el acceso de los italianos a su objetivo. Hacia la mitad de la partida los italianos se ven detenidos y sin fuerzas para sobrepasar la barrera australiana. Ante la imposibilidad de conseguir su objetivo, los italianos deciden retirarse hacia el wadi y aguantar el previsible contraataque de los australianos sin bajas. De esta manera al menos empatarían la partida.

Los italianos se retiran ordenadamente hacia el wadi, salvo un pelotón de infantería que se retrasa y es destruido en un asalto. El tiempo se echa encima y al final los australianos no consiguen causar más bajas a sus enemigos.

Empate.

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More interesting than I might have thought
Author Poor Yorek
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2012-08-31
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

One IT INF + Capitano makes an amazing run past OF to get adjacent to the objective hex only to get (finally) caught in an assault. But, the Australians can't get a good kill roll on the assault columns (and the IT hold morale fairly well).

The IT HMG was demoralized early and was forced to flee. Two other IT INF had been "stopped" by DIS by OF, but the Australians were themselves delayed by disruption and, once finally in the assault, again could not get much going on the 9-col. The IT 9-0-1 LT held tough.

So, the scenario duration was "just right" as it could have gone either way. Another turn or two and eventually AUS morale in assaults would have surely prevailed.

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Australians Effectively Delay Italian Advance
Author dreierj
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2015-02-17
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

This is a very small scenario in both footprint and number of units. As other AARs have suggested, it is a good introduction to the PG system. The Italian strategy was to approach the Australian positions and look for an opportunity to get access to hex 1821. The Australian strategy was to dig in and repel the Italian advance. At 0545, the Italians were attempting to get around the Aussie’s right flank, but the Australians left their foxholes and shifted to meet this challenge. By 0645 (the 8th and last turn), the Italian effort failed. Although they were able to get adjacent to 1821, they were disrupted and demoralized, and they ran out of time. If they had a few more turns, perhaps an Italian unit could enter the hex. The Australians were victorious; they shifted their positions, thus delaying the Italians.

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Very hard for the Italians
Author errebi15
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2003-09-28
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Italian leaders were particularly bad (6-0-0 CAPT). It may be better to leave one of them in the wadi to direct mortars and OBA. Frontal assault on AU position seems suicidal, better to try to outflank them.

Losses: IT 1 step INF, 1 CAPT (deserted!); AU none.

Scenario appears unbalanced in favour of AU, perhaps with better leaders IT have a chance.

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Rugby in the Desert
Author GeneSteeler
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2009-03-13
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

December 30, 1940. Today’s action (although I use the term lightly) takes us to the Battle of Bardia. Although the battle began on 8 December, the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF) first got involved on December 30th.

The time is 1645, and D Company of the 2/6th Inf Battalion of the 6th Australian Division had taken up a forward observer position.

Elements of the Italian 158th Inf Regiment of the “Cirene” Division were trying to break through…

The Italians must advance and the Australians must stop them.

Only a small corridor of the map is used

Italians make a feint to the South and the Australians move to intercept

Italian push to the south meets Australian fire and get demoralized. Meanwhile the Capitano moves to the north drawing fire.

Australian Lieutenant moves toward the Tenente to cut him off drawing heavy fire. Capitano makes a break around the north!

Australian mortar fire has no effect and the Capitano makes a run for the goal-line, but is finally disrupted by combined rifle and HMG fire. While occupied, the Tenente makes for a dash down the centre gauntlet!

Australian Lieutenant blocks the gauntlet. The Capitano orders his infantry for the 600m dash to the observer post. 200m… draw lots of fire but unfazed. 400m… HMG disrupts! 200m short! With the gauntlet blocked, the Tenente moves back dangerously to the south

Unable to combat move, the Capitano races to catch up with his infantry who are just short of the goal. The Tenente in the south orders his infantry for the 600m dash. 200m… Australian Rifle fire misses, but the HMG disrupts the Tenente. 400m… Australians miss the tackle! 600m… GOAL!

With only 30 minutes left on the timer, the Italians are successful.

Aftermath

This is really a quick introductory scenario to teach/learn the PG system. I would suggest PG veterans to skip it altogether. The number of units (and consequently bloodlessness) reminded me of Panzer Grenadier: Airborne (Introductory Edition).

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Mission (almost) Impossible
Author Bart
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2010-12-11
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

Played solo within an hour and a half

Short and small scenario in which the Italians battled against the Aussies and time. In short, crappy fire and morale rolls for the Italians and accurate fire from the Aussies decided the outcome of a battle which did not favor them anyway, considering the Victory Conditions. The Italians came to 3 hexes from 1821 and lost 2 Inf steps in doing so (1 step with a 12 DF roll and 1 step for getting Dem when already so). A 0-6-0 leader underwent the same fate. That gave the Aussies their victory. All in all an almost impossible task for the Italians, but with a load of luck on their side it could be achieved. Mind that they only have to enter 1821, not control..

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Skirmish
Author Matt W
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2012-08-25
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

There really isn't much to say about this one. An Italian company runs into an Australian company. Neither side has any significant firepower. The Australians have a slight morale advantage and the Italians have some OBA (a 10 factor strike). They meet and tussle. The goal of the Italians is to get to a hex just beyond the Australian line so they have to attack.

In this scenario, as in many others I found the surprise in continuing to try to acheive victory after all likelihood of such victory is gone. In this case, that comprised a late lunge at the victory hex by an Italian INF platoon which was stopped one hex away from victory by an HMG firing opportunity fire. A pretty exciting endgame but not enough to lift this one substantially as a competitive event.

As a learning scenario I would give it decent marks. I would not suggest it as a ftf scenario unless it is used to teach. It does play quickly... I give it a "2"

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Desultory fire
Author Coniglius
Method Solo
Victor Australia
Play Date 2015-10-07
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

This was a short and simple scenario pitting an Italian infantry company against a dug-in Australian infantry company. The objective was for the Italians to capture an Australian OP. The Aussies began the scenario dug in, in front of the OP, with the Italians a couple miles away advancing on the position.

As the Italians came into range of the Aussie HMG platoon, they began to side slip to the left to avoid the fire. As they approached the position they were subjected to constant opportunity fire and spent the majority of the time deploying and re-deploying in an attempt to setup their assault. Both sides settled in for long range ineffective fire resulting in zero step loss for either side. A couple platoons were disrupted but always managed to rally, but the Italian attack never materialized, as the Aussies simply switched their front, constantly screening the OP against the Italian out-flanking attempts.

It is a good scenario to introduce new players, as many of the basic elements of the game system are introduced here (activations, movement, direct/indirect/opportunity fire, OBA, morale, etc.). I may try this again with a more aggressive stance in the future, but first, I have to gear up for scenario 2, the 199 turn Capture of Giarabub!!!

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This was a bad idea.
Author plloyd1010 (2)
Method Face to Face
Victor Australia
Participants unknown
Play Date 2010-01-01
Language English
Scenario AfKo001

I played this some time ago. The Italians are attacking with a formation of inferior quality, with no superiority whatsoever, on a narrow front. The result was quite expected. The Australians placed 2 platoons to engage the approaching Italians, which fell back after causing some morale disruption. While this was happening, the remaining infantry platoon and the HMG dug-in in front of the victory hex (1821). The delaying platoons took up position on either side behind the victory hex. The Italians, not having time, or enough luck, for recovery, arrived strung out. The Italian mortar was in able to disrupt the Australians effectively. No Italians were able to get past the block.

Since the Italian companies were binary formations it would not be unreasonable to give the Italians one more INF and one more LT. This might give them a reasonable chance of reaching the victory hex.

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