Panzer Grenadier Battles on December 11th:
Arctic Front Deluxe #3 - The Sausage War Heroes of the Soviet Union #2 - Futility
Afrika Korps #17 - Catanzaro Division, Southern Sector Heroes of the Soviet Union #11 - Second Guards Cavalry Corps
Afrika Korps #18 - Catanzaro Division, Eastern Sector Lions of Finland #3 - Winter Fury 2: The Sausage War
Arctic Front #3 - Winter Fury 2: The Sausage War Little Saturn #3 - The Ordeal Begins
Desert Rats #5 - Libyan Defiance Tank Battles #2 - Little Saturn #2: Seizing the High Ground
Desert Rats #36 - Thomson's Ridge : Morning Phase Tank Battles #45 - Operation MARS #33: Still Trying
Desert Rats #37 - Te Ope Maori Hikoi Kia Toa ("Maori Battalion, March to Victory")
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D'Avanzo Raggruppamento
Afrika Korps #15
(Attacker) Italy vs Britain (Defender)
Formations Involved
Britain 11th "Prince Albert's Own" Hussars
Britain 7th Hussars
Italy 1ª Divisone Libica
Italy 9º Battaglione Corazzato Leggero
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for AfKo015
Total
Side 1 5
Draw 6
Side 2 4
Overall Rating, 14 votes
5
4
3
2
1
2.93
Scenario Rank: 498 of 588
Parent Game Afrika Korps
Historicity Historical
Date 1940-06-16
Start Time 08:00
Turn Count 20
Visibility Day
Counters 27
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 0
Maps 1: AK2
Layout Dimensions 88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
Play Bounty 87
AAR Bounty 127
Total Plays 15
Total AARs 6
Battle Types
Meeting Engagement
Patrol
Conditions
Reinforcements
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Afrika Korps maps + counters
Introduction

Six days after Italy declared war, a mobile column of the Italian XXI Corps, commanded by Colonel D'Avanzo, set out to conduct aggressive patrolling along the Egyptian border south of Ridotta Capuzzo, near the Libyan base at Ghirba. At 0750 the column was sighted by a Rolls-Royce armored car platoon of the 11th Hussars. Both sides proved eager for battle in these early days of the war.

Conclusion

The Italian column was badly handled, losing all the L3/35 and 100 POWs, while the British forces lost one armored car. The Italian commander, Colonel D'Avanzo, was killed while leading a light tank charge. He was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal for military valor.


Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Armored Cars: These are Combat Units. They are motorized instead of mechanized. All have their own armored car leaders, who can only activate armored cars (6.85). Do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Reconnaissance Vehicle: 8.23 Special Spotting Powers Both foot and vehicle mounted recce units (1.2) possess two special spotting abilities. The first ability is that they can spot enemy in limiting terrain at one hex further than the TEC specifies for other units and leaders. For example, an enemy unit in town can normally be spotted at three hexes or less, but a recce unit can spot them at four hexes.Their second ability is that they can place a Spotted marker on any one enemy unit they can spot per turn, just as if the enemy unit had "blown its cover" by firing. Such Spotted markers are removed as described earlier.
  • Portees: Trucks with mounted Anti-Tank guns, Anti-Aircraft weapons, or artillery. Stack as combat units. Move like trucks, but fire like guns. Do not limber or unlimber. Have the truck's -1 armor value. Truck and gun are treated as a single unit, and do not transport other units. (SB)

Display Order of Battle

Britain Order of Battle
Army
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
Italy Order of Battle
Regio Esercito
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
  • Towed

Display Errata (2)

2 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 827

This is an armored car.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 101

The L3/35 with ID# 1505 has the incorrect movement factor printed on it. The movement factor should be 7, not 8.

(plloyd1010 on 2014 Nov 24)

Display AARs (6)

Overconfidence is deadly
Author wleonard1
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2012-02-02
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

A detachment of British Armored cars intercepts a mobile Italian column. The armored cars inflict some losses, but overconfidence lets the disembarked Italian infantry into assault range, and the armored cars are defeated. British tank reinforcements arrive too late to join the battle.

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Death by a thousand surrender rolls...
Author Shad
Method Solo
Victor Britain
Play Date 2009-06-14
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

The paucity of British units makes this scenario more interesting than it otherwise would be. Basically, as the Brits you haven't enough muscle to force the situation, so you're maneuvering at speed to try and split off weak Italian units and then surrender them.

Very much the way a pack of lions would attack a herd of buffalo, now that I think about it...

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Italians Avoid Contact and Earn a Draw
Author dreierj
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2015-04-28
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

The British armored cars advanced quickly, but the Italians split up into officer led groups and dispersed just as quickly. The battle became a chase through the desert. The British were able to eliminate the 77mm and a couple of trucks, while losing no steps of their own. The Italian strategy of avoiding contact, and using L3/35’s to delay the armored cars was effective. The British reinforcements arrived too late to join the battle, which ended as a draw.

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A chase that the British didn't win
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor Italy
Play Date 2011-05-13
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

With this scenario, I saw the the British have won all the play, but in this one the Italians won. I agree with Shad that this is like lion hunt, but I believe the buffalo's have the edge. The Italians look to be in a tough position with leaderless troops stranded in the middle of the board that need to get back with the main force. The British "lions" are the Rolls-Royce scout cars, but they don't have much punch and there armor is thin. Reinforcements appear later but they might be to late.

In my play, the Italians setup with the 77mm front and center to try to cover as much of the ground between them and the stranded force. The other units position around them and will try to dig in on there first turns. The British moved first trying to get between the stranded Italians and the main force. The Italians start moving away from the advancing scout cars and eventually turn the corner and get back with the main force. This means trouble for the British as the 77mm gun has enough force to kill the scout cars if they get within 6 hexes. What can the British do to attack the Italian hedgehog that they have built? The scout cars probe around the Italian lines looking to attack, but buy time for the British reinforcements. By turn 15 the other British tanks arrive, but they are too far away and will not be able to affect the fight. The Rolls-Royce need to do it themselves, unfortunately there first move toward the Italians one it hit by the 77mm for a step loss and the game.

I felt that this scenario can be predictable and needs some help. If the Italian player sets up to cover the stranded force and get them moving back as soon as possible, it will be a long day for the British. The Italians can easily get back their main force while the British will be stuck staying outside the 6 hex range of the 77mm gun (BTW the range of the 77mm is a printed 4, but remember extended range makes it 6, still with a FP of 1). I believe an SSR that restricts the stranded force to not moving unless a leader is present would help balance it. This would give the British a chance to cut them off but still give the Italian player chance to get them out of trouble.

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Poorly Thought Out VC's Hinder This Scenario (Or play it against a novice)
Author vince hughes (21)
Method Dual Table Setup + Voice Chat
Victor Draw
Participants waynebaumber (AAR)
Play Date 2011-07-06
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

Played this one over Skype with Wayne Baumber.

This pits a lowish moraled and surrender prone Italian force against a mobile British force of armoured cars and mainly weak MG wielding tanks. What COULD have been an interesting scenario though has been made lame with VC's for both sides that basically, in any 2 player game would frighten any would be attacker as the chances of a loss as the attacker far outweigh any chance of a win. As the details of scenario VC's can not be discussed on this site, all I will say that some kind of proviso should be entered along the lines that one or the other side should have been allowed to absorb more step losses before victory could be claimed by the other side.

In a solo-player game, the player may well be happy to get both sides to just blithely advance to contact and have a shoot-em up, but when two players are pitted against each other, then its not so clever to non-sensically advance to your defeat KNOWING FULL WELL ITS GONNA HAPPEN.

The reinforcements are very limited too. In our game, Wayne threw a 6 straight away and thus got them on turn 9 of 20. Even with that, their impact was limited due to the time of travel needed to get to the battle area. Personally, I think the British should be allowed to enter on turn 9 and not be diced for. Meanwhile, the Italians must simply set up in a hedge-hog compact formation and wait for the British advance before blasting at the thinly covered armoured skins with his artillery.

In the end, The Brits waited till they had all their forces available and tried a nibble here and there. The result of this was a mildly entertaining final 5 turns where the British lost a Rolls-Royce Armoured Car step and the Italians lost a step of L3/35's and the miserably cowardly 77mm gun crew pelting off the battlefield as fast as they could.

Neither side attained their VC's, though I guess the Italians probably came closest when needing a 11 for a 2 step hit on an A/C with AT fire, they rolled a 10 ... Oooh, so close.

In the end, a not very surprising DRAW

Rating for this. It was looking like a '1' for the first 15 turns due to the ill thought out VC's and complete lack of meaningful action. However, the interest raised in the last 5 turns added an extra point leaving me to rate it a 'just about a 2'.

I'd recommend bringing on the British reinforcements on turn 9 without any dice rolling and adding 3 step losses and 2 step losses allowed extra to the Italians and British respectively.

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An Honorable Draw?
Author waynebaumber (6)
Method Dual Table Setup + Voice Chat
Victor Draw
Participants vince hughes (AAR)
Play Date 2011-07-06
Language English
Scenario AfKo015

I see no need to add much to Vince's AAR except to agree with his comments. What follows is an extract from the memoirs of Sir Algeron Blewden-Smyth Major 11th Hussars (Rtd) who commanded the armored car company in this action. " I was on patrol with my company in my Rolls-Royce armored car "Bessie" on the Egyptian border when through my binocular's I saw the enemy. A group of obviously lost Italian units ripe for the taking. Tally Ho I radioed to my platoon commanders and off we jolly well charged . Needless to say the wops high tailed it off and then I noticed a larger group of the enemy and they were armed with bloody big guns. I ordered a halt and called up for reinforcements. Eventually the tanks of the 7th Hussar's pitched up and we attacked the now dug in cowering Italians. The plan was that I would flank the enemy with the Rolls Royce's and the tanks would take on the Italian tin cans and machine gun the the artillery crews. This plan worked, nearly, the Italian tanks withdrew very quickly leaving a couple of burning wrecks and the artillery crew ran off as quick as they could. However in my haste for glory we had ventured to close and lost poor old Bertie and his crew to a stray artillery shell. This dampened our enthusiasm a little and we withdrew to the south having given the Eyeties a lesson in fire and movement" In game terms, the isolated Italian units fell back to the main group who had dug in.For the next 12 turns there was little or no action. In the final few turns a flurry of shots resulted in one step loss to the Brits and two to the Italian. Not the most exciting scenario I have ever played.

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