Prelude: The Wal Wal Incident
Conquest of Ethiopia #2
|(Defender) Italy||vs||Ethiopia (Attacker)|
|Overall Rating, 5 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 193 of 598|
|Parent Game||Conquest of Ethiopia|
|Visibility||Day & Night|
|Maps||4: 88, 89, 90, 91|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 56 cm
34 x 22 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Conquest of Ethiopia||maps + counters|
On the Ogaden plateau, in a disputed border area between the colony of Italian Somaliland and the Ethiopian province of Hararshe, Italian colonial troops (Dubats) and Ethiopian regulars and mercenaries conducted several days of show-of-force activities trying to intimidate each other. After some weeks of threat and counter-threat, shooting broke out, with each side blaming the other for starting hostilities.
The outnumbered colonial Dubats fought bravely, assisted by a small number of Italian tanks and armored cars whose crews fought with fanatical zeal. The Ethiopian advance on the fort was thrown back, and during the night a lone L3/35 entered the Ethiopian cantonment, harassing the enemy until the following morning when it ran low on ammunition. The next day the Ethiopian Imperial troops retreated, leaving the mercenaries behind. Several months later this event served as the casus belli for the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
Italian forces have special rules for "low ammunition" status
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|Conquest of Ethiopia, scenario #2: Prelude: The Wal Wal Incident|
Conquest of Ethiopia, scenario #2: Prelude: The Wal Wal Incident
A nice looking, odd situation, scenario. I had to play this, it just looked too cool, 4 maps, the victory conditions where both sides can defend or attack, or both. I the Ethiopians have to go conquer Italian forts or eliminate more Italian steps then they lose. The Italians can win by holding one fort hex or by going and conquering one Ethiopian encampment hex. So certainly the Ethiopian side has it harder and must take more risk. Both sides get reinforcements but the Italian get a lot of air-support and some light armor, as the Ethiopian have a ton of Infantry type of units including Imperial Regulars & Provincial Irregulars but the Italian led Colonial troops (Dubats) (BAN) have a much better morale.
The battle is spread out over all four maps, so there is a lot of movement. In fact the first shots fired didn’t happen until turn four by the Italian air-force. The Ethiopians move a little over half of their forces forward to go after the Italian forts while still leaving a large portion behind to defend their encampment hexes which are many. Somewhere In the middle of the map the Italians and Ethiopians do battle, then the Ethiopians enforcements enter from the south and the Italian L3/35 & Lancia armored car enter from the east. Separate groups spread-out throughout the maps doing battle.
In the end the huge amounts of Italian air-power was telling and the low morale of the Ethiopians was hard to recover unit. This game needed more Demoralized & Disrupted counters. The Italians controlled three out of the four fort hexes and only needed to control one for a minor victory. They attempted to get at least one Ethiopian encampment hex for a major victory but failed and by chance lost the Lancia armored car units to the only gun unit on the map, a 37mm IG. The Italians didn’t want to lose their minor victory and pulled back their unsupported L3/35 out of harm’s way. The Italians lost 8 steps while the Ethiopians lost 9 steps and had many more demoralized, so they did not fulfill any victory conditions. The Italians win a minor victory.
I maybe should have not saved so many resources protecting the Ethiopian encampment hexes but still, those forts are difficult to conquer with low morale units and the Italian air-force pounding them in the open desert. But I love playing this wide open scenario and unique situation and would even be willing to play it again.
|Regia Nautica saves the day|
The second scenario of CoE was actually a prelude and serves as one of the earliest dated scenarios in the PG universe (December 6, 1934).
This scenario represents some of the pre-invasion border tension between the Italian colonial forces and the Army of Ethiopia. After weeks of posturing, armed conflict ensued, serving as the cause (excuse) for the Italian invasion.
In this scenario, a large force of Ethiopian Regulars and provincial irregular mercenaries attack an Italian border fort in the disputed area between Ethiopia and Italian Somalia. The Italian colonials are heavily outnumbered and short on ammo, but their morale is superior and their positions are all dug in or fortified.
The Ethiopians attacked on a broad front, led by the Irregulars (Ali Nur Mercenaries). The Ethiopian battle plan called for the mercs to lead the advance, absorb casualties and protect the regulars long enough to close the gap between their start point and the Italian defenses. They got off well, advancing quickly and maintaining good order as they closed in on the entrenched colonials. Fortunately for the Italians, just as the Ethiopians came into view, the air force became available and struck with incredible accuracy and ferocity. Over the course of 6 turns, each of the Ethiopian assault columns were disrupted by well placed direct fire. While casualties were minimal, the brittle morale of the Ethiopians made attack coordination exceedingly and increasingly difficult. The Italians were even able to shift over to the offensive and turned the Ethiopian defeat into a rout, harrying the Ethiopians with their armored cars.
These early war scenarios lack OBA or any kind of effective fire against tanks or aircraft. The technological advantage of Italian arms would continue to reign supreme and would eventually deliver Ethiopia into the Italian sphere of influence, but not without heavy losses in battles yet to come.