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Addis Ababa - Djibouti Railway I
Conquest of Ethiopia #31
(Defender) Italy vs Ethiopia (Attacker)
Formations Involved

Overall balance chart for COOE031
Side 1 0
Draw 0
Side 2 1
Overall Rating, 1 vote
Scenario Rank: --- of 598
Parent Game Conquest of Ethiopia
Historicity Historical
Date 1936-07-05
Start Time 16:00
Turn Count 24
Visibility Day & Night
Counters 28
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 2: 88, 91
Layout Dimensions 56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
Play Bounty 158
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 1
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Kill Them All
Urban Assault
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Conquest of Ethiopia maps + counters

Immediately following his conquest of Addis Ababa, Marshal Badoglio resigned his post and returned to Italy. Mussolini awarded the Viceroy position to Graziani, and promoted him Marshal of Italy. The new Viceroy faced acute internal disorder within his area of responsibility. But expectations at home ran high that he would check the rebels, given his former success in crushing the Libyan guerrillas during the 1920s. One of his initial priorities involved securing the Addis Ababa – Djibouti railway which brought in significant supplies and trade goods, and suffered frequent guerrilla attacks allegedly supported from the French colony at Djibouti. A series of clashes along this line started with the derailing of a train beside the Zalalacà outpost. The new government made several attempts to free the besieged troops in the following two days.


Several hours after the fighting began, a small Italian relief force departed by train from the village of Lasabbas. However, the Ethiopians derailed the train very close to the besieged detachment, forcing the relief force to join the outpost’s defenders. The Ethiopians had no explosives or hand grenades, but piled debris on the tracks to force the derailment. During the night another small platoon tried to help the besieged by departing from Lasabbas on foot. Unfortunately for them, the Ethiopians intercepted and encircled them, forcing the Blackshirts to entrench inside a wadi. The Italians very much feared being taken prisoner by Ethiopian rebels and fought to the death. Only two Blackshirts managed to escape. The following day Console Galbiati, the commander of the 219th Legion, arrived with a motorized company to relieve the beleaguered garrison. Although injured in the skirmishing, Galbiati managed to repress the local rebellion but uncoordinated disturbances continued through the 17th.

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).

Display Order of Battle

Ethiopia Order of Battle
Imperial Irregulars
  • Foot
  • Leader
  • Foot
Italy Order of Battle
Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale
  • Foot
  • Motorized

Display AARs (1)

Impossible Task
Author Hugmenot
Method Solo
Victor Ethiopia
Play Date 2016-02-12
Language English
Scenario COOE031

Played solitaire in 90 minutes.

I love the situation but the victory conditions do not work in my opinion.

The Italians have 5 units (including 2 reduced) and the Ethiopian 13. The Italians can only win if they control all 4 village hexes and the Ethiopians will win if hey control the single village hex on board 88. The scenario thus become a fight for that hex.

The Provincial Irregulars move towards the village at full movement speed while the Imperial Irregulars wait on the tracks to hopefully derail the train. Italian opportunity fire from the village was mostly ineffective. The Italians load one unit onto the train and the train goes full steam ahead towards the village.

The Italians win the initiative and disrupt two units The Imperial Irregulars respond by sending 3 units and a leader into the village. And there lies one problem: until reinforcements arrive, the Italians will have first fire on the 5-column or the 9-column if the leader has a 1 combat factor). The Italians missed and the Ethiopians attack on the 18-column (3 x 3 strength + leader + Ethiopian ferocity).

The issue becomes whether the Italians can reinforce the village quickly enough to keep it from falling into Ethiopian hands. In my play they did not even come close with the village falling on Turn 10 and the Italians having one step left at that point. I did not want to play the remaining 14 turns as I can't see a one-step unit being able to contest one of the village hexes on board 91.

Note that it may been possible for the Italians to vacate the village on board 88 and try to re-enter it late in the game with a unit load in a train. Maybe it's possible to achieve a draw this way.

Anyway, Ethiopian Major Victory and I gave the scenario a "2".

I think it's an interesting situation and would be curious of the result if the victory conditions were changed as follows:

Italian Major Victory: Contest or control the village hex on bard 88 at the end of play AND control more board 91 village hexes than the Ethiopians at the end of play. Italian Minor Victory: Contest or control the village hex on bard 88 at the end of play OR control more board 91 village hexes than the Ethiopians at the end of play. Ethiopian Minor Victory: Control the village hex on bard 88 at the end of play AND control more board 91 village hexes than the Italians at the end of play. Ethiopian Major Victory: Control all village hexes at the end of play/

Tied victory levels or any other result is a draw.

Maybe I will give it a shot tonight.

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