Yesterday, I played my first game of Blitzkrieg Commander vs Mr Scratch (who`s blog can be found in the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp blogroll on the left), a veteran of BKC I and owner of a large late war US army.
The setting was the Invasion of Sicily as this is the only `overlapping` US / Italy army list, the gamesize 1000 points without the random modifiers.
The sun rose in the small village of Licata. American forces of Patton`s 7th army advanced through the streets of the small village. But units of the Italian XVI army corps under general Guzzoni decided to launch a counterattack and push the yankees back to the beaches...
The calm village of Licata
The american force consisted of the CO, an HQ and a Recce car. Supported by two anti tank trucks and two mortar half tracks, the heavy punchers where three Lee tanks (not the heaviest of american tanks, but compared to an M13/40...)
Facing them, the italians had a CO, an HQ, an AB41 recce car, 4 regular infantry units of which two had Solothurms all mounted in trucks, two 47mm AT guns with trucks, an `armoured` arm consisting of two M13/40 and three L3/35 tank(ette)s and a tank hunter contignent consisting of a small Semovente 47 and the impressive Semovente 90.
The italians deployed their infantry and guns all in the orchard, together with the L3s, as the only thing they could actually hurt where the AT trucks of the americans. Teh armoured wing deployed on the main road in a try to circle, or at least preventing them from doing so themselves, the Lee`s opposing them.
The italians commenced with a slow but steady advance over this road, but poor command (I had 3 out of 8 turns that I managed to fail to give an order to any unit, and a total of 9 blunders...) made this a rather ramshackle advance. In the meantime, the L3s started a dash forward in a desperate attempt to take out the AT trucks.
The americans from their side obliterated the 47mm guns with the mortar halftracks, guided by their recce troop.
The americans, refusing to take on the flank with the Semovente 90, started to pile their forces towards the centre, and using an awful lot of firepower before finally taking out the AB 41...
The L3s, despite losing one of their number, had managed to destroy both american AT trucks, and fell back into the orchard in an attempt to play cat and mouse with the Lee`s that where drawn there. The mortars bombed a fucilieri unit to pieces, casuing them to fall back through their troops and scattering them to the four points of the compass...
The americans started to enter the orchard at the start of turn 8, but we decided to call it quits here, the italian slow armour not being able to catch up, and the L3s and infantry being able to play cat and mouse in the field would result in the americans not being able to reach my breakpoint before the 10 turn limit would run out...
The counterattack had failed abmissally, and Patton`s forces pulled through the village into the soft underbelly of the axis...
American Losses: 200 points, 2 away from their BP of 4
2x SPAT 75mm GMC
Italian Losses: 340 points, 2 away from their BP of 7
2x 47mm AT gun
1x M13/40 Medium tank
1x L3/35 tankette
1x Regular infantry unit with solothurm upgrade
All in all a game I highly enjoyed. You just know playing italians that victories really have to be celebrated as they are quite rare (historically: none at all), but if I draw the comparison with Future War Commander, this system makes for a far more `thinking man`s game` then it`s scifi equivallent, due to:
* the split weapon stats making some weapons useless against certain types of troops (no infantry kills all for example or uber tankness of 350 points that nukes everything)
* The restrictions on troops due to the historical match up table. This of course provided if people stick by them...
* The basic unbalanced-ness of army materielle as it was
* The general lack of saving throws or very low values of them and the lack of stabilizers, making you, unlike in FWC think twice before rushing armour forwards and blast away.