Thursday, January 30, 2014

More Operation Husky

I'm really enjoying Battles in Italy. Enough so that I'm pretty sure I'll be picking up a number of the other SSG games using this engine. After playing enough to grasp the mechanics I started a new game to play all the way through the Operation Husky scenario.

Here are a few scenes from the first days of the invasion.

The American beachheads on July 10th, 1943. 3rd ID, a Ranger battalion and some engineers have landed at  Licata in the west, the 1st ID at Gela in the center, and 45th ID around Scoglini to the southeast. The 82nd Airborne has landed inland from the Gela beachhead to screen the landings from the high ground to the north. This is more or less the historical disposition of the landings.

And here are the British 8th Army landings. The Canadian 1st and British 51st Infantry land on the Pachino Peninsula and will advance on Ragusa to link up with the Americans. The 50th and 5th Infantry land close to Avota and will move to take Syracuse.

Right away, the Italians counter-attack. The troopers of the 82nd hold the line.

After the 3rd ID clears Licata, the 1st ID and Darby's Rangers take Gela.

By D-Day+2 Axis troops are concentrating on the high ground above the Gela coastal plain. Here the Big Red One and elements of the 82nd engage an Italian Infantry regiment supported by three Mobile Groups of armor. Concentrating your forces is essential to have any hope of a decisive combat, but you can't strip too many troops away from your defensive line to do so.

Meanwhile 50th Infantry assaults Syracuse with the support of significant artillery.

The British and American beachheads are about to link up south of Ragusa. XIII Corps is poised to advance north against Augusta and Catania.

The advance of 8th Army has been essentially unopposed so far and is more or less conforming to how things went historically. On the American side I've concentrated my divisions much closer together than was actually the case due to my concern about the Axis troops massing to the north. I've probably over compensated and would be better off swinging 3rd ID out to the west and 45th ID more toward Ragusa as actually happened.

I'd say that so far Battles in Italy is accomplishing exactly what I wanted. The scale is just right for understanding the overall operation. I'm playing at about the speed I'm reading, making the game very nice for helping me visualize what's going on in Bitter Victory.