Advanced Squad Leader scenario FT227 Damsels in Distress After Action Report (AAR)
This is November 19 1940. The Greeks were counterattacking and the Italians were on the retreat towards Albania. In a village close to the Albanian border, the Italian 23d Divisione Fanteria “Ferrara” kidnapped some school girls and so a Greek elite light infantry unit (2/39th Evzone Regiment) as well as the local villagers went on a desperate rescue mission. (The map above is from “Battle of Greece” in Wikipedia.)
Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations
The Greeks need to clear two specific buildings of unbroken Italian MMC and make sure 2 (of 3) OB given Prisoner counters are not stacked with Italian Guards in 6.5 turns. There’s an interesting wrinkle in this scenario as well : when any of the Greek Evzone reaches level 3 terrain and have LOS to any building on Overlay 6 (that sits on board 42), Greek partisans appear in building hexes not in/adjacent to Italian units. The type of units that appear is random and while these partisan units can’t form multi location firegroups and cower like Green troops, they can self rally and declare Hand-to-Hand (“axes & pitchforks”, according to the Historical Result.)
Ground Snow’s in effect so going up / down the hill costs an MP extra per level. The Greeks can bypass the board 58 hill entirely and rush straight to the village but they won’t get the partisans (villagers) to show up. They can attack up the hill to get to level 3 but that will take time out of the 6.5 turn limit. The Italians has a 2 pt difference in morale to the elite Greek troops and are unlikely to stand up to a standing gunfight. If they can keep all the Greeks on the proper side of the board 58 hill by long range support weapons and keep the villagers from appearing til Turn 4, they can relocate the school girls. They can’t unfortunately, bring them off the board. I am curious about the way the Victory Condition is written though : “.. if >= 2 OB-given Prisoner squad counters are not stacked with Italian Guard(s).” Perhaps if all the Prisoner squads are eliminated by the Greeks, this VC can be met for they are indeed “not stacked with Italian Guard(s)”?
After Action Report
The Greeks showed no signs of wanting to do an end run around the hills! By the neat row of Greek troops you can see the 2-2 from Italian defenders weren’t even a distraction for these gallant men. Meanwhile we broke our mortar and our LMG. Our MMG didn’t do much either and so we dismantled them in case they need to rout. But you know what? Our elite 2-4-7 didn’t break, it boxcar’d during Rally. So we left the Greek a nice MMG, neatly folded, inside a foxhole. We made sure we ducked into the gully so we could rout along the gully. We thought it’s high time that the Greeks leave us behind and head for the village. There’s not much we could do from there anyway. We maintained minimal firepower above ground and so we were pleased that the Greeks came in after us. See where that gully goes into? Woods-Gully. That would cost the Greeks when they come through.
A Greek squad reached level 3, had LOS into the village, and ..
.. the Village People appeared!! They went into a few HtH and the results weren’t pretty for the Italians (pitchforks ARE pointy). The problem also was that the more hexes the Italians vacate, the closer new village people appeared. The hill top Italians were now “gully bottom” Italian but they still had the Greeks in front of them, paying extra to get down the hills.
If you notice, we relocated the school girls to the top left of the map. One of the VC building was already cleared of Italians. The other one had a concealed 7-0 standing in the corner pretending to be a full squad. While all that’s going on, the Italian reinforcements appeared and sneaked to the west edge (top) of the map. They need to get to the target building ASAP.
More village people appeared!
As we open up the last of the Italian turn, the Italians won one significant CC near the schoolgirls, killing off the village elder and a HS of peasants. Other villagers made a bit for the last VC building but got repulsed by a show of rare Italian firepower (it went above 2!). The Greeks streamed towards the village but it’s apparent it would be tough to free the school girls and break / CC the Italians in the last VC building.
The Greeks conceded.
How’s this Scenario Interesting?
There are quite a few tactical choices for both the Greeks and Italians. The Greeks had to be mindful of the extra MF’s Ground Snow burns off their time table if they elect to take the hill en masse. The mechanism by which the villagers appear was interesting as well. The Italians had to spread out to stop them from spawning in certain places but in doing so, couldn’t mass their firepower to break the Partisans before they get into CC (which they don’t want).
FT230 Italian Behemoth is next.