Leros, Island getaway _ [p2]

Continuing the thoughts and discussion regarding Leros and the considerations for a campaign session;

Special Rules/Variants: For those that may have played the campaign, which special rules if any were you using?

Was Free Setup always chosen for the Brits?

Why is it a given that Germans can change landing zones at will versus where they historically landed, yet the Brits are assumed to have fixed positioning, and need to “convince” the Axis player to allow free setup? Maybe I read too much into the setup instructions there? Does this choice invoke massive imbalance, partial imbalance, no imbalance? How did you address any imbalances?

What happens in game play under some of the various options? I seek your input to maximize the value/entertainment of the game play thru.

It seems the historical setup for the Brits would require you to do a lot of Op Sheet manipulation to get troops to where they are more effective or maybe more effective for covering the Piers and defending the cluster of VP locations on Map B. So the Optional free setup is a must.  We will however restrict the allocation of units to roughly geographically accurate areas.

Did most people use the 4.4 and 4.5 (Italians and Greeks)?  I think I shall.

The alternate scenario start time for the Germans is appealing as well which would negate VC shifts against the British for pulling in some of the variants.

Has anyone used the earlier start time, landed just the Paras/Luft to take out guns, then waited until daylight for landing parties? I don’t see any prohibition against landing at night?

Victory Condition experiences…what are yours?:

The campaign game relies on the winner not losing too many units.  50-100 steps of winners losses are available is a major victory is the desired outcome. Less than 50 for a Strategic victory.

The  Summer 2010 Optional Operations Magazine scenario uses VP’s (Victory Points)to accumulate victory.  This could be an interesting manner to resolve the campaign overall.  Applying the same rules and some value for Coastal Guns acquired on map B ?

All of the scenario Victory Condition hexes are closely  situated and reside on Map B.  Except of course  of Coastal Guns. Designer notes suggest that early victory for the Brits is the only chance. A powerful counter attack to destroy/damage beachheads and limit access to Piers for heavy weapons delivery is required.

Coastal Battery Gun

I can see that either side could sit at one end of the map and either hold for the win or wait until overwhelming force had landed and the defense was pounded down enough by arty and air.

Landing Zone Choices:

The Coastal gunfire table ensure that no landing location will go un-ravaged, except for zone 4,5,15. Each zone has 1 or 2 Fire value, which indicates a 16% chance of taking a hit!

Why is it that the most valued zone 4 (closest to VC locations] only has 2x 76mm?  This encourages shortest route to victory for sure.  This is what got me asking questions about initial landing choices the Germans made.

Whilst Zone 5 is some what excessively steep, (it reminds me of the SemperFi maps!) it provides direct contact to one of the key objectives Mt. Appetici.

Zone 15 offers access to Mt Marcello, not particularly attractive from objectives stand point.

Luft – Why did they land where they landed? Map B contains all of the objectives. It seems to me that the paras would have been more useful landing closer to Coastal guns, to aid landings in Gurna bay?

LZ#4 Historical setup:

7-6/II/65 + 2 Pio has a total of 13 units, across 5 barges -15 unit capacity total.

So historically with 5 barges and one shot from the coastal guns we have a high % chance of limited or no losses [16.6% chance of losing 1 step and aborting that boat load of most likely 2 units.] 83% chance of not taking a hit. So why would the Axis not land en mass in one location closest to VC locations.  By using a holding  force near, along the line of Quaranta –Germano to slow down any response from the UK, would allow them to apply massive force and defeat the Leros area based forces in detail and wrap up the campaign.

LZ#3 drops men at Palma Bay which also offers a steep ascent to the Clidi Ridge, lands the 5-II-65, and 9/10/11 –III-440 and the II-Luft at Mt. Vedetta.  This zone attracts a powerful and deadly fire value of 9 – a 25% chance of a one step loss, with a 1 in 12 chance of a boat sunk.

IF free setup is used, could the resulting Overwatch upon landing in these steep locations be prohibitively costly in terms of steps lost for the Axis?

Do Company 12 the weapons company also land at the same time? I don’t see it in a reinforcement schedule/deployment schedule? I assume it is spread across CO. 9/10/11? Which would account for the excess boat capacity.  – 28 units of portage versus 16 units in co.9/10/11. The additional 8 units for Co.12 round off the numbers.

The final landing group arrives at Zone #13. This group faces 75% chance of a hit in the coastal barrage phase if taken as one massive barrage, and a subsequent 50% chance of sinking a barge altogether. Or taking 4 shots at the group of transports with a 33% or better chance to hit and take at least a step and make the transport boat abort. 4 attacks with a 1/3 chance of a hit means huge step losses if the Brits get 2 abort/Sink results.

Setting Up:

Initial dispositions, if the Brits have free setup, they face the daunting task of keeping the piers free of Axis troops and protecting the VC hexes. Portolago is heavily defended by coastal guns, and has good lines of fire. How have folks defended the South side of this bay and all the Piers there? (Assuming the Italians are in play this will help a lot.)

Establishing a lager as suggested by the Player Notes near or around the axis line of Mt Palma to Mt. Meraviglia would enable support of Leros and a location to stage a reserve force to fight recapture VC hexes as they are lost or stage a early counter attack based upon the Germans initial landing locations.

Parteni Bay is the only other Pier location that could be used.  If this was the allocation chosen by the Germans it means they are fighting the length of the Island (well 2/3s of it) to capture Leros. Clidi Ridge and hill212 then become critical to hold, whilst this is stretching the defense of the British, I doubt even the forces of the Germans could afford the cost of fighting the length of Leros? Perhaps staged landings to pin Brit forces in place?

Is landing SW of Mt Liana an option, heading for the Piers of St Giorgio?  From there a power strike into Leros could be an option?

I assume you can choose to land forces as you deem fit on your own time scale and subject to available transport?  I see in the historical notes that some Kent companies landed as reinforcements. I don’t see that listed in the scenarios anywhere for the ‘campaign’ version?  [EDIT] – I see them with the minsweeper and sub!

I have an invitation for all of you. The invitation is somewhat of a challenge tho. I will post more about this challenge and how it works  soon.

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