Panzer Grenadier Battles on January 23rd:
An Army at Dawn #14 - Ousseltia Seesaw Jungle Fighting #32 - To the Poha
Desert Rats #6 - Night Fight Road to Berlin #21 - Quiet Sector
Jungle Fighting #29 - Mt. Austin: The End
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On the Attack
Blackshirt Division #7
(Attacker) Italy vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Italy 1ª Divisione Corazzata "Mussolino"
United States 1st "Old Ironsides" Armored Division
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for BlDi007
Total
Side 1 0
Draw 0
Side 2 1
Overall Rating, 0 votes
5
4
3
2
1
0
Scenario Rank: --- of 599
Parent Game Blackshirt Division
Historicity Alt-History
Date 1943-04-01
Start Time 22:00
Turn Count 24
Visibility Night
Counters 88
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 2: 77, 78
Layout Dimensions 56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
Play Bounty 172
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 1
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Hill Control
Kill Them All
Conditions
Off-board Artillery
Scenario Requirements & Playability
An Army at Dawn maps + counters
Blackshirt Division counters
Introduction

Blackshirt success south of Enfidaville led to orders from Army Group Afrika to continue the attack and drive the Americans back. The Americans had steadily improved since their early bumbling days at the front, but then, so had the Blackshirts. With their superior armor, they hoped to overwhelm the American defense before the enemy’s own artillery and air power could be brought to bear.

Conclusion

During the Tunisian campaign, Italian Royal troops developed a healthy disregard for American fighting capabilities. In particular, they noted a perceived reluctance of the Americans to fight at night, when the Italians felt they had an advantage. This same prejudice no doubt would have been adopted by the Blackshirts, and it might even have had a kernel of truth to it.


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).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Anti-Tank Gun Carrier: half-track with anti-tank gun, NOT a Tank Destroyer
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Prime Movers: Transports which only transport towed units and/or leaders (May not carry personnel units). May or may not be armored (armored models are open-top). All are mechanized. (SB)
  • Unarmored Weapon Carriers: These are unarmored halftracks (Bufla and Sk7/2) or fully-tracked vehicles (Karl siege mortar) with mounted weapons. All are mechanized, except the BM-13 (Katyusha rocket launcher mounted on a truck). They are weapon units, not AFV's, so they are never efficient and cannot be activated by tank leaders. (SB)

Display Order of Battle

Italy Order of Battle
Milizia Volontaria per la Sicurezza Nazionale
  • Towed
United States Order of Battle
Army
  • Motorized

Display AARs (1)

Political Troops <sigh>
Author Matt W
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2016-07-29
Language English
Scenario BlDi007

The Blackshirt Division that Mike drew up has relatively good morale (usually 8/6) and good weaponry. Granted they aren't too good with the tanks but at least the guns are better than the usual run of the mill Italian tanks. In this scenario the Italians advance under cover of darkness to try to pry the Americans off of some hilltops which command a road. The Americans, in an echo of the narrative included in this section have a lot of artillery in comparison to the Italians and they are not saving shells for later.

The tenor of the scenario was set early as a single American platoon was able to spot and hammer the advancing Blackshirts with artillery and mortar fire causing losses, but even more importantly, several morale failures for the Italian leaders. With a fractured command structure and several reduced platoons the Blackshirts lurched forward and started to scale the heights to the south of the road. Due to the disrupted command structure the initial assault went in without a leader. It was supposed to hold on while reinforcements were brought up. Unfortunately for those troops the bombardment fire walled off the assault hex and a strong counterattack, including Lees ripped through the counterattack. When the Italians brought up tanks a Lee on a hilltop got a lucky hit on a PzIV (P26/42 if I remember correctly) and the dominos began falling.

The Americans quickly knocked out 12 steps and threw back the first assault on the southern hills. The northern hill was being invested by most of the Italian tanks and over half of the infantry but the losses incurred made it impossible for the Italians to pull the win out.

My mistake was in treating the Italian troops as something other than political troops. Had I taken the time to reorganize after the affair with the road bump platoon I would have limited my losses and had a much more coordinated attack. This was my mistake. Add to that some tremendous dice for the Americans and you have a loss for the Blackshirts.

The set up is important for the Americans. A concentrated defense will lead to the ability to hand out heavy losses to the Blackshirts. Meahwhile the Blackshirts must be patient. The victory conditions require them to lose no more steps than the Americans. Rash attacks (like the ones I did) will result in unbalanced losses. I continue to fail the patience requirement.

Meanwhile, the Blackshirts in this case acted like the political troops they were. Despite an 8/6 morale they continually failed their morale checks and poor leadership added to the confusion.

This is a fun and pretty straightforward scenario. It plays well solo but can clearly be played ftf without any reservations.

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