Torch PBEM: Axis Jan II 43
After a long road trip to the frozen south, I have returned, just like MacArthur promised I would.
While I was gone, I had nothing to do but reading, a lot of reading. Flipping through old Europa magazines, and even here on this blog, I have seen references to “coastal shipping”, how Allied naval interference is only allowed against shipping from Europe to Africa, not Africa to Africa, and how non divisional units (except battalions, AA and artillery) have zones of control in weather zone F only. That last one gave me hope until I could get home and reference it.
Sadly, I can find nothing in the rules that I have that supports any of those assertions.
The rains continue to pour in weather zone E, causing problems not just for the Allies, but the Axis as well. All attacks that I would like to make in northern Tunisia have to be cancelled because the mud is too much to slog through.
But the Axis have had a problematic theme in this game; the inability to form a division, just like the Americans. Starting with the panzer regiment that was sunk off the coast of Tunisia (a major component of the 10th Panzer Division), now the 334th Infantry Division has arrived in Tunisia in its entirety. That is, except for the HQ unit which was chased back to Europe by the Allies. So, another division has to wait again before it can be assembled, further delaying my offensive plans.
Axis air crews have failed to get the aborted FW-190s operational again, just like the Italian air crews have been unable to get their aircraft operational, and the construction of the airfield in Sousse has been delayed due to rain. So much delay that the combat engineer regiment in Sousse that was responsible for getting the port facilities operational again had to be pulled off that job and sent to the airfield to help get it completed.
Meanwhile, the Allies are attempting to block Rommel’s supply lines, and a step of supply is spent to keep them in supply. The motorized forces are sent north along the road, being harassed by Allied pilots along the way, and the Italians are left behind speedbump duty as Rommel’s’ mechanized forces race north. The time is drawing closer when the Axis will whip out the “+2 due to Allied inexperience and American command issues” to teach these whelps who they are dealing with.
Rommel drives north, making contact with the Americans for the first time, sitting astride his supply lines, just north of Gabes.
Meanwhile, the rains must have flooded the trunks lines of all Axis communications, because the flight orders end up all garbled, and almost all fighters fly escort over Tunis, while most of the defensive air support there as well. It was not intended to be like that, but I had some major transcription errors and put the wrong hex numbers down in the sheet, ending with a single Hs-129B attack bomber flying lone air support over Bizerte, escorted by three Me-109s. The attack bomber is aborted and sent back to Cagliari, while one of the Me-109Fs is downed over the Mediterranean. All pilots were lost.
I take that back, it was the pilots over Tunis instead of Bizerte that were lost.
I honestly don’t think this game is going to last much longer, especially if I keep making the repeated silly mistakes. My incompetence is staggering to me. I used to think that I was pretty decent at these games, but I find that I am clueless, especially at Torch. I still have an ace up my sleeve, but I think that in the end, not even that is going to save me.
That’s two turns in a row that the Axis have not surrendered. +10 more victory points, bringing the Axis total to +20.