Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Torch: Axis Post Game Show

And that’s all she wrote

The Allied air forces took a beating over Bizerte, just as I expected, but I came up two airplane counters shy of knocking Alan to a 2:1 attack. The Me-109G interceptor that I threw up failed to take anything down. The three Fw-190s were sent back, having been torn up by the Allied escorts.

In the end, 2:1, 3:1, it would have made no difference. Alan rolled a 6 when he needed it most, and that was the end of the Axis in Africa.

Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, there will be no return match.

It was, by no stretch of the imagination, the exciting game I envisioned before we started. I got a couple of punches in, but I felt handcuffed from nearly the beginning when the 7th Panzer Regiment was sunk in transit. It took a long time before that could be replaced.

Then I started to play poorly, leaving a bunch of units out there in Beja, just begging to be killed.

I don’t think I moved Rommel fast enough to prevent him from being caught. I think I put too much emphasis on staying near the supplies instead of getting closer to the all important supply terminals.

Great weather rolls helped the Allies a great deal in trapping Rommel’s forces. There was no rain for a long period of time, and it allowed the Allies freedom of mobility to get around southern Tunisia and trap Rommel.

I also think moving troops to Sousse was not a good move. I built an airfield, then had to sit there and deny it to the Allies. After the game was over, it was discovered that Sousse is a woods hex. Huh. Trees in Tunisia. Who woulda thunk it? My eyes aren’t what they used to be, and both Alan and i missed the woods, where airfields can’t be built.

After Tunis fell, I essentially abandoned those troops to their fates. I made no effort to repair the port and get them out of there.  I made no effort to move them at all.

The power base is around Bizerte. I think all Axis efforts should be concentrated there. By ignoring Tunis, until enough troops have been built up, and not turning it into a supply terminal, in the end, the Axis can deny the Allies 5 victory points. And in a game where only a few points determines the outcome of the game, 5 VPs is a lot.

Alan won a substantial victory, but it could have, should have been worse for me. The Axis achieved 75.5 VPs, and that was only because I held out for 6 turns.

Another thing to consider is that after the Axis have a substantial build up in Africa, pull the airborne troops out of Africa. Keep them near the transports. This not only creates the threat that they might be used for something, but it also keeps them out of the replacement/eliminated pool, where they are worth 3 VPs each, because they cannot be replaced. There are some that can’t be saved, like the Italian air landing division, but you save what you can.

Major lesson learned concerning the Vichy in Morocco and Tunisia.  When I played this game in the past, we fought the Vichy. That’s just what we did, and that’s how I set them up. When I got my freebie move, I reinforced one of the major cities. Alan tiptoed around them, intending on using them later. That’s one of the great advantages of hindsight. Alan knew they would likely join the Allied cause, but his historical counterparts didn’t.

So, instead of hoping the Vichy would join the Axis, i should have operated on the assumption that they would not, and sent the Vichy air force out to intercept, and should have kept the fighters closer to the coastline. Lesson learned.

Alan taught me a lot of things. Things like keeping fighters in the rear, just in case. Of keeping troops in the rear to deal with any surprises. We never did that when I was younger and first learning how to play these games, and we never attempted to land in each other’s rear areas. We were young and having fun fighting at the front. Now I am much older and it is time to learn.

However, all is not negative. Unlike Narvik, I still have a pretty good grasp of the rules, even after not playing for 15 to 20 years. It is encouraging.

With that, this campaign comes to a close.  My dance card is now empty.

I’m on my way back to Germany for execution.



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2 thoughts on “Torch: Axis Post Game Show

  1. 29delta on said:

    All in all thought this was a good effort. You, for example, stayed alert to you winning chances and played them out to the very end. Even if it is just cardboard that Allied build up is intimidating. Alan did play a very good game. In fact his game was far cleaner than the historical events. It would be interesting to compare Allied losses in the game to those historical. I suspect the Allies in the game did far better. Much of this can probably be chalked up to 20/20 hindsight. The American Army was just plain clumsy at this time in the war. How could it not be? They had had division counts of this magnitude at the end of WWI, but the armor, rapid deploy arty (which looked damned good historically, even if not the supple and massively destructive force it would soon become) and all that air power, who knew? None of the American’s no way.

    As to the game, it’s great to revisit the old ways. But, wow, does this era of game look cranky and limited now. I can see so much Avalon Hill in it, but, still, just how much better the Europa System was.

    This is the era of SPI starting to really dig in and change things. So much of what was to come starts with SPI, after all. It was kicking out a new game every 2 months or so and while they were sometimes so raw as to be unplayable, still, concepts came out that stick to this day. That much experimentation at that rate of speed remains impressive.

    Nope, not arguing, the old ways are still best. But their ain’t no shame in respecting the efforts that formed the basic building blocks of what we are hoping to see today.


    • There were many times I wanted to just give up, but I decided that I wanted him to earn his victory. Maybe, just maybe, I could hold him to a marginal victory. I didn’t, but i did the best i could, although I’m sure I could do better given another try.


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