Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

Torch: Allied After Party


The Axis position in Torch is a loser but the victory conditions and point count tend to make it a much closer game. In this case the game came down to that attack on Bizerte, had the Allies failed to take it with the first assault things would only get worse.  So many air units would be aborted that the chances of getting enough thru the flak for a second 3:1 were nearly nil. The Sage Commando Bn can only be used once to nullify the fort’s -1 DRM. So, the Allies manage a “substantial victory” by ending the campaign a month early while suffering minimal losses.

Things the Axis could’ve done and didn’t:

– Contested control of Sfax.  Moving a unit from Sousse to Sfax and back would’ve prevented the Allies from using the port.

– Flying DAS over Bizerte on April I ’43. Something likely would’ve gotten thru, preventing that 3:1, albet at great cost to the Luftwaffe. The Allies would probably have delayed their attack another turn.

– Moving DAK and Italian c/m as far as possible on their turn of entry. Getting these into the Tunisian supply net is vital. I don’t believe the Allies could’ve more than delayed this, but we did enjoy some great February weather. All the non-c/m is going to be lost anyway.

Things the Allies could’ve done and didn’t:

– Take Tunis sooner. Might have doen this a turn earlier had I been willing to take a chance on weather rolls.

– Better use of Sfax. Putting more troops between Tunis and Rommel might have made a difference if the DAK had moved quicker.

– More troops invading at Alger, getting a few more REs closer to Tunis and Bizerte early on.

– Not seeing the Axis could rebuild 21st Pz XX in Bizerte. Just because I wouldn’t do it doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t. Other than bombing out the port I don’t know what could be done about it , and that was a lot of flak to contend with.

Rules:

I’m not a big fan of how the rules and CRT drive the Axis to build a big defensive stack with Panzer divisions and flak in a supply terminal. That’s simply not how teh Germans used them.

Some of the other rules leave a bit to be desired, for example how the Allies have two replacement pools (North Africa and Western Desert) while the Axis have one. This allows the Axis to replace their units eliminated in Libya in either Tunisia or Europe even though they were as seperate from those as Allied forces in WD are from North Africa.

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3 thoughts on “Torch: Allied After Party

  1. Hmmm……

    1) Have you forgotten all the harassment hits you were piling up turn after turn in Sousse?

    2. Like I said before, I declined to fly DAS on that particular turn, but had planned to fly it the very next turn if I had survived, but since you rolled a 6 anyway, this is a moot point.

    It cracks me up when people complain “the Germans never used their armor that way!”, or “this game is ahistorical!”. You know what? The second you move a unit, any unit, the game has become ahistorical. The Germans didn’t use their armor to defend a supply terminal? So? We have 20/20 hindsight. They were also not playing for victory points.

    It’s always easy to point fingers at another’s strategies. Not a single thing you mentioned would have any impact on the game or the game’s results. I think I did pretty well considering that I, as I said at the start, I haven’t played this game in 15 to 20 years, and I’m not very good at this one. I think i stood up pretty well, all things considered.

    I don’t recall that the Allies shipped anything straight to Tunisia during the campaign, let alone all the way to Sfax. Should I complain tha the Allied armies were used in an ahistorical manner?

    You have two lists of things the Axis did wrong.

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  2. alant14 on said:

    Tony, you played well, better than you make out.

    1. Yes, I put harassment hits on Sousse but you had a c/m Rgt that could’ve made it to Sfax and back during those February clear weather turns.

    2. But would I have rolled a 2:1 attack? Probably not. If any Axis DAS flown in Apr I had made it thru I could’ve taken a chance on my AA, but more likely would’ve waited until Apr II and let whatever Axis planes were flyable after the massive Apr I air-to-air battle try a second time, against even more Allied fighters.

    I don’t fault you for using your troops that way, I’d probably do the same. In my opinion the rules should not allow a bombed out port to function as a supply terminal, giving players less incentive to play that way. You of course had stockpiled several turns worth of supply counters, so bombing Bizerte early would be a priority.

    The aim of Europa games should be to provide players with a realistic environment via the rules, maps, OoBs and tables. If in my opinion there is room for improvement that is just the opinion of one player.

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    • I wasn’t trying to offend, which is hard not to do in a written medium. I learned a lot from you in both games, and I appreciate the challenge.

      I do agree with you that if a port is bombed out and ceases functioning, it should not function for anything until it is repaired.

      There is always room for improvement. A historical wargame should be able to function at the level where a historical campaign (i.e., Compass) can be played, BUT, at the same time, allow the exploration of historical options.

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