North Africa/Mediterranean War Expansion
- Mediterranean Islands – All of my thoughts in this section essentially have to do with bringing some of those Mediterranean islands into the fighting. Obviously, each game is different, but it’s conceivable that Sicily and Crete see no action in a game without any reason to go there. Malta is already part of one of Italy’s victory objectives, but it seemed like a good opportunity to spice up the importance of Malta in this “Expansion” scenario.
o Crete (Operation Mercury)
Background – The German invasion of Crete in May 1941 was a high cost victory for the Germans, and effectively ended paratrooper operations within the German military. While nothing more transpired in the wake of the invasion, there were two effects.
• 1) The Allies were sure that the occupation of Crete was a prelude to amphibious assaults in Egypt, as the island would be needed for forward airbases to cover any type of assault. Though none ever came, Allied command was on high alert from there on.
• 2) As it turned out, the occupation of Crete, for the Germans, was no more than a shoring up of its southern defenses in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, to begin just over a month later.
Rule – Axis forces must be in possession of Crete to attempt any amphibious assault directly on originally controlled British territory in Sea Zone 81. – My only thought on this one was to bring Crete into the game somehow. It has such an interesting place in the war as the only true German airborne operation that it seemed like a way to force conflict there. While the assaults south never happened in real life, this rule might force the Axis to want to attack Crete, and likewise the Allies to defend it.
o Malta (Operation Herkules)
Background – While ultimately never attempted, the German and Italy armies had plans to invade Malta in mid-1942. Malta proved a massive thorn in the side of Axis shipping in the Mediterranean throughout the war, as air forces from the island were able to disrupt convoys heading from Europe to Africa, and also proved vital to supplying the British in Egypt. While hardly defended early in the war (a missed Axis opportunity for occupation), the Allies were slowing able to build up defense there to maintain a hold on the island to continue.
Rule – As long as there is at least one Fighter, Tactical Bomber, or Medium Bomber stationed on Malta, the British get a “free” convoy raiding roll on the Italian convoy with a modifier of +1 (does not stack for multiple planes). The plane has to take off on its Combat Movement Phase to conduct the convoy raid, it’s just inherently given the convoy raid if a plane started the turn on Malta. The Axis powers cannot attempt interdiction or supply modifiers of their own. It comes down to the standard D6 roll with the Allied +1 modifier, giving them a slight advantage. – My thinking here is that, while a disadvantage to the Axis, this will force the Axis to want to rid itself of the threat since the Axis don’t have any other way to interdict the convoy raiding, and/or cause the Allies to attempt a stronger defense of the island than they may have otherwise. I know Malta is already needed for Italy’s Mediterranean Victory Objective (assuming they go for the three territories needed and not the capital ships aspect of it), but thought this might bring Malta more into the game. I didn’t want to force the British to have to use said plane in the convoy raid, but it might make sense to do that, otherwise they could almost “double-dip” and start the turn on Malta for the convoy raid, but then also use that plane elsewhere in their Combat Movement Phase.
o Sicily (Operation Husky)
Background – The Allies invaded Sicily in July 1943. This served as an initial launching point to the larger invasion of Italy, but was also largely important to protect Allied shipping in the Mediterranean. Allied shipping had been closed for the early parts of the war, due largely to Axis air power stationed on Sicily. The Allies wanted to be rid of this threat to help ensure safe shipping.
Rule - As long as there is at least one Fighter, Tactical Bomber, or Medium Bomber stationed on Sicily, the Italians/Germans get a “free” convoy raiding roll on the British convoy with a modifier of +1 (does not stack for multiple planes). The plane has to take off on its Combat Movement Phase to conduct the convoy raid, it’s just inherently given the convoy raid if a plane started the turn on Sicily. The Allied powers cannot attempt interdiction or supply modifiers of their own. It comes down to the standard D6 roll with the Axis +1 modifier, giving them a slight advantage. – Basically, the same thoughts/ideas as the Malta rule above. Again, I didn’t want to overpower the ability by allowing the plane the free convoy raid, but to then also conduct another Combat Movement. I again just thought this might be a neat way to bring Sicily into the game. Unlike Malta, there is not specific rule already in place (unless I’m misremembering) that would really cause the Allies to invade Sicily and not just bypass. This might force conflict in Sicily on the part of the Allies since they don’t have any other way to interdict the convoy raiding, while also giving the Axis more a reason to want to defend it. I debated for this one allowing a +1 modifier per plane, given the overall stronger Allied convoy line in the Mediterranean, but that seemed too strong given no one can interdict.
North African Warfare
- Nation Specific Rules – I thought finding a way to add North African unique flavor would be fun. I think your new Desert Rules go a long way in that regard in the base game for sure! This is all obviously thought of in the context of an expansion to “spice” up another region. But I wanted to try and color each of the realistic players in the area as having something fun to do in this expansion. France is glaringly omitted, but I think that’s probably to be expected from a historical standpoint!
Background – The German Afrika Korps proved largely effective at times against stronger opposition and despite logistical issues under the command of Rommel.
• The Germans may build Afrika Korps land units for an extra +1 IPP per unit. Only 8 Afrika Korps Units can be on the board at any given time. Destroyed units may be rebuilt.
• While in Africa, units with an Afrika Korps roundel do not suffer the Desert attacking penalty of -1 Attack, and vehicle class units with an Afrika Korps roundel do not suffer the Desert attacking penalty of retreating on a roll of “12”. – My thoughts here largely encompass your existing Afrika Korps Expansion. I obviously didn’t want to list your own rules back to you, but I assume the Afrika Korps rules here of the whole scheme intended. This might be one of those where you’d add your “If using the Afrika Korps Expansion all rules apply here”. And if not using that expansion maybe you just use what I said above re max of 8 units on the board at a time.
Background – The Italian Army had overall command of the North Africa theater of war, given that Axis possessions in Africa were all Italian. A precarious hierarchy of command existed between the Germans and Italians.
• The Italians may build the Littorio & Ariete Divisions at +1 IPP the existing cost, or by upgrading an existing unit at +1 IPP. The divisions much be vehicle class, and only two can be on the board at any given time. Destroyed units may be rebuilt.
o While in Africa, units with the Littorio and Ariete roundels do not suffer the Desert attacking penalty of -1 Attack, and vehicle class units with the Littorio and Ariete roundels do not suffer the Desert attacking penalty of retreating on a roll of “12”.
• At the beginning of their turn, the Italian player may decide to take command of up to 3 German Afrika Korps units in Africa. These units would move and fight with the Italian player as if Italian units, and choses what casualties are taken in combat. On the Germans’ non-combat movement phase, they may decide to take control of their units again. The units could not move in that non-combat movement phase, but would be retained under German control for the next player turn. This rule can happen any time during the game. This ability cannot be used outside of Africa. – Direct inspiration from your Chinese Expeditionary Force rule in the China at War Expansion. Thought it could be a fun way to show joint operations in Africa, while giving a little juice to the Italian player.
• Italian infantry units surrendered in large numbers over the course of the North African campaign, with many not seeing fighting and dying for colonial Libya worth it. On a attack or defense roll of “12”, Italian regular infantry (i.e. not Airborne, Mountain, etc.) units “surrender” and are removed from play as if taken casualty. – I’m not sold on this. But ultimately, I wanted to try and balance out the rules here a bit more and thought this might help the Allies a bit more.
• Background – The British Empire held their North Africa territories in high strategic regard, particularly in defending the Suez Canal for convoy purposes. A multi-national force of Commonwealth nations of English, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, Canadian, and South African units made up units largely made up the British 8th Army (as well as Greek, French, Czech, and Polish units), formed in the Fall of 1941.
• Rule – On the next British turn after being at war with Germany and/or Italy, the British player may option to form the 8th Army in Eastern Egypt.
o The British Empire pays 12 IPP for the formation of the 8th Army. This cost can be split between the Commonwealth Nations any way they see fit, but the FEC and ANZAC have to pay at least 1 IPP each (If playing with the Canada at War Expansion they may also pay towards this cost, but is not forced to like FEC and ANZAC).
Place one each ANZAC (2nd New Zealand Division Roundel), FEC (4th Indian Division Roundel), and South African (1st South African Division Roundel) infantry units in Eastern Egypt. These units are placed “for free” with the scheme, and are not taken from existing units.
Place three other 8th Army roundels (7th British Armored Division, 1st Army Tank Brigade, 4th Armored Brigade) under three existing British units in Eastern Egypt. – I’m obviously implying a set of your great roundels here. I think you actually 5 of 6 of these already, with only a 4th Indian Division roundel missing.
Only six 8th Army units may be on the board at any given time. If an existing 8th Army unit is destroyed, it may be rebuilt at +1 IPP unit cost.
8th Army units have a +1 defense in originally British Territory in Africa.
Long Range Desert Group (LRDG)/Long Range Patrol (LRP)
• Background – The LRDG/LRP were British reconnaissance and raiding units in North Africa formed in mid-1940. These units often operated behind enemy lines and were considered experts in desert navigation. – This ruleset is obviously largely inspired by your Partisans Expansion, and I suppose partly your Special Operations Forces Expansion. Probably would add a line of “If using the Special Operations Forces Expansion, use those rules instead”.
o At the cost of 2 IPP the British player can build the LRDG. If the unit is destroyed it may be rebuilt, but only one may exist on the board at any given time. Can only be used in Africa. It has a movement of 1, attack of 2*, and a defense of 2.
*This attack value can be used to attack IPP instead as defined below.
o The LRDG unit serves as a hybrid Partisan unit, except it can move and has an attack value.
o The LRDG is not affected by Desert Rule combat weaknesses.
o The LRDG may move into an enemy territory on its Combat Movement Phase without making an actual attack and instead moving behind enemy lines and staying there like a Partisan unit would. This unit is able to move even deeper into enemy territory on its next turn if it so desires, regardless of enemy troops stationed in the same territory. It may move towards its own alliances’ territory and any point during its non-combat movement phase.
o The LRDG has the choice of either using its combat value in a standard attack, or it may attempt to attack the territories IPP value instead.
If attacking a territories IPP value, roll a D12. On a roll of “2” or less, the enemy nation must give up IPP to the bank.
o When behind enemy lines, the LRDG may only be attacked by infantry class units. It may, in lieu of a defense roll, fade away, at which point combat ends and the LRDG unit stays in the territory.
o The LRDG disrupts a line of supply and rail movement.
- U.S./Allied Invasion of North Africa (Operation Torch)
Background – The U.S. led Operation Torch had an overall goal of reaching Tunis, and its desired proximity to Sicily. Landings in Morocco and Algeria were only possible, and not further east due to Axis air superiority from Sardinia and Sicily. The Allied objective was to land in those western countries and move east as quickly as possible. Due to uncertainty of what local Vichy forces would do, the Allies ultimately moved too slowly to reach Tunis before the Axis. Alternatively, the Axis forces moved much more quickly than anticipated and dug in around Tunis before the Allies got there, with massive airlifts delivering quick reinforcements to the city, beginning a 6-month defense of the city before evacuating.
• Allied forces cannot amphibiously invade the Tunisia territory. Any landings from the west would have to take place at either Morocco or Northern Algeria.
• On the turn an Allied nation (including Free France) attacks one or both of Morocco/Northern Algeria, the German and/or Italian players may opt to take control of Tunisia regardless of Vichy France’s status.
o Important to note the difference of Free French and other Allied attacks. If other Allies attack Vichy, Vichy would Align with Germany immediately, making this a non-issue. But if only Free France attacks, Vichy would not Align per the rules. This enables the Axis powers to secure the vital port of Tunis regardless of Vichy status.
• The turn an Axis nation takes control of Tunisia (if previously Vichy possessed), place one free fortification. This fortification defends all Tunisia, and not just one particular border (similar to an island or city fortification). If the Axis already possessed Tunisia (i.e. Tunisia turned Free French and was subsequently attacked earlier), then place the fortification as soon as Morocco and/or Northern Algeria are attacked by the Allies.
• The German player also places one free infantry in Tunisia to signify the rapid airlift of force to the city after occupation.