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Allied AAR: A Route to Ribera or "A Bridge Too Far" (CMPzC)

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+1 to all the above. This is very cool watching the difference in decision making you see in a scenario when you know there are implications at the OP layer. It's not quite the same as just having victory conditions in a scenario. So when is the next installment? :D

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@Kuderian, Thanks! So do I.. really cool that we have and are about to run this campaign the distance!

@Frankster65, c3k, sburke, Thanks! I really like the "depth" that is added by the strategical aspect. Id love to see more players join in :)


Time to take a look at the strategic situation. We are now at turn 7 of 11 in the PzC scenario. So the campaign has been going for 16 hours (20:00 19 July 1943 - 12:00 20 July 1943. Turns are two hours except for during the night where they are a bit longer.). It has so far resulted in 8 or 9 CM battles.

So as mentioned, time is 12:00 hours 20 July 1943. Below is a overview of the current situation.


Green units are US, Brown units are UK, Grey units are German, Yellow units are Italian. The color inside the unit box indicates what unit it belongs to (pink for 504th PIR as an example). Its only visible if close to enemy units.

Red 1: Elements of the 104th Regiment of the 15th Panzer-Grenadier Division has just seized the vital road bridge over the Verdura river (Victory point location worth 300 points). These units have been engaged during the morning ours with US 3rd Ranger Bn and elements from the 509th PIR. The Allied force linked up at the VPL but was just forced to leave it as they conducted a fighting withdrawal to get away from the Wehrmacht might. I dont expect the Axis to move any further. They will probably dig in and hold their ground here. Their commander has proven to think outside the box before so I cant let my guard down though..

Red 2: Other Elements of the 104th Regiment, 15 PzGren Div have moved into Ribera proper together with strong elements from the XII Corps. The latter made up by Italian elite Bersaglieri and Engineer units. These forces will probably also start to dig in to defend Ribera, the main city in the area (VPL worth 200 VPL).

Blue 1: Weak elements of the 3rd Ranger Bn have located and are in pursuit of the Italian 202 Coastal Div HQ. The Rangers are outnumbered by 2:1 but I'm convinced that their quality in training and equipment as well as better morale will see them prevail. A Div HQ unit.. a truly nice scalp if the Rangers are able to pull this off. The Rangers are supported by the heavy guns of HMS Ulster (Cruiser). The ship can only fire at units very close to the coast (units it can see itself) as its liaison officers on land have all been killed in fighting earlier this morning. That is a big blow as those guns would have been vital in the attack on Ribera (another really cool thing with this OP layer).

Blue 2: A weak unit form 504th PIR are pursuing a weak Italian Coastal defense unit. These units have been engaged earlier during the morning hours when the Italian unit assaulted a 75 mm Pack Howitzer battery that was reinforced and saved by said paras. This is a moping up operation and both sides are about platoon strength.

Blue 3: Combined force of Rangers from 3rd Bn and Paras from 504th PIR have been evicted from the Verdura River VPL hex. They are moving 2 KM to safety to get some rest, wait for reinforcements and then counterattack the Germans.

Blue 4: Sherman tanks (66th Bn/2nd Armored Div - Hell on wheels) and Motorized Engineers (US provisional Corps) are moving up to reinforce and prepare the counterattacks on Verdura river crossing and Ribera.

Blue 5: More reinforcements from 2nd Armored Div and 3rd (Marne) Infantry Div are moving up to support the counterattack to be mounted as soon as possible. I have also moved up a battery of 105 mm howitzers across the bridge. They will now have time to set up and hopefully be ready to support the counterattack (they are just in range for both VPLs).

Blue 6 & 7: Paras from 504th PIR and Stuarts from 2nd Armored Div are moving up to attack Ribera. The paras are weakened as they have been fighting for the better part of the morning and night. They where essential in securing the river crossing and VPL over the Maggazola River. I had hoped they could be relieved by now but I have not been able to get more reinforcements to their aid. Luckily they are a elite formation.

Blue 8: A Company sized engagement as US infantry from L Coy, 3rd Bn, 7th Inf Regt, 3rd Inf Div are about to assault a weak coy of Italian Coastal defense inf. The Italians are dug in with foxholes.

I call assaults for 1,2 and 8. But neither will be fought in CM. According to our rules its always the defender who decides if a battle will be fought in CM or be resolved in PzC. This as its often the defender that might come in situations that are loop sided, and as the attacker decided to attack he will likely think its a good idea to fight it out in CM.


Moves finalized for turn 8, time is 14:00 hours July 20. Its time for Allied assaults.

The drawback of fighting a battle in PzC is that the defender must lower the units defensive value to 4. This will make it weak. And it will in all but some cases go the attackers way. The results can still be varied. Its not given that the attacker is able to take the hex he is assaulting. What is pretty certain is that the defender will suffer more casualties than the attacker. I think this is a great way to handle many situations. If you feel a battle wont be good CM material then have it resolved in PzC, but the attacker and CM action is encouraged as the defender will be at a disadvantage. Still it works good enough so that week units can hold off (for a limited time) and act as blockers to buy time. I have to say its a great solution!

The results for the PzC resolved battles: 1 & 2 are won by the Allied forces, they inflict low casualties but don't take any themselves. They are not able to destroy the Axis forces involved as they are just to small to maneuver and catch the enemy. This will likely continue to be a cat and mouse game.

Battle 8, is won by the Allies, the Axis force is destroyed and the Allies take low casualties. The mopping up operation is completed and this unit can now start to move toward the main front line.

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Time is now 16:00 July 20 1943 (Turn 9 of 11 in the PzC scenario).


Blue 1: Elements of the 3rd Ranger Bn are still in pursuit of the Italian 202 Coastal Div HQ up the Route 115. Bound to attack them again. I think my opponent will continue to refuse this as a CM battle so it will be another attack resolved in PzC. It will be hard to destroy the unit as it is outnumbering me but hopefully we will be able to disrupt it, which will weaken all units under its command.

Blue 2: The cat and mouse game continues for a third time. Will not be fought in CM. I believe this will be the end of the Italian unit.

Blue 3 & 4: More units and men as well as HQ units from 3rd Inf Div and 2nd Armored Div are moving up into locations close to Ribera and the Verdura River bridge to prepare the Allied assault. The final location for 4 is right next to the enemy. Fire is exchanged taking a heavy toll on the Engineers from Bridge Bn, Provisional Corps. They are reduced to 70% without any assaults taking place.

Blue 5: The weakened 504th PIR are finally getting some reinforcements. They are joined by motorized 82nd Recon Bn of the 2nd Armored Div (Coy strength) as well as by 10th Engineer Bn of 3rd Inf Div (Coy strength). There are also some light AT guns from 3rd Inf Div. Unfortunately the infantry from 3rd Inf Div (a Coy from 3rd Bn) still have 4-5 KM to traverse before they will reach the 504th PIR.

Blue 6: A big part of 3rd BN, 7th Inf Reg, 3rd Inf Div (2 Coy) are done with their mopping up operation. They have a long way to go to reach the front and have probably played out their role in this operation.

Assaults 1 & 2 was played out in PzC. Both ending with the Allies taking the assaulted hex with minimum casualties, the Axis forced to evict the hex with low casualties.


Time is now 18:00 hours 20 July 1943. Turn 10 of 11 in the PzC scenario.

We are about to have one big showdown. The Allied forces have finally been able to reorganize and move in for what hopefully will be the killing blow, securing both Ribera and the Verdura River bridge.


Blue 1: Another assault for elements of 3rd Bn against the Coastal Defense HQ unit. Will not be fought in CM and I hope this will result in the destruction of the 202nd Coastal Defense HQ unit.

Blue 2: The cat and mouse game continues. A platoon from 504th PIR are once again attacking the weak Italian Coastal defense unit of similar size. This will probably not go to CM either, even though the Italians now are in a hex with fortifications (trenches & wire). I hope I will finish it of this time.

Blue 3: Assault on Verdura River bridge. To be fought in CM. The Paras of 504th PIR and Rangers of 3rd Bn are reinforced by 2nd Inf Bn of 7th Inf Regt. They are also joined by stragglers from 504th PIR as well as by Shermans from 2nd Armored Div. They are supported off map by two batteries of 75mm pack howitzers.

They are up against the PzGrens from 15th PzGren Div. Supported by their HQ unit and Grille SPA. The Germans have had time to dig in (foxholes).

Blue 4: 1st Inf Bn, 7th Inf Regt are attacking Ribera proper together with Sherman tanks of 2nd Armored Div and Enginners from Bridge Bn, Provisional Corps. They are supported By USS Buck (DD) and a battery of 105 mm howitzers. The US are opposed by PzGren from 15th PzGren Div as well as Italian Engineers and Bersaglieri from XII Corps. The Axis are heavily dug in with trenches. They have already withstood some bombardment from howitzers and USS Buck. Will be fought in CM.

Blue 5: Just to the NW of central Ribera, Paras from 504th PIR are attacking NW Ribera to cut off and destroy the Italian units from XII Corps defending the German flank. The paras are reinforced by Stuarts from 2nd Armored Div and by Engineers from 3rd Inf Div. Off map support by a weakened 75 mm pack howitzer battery. Unfortunately the Recon Coy from 2nd Armored have taking fire from the enemy and been disrupted so they cant take part in the assault. A setback but I believe we still have enough strength to pull it off.

The Axis force consists of Engineers and Bersaglieri of XII Corps and AT guns from 15th PzGren Div. Will be fought in CM.

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The campaign is reaching its culmination. Now some images of Ribera, one of the Allied main objectives in the campaign. The city is about to be assaulted by the American forces from two directions.


This is the main map, it will be split in two for the two battles. The main assault on central Ribera and a lesser assault on the northeastern parts of the city. This map was created based on a QB map for FI (right most part of the city) that has been heavily expanded in all directions.


The City seen looking towards the NE.


The main assault is directed towards the east, from western Ribera into the City center. The Verdura River bridge the obvious crossing point but the river has several fording areas.


The city contains several objectives, The Duomo a central one. We only include objectives for VPL locations and these are set to the same value as the total value of the VPL Hex. Both parties decide on the location and value to make sure this is fair. If the campaign ends without a clear victory, holding objectives will be the deciding factor.


A city block overlooking a marketplace/square.

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The Sawmill, another objective of central Ribera.

NE Ribera has already seen two battles during this campaign. During the early morning hours a unit of paras from 504th PIR conducted a fighting withdrawal to the city. This unit was later destroyed making a final stand in NE Ribera under the command of Commander Kohlenklau. The Americans are now moving in to avenge their fallen.


Overlooking NE Ribera.


Central parts of NE Ribera.


NE Ribera seen looking towards the north. This is the direction of the American attack. The river contains several fording areas.


NE Ribera seen from above looking towards the west.

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PM sent.

I appreciate the big maps a lot.

I have uploaded them to DB. Will check out your map as well!


Battle 1. The main assault on central Ribera, a 200 VPL hex.


The US force consists of 1st BN 7th Inf regt of the 3rd Marne Infantry Division. Attacking from SW Ribera.

From the South a weakened Engineer BN from the US Provisional Corps are attacking supported by Shermans from 66th Tank BN of the 2nd Armored Division.

These forces are supported by off map assets, USS Buck (DD) and 105 mm Howitzers from 7th Inf regt.

The enemy force, is well dug in with trenches, barbed wire and tank obstacles. They are suspected to be of companies strength respectively. Possible reinforced companies.

German PzGren from 3rd BN, 104th Regt, 15 PzGren Div. This unit has 81 mm mortars as well as 75 mm PAK and INF guns. These troops are determined and will pose a difficult obstacle.

The Germans are supported by Engineers and Bersaglieri of XII Corps. These units have low motivations but should not be underestimated as we saw during their defense of the Maggazola River bridge.

The US objective is to seize the central parts of Ribera. The attack should be halted if 30% casualties are suffered. In that case, objectives that are held should be defended and consolidated. Then try and get a seize fire agreement with the Germans. We can then reinforce further (we have one coy in reserve and the potential reinforcements of the force that are attacking NE Ribera) and replenish our artillery support. IF you are able to take more than 50% of the objectives, the attack should only be pressed further if it wont mean heavy casualties - If we take more than half of the objectives we can take up defensive positions and let the Germans counterattack, beating their head against a brick wall.


Battle 2. Assault on NE Ribera. This attack is in support of the main assault on central Ribera. The objective is to engage and lock down the enemy force here, so that they can not reinforce central Ribera.


The US force consists of the beaten up remnants of 2nd BN, 504th PIR, 82nd Airborne Division. They are reinforced by a coy of Engineers and light AT guns from 3rd Marne Inf Division and by Stuart tanks from 2nd Armored Division. Off map support is provided by a 75 mm pack howitzer battery.

The enemy force consists of weak Italian units that have been beat up during the days fighting. Their motivation is low and their state should hopefully work in our favor. The Italians have a HQ unit in place and it would be very beneficial if we can destroy it. In addition to the Italians, there is a German PAK 75 mm unit. The Axis force is dug in with trenches, wire and obstacles.

The US objective is to try and cut off these Axis forces from central Ribera. Press the attack but try to keep casualties down. Halt the attack if you reach 40% casualties.


Commander Kohlenklau, which assignment do you prefer?

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I select Battle 2 because those are the guys I fought with before and I owe them my continued enthusiastic leadership and encouragement in being awarded the purple heart.

"Chicks will be impressed to see the medal when you get back home!"

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What is my hex? I am trying to set-up h2hh but am a little confused. The battle I opened looked already in progress like someone had set move lines for squads....

Its hex 15,6. Your opo is waiting for the 3.0 MAC upgrade. Its should only be started with the password, awaiting Allied setup. I'll have a look when I get home.

Good choice on the battle IMO, always cool to follow the same units/guys through several battles.

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Assault on NE Ribera is underway.

I have paratroops across the river and am in contact with his rearguard force.

Observed one towed Pak40 ATG departing westwards towards his exit zone.

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Assault on NE Ribera is underway.

I have paratroops across the river and am in contact with his rearguard force.

Observed one towed Pak40 ATG departing westwards towards his exit zone.

Thanks for the update. Its fairly likely that the enemy CO will exit the German element at the 30 minute mark to bolster the defense of central Ribera.

Continue the attack but try to minimize casualties, so take your time. You don't have to eliminate all pockets of resistance during this battle - they can be isolated and dealt with during the next assault turn.

It is positive if you can force him to engage and lock his units in combat so they cant move off map towards central Ribera. The PAK40s are priority targets but there is no need to be reckless in trying to take them out. If they are moved to central Ribera they will arrive as reinforcements, towed in the central city (it will be hard for them to take up good positions with good LOS in the middle of our assault there).

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I have about 317 men +/- on my rough count.

So far, I have maybe 10 casualties.

My plan is to get FO's up into the taller buildings.

Try to hit the town with some arty.

The same with MG teams to put fire on anything I observe.

I would love to nail one of his Pak40's.

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He knocked out one of my Stuarts.

Total KIA so far is about 14 men.

I have seen maybe 10 KIA of his...

But I am across the river with 3 tanks and all the airborne.

I have a 75mm barrage coming down in about 3 minutes and the engineer company is about to cross the river.

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Im guessing that its a Pak40 that is responsible for the tank kills? To bad we only have one mortar avvailable in this action.

Remember that if the time runs out and both sides are still present on the map (or a ceasefire is agreed before then), the next turn will have the option for both sides to continue the fighting (with according setup zones etc). We might be able to send more reinforcements by then (a Coy of Inf is currently disrupted and couldent join our initial attack).

So time is not a critical factor, take your time, use your ammo. City fighting can be a real bitch.

Taking terrain and encircling the enemy defensive positions (they can be cleared later) might be a good move. Your choice of course.

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