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Will95

North African Supply

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In the middle of an AoD campaign as Axis, it's December 1940. I was attacking El Alamein with the Italians when suddenly all my North African holdings dropped from 5 to 1 supply from one turn to the next. Is that Malta's impact? And is it random when it strikes?

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Yes, unless the Allies have also carried out any strategic bombing then that will be the Malta effect. It is random, so it will be best to stay close to your HQs until supply improves - and repair them asap if they are damaged.

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I find it handy to take Malta usually during winter 1941 and secure my African supply. Conversely taking Gibralter has the opposite effect on the British.

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Ah ok, that makes sense. Malta must be next to impossible to take in AoD though surely, as there's no spot next to the fortress for a landing group to land on, so you'd need to bomb the units inside low enough that an amphib was able to do enough with an off-shore attack to clear it- unless I'm missing something?

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In theory, I guess bombing it very heavily with several Strategic bombers and tactical bombers (making sure to reduce entrenchment and the supply value of malta over a couple of turns so that the unit cant be rebuilt fully and ultimately destroyed by three or so tactical bombers) and then paradropping onto the empty square once the unit is bombed to death might work :)

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You build up quite the airforce, bring in the Italian navy... bombard the heck out of it over several turns, use an amphib to finish it if need be or simply drop in a para. It does take a lot of force to reduce Malta though... usually 3 tactical bombers and 2-3 medium bombers all with HQ support. I usually think of it almost as a separate campaign, much like the ones in Yugo or Greece.

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It seems to me that the Malta effect on supply is too strong and should certainly be switched off if the Axis has captured the ports at Alexandria. If this had happened Axis supplies would be run into there without ever having to go anywhere near Malta. You could possibly argue then for a Cyprus effect but if Alexandria was in Axis hands the British position in Cyprus and the Med in general would be very precarious.

regards

Mike

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- I also think Malta should surrender/be evacuated if Axis takes both Gibraltar and Alexandria because UK troops there would starve very quickly.

- I agree that if taking only Gibraltar reduces Allies supply in NA taking only Alexandria should negate Malta effect or at least reduce it a lot.

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The problem is the scripted effect.

SC has better solutions to offer.

A convoy line from Italy to North Africa. This convoy line would have to move next to Malta.

If the Allied players places a naval unit with "raid" enabled (or a sub) the convoy would take losses. If the convoy takes losses, the Axis supply in North Africa should suffer.

If the Allied player places a air unit on malta (with "raid" enabled) the convoys should lose as well, with the same effect.

Axis counter actions should be to fight of the naval raider or to destroy the air unit.

If both Air AND Naval unit are active, there should be grave consequences for the Axis supply in North africa.

Once Egyp has fallen to the Axis, the Axis players should get an event to build a second or third convoy line (not for free, of course). These new convoy lines should lower the effect of the Malta raiders, but offer a new raid chance for the Allied player as well.

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One pretty big issue I've found with the Malta effect in my AoD campaign so far is that because it affects ports as well, it actually becomes near impossible to send German support by sea. You can send the Luftwaffe on its own, but if the Malta effect strikes at just the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) time, then the ports are never going to make it back to a supply level where they can accept transports. No Rommel for me, it seems!

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You can still unload in the reduced ports but your transport will have to await the next turn as it sits in the harbor.

The longshoremen's equipment for unloading have been damaged and it takes longer under enemy attacks due to unloading suspensions.

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Ah ok, that makes sense then. Still, with Malta basically killing any chance of an offensive in North Africa, I'm having a hard time justifying sending much German support down there...

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You can still unload in the reduced ports

The problem is to load on reduced ports. I wish it would be possible too. Otherwise you may catch heavy problems.

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Perhaps the transport should have to wait one turn(supply<5) in the port of formation and be vulnerable to any enemy attacks, in which case it survives and allowed to move on the following turn.

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I do understand why the scenario designer has chosen to implement the Malta impact the way it is. In reality the Italian Navy managed to deliver over 90% of the supplies that were despatched to N Africa and there were no serious supply problems during the initial Italian campaigns as they had huge stockpiles. However, the scenario designer needs the UK to have some way of initially beating the Italians if the game is to have any resemblance to what happened. This is made difficult because country units are all pretty much the same and the UK tanks cannot have too much tech because they have to be inferior to the Germans.

The battle winning weapon for the British in their first campaign against a much larger Italian army was the Matilda tank. The Italians had no weapon that would penetrate its frontal armour and this caused panic although the tank itself was pretty slow moving.

I have an idea to simulate this in a future scenario by using the Light Tank unit actually as a British Heavy Tank. I would give it reasonable attack and defence values whilst the Italians would have very little capability against "tank" units. I would also give the Matilda variant of the LT unit a degree of evasion possibly 35% to represent its invulnerability to Italian weapons. I need to try it out and see what the values should be but with care the Germans ought to be able to cope with the Matilda (Rommel used the 88mm AA to stop them at Arras) but the Italians should not. I would only allow the Brits to build one or possibly two such units and, as it could not be upgraded, it would soon be obsolete compared to teched up German Tank Groups.

Another possibility for the LT unit is for it to represent a late war German Heavy Tank (Schwere Panzer) Battalion e.g. the 501st. Here the CTVs would be increased to really punishing levels and the evasion factor might be up to 66%. They said it took 4 Shermans to knock out one Tiger and this could be the way to simulate that. The trick again is that the Germans should only be able to build very few of them and like the Matilda they would have low APs but unlike the Matilda the German unit would remain a threat until the end of the game.

I would leave the unit as an LT for the Russians as that is a good way to simulate the way the Germans destroyed literally thousands of Soviet tanks in the early days.

Any suggestions as to what it should be for the US - perhaps a specialised TD unit to hunt down the Tigers? I would of course need to rename the unit type just as Tank so that might make it less appropriate as a TD.

Regards

Mike

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Or, for the US, an armored Cav, aka M5 light tank variant, especially useful in the Pacific and a decent recon unit for Europe/Africa.

Cheap to build, short build time, air mobile, not meant to be an armored fighting vehicle but useful against infantry / soft targets.

Could help get the US army going a little bit earlier after becoming active.

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