Anzio Tournament Game


OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT GAME VERSION OF WBC 2000
  1. The Basic Game (all Standard Rules in Sections B & C)
  2. Optional Initial Placement of German 1st Para Division (Rule F.10, last paragraph)
  3. Air Superiority (Rule D.2)
    This rule makes the more northerly invasion sites much more risky for the Allies Sept II.
  4. New South End Entry Rules (see details below)
    The Germans will not be able to seal off the South End Entry hexes with ZOC.
  5. New Sea Attack Rules (see details below)
    This rule makes it impractical to use ersatz units to seal off an invasion zone.
  6. Optional Rule for Re-Rolls (see details below)



NEW SOUTH END ENTRY RULES
Rule C.8.D. governing entry is changed as follows, to more correctly represent the geography of southern Italy and more accurately simulate the campaign.

  1. Units from Taranto enter from hex Y60 to Y65, inclusive, Sept III; thereafter Y54 to Y65, inclusive.
  2. Y47 Y53 hexes are plain terrain Adriatic beach hexes, functionally equivalent to hex M66 on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
  3. Only September II the Germans may not enter hexes X60 66 and Y59 65 (Taranto edge), nor may they enter the final two playable hexes in columns N-V (Messina edge). [V68 and W68 are allowed]. After September II the Germans are no longer restricted.
  4. German zones of control extend into the unplayable partial hexes adjacent to the Taranto and Messina extry hexes, affecting both entry and retreats. Allied units may enter the board directly into enemy zone of control, but only by entering directly from an unplayable partial hex that is free of any German zone of control.
  5. The zone of control of units in Messina or Taranto does not extend into the board, nor can units attack on-board units from there.

SEA ATTACK RULES

  1. Invading Allied units may make a sea attack on an invasion zone hex that is occupied by one or more enemy units.
  2. No more than 8 stacking points may participate in any one sea attack. Each separate individual attack may assault only one defender's hex. Units participating in sea attacks must conform to applicable Initial Lift rules. ZOCs do not extend from sea to land nor vice-versa.
  3. Units attacking from the sea have their attack strength halved. Halved factors may be combined, but if the total attack factors include a fraction, round down. As in attacks through High Apennine hex-sides, losses are not doubled against an undoubled defender.
  4. A sea attack may combine with a land-based attack to make one attack, but any terrain benefit which the defender enjoys against the land attack would remain. Losses must be taken first from invading units.
  5. Any unit attacking from the sea which does not occupy the defender's hex at the end of the attack (whether because of the combat result, or voluntarily) becomes an inverted counter subject to the usual evacuation rules.
  6. Units attacking from the sea may advance into the defender's hex normally, but may not move further, unless they have achieved breakthrough movement, which would be governed by the usual rules.
  7. Units attacking from the sea may engage in second combat per rule C.14.

RULES FOR RE-ROLLS Because of the major effects that die rolls of "1" and "6" can have at certain key junctures in the game, this rule provides a way to flatten or smooth out the role of luck as a determining factor.
A. RE-ROLL CHIT

  1. Select an unused counter to be used as the Re-Roll Chit. The holder of the Re-Roll Chit may use it to force a re-roll of any combat resolution die roll (the player using the chit may be either the attacker or the defender).
  2. As soon as the chit is used, it is given to the opponent.
  3. The Re-Roll Chit may be used only once per player-turn.
  4. The Allied player begins the game with the Re-Roll Chit.



Written by Tom Oleson

Anzio remains a balanced game with the new tournament rules. Terracina is probably the most dangerous invasion site for the Germans because if they do not crush an invasion there (a distinct possibility with air superiority), the Allies are nearly certain to win big. Another advantage for the Allies is delaying arrival of Germans ersatz units down South, where they are badly needed. Advanced Anzio mandates retreat through friendly hexes, but in the much simpler Basic Game, there is no prohibition on retreating "forward". The standard move for a Terracina invasion is to "bounce-off" 15pg with a several divisions and brigades making a voluntary 1-4 attack, cutting the road South at J50. For that reason, placement of 16pz at K49 is probably still the safest bet.

A few years ago Larry Kratz proved that a Pescara invasion could work, but probably no chance of that with German air superiority. In compensation, the Germans can no longer defend Pescara against a second invasion with two ersatz units, because of the chance of a Sea Attack.

Termoli remains a viable invasion site. Germans have a chance to crush or contain it, but because it is not so constricted as Terracina, Allies have a better chance to hang on. It is probably still a good idea for the Germans to place 1Para at Y48, to prevent the Allies from crossing the Fortore River Sept II, tho this placement prevents 1Para from reaching vulnerable positions near Napoli or Salerno, should the Allies instead invade there.

If the Germans want to tempt the Allies to risk it all on a Terracina invasion, an interesting initial placement of 16pz is X47 (note, I did just that, & Bruno invaded at Termoli anyway. It was a mighty wild game). The reason Termoli poses less of an all-or-nothing threat to the Germans is that even if they do not crush the invasion, particularly if they hold the line of the Sangro River (easier with air superiority), they can still form a game-winning line curving south towards Napoli, protecting Cassino. In previous years, Allies would tend to invade at either Terracina or Termoli, depending on which one 16pz reinforced. Still possible, but less likely, because now Napoli or Salerno look equally attractive.

It is highly unlikely that the Germans would repel a Salerno invasion. O58 is vulnerable for the Allies, because it can be surrounded on Sept II, but protected by units at M59 and O59, a surrounded attack against it could cost the Germans 12 steps. An interesting ploy is to put the weak British 1Para division at O58 so that even if the Germans did attack it surrounded, with the two soak-offs necessary, they would probably lose too many steps to make it worthwhile.

A long way North from Salerno? True, but if by Oct IV the Allies have Salerno, Napoli, Foggia, and are not too far from Termoli, they only need that and one more victory point city, with the Germans defending very long flanks. In play-testing this version it was common for the Germans to leave the Roma invasion beaches undefended on Nov I. An early invasion there leads to a slug-fest because of the German invasion reaction, but probably the Allies have the better of it.

In the voluntary 1-4 "bounce-off" or "forward retreat" attack, units which ordinarily could achieve better odds are certain to retreat to advantageous positions. Depending on where HG and NW/71 are in the Napoli area, this tactic can work there. One variant permits the Allies to open Napoli on Sept II, tempting the Germans to counter-attack which, if it fails, leaves them vulnerable. Another variant makes Napoli friendly, but does not open the port, relying instead on the units coming up from the South. If the Germans are at Vesuvio, the Allies can "bounce off" it. If at Caserta, that is also a possibility, or an invasion which makes Napoli friendly, but leave it unoccupied so that Germans can not immediately recover air superiority by recapturing it. The several alternatives at Napoli are risky for both sides, but if it works for the Allies, they start out a bit further North than they would at Salerno, with the chance to gain and retain air superiority (by capturing Napoli) far sooner than would be possible at Terracina or Termoli.

(Note to Paul: frankly, I would rate all four sites equal (Terr/Term/Nap/Salerno), always presuming 16 pz is not at the site. Each has its unique advantages/disadvantages. I am even fooling around now with Mondragone! )

As for the Sea Attack, it means that ersatz units will now usually be used as intended: to take replacements. Defending is NOT harder for the Germans, it is just different. For example, instead of makling Terracina invulnerable to a second invasion by placing ersatz units at G52 and H52, the Germans can put a fairly weak unit on the hill at H51, making an Allied second invasion there possible, but risky.

Germans blocking the South End with zocs was a solution to the problem of the End of the Earth which worked for a long time. It never was easy for the Germans to seal off the South. Nonetheless, odd and unsatisfactory things did happen. The new rules are much more realistic, but do not prevent the Germans from delaying tactics down South. The Allies are sure to enter, but the Germans no longer have to worry about the Y46-53 flank which is now on the Adriatic, as it should be, Each side gains something, and loses something. With these changes, Basic Anzio has become much more exciting and unpredictable.



Above the Fields