Libya Part 2: Sandstorm AAR

Turn 2: El Agheila Captured and New Orders
A British scout car attacked the Italian scout car damaging both during the AI’s turn.  The British scout is attacked by dive bomber, followed by an Italian infantry assault (which does not advance after battle) and was destroyed by the rearmost German Armor taking El Agheila. This gives new objectives and additional land command points for both Italy and Germany.  My forces advance North on the coast road spotting a captured Italian Armor unit further North. 11 - Turn 2 Bombing the Scout Car13 - T2 Advance North

New primary objectives are capturing Benghazi and connecting El Agheila and Bardia. New secondary objectives are capturing Tobruk, capturing Sollum, and causing 10 damage with German fighters. Achieving all objectives means taking all major towns and destroying all enemy units.  The Italians purchase an armor and an infantry unit. Germany buys two infantry units. Newly purchased units cannot move until turn 3.

14 - T2 Advance & Reinforce

Turns 3 to 6:
The captured Italian armor closed with my lead units. On the axis turn, the enemy armor was attacked with the dive bomber, followed by the rear German Armor and finished off by the Italian Armor and Scout Car. All three fighters attacked a British Fighter almost destroying it. The army continued pushing North on the coast road. My air force spotted British Infantry, anti-tank, and an armor unit.15 - T3 Attacking Brit Armor16 - T3 Conclusion

Turn 4 presents major risks and opportunities. I’m splitting my advance with armor and mechanized units turning East with the infantry and artillery continuing North to Benghazi. This opens a gap. I must ensure the mobile units do not get cut off from supplies by the British – a skill the AI is effective in employing. Running out of supplies delays advancing by multiple turns. In dozens of playthroughs of the Libya scenario, turns 4-5 are often highly dangerous to the Axis.

The strategy was successfully executed! Benghazi fell on Turn 5. Attacks on turn 6 prevented the British from cutting my supply lines. The forces cutting through the desert rapidly advanced and a large combined arms force was spotted close to the East Coast. 17 - Turn 4 Dangers18 Turn 5 Force Split19 - T6 Successful attacks

Turns 7 to 13: British Retreat Cut Off and Tobruk Probed
A large British combined arms force occupies Mechili. My approaching scout car located and detonated a mine field. The defenders are supported by an anti-tank gun.  AT guns are deadly when supporting adjacent defenders.   Fortunately, the infantry and dive bombers accompanied my armor and destroyed AT gun.  My goal is cutting off the retreating British before they can reach the fortress of Tobruk. 20 - T7 Minefield21 - Turn 7 Big Picture

Foot infantry and artillery move East along the coast destroying encountered units. The mechanized force is screened from encirclement by the escarpment and grinds through British defenders. By the end of Turn 8 the British are in a precarious position and should retreat everything towards Tobruk. 22 - Turn 8

The retreating British are encircled on Turn 10 and the airfield was captured.  Both are significant. Movement, attack and defense are severely degraded for out of supply units. The screenshot shows an Italian armor unit capturing the airfield and immediately attacking and destroying a heavily damaged infantry unit in the city.  The airfield was captured and vacated in the same turn. This is a coup for the Axis. Dive bombers are slow. If the airfield had not been quickly captured the dive bomber would have been forced to refuel at the Benghazi airfield – taking it out of action for around 6 turns.23 - T10 Encirclement & Airfield Capture

General O’Connor was captured as the British pocket was reduced on Turn 12. On the same turn my armor probed the British defenses around Tobruk. Tobruk is heavily defended by mines, fortifications, heavily artillery, anti-aircraft and infantry. But the defense is static without armor for counterattacks. Capturing Tobruk will take time. Infantry and artillery must catch up. Aircraft must be refueled and rearmed. 24 - T12 O'Connor Captured25 - Turn 12 Tobruk Defenses26 - T13 big picture

 

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