As a preamble, i’ve spent a bit of time reading others posts about how to get started. It seems a decent number of people had DAK2 up currently! That is superb. So think of this as a consolidation of those posts as the current wisdom of the time.
Alternate Opinions, Numerous Options The first advice I saw, sent me scurrying back to the maps, charts and tables. Shoot, would I really miss the obvious. After all the details are spelled out clearly….There are just so many!
The advice was this “Before you begin – and I assume you’re playing a campaign game – I’d strongly suggest you spend a good amount of time going over all of the charts and timetables that are in DAKII.”
So on I read. I’d like to thank all the fine folks whose names I have removed, but you likely know them if you frequent the forum folder for Operational Combat System topics.
This is my edited down version of what I learned, and what we will do as a result. It is interesting to note that, many OCS purists seem to not bother trying to follow the historical timelines of CNA (DAK) like they do say for Case Blue. It must be the significant number of random/variable things that whilst all historical in nature can occur at different times and throw the historical time line to the raging sandy winds.
That said we are interested in such things to a degree so we will attempt to monitor the exceptions and diversions over the course of however long the play lasts. Random Events, Greece, Malta table, withdrawals, brigade groups, supply, etc.
“There are a lot of game-specific things that you need to learn. Not difficult, but plenty in number. Once you have that down and are ready to begin, I’d recommend not starting with the full September, 1940, start. You can if you want – and it may help you learn the game at a slow pace – but I’ve found, after many playings, that it becomes very obvious, very soon, that the Italian player can’t capture Mersa Matruh. ”
Hmm. Well there is food for thought. And sounds like a challenge. This wipes dozens of turns from a very long campaign…but then what if?
At least perhaps one should consider playing the September ’40 turns onwards at least once.
“And the Commonwealth player knows that until some of his key divisions are released from their restricted zones, they can’t really bash the Italians. So the Italian player creeps across into Egypt and the Mussolini Line, fulfilling his requirements, the Commonwealth sits behind the escarpments at Mersa, and both sides stare at each other for a couple of months. “
That all sounds rather droll. But F$%^ it. In for a penny in for a pound I say.
“This sticks the Italians in the awful disposition they historically were in, something an experienced player would never do, knowing what’s coming. And then the fun begins. “
Now. This must surely be sage advice. Since we want to capture the early problems the Italians have with out play like a dumb ass for 6 months. Ok….I think what we will do in this situation is try the early game perhaps on VASSAL and see how it flies. Not a lot of pieces, not much air and not much supply. That might be an option to consider.
The folks on Consimworld then went on further, lets listen in.
“The Commonwealth player needs to be very aggressive. This here is where the unique appearance of Leader counters in DAK makes all the difference. With adroit use of the three Leader counters, the CW player can really zoom around the map. Pedal-to-the-metal. I’d strongly recommend that you use their abilities only to influence movement, not combat.
You don’t want to risk getting any of them killed or wounded. It takes a bit of time to understand fully what they can do. It adds to the fluidity in a great way. (More so when the Germans arrive with Rommel, same thing, only better.) The Italians in the early going, until the Germans arrive, are just trying to survive and preserve as much of their force as possible. If their large infantry divisions survive until the Germans get in, they are a nice force option, when stacked with the German AR 5’s.
Looking at the supply restrictions placed on the Italians at the start, you will see that they cannot get trace supply up to Mersa until the “unfinished road” is built. So that is 1st December at the earliest. As the CW player, I would bring forward the garrison brigades from Cairo and Alex. They can be useful in forming a defence when the mobile CW units start mixing it with the Italians. The CW begins the game with 1 eq replacement, and the 11th Hussars of 7th armour div is actually rebuildable,, so you have 1 expendable quality 5 unit to lead your initial attack.”
Food for thought. I look at the map as I place units on it to try and gauge the situation. Holy Crud, these places are miles apart. OR….
“The Italians can place an HQ near Sidi Barrani that can draw from Sollum and throw supply along the coast road to just past Mersa, so they CAN get supply there — but they’re totally tied to the coastal road. That said, I believe the Italians are better off attacking than trying to turtle up, as every step they kill is essentially non-rebuildable, as the British get NO replacements until April.
The British will eventually be able to attack (their troops released from their various restrictions and getting trained), which means they will eventually be able to kill all the Italians in Egypt and western Libya. So every British step killed is a step that won’t be around when the Germans show up. Is it worth trading Italian steps that will die anyways for British steps 2 or even 3 for 1?”
This is an interesting point, the Brits have some weak units, and brittle too. Yet the Italians are not much to be proud of. Their tanks and infantry capabilities are nothing to write to Roma about.
“As the British, the obvious defensive position is just west of Mersa, where the escarpment narrows the front to only 2 hexes. Build hogs in those hexes and stack them with 3 REs (say a fort bde, an Indian bde, and two light AT bns or such, giving you 14 defense and 4AR + hog).
The Italians will be able to mount a few big attacks, but hopefully won’t be able to kill more than a couple of steps before they run out of supplies. The escarpment divides the battlefield into two sections — the coastal section where you have your 2-hex defence and control the one road that crosses the escarpment, and the southern section where the Italians have a tough time getting trace supply.
The Italians also have a tough time moving their slow units between these two areas, so you can concentrate on defeating any Italians south of the escarpment, then threatening to outflank the Italians north of the escarpment.”
What a fascinating comment. More examination required. I wonder how much these guys do ‘map recon’ prior to play? More shortly.