1943 Sicily: Cassibile commando raid

Set up 20 minutes
Game time 20 minutes
Solo play: suitable

Historical Background:
In the night just before the main Allied landing in Sicily, 180 men of No.3 Commando, under the command of Ltc Durnford-Slater, landed on a beach near Cassibile to destroy an Italian coastal battery, the 81e Batteria of the 27e Gruppo Artiglieria, situated near Cofici farm. After the neutralization of an Italian bunker which controlled the beach, the British commandos advanced inland up to the battery. Then, it was the assault and a very close fighting. Finally the Italian battery was destroyed with no losses for the British commandos.

Axis 6 cards, Allies 6 cards, move first.

Conditions of Victory:
6 medals

Special Rules:
BCF Command rules (Nations 5) to all Allied units.
Italian Royal Army rules (Nations 6) to all Axis units but not the “Artillery Bravery” rule. The Italian guns are fixed and can’t move, so each flag means the loss of a figure.
Specialized Units rules (Troops 2) to all Allied units.
Heroic Leader rules (Actions 8) for the Allied unit with a battle star.
Night Attacks rules (Actions 19).

Scenario link

I was very excited when I discovered a new jdrommel scenario for Sicily!
The British had really good cards, taking the middle bunker almost immediately, then the right one. The Italians had a lot of cards for their right flank, so used two moves to send an infantry unit forward from Casibile to Femme Bonavia , but Their Finest Hour then allowed the Allies to wipe them out, giving a rapid 3-0 lead.
The Axis immediately played Counter Attack; however, they only had two remaining infantry units to execute the order! But at least they managed to eliminate one Commando unit.
The British then played Infantry Assault, which destroyed both artillery units. The defenders of Femme Confici managed to score some hits on the Allies, but then they succumbed to overwhelming fire power.
6-1 to the Allies. In reality, the British Commandos took their objectives successfully without a single casualty. This scenario recreates some of that inevitable win, but still gives the Italians a chance.
The key is Night Rules. The Italians literally didn’t see them coming and stood no chance. It my game, the Night Rules dice throws were 1 star, 1 star, 3 stars. So within four moves it was daylight, giving the Italian artillery a chance to inflict damage, but their cards and dice were poor, so they had limited success. And by then the Commandos were well inland, ready to attack the guns.
The Allies have to take 6 out of 8 enemy units to win, including both artillery sites. This seems a tough call, but they are a specialised unit so can move two and battle; this was decisive. The chances of the Italians taking 6 out of 8 British units is very slim, especially with a Historic Leader against them (the extra dice proved decisive in two attacks). Do Commandos really need a Heroic Leader? I would argue that this rule should be reserved for ‘‘ordinary’’ units who get a boost from a specific officer/NCO.
Finally, the BCF and Royal Italian army rules didn’t have much effect, with the exception of the special rule where the Italian artillery could not ignore a flag in this scenario – leading to the loss of one gun.
Overall a quick and fun scenario. Interesting and accurate from a historical point of view, but just be aware that being the Italian player is an almost impossible task!


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