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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WWPD's Italy Campaign Comes to a Close!

The Axis hold Rome!

After a series of stunning victories, counterattacks, and fighting withdrawals, German and Fascist Italian forces have claimed 'victory' in Italy.

The Allied stalemate in Italy has forced Churchill to capitulate his desire to win back the Mediterranean, as US, French, Polish, and Commonwealth forces reorganize and redeploy to support the effort in Normandy. Operation DIADEM proved to be too costly in terms of manpower, material, and political will. Britain's ability to influence Allied High Command has been damaged significantly, perhaps beyond repair.

Sad, Sad Churchill

Axis forces delivered quite the bloody nose to the Allied war effort. Replacements that had been earmarked for the Southern Front can now be diverted to reinforce the new front opened in Normandy.

Western Allied forces have taken a lesson from the war in Italy and have learned to be far more cautious in their actions. Who knows what impact this may have on their advance to Germany, and the expansion of Soviet forces in the East....

And so WWPD's 3rd Worldwide Flames of War Campaign comes to a close with the Axis forces holding back the Allied assault! This one was a big one, and I'd like to spend some time to break it down for y'all.

Yeah, Yeah - You Don't Have to Rub it In
We had 317 players from all over the world register for this event, and we received a total of 171 Battle Reports across the 6 week campaign - just over an average of 4 reports per day!

Allied players made significant advances across Italy, but were held up terribly at several key junctions. The battles at Snakehead Ridge and along the Liri River Valley were particularly brutal, registering Axis victory after Axis victory.

Not Surprisingly, VAEric's Battle Report on Snakehead Ridge
Dominates Google Image Searches for Snakehead Ridge
Not only did Axis forces win the battle of attrition and delay, they overwhelmingly beat Allied forces in overall Victory Points: Axis 554 to Allies 489 - leading by a whopping 65 VPs!

This may lead you to ask, "If the Axis won the VP battle so dramatically, how did the Allies capture any territory?" Unlike previous campaigns, the WWPD Italy campaign focused on a specific operation in Italy, using real-world timelines and objectives. Operation DIADEM was very much an all-out Allied assault on Axis forces, fighting across several fortified lines without the time (or strength) for Axis forces to retake territory.

The campaign mechanics were specifically designed for a defensive scenario, and each location on the campaign map were given ratings for how defensible the position was. This rating was added to Axis VPs to determine their score for that location. On the other side, Allied forces were awarded additional points based on how long the map location was open and how many battle reports were logged in that location (to simulate the gradual wearing down of defending Axis forces).

Monte Cassino was Very Defensible

Overall, this mechanic seemed to work very well. The Allies were able to advance - despite having a lower VP total - as the additional points for # of battles and days 'engaged' eventually overwhelmed Axis defensive bonuses plus VP lead. But the huge VP lead of Axis forces prevented the Allies from advancing fast enough, causing them to stall out far before reaching Rome.

We'd like to send out a special thanks to Battlefront for Flames of War in general, but also for supporting this particular online campaign. We'd also like to thank all of players that participated in the event, submitting gorgeous pictures and detailed battle reports. Without you guys, this wouldn't have been nearly as fun!

This One's For You!

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