Death Ride Salerno - 16 Panzer is GSI's first offering on the Italian Front. The game focuses on tactical level combat and maneuver during the Allied invasion at Salerno in September 1943. This game will showcase some nice enhancements to the Death Ride game system.
The game features the 16th Panzer Division and some supporting Korps units at mostly Platoon and some Company/Battery level and the US Army 45th Infantry Division at Platoon/Company/Battery level. The combat system utilizes combat multipliers that players must use correctly to have the best effect. Each hex is 330 meters. Turns are 1 hours long during the day and 2 hours at night. The rules are modeled around the seven battlefield operating systems which make them easily understood and easy to learn.
Unlike other games at this level the rules are not massive. This system features use of obstacles (mines, wire, improved positions, and fortifications), a patrol rule, overwatch fire, air and artillery support, and reserve movement. Overwatch is a type of fire that allows the player to move a short distance and then setup to fire suppressive fire at enemy units that might otherwise use opportunity fire. Reserve movement will allow a player to respond to enemy movement and move more units into a hex to strengthen it before an assault. Units are modeled to represent the 2 major types of weapons that most units have.
Secondary (usually small arms) and a primary (main gun, machine guns, etc...). These weapons may fire at different targets if they want. They also effect targets differently. Suppression is also handled uniquely in this game. Units that are suppressed get a defense bonus since they take better advantage of the terrain in the hex, while at the same time they have their other factors reduced. Units are also modeled as needing transports and get the benefits of movement from them with the vulnerability that goes with it. The battle follows the divisions actions during the 6 days of the battle. The game forces players to account for Command and Control and Supply. Maintenance and repair are critical to both sides as this determines most of the replacements that arrive every morning. Troop replacements are generated by returning casualties to the battle. Lots of these casualties are minor in nature and both sides worked hard to get these wounded back to the front quickly. Air-Ground Attack can have a significant effect on the battle and both sides have a capability in the air to affect the battle. New to this series will be naval gunfire support which provided timely and critical fire missions to keep the Germans at bay and away from the beaches.
As so often happens, no plan survives meeting the enemy and must be adjusted. This game will be no different. Combined arms play prominently in gaining successful outcomes to engagements. This game will force the players to make big and small decisions on things such as avenues of approach, advancing through choke points, overtaking or bypassing strong points, and trying to find the operational freedom to breakout of the beachhead for the Allies or crush the beachhead for the Germans..
There are currently 6 scenarios that represent the battle as it started each day and then the entire 6 day battle.
• (8) 11" x 17" game maps of the Salerno area
• (3) Full Color Order of Battle Charts
• Air Support, Casualty, and Replacement Charts
• Rules covering the use and benefit of patrols, reserves and overwatch movement
• Rules Written as Battlefield Operating System (BOS) Representations (level of fidelity)
•Fire Support (Medium-High)
•Air Defense (Medium)
•Mobility and Survivability (High)
•Combat Service Support (Medium-High)
•Command and Control (Medium-High)
• Approximately 1150 Die Cut Unit Counters and Markers
• Germans at platoon and company/battery level, US Army at platoon/company/battery level
• Numerous scenarios that allow play on smaller parts of the battle or the entire affair
• Highly detailed without overbearing rules
• Excellent Solitaire Play