August 12th, 1941... The 9th "Pasubio" Division's advance guard, the first element of the Italian Expeditionary Force in Russia to see action, is moving down the right bank of the Bug River. Its objective is to seize crossing points along the river to aid in the entrapment of the Soviet 9th Army. In the early morning hours, men of the 80th "Roma" Infantry Regiment launch a surprise attack to capture a bridge spanning a tributary of the Bug. The bridge must be taken swiftly to keep the advance moving...
November 19th, 1941... Unknown to Rommel, the British have launched Operation Crusader. The Italians of the 132nd "Ariete" Armored Division, however, warned by their own intelligence service of an impending attack, stand ready, well dug in behind soggy ground at Bir el Gubi. As Crusader tanks roll into range, their crews disdainful of the Italians' fighting ability, the defenders unleash a hail of AT fire which stops them cold. Then the M13/40s of the Ariete's tank regiment are ordered to counterattack. Suddenly the overconfident British have more on their hands than they bargained for...
July 11th, 1943... The 7th Infantry is pushing forward to expand and secure the U.S. beachhead around Licata, Sicily. As its 3rd Battalion nears the town of Palma di Montechiaro, it comes under fire from low hills to the south. The GIs push the Italian defenders back into the town, whereupon white flags begin appearing on its buildings. Thinking that the Italians are surrendering, a patrol is sent forward. But the flags have been put out by civilians, and the patrol is suddenly cut down by withering fire. Enraged, the battalion commander launches an all-out assault on Palma. His aim: Retribution.
September 10th, 1943... Two days ago Italy announced its armistice with the Allies. Now the German 2nd Parachute division, supported by assault guns, is attempting to occupy Rome - but doggedly trying to block its advance is the elite 21st "Grenadiers of Sardinia" Division. The sounds of war echo through the southern suburbs of the Eternal City as the embattled Grenadiers, aided by meager reinforcements and a few armed civilians, slowly yield ground to the tough paratroopers. The Italians field some of the best weapons in their armory, but ammunition is running low and the German pressure is relentless. The battle for Rome is reaching its crescendo...
This is HOLLOW LEGIONS - the long-awaited Italian ASL module. Here is the complete order of battle for a new nationality - one never before offered in the long history of the SL/ASL systems. The Italian soldier of the Second World War has been much maligned - but is this view totally justified? How much was his performance affected by the quality of his weapons and the abilities of his small-unit leaders? Playing HOLLOW LEGIONS, which incorporates the results of extensive research on this lesser-known army and its equipment, will allow you to form your own opinion by giving you the opportunity to command every major vehicle, gun and troop type employed by the Italians in North and East Africa, Russian, Sicily, the Balkans and Italy during World War II. The two mapboards (#s 30 and 31) contained herein depict open desert; added to those in WEST OF ALAMEIN, they allow you to re-create North African battles of even greater expanse than was possible with just the British module. But HOLLOW LEGIONS is certainly not limited to the desert; indeed, of the eight scenarios in this module, five are set in Europe. Also included are the ASL Chapter H (Design Your Own) Italian vehicle and weapon listings, point values, historical notes and DYO charts - plus the ASL Chapter N (Armory) pages for the countersheets in HOLLOW LEGIONS, those for the Allied and Axis Minor infantry and support weapons, and those for British ordnance and transport.
- Board 30, 31
- Chapter H Italian
- Scenarios 51 - 58
- 3 Counter Sheets
Time Scale: 2 minutes per Game Turn
Unit Scale: 5 to 10 men, plus individual leaders, vehicles, guns
Map Scale 40 meters per hex
Players: 2 (also suitable for solitaire or team play)
Playing Time: Varies with scenario played; on average, three hours
Solitaire Suitability: Low