Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

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AlbertoC
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Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by AlbertoC » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:27 pm

In Sandstorm, the upcoming new expansion for Order of Battle, the Italian army obviously plays a very important role.

As commander in chief of the Axis forces in North Africa, you will be leading a joint army of German and Italian troops. Today we'll look at some of the new units available to Italy coming with Sandstorm.


Tanks

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In the first years of the war, Italian tanks are lightly armored and undergunned to complete with their heavier British and American counter-parts. By bringing some more modern tanks designs into production however, you will have access to a number of effective medium tank types.

- L6/40: While useful for reconnaissance and attacking unprepared infantry positions or lightly armored vehicles, its armament and armor is inadequate for dealing with tanks or entrenched positions.
- M14/41: A minor upgrade over the M13/40 medium tank, but still lacking the armor thickness and gun calibre to compete with all enemy tank types.
- P26/40: The first tank design with decent armour and a capable 75mm gun, roughly comparable with the Panzer IV and M4 Sherman.
- P43 bis: This vehicle forms the pinnacle of Italian tank design, inspired by the German Panther tank and armed with a powerful 90mm anti-tank gun.


Fighters


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- CR.42: While maneuverable in dogfighting, this biplane fighter cannot compete with boom-and-zoom attacks by more modern monoplane fighter designs.
- MC.200: In the hands of an experience pilot the Macchi C.200 Saetta is a match for the British Hurricane fighter it will frequently meet over the deserts of North Africa.
- MC.202: With the "Folgore" fighter the Italian Airforce has an excellent fighter design capable of matching enemy aircraft in combat.
- G.55: The "Centauro" is probably one of the best fighter aircraft available to the Axis, with powerful armament and excellent flight characteristics.


Artillery

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The Italian Army has access to a large variation of towed and motorized artillery units.

- Obice da 75/18: This light mountain gun can be moved quickly and through difficult terrain, allowing short range artillery support in all environmental situations.
- Semovente da 75/18: Carrying the same gun as above, this self-propelled gun offers good firepower and protection for its crew in a fully enclosed casemate.
- Semovente da 105/25: Effectively a heavier version of the previous SPG, this unit carries a powerful 105mm gun and thicker frontal armour.
- Semovente da 149/40: This machine does not offer much protection to its crew but can keep its distance from the enemy thanks to the powerful 149mm artillery gun.


Regia Marina

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The Italian Navy has been expanded in Sandstorm with a ship type of every class to match the enemy fleets in all types of engagements.

- MAS torpedo boat: These fast and light boats are armed with two torpedoes for hit & run attacks against enemy warships, and one machine gun to defend against enemy aircraft.
- Soldati destroyer: Ideally suited for reconnaissance, shielding larger warships from enemy torpedo attacks and engaging enemy ships with its own torpedoes or battery of four 120mm guns.
- Bolzano cruiser: This heavy cruiser is armed with a powerful array of guns, capable of providing fire support during naval battles and coastal attacks.
- Littorio battleship: This class of battleships is the most modern and powerful available to the Italian Navy. It is equipped with impressive primary and secondary gun batteries.


Hotwheels & Bersaglieri

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Besides the common lines of unit classes, the Sandstorm campaign also adds a number of more unique units to the game:

- Bersaglieri: These units are composed from above-average recruits and have received intensive physical and marksmanship training. The Bersaglieri form the elite of the Italian infantry arm.
- AS.42 Sahariana: Similar to the transport vehicles of the British "Long Range Desert Group", the low-profile Sahariana reconnaissance vehicle is easily concealed and can track enemy units undetected to strike vulnerable targets at the right time.
- AB 41: Armed with a 20mm autocannon and two machine guns, this reconnaissance vehicles is effective at harassing enemy infantry and light vehicles. It can also be converted to run on railway tracks for even faster but more restricted movement.
- QF 2-pounder Portee: This British truck carries a 2 pounder anti-tank gun in the back. While vulnerable to infantry, air and artillery attack, it does provides a mobile platform to rapidly set up defenses against Axis armor.

Sandstorm has many more new units to offer: we're looking forward to releasing the expansion and hearing your thoughts on them. Until then, stay with us, for we have more stuff to show you!

kondi754
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by kondi754 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:56 pm

P26/40 heavy tank was never used by the Italian army.
In 1943, after the capitulation of Fascist Italy, several dozen tanks of this type were taken over by the German army as Panzerkampfwagen P 40 737 (i). These tanks were used against allied forces at Anzio.
P43 bis - remained at the draft stage, 2 wooden models were made.

Again strange ideas like with the Japanese army ... :? :evil:

13obo
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by 13obo » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:17 pm

Kondi, if we were to do OOB 1 to 1 with history then we'd just lose, no? Point is... These abstracts are necessary to maintain a fun and gameplay-balancing element for the Italians compared to other major nations.

Erik2
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by Erik2 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:52 pm

The added unit types also makes it possible to expand on the strictly historical scenarios.
Say if you want to create a 1946-47 hypotetical one.

kondi754
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by kondi754 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:42 pm

Ok, I know that the game has its own rules like gameplay, balance etc, but I had to write that it hurts me a lot... :(

TripleCP
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by TripleCP » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:30 am

It will be interesting to see what the balance of Italian versus German units ends up being seeing as there were around nine Italian divisions at El Alamein versus four German ones. I'm guessing many of the Italian foot infantry divisions will be represented as auxiliary forces.
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elconfederado
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by elconfederado » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:31 pm

I hope the Italian infantry isn't represented as auxiliary forces. I want full command of my Italians as core units.

TripleCP
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by TripleCP » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:06 pm

elconfederado wrote:I hope the Italian infantry isn't represented as auxiliary forces. I want full command of my Italians as core units.
Unless the core is balanced along the lines of 70% Italian versus 30% German, I doubt that would be the case. If it is around 50/50, that would represent approximately the right balance of German unit to Italian tank and motorized infantry units. The Italian foot infantry's lack of mobility meant that they often weren't a factor in many of the battles, but only in cases where the front line stabilized enough for static defenses and fortified positions to come into play (Tobruk, Gazala, Second El Alamein, etc.).

That said, I would not have minded if the campaign started in 1940 with an all-Italian core and had both an initial and expanded roster of German units available only as an upgrade. I don't think most other players would agree, though.
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by Andy2012 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:22 pm

elconfederado wrote:I hope the Italian infantry isn't represented as auxiliary forces. I want full command of my Italians as core units.
Dont worry, there will be plenty of Italians in your core.

elconfederado
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by elconfederado » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:08 pm

Andy2012 wrote:
elconfederado wrote:I hope the Italian infantry isn't represented as auxiliary forces. I want full command of my Italians as core units.
Dont worry, there will be plenty of Italians in your core.
Thanks, you made me happy!

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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by WarHomer » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:18 am

That said, I would not have minded if the campaign started in 1940 with an all-Italian core and had both an initial and expanded roster of German units available only as an upgrade. I don't think most other players would agree, though.
+1 that would have been awesome. I think I read 14 missions somewhere and find that a shame for this theater. It has awesome possibilities.

13obo
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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by 13obo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:33 am

It's most than what other similar games offer to be fair, so why not be happy for a change.

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Re: Order of Battle: Sandstorm - The Italian armed forces

Post by Mojko » Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:53 pm

I wish the last scenario is joined attack of German, Italian and Japanese forces on India.
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