War in the West: Operation Torch

War-In-The-West-Operation-Torch-Expansion-Wargames-2BY3-Matrix-Games-SlitherineGary Grigsby’s War in the West is an incredibly ambitious wargame focused on the Western Front of World War II that has garnered a lot of attention for its detailed gameplay and steep learning curve. Published by Matrix Games and Slitherine and developed by 2BY3 Games, War in the West is, indeed, probably best known its complexity which can be disconcerting for new players but deeply satisfying to those who invest the time to learn the games ins-and-outs.

Operation Torch, an expansion pack for an already enormous game, focuses on the combined forces of the Western Allies against the Afrika Korps after El Alamein, among many other additions.

The war is at its turning point. After the defeat at the second battle of El–Alamein, the Afrika Korps is retreating and Rommel is forced to use all of his military genius to preserve the majority of fighting units at his disposal.

The second front in Europe is coming. But what we know so far?

Operation Torch is an expansion of the acclaimed wargame, Gary Grigsby’s War in the West, and it is focused mostly on the Allied efforts to stretch the Axis forces at their weakest points in the Mediterranean.

It will feature some of the newest enhancements of the War in the West base game, such as the possibility to attach construction units to cities/airfields and an increased ability to attach support units to smaller combat units, as well as plenty of new scenarios!

War-In-The-West-Operation-Torch-Expansion-Wargames-2BY3-Matrix-Games-Slitherine-1More specifically:

  • Three scenarios in North Africa covering the fighting from the Egyptian border to Algeria. The longest starts on the 10th November 1942 and runs to early summer 1943. Two shorter scenarios cover the German counter-attack around Kasserine Pass and the Allied final offensives to breach the Mareth Line, capture Tunis, and destroy the Axis army in Africa. Logistics and airpower are crucial elements as the Allies look to throw the Axis out of Africa.
  • Three smaller scenarios covering different operations in Italy and Southern France.  Smaller standalone scenarios, challenging in their own right, allow players to practice important skills needed in the Campaign games.
  • Two Air only scenarios covering different portions of the Allied Strategic Bombing Campaign against Germany. A great way to test out your factory bombing strategies.
  • A 1945 Campaign scenario that starts on the 16th December 1944 and runs to the end of the war in Europe. As the Western Allies, can you reach Berlin before the Soviets? As the Germans, can you execute a better Wacht am Rhein attack, or preserve your forces and hold of the Allies deep into the summer of 1945?
  • A Hypothetical Campaign 1943-45 that postulates the saving of most of the forces lost in Tunisia as well as a rationalizing of the German aircraft and armored production.
  • A bonus Campaign 1943-45 scenario that gives the Allied player roughly 30 additional lower level air command HQs so they can more easily organize their air forces.

War-In-The-West-Operation-Torch-Expansion-Wargames-2BY3-Matrix-Games-Slitherine-2Operation Torch is slated to be released on October 8th, 2015 and will have 10 new scenarios, including historical and what-if operations. These operations take place between late 1942 and 1945:

  • Torch to Tunisia (10 Nov 1942 – 26 Jul 1943 – 37 turns)
  • Battle for Tunisia (Feb 1943 – June 1943 – approximately 20 turns)
  • Rommel Attacks (Feb 1943 – March 1943 – approximately 6 turns)
  • Operation Dragoon (8 Aug 1944 – 18 Sep 1944 – 6 turns)
  • Operation Diadem to the Gothic Line (11 May 1944 – 27 Sep 1944 – 20 turns)
  • Breaching the Gothic Line (25 Aug 1944 – 4 May 1945 – 36 turns)
  • Weakest Link (13 Sep 1944 – 10 Feb 1945 – 20 turns) is an air only campaign covering the attacks on the German oil and fuel industries
  • Pointblank Directive 1944 (16 Jun 1943 – 5 Apr 1944 – 42 turns) is an air only campaign covering the early strategic bombing efforts by Bomber Command and the US 8th Air Force
  • 1945 Campaign (16 Dec 1944 – 4 Aug 1945 – 33 turns) starts with the Battle of the Bulge and covers the entire western theater of operations.
  • The 4th Supreme Command (3 July 1943 – 4 Aug 1945 – 109 turns) is a hypothetical Grand Campaign that assumes Hitler had been assassinated in March 1943, and that the Axis armies were in a better situation in the summer of 1943.

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