The Ascari is one of four Italian destroyers in the game. She belongs to the Soldati class along with the Camicia Nere and is also an excellent unit for punch per points especially at a cost of 6 points.
Cost: 6 – Year: 1940 – Class: Destroyer – Set: Condition Zebra – Common
M:4 – 4 – 3
T: 2 – 1
Armor: 2 – Vital Armor: 6 – Hull Points: 2
Lay Smoke Screen
Like the Camicia Nere, the Ascari is a versatile destroyer with the standard destroyer armor of 2/6/2 but with an above average depth charge of 5 and the Lay Smoke Screen special. In a 100 point game she does best in the middle of your line where she can quickly move to intercept an incoming submarine. She can also lay cover smoke for a retreating battleship or task force. Use her main guns to whittle down the opposing destroyers and let your cruiser pick off the larger class ships. The goal with the Ascari is to keep the subs away from your main set piece and to hide your fleet from the large battleships with extended range. The anti-aircraft of 4 has a better change of scaring off incoming planes compared to the Antilope but do not expect a splendid fireworks show from her. Having 5 depth charges is key to the Ascari’s versatility allowing her to fend off submarines.
The Ascari’s main guns are weaker than the other class of Italian destroyers but are not to be ignored if the opposing player ends up in a toe to toe match with your heavy firepower. If the opposing player has moved in and engaged your main battleship you bring the Ascari up to the front quickly and plop her in the same sector. She will keep the subs from crawling into the same space, will provide 2 extra torpedoes against the opposing battleship and with the main guns will protect your battleship from other destroyers. The key is to get in there quickly when needed but do not volunteer to be on the front line from the start. Also, by being in the same sector during the toe to toe match if things look bad the Ascari can sacrifice herself by dropping smoke while the crippled battleship retreats and your remaining forces advance to harass the opposing battleship.
Overall this Italian destroyer is a key piece in a small and medium sized game and the key support unit of a small task force in a larger point game because of her smoke screen. I like her for a 100 point game only if you have an expensive and powerful battleship or cruiser. As an added bonus if you are playing the year restrictions she enters relatively early in 1940 with the Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio.
What are your thoughts on the Ascari for Axis and Allies: War at Sea games? Would you take her in a 100 point game at 6 points? Would you pass her over in a 150 point game for something stronger?