In a few weeks my local group will be starting a 1941 Desert War campaign centred around Operation Battleaxe
, using the Battlegroup rules and an appropriate map. More about that later: in the meantime, my brother has never played a desert game of any sort so what better time to practice?
A couple of quick forces were thrown together, my brother opted to play Germans and took the DAK: mostly Panzer III Gs with a platoon of Panzer IV Ds and some Recce (8-Rad, Panzerjager PaK38 and PzGren Foot Patrol). The British fielded Crusaders, two Troops of the Crusader Mk I. (Unreliable) with a Crusader I Forward HQ and additional tank. Also a Motor Infantry Platoon, a single 3" Mortar and a 2-pounder ATG.
No Recce as I don't have anything period-appropriate: we're going in blind! My plan then as the British was an old-fashioned cavalry charge with (hopefully) overwhelming force on one side (which ever looked more promising) while refusing the other with the infantry, 2-pdr and maybe a tank or two if necessary. The mission was Flanking Attack....and I got to start in the "this corner is all rocky ground" corner. Lovely.
(expand for larger versions)
|The British start. The shaded are is all rough terrain (rocky ground): it took a while to get through it|
and really get going, thus the Germans were able to take up good positions early on.
|The German right: moments before this picture was taken, the PaK38 near the Sd Kfz 10 |
took a direct hit from the 3" mortar and the crew were wiped-out. Lucky!
|Aerial view of German left. My keen senses detected the classic German double-envelopment plan developing...|
|Panzers on German left in hull-down positions.|
|Crusaders come on from reserve and charge the ridge: a lucky hit sees a Panzer III G KO'd.|
Roll a 6, then roll two more. Simples!
|The British left: the 2-pounder managed to miss everything all game, but at least *seemed* threatening.|
|The near Crusader....the Hero Crusader: deflected a 5cm hit and then passed a BTCOD test to surge forward, |
hitting both Panzers on the ridge but failing to do damage to either! Long range gunfire KO's a Crusader, while the Hero Crusader is hit *twice*...
|...and has somehow survived the return fire (unbelievable...). |
Offered a second opportunity for life he now destroys a Panzer III G.
|The Germans respond on their right, wiping-out the 2-pdr with the 8-Rad and long-range HE fire while the |
foremost Panzer III manages to hit and destroy the British FHQ Crusader....sad!
|The Hero Crusader KO's his third Panzer before being Immobilised on a 1 (Unreliable). |
Now stuck, but the damage is done.
|The rear Crusader KO's the Panzer IV near the rocks, but is in turn Immobilised (damn Unreliable!). |
That leaves the Troop Commander to press on alone to claim the rear objective...
|...because the other (non-broken-down) tanks are needed to counter on the left.|
|The tank-fight on the left quickly moves to close-range but neither side can hit much of anything. |
A section of Motor Infantry moves up hoping to Close Assault the Panzer III.
|The infantry assault but fail to do damage, lose a man and are pinned. Tank fire is pretty abysmal, only managing to Pin the Panzer III. Long-range Bren and Rifle fire lights-up a supply truck that became a little too bold.|
|German return fire is wholly ineffective, and the last Panzer III is shortly thereafter destroyed by a Crusader, |
breaking the German force morale. The British were 35/37 BR...so a close game as the Britsh were drawing many 4s.