Wargame weekend update – the Desert War Game

This scenario was taken from the TooFatLardies recently released Christmas Special. It is based on the opening moves of the El-Alamein battle, where the allies had to breach the extensive mine and wire belts of the Axis forces before they could launch the armoured assaults that eventually won the Battle. The rules we used were the TooFatLardies Chain of Command (CoC), with my 15mm figures I have been re-basing recently.

I played the British and Kevin chose to play Italian. The scenario poses tactical problems for both sides – for the British how do you protect your engineers whilst they clear the mines and wire, whilst the Italians how do you stop them?

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The British had a reduced infantry platoon, a recon section in  3 carriers (Brens, 2″ mortar and a Boyes AT rifle) and 3 teams of Engineers. To support I chose a 2″ mortar, a 2″ mortar in a carrier and a Scorpion – a converted Matilda 2 with a flail!!

Kevin had a typical full strength (as good as ) infantry platoon, 3 emplacements and a 64 (Infantry Gun), as well as 3 team emplacements.

The reason I chose so many mortars was because I wanted to screen the mine clearing from the Italians. I covered the ridge with smoke, moved the infantry and carriers into over-watch positions and got the Scorpion to work. The engineers were kept to the rear. Kevin sniped with his 64, but the smoke kept this to a minimum!!

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In a moment of supreme over confidence I used a CoC dice to end the turn, this removed all the smoke. I thought then all my superbly placed units would then lay down such a heavy fire on the Italian defence that it would blow them away!!!! Wrong!! Kevin massed a section and charged towards the Scorpion throwing grenades; time to get the hell out of there!! In the exchange I lost a section which lowered my Force Morale, and Kevin lost a MG section routed, which also damaged his morale.

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By exposing his section Kevin had made it a target, and the British responded, hitting the section so hard it broke. This broke the Italian morale and they retreated off table leaving the British to finish clearing the mines and wire.

Kevin was faced with difficult problems. I had negated his firepower by the use of the 2″ mortars and smoke, but more importantly he could not stop the Scorpion, meaning by default it was only a matter of time for him to lose. A desperate last charge was his only option, and he was shot down.

A good game and a good scenario – it gave us both tactical problems to overcome. Second victory for me this weekend!!!

A few things were raised in the rules:

  • Grenades – there appears to be a 4″ minimum range for grenades, why? Should this be that within 4″ the thrower also take damage?
  • No MG dropping fire?
  • No details of Tank reverse movement?
  • No process for resolving infantry assault of a Tank – i.e a section swarming over it – I would assume it would be much like an assault on a bunker – but it is not specific.

I’ll work on finding solutions for these issues……

We also played some Board games – Robot Wars, W1815 and Enemy Coast Ahead.

We truly showed ourselves up in Enemy Coast Ahead, our best approach flight into the Lister Dam, height and speed correct, Flak avoided, Searchlights ducked, releasing the bouncing bomb and oh….we didn’t have one……. Kevin was blamed. Overall we breached one dam and damaged another, losing 11 out of the 18 Lancasters that took off, not very good.

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Wargame weekend update – the Desert War Game

  1. Going from memory, but there’s no minimum for grenade throwing. However, if you roll a 2, the dunce dropped it and the section needs to check for damage. I’d house rule that any throw that ends up 0 or less has the same effect.

    I don’t think ordinary infantry can assault tanks. That’s for tank hunter teams. But if you want to allow ordinary infantry to do so, they’d need some sort of anti-tank weapon such as a molotov cocktail, satchel charge, etc. Just use the tank hunter rules but maybe with a penalty to reflect the lack of training.

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  2. Grenades: Nope, no grenades at under 4″ in the open, becausef you come within 4″ of enemy in the open you are in close combat anyway. In cover you can get closer than this, so grenades can be used (eg: troops approaching a house can post grenades in the windows from just outside).

    MG dropping fire: Do you mean like plunging fire? MGs are treated pretty simply in CoC, there’s not even any enfilade.

    Tanks reversing: Check para 11.6.1.

    Infantry assaults on tanks: No can do. You can biff grenades into an open topped vehicle, and if you’ve got AT grenades or charges then you can have a go. Apart from that your only option is to use an MG and try to drive it off, but that’s pretty dubious against tanks.

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  3. Aha – of course!!!

    I think we might create a house rule for the MGs then – based upon the covering fire rule perhaps.

    I agree re infantry and tanks – I think we needed to understand the average soldier wouldn’t attack a tank with something it would be highly unlikely to damage it with

    Thanks for your comment

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  4. I allow people to put covering fire onto a tank to give it a -1 when the tank fires. I rationalize it as forcing the tank to button up completely. The -1 then represents the lessened ability for the tank to see its targets.

    Note that MG teams or entire sections can do covering fire. No using rifle teams by themselves.

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    • I think he might be referring to the rules for using MGs to drive off tanks? The standard rules allow any team (including rifles) to put down a 4″ zone of covering fire. FWIW I’m not a big fan of that rule as written.

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  5. I don’t mind the ability for rifle teams to lay down covering fire, but when a rifle team is down to just one or two men, then it seems odd. But I understand changing the ability based on team size would probably get fiddly, so I just go with it. 🙂

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    • I reckon a good house rule would be to make the size of the zone based on the number of firepower dice. So one rifleman would only affect a 1″ zone, while an SFMG would lay down 10″. As it stands they’re both 4″, which is as you say odd.

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