Our trip through the actions at the beginning of WW2 in the Western Desert continue this week with our 4th adventure in the sands of North Africa.
If you want more information on the Campaign I have set up a separate page which is updated regularly with updates on rules along with links to all the previous games,
The games are based on an excellent book by Robert Avery which is available from The Toofatlardies, there is a direct link to purchase the book on the Resource Page.
We use 28mm figures with this scenario taking place on an 8 x 6 table using a home brew set of rules, based on Iron Ivans Disposable Hero's.
|Matildas lead the charge (ok walk) into the Fort|
It's the 9th of December 1940, the Italian advance into Egypt has stopped, the forces of Mussolini happy with the ground taken have started to consolidate and form a series of forts across the area.
The British Commander General Wavell decided that the next move of the war would be a British counter attack. Part of the plan involved the 4th Indian Division (consisting of British and Indian Infantry) supported by the heavy Matildas of 7RTR passing through a gap in the Italian lines and then turning North towards the sea attacking and neutralising forts along the way.
Our game represents the final stand of a group of Italian Troops in the Fort of Nibeiwa.
Table Set Up and Terrain
The above photo shows the table before any troops have been added, I have just used 8 x 6 of our table. As described in the briefings below this represents one corner of the Fort. There are three trenches and a series of low buildings to represent huts and buildings. In addition to that there is a large open walled area along with some tents to the bottom of that.
The roads and tracks give no bonus to movement, they are just well trodden paths within the Fort area. There are no special rules in force.
|Turn 2 and Mole breaks down, it didn't move again until the last turn of the game|
As British Commander you have the simple job of cleaning up the last defenders of Nibeiwa, the majority of the Fort has been subdued however the last pockets of resistance are holding out in one corner of the base.
Minimise your casualties as there is plenty more work to be done today, your forces for the attack are listed below,
|Italian Defenders under artillery fire.|
Artillery Observer in Daimler Dingo
7th RTR Troop - 3 x Matilda 2 tanks
1 x 25pdr (Off table)
Bren Gun Carrier team with 1 vehicle carrying 1 x Vickers HMG and crew, other two with standard 1 x Bren or 1 x Boyes AT.
Bren Gun Section (HQ is force commander)
1 x Support Section with 1 x 2" Mortar and 1 x Boyes AT Rifle
3 x Infantry Sections with 1 x Sgt with SMG, 2 man Bren Team and 7 Rifles
Truck Borne Section (as Brens) but 1 truck with HQ and Supports with 3 further trucks each with an Infantry Sections.
Morale, Basic 5, Corporal 7, Sgt 9, Officer 11
British Forces arrive at the top of the table (defined by the set up photo) the Matildas move on in move 1, the British may bring 2 sections or supports per turn. Artillery is available when the Artillery Observer is on table.
Reinforcements may be available on request.
|British HMG lays down support fire from a rooftop|
Things are not going well, the British attacked Nibeiwa early this morning and so far they have captured most of the Fort, you are our last, best hope. Protect the radio room at all costs and hope that they can raise the required reinforcements before you get over run.
Your forces are as follows,
Force Command - 1 x Officer and 1 x Radio Operator with 1 additional Radio Operator.
1 x L3 Tankette
2 x 75mm Field Gun and crew
1 x HMG and crew
1 x 81mm Mortar
1 x 47mm ATG
4 x Italian Squads each with 1 x Sgt with SMG, 1 x Corporal with Rifle, 1 x 2 man LMG team and 6 Rifles.
|Italian Artillery in action|
All Italian Units are hidden and only placed on table if they are spotted or fire. The Italians secretly chose one of their buildings as their Radio Room and place their additional Radio Operator in that structure.
Other than the hidden Italian deployment this is a fairly straightforward scenario, the British are expected to over run the Fort and for me unless they loose next to nothing a winning draw should be the best result they could expect. The Italians earn a draw if they cause a reasonable number of British casualties, a winning draw if they cause enough damage for the British to call for reinforcements (there aren't any !) and a win if they can hold the British off.
The game should last one full gaming day, call the result at the end of your gaming day.
|Bren Carriers to the front.|
Another fun game, initially the Italian players, their morale dented by the last games drubbing, were quite resigned to being quickly over run but soon realised that the game was going to be a much closer affair, they chose quite a deep defence, leaving the buildings at the top of the table, instead choosing to defend the walled area and the trenches, the latter having the best fields of fire.
|Looking cool, but still broken down.|
|Hide and Seek|
|Taken out by a Bren, embarrassing !|
|Bren Attack !|
|Dismount and Charge|
|Run Away !|
|One Italian Artillery unit in trouble|
|2nd one in more trouble.|
The second gun was caught by a section of British Infantry, they had just cleared the walled area and ended up streaming out of the gated entrance into the Italian Artillery men, they put up a fight but there was only going to be one winner.
|"I keep hitting it Sarge, it ain't doing no good"|
|"Ratty" proving invincible again|
|The last stand|
Final losses where as follows,
British - 16 Infantry and 1 Bren Carrier
Italian - 32 Infantry, 8 Artillery crew, two guns and one Tankette.
|Italian Commander minding his own business when a 25pdr lands next to him.|
The draw gives 2 points each giving us a running total, after 4 games as British 11 points and 5 points to the Italians.
Game 5 coming up soon when the British will be trying to push deeper into the Italian Forts.