17 April 2012

North Africa mega battle AAR part 1

Description of special rules for this battle.

Each side had 5 players, each Axis player had 1500pts at his disposal and the Allies had 1250pts at their disposal.

Each side had a designated General who had several tasks. Building the starting army deploying on the table from units belonging to all players on his side.

The Generals were also in charge of playing events raised by the game master, events such as sudden air support arriving and bombing enemy positions, naval artillery bombardment, taking control over unexpected reinforcements and the most important thing drawing command cards and turn them into reinforcements made up of friendly units yet to be deployed.

Command cards phase:
At the start of each turn, all players belonging to one side except for the general left the room while he was briefed by the game master about events taking place, playing out special actions and drawing command cards. Command cards had values ranging from 1-5 points, and both Generals started with a hand of 3 cards per turn. The size of their hands increased as the game progressed. Some cards had additional uses allowing special action such as sending in bombers, artillery bombardments, extra stormtrooper moves etc.

Turning command points into troops used the following system:

Bringing in a combat platoon 3 points
Bringing in a weapons platoon 5 points
Bringing in a divisional support 7 points
Bringing in a destroyed platoon – 2x the points cost
Air and off table artillery support 3-6 points

The idea of this system was to make Generals prioritize combat platoons over just throwing in divisional support units head first.

At the start of the battle Generals had a fixed number of points which they turned into their starting armies, allocating these points to players on their side. The most important function of the Generals as such was to draw command cards and allocate enough points on each subordinate player so that the right units could be brought onto the table. This required a bit of book keeping to keep track of the number of combat/weapons/divisional platoons already deployed by each player. There was a risk of giving players too little/too much points in which case the unusable points were wasted.
Once the General had allocated Command points to each player (face down next to their name card) he also allocated initiative order cards so that players moved, fired and assaulted in a specific order. This was mostly important during the assault phase.

The rest of the players returned to the room and received their orders and command points, and the next turn began.

Army lists

Sunny North Africa – Noon

A gentle breeze sweeps across the dunes, the Axis attack is soon to be launched. The Axis initial battle plan is as follows:

Storm the center and capture the village defended by British Rifle infantry with Axis tanks and Italian Infantry. The Crossroads and the Village is located directly in front of the Allied defense line on the outskirt of the city and has very high tactical value. The main focus of the initial attack should as such be directed at this point of the map.

To the left the idea is to deploy Fallschirmsjägers and have them capture the compound at the very far western flank and then join up with supporting Axis units  in a pincer maneuver to capture the radio station.

To the right the bulk of Axis reconnaissance units deploy, the idea is to prevent Allied access to the Oasis and to try to move over the hill and prevent Allied use of the eastern half of their outer defense line.
Turn 1 Axis
3 planes carrying Fallschirmsjägers are heading for the western flank, enemy air support tries to intercept and manage to shoot down 1 airplane. The remaining two drop their human cargo, the German paratroopers land spread out over a large stretch of the western flank. Some paratroopers land in the minefields and the Company commander is blown up, to make matters worse the 2iC also lands in the mine field but is safe for the moment. The paratroopers lack weapons and have to move up to their weapon containers to arm themselves properly.

German and Italian tanks supported by Italian motorcycle infantry move towards the village at the crossroads – not much damage is inflicted upon the British defenders this turn but it looks like the village could be taken next turn.

On the right flank a majority of the German light reconnaissance vehicles get stuck as they try to move across the oasis.

Turn 1 Allies
Sniper fire and British Paratrooper ambushes attack the unsuspecting German Fallschirmsjägers caught in a vicious crossfire.  The Fallschirmsjägers still devoid of any kind of proper weaponry have to resolve to using their sidearm’s in defensive fire to stop the British charging towards them – miraculously inflicting several casualties and stopping the assault dead in its tracks!

Meanwhile the British infantry holed up in the village watches the incoming wave of Axis forces. As they lack any kind of proper anti tank weapons they do their best to fire at the soft targets – scoring a anti tank rifle hit on one of the PzII tanks leading the charge but failing to penetrate its armor.

As the attack has caught the allies partially by surprise none of their vehicle crews are mounted up at the start of the battle. They roll skill tests to remount their vehicles, 3 out of 4 Churchill tanks mount up and start moving slowly to block any kind of German reconnaissance vehicle raid on their position.
The defenders are still only manning their defensive positions with minimal amount of active troops but the alarm sounding through the city streets will wake up the sleeping garrison and man the defensive positions.

Turn 2 Axis
Realizing there is nothing currently on the table which can knock out the enemy Churchill tanks, the only Tiger tank is brought up to the newly established entry point on the right flank – the Tiger positions itself at a safe distance with line of sight to the hulking allied Churchill tanks. The crew have the “For the Fatherland” skill, and as such are able to pass morale checks on 2+. Tiger fires at the Churchill formation but misses them. This also prevents the Reconnaissance vehicles to move out as the Churchill tanks would chew them up without problem. One recon vehicle however braves the enemy formation and opens fire at the AA trucks blowing up one of them before hurrying back to the safety behind the hill.

Fallschirmsjägers on the western flank are really caught in a bad place. The Axis pincer maneuver has turned into a double pincer with Paratrooper platoons attacking them on all sides. They try to pin up, but only 1 platoon manages to do so – it crawls towards the weapon container and arms itself. The platoon closest to the British paratroopers near the compound is stuck and mostly unarmed. The newly established entry point on the left flank is mostly blocked off by British paratroopers, so any kind of Axis reinforcements sent to help the Fallschirmsjägers has to trudge through the forest of Palm trees – slowing down vehicles.

As both Axis flanks are locked in place, the center pushes forward hoping to end the Allied defense of the village in one blow. Tanks and infantry fire at the defenders who suffer casualties but remain determined to fight on – the assault is also fought off with fanatical bravery. Even though the defenders have lost more than half of their men they are still holding the village in allied hands.

Buildings hit by German HE shells start to burn. In the chaos of battle 4 Gliders land east of the village carrying with them German engineers tasked with advancing towards the city and clearing obstacles.

Turn 2 Allied
The village is about to fall, Allied trucks are loaded with supplies and ammunition and drive off towards friendly lines. Their departure does not go unnoticed by the Axis units in the area.
At the same time the defenders of the village sally forth in a counterattack and manage to destroy the Italian 2iC command tank and some Axis infantry with small arms fire.

British paratroopers keep fighting off the advancing Axis troops trying to move towards the radio station while the remainder of the British paratroopers keep their unrelenting attack of the exposed Fallschirmsjägers who are left to fend for themselves.
Most of the allied tank crews have now mounted up and they move through the city streets away from the fort and their garrison. Churchill platoon backs away and into cover to reduce the chance of getting knocked out by the newly appeared Tiger tank.

The allies score their tactical victory for still holding the village at the crossroads.

Turn 3 Axis
The Tiger tank misses its shots, slowly creeping up the fields. This is rather annoying because those Churchill’s need to be destroyed before the reconnaissance troops can move out.

The Axis forces in the center storm the village in force and annihilate the remaining Allied defenders. The allied trucks which are trying to drive away also receive their fair share o the tank and infantry fire, 2 out of 3 trucks are destroyed. A new Axis HQ and deployment zone is set up in the area – the first Axis tactical victory is won.

The Fallschirmsjägers finally re-arm themselves and attack the British paratroopers near the compound in another bitter assault. The Afrika Schützen and supported by Italian tanks move through the palm tree forest and attacks the British paratroopers in front of the Radio station. The gunfire and following assault fails to break the British who refuse to lose any ground!

Turn 3 Allies
The Allies now draw 4 instead of 3 command cards each turn. They are also supported by a trio of airplanes who have flew unnoticed past the Axis air support and which range in on the Tiger tank in the open. The bombs hit the Tiger which is violently shaken, but as the smoke clears it is still operational and the crew kept their cool.

Churchill tanks move towards the newly captured village and destroy Pz II and Pz III tanks then turn their attention to the newly arrived German troops emerging from the gliders and spray them with machinegun fire.

More and more Allied troops are brought up to strengthen the outer defense line guarding the city outskirts. Allied ships have been sighted off the coast, they will soon be able to provide artillery bombardments.

Turn 4 Axis – DuskThe sun is low and there is not much daylight left – line of sight is reduced to 60cm for all troops.

 Axis reinforce the village with a PzIII J (late) platoon and also bring in German Fallschirmsjäger heavy mortars and 1 off table artillery battery.

Axis forces press hard at the left flank decimating the British paratroopers guarding the Radio station, gaining ground and momentum. The Fallschirmsjäger troops finally clear the British paratroopers and capture the compound – second Axis tactical victory is achieved.

The German 2iC in his PzIII L moves up and throws away a shot at the only remaining fleeing allied truck – this potshot hits the vehicle and makes it explode. As such no allied unit or equipment escaped from the village.
German and Italian infantry move up at the center near the village, the Axis forces are gathering for the imminent assault on the allied lines in front of them. The Tiger tank in the fields opens fire and hits 2 Churchill tanks. It fails to penetrate the armor of one, but manages to knock out the other. Finally some results from this team.

Panzerspäh units start to move towards the center of the table, driving out in front the Churchill gunline.

Turn 4 Allies – Dusk

Allies call in air support which swoops down at the Tiger tank once again, and fail to harm the beast. It falls on the Churchill platoon to attack in force, and the hail of projectiles thrown at the Tiger tank finally makes the crew bail out! More Churchill fire is diverted at the passing German reconnaissance vehicles who are hit but none of them gets destroyed!

The Axis hard earned victory near the western compound is turned into dust as the German paratroopers get attacked by remnant British paratrooper units who manage to kill the last of the enemy Commanding officers and make what Fallschirmsjägers remained flee from their positions. The compound is again in Allied hands.

The Paratroopers near the radio station dig in and consolidate their forces, readying themselves for another Axis attack. AT gun fire and Churchill tanks wipe out both the Pz III H and the Pz II platoon.

Night – ceasefire
As night falls both sides agree upon ceasefire. All Axis troops move back 30cm from any enemy units. This pretty much erases all captured ground on the western flank in front of the radio station to the German commanders dismay! Vehicles are hauled back to friendly lines and repairs attempt to bring them back up to running condition. The Allies manage to repair their one destroyed Churchill tank.

Medics also tend to wounded infantry, both sides get a couple of infantry stands back up on the table – most notably the German engineer platoon which arrived with gliders is almost back up to their initial starting strength when they heal 4 stands of infantry!

Furthermore all units are allowed to move a short distance towards friendly frontlines as long as they are out of reach for enemy positions. New foxholes are dug by infantry on both sides and vehicle crews which had abandoned their vehicles remount them under cover of the night.
The battle of Day 1 is at its end. The Axis plan of attack has been heavily disrupted on the flanks and delayed 1 turn in the center.

Stay tuned for part 2


  1. Great batrep, great pictures, great battle......bloody great!!!!!

  2. Thanks Angry Lurker :-D
    It was damn amazing to be there and play that game.
    Part 2 will be up tomorrow :-)

  3. this was one of my favorite miniatures war games experiences. the pics are great, and the youtubeclip is even cooler but nothing can describe the epic awesomness of the actual event. this will be replayed and i will get my revenge!

    great write-up, anatoli!
    /widgren, brigadeer major johnson of the royal brittish army. huzzah!

  4. Absolutely love it, great looking armies and whatsmore, hats off to your GM, he took FOW as the starting point and made this game look like so much fun with the command cards, support, dusk, recovery phases etc. Can't wait for part two!


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