Friday, January 11, 2013

1941-Western Desert Assault

 I am glad to be back writing on the blog again. The holidays, overtime at work,  and the arrival of a new member to our home has played havoc with gaming and writing.
Last night I was able to play a game that had been set up and waiting for over a week. Here are the starting forces for the British:

1 Commander Unit(in Chevy) 2 Strength Points
4 Tank Units(A9 and A10's)   12 SP total
2 Light Tank Units(Mk VI's)    6 SP
1 Armoured Car Unit                3 SP
2 Field Artillery Units(25pd)   4 SP
4 Infantry Units                         16 SP
6 Trucks and Tractors               12 SP
1 Hurricane fighter                     3SP

15 Combat Units, 58 SP,  4 Initiative dice. All rated 'average", except the tanks and light tanks, rated "poor" for thin armour and breakdown problems.

Dug in and waiting, here are the Italians:
1 command Unit                        2 SP
2 Tank Units(M13)                    6SP
1 Anti tank Gun Unit                 2 SP
1 Infantry AT Unit(ATRifle)     2 SP
1 Machine Gun Unit                  2 SP
1 field Artillery Unit                 2 SP
1 Motorcycle Unit                     3 SP
2 Infantry Units                          8 SP
1 CR42 Falco Fighter Bomber 4 SP

11 Combat Units, 33 SP, 3 Initiative dice. All rated average, except the Field artillery, rated
elite".  The motorcycle unit was portrayed using the "cycles" section in the Optional Ground Combat Rules.    The "fighter bomber" was treated as a "bomber", with no gun capability UNTIL releasing its three bombs, at which point it is played as a fighter plane.


Early action saw the British advance on a wide front. The Royal Horse Artillery raced to get their guns in position. A bold Italian pilot launched an unsuccessful bombing attack on the  gun team and tractor.

As the British tanks close with the entrenched Italians, the RAF goes after the CR42, getting in a couple of quick hits.

The "Hurri" moves up to cover the left flank attack, which has hit solid opposition from an M13 Unit and a 47mm anti-tank gun.

Meanwhile, the RHA unlimbers, no longer threatened by the  biplane fighter.

A field of large stones channels the attack to  both flanks. Thin armour does not protect the British tankers from an assortment of Italian ordnance. Still, the right  flank does begin to roll back the defenders.

A Mk V1 brews up following an assault by the Italian infantry AT Unit. The "Hurri" now strafes the Italian artillery, with good results.

Infantry moves up, to push the defenders out of their shelters. Too many British tanks are falling to enemy fire and assault.  The Italians, though, have suffered heavy losses, and continue to fall back.

The Italians are beaten, but still manage to blunt the attack. The British have taken the field, but will have to await reserves to exploit their victory.

Again, the air rules make a fun game even more interesting.  The Falco slowed down the advance of the RHA, and the Hurri got in  good strafing run on the Italians, despite some fine AA work by the Machine gun Unit.

All of the vehicles and planes, and the Italian Infantry is from Flames of War. The British Infantry is from Old Glory.

Here is our new family member,Queen Victoria, known as "Tori". She was found on our doorstep the week before Christmas, and conned Spike, Boye and I into keeping her.  We are having to spend some extra effort to get her adjusted to living inside, but it is well worth it.

NEXT WEEK: 1941 Mobile Action in the Desert. Hope to see you then,


  1. I wish Tori well with you and I rreally enjoyed the photo of her.
    A great looking game.Many moons ago I played 1/300 games with a British army of the period and got greatly out gunned by ahistorical opponnents. Your set up makes me fancy another try at this period- perhaps with Italians and their invasion of Somaliland..
    best wishes
    p.s I will try and post a piccie of the Blucher this weekend for you...

    1. Alan, I have found the early Desert War to be a great field for gaming. At the lowest levels, the armies were far closer in abilities than many would believe. On a strategic level, it is another case entirely. the Italian lack of transport, and thus mobility, made the smallest break in the line critical. I plan to run several more games in this period, with some of the more interesting equipment(Matildas, for example).

  2. The Christmas break seems to have been quite eventful for you!

    I remain very impressed by the simple but extremely effective terrain you have created, and the whole thing - including the models - cries out to be used. I am also pleased that you are still enjoying using the rules. There certainly seem to generate some exciting and believable results.

    I am now looking forward ot the next instalment.

    All the best,


    1. Bob, my biggest challenge now is managing my time for gaming. I want to play several different theatres of WW2, build some more scenery for the Cassino Campaign, paint about a hundred flats for the American Revolution, and continue to work on the English Civil War, all while trying to clean up my game room and workshop, and get Tori completely house-broken.

      Thank goodness a good, entertaining game of BBPW can be completed in far less time than it takes to describe!

  3. Hi Steve,

    Great looking action and I really liked the aerial side - especially the Italian fighter. Welcome Tori to the household although she did not seem too impressed with the action - perhaps something involving Elizabethan Sea Dogs or the Dogs of War might be more to her taste....;-)

    All the best,


    1. David, Tori is far more interested in wrestling with my 70 pound Labrador Retriever, Boye. By the time she curls up next to me, she is exhausted from the skirmishing.

      The Italian fighter-bomber made for some fun game decisions. Drop all the bombs at once, and try to assure a kill(did not work!), or spread them out and hope for several hits, while the British fighter could strafe the enemy or provide close air cover for his ground-pounder friends. I will definately use air assets in most of my games from here out.

  4. Steve
    I have finally got round to posting photos of the POW model of the Blucher at my Duchy of Tradgardland Blog.
    I hope you find it interesting.
    best wishes

    1. Thanks, Alan, I commented there, what a wonderful artifact to have. It is far more than just a piece of art.

  5. Glad to see you posting again! The early desert war is becoming more and more interesting to me, but I need to wander into another period like I need a hole drilled into my head. Knowing me, however, I probably will sooner or later!

    Best regards, and looking forward to more reports,


  6. Replies
    1. Those games were played using Robert Cordrey's "Modern Portable Wargame " available for download on his Wargaming Miscellany blog. They are a true joy; a simple game that can be modified to handle almost everything you can thow at them, from War of the Worlds to Tank Action in the 1970's. Try them out soon.

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