Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Debacle at El Ka-Bong

December, 1940 and Operation Compass is beginning with the reduction of the Italian frontier forts.  Special rules taken from Burning Empires, played on a 6x6' surface since we upped the points to 2000.  This would have unexpected consequences given the mission rules.  But on to the game.  Click on the pictures to big-up.

Only two platoons are allowed to start the game inside or within 4" of the fort.  The attacker starts with his entire force, no closer than 12".  The defender gets to begin bringing in relief column on their turn one with a d6 dice roll.  1-4 indicates a specific corner, a 5-6 and you get to pick.

The British surround the fort and surprisingly have no armour.
Things seemed to start really well for the British.  Two of three stands facing them are eliminated and the Confident/Trained platoon (our best) was pinned.  The Reluctant/Trained facing a stronger infantry force only took one loss and was also pinned by hits. 

Bottom of one and two platoons of M13/40 "tanks" roll on.
In order to get past 1350 points for the Italians (and the fort is worth 300) I added these two platoons even though they aren't on the list.  Turns out it may be a weakly armored and slow tank, but the M13/40 sports a lot of MGs.

On the other corner the tanks largely eliminate the British mortars
and Vickers.
Top of two and the British can assault.  Both platoons on the gate side recover and move in.  Defensive fire is weak and it is "over the top" to assault.

One platoon ends up on top, the other blasts open the gate.

The M13s rumble forward, eliminating 25pdrs and pinning one

On the other side Sahariana cars add to the firepower woes of
the Commonwealth forces.  Artillery unlimbers on the other end.
In a scene reminiscent of the movie "Glory" where the Union forces are over the walls and racing for the interior, only to find cannons and rallied troops, the machinegun heavy Italians rally and turn on the invading platoons.  Few stands are eliminated, but both are pinned between the tanks and fort defender's fire.

Tanks closing, but it is the rally rolls that matter.
So in the top of turn 3 all three British infantry platoons fail to rally from pinned status.  Given that the Italian armor will ravage them in the bottom of three the British concede the game. 

Even our traditional game winners suffered.  This one taken out
by MG fire.
Given that we could automatically bring on parts of the relief column on turn one, even though we were starting farther away than normal on our over-large table, it was a game-breaker to allow tanks.  Sahariana cars, the normal mobile element, has a lot of firepower too, but not as much as the tanks.  The Libyan Mitraglieri platoons are weak, but with four infantry and three HMGs each they can roll a lot of dice for a measly 115 points.

Despite the disaster the historic clock will continue to tick and our next FoW game will be around February, 1941.  But first, a little horse and musket distraction.

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