Monday, June 13, 2011

North Africa Campaign (1)

Saturday I played a Flames of War game with Eric at Adler hobby as part of our continuing North Africa campaign. I brought my British armour and Eric pushed Gordon's Italian armour company. On paper I thought I was in good position to carry extra armour weight against the lightly armoured Italian tanks. No plan survives contact with the enemy as they say. Once we selected our Firestorm units things turned the other way around. I was given an extra unit comprised of all things, Italian M14/41 tanks. Eric drew a unit of three Shermans IIs.

I underestimated how potent the Shermans would be and committed two platoons of Crusaders to counter them: two Crusader III tanks and four Crusader II tanks. In the middle I placed my HQ and Grants to press the objective against Eric's platoon of Italian tanks. On the left my 'captured' Italian tanks faced off against Eric's tanks.

Things went fairly well for me early with me knocking out Eric's AA trucks. Then I shot my Crusader II tanks against the Shermans. A quick look at the table showed me that to my 2-lb main guns the Shermans might as well be King Tigers. I couldn't penetrate them. My two Crusader III tanks with their 6-lb guns had a better chance, but were quickly knocked out before they could be brought to bear on the captured Sherman tanks in Italian service.

In the middle combined fire from the Grants and some Hurricane air support brought Eric's battery close to the breaking point but they passed morale with a single gun left. Similarly Eric's battered tank platoon on his right held tough long enough for his Shermans to knock out my HQ tanks and all three Grants.

Without a company commander my company was forced to withdraw losing 3-4. This was a close-fought game with Eric's three Firestorm Shermans causing all but one of my company's casualties.

I think my force is going to have similar trouble with Panzer IV and Tiger forces as it did with the Shermans. I think I had best figure out a solution for this challenge or I'm going to be in trouble. Good thing for me I have some 25-Lb artillery on the painting table!


Steven said...

I think I have a copy of those North African firestorm rules- are they the ones by Jokull? Not sure if I have the most recent- do you think I could pursuade you to send me a copy?

Looks like a good battle!

Rodger said...

Great the terrain.

Paint-In said...

Altough the campaign sounds like great fun how a Brit player can turn up with italian armour and the italian player with brit armour is something I might no understand.........

Adler Hobby & Board Game Cafe said...

During the war towns and battle-lines often traded sides many times, historians of today often comment if thier was satellite imagery then, things would look like a British civil war captured equipment was the norm in North africa ! tons of pictures online now if you like to look it up its very fascinating and very inspirational for fun modeling projects!