Saturday, February 18, 2012


This weeks game at the SESWC was a 20mm World War II action using the Rapidfire rules. This fictional scenario was based on Operation Battleaxe in the Western Desert 1941. A British force of 2 infantry battalions supported by cruiser tanks, artillery and armoured cars attacked an Italian infantry regiment of 2 battalions with limited tank support defending 2 settlements. Both sides had off-table reserves and air support that was controlled by chance. The game was played on a 6ft by 4ft table.
Crusdaer squadron sweeps forward.....

This was actually a last hurrah for my Western Desert collection as I have decided to dispose of them on Ebay. I only use them occasionally at the club as all my terrain at home is for Western Europe or the Eastern Front.

Link to Flickr photoset with all the photos

How the game played
Bart Zynda and I commanded the British whilst Colin Jack and Oliver Lepreux commanded the Axis. We decided to split the forces fairly equally and Bart with 1 battalion supported by the A13 squadron and the armoured cars attacked on the right whilst I attacked with the other infantry battalion supported by the Crusaders and HQ on the left.

Barts infantry await the go sign

My attack stalled at once when in the first turn opportunity fire from an Italian AT gun knocked out one of my Crusaders and the others retired to cover. On his flank Barts tanks swept forward and engaged the Italian line with their machine guns as their 2pdr guns could not fire high explosive. The Italians facing Bart concentrated their fire on his supporting infantry.

A13s close on the village...supporting artillery fire hits oasis

Our supporting artillery proved a disappointment repeatedly failing to be contacted and missing - however eventually it did not knock out the Italian field gun.  We did get the RAF to intervene and a strafing Hurricane appeared. It proved singularly ineffective failing to spot its first target and being driven of twice by the Italian 20mm AA guns.

Desert airforce in action...completely ineffective

I attacked again with my Crusaders to counter an advance from Oliviers pair of M13/40s and knocked out one and heavily damaged the other - the surviving crew bailed out and retired for 2 turns.

Heavily damaged A13

The axis players received reinforcements more M13/40s reached Oliver and 3 German tanks joined Colin appeared facing Bart. I lost another Crusader to the remanned M13/40 and my surviving Crusader retired from the field. With their first fire the German tanks damaged 2 armoured cars and an A13. Barts infantry now tested a second time for their losses and rolled a 1 - disaster - those who had reached the Italian position surrendered whilst their heavy support fled the field. Our first reinforcement a squadron of Matildas had just arrived but it was a clear Italian victory.

Matildas - Queens of the battlefied - but arrived late.....

Here is the order of battle for the game.

XIth Infantry Regiment

1st Infantry Battalion (Test on 20)
HQ: CO + 5 Figures
Coy: 8 Figures
Coy: 8 Figures
Coy: 8 Figures
Supp Coy: 81mm Mtr, 45mm Mtr, MG, ATR, 47mm ATG, 13 crew

2nd Infantry Battalion (Test on 20) as 1st

Regimental Support
Art Bty: 75mm Field Gun, 4 crew
AA/AT Coy: 47mm ATG, 2 20mm AA, 10 crew


1/32nd Tank Btn
HQ: M13/40 Command Tank
1st Coy: 2 M13/40
2nd Coy: 2 M13/40
3rd Coy: 2 M13/40

Tank Coy: 2 PZIIIH, PZIVF1

Elements of 7th Armoured Division

22nd Armoured Brigade Hq: Co + 5 Figs, CS9 AC

3rd C.L.Y. Tank Regt
Hq: RR AC, MKVIa Lt Tk
1st Sqd: 3 Crusader I
2nd Sqd: 3 A13 Mk II

Motor Btn
HQ: CO + 7 figures, ATR, 2" Mtr
3 Rifle Coys: 8 figures each
Carrier Pltn: 8 figures, 2 bren carriers
Support Coy: Vickers MG, 3" Mtr, 6 figures
Trucks for above

Attached from the Support Group
Infantry Btn as motor battalion

Art Bty: 2 25 Pdr, tow & 3 crew, FOO + truck
AC Sqd: 3 RR AC

RTR Sqd: 3 Valentines or Matilda IIs
AT Bty: 2 or 3 2 Pdr Portee ea 3 crew

map of the table

1 comment:

  1. Hi there
    Very nice figures and a nice scenario. I'm a 15mm RF2 fan - with early war and Normandy, Arnhem and Russian front my main areas. Please let us know via your blog if you do put these on ebay - I might be tempted back to 20mm by a different theatre and such nice figures!! Nice description of the scenario as well - I like photos but I also like to know what happened, and what the OB was - excellent post many thanks. Ken