Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Full Monty, (or Cunningham)

Late in the game, the 15th Panzer in control of the field with swarms of Commonwealth infantry scrambling to hold the line after the heavy British tank losses. German infantry still cling to the airfield at Sidi Rezeg on the left of the pic. Italians still hold Bir El Gubi at the bottom right, and the South African Brigade is left facing German armor in the center.
I got a copy of the Memoir 44 "Breakthrough" boards in last Friday's post and I had some time today to set up the "Crusader" scenario. I had also recently purchased the new "equipment pack" with lots of special figures to add some spice to the M44 stew. In this big game I am going all-out with all optional rules and added a few extra units to the original scenario as well as some adjustments to the map to make it look "more like the actual battle" to my eyes.

Playing a desert scenario of a battle this large demand the inclusion of such goodies and rules like scout cars, supply trucks, 88s, big guns, mobile artillery, command cars (to represent Rommel) and the air pack. I also used the Churchill tanks included in the equipment pack to represent Matildas and treated them using the "Tiger Tank" rules (since they were really hard to kill given the light guns of the time) and reduced their move to 2 hexes since they were slow infantry tanks. And finally the grey French figures in the new equipment pack served nicely as Italian infantry and the Japanese tank minis from the Pacific served here as Italian armor.

The Lufwaffe really took a toll in this first game since with his free order Rommel was able to keep the air assets up and flying for several turns in the center sector where all the British armor was concentrated. The supply truck rules allowed units to withdraw to resupply and recover a hit. This made the game ebb and flow just like the real battle. With 12 medals required for victory the the game was long enough to support a withdrawal and return to the fray. For such an abstract game this was really not a bad representation of the battle.

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