Tuesday, 10 November 2020

WW2 Western Desert Campaign Turn 9 - Game 1

I have finally managed to write up this battle report for the first game of WW2 Western Desert campaign turn nine. In the previous campaign turn an Allied counterattack turned out to be short lived, failing to gain sufficient wins to continue with the advance. This handed back the initiative to the Axis forces with an opportunity to attack. The overall supply situation meant Axis forces had replenished one of their divisions, but their Pavia Infantry Division remains understrength still requiring replacement equipment from supplies. The Allied situation was fairly similar, with their South African infantry division in need of resupply, and some limited supplies had been be directed to provide additional defences to the NZ Infantry division.

Opening moves of campaign turn 9

This turn, the first of 2 to 3 games, begins with the 21st Panzer attacking the Allied 3rd Armoured Division. A roll of the dice decided this game was to involve a surprise attack by the attacking Axis forces. A third of their forces can arrive on one of the tabletop edges during the game. From the defending Allied view any attack was going to be met with a strong defensive position of hills and an escarpment. This terrain arrangement was determined by a terrain card selection process.

Just as a note, I am planning to write up the campaign rules over the next few weeks as there have been a few clarifications and modifications from when I began the campaign.

Starting positions with the three objectives identified.

The Axis plan was to push forward on the right flank while using their flanking force to create a surprise attack on the left flank. The opening moves had the Axis advancing as planned when a sandstorm arrived limiting both movement and visibility.

Visibility is compromised as a sandstorm arrives.

In this game I was using event cards (or chance cards if you prefer) and had included a sandstorm card in each forces card set. The two sandstorm cards came up on turn 2 and turn 4 and as a consequence all moves and visibility were limited early on in the game.

Event cards were used during the game.

Axis flanking forces arrive under cover of the sandstorm.

During the sandstorm the Axis advance continued on their right flank and on the left flank elements of their flanking force began to arrive. As the sandstorm eventually cleared, units found themselves engaged in close quarters on both flanks. The Allied Grant tanks on the Axis left flank had put up a good defence eventually forcing attacking units to retire, then one unit boldly pushing forward into the centre to harass Axis units preparing to push forward.

Attacks occurring on both flanks

An Allied Grant tank pushes forward into the centre.

Axis air support arrived soon after, but made no effect on the Allied forces defending their right flank, shortly thereafter and the left flank surprise attack was called off by the Axis. All their efforts were now to be directed towards making a breakthrough on the other flank.

An ineffective air attack

Progress on the right flank, but Allied units are hanging on grimly.

The left flank attack retires and all efforts are directed to making progress on the other flank.

The Axis made little further progress on the right flank and after some determined defence and a moderately successful Allied air attack. With little progress Axis forces called off their attack. A victory to the Allies which held on to all three objectives and had certainly benefited from this strong defensive position. I am not sure if the sandstorm had a big influence, but it had slowed down the initial advances made by Axis units.


  1. A nice scenario and I'm sure the random vents cards certainly provided a challenge for both sides. The sandstorm pics are very well done and really add some atmosphere. As always I love the look of your games and await with interest the next game.

    1. Thanks, I am enjoying the use of event cards and at present I am trying to strike the right balance between no event, positive and negative events. For example, repairs to allow a removed tank unit to return to the game.

  2. Great to see the campaign back on course - what happened to the two lines of divisions? The games all seem very balanced, in a campaign setting there ought to be a bit chance of some one-sided games if the right decisions are made - looking forward the campaign rules update.
    PS - I did like the sand storms, random events if not overdone are great fun.

    1. It was fun to be playing this campaign again. I have reverted back to the single line, but have 2 wins a minor victory and move 1 campaign zone, and 3 wins a major victory and move 2 campaign zones. On the events I am presently going with a third no event, a third good event and a third unfortunate event. Thanks.

  3. Great game report. The sandstorm images are very effective.

    1. Thanks. The sandstorm effect was by holding up to the camera a thinned out dust marker I use to show movement.