May 19, 2020 by wargamerchris
During our time inside, I’ve fallen into a desire to get back to some games that I haven’t had time for in the past decade because of work and time on the road.
This game has been under construction for six weeks and we finally played it the other night. Across a fire-swept hell recreates the first battles at the airfield outside Derna as the Australians follow up on withdrawing Italians in the Benghazi Handicap.
Those of you who know me that much of my gaming history my favorite period was WW2 and I have built massive collections for many nations in 20mm to run convention games over the past 15 years. About 6 years ago, after a ton of investment and preparation, I ran a convent game of Antsirane (British vs Vichy) which didn’t work out as well as I hoped with respect to number of players and the experience left me cold. I walked away from my primary collection and began running simpler historical games – moving to other periods and running with simpler rules.
I still have all those figures, but I decided to begin a 15mm WW2 gaming collection – initially focused mostly on East Africa 40-41 as well as the North African and Tunisian campaigns. In six weeks I’ve amassed a lot of painted figures and vehicles – and this was our first scenario.
For details of the scenario, I recommend the Benghazi Handicap supplement by Command Decision Test of Battle games. (Frank Chadwick and all). A reprinted version is available in the US from On Military Matters – among the best gamer focused booksellers on the planet.
This scenario is based on a single reinforced Australian battalion assaulting an Italian force of parachutists with reinforcing AA, artillery, and very modest armored forces.
Rules are Command Decision Test of Battle, scale 15mm, and figures are mostly Battlefront, Command Decision (in the US by Old Glory) and select odds/ ends including a 3d printed M11/39
My Italian commander was smug and had destroyed all three of my reece carrier platoons by the end of op-fire in Turn 3, and I was down to three infantry stands not pinned/ forced back. The Australian Brigade commander called off the attack and pulled back from the airdrome.
We agreed that the scenario heavily favors the Italians in terms of firepower and the BUA’s make them very resilient under fire despite their slightly lower morale and troop quality.
Rather than just move on, we decided to leave the terrain and send reinforcements from the Australian brigade to play another scenario tomorrow – adding some Matilda tanks and more infantry to give it another go.
In the last six weeks, I’ve painted 600 miniatures and more than 50 vehicles for the East African campaign and North Africa. I said I would never do this, but here I am!
CAN THE AUSTRALIANS EVER WIN THIS SCENARIO????
I remember why I loved CDTOB – plays very fluidly and allows big stories to play out relatively quickly. More to come.