Friday, 1 June 2012

Megablitz Memories: Tunisia

In the aftermath of the very successful 'Kick In The Door!' MEGABLITZ battles, the next game that I took part in was set in North Africa, and saw the retreating Axis forces fending off the advancing Allies so that they could evacuate as much equipment and as many personnel as possible to Italy. If my (fading and ageing) memory is right, the Axis players were all experienced MEGABLITZ players whereas the Allies - and especially the Americans - were commanded by relatively inexperienced players or newcomers to the rules.

As in my previous blog entry, the action is covered by a series of vignettes.

The Italians vs. The British
As usual the Italians were very much the junior member of the Axis partnership. They had some rather poorly equipped Units but they had done the best they could with what was available, and wherever possible had occupied prepared positions that the Allies would have to wheedle them out of.

An Italian outpost. The garrison is made up of lightly-armoured reconnaissance vehicles.

The leading elements of a British combined-arms Battle Group, led by Armoured Cars and protected by a Hawker Hurricane.

Another part of the advancing British mobile formation.

The leading elements of the British mobile formation assault the lightly-held Italian outpost.

A British Infantry assault on a position held by Italian Infantry. The British have two Field Regiments, Royal Artillery, firing in direct support of the assault. The grey marker in the background is a minefield that will have to be cleared ... unless, of course, it is a dummy one.

Italian and British armour clash in the desert. Compared to their allies, neither the British or the Italians had particularly good tanks at this time, but they were certainly a match for each other.

British Infantry, supported by Tanks, attack another part of the Italian-held front-line. The Italians fought much harder than expected, and held up the British advance in several places.

The remnants of an Italian formation fight on against overwhelming odds.

In the end the Italians did a much better job than was expected of them, and delayed the Allied advance for longer than originally planned.

The Americans vs. The Germans
The Americans came in force. They had large, well-equipped forces and lots of enthusiasm. the Germans had far less ... but were a wily bunch who knew just how to achieve the greatest impact with the least effort or risk. Needless to say, the Americans had to learn fast ... and they did.

Part of the two Armoured Divisions fielded by the Americans. They were very mobile and had lots of armoured vehicles ... but their commanders lacked experience.

With such large numbers of well-equipped troops, success was assured ... wasn't it?

Much of the German equipment was tired and due for replacement ... but the German soldiers were well trained and very experienced, and this more than made up for their apparent weakness.

A German armoured attack hits part of the American force. The German tactics were to go in fast, hit the Americans hard, and then pull back before the Americans could react ... and then they would do it again. In the end brute strength overcame tactical skill, but not before the American advance had been held up for some time and they had learnt some valuable lessons.

In the end numbers prevailed ... but not until the Allies had experienced considerable losses and learnt that the Axis troops still had the ability and the will to fight hard.

10 comments:

  1. Great close ups once more, and again I say what a traffic jam you guys had! Seems that it was just a run to the middle scrum style, and see what was left after the dust settled!

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  2. Great sounding game. Would think that Megablitz would 'feel' more realistic if it was played on a scale map rather than normal wargames terrain.

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  3. Mr Lee,

    I must admit that the close-up photographs do give that impression, but in actual fact the tables the battle was fought on were quite large and there was a lot of room for units to manoeuvre in.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Telemachus,

    We have fought Megablitz battles on OS maps using 1:300th-scale vehicles and figures, and they worked very well indeed ... but we all seem to prefer using our 20mm-scale 'toys'!

    I suspect this is because such games give us the opportunity to use stuff that has been sitting in storage for years and to indulge in some gratuitous model making.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Good to see these photos again. I have copies of them (plus a few of my own) so may re-run them with captions (I recognise all of the units involved......). The Axis players - Generals Cordery, Kemp, Willey and Von Gow were popularly known as "the four old Nazis". What a cheek. I wasn't that old.

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  6. Tim Gow,

    I think that I have some general photos of the tables as well, but at the moment I cannot find them.

    It would be nice if you could write a blog entry that includes any photos that you have (suitably captioned, of course).

    We four did well that day, and held off the Allied attacks with dogged determination even though the troops we had were not all top quality. My Italians performed very well indeed in defence and the Afrika Korps gave the Americans a very nasty shock.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. "Bitte hier leicht treten", (Please step lightly), on the bottom of the minefield card. I had forgotten that I had written that, Bob.

    Thanks for posting an excellent set of photos of an excellent day. Happy memories.

    The quote was "alte Haese" (old hares), Tim. It could have been worse :O)

    Regards, Chris

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  8. Chris Kemp,

    I wondered what it meant!

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. I took very few pics during the game (and on a film camera -- remember them?) so thanks for posting these.

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  10. Ian Drury,

    If you want scanned copies of them, let me know.

    All the best,

    Bob

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