Friday 24 March 2017

Desert Tank Skirmish

Over the weekend the young Padawan and I took my newly painted tanks out for a joy ride in the desert. Unfortunately her Italian M11 and M13 tanks bumped into my company of British A9 Cruisers and before you could say "Operation Compass" a fight had broke out.

This is purely fictional encounter battle 'somewhere in the Blue'. All the tanks start the game on the table edge and for the most part are out of view of the enemy. The Italians have more tanks and better armour but the British can fire on the move so hope to be able to concentrate fire a little easier.

Order of Battle
Company HQ - 2x A9 Cruiser Tanks
Three troops of Three A9 Cruisers

Company HQ - 1x M13/40 Medium Tank
2 Platoons of 5 M13/40 Tanks each
1 Platoon of 5 M11/39 Light Tanks

The Action

The Young Padawan and I before the game commenced

She was taking meticulous notes throughout the game...should I be worried? 

Two of my A9 Cruisers roar across the desert kicking up dust. 

I move one platoon into a Hull Down position behind a low ridge and make my initial moved with my other tanks behind the hills. No point exposing myself to fire unnecessarily. 

The Italian gunners get very lucky, knocking out one of my hull down cruisers and forcing the crew of another to bail out. 

Burning vehicles begin to litter the battlefield. The Italians had unwisely moved onto an exposed hill without support. The British tanks were able to take advantage of their doctrine of shooting on the move (aka the Talley Ho special rule) advancing quickly and concentrating fire on the Italians.

Her tanks are burning and still she's smiling! 

The 2 pounder gun on the A9 wasn't a bad weapon for its time but against the frontal armour of the M13's its effectiveness is reduced. I'm going to have to get behind these Italians to get the kill shot. 

Having 'cleared' the ridge I move forward only for a lone Italian tank to get behind my guys Fire from him and another dug in M13 across the valley results in hits on both my tanks forcing the crews to bail out! 

My tanks are now horribly exposed and unable to return fire until the crews pass a motivation test and remount their vehicles. 

Fortunately two other Italian tank platoons have been taking a beating and with nearly all their vehicles destroyed or bailed out the Padawan throws in the towel and concedes defeat. 

This was only meant as a quick game and an excuse to try out my most recently painted models. Having said that it showed that the British don't necessarily have it all their own way and need to use manoeuvre and a touch of guile to best the Italians. We had a great time playing this and the first thing she said after being defeated was to ask me when we could have another game! 

Incidentally I didn't use the new 4th Edition version of the rules for this game. I haven't fully read the rulebook yet and decided to stick with what I know for now. Hopefully by the time we play again I can try out the new edition and see how the changes effect the game.


  1. Very cinematic reportage about the game!

  2. I thouoly enjoyed the report. It took me back to my youth and Micro tanks.

  3. Looks like a great game, and I really like those smoke markers for destroyed tanks (clump flock on a paperclip sprayed black?)

    Really, the best part is a smile on your kid's face though!

  4. Excellent report, she'll be down the shed before you now it!!


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