Wednesday 27 August 2014

Chasseurs d`Afrique 1900-1913

A test piece using a Raventhorpe Federale officer with a head-swap (Raventhorpe again), I then added a carbine and sword/scabbard.


Early War Miniatures Bedouin (which paint up very nicely), these will add to my very generic Arab forces which fight as Lowland Arabs in the Rif War, of against the colonial French later or even as part of my Syria/Lebanon Vichy forces against the British.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Medical tent

Resin model by Frontline Wargaming
They also do some excellent hospital sets in their "IT Miniatures" WW1 range, these packs have 2 of these tents along with a couple of stretcher parties, a doctor, a couple of nurses and a few casualties (all white metal figures), they do both British and German sets.

Friday 15 August 2014

German Panzers

Panzer IVH with schutzen
A bit boring and run-of-the-mill but this was the work-horse of the German Panzer divisions.
The two with bases are resin (some white metal parts) by Ready to Roll, the other (with the commander from SHQ)is a 3D printed model which I got as a review sample from Caliver Books, though I cannot find them on their site when I looked today?
Generic camouflage pattern and numbers.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Defending the southern flank

Djebel au Fouk (Tunisian/Libyan border February 1943)
This a fictional game based very loosely on a battle between Free French and German forces in Tunisia.

The Sahara stretches out south neither side can use it for more than patrolling, but there is an old camel road leading from Libya winding its way through the hills and sands into Tunisia proper.

French briefing
You are to take your motorised column south along the old camel trail to Djedel au Fouk and seize and hold this vital pass. Your mission is to prevent Rommel from using the pass as an exit and giving his patrols access to the allied rear.

French forces:
Recce company – 2 x Dodge Tanake, 1 x truck w/MMG, 1 x Humber II, 2 x 10 fig platoons
Carrier platoon – 2 x carrier (25mm Hotchkiss, Bren) 4 man squad
Motorised rifle company – 3 x 10 fig platoons in trucks
Support platoon – 3” mortar, Hotchkiss MMG carried in truck
AA battery – 40mm Bofors (towed), quad 12.7mm (montee)
SP AT battery – 50mm Pak38, 2pdr
75mm SP battery – 2 x 75mle1897
½ 75mm battery – 1 x 75mle1897 plus tow
HQ w/radio truck
attached tank platoon - 2 x Valentine

Italian briefing
You command a unit from the newly arrived Superga Division, together with some armour you are to proceed south to the edge of the Sahara where you will seize and hold the vital border crossing at Djebel au Fouk and thus deigning its use to the enemies patrols.

Italian forces
Recce company – A/C, motorcycle platoon (8 figs), truck platoon (10 figs)
Motorised rifle company – 3 x 10 fig platoons in trucks
Support platoon – 2 x MMG, 1 x 80mm mortar in truck
AT battery – 2 x 47mm guns with tows
AA gun – 20mm Breda w/tow
Depot gun – 75mm gun w/tow
½ gun battery – 105mm gun w/tow
Semovente battery – 2 x Semovente 75mm
Tank platoon – 2 x M41 tanks
HQ – radio truck, staff car, officer & staff, 10 fig platoon w/truck

Game fought over about 15 turns with my boys Alex (16) and Chris (12) playing the French. This is our first game since November 2012, so we were all a little rusty.   

Table layout
Italians enter from the left
 Looking from the French end
 From the Italian end
First moves

My Italians reach the pass first, the recce units skirmish for position, both armoured cars end up in flames!

The French form a gun line and move against the farmstead
They soon find their soft-skinned vehicles are vulnerable to machine guns and shrapnel…..

The Italian infantry begin to arrive and dig-in around the pass, both sides move to secure the old French border watch tower

French colonial infantry at the watch tower
Both sides keep building up their forces

Armour arrives

But British gunnery rules the day!

Though the Italian gunners make up for their tankers failure 
This 75mm depot gun wiped out the French HQ with a superb long shot!
The French split their attack between the farmstead and watch-tower hill, but their infantry could make little headway against the dug-in Italians

Eventually the last piece of Italian armour burns and with all my guns knocked out or sans crew, I was forced to order a general withdrawal before the British armour burst through.
Last photo of the final Italian positions

I set the game up as a simple slog, to refresh us with the rules and give my Free French and Italians their first outing on table. The forces were quite evenly matched and the narrow pass created a bottle-neck which negated any speed or flanking moves. The French used their superior artillery assets to pound the Italian infantry, but these proved vulnerable to Italian counter-battery fire and eventually all the montee guns were knocked out. The Italian armour proved appalling and all burned one after the other, hardly troubling the Allies. The Italian Infantry fought hard against the colonial French, if only their armour had, had been more lucky the result may have changed. As it was with both 47mm knocked out, all my armour destroyed and the 75mm depot gun wiped out, I was forced to abandon the defence and leave two rather smug boys in command of the table.