Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm no Wavell -- but I won anyway

In honor of the 70th anniversary of Wavell's great victory over the Italians in 1941 I hauled out Rommel in the Desert today for a go at the local game shop against Game Store Tony.

I had the Brits, while Tony took the Italians. Things got off to a pretty conventional start as the Italians advanced as far as Sidi Barrani, delayed by British mobile units and stopped. On Turn 2 I counterattacked, continuing on through Turn 3. Things actually went rather swimmingly at first, as the British armor unit rolled well and the Italians badly and most of the Italian force was blown away. Sadly, the offensive came to a crashing halt on Turn 3 as a battle that saw, for once, good die rolling by Italian infantry, including one barrage that got 3 hits out of 4 dice against tanks forced me to suspend the offensive and rebuild and restock. It was unfortunate because had the battle gone as it should the Brits would have blown a hole clear through the enemy line and it would have all been over.

The last few turns were anticlimactic and the Italians fell back to Tobruk. The British followed., but I never felt strong enough to try to push on against the Italian army after it was reinforced with two armor units. A tentative Italian counteroffensive picked off the British recon unit and the rest of the British fell back to Bardia nad Sollum and settled for a 7-6 "attrition" victory for the Allies. Definately not Wavell-like, but a win nonetheless.

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