The British found a weak point in the Italian line and decided to attack. Late in the night, the Australian divisions moved in to position. The Mark VI’s shut off their engines and waited until the order came. The radio crackled to life with a simple word: “Advance.” As quietly as they moved in to position, they set out in to the night.
On the other side of the line, the Italians sat quietly in their trenches in another cold North African night. Their tanks were further to the rear for maintenance and their Command Platoons had disappeared- probably having wine and cheese and listening to music. It was the clank of the armor that got their attention. Suddenly, the four machine gunners manning the forward line opened up- lighting up the night.
The tracer fire flew in the air and the Australians hit the dirt. The Mark VI’s on the left opened up, silencing one of the machine gun nests. On the right, the supporting HMG companies opened fire on the Italians. The waves of infantry pressed onward in silence. The tanks moved closer and continuously sprayed the Italian machine gunners with fire to no avail. Suddenly, on the left two Mark VI’s went up in flames. The Italians had 47/32’s hidden in their lines too.
1st Platoon of the Australians leaped forward and made a dash to the line under the cover fire of the HMG’s. Their partners on the 2nd and 3rd Platoon followed suit. Out from nowhere, machine gun fire ripped in to 2nd Platoon and the HMG platoon. Mortars fell on them too. Only a few were hit but the platoon halted in disarray- causing confusion with the following 4 Platoon. The British HMG’s and Mortars responded- dropping smoke ahead of their platoons to stem the fire. With their targets obscured, the Italian fire trailed off. 1st Platoon continued its run.
As the Italian barbed wire came in to the sight, the Platoon could their opening- the gap was the Objective. Suddenly men in the Platoon began to scream as the ground beneath them lurched skyward- mines. The Mark VI’s on the right continued the fusillade against the Italian positions when two of them went up in flames. Suddenly, the sound of tank tracks was heard as the Italian reinforcements, upon hearing the fight, came forward. 1st Platoon rallied enough nerve to make it through the mines. 3rd Platoon was seen moving through some wreckage in the center and 2nd Platoon and 4th Platoon were still in disarray. Then the smoke temporarily cleared.
Italian machine gunners opened fire again and their Fusiliers, rarely attacking on their own, came forward and started firing on the Australians. HMG fire ripped in to the Fusiliers, causing them to halt and more smoke fell on the Italian machine gunners. Casualties were mounting on the Australian side, 1 of the HMG companies was at 25% strength, all the tanks were destroyed, #1 Platoon was nothing more than a trail of wounded and dead. For King and Country- the 3rd and 4th Platoons ran forward. It was not to be so, dawn began to pierce the smoke filled sky and the Italian tanks closed in. More artillery appeared on their right and the machine gunners were inflicting still more misery.
This was no weak spot indeed. The Australians fire more smoke and pulled back to their own lines.
Players: Will Wargo (Australians)/ Peter Bless (Italians)
This was a nail biter of a game. We only ended because we were on Turn 8 and real life was calling- the game had about another 2 or so turns left in it. From that point onward, it was getting tougher for the Aussies. They needed to strike hard and fast in the first 3 or 4 turns but got bogged down when the center Platoons refused to cooperate with Will and not unpin.
The Australians came forward in over whelming force and poured tons of machine gun fire on the Italians. What proved crucial for the Italians was the Tobruk Pits. The Italians ended up loosing two in the end but they could pour fire (24 to hit rolls in total). Combined with the FO’s for the mortars and arty., the defensive battles are where the Italians can stand up and prove their meddle.
We are both fairly new to FOW and really enjoy the Early War battles- weapons are unreliable and may not inflict any harm on anything. Also, you need a mix of infantry, armor and arty to make a difference in a fight. All in all, it was a great 8+ turn game on a Wednesday night. Below are some random pics from the game.