Friday, 8 March 2013

Gazala Again

Not sufficient to try a game on a Tuesday the Monday Night Group this week chose a Wednesday to pick up Chris’ re-run of Gazala using NQM. This game also featured Ian’s first visit to Shedquarters.

Some of you will know Ian Russell-Lowell, Hittite expert, wargamer, one time President of the Society of Ancients and soon to be retired vicar. His impending retirement to Cornwall means it is important that we make the most of the opportunities to wargame with this unique talent. Ian, on the other hand, was keen to see Shedquarters as he is planning something similar in the West Country. Perhaps that’s a business idea, - a whole chain of Shedquarters across the country, built up like a franchise network. Contact me for investment opportunities.

I picked Ian up on the way home from the station, and Chris was soon with us, reorganising and redeploying the kit to take account of the overnight manoeuvres of both sides.

Chris rearranges the toys

What this meant was that the two Panzer Divisions were in an all-round defence posture in the middle of the board, and the Italians...well Ariete were living it up in the recently captured Indian Brigade positions, whilst Trieste were still stuck on the minefield in front of 150th Division. All the troops that weren't engaged reorganised and were ready for fresh action.

In Phil's early absence Ian was given the opportunity to make some decisions on behalf of the Allies. As you can see, he took this very seriously, and thought deeply about it.

General Russell-Lowell surveys the scene
First off Ariete threw themselves at the Free French, expecting another walkover. You have to admit the attack does look promising.

Italians on the minefield

Actually the position was stronger than expected as Phil had taken some kit home to finish the paint work and had just arrived and put it out. By the way, you can see some trucks running across the line of assault. These mark the supply line for 15 & 21 Panzer. They're the main reason Ariete are attacking, - to stop the Free French from sallying forth and interfering with it.

Having reorganised 15 & 21 Panzer I sent them north to capture Tobruk and any handy supply dumps. The only British force in the area duly hid behind a rise, hoping to pull the old "hull down" trick

As you can see from the next picture I was fairly sure I had the measure of them, as I flanked the rise effectively. Chris still counted them as hull down, however.

I think he may have even reduced my armour value for coming over a crest line. The Brits put up stiff resistance, but the power of the Panzers was irresistible.

Alas a large amount of his were dished out by the numerically weaker defenders, as you can see from the red pins liberally stuck in my bases. What made it worse was that when I went to push back the remnants of the British force my quartermaster advised me that I was essentially out of fuel with one of my Panzer divisions. There was nothing for it but to form up in a defensive ring whilst the other Division headed off to join Trieste attacking 150 Div and so open up a shorter supply line.

It was now hotting up in the centre of the board as the dispersed British forces started to coalesce around the defending Panzer Division. Lots of dice rolled, lots of pins inflicted (Phil was in stunning form). It looks like I may soon be one Panzer Division short. Plus my attempt to put 150 Div in a vice was proving strangely unsuccessful.
Which was about where we left it. The final photo shows the full table length. Both the Italian divisions are in a bit of a mess, with Ariete reorganising and seriously considering whether going at the French so gung-ho was wise.
I fear I will be deploying a lot more hamster bedding next week in the final instalment.

So, this looks like Richie will win, Rommel will be sent home in disgrace and Monty will never get his big break.

Or maybe not.


  1. It's all looking suitably chaotic, Graham.

    The outcome is still in the balance at this stage. Remember that there are a number of units that are still swanning about in "The Blue" that have not made an appearance yet, and indeed may not at all.

    I'm looking forward to Wednesday!

    Regards, Chris.

    1. It's been fun. Been good to get to grips with a suitably epic NQM game.