Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tel El Eisa with Rommel

My third game with Rommel and a different scenario this time; lots of infantry with the Allies attacking.  Simon went the Allies as General Auchinleck (although maybe XXX Corps commander—Lieutenant-General William Ramsden is more accurate as he has the 9th Australian and 1st South African Divisions for the attack) and Stephen the Italians (as the ghost of General Giuseppe Tellera - I've been unable to find the name of the commander of the 60th Division during July 1942) with me being the German General Mellenthin. 

All the figures and terrain are mine, although the Italian infantry are wearing second hand German fallschirmjager uniforms and the Bersaglieri are wearing some US lend lease gear that fell into their hands, they also have a Crusader masquerading as an M14/40 (to counter the Allies that have a Matilda pretending to be a Valentine).  The beauty of playing a game with labels is you can get away with some "not strictly as depicted" units.

The scenario comes from the Rommel forum and can be found here.

The 1st South African deployed on the left and the 9th Australian (after a night march along the coast) deployed on the right, ready to storm the hills that have just seen an awesome artillery barrage that has left the poor Italians shaking.

Same picture, but I've marked on the objectives which are the key to the game.  The Allies must capture and hold three of them by the end of the game (each side has eight turns - representing a day).

 Even though shaken the Italians required all the might of the 9th to work them out of Objective 4.

 The South Africans were less successful against Objective 1.

 Kampfgruppe Mellenthin arrives to rescue the Italians holding out at Objective 1.

 Objective 2 was overwhelmed, but while attacked a few times, the Italians held on to Objective 3 (top left hand corner of the picture).

German reinforcements arrive to try and wrest back Objective 2.  They would have help from the 7th Bersaglieri, but by the time they were in position, the Allies had it well secured.

The battle is almost over and it is two Objectives each.  The Allies desperately need to capture Objective 1 (bottom right hand corner).  They come close, but then...

With his command dice exhausted Simon, who had been rolling good till now, gets only two out of six command dice.  He wasn't able to do much.  In a fit of rage he had the Australians holding Objective 4 attack an isolated Italian company.  So successful was their attack that they forget to leave troops to hold their original position and it was retaken by some other Italians, keen to reclaim their honor.

Kampfgruppe Mellenthin had secured the Axis hold on Objective 1, but the other counterattack, against Objective 2, failed even though three attempts were made.

Another exciting, tense game, were the challenge was to make command decisions and not have to fight the rules or do complicated calculations and debate measurements.

I love that it was an historical battle (part of the fighting during the First El Alamein).  The labels were a bit thinned down from previous game, but still quite large, although that does provide for unit's insignia to stand out.  Laminated, they are easy to mark using a Whiteboard marker and adhere well to models and bases with just a tiny bit of blu-tac.

It would be nice to give all the Objectives names.  Objective 2 is the El Alamein station.  At the game's scale, each 15cm square is kilometre, features are rather lost, although this has the benefit of it being easier to set up the game (not having to worry about modelling the terrain perfectly).


  1. I admire the look of your North Africa games using Rommel. To me, this is a good scale in which to fight over the Western Desert.

    1. Thanks. Yes, I have to say I find the scale is a good fit. It works well with the rules and from my reading of the battles.

  2. Nice looking game! That collection really works well with Rommel. 😀

    1. Thanks. There is still some room for improvement, but I have been very happy with what I can do with my stuff using Rommel.