Callahan's patrol spent three days on the run from the Jerries. None of the trucks were in good order. In any other situation every single one of them would be sent to the B Echelon for scrap. But here they represented the only hope for survival in the scorching desert heat.
With their mechanical issues mounting, the Germans were catching up. The ghostly whispers of diesel engines never left the men's ears. Axis armored cars and trucks were hot on their heels. In the sky, Storch scout planes and Italian Macchi Fighters were on vigilant patrol.
Callahan knew that just ahead was the vast sand sea, where the Jerries were unlikely to follow. Ironically, this entirely inhospitable landscape represented survival for the wounded men of L Patrol.
This was a home brew mission using the following rules:
LRDG OBJECTIVE: Escape off far board edge with more than half of their teams.
"Shot Up"- The LRDG Trucks are escaping from a cocked up mission, and no truck escaped unscathed. Each turn, the trucks must make a bog check to simulate a break down. There are no additional adverse effects for night, unlike a standard bog. These breakdowns are repaired as usual for bogging (ie a skill check at the beginning of the turn).
"Individual Initiative"- The LRDG has the rule "Mission Tactics". Additionally, the LRDG troops do not need to make break checks for being below half strength- in effect they are already broken!
"Raiding forces"- Neither side needs to make company motivation checks.
"Low on ammo"- The LRDG cannot launch assaults, and must automatically break off in any assault.
"We've been shot up before!"- LRDG passengers in a truck that gets destroyed save on a 3+ rather than a 5+.
SCATTERED RESERVES. The German force begins the game entirely in reserve. Each turn roll for reserves as usual. On a 1 or a 2, the Germans arrive from their right board edge, along the road. On a 3 or 4 they arrive from anywhere along the back edge. On a 5 or 6 they arrive from their left side along the road. This may be re-rolled once, and only for the panzerspah platoon. German reserves arrive in the order indicated.
The scattered survivors of the LRDG patrol maintain their distance to avoid air attack.
All of the trucks creak and moan and strain against the will of their drivers. Gears are shot, suspensions are shredded, and gaskets require constant attention.
But the sand sea is close. If Callahan can just get his troops a little further South, he knows they can patch up and make it back to HQ.
Just as the Horizon begins to redden, a lone FW190 comes screaming out of the blue, cannons blazing! One of the trucks takes a direct hit, but the crew jump out safely!
S2 breaks down! The crew jump out and quickly lift the bonnet. "Blown radiator, gov!" "Patch it up, Kip, we've got to get moving!"
"Hear that mate? Sounds like diesels- and they're close!" One of the troopers pulls the canvas cover from his Vickers machine gun, and slides the cocking lever back.
"Look out!" A patrol of Armored cars comes racing in from the raiders' right flank, MGs blaring!
One of the trucks' begins billowing smoke, and the crew is forced to jump out under fire!
.50 cals and the Breda 20mm sight in on the armored cars! They take some damage and withdraw, but all escape with their lives.
The two lead trucks of 2nd patrol step on it.
Just as the light fades, 2 more FW190s scream in with cannons blazing, knocking out another truck!
A Storch scout plane oversees the action, but prepares to head home in the darkness.
Step on it mates!
BMW Motorcycles appear from the darkness, and machine gun another Chev!
And yet another Chev goes down to armored cars! In the distance, Mounted German infantry arrives in convoy!
Panzergrenadiers advance in the dark.
The remnants of 1st patrol shoot back at the Scouts!
So close but so far!
The Panzergrenadiers follow the sounds of machine gun fire in the darkness.
Italian Armored cars are alerted to the furball, and nose their way through the terrain.
Callahan's Jeep is knocked out. He and Joe rush to the top of a building, and line up rifle shots on the Jerry in the dark!
"Couldn't hit 'im Skip!" Joe sighs as he reloads his Enfield.
2nd Patrol is nearly away!
One Chev truck has been broken down since the beginning, and has been largely ignored by the axis!
"Guns" knocks out a German scout bike!
But the armored cars are in hot pursuit!
Guns takes some hits and begins spewing smoke. "Keep firing the Breda lads! We'll hold 'em as long as we can mates- good luck and Godspeed!"
Callahan and Joe begin causing casualties within the German scouts, who finally decide to head out of town!
"Think they'll be back, guv?". "Aye- with the whole bloody army." "Well, sir, I reckon they'll need 'em to take us."
Guns rides off the road, as the crew prepare to hold off Jerry for as long as possible.
Another truck brews up! The lads jump out ready to hold the armored cars at bay.
Just as Callahan and Joe start to settle in to their "Alamo", a petrol engine roars into range. "By God, it's O'Hara from 2nd Patrol!" "Thought you mates might like a lift?"
The Thwack Thwack of the Breda 20mm hammers into the night! An armored car goes up in a fireball. But the sound of small arms fire and harshly barked orders in German overwhelms the noise, and then there is silence.
"We best get out of here. I'd rather die in the desert on foot than by some overzealous Jerry, angry that we've put up such a chase!"
Though guns burns, the crew dismounts and continues to put up a fight!
Two trucks of 2nd Patrol escape!
Guns' crew falls to the panzergrenadiers. The remnants of 1st patrol hoof it.
The Italian armored cars intercept Callahan and O'haras rescuers. But deft driving avoids the brunt of the incoming fire!
The Panzergrenadiers give chase. Another brave trooper falls in the darkness. But the end is near.
The Germans are withdrawn. They have lost their prey.
In the end, 3 trucks and their crews, plus Callahan and Joe make it to the rondezvous. Several nights later in Night Leaguer they feel safe enough to have a fire.
Out here they are far from the eyes of the Luftwaffe, and German and Italian patrols rarely venture this far.
"What now, Sir?"
"Just got off the horn with HQ. Monty's making progress at Alamein. Our orders are to link up with S Patrol, and continue raiding. We're to head to Djebel Adorna for repair and refit. Pressman and his crew are there ready to patch us up."
"Right-o. Let's have another go at these bastards."
"There's something else. Intelligence reports that McCall is being held in a POW camp at Sidi Duzil."
"Blimey- what are we gonna do skip?"
"Joe, we don't leave anyone behind. Not even you".