Colonel David Stirling greets a SAS jeep patrol after a successful raid.
The forces are equal points with the Italians starting on the table with a 12 inch by 36 inch airfield in the middle of the table. The LRDG may come on in waves from any table edge. To secure victory, the LRDG must end the turn touching an enemy aircraft. Empty transports do not count. At the end of the game the Italian player scores 1 point for every enemy unit destroyed and scores 3 points for every undestroyed plane left on the airstrip. The LRDG player scores 1 point for every enemy killed and 3 points for each destroyed airplane. For this scenario we had to substitute the Italian forces with my Desert Afrika Korps force since neither of us have a Italian army. On to the battle!
The calm before the storm.
Both forces were comprised of 1000 points, Tyler using the LRDG 'Behind Enemy Lines' selector and myself using the 'Rommel Triumphant' selector. Tyler had a mix of SAS jeeps, gun trucks, and two transport trucks carrying his SAS. My DAK were comprised of a few squads of regular infantry, one squad of early war FJ, MMG, Panzer III, Sdkfz 222, two hanomags and a Pak 38 to round it off. When building my force my goal was to pick units that thematically, would be guarding or near a German airfield in North Africa.
LRDG & SAS Forces.
The first turn saw Tyler drawing four of his dice before even one of mine was pulled! He brought on one of his SAS jeeps and attempted to put some pins on a German squad that was in heavy cover, luckily these troopers kept their heads down and avoided any hits. Next up was his portee gun truck with light AT gun racing on to the board. He was able to line up a shot on my Sdkfz 222, causing me to recce away from the action and hide behind a bunk house. Turn one continued on with his vehicles unleashing quite a bit of machine gun fire and putting pins out on the majority of my infantry. I failed three order checks with just one pin on each of my regular infantry squads. At the end of round one I was lucky to get a burst of MMG fire at his portee AT truck, killing it! Now I have a Panzer III and Tyler has no anti tank assets... things are looking up for the Germans.
Medium Machine Gun team puts Tyler's only anti-tank out of action.
These jeeps can put out a lot of firepower!
Turn two saw the action heat up with my half track destroyed by HMG fire with the first order dice drawn by my opponent. I immediately respond by taking a snap shot at one of his SAS jeeps with my Panzer III. I need to roll a 6 to hit and Tyler takes the chance that I will miss.... -1 SAS jeep.
Tyler brings on his transports and starts unloading his SAS into my left flank. These guys are a pain to kill... and are already leaving my troops in a pile of pin markers.
Panzer III gets a lucky shot at a SAS jeep.
The SAS are still wreaking havoc on my left flank, so I bring up my 222 to put some rounds out with its light auto cannon in hopes of killing off some of his veterans.
SAS jeep hit by a PAK AT gun shell, sending it careening into a parked fighter.
Turn two wraps up with considerable pins on both forces. I also underestimated just how close his infantry could advance out of the transports and be near the planes on the airfield. Starting to sweat a bit now, I realize I need to start stacking pins on these veterans squads or I am toast!
Tyler continues to skillfully maneuver his four-wheeled buggies of machine gun spewing death and discontent. My FJ squad has five pins on it now and I am not sure if they will be able to rally or not. My infantry continue to get picked off slowly but surely. My MMG team that was up for the Iron Cross, are cut down by well placed shots from one of the gun trucks. This depresses me greatly as I had grown attached to them. I am able to rally the Fallschrimjager and shed off four pins. Hopefully this will get them back in the fight and able to take on the SAS troops that are flooding the airfield. Tyler manages to put a SAS jeep into contact with one of the Bf-109 fighters on the airfield. My only hope of not losing it is a well aimed shot from the Pak 38 anti tank gun that is located on the roof of the fort. It needed a 6 to hit with hard cover and a pin, but Poseidon smiles upon my dice today. I am slowly taking out his vehicles but failing order checks left and right.
The end of turn three shows the valiant DAK fighting off the combined LRDG/SAS force. I am still
mourning the MMG team.
Tyler pulls the first dice and instantly assaults my infantry that were dug in, quickly eliminating them and being in position to move onto the objective next turn. My quick reaction force of a six man squad is cut down by the combined fire power of a gun truck and supporting SAS units. My dice are now failing me with two units failing their order test and sending them down in critical moments.
SAS doing what they do best! Assaulting and making me use four letter words near kids playing MAGIC.
With turn four wrapping up I ended up completely forgetting about his SAS officers that were having a house party in the bottom of the fort. With the last order dice pulled, Tyler had them run onto one of the parked aircraft sending it up in flames at the end of the turn.
With one plane down, I was reeling on the defensive. I managed to eliminate two SAS squads and one truck but they keep coming. In something out of the movies, his lone officer somehow escaped machine gun fire from my Panzer III, a three man squad of rifles, and my two man 2nd Lt squad with SMGs. That is 11 dice that he shrugged off! With nothing else able to hit him I will certainly lose my second plane. His last jeep roars onto the field and continues the lead shower on to my troops. The last remaining SAS squad is able to run out of the house and make contact with the final objective as well. With turn five over and all the planes destroyed the scenario rules declare the game over. Technically it is a draw if we count order dice and victory points, but I feel that it is a Allied victory by destroying all the planes.
Little buggies of death I tell you.
Playing this scenario was easily one of the top five games in my Bolt Action career. Some of the Warlord scenarios can be quite skewed in favor of one side or the other but I found this one quite balanced. With as much fun as we had, another themed game is definitely planned for the future.