Panzer Grenadier Battles on July 20th:
Arctic Front Deluxe #34 - The Legend of Larry Thorne Pusan Perimeter #29 - Taejon Street Battle
Pusan Perimeter #28 - Day Two, Taejon Flanked! Pusan Perimeter #30 - The Fall of Taejon
Errors? Omissions? Report them!
A Single Day as a Lion
Desert Rats #3
(Defender) Italy vs India (Attacker)
Formations Involved
Britain 1st City of London Royal Fusiliers
Britain 7th Royal Tank Regiment
India 3/1st Punjab Regiment
Italy 2ª Divisone Libica
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for DeRa003
Total
Side 1 1
Draw 2
Side 2 4
Overall Rating, 7 votes
5
4
3
2
1
3.29
Scenario Rank: 323 of 565
Parent Game Desert Rats
Historicity Historical
Date 1940-12-10
Start Time 13:30
Turn Count 20
Visibility Day
Counters 105
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 1
Maps 1: DR5
Layout Dimensions 88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
Play Bounty 119
AAR Bounty 160
Total Plays 7
Total AARs 2
Battle Types
Rural Assault
Conditions
Entrenchments
Off-board Artillery
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Desert Rats maps + counters
Introduction

The Italian invasion of Egypt opened in September, 1940, with an advance some miles across the border. There it broke down for lack of supplies, or more correctly the transport to move those supplies forward, and the Italians dug in on the spot. Finally accepting that the Italians would not advance again, the British decided to attack them instead. The 4th Indian Division assaulted the Italian fortified camp known as Tummar West.

Conclusion

The Libyans fought surprisingly well, killing the British commander in a daring suicide grenade attack and inflicting heavy casualties on their attackers. The artillerymen died at their posts, firing to the last. But they had no answer for the British tanks, or the half-crazed New Zealand truck drivers who left their vehicles to join the assault after delivering the Punjabis, and eventually resistance collapsed.


Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Armored Cars: These are Combat Units. They are motorized instead of mechanized. All have their own armored car leaders, who can only activate armored cars (6.85). Do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Reconnaissance Vehicle: 8.23 Special Spotting Powers Both foot and vehicle mounted recce units (1.2) possess two special spotting abilities. The first ability is that they can spot enemy in limiting terrain at one hex further than the TEC specifies for other units and leaders. For example, an enemy unit in town can normally be spotted at three hexes or less, but a recce unit can spot them at four hexes.Their second ability is that they can place a Spotted marker on any one enemy unit they can spot per turn, just as if the enemy unit had "blown its cover" by firing. Such Spotted markers are removed as described earlier.

Display Order of Battle

India Order of Battle
Army
  • Mechanized
Italy Order of Battle
Regio Corpo di Truppe Coloniali
Regio Esercito
  • Foot
  • Motorized

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Scen 3

Add 4 British Tank Leaders.

(PG-Tank Dude on 2010 Apr 30)

Display AARs (2)

Bloody Forts
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2014-10-31
Language English
Scenario DeRa003

I set up the Italian Libyan allies mostly on the lower level of the hill, facing the eastern edge with the forts and dug in positions on the left coming back in a 'refuse the left flank' setup, AT guns spread out with HMGs in the hex with them and entrenched, Italian leaders in entrenchments and in as many dug-in positions as I could manage with the Italian commander taking up station with the artillery on the second level of the hill. The British and their allies came on in 3 groups following a line of Matildas. The Italian AT guns are useless against the Matildas but proved to be their undoing in a couple of assaults when I thought the Matildas and accompanying infantry would have no problem taking the position. The first casualties for the Indians were a stack with a ACW troop carrier still loaded and carrying a Subadar. This lead me to dismount as quickly as possible, and advance the majority of the line on foot, with the majority of the British infantry, HMGs and Mortars coming up the Italian left in the Carriers. Italians started taking casualties among the dug-in positions as Indian HMGs got into range where the Libyans couldn't return the fire. Still, as more and more British and Indian troops came into close combat, the Italians started holding their own pretty well. All but one surrender roll ended in nothing, and demoralized troops didn't seem to have much trouble regaining their morale. With all that, the death toll on both sides rose, with 22 Italan/Libyan steps lost (the Lancia was actually the first to go when it got into range of the Matildas too early) to 16 steps of British/Indian forces. The British and Indian troops managed to take 2 of the entrenchments and 3 dug-in positions but lost 4 steps of Matildas in the process. With nearly all the British and Indian troops disrupted or worse, and still having taken only 5 steps of Indian troops to prevent an Italian win, the game ends in a draw. Hard fought and interesting battle.

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First Fight
Author caryn (19)
Method Face to Face
Victor Italy
Participants unknown
Play Date 2010-02-10
Language English
Scenario DeRa003

Introduction

This was my first game of Panzer Grenadier, and I had to be blackmailed into playing it. Having been soundly beaten at infantry combat by my brother for all of our childhood, I was not looking foreward to more of the same. My willingness to depend on fair play cost me some important experience early; my opponents were of the opinion that exploitation of the Rules---to put the best face on it---constituted a fair exercise of command. As a result, in this and all the games I played during 2010 in Desert Rats, Afrika Korps, Eastern Front, and Road To Berlin, the column shift for higher Morale units and the use of the Surrender Rule were not employed.

The Plans

The Italian Player's choices are limited to deployment options, as setup restrictions put him in the hill defined in the scenario (level one at 1522 & and level two at 1526). The Commonwealth Player's choices are more complex. Twenty Turns are sufficient to attempt a flanking manoeuver against the Italian fortified position, but the Italian camp is closely-ranged, which means that the Italians could probably manage to manhandle their Anti-Tank Gun batteries into position before the flanking forces could mount their attack.

The Italians

The two 65mm howitzer batteries, the 105mm howitzer battery, and the two 81mm Mortar platoons, are all dug-in in the midst of the camp (the L2 Hill hexes 1626, 1627, and 1526). The two 47mm Anti-Tank gun batteries, the two Mitragliere (MIT) platoons, and two Fanteria (FAN) platoons, are disposed in two entrenchments forming the anchors of the Italian position at 1728 and 1725. Two Fanteria platoons each occupy entrenchments in hexes 1525, 1427, 1528. The remaining 8 Fanteria platoons are dug-in between the entrenchments, 1727, 1629, and 1625, each having two platoons, 1726 and 1426 having a single platoon each. The Lancia is deployed in 1819 to provide early warning of Commonwealth assault from the Northeast. Leaders are disposed to provide subordinate activation, with the howitzers and mortars able to fire in combinations (either all the howitzers, or one set of howitzers and the mortars).

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Player decided to take advantage of the Italian concentration by making a two-pronged attack from the Northeast. After entry, the Commonwealth forces would divide into a Fast Force and a Slow Force. Fast Force comprised eight Rifle (INF) platoons, two 3-Inch Mortars, three Weapons (HMG) platoons, all of the 6th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (6RF), and the New Zealand lorry drivers, the whole force mounted on Bren (BREN) and India Pattern Carriers (ACW). The six Mathilda troops of 7th Battalion, The Royal Tank Regiment (7RTR), would accompany Fast Force. Slow Force thus comprised four British Rifle platoons of 6RF, the eleven Rifle (INF) platoons, three Weapon (HMG) platoons, and the one 3-Inch Mortar platoon, of 1st Battalion, 3rd Punjabis (3/1 Punjabis), the whole on foot. British Officers were concentrated in the Fast Force, with only sufficient junior officers present in Slow Force to lead the 6RF detachment and direct the overall movements of Slow Force, and provide spotting for the British Off-Board Artillery Factors should that be needed.

The Battle

The Commonwealth plan had some very serious flaws in it, and these very quickly revealed themselves. The desert terrain worked against the conception of two coordinated attacks on the Italian camp, as did the Italian Lancia, which quickly spotted the two Commonwealth forces. The Lancia harassed the Slow Force as it proceeded to crawl along the escarpment running along hex row 18xx, while the Italians, true to expectations, manhandled their 47mm ATG from 1725 to 1625 and from 1728 to 1427. The Lancia proved nettlesome, impeding the progress of Slow Force rather more than expected, but the real problem was the effect of the Italian howitzers and mortars on the advancing infantry. Between them, these greatly disorganized Slow Force, permitting the Italians to focus on dealing with the over-powerful Fast Force. The vulnerability of infantry in Carriers was brought home when the 47mm ATGs opened up and two rifle platoons vanished, wiping out four of the ten steps the Italians needed to wipe out. Two more had already been lost to Italian fire on Slow Force. That the Commonwealth would lose four steps taking the hill fort seemed highly probable. The Mathildas fired back, and British OBA was finally brought down on the Italian positions---though the howitzers and mortars remained protected at this point (two hill lines). Fast Force dismounted and advanced in company with the Bren Carriers and Mathildas, receiving plenty of concentrated Italian fire in the process. But the Bren Carriers also pack a whallop, and the Mathildas were designed for infantry assault, so the ferocity of Italian fire quickly slackened. The first entrenchment was taken, and with it one of the two 47mm ATGs. The Mathildas then surged into the camp, wiping out the Italian artillery amid a rain of British OBA which kept the 105mm howitzer crews from effectively countering the Mathildas' advance. Desperate hand-to-hand fighting raged in the trenches, but the Italians were able to cling to two entrenchments to the bitter end, and the unexpected loss of a Mathilda in one of the final assaults sealed the Italian victory.

Conclusion

This battle would probably have ended in a Draw if the rules had been followed, as the column shift for superior morale would have made it possible to spread the assault forces more widely, and the Italians only just managed to hold their last two positions. But there is no getting around the poor planning of the Commonwealth Player, which squandered numerical superiority and forfeited concentration for pointless subtlety. Played now, I cannot conceive of how the Italian player, hemmed so closely in the L2 hexes, could survive. And that is rather a fine comment on the game system itself, I think.

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