The Panzers Return
Desert Rats #19
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||Britain (Defender)|
|Britain||2nd Rifle Brigade|
|Britain||2nd Royal Tank Regiment|
|Germany||15th Motorcycle Battalion|
|Germany||8th Machinegun Battalion|
|Germany||8th Panzer Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 609|
|Parent Game||Desert Rats|
|Maps||2: DR4, DR5|
|Layout Dimensions||116 x 88 cm
46 x 35 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Desert Rats||maps + counters|
On returning to the Sidi Rezegh area, the two German Panzer Divisions smashed one British tank regiment and prepared to attack the British forces on the escarpment. Despite their heavy losses the British retained good spirits and, thanks to the confusion of the battle, believed they had already won a great victory. There would still be significant fighting before that belief became fact.
The suicidal bravery of 2nd RTR did little to relieve the situation. All but six of the British machines were left on the battlefield as smoking wrecks, against light German losses. With the tank threat eliminated, the motorcyclists pushed the British infantry back with little trouble.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|5 Errata Items|
All Bren carriers should have a movement value of 7.
Two British infantry have their full strengths printed on the back. They should both be "2-3" when reduced.
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The Pz IVe appearing in the original Panzer Grenadier game had an Anti tank value of 4-7. As of Afrika Korps (2002), continuing onward through the 3rd and 4th edition games, the anti tank value has been 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2016 Jul 25)
All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.
|To the last burning Crusader|
This scenario played out fairly fast for a 40 turn length, finished in two days time. Most of the play is on map 4 with just the northern half of map 5 needed for some of the deployment. Eventually map 5 can be removed to allow for more space once armored units move.
The German victory conditions are tough; every British unit has to be either eliminated or forced off of map 4 and Germany can suffer no more than 7 step losses in completing this task. The British victory conditions are a little more relaxed: Inflict 8 or more step losses on the Germans and manage to keep just one unit on map 4. The other British victory condition is that each Crusader unit must fire at the enemy least once in order to win, which is not a problem.
I believe that there are a lot of ways this battle could be approached but there are some movement restrictions with German forces. Two of the three battle groups cannot move until either British units are 6 hexes away, get fired on or after Germany suffers 4 step losses. Without the German 8th Machine Gun Battalion and the 8th Panzer regiment in play Britain can hold off the 15th Motorcycle Battalion for some time while the Crusaders move to a comfortable position on the ridge to dig-in and await the arrival of the bulk of the German forces.
It's kind of tricky for the British; you want to inflict damage on the enemy but not too much, at least not too early on or else all hell will break loose before you can get your armour to a desireable, defensive position -but you have to eliminate 8 German steps to win. At 17:30/turn 11, Germany had taken the required 4 step losses so all other units were free to move into battle. The panzers rushed forth to engage the Crusader tanks dug-in on the ridge while the Machine Gun Battalion banked west to assist the now dismounted motorcyle units in wiping out British foot units. The tank battle did not go so well for the panzers and by 19:30/turn 19, just after nightfall, German casualties had reached over 8 step losses and Germany was now battling it out for a draw. It looked as if Britain had a chance of winning this one for quite a while but once the small force of dug-in bren carriers and infantry were wiped out at 23:15/turn 34, all remaining German INF and HMG units rushed over to assist the dwindling number of panzers to make assaults on the defiant Crusaders. This was where combined forces saved the Germans from total defeat but it was a close run. In fact, the last step of Crusaders held out until 00:30/turn 39 when it was finally dispatched in an assault with just one turn left to go.
So it ended in a draw but just barely. Timing is essential in this scenario. Had Germany of taken those 4 step losses later on then it would of likely ended with a British victory. It's kind of strange that as the German player that you would want to lose steps just in order to get all of your units available to attack. Of course the German units could of been released with the British forces actually attacking those reserves first but that would of been fatal engaging the panzers out in the open with no cover. Digging in on upper hill hexes with the Crusaders is what seemed logical and would work best. I rated this scenario high because it was quite a nailbiter for both sides the latter half of the engagement. I don't know how Germany could endure a 40 turn scenario like this without losing 8 steps so perhaps play slightly favors Britain in this one. I don't think I've ever had a side have to fight so hard just to have it turn out in a draw instead of a loss for them. I think this one would be great for both solo and shared plays equally.