Returning to the WW2 Western Desert campaign

It was way back in late February that I last played a WW2 Western Desert campaign game. At the end of that game, and campaign turn, the Axis forces had pushed the Allies back to the last map zone (Alamein). Entering this campaign turn Allied forces are somewhat depleted having come out of the last turn with two losses. Getting a decent level of supply will be important to resupplying their understrength divisions for this final line of defence.

Campaign map at turn 11

I had to refresh my memory on the steps to setting up a campaign game, which are described here. Then set about determining the supply situation for both forces. Axis forces received 4 supplies points which allowed them to resupply the 21st Panzer division, at a cost of 3 supply points, after its surprise loss in the previous campaign turn. The remaining supply point was spent on reconnaissance which would allow them to reveal the identity of two Allies units before planning any attacks.

Allied forces received 3 supply points which allowed the resupply the 1st Armoured division and bring them up to full strength. However, they still had two understrength divisions, the 2nd NZ Infantry division and 1st South African Infantry division.

Having used their reconnaissance to confirm the identification of two Allied divisions, both armoured, the Axis launched an attack with the 21st Panzer division. Defending will be the understrength 2nd NZ Infantry division. The game will be a frontal assault. Both divisions would be without three of their units through the wear and tear from operating in the desert.

A closer look at the map

Elements of the 21st Panzer divisions will focus their attack on the right flank and pivot around the centre hills once control of the hills is achieved. The understrength defenders have positioned themselves along the hills and wadi, and have a third of their forces held in reserve ready to bolster the defensive line. There are three game objectives all positioned along the defensive line at the wadi and two groups of hills. Palm trees are used on the tabletop to identify the objectives.

Setup positions and openning moves

21st Panzer division order of battle:
  • 1 x Pz IV unit
  • 4 x Pz III units
  • 1 x A/C unit
  • 2 x Armoured Infantry units
  • 1 x Wespe
  • 1 x Towed AT gun unit
  • 1 x 88mm unit
  • 1 x Stug III
2nd NZ Infantry division order of battle with armoured support:
  • 1 x Infantry units
  • 1 x Armoured Infantry (Bren Gun Carriers)
  • 1 x 2 Pounder Portee AT unit
  • 1 x Towed 6 Pounder AT unit
  • 1 x 25 Pounder unit
  • 2 x Matilda tank units
  • 2 x Grant tank unit
Game report to follow...

Returning to the WW2 Western Desert campaign