Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Battlegroup Tobruk

Something different last night, I took part in a Battlegroup Tobruk scenario, I have seen Battlegroup Normandy or some such being played with Andy's vast and lovely 20mm armies and this I believe is the latest edition to them. I have to admit that the Western Desert campaigns leave me cold, although I am told by many that the ground was not featureless it always looks that way to me, I am also not in sway to Rommel or the Afrika Corps. I have in fact, like many historians, been looking at the Italians with new eyes, useless equipment yes, several military disasters yes, but in other cases the bad press is not deserved, but I digress.

The scale was 15mm and as the British with a suitably Scottish force supported by some Foreign Legion I had to hold a ridge and an old, fortified, police station and hold off the Axis, off table was Rob Force with a couple of tanks and some LRDG people.

The Germans swarmed on the table with infantry and at first I thought OK, that looks fine as I loosed some long range fire on them, but fairly soon on came the armour, two Italian tankettes and two PzIII's. I fired my two pounders and a Boyes anti-tank rifle at the armour and although the gunners were excellent shots none of them penetrated, on came the steel monsters, I did however manage to destroy an Italian truck with a 20mm mounted on it and then pin a lot of infantry as they closed the range.

It was now time for Rob Force to turn up and on rumbled a couple of A13's with the LRDG trucks, one tank immediately hit a minefield and was disabled, but the rest charged onward to the Axis left flank, which now stopped and readjusted. I had at last stopped one PzIII by getting the crew to panic and abandon the vehicle, however, the Italian tanks had simply marched up to my left flank and destroyed the defenders, despite again taking hits which bounced off even their light armour.

Stuarts 3D tanks.

I now sent the Legion to bolster my left and although they took out the tankettes supporting German infantry they could not stop the little monsters as they ran over one of my two pounders. The panzers were now gearing up to join in the assault on the ridge but it was time up. The Germans had grabbed one objective and another was contested, I still held two of the objectives but the overall score gave the Germans a slight win.

The game was notable for the number of single ones thrown by everyone, these prevented my hits on the tanks from brewing them up but the Axis suffered as well. Once you know the rules it would flow fairly fast I think, although we did not use artillery for this scenario, it also has some interesting mechanics. You have a force morale level and as you do or suffer certain actions during the game you take a chit, this may reduce your force morale or it may offer an air strike, a minefield, low ammo or some such which will either help or hinder you. I don't know what scale the game is pitched at but 15mm worked really well and I think if you have 20mm it will also work, but perhaps not so much in 28mm. Depending on your die roll at the beginning of the game you may not be able to do something with all your troops, however, that is an occurrence which is not as severe as in some games and most of the time you will be fine, as you lose officers your chances of doing what you want will reduce and I can live with that. By the way my command rolls were dire all game and the Axis rolls were superb, they could have had a division on the table. The British tanks were printed off by our resident 3D printer owner Stuart.

Elsewhere we had Runewars, Frostgrave, an RPG and a boardgame. I went back to my camera for this edition rather than the iPad, not a lot of difference but I find the iPad handier for some reason.

A very cluttered Runewars battle. The figures were lovely.


  1. You appear to have enjoyed your first game with Battlegroup Rules, yes they are pitched at 15 - 20mm, although they can be used with 28mm and indeed some folk do.
    The 3D printed tanks look fine, although some of the fine lines that are sometimes visible would niggle me in some cases.

    1. I did enjoy it and would like to do a Normandy game as it looked good when the lads played that. I read that the way to lose the lines when printing 3D is to print whatever on its side rather than how you would expect to print a model. There were two different metal PzIII's on the table and Stuart's was every bit as good as one of them. Such an item however is not on my list.

  2. I enjoy the games Phil stages for us on the Russian Front, but for myself I far prefer Rapid Fire! You certainly seem to have enjoyed your game though, so give it another whirl when you can!

    1. The problem with us is no one seems to play one thing long enough for everyone to get a handle on it. Rapid Fire, Bolt Action and another WWII set have turned up on occassion. So many games, so many rule sets, not enough time.