Penguins In The Desert
At the same time as the UK Lardies were battling it out at Lard HQ, our Scandinavian contingent (affectionately if somewhat inaccurately nicknamed the Penguins) were holding their own Tobruk event. Herewith Thomas' blow by blow account of the action, then his main report, and finally Laffe's summing up.
0600 hrs: Today is Lardy Games Day Stockholm, a week early due to vacations. I have just arrived at Joakim's house and been shown the table. After I informed him of my general plan of attack, he pulled out a camera and asked me to repeat it while he filmed me, laughing all the time. NOT a good sign. I fear the catch phrase of the day will indeed be "Whata mistak-a to make-a!" in a Capt Bertorelli accent. I plan to report during the day from my position at the Italian HQ outside Tobruk...
0700hrs: Someone was surprised, all right! Our Autoblinda recon cars ran into a minefield!
0730hrs: We are through the wire on our right flank! M13/40 for the win! Watch out, Bruce!
0900hrs: The Recon boys are doing a great job! None of the will see Bella Italia again, but they are earning medals by the bucket.
1015hrs: The tanks are clearing the Aussies on the Italian left, but the on the right our infantry are stuck in the wire in front of dug-in Aussies, it will be bloody! Hopefully, some infantry will make it through to help clear the town, otherwise we'll just have to bring up the Semoventes and shoot it to pieces.
1050hrs: My character, Major Linguine, just became a posthumous hero of Italy...
1130hrs: Craaaaaaaap! The Aussies just got reinforcements. Two Matildas and two A10s right behind the Italian tanks...five minutes before I have to leave to catch my train home.
1200hrs: We had them stomped into the ground. They had to abandon their left flank to try to prevent us from rolling up their right flank completely. Without the arrivals of the Mathildas, we would have beaten them. Once they arrived, we had no chance
The game board, looking from the Italian table edge. Hills, rough ground and a barbed wire crossing the the entire board.
And so it begins! The Autoblinda Recon troop find a mine-field the hard way! Right in the proposed advancement area of the armoured platoon, too!
The Italians leave the Line of Departure in good order!
The waves of Italian armour flow forwards, intent on ruining the day for Bruce, Bruce, Bruce and Bruce that are waiting across the wire.
Pvt Petonelli earns an extra wine ration by hitting an Aussie 2lb AT-gun with his own 47mm ATG! Little does he know that the gun is just damaged (we improvised based on the rules for hitting vehicle) and might be repaired later in the turn.
Cpl Di Bosco, heroic Autoblinda driver, comes all the way up to the village and spots a bunch of Aussies, including an anti-tank rifle. Job's done, time to get the heck out of here!
Cpl Di Bosco is in a lot of trouble, having found a full platoon of Aussies AND a 2lb ATG. His car is immobilised and the main gun is knocked out. Things are about to get very nasty indeed.
The brave Aussies charge out to knock out the immobilised Autoblinda, but fail. Seconds later, they realise how silly it is to charge a recon vehicle right in front of a tank!
The Italian armour sweep towards the village, 1st platoon trying to flank the Aussie AT-position while 2nd platoon suppresses it.
On the Italian right flank, the Aussies open up on the poor infantry trying to negotiate the barbed wire. Not a good situation for the poor Italians...
While the armoured company continues to shoot up the Aussie right flank, the Italian right flank is getting cut to pieces in front of the dug-in Aussies on the hill. Major Linugine dies a a heros' death trying to lead his men through the barbed wire.
While the Italian tank hoses the Aussie position with MG fire from the flank, the Aussie FO sitting in a hole right next to him tries to make himself as small as possible.
The Italian tanks roll up behind the Aussie position, trying to force them out of their trenches.
And so it ends, in tears and desperation. Five minutes before I had to leave to catch my train home, the reinforcements arrived. Two Mathilda 2 and two A10s, plus infantry in carriers rolled up behind our valiant tanks. In the first round, tree tanks were knocked out, including the company commanders tank. Another posthumous hero for Italy to mourn. We came so close, but in the end, we just traded Italian tanks and blood for Aussie blood.
It was a case of having utterly defeated the Italian infantry, the Commonwealth then proceeded to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Italian tanks, which had very unsportingly sneaked up behind the Aussies. This immobilized most of the Italian armour, but realizing that it was safer INSIDE the tanks the Italians very unsportingly didn't bail out.
Eventually a couple of Matildas turned up with beer and everyone lived happily ever after: we actually called it a draw.
[L to R] Thomas; Håkan; Laffe; Joakim; Jonas
"That's Mr Penguin to you!"