A few weeks ago Stephen brought his Germans to face my British infantry in an Encounter mission in the desert.

Stephen in the desert

Stephen in the desert

His list was:

Confident Veteran Leichte Panzerkompanie
HQ- 1Pzr III G
1st Plt 3 Panzer III G
2nd Plt 3 Italian M13/40 tanks
3rd Plt Panzerschutzen Plt
             1 commander SMG team
             6 stands MG teams
             1 light mortar team
             3 Sd Kfz 251/1 half track
4th Plt Heavy Panzerspah 2 8rad
5th Plt 1 8.8cm rate of fire 3
6th Plt 2 15cm SiG33 guns
1500 pts.
My Confident Veteran Brits:
HQ with 2 3inch mortars
2 Rifle platoons (1 short) with Light mortars and AT rifles
2 recce carrier platoons including 2 AT rifles
1 platoon of A12 Matilda Seniors
1 AT platoon of 2 QQF 2pdr guns
1 Field Btty  of 4 18/25pdr guns
1500 pts.
Left side with objectives and deployment.

Left side with objectives and deployment.

Right side deployment with objectives.

Right side deployment with objectives.

The British win the attack roll and dig in the 18/25pdrs. The Infantry didn’t receive any shovels, so they fail to entrench. The carriers move closer to the enemy, taking cover behind the buildings. Stephen moves the Panzer III platoon to the left and calls transports up for the 88mm gun.

Carriers take cover.

Carriers take cover.

Can't see any targets! Move the big gun!!

Can’t see any targets! Move the big gun!!

On turn 2 the Matildas move to shoot and misses. The infantry still hasn’t gotten their shovels so remain unprotected. The artillery tries to hit the 88 with a barrage and fails to range in on the juicy target. The Germans are similarly unable to dig in on their turn…perhaps the desert ground is too hard! The Panzer IIIs with commander double to the left.

On turn 3 the carriers and Matildas take position to shoot at the German tanks.  A “warning shot” from the carrier bounces off the lead Panzer III. The infantry finds their shovels and hides in their new foxholes. Two 2pdr AT guns arrive from reserves and station themselves near the left flank objective. It looks like Jerry is massing to go for it! Once again the artillery fails to hit the 88…how can they miss it???


Right here, lads! Cover this spot….

Carriers to the left with tanks up the middle.

Carriers to the left with tanks up the middle. We have to be cautious as that 88 covers the gap to the left of the buildings.

The Germans also roll for reinforcements….a platoon of heavy infantry guns take station near the 88 on the right. The infantry finally digs in. The startled Panzer fires back at the carrier…perhaps too quickly as a bail is the only result. All other shots miss.

A little too cheeky, mate. Good thing it didn't hit anything major!

A little too cheeky, mate. Good thing it didn’t hit anything major!

Turn 4 starts with no reinforcements available. The 2pdrs dig in. The plucky carrier recovers but the Matildas all miss their targets. The artillery targets the newly-arrived German guns and finally manages to range in on their second attempt. A gun takes a clean hit and is eliminated.


Incoming!! Scratch one gun.

In the German turn a platoon of armored cars arrives in the center. Another carrier is bailed by the commander’s tank…maybe I should get them out of there before their nine lives are up?  Half-tracks come forward to pick up the infantry. The 150mm gun tries to kill the Matildas, but the single gun only ranges in on the third attempt and misses.

Turn 5…the mortar platoon comes in on the left. The carrier remounts and the platoon retreats to better cover. The 2pdrs fire at the advancing tanks but miss totally. A barrage hits the half-tracks and also misses. I’m starting to wonder if the heat is throwing off my aim…but the Matildas come through and destroy one half-track along with a crewman,

One half-track is down!

One half-track is down!

In the German turn some Italian tanks show up on the left just where they are needed.They rattle forward and manage to knock out one of the British mortars.  The PzIIIs pull up to their right but their fire is ineffective. The 150mm gun digs in and then slams a barrage on the Matildas again. Luckily, I roll a 5 and the heavy round has no effect. Whew!! The 8rad platoon has a run at the artillery park, hitting with 20mm and MG bullets, but the artillery bounces everything. Unfortunately they fail their Sturmtruppen move…

Turn 6 and another carrier platoon arrives just where I need it and takes positions near the artillery. The artillery gunners fire directly at the German armored cars and brew one up.Artillery versus armored car...

Artillery versus armored car…

On the left, the 2pdrs fire at the Italians and their 5 hits result in two dead tanks. The platoon makes it’s morale roll and soldiers on. The Matildas are not so good in aiming and only bail a MkIII.

Two Italians on fire!

Two Italians on fire!

The German return fire knocks out both 2pdr guns but the platoon commander remains in action amid his destroyed battery. The Panzer crew rallies. Infantry heads for the British artillery. A barrage targets the British artillery park and only bails a carrier. Sounds familiar…

The artillery is safe in it's entrenchments but the carrier is bailed.

The artillery is safe in it’s entrenchments but the carrier is bailed.

Turn 7 is very uneventful for the Brits. The Germans can attack this bound, so I hoped to do some preemptive damage. The turn results in a bailed MkIII and a half-track shaken when an ATR round bounces off. One hit with 8 dice rolled versus the tracks! Ackkk!!!

Crunch time. The Germans attack on the left with tanks and on the right with infantry.

The German tanks roll into the British infantry.

The German tanks roll into the British infantry.

Five stands die in the assault. The Brits were too dazed to hit anything, and are swept from the field when they fail morale. The loss of the AT battery had sealed their fate the turn before.

The German infantry assault falls back in a hail of defensive fire.

Turn 8 and the infantry and artillery are still pinned. I advance the Matildas in a last-ditch chance to kill the MkIII platoon now controlling the objective….and miss a bail chance. On the right, the carriers attack the infantry in the open and the combination of prep fire and assault kills all except one stand…and the platoon passes morale. The Brits go down to defeat! Stephen the Desert Fox wins 6-0.

German infantry before they are decimated.

German infantry before they are decimated.

The final score was really strange. The Matildas were a total waste, only killing one half-track in the whole game. The artillery was ineffective as well. The key to the game was my missing saves on both the AT guns and Stephen converting them both to kills. Stephen had FIVE 1-stand platoons left at the game’s end but I couldn’t get the last stand of any for a point or two! Good show, old man!