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2012 - Number 41


Cruiser Force Flanks a DAK Force

Flames of War:
Early War Armored Action

The NUTS group loves desert armor battles, and they took the opportunity recently to play a couple of Early War actions, using lists from the Hellfire and Back boo.

The two actions both featured British Armor Regiments, with Cruiser and light tanks, assaulting a DAK panzergrenadier and an Italian Bersaglieri company.

Cruisers Assault Italian Infantry

Italian Armor Supports Dug in Infantry

The tables featured a variety of undulating desert terrain, with areas of soft sand, rocky ground and escarpments, plus a small built up area.

Both actions were quite lively, with masses of British tanks facing off with more combined arms Axis forces. The DAK force interspersed its anti-tank gun teams with its armor, a very effective historical tactic. The Italians relied more on mass, with lots of dug in infantry supported by armor and ATGs.

Panzers and ATGs support Each Other

Burning Cruisers on the Escarpment

Both Cruiser forces attacked with elan, taking heavy losees but really pressuring the Axis defenders. As more and more reserves arrived, the table began to resemble photos of actions during Operation Crusader, with live tanks darting around burning hulks.

The Hellfire and Back lists do a really good job in reflecting the character of the opposing forces - the British forces fielded masses of quite effective cruisers with supporting light tanks and armored cars, but no real artillery or infantry support. The Axis forces were more well rounded, relying on combined arms.

Heavy British Casualties

British Armored Cars Flank the Italians

In the end, although both games were close, the Axis force prevailed in each. It was a great looking set of actions, and certainly motivated us to continue building up our Early War Desert forces for our next campaign.

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