Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ariete Rides again!

Well, it's been ages since I've posted any battle reports. I now have an 8 month old miniature who takes up a lot of my time.

But, here are some photos anda brief description of a 2000 point Flames of War battle between the Ariete Division vs. the Desert Rats. In our campaign, the Italians have pushed the Allies back and are on the offensive. The brave British are trying to stop the advance on Tobruk at Aslagh ridge. Will they succeed?

We played the new No Retreat mission which replaced the tradition Hold the Line FOW mission from the rulebook.

The Italian steel phalanx ready for action:

The British are dug in and ready for a scrap!After several turns of advancing, a smoke barrage covers the British Grants as the Italians seize the objective!

The legions of Mussolini advance behind their vanguard, but British ambushes and tanks await. British anti-tank guns concealed on the hill begin to inflict significant losses on the lightly armored Italian tanks.

More Grants!? The fearless veterans of the Ariete vanguard are getting a bad feeling about this! The British reinforcements arrived on schedule every turn, unlike the Regia Aeronautica.
But many more Italians are on the way...certainly they can break through the think line of British resistance?
The Grants destroy the advance elements of the Ariete, but lose a unit in return. Shermans and Universal Carriers converge on the objective to prevent an Italian victory.

A graveyard of AFVs grows around the objective as desperate Bersaglieri advance...but the British have made a wall of heavy armor the Italians cannot penetrate! In the next turn, many of the Italian AFVs are destroyed or pinned, leaving little hope of victory.
Despite the high cost, the British seize the objective and hold it against all comers with heavy armor elements and armored infantry carriers. Realizing that their losses are too great to sustain the offensive, the Italians retreat in good order.

Result: 5-2 win for the British. This was the first game of our campaign where the Consul used a British motor company instead of his customary armored car company. I switched from Bersaglieri to Carri for more tanks. Unfortunately, my tanks were not quite up to the job, and dismal performances by the Italian air force and artillery did not help matters! Next game the British will try to kick the Ariete out of the Aslagh ridge region. If they fail, Tobruk may still fall to the Axis!