I have been painting a few British desert war troops over the past few months and I have been looking forward to getting them in action.After getting my grubby little hands on I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! III from Two Fat Lardies it finally happened.
I must say that IABSM III is quite an improvement over the game I played in 2006-2007. The rules have been streamlined, there are force lists, scenarios and everything included and it even looks pretty. Gone is the pamphlet like editing and arrived has a proffesionally cut piece with graphics and all. If it weren't for the fact that I still print my books/PDF's, as I hate using iPads etc. it would be all great... but the heavily colourful pages put a bit off strain on the printer. :-D
Anyways, the daring British desert troopers would go up against the Forza Italia commanded and painted by Steen. Steen has been nudging me about when I got my British finished for quite some time, as it turned out I was a lot slower than hi.m... In the two years or so since we started the project he's managed to paint several companies while I've only just started.
Now Steen and I have played quite a bit of IABSM in the past and it has always been quite a joyful experience. We are both light on rules and enjoy a good mash up more than bogging down in the punctuation of particular rule and the impact said punctuation would have on the way a game plays.
We decided to try out the 'Hasty Defense' scenario straight out of the book. In this scenario the defenders (the British) get two platoons of defenders and will later be reinforced with an additional three platoons. The attackers get four platoons of their choice to quickly advance and knock out the initial defense. It seemed like a nice suitable scenario.
I chose the following:
1 MMG platoon
1 Light armour platoon consisting of 2 Stuarts and 2 Humber III
3 infantry platoons
3 infantry platoons
1 M41/14 tank platoon (5 vehicles)
On paper at least it would seem that the Italians had the edge initially. Just as it should be when attacking. Now added to this is the fact that the Italians get quite a few 'penalties' card wise. Their leaders are hesitant, their troops have poor fire discipline and ammo shortage and breakdowns are the order of the day.
But actually I had more luck than I could have hoped for. Almost immediately the Poor Fire Discipline card came into play and Steen rolled a 2, meaning that the very eager Italians started firing their guns prematurely, thus revealing their position while they were making their way across open ground right in front of my MMGs! Honestly the timing could have been better/worse.
At the other end of the board all the Italian armoured might rolled forwards. We agreed that whenever armour/vehicles started moving they woud automatically reveal themselves. After all vast plumes of sand and dust would follow the noise of the machines... leaving little doubt as to what was coming over the horizon.
I quickly sent my Honeys to assist the Humbers and let them get back to safety. The ensuing pissing contest between the tanks resembled a pillow fight more than an actual battle... the hits were many but the measly guns of this era were incapable of making anything but dents.
I think I realised that the battle was won at this point, so I started trying stuff just to see how the new rules worked. Therefore I launched an assault against the pulped Italians with one Indian section. Three rounds of fighting were fought before the Italians (two sections were within 4'') were beaten back. I am not sure if we handled the close combat as intended, but anyway - I think it worked quite well.