IABSM AAR: An Affair at Gazala

The regular TooFatLardies specials are a fantastic source of scenarios for all the TFL products, including that hardy perennial, I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!

With John coming round for a game, I needed a quick bit of inspiration (sometimes you need a change from playing your own scenarios all the time) so quickly flicked through Derek’s excellent index to the Specials’ content, available for free in the files section of the TFL Yahoo Group. It had been a long time since the Italians had graced the tabletop, so I decided to play the An Affair at Gazala scenario written by fellow Lardy Klaus-Dieter Fritsch from the Christmas 2017 special.

The scenario takes place in June 1942 during the Gazala battles, but is entirely fictitious apart from the general setting.

The British are occupying a position atop a ridge. On the ridge are three hills and a few ruined buildings. Each hill represents an Italian objective: their aim being to either take at least two of the objectives or force the Brits to retreat through breaking their Force Morale (a rule “borrowed” from Chain of Command).

The situation is complicated by the conditions. The whole table is considered rough terrain, with wheeled vehicles limited to the track running up the centre. Even tracked vehicles have a chance of bogging down if traversing the rough ground, and both sides had a Vehicle Breakdown card in their deck. On top of that, the remains of a khamsin sandstorm were still around: visibility was limited to 36”, all fire at Effective and Long range was reduced, and the dust kicked up by moving vehicles a factor as well. In other words, just another day up in the Blue!

A lot of Italians!

The Italians

John would play the Italians. His choice, I hasten to add!

At his disposal, he had a three-platoon company of infantry consisting of a total of fourteen truck-mounted infantry squads and three AT rifle teams. These were supported by two platoons of tanks, with each platoon consisting of three M14/41 tanks, one Semovente 75/18 assault gun, and one L6/40 light tank. The Italians also had no particular shortage of Big Men or radios.

The British (or rather Scots!)

The Scots Guards holding the hills consisted of a three-platoon company of top class, stubborn, aggressive infantry (I shall refrain from commenting any further - the mother-in-law is from the Granite City - but there was no way the Italians were having our hills!) with plenty of Big Men, light mortars and anti-tank rifles.

Supporting them was a single Vickers MMG and a single 2pdr anti-tank gun (I think I was supposed to have two of these, but settled for one gun with a Bonus Fire card) plus an attached tank platoon of two M3 Grants, two A15 Crusaders and an M3 Stuart “Honey”. We’ll dispense with this last: the Honey spent just about the entire game Bogged Down, never getting to fire a shot and barely even catching sight of the enemy!

I decided to keep my armour in reserve, positioning them on the track, out of sight just behind the ridge.

It’s quiet…too quiet!

The Game Begins

As the sun rose over the British position, Italian Blinds began snaking their way onto the battlefield along the narrow track. Despite their elevated position, the khamsin prevented the Scots from spotting anything until the Italian column had passed a rocky outcrop near the track.

 The Italian Armour Leads the Way

The Italian Armour Leads the Way

The lead Blind proved to be a platoon of tanks, so I deployed my single anti-tank gun (in a sangar) and opened fire. I also summoned my armour up onto the ridge: if the Italian tanks headed for the infantry platoon holding the hill on the right of my line, I wanted to have more than one 2lb and a Boys AT Rifle to face them!

 Preparing for the Advance of the Italian Armour

Preparing for the Advance of the Italian Armour

The combined fire of the Grants, Crusaders and anti-tank gun proved effective: with the crews of the two lead Italian M14/41 tanks quickly bailing out as a fusillade of shells knocked holes in their vehicles.

Unfortunately, the abandoned vehicles then provided a neat shield for the other three Italian tanks, who would spend the next portion of the game shelling the Scots infantry in front of them with, fortunately, little effect.

The two tanks at the back are bailed!

“Keep your heids down, lads!”

Stymied on that axis of attack, the Italians now switched their entire effort to their right flank, advancing two platoons of infantry, their HQ platoon, and their other platoon of armour towards the left of the Scottish position as fast as they could go.

With so many units going forward together, there was a bit of confusion as the advance began, but the Italians soon sorted themselves out and began to threaten the Scottish line.

The Italian infantry advance by rushes, protected by a screen of tanks and the Khamsin

Although fire from the Scottish infantry proved ineffective due to the effects of the khamsin, the British tanks again enjoyed an initial success: knocking out the three Italian AT Rifle teams and taking a few chunks out of the advancing infantry.

All was looking good: with the Italian Force Morale reduced down to [4] in exchange for only a few casualties. Then, suddenly, the British tanks lost their mojo. All their shots at the advancing Italian tanks missed or bounced off armour, and return fire caused the crews of both Grants to bail: running for home chased by the jeers of their Scottish comrades!

I looked at my Force Morale: the loss of the tanks and a Big Man had dropped me down to [5], enough that if the Italians, despite their precarious hold on their own morale, managed to knock out a couple more tanks or infantry squads, then I was Gone (with a capital G), the Scots being ordered to retreat.

Correction: it was a Grant and a Crusader that bailed, not the two Grants

All now depended on who managed to land the first decent blow. Incredibly (in my opinion) it was the Italians who took the initiative: their tanks storming forward to burst through the British line and threaten to shoot everything up from behind!

Two Italian tanks burst through the line. Note the Bogged Down Honey!

A close up of the same situation

Both of the Italian tanks now turned their fire onto the Crusader: one shooting it from the flank, one from behind.

Not good!

Much to my surprise, the Crusader survived this onslaught, its gunner returning fire, but with no effect, and the first of the Italian infantry was now getting ominously close to the Scottish sangars.

Things were desperate, but the crew of the Crusader kept their nerve, reversing up onto the hill to keep their front armour towards the Italian tanks. The gunner calmly targeted one of the Italian tanks…BOOM!

At this point, the Italian Force Morale hit [0] and I had won!

Aftermath

Well that was a bit close!

If the Italian tanks had managed to dispatch the Crusader that they had got the drop on (more than possible given the situation) they would have been in the perfect position to start taking out my infantry from behind, with their own infantry poised to attack simultaneously from the front. A narrow escape for the Scots: who had just not been able to do enough damage to the khamsin-covered Italian advance.

An amazing game that all came down to the last few minutes of the action. Thanks, Klaus-Dieter, for a great scenario.

Robert Avery

IABSM AAR: One Of Our Planes Is Missing

Fellow Lardy Tony Cane has sent me another IABSM AAR, but this time with a bit of a difference: the game is set on the North West Frontier in the early 1920's.

According to Tony, the mission creep away from pure WW2 is all down to the purchase of Lardie specials. The scenario itself is from the Summer 07 edition, the piece on Mussolini's Baubles is in the Summer 06 edition, and those two combined with his collection of WWI German East Africa war figures and the fact he happened to have Pathans in the lead pile...

One of our Planes is Missing

The scenario, with minor changes to the orbat, follows that printed in the Summer 07 issue of the Lardie special, and uses the Mussolini’s Baubles adaption of IABSM in the Summer 06 edition.

"It's India's North West Frontier, the early 1920’s, and the CO has just asked me to lead a small force for a rush job requested by the RAF. They want a downed plane in the tribal area destroyed, hopefully before it is stripped of useful gear by the locals. This is a bit of a blow as I was looking forward to playing polo tomorrow afternoon!  

"A team of engineer types has been provided for the demolition, along with motor transport for the whole force, and even an armoured car has been rustled up. So perhaps if we start early it should be just a case of motoring in, destroying the plane and then back out again. With a bit of luck I may still make the polo match, and then on to the RAF club for free drinks perhaps."

Events were to prove that Lieutenant Harrowell-Clarke was a bit optimistic about how easy things would be.

The local tribe were clearly fired up by the chance to get to grips with the forces that had bombed their village. They basically opted to prevent the enemy from even getting through the pass. First into the breach was a suicidal attempt by a small team to blow up the road as it exited the pass.  The fates (cards) were not kind and two volleys from the section advancing on the road block wiped them out before the charges could be set. Still their sacrifice had caused a useful delay.

The Pathan snipers were however proving to be more effective. Repeatedly stalling attempts to remove the road block and actually causing a casualty on the MG team, and forcing it to retire. They were only overcome when chased off by the eventual advance of the Imperial forces.

Pinned down by sniper fire the lead section were not going to clear the road block any time soon.

The remainder of the force was now ordered to outflank the Pathans and, debussing from the transport, started toiling up the steep slopes.

Having organised the HQ section into firing positions on the right flank the commander returned to the troops stalled in the pass and finally got the attack moving and the road block removed.

A second Pathan band had joined those blocking the exit of the pass but caught in the open, the withering fire, of the now effectively deployed Imperial forces soon disposed of them as a fighting force.

With return fire slackening and time running out for the Imperial forces a hasty advance seemed worth the risk. First with the armoured car, then with the troops and transport of the HQ section. With this rapid progress the plane was reached in time (9 out of 12 turns allowed) and destroyed without any further interference from the Pathans.  The first platoon moved up the road to cover the village but were not needed.

In the end a glowing report on a mission accomplished could be written by Lieutenant Harrowell-Clarke  on the lines of, despite initial difficulties the aircraft was destroyed at the cost of only four casualties to the entire force. Though he probably did not get back in time for the polo match!

Tony Cane

IABSM AAR: Wave Goodbye!

It's been far too long since we saw one of Mark Luther's amazing 6mm IABSM after action reports...but I'm pleased to be able to say that the drought is over.

Mark played one of my scenarios - Wave Goodbye - taken from the 2011 TFL Summer Special: a French armor counterattack is hitting the flank of a German panzer column in an area east of the Ardennes in May 1940.

Click on the pic below to see all:

TooFatLardies Xmas Special Now Available

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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a large helping of Lard and this year's Christmas Special delivers it by the chimney-full.  At 135 pages in length, here’s a look at the contents:

  • Lion de Mer:  A French force invades Sussex in 1805.  A campaign for Sharp Practice
  • Allies Peu Fiable:  A France 1940 scenario for Chain of Command
  • Taking Off Into Aerial Gaming:  An introduction to the joys of reaching for the sky with Bag the Hun
  • War Hawk:  USAAF take on the Luftwaffe above the North African desert
  • Lost in Musique:  The natives are revolting!  They certainly are with this award winning scenario for Sharp Practice
  • An Affair at Gazala:  An IABSM scenario set amid the sands of North Africa
  • Battle Rifles:  Len Tracey returns with a look at representing different weapons in Chain of Command
  • Escape:  A new adventure for Richard Fondler and Sharp Practice
  • Hearts of Oak:  Ideas for a campaign ladder for Kiss Me Hardy
  • The Road to Bremen.  A Late War Chain of Command campaign.  To Bremen by Kangaroo
  • The Spanish Main: Rum, Piracy and Nautical Fun.  A guide to Pirates with Sharp Practice from the pen of Chris Stoesen
  • Government Reprisal:  A pirate scenario for Sharp Practice
  • The Encounter at Guarena River:  A Scenario for General d’Armee by Anibal Invictus
  • Sidney Roundwood’s Big Day Out:  Released from his high security mental institution,  Sidney enjoys a day out as he races for the Don with a game of Big CoC
  • Fine Tuning IABSM:  Mike Whitaker gets out his tuning fork as he adds some more detail to troop quality
  • Cutting Out:  Another Pirate Scenario for Sharp Practice
  • Za Rodinhu:  An Eastern Front Scenario for Bag the Hun
  • A Cruel Necessity:  Sharp Practice in the English Civil War
  • The Great Raid, Parts 1 & @.  A Double your money for Pirates with Sharp Practice
  • The Roundwood Report

Click here to buy the Christmas Special

IABSM AAR: Jack & Cabbage!

Sorry about the lack of posts for the last few days: I've been busy with another of Jack's amazing after action reports. This one weighs in with an extraordinary 239 photographs, each of which I've had to individually download and label!

The report is taken from Jack's blog, BlackHawtHet...and you'll be pleased to hear that he and I are working on a better way to transfer the content from there to VL.

Anyway, this time Jack takes Kampfgruppe Klink on a trip to the cabbage fields of Moiste: using the IABSM scenario that I wrote for the TFL 2005 Summer Special "Moiste Cabbage and a Quick Cognac". 

The background is simple: The Germans have found a ford that gives them access to the French flank, the French dispatch a force under the eponymous Captain Cognac to close the gap. 

Jack seems to have had a cracker of a game (239 pictures!), so click on the photo below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Cognac and Cabbage in Edinburgh

Knowing I was in Edinburgh, fellow Lardy Derek Hodge was kind enough to invite me over to the South East Scotland Wargames Club for a game of IABSM.

We played Derek's adaptation of a scenario that I wrote for the Xmas 2005 TwoFatLardies Christmas Special: Moiste Cabbage and a Quick Cognac.

A great game, and played using Derek's 10mm collection rather than my usual 15's.

Find out how Captain Cognac and his gens braves got on by clicking on the picture, below.

IABSM AAR: The Initiation of Dashwood-Brown

The TFL Specials are a great source of inspiration and scenarios. Here, Charles Eckart plays through Mike Brian's scenario from the 2005 Summer Special: The Initiation of Dashwood-Brown.

It's Normandy, 1944. Suave ladies-man Captain Royston Dashwood-Brown and his men of 6th Dorsetshire Regiment are about to get their first taste of action on the battlefields of France.

Click on the map, below, to see how they did...

TFL Xmas Special 2016 Now Available

It must be magic: I only need to mention that we are awaiting the special and, like the genie in a Christmas panto, it appears!

Here's what Big Rich had to say about it:

The 2016 Christmas Special is here and it’s a bit of an unusual one in that the number of pieces is down, but the content as a whole is up to a massive 139 pages.  Apologies to those who like the wide eclectic mix of articles we normally run, but we hope that the depth and quality of the content here makes up for that.  Normal service will be resumed in the Summer.

So, here’s what we have in store for you.

Top Gun:  A Briefing with Johnny Danger.  We look at tactics in Bag the Hun

I Should be so Plucky:  An Introduction to A Mere Question of Pluck

A Mere Question of Pluck:  A complete set of rules for the Second Boer War.  Some said they were just a myth, but here we set them free, at long, long last.

Yes, we Have No Talanas:  Two introductory Boer War scenarios, Talana Hill and Elandslaagte

Bagging Bob the Nailer:  Lucknow 1857 and Simon Walker looks at this classic Indian Mutiny encounter for Sharp Practice

Viva Ras Begus!  Elvis may have left the building, but the spirit of the King lives on in the musical extravaganza that was our Sharp Practice display game on the show circuit this year.  Big Rich talks about building the game in two weeks and his approach generally to show games.

Chain of Command:  Russia 1942 to 1943.  A whole raft of lists from the pen of Richard Morrill.  If you want to go East, this is where to start with 39 pages of forces to choose from.

Cold Enough to Freeze Your TW&T Off.  We head for the Winter War as the Russians and Finns shape up for an encounter with Troops, Weapons & Tactics.

Hot Sausage, Cold TW&T.  A Winter War scenario.

Out of the Frying Pan:  A Normandy scenario for IABSM from Mike Whittaker.

The Roundwood Report.  Sidney questions Rich about Command & Control in wargames and the recipe for Lard Island Iced Tea is, at last, unveiled.

You can buy the special for the amazingly good value price of £6.00 by clicking here.

IABSM AAR: Moiste Cabbage & a Quick Cognac by Robert Avery

Here a battle report from a game played a couple of weeks ago featuring a scenario originally written for the TFL 2005 Xmas Special.

It's France 1940. A German probe has discovered an unguarded crossing over the river Moiste. They dig in and call for reinforcements, but the French have spotted them and send in Captain Cognac and his men to re-take the crossing.

Click on the picture, below, to see all:

TFL Summer Special 2016 Now Available!

Great news: the TFL Summer Special 2016 has landed and is now available.

Click here to buy it.

Contents and blurb from Rich:

Packed with the usual mix of Lard related articles, scenarios and campaigns.  This is a bumper edition weighing in at a collosal 136 pages

Introduction
The usual waffle from the less-than-dynamic duo. 

Death Road to Corunna
Alfredo Vitaller & chums from Club Dragon in Madrid present a chilly Napoleonic campaign for Sharp Practice  

A Fast & Dirty Guide to Tactics
Playing Sharp Practice and looking for top tactical tips?  Look no further.

Let’s All Get Equally Confused
Two Operation Torch scenarios for I Ain’t Been Shot Mum from Charles Eckart in the USA

Team Desobry
Men of the midlands, Ade and Al, head for the Ardennes as Team Desobry defend Noville in December 1944 with Chain of Command

109 Beat It
Jim Jackaman takes on the Hun over northern France with Bag the Hun

George Washington’s Indian War
Simon Walker applied his war-paint and looks at this little known but rather spiffing war for Sharp Practice.

On the Trail of Fort Jefferson  
A scenario for the above conflict.

Our Moccasins Trickled Blood.
Another Indian War scenario.  You know that they say, red moccasins…

At the Sharp End…of the Runway
Some campaign ideas for Bag the Hun from James Crate in the US of A.

Binky Faversham’s Guide to Banter
Tally Ho chaps, Caribou nibbling on the croquet hoops, Scramble!  Binky makes sense of banter from his high security psychiatric institution

The Company Commander in Big Chain of Command
Len Tracey suggests uses for the main man in large games of CoC. 

Matching Scale and Wargames
La Roundwood introduces us to fine art and even finer figures for the Thirty Years War

The Japanese Army 1936-42
A guide to Japanese tactics from Len Tracey in Australia.              

George of the Jungle
An IABSM scenario set in Burma in 1945 and starring George Macdonald Fraser.

A Fighting Withdrawal
A Dunkirk perimeter campaign for Chain of Command.  Can you save the BEF? 

Itching to Mix It
The Hun are raiding Swanage.  It was the last time anyone went there out of choice. 

America’s First D-Day
Charles Eckart presents a US-Mexican War amphibious landing. 

Kernow’s Corner
A last-ditch fight for the DCLI as they stand up to the German Spring Offensive of 1918.  A Muddy CoC scenario. 

Tanks in the Wire
The NVA attack a US Special Forces camp in 1968A scenario for Charlie Don’t Surf from Ross Bowrage.

It was just my Imagi-Nation…
An introduction to Big Rich’s Seven Years War project.

The Khazi is Revolting
An Indian Mutiny Scenario from the Deep Fried Lard Games Day.  Can you get the Major Piles Relief Column through in time?

Saving the Honourable “Tootles” Ash
A cinematic adventure into WWII with arescue mission for Chain of Command.

The Roundwood Report
Sidney discusses firing mechanisms and much else with Big Rich.

Creating Facts on the Ground
Fighting the Six Day War Lardy Style with Robert Avery

IABSM AAR: Arnhem VC

Superb write-up by Carojon from the Devon Wargames Group using the Arnhem VC scenario from the TooFatLardies Christmas Special 2007.

The game focuses on the action at Oosterbeck that won Lance-Sergeant Jack Baskeyfield the Victoria Cross as he tried to hold off German self-propelled guns from the flanks of the British Para's positions.

Click on the picture below to see all. Recommended!

TFL Christmas Special Now Available

First chance I've had to publicise the arrival of the TFL Xmas Special 2015, available as a pdf for just £5 from the TFL website by clicking here.

For those who aren't familiar with the format, the specials are a twice-yearly collection of Lard related articles and features that provide hours of good reading and gaming. Here's what's in this one:

  • Introduction:  A Festive greeting from Lard Island. 
  • Malaya 1942:  A Chain of Comand campaign set in the jungles of Malaya sees an Australian force attempt to delay the Japanese invaders. 
  • Chain of Command Abyssinia:  Supporting the vast collection of Army lists available via Lard Island News, Rolf and Jim provide some tactical notes for the Ethiopian Imperial Guard and the French Foreign Legion. 
  • Now That’s What I Call Magic!  Providing a system of plausible Dark Age magic for Dux Britanniarum and The Raiders. 
  • “The Reccies”: The Reconnaissance Corps has a brief existence between 1941 and 1946. Here we look at their structure, training and how to represent them in I Ain’t Been Shot Mum and Chain of Command. 
  • The Swan: A mini-campaign for use with I Ain’t Been Shot Mum and the Reconnaissance Corps set in late 1944 as the Allies drive North through France and Belgium.
  • The Devil’s Garden: A Western Desert scenario for Chain of Command using the Reconnaissance Corps lists.
  •  The Roundwood Report:  Sidney quizzes Rich about movement in wargaming and chats about the forthcoming Sharp Practice v2.
  •  Painting German Camouflage: Ben Fiene dips his brush into the complex world of German Camouflage patterns and provides some great easy to follow solutions.  
  • Chain of Command:  Undead ParanormalSid Bennet presents a thought provoking approach to Zombies and how to make your opponent’s hair stand on end when he thinks he’s playing WWII.
  • Division Azul: Alfredo Vitaller, Anibal Invictus and Julio Martinez of Club Dragon in Madrid present this guide to the Spanish Blue Division, lists of Chain of Command and a scenario
  • Mrs Slocombe Rides Again:  Fat Nick tells a Christmas Tale which should probably never be told.
  • Going with the Floe: Building Ice terrain for the North Pole. An idiot’s guide. Literally. 

IABSM AAR: Tanks Forward!

Having played a couple of 6mm Franco-Prussian War scenarios, it was back to IABSM for Saturday night's battle.

This game is from a scenario that appeared in the TFL Christmas Special 2006: one of the scenarios from Chris Stoesen's mini-campaign set in the Saar region of Germany in 1939 as the French invade.

Click on the picture below to see whether les gens braves can make a success of their attempt to clear a village of German troops. As the title suggests: Tanks Forward!

Q13 Points System: Calculating Spreadsheet Now Available To Download

One of the great things about Quadrant 13, the TFL rules for company-sized sci-fi wargaming, is the fact that you can construct and use any army from any figure manufacturer or fictional source. This flexibility, however, does come with a price.

Quite a few people have mentioned to me that they have a problem not so much with actually building the armies themselves, but with then working out what troops to deploy on each side to give a good game…especially for heterogeneous armies such as humans versus bugs.

Put simply, they can use the guidelines in the rules to give their medium tanks the right sized gun but then have difficulty in working out how many tanks to field in order to make it a ‘fair fight’ with the opposition. Unlike the TFL historical rulesets, there is no frame of reference.

The TooFatLardies Summer Special 2015 therefore contained an article, written by me, detailing a rudimentary points system for Q13. The article references a spreadsheet that can be used to easily calculate the points values for any Q13 unit. You can download the spreadsheet by clicking on the Q13 logo that can be found here.

TFL Summer Special 2015

The TooFatLardies have just announced the release of this year's Summer Special.

This issue contains the following articles:

  • Blitz to Boulogne - A complete mini-campaign for Chain of Command
  • Action at the Crooked Billet - AWI scenario for Sharp Practice
  • Glowaczow - AN IABSM scenario from 1944 with Soviets versus Germans
  • Hadgranate! - Tracing the development of hand grenade tactics in the Great War
  • At our Convenience - A mini-campaign for Mud & Blood (or Great War Chain of Command) centred on the battle of Loos in 1915
  • Fight for Sesna -  A Spanish Civil War tank action for CoC Espana!
  • Straight out of Central Casting - Adding characters to your Bag the Hun games
  • Taking the Biscuit - A complete guide to using Sharp Practice for Garibaldi's 1860 campaign in Sicily.  Rule suggestions and five scenarios
  • Quadrant 13, A Point System - Robert Avery provides a point system for his popular Sci-Fi rules
  • The Roundwood Report - Sidney talks Lardy Games days with three veteran organisers
  • Fork-Tailed Lardies - Using the P-38 in Bag the Hun
  • Le Hameau - A 200th anniversary Le Feu Sacre scenario
  • Hunting Charlie with Captain Jack - A Charlie Don't Surf Scenario for Vietnam
  • Arise to Lard - Applying 1940 air tactics with Bag the Hun.
  • Scotland Forever - Try to capture the Eagle with the Scots Greys at Waterloo.  A complete game to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the great battle.

You'll note the article from your's truly about a points system for Q13.

The TFL Summer Special 2015 is available for only £6 by clicking here.

TFL Christmas Special 2009

Originally posted 20th December 2009

Transient

Whether you're into things Lardy or not, I recommend you buy the TFL Xmas Special 2009: packed full of wargaming information and scenarios, and incredibly good value as well: 123 pages for a mere £5.

I have three pieces in the special:

Get Your Frickin' Tentacle Out Of My Face is a sci-fi variant for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! that allows you to use all those weird and wonderful alien figures you have hidden at the back of the cupboard for some super sci-fi gaming.

The Defence Of Crap Island  is an early war Pacific theatre scenario featuring US Marines defending an atoll against Japanese invasion. Rumours that it was written purely to make Terry shut up are exaggerated!

Tottensontag is a 1942 Western Desert scenario featuring the Afrika Korps in action against the South Africans.

Available now from www.toofatlardies.co.uk.