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: Operation Compass #11: Bardia/One

Some great desert action from Tony Cane, as he and friends play the eleventh scenario from the Operation Compass scenario pack: Bardia/One.

The scenario covers one of the Australian assaults on the Italian-held town of Bardia as Compass turns from raid to army-beating campaign.

Click on the picture below to see what happens when you underestimate the opposition...

IABSM AAR: Blenneville or Bust! #5M: Chemont

Another great battle report from the excellent blog of Sergeant Steiner. 

Here, he and his friends play scenario #5M: Chemont from the Blenneville or Bust! scenario pack: involving a clash between Fallschirmjaeger and US armour.

My enjoyment comes as much from working out which BoB scenario the game is taken from as reading the report itself! Blenneville or Bust!  is a pyramid campaign involving five levels, so there are thirty-one possibilities in all. There's no mention of the name of the village in the report, but only the village of Chemont has a layout like that shown in the picture below. That means it's one of #5B, #5F or #5M. Only #5M involves German Fallschirmjaegers, so scenario #5M it is!

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust! #4A: Holm

Another great I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! AAR from Sergeant Steiner's marvellous blog, this time also supported by the comments of the Duc de Gobin, author of the epic Warfare in the Age of Cynics blog.

This time, The Sergeant and the Dice Demon, Steve, are playing one of the scenarios from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack for IABSM: scenario #4A Holm.

What's quite fun for me, as the author of Bashnya or Bust!, is working out which exact scenario they're playing from the photos. On this occasion, I knew it was Holm immediately (distinctive terrain!), but which one. Well the only one with that exact number of T-34/85s and that exact number of Panthers is 4A...so hopefully that's it!

Anyhow, click on the pic below to see all. Recommended...along with a quick visit to the two blogs this comes from as well. Excellent stuff.

 

As usual, I hope that neither of the gentleman mentioned above objects to me re-posting their text and pictures. It is genuinely intended as a way to spread awareness of both IABSM and their excellent blogs rather than anything else.

IABSM AAR: Piotrkow Trybunalski

Just written up an AAR from the game we played yesterday using scenario #45 from the second September War scenario pack: the battle of Piotrkow Trybunalski.

A big game covering the actions of 5th September 1939 as the Germans drive down from the Borowska Heights.

Each side fielded a company of infantry and tanks, with the game taking about 3½ hours.

Click on the pic below for more:

IABSM AAR: Eastern Front

Another great battle report from Burt Minorrot's excellent Spanish-language blog Las Partidas de Burt. As I have said before, I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing it here.

Here, in a game dating back to 2014, Burt and friends fight a battle on the eastern front: a Soviet column advances against hidden German opposition.

Click on the pic for more:

Blitzkrieg in the West: The Germans: comments so far...

A bit of a shameless plug, but here are some of the comments made around the web about my latest work: the Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany handbook for IABSM, published Thursday 10th May:

John Ewing:

"An awesome piece of work. The level of detail is incredible."

Charles Eckart:

"Turned on computer a couple of hours ago. Went to TFL website immediately looking for Blitz-Germany. Only time for a quick scan through: outstanding!

"IABSM was my first Lard rules (still a favorite) and all four Blitz books provide the best single sources of information for 1940 I know of. Useful in many ways, thanks for your work."

Benito Marisa:

"I have bought the four books and they [are] the best thing since sliced bread. Not a player of IABSM myself but the detail and depth of the information is so good that can be used for any other set of rules or just for reference. Excellent job, congratulations."

Desmondo Darkin:

"Looks superb"

Derek Hodge (chief proof-reader of the handbook):

"I've had a head start on the reading this as I helped Robert with the proofreading and I can say that he's put a huge amount of work into it. I had no idea that German OOBs in 1940 were so varied. 

"The whole Blitzkreig in the West series is an absolutely fantastic resource for any wargamer interested in the 1940 campaign. You can use the lists in the pdfs to build OOBs at any level from company to division. 

"And the lists are also useful if you're playing a platoon level game such as Chain of Command as they enable you to see exactly where all the various support options come from. This is invaluable if you're trying to build support lists limited to what was historically available to any specific infantry platoon."

Nick Skinner (co-author of IABSM):

"More superb work from Mr Avery. Can't recommend it highly enough. Even if you do not game IABSM the unit information is astounding."

Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany Now Available

Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany is the fourth in my series of early war handbooks for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum. The handbook is a massive 185 pages long (over double the size of either the French, BEF or Low Countries books) and covers the whole of the German army that invaded France and the Low Countries on 10th May 1940, seventy-eight years ago today.

The book begins with the humble infantry: not one, homogenous, grey-clad mass, but actually eleven different types of infantry division, each with their own set of core and support troops.

Next, after a quick look at the infantry that doesn't fit into the above (e.g. the Gebirgsjaeger), the book moves on to the ten panzer divisions: with each panzer division given its own section and set of lists. There are, for example, five different lists that relate to 9th Panzer Division alone.

After the Panzertruppen, the book covers the cavalry, the SS and the army level support troops (that's where you'll find the StuGs!) before finishing off with the Fallschirmjaegers and Air Landing troops that dropped into Belgium and the Netherlands. Finally, we have the usual ratings and armoury sections, and a note on air support.

Although designed for IABSM, Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany contains a vast amount of information useful to gamers of other systems, and is really a must-buy for anyone interested in the early war period.

Available now from the TooFatLardies website, we've kept the price at £8.40: the same as the other three handbooks, despite its much larger pagination. That should make the set of four books - France, the BEF, the Low Countries, Germany - absolutely affordable for all.

Blitzkrieg in the West: The Germans: Cover Revealed

Just to give my latest handbook for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum a little pre-publicity, I got the cover through from Rich today.

The handbook will be available from the TooFatLardies website on May 10th (next Thursday) and weighs in at over 180 pages!

The good news is that despite its huge size (over twice as big as the other handbooks in the series) we're not making it more expensive than the other books: it will be the same price as the French, the BEF and the Dutch/Belgians.

The handbook will cover the German army that invaded France and the Low Countries in May 1940. It will contain lists for each of the ten different types of infantry division, each of the ten different Panzer Divisions, the cavalry, the SS, the Fallies, the army troops...you name it, it's in there!

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #18: Siret el Chrieba

Tony Cane has been working his way through the Operation Compass scenario pack for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum. His last post featured the tank battle at Mechili, this one covers the Australian attack on the Italian aerodrome at Siret el Chrieba.

Here, the Australians are faced by a huge expanse of open ground (“flat as a table and devoid of cover” as the official history puts it) dotted with the occasional hanger or building. Their target is to take the hangar and buildings on the other side of the open ground.

Click on the picture below to see how they do...

Loving the aircraft hanger and the dust-covered Blinds!

Loving the aircraft hanger and the dust-covered Blinds!