Wednesday, 4 October 2017

605 - Desert Sikhs Vs the Italians

Evening, All!

A week and a half ago, I was lucky enough to get in an early-war game with Guy, who (a) prefers early war and (b) hadn't yet met my Desert Sikhs - needless to say it was a joy to accommodate him on both fronts!
Guy's Germans weren't quite finished, so he brought along some Italians - luckily (for me, at least!) we rolled the mission in which each side has to get into (or exit) the other's deployment zone, so he was denied his defensive special rules as there was no attacker/defender.
After a little confusion, we actually played 750pts rather than 1000, so I didn't get to use any of my newly painted toys, but I had my list from way back at 'UK Gathering II' so I was at least familiar with it. Here's a handful of generic family photos:
I can't easily edit picture captions whilst on my phone, so I'll try to keep it simple. In essence, the early deployment of Guy's M13/40 MMG-toting tank opposite my left flank forced me to deploy heavily on my right, essentially steering me toward a classic (not entirely planned!) 'refused flank' approach. 
The Italian view. I would be advancing from the far side, so the right of this image is my 'left' flank.
In the opening stages, I did... well, not very much... and had to watch in dull dismay as his medium mortar's first round landed plumb on my 25pdr and wiped it out. Boo. My sniper, at least, was uncharacteristically useful...
My centre, at deployment
General advance up the right

The Italians move to reinforce their centre
In turn 2, all of my reserves came on - which was great - but my Crusader got well pinned by Guy's medium howitzer firing HE direct, on ambush. Ouch! This caused me more problems actually, as the stricken tank started to create a bottleneck right in the centre of my main axis of advance. Rats.

Talking of 'Axis' though, things weren't going too well for Guy either, as none of his infantry squads - not even the more experienced ones - would come on from reserve: evidently they'd found a safe place behind the lines to get some nice, cold gelati!

On the left flank, my Boys AT rifle team ran on and into the isolated small building there - their plan was to distract the tank and force it to present its flank to at least one of my three AT weapons.

By turn three, my bottleneck of troops was easing, but the Italian medium howitzer sent it's last shell flying toward my poor truck, blowing it sky-high but mercifully only killing one of the riflemen within. 
My lorry's aflame, (left) but the Italian armoured car has been forced back (right)

A bit of rallying and my troops started at last to surge slowly forward; my Humber MK2 helped by pinning its Italian counterpart, which had to reverse away at high speed when it failed its next order test [insert joke here]. 

Around turn three and four, Guy's squads FINALLY started to arrive, but still not all of them, and it was too little, too late. By this point, my mortar had killed off the howitzer, I'd secured the right flank and the Crusader's main gun had silenced the armoured car. Phew!
On the left flank, meanwhile, my plucky Boys team had somehow managed to weather the storm of the M13/40 gunning the crap out of them, and even managed to pin it AND jam its turret with a lucky shot. Better still, it failed its order test to advance and instead reversed slowly away!

This put paid to the Italians' plans. They'd lost their flank to the Sikhs' advance, and on my left now, it was my dug-in AT team facing off against an officer and mortar team, who'd been reluctantly ordered to accompany him to secure my deployment zone. 

Worse still for the Italians, the Humber and my 1 Section had peeled off left in order to bring the fight to the centre and left flanks, where the only other competition was offered by the exposed remnants of a brave but inexperienced rifle squad. 

At this point, Guy gracefully conceded (and, I imagine, ordered the immediate arrest and execution of all his shirkers!).

Sikh victory. :D


This was a fun and very good looking battle - I'm annoyed I didn't get more photos - but it was (amusingly) frustrating for Guy. A lesser opponent might've jettisoned his toys from the pram, but Guy's very much in it for the pretty views and for the joy of the storytelling! Props to him.

Tactically I was lucky(!) but my approach was mostly sound. I was disproportionately afraid of the tank(!) and had I realised that it was (a) slow and (b) very vulnerable on the sides, I would've taken a more aggressive approach to it...but I didn't! The Boys team were without a doubt my Most Valuable team, and Guy's howitzer excelled itself.



- Drax 


  1. What a beautiful looking game, beautiful figures and terrain!

    1. Thanks, Phil - it's always good to see it looking all cinematic, isn't it?!

  2. AT rifles rule the roost in early war. Very glad my Soviets have the option of taking 3 in a list should i choose to (own enough of them, which i dont currently.).

    Your Sikhs are a smashing looking lot mate. Very cohesive and with a switch up here and there could work in mw desert too i think.

    The game probably wouldbe been a mkre even contest from the sound of things had Guy's infantry actually decided to join the fun. Still, a win is a win, is a win. Well done.

    1. Yikes, my dyslexic fingers strike again. Or it could have been the alcohol... -__-

    2. I was wondering...!

      Still, cheers for the comments! I have a vague plan to use the Sikhs in a mid-war setting - either desert or Italy, but either way, it involves my Churchill I/II...!


Thanks for taking the time to comment!