22 December 2017

Operation Battleaxe: A Scenario for Rommel

Last week we had our second game of Rommel. I had been searching about for a scenario that we could play next with the troops I had painted. I like playing historical scenarios so I decided to go with the next major operation after Operation Brevity in the British attempt to retake Tobruk in 1941: Operation Battleaxe. Operation Skorpion has an historical OB which is a bit small in scale for Rommel.

Day One of the operation was a pretty large affair and I was far from having enough bases to play with the full historical OB, so I decided to go with the situation as it was on the morning of June 16, 1941. I like writing gaming scenarios so I decided to have a go. You can find a link to the full scenario here with the historical background as well as the victory conditions. 
I was short of bases especially some British motorized infantry as well as specialized Axis infantry bases with 88's in an AT role. This was to take advantage of one of the optional rules for Rommel as found on the Honour forum. Some quick painting was performed and I was already to go last Friday.

Our game was played at the Hobby Bunker in Malden, MA. They have just added Friday as a late opening for gaming, it was a little quiet but it is early days. We started around 5 and played for almost 3 hours getting to turn 14 of 16 before we both had to leave. The game played out as follows. Adam played the British and I played the Axis.

The British did a little better than what happened historically and were able to capture Halfaya Pass, the Axis, however, were able to take Sidi Sulieman. Attrition wise, though the British won losing only 6 bases while the Germans lost 10, including all their Bersaglieri and one Panzer battalion. We decided to allow our forces to retreat at nightfall leaving behind forces to hold what was captured. On our next outing we will play June 17. It is going to be a challenge for the Axis with their diminished force, but the British will also have a challenge recapturing Sidi Sulieman and capturing 2 more of the DAK markers.

We made a couple of mistakes in rule interpretation, one which especially affected the Axis forces. The British captured the Axis supply and we wrongly treated this as Low Supply rather then Isolation causing the Axis to have a significant disadvantage in attacking, to a point where I could not attack but just focus on defense. We also for the first couple of turns screwed up the stacking limit on each grid and we still had some confusion with the utilization of Tactics. I believe we have it all sorted now though for our next game.

You can also find further photos on Adam's blog.


  1. Excellent look to the game, and you did well by getting almost to the end of the scenario within 3 hours.

  2. Well done John - has been cool to see you dive so comprehensively into this new rule set!

  3. Very nice. Like the mat, you can hardly see the grid.

  4. Thank you for posting this AAR and the scenario. I'm gearing up to play Rommel this year and your post is very helpful.