Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tigers in Tunisia:Big Battlle Portable Wargame

Tonight I played two battles featuring the 2nd US Armored Division versus a German kampfgrupe featuring two Tiger tanks. For the first game, I used the modified M3 Medium from my previous Tunisian battle. Finding it to be too effective, I changed the rating as such:

M3 Medium: Tank, SP-3, Move-3, Armed as a light tank(range 3) AND a tank(range4). If it moves, it may fire with either gun. If it DOES NOT move, it may fire BOTH. Because of its high profile and doors in the side armor, it subtracts 1 from any Resolving Hit rolls.

The  Tiger-: SP-4, Move-3, Range-5, plus 1 on Resolving Hit rolls.

Here is the German line up. Two Tigers, two Mk III's, two armored cars, five trucks carrying a commander, two machine guns and two units of infantry. They are rated average.

The still green American forces. They are rated poor. Five M3 mediums, a SP 105 medium howitzer, a SP AT gun, three scout cars(counting as half tracks) carrying a mortar, an AT gun, and an infantry anti tank team. There is also a jeep carrying a spotter team. Flying overhead is a P40 fighter plane.

My noble dog, "Boye" had to get in a picture. The starting terrain channelizes movement.

The German used long range fire from their tTigers to knock out some  US tanks early.  The American medium gun started to hammer the Tigers, while the fighter plane disrupted the movement of the German support troops.

Things get very intense at the pass. Still, the Americans get good service from their artillery. The spotter on the hill does fine work. The German command team takes great risks to point the two Tigers onto targets.

One of the supporting MkIII's brews up, and the Americans move there SP anti tank gun to fill a gap in the line.  The P40 continues to harass the German left flank.

The AT gun takes one Tiger  Unit out. The remaining German armor pours fire into the M3 holding the right hill, to no avail.

Just a s the German armored car destroys the AT gun, the second Tiger is hit by flanking fire from an M3.  Both sides hit the critical point on the same turn. It is another hard fought draw.

A FEW NOTES: I was much happier with the second version of the M3. My earlier attempt, allowing the hull gun to fire in the artillery phase, often wrecked a German turn before initiative was rolled. In this version, there were only a few turns where the M3 got to fire both guns, and the tanks were very vulnerable to enemy fire.

The Tigers were tough, but not at all unstoppable. 

Again, air power played a very dramatic roll. The strafing fighter, and the US SP 105 Unit, kept the Americans in the game most of the way. If you haven't tried the Air Rules, do so. You will enjoy the results.

All modes are from Battlefront, except the Tigers, which are by Old Glory.

Next Week:  Some Early Action in the Western Desert.


  1. Steve,

    Your last two BBPWM battle reports were fun to read, and I like that way that you have tweaked things to suit particular circumstances/vehicles. You have grasped the essence of the rules ... and it shows.

    The air rules were originally written for WW1, but I thought that they were generic enough to work with WW2, and your battles have shown that they do. I always envisaged the strafing fighter would be used to disrupt attacks and harass retreats ... and your battles seem to bear this out.

    Thanks for everything that you have done and are continuing to do to 'prove' that PW works.

    I look forward to next week's thrilling instalment!

    All the best,


    1. Bob, the thanks go to you.
      PW allows me to take a few minutes on my lunch break, make up a couple of army rosters, and play them to a conclusion that evening. Maybe twice!

      Next time both sides will have aircraft. That should be most interesting.

      The real "tweak" in my next game will be motorcycle units. I am thinking of playing them as "machine gun-armed trucks".


  2. Hi Steve,

    Cracking little action and really like the terrain - very Tunisian looking. The great thing for me with the rules is the fact that the core mechanics are robust enough to stand any amount of tinkering and your tweaking of the M3 shows this up quite nicely.

    I am looking forward to the Early war action - will the Stukas be featuring at all?

    All the best,


    1. Thanks, David,
      Next up, no Stukas, but their will be Hurricanes and CR42's...

  3. Very nice! Vehicles and terrain are very enjoyable!

  4. Thanks Phil,
    I enjoy working on both. I saw your blog and the large battles with Napoleonic's are truly inspiring.