Monday 30 January 2023

O Group - In the Desert

O’ Group in the desert

Having been introduced to O group around 18 months ago, curtsey of Steve L and really enjoying the first foray, I’d been keen to bring out the 15mm desert collection, which hadn’t see the light of day for some time.

After some negotiating on dates, Steve kindly agreed to host another game at this house to let me get the figures on the table, which went well

Following another game over Christmas hosted by Vince based on a Crete scenario, I was keen to bring the figures to the club and run a game.

The scenario was a fictional one, with a battalion of Italians holding a small village, which the British were keen to relieve them of. Both battalions had an HMG in support

Both sides also had armoured reinforcements in the shape of L60 light tanks and the mighty M13/40 for the Italians and Stuart ‘Honey’s’ and Crusaders for the British. Stats curtesy of the armour listings from author Dave Brown on the O Group forum, hosted by the Two Fat Lardies

A/Tank support was also provided with a 47mm for the Italians and a 2 pdr portee for the British.

Steve L as the Italians, set up first as the defender, with 5 units in ambush, following (!) the first die rolls. This included the HMG, anti-tank gun and 3 platoons.

Home grown modifications were limiting line of sight to 24’’ for ‘heat haze’ and rolling the spotting dice every time when shooting to represent the rolling desert terrain.

Reinforcing their advance, the Italians deployed their M13/40’s on their right flank and L60’s on their left. This was countered by the deployment of the Honey’s on the British right opposite the L60’s and the Crusaders & portee on their right.

In the centre, the British were on the wrong end of the infantry battle, hardly able to hit anything, with much discussion on how the ‘orders’ should be spent!

This was mirrored in the armour battle on the flanks, with both sides struggling to convert any hits, the armour and guns states being fairly even. The British had to pull back and infantry platoon in the centre, as 2 bases were lost and then opposite the M13/40’s a Crusader went up in smoke!

On the British right, the Honey’s were starting to get the upper hand, with 1 L60 being damaged and both taking mounting shock, with very little in return.

 Suddenly, the ‘dice God’s’ came good for the British, an M13/40 went up in smoke, quickly followed by first one L60 and then the second, as it took multiple damaging hit. Plus, the infantry were starting to lose bases at quite an alarming rate! The Italians were on 2 FUBAR’s

In the centre, despite the Italians deploying one platoon from ambush, one of those ‘game changing rolls’ (4’s to hit), followed by bad saving rolls, ended it and another Infantry platoon vapourised. 3 FUBARs for the Italians!

We all agreed that the game played well, it helped that we had all played the rules. The poor dicing for orders, ability to not hit much early on, and the arguments (discussion) about how to use the limited British orders added to the light-hearted nature of the game.

Despite that, the odd mistake was made, forgetting to treat the Italians as ‘2nd rate’ when it came to accruing HQ orders was an oversight! I purposely haven’t gone into the game mechanics, but ‘O’ group has very much become my ‘go to’ rules for battalion level, WW2 actions.

There is no ‘desert war’ supplement yet, but I believe this is ‘work in progress’. There is a scenario for Beda Fomm (early desert war Italians & British) in the latest ‘Lard’ magazine, although they forgot to publish the map. I’m looking to run that at the club in the future.

Thanks to Steve L, Vince & Chas for making my umpiring life easy!

Figures are a mixture of Peter Pig & Battlefront, armour a mixture of Battlefront and Skytrex, buildings are mainly Battlefront. Terrain ‘mat’ is what is generally referred to as a ‘throw’ from a local furnishing store ;0)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this; the whole set up and the models look great and for me something to inspire to as I've just started painting some 15mm Italians from Eureka Mininatures (though I don't think I will be attempting to paint the individual infantry webbing as you've done for the Desert Rats!)
    For the desert, I concur with the idea of heat haze limiting the visibility to some degree; I'm also considering low ridges or sandy ergs to break up the plateau, and maybe also the odd sand devil to interupt line of sight.