King of the Desert – Mid War

King of the Desert - Mid War

King of the Desert - Mid War
With Mark Nisbet 

The Churchill tank is one of the most recognisable tanks of World War Two. The long, thin chassis, thick armour and very middling gun made this tank a success for the British throughout the war. The Churchill makes a return to the Mid War battlefield with the launch of Armoured Fist, and Battlefront, to celebrate this, were offering a free Churchill sprue to owners of Desert Rats, when they purchased a copy of the new book. 

Seeing this as an opportunity, and a good excuse for a tourney, King of the Desert was organised for the day that Common Ground Games in Stirling would be running the exchange.

We had a good number of people pick up the new book, and walk away with sprue in hand, no doubt we’ll be seeing some Churchills lumbering around the table soon.

And now, on to the tournament proper.

Right: Steve (The store owner), and Kenny (A tournament regular) conduct the giving away of a sprue for the new book.

King of the Desert - Mid War

We were aiming on breaching the double figure bracket for this one, unfortunately a last minute call-off put paid to that aspiration. We’re getting there in terms of numbers, and interest from people walking past is on the rise. We got our usual hardcore of players down this time, along with a couple of new faces.

The Players  
Name Army Points of interest

Craig Melville

German Armoured Car Patrol

The useless Tiger makes a return 

David Forrest German Panzer III Company New to this tournament malarky
Mark Taylor US Sherman Company

A lot of decent, poorly trained armour 

Dave Hutchison US Sherman Company A mix of armour and ratings
Shaun Hartley German Rifle Company A similar list to Craigs, with a ton of armoured cars
Michael Byrne US Rifle Company New-ish to Mid War
Kenneth Alexander British Grant Squadron No time to prepare an ‘Armoured Fist’ list
Roddy Trimble British Motor Company Accompanied by nephew Sam
Mark Nisbet (Me) British Churchill Squadron Tournament organiser
Mark Goddard German / Italian something A mix of Germans and Italians 

Mark G. and I were not participating in the tournament, but he came through after the lunch break for a quick game to try out the Churchill list.

Round One:

King of the Desert - Mid War
King of the Desert - Mid War King of the Desert - Mid War

With the tables dressed for the Africa theatre (aside from on ‘Mediterranean’ table that was thrown together at the last minute just in case we hit ten players), we were ready to go. With a slight mis-match in Axis and Allied players, to keep things Red on Blue as best we could, one Allied player per round would be made ‘Axis’, and then exempt from being Axis the next round.

An eclectic mix of terrain (with thanks to Battlefront for providing some of the items on the second table, above right)

King of the Desert - Mid War

Left: Roddy helps usher in the new generation of Gamers, but we knew that Sam had the best tactics on the day

Results: Round One  
Mark Taylor 2 1 Roddy Trimble / Sam
Craig Melville 6 3 Dave Hutchison
Shaun Hartley 2 1 Kenneth Alexander
David Forrest 1 8 Michael Byrne

Round Two:

King of the Desert - Mid War King of the Desert - Mid War

Lunch done, and Mark Goddard (writer for Breakthrough Assault) came along to put some models on the table for a game with myself, to see how the Brits played. A word of advice; if you think your Churchills are indestructible, put them on the table. They do nothing in reserve, and they did nothing as the game ended before they showed. The highlight from my side was the Italian infantry assaulted the beleaguered Brits holding an objective, and being torn apart by Defensive Fire. Someone had obviously loaded the Brens properly that morning.

Another good round of play, with players finding their feet a little more

Results: Round Two
Dave Hutchison 2 1 Michael Byrne
David Forrest 6 3 Roddy Trimble / Sam
Craig Melville 2 1 Kenneth Alexander
Shaun Hartley 1 8 Mark Taylor
Mark Goddard 7 2 Mark Nisbet

As you can see, I lost to Mark, his Italian tanks driving my infantry off the objective, leaving it to be captured. A good enjoyable quick game though

Round Three:

It was still anybody’s for the taking in Round Three, with the pairings sorted and everyone gearing up for the final game of the day. Marders had proven to be an excellent investment, Tigers… less so.

King of the Desert - Mid War
King of the Desert - Mid War King of the Desert - Mid War

It was tense towards the end, as I knew who was in which standing with only a little time left. There was a possibility of a last minute upset if one of the games had went differently. In the end though, the games ended up as follows:

Results: Round Three
Kenneth Alexander 3 6 Mark Taylor
David Forrest 8 1 Dave Hutchison
Craig Melville 2 1 Michael Byrne
Shaun Hartley 1 8 Roddy Trimble / Sam

With all games concluded, all that was left was to tally up the points, and see who walked away with the prizes. All prizes were once again generously donated by Battlefront, who always go above and beyond with the support of the tournaments, and I’m glad the guys up here are showing the interest that this support warrants.

Final Standings

With all games concluded the standings were:

  1. Roddy Trimble / Sam (17)
  2. Michael Byrne (12)
  3. Mark Taylor (11)
  4. David Forrest (10)
  5. Craig Melville (9)
  6. Kenneth Alexander (6)
  7. Dave Hutchison (5)
  8. Shaun Hartley (4)

An excellent showing for Roddy, and a well deserved first place. No doubt this finish was down to the tactical expertise of Sam, his Second in Command. But a big congratulations to all participants for a really hard fought day. They’ll most likely be back for another one soon, especially with the chattering about Iron Cross and Enemy at the Gates in the near future.

King of the Desert - Mid War
The motley mob, with their prizes, and a very happy Sam at the front, holding the grand prize of a Kingforce Army Deal
King of the Desert - Mid War King of the Desert - Mid War
King of the Desert - Mid War

Last Updated On Wednesday, May 2, 2018 by Chris at Battlefront