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"The Eastern Desert?" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

925 hits since 12 Feb 2018
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robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 4:49 p.m. PST

Has anyone seen scenarios--or just tactical maps--for the WWII fighting in Lebanon and Syria? Colin Smith, England's Last War Against France, describes some interesting fighting, but has zero useful maps.
Looking at battalion to brigade level.

Rich Bliss12 Feb 2018 5:09 p.m. PST

I've got a couple of scenarios from GDW's Sands of War game but I'm afraid the maps won't help because the game used geomorphic generic map boards. I'd suggest getting a look at the Official British History. I seem to recall some useful maps in there.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2018 5:40 p.m. PST

EXPORTER is full of interest, IMO. For some good sketch maps, check the Australian War Memorial site, "Greece, Crete and Syria" ( link ) You can download PDFs of the relevant chapters, and there are some good black and white maps.

Vigilant13 Feb 2018 3:57 a.m. PST

That is a really useful link.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 7:44 a.m. PST

Much thanks! Slowly the file of MENA battlefields grows. You know, some of that Australian stuff is exactly the right size for FOW, and not every day you see Australians vs Foreign Legion.

Vigilant13 Feb 2018 7:51 a.m. PST

Or a Renault R35 as the best tank on the table!

Crow Bait13 Feb 2018 8:25 a.m. PST

Diffraction Entertainment has a game called Mare Nostrum. It's a VERY expensive game if you buy it complete, but it is available on a CD, called the Quartermaster Edition,fairly inexpensively if you want to print the maps and counters yourself(62.50 GBP). It covers the entire desert/Middle East/Africa war on 33 maps, each hex 16 miles. Complete OB for all countries involved, and around 15 scenarios covering the entire war. The game is division/brigade level, maybe a little larger than you are looking for, but a great campaign driver for scenarios for your games. I am not affiliated with them in any way, just a fan. From the website:

Mare Nostrum

Arguably the largest boardgame in the world currently commercially available (and yes, we have put it forward to the Guinness Book of Records) Mare Nostrum is the TSWW game system's flagship product.

Fighting all over East Africa, North Africa, the Near East and Vichy French Lebanon and Syria, can you as the Allied player stab the soft underbelly of the Axis powers so hard that Italy will be on the verge of collapse?

Can you as the Axis drive across the brutal sands of the Western Desert and force your way into Egypt and then Iraq to grab potentially war winning oil and mineral resources?

Find out in Mare Nostrum…

In the fully colour printed game box (to a new specification for toughness), you will find:

32 Map Segments to the usual very high standard you expect from a TSWW game covering much or all of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Yugoslavia, Italy, Corsica, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia (Somaliland), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Aden, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, and small parts of the USSR!

5040 superbly printed and die cut counters, on 18 counter sheets, covering US forces in the ETO and MTO, 1940-43, Spain, Portugal, Italian Forces not in Balkan Fury, Blitzkrieg or the GPW series (so most of the Italians are here), British and Commonwealth forces, German forces in Africa and the Balkans, plus bonus German counters dealing with Operation Anton, the occupation of Vichy France in 1942, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Trans Jordan, Turkey, as well as Free French, Free Greek, Free Belgian, Free Yugoslav and Free Polish units.

Rules covering the entire campaign in Africa. New options for naval mine warfare, ground fog of war, and the infamous camel cavalry…

OBs and modules covering the war in Africa, from 1940 to 1943 including:

1. MARE NOSTRUM the war in Mussolini's lake from June 1940 to the Axis surrender in North Africa in 1943

2. Operation Compass the British riposte to the misjudged Italian invasion of Egypt

3. Operation Sonnenblum Enter the Desert Fox, Rommel is in Africa, and is looking to drive the British back to Alexandria….

4. Operation Exporter The Allied Invasion of the Vichy Levant.

5. The Iraqi Revolt Force the British out of Iraq… or hang in there until relieved…. it all depends on what side you play as!

6. Africa Italiano Orientale The East African Campaign, 1940-41….

7. Operation Crusader The British relief of Tobruk in late 1940

8. Operation Venezia The Battle of Gazala, and the most humiliating British defeat in the Desert War….

9. Second Alamein Monty is here, smashing the Axis at Alamein…

10. Operation Torch the combined US and UK landings in Vichy North Africa that helped end the Axis dream of dominating Africa and the near East!

Bonus scenarios buy the game to see them….but you may just get to see Vulcan, Anton and perhaps be on a Pedestal….

Bonus "what if" OB options for the Axis and Allies.

Full colour charts

Assorted play aids


2 x D10 Dice

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Oh, I know, Vigilant! I know! The scenario/map I want above all else is Kuneitra--a battalion of the Fusiliers against R-35's and Senegalese. No luck yet.

stephen m13 Feb 2018 5:37 p.m. PST

Crow Bait

By fan do you mean you have and play the game?

wargamingUSA13 Feb 2018 7:41 p.m. PST

You might want to link up with this other recent TMP thread… an AAR for a Kuneitra game!

TMP link

Crow Bait14 Feb 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

Stephen m
I have Balkan Fury and Haakka Paalle. Mare Nostrum is the game I will get next month. One feature of the game system is that the majority of scenarios only require one or a few of the maps, so you do not need a gym floor to play them. But, if you do own a gym, the maps link together between games.

stephen m14 Feb 2018 6:22 p.m. PST

I have always been fascinated by the desert war. My first micro armour 45 years ago, which I still have, were/are desert tanks. I would be very interested in a game which covers this theatre but including the eastern extent (Levant and Mesopotamia) and Ethiopia, really ramps it up.

There must be a naval part to the game as the site shows naval units on the box back. I wonder if this extends into the Indian Ocean, supply round the cape and from India, Australia and New Zealand.

Anyone else out there have the game and can comment? Please keep in touch Crow Bait when you get the game. Thank you.

Wealdmaster20 Jul 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

Looks like Mare Nostrum has sold out! Great looking stuff, wonder if I should buy off ebay just for the orbats and maps too.

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