First Falklands Game

Started by Duke Speedy of Leighton, 12 December 2015, 11:44:03 AM

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Duke Speedy of Leighton

Yes, it happened!  ;D

Royal Marines Company backed up by 8 mortars and 2 Scorpions (Gennorm) assaulting a ridge held by a company of Argentine conscripts with 2 brigade mortars in support (Me).
Rules: Sabre Squadron
Royal Marines came in at about 600 points (Elite, expert training) vs 300 points of Poor Conscripts, with Doubtful higher command too!

Table was relatively open, but then unless you want to fight a night battle (which we should have done, but this is teh first time I'd tried the rules) the Falklands is! Three hills (left of shot) covered the approach to the ridge, which Gennorm would use as cover to advance.

Argentine initial deployment was 3 platoon holding the centre of the ridge

1 platoon holding the left of the ridge, with a rifle team, an HMG and a sniper on the rocky outcrop that pushed forward (seen from British lines)

Company HQ and supporting rifle teams in the centre

2 platoon on the right flank (top)

Sergeant from 1 platoon spots what's coming!

The British advanced under 2" mortar smoke in three groups with the Blues & Royals providing armoured support, this was going to be tense!

However, almost immediately, the Marine centre platoon attracted fire from teh vast majority of Argentine forces, and took immediate losses, immediately!

Their return fire neutralised a Squad Machinegun stand, which would basically keep it's head down for the whole game.

It now became apparent the problem I was going to face, while the Marines could take massive losses, they could just keep going as their morale was so high, if my forces became pinned, they could not shoot as effectively and so my initial lethal volume of fire decreased substantially!

Damn, I hate rules that work with historical accuracy!

The British Mortar battery, and one platoon of British fire was directed for a large chunk of the game at my left flank, where an HMG and rifle had been enfilading the centre Marine platoon from. Their job was to hold up the British advance, they did this rather well!

And that sniper, useless! Couldn't hit a barn door all game!

The British right hand platoon, advancing almost untouched behind their hill

British shots start falling in the Argentine line, and due to their dodgy morale, most never recovered!

After many many turns of trying, the two Argentine brigade mortars finally ranged in on a mass of already pinned Marines from Gennorm's left hand platoon.

This really didn't help them!

Meanwhile, under sustained armoured fire, my right hand (2) platoon failed their morale and decided to seek cover behind the crest line they were supposed to defend! Only by the timely intervention of my CC did they not completely leg it, yet!

In the background you can see the damage the middle Marine platoon was taking!

Gennorm's left hand platoon advances covered by 2" mortar smoke and armour

The British advance

And tripod mounted GPMGs finally clear the rocky outcrop, leaving the way open!

On his left, his advance is also going well, that was an awful lot of firepower to face!

Plus mortars made sure 3 platoon was somewhat crippled, losing their attached HMG and taking turn after turn of Milan hits (none of which did any damage, apart from the Argentine Company's laundry tab)!

Things were starting to go historically, 2 platoon was rallied from with draw to 'Hold' by the CinC behind the hill, and soon they noticed they could see Gennorm's advancing Marines too!

Brisk exchanges of fire and expletives followed!

(British losses can be seen to the rear)

At this point my left (1 platoon) also decided to retire to cover; whilst 2 platoon decided to make for the safety of Port Stanley!

Argentine loses visible on the base line!

Win to the British, but a great game, the lack of morale meant the Argentines, once they started going, had great difficulty returning, whereas the Marines kept marching on!

Love that shot!

You may refer to me as: Your Grace, Duke Speedy of Leighton.
2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner


Looking good. Glad you finally got a game in with your lovely figures
If I were creating Pendraken I wouldn't mess about with Romans and  Mongols  I would have started with Centurions , eight o'clock, Day One!


Great report, Will !  :-bd
Cheers - Phil


I don't think my wife likes me very much, when I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance.

Frank Carson

O Dinas Powys

Quote from: mad lemmey on 12 December 2015, 11:44:03 AM
Damn, I hate rules that work with historical accuracy!

;D =O

Great read  :-bd


(I know, even though it's fantasy  :o  ;)  )

Duke Speedy of Leighton

You may refer to me as: Your Grace, Duke Speedy of Leighton.
2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner


 :-bd =D> :-bd

Good looking game and it seems fun was had by all :)
Lord Lensman of Wellington
2018 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!
2022 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!
2023 Painting Competition - Runner-Up!


It worked very well. The RM suffered a few early losses but kept going and once they were able to put fore om the Argentines morale and training meant everything. There were some key events - the Argentine sniper had forgotten to zero his sight, the 76mm HESH proved deadly and the 81mm platoon was answering the radio, unlike their opposites. Next time we'll give the Argentines dome decent troops and maybe get those great Panhards onto the table.


Great game Lemmey and Gennorm, thanks for posting!

Lemmey, I suspect the reason you like the pic of the lone Sergeant so much is because he's all the force you had left ;)

Do you guys have an estimate of the casualties for each side?  I'm just curious; it seems to me it would be reasonable to expect the RM actually took heavier casualties (crossing all that open ground vs entrenched defenders), but their higher levels of training/morale allowed them to overcome it, while the Argentinians didn't actually take many casualties, but their poor morale caused them to be pushed off the objective.

Which sounds realistic to me.  Just curious; and if the Argentinians took heavier casualties than the Brits, well, that makes sense too, I just wanted to see how this one shook out if the data is available.


Duke Speedy of Leighton

British 8 stands (majority from middle platoon inc 2ic) 3/6 from middle platoon, plus an attached Milan and the 2ic, 1 from  the British righ and 2 from the left. Left hand platoon had dropped to 'hold' status.
Argentine platoons:
1 platoon on the left 3/7, including attached HMG, had withdrawn and now on hold orders behind the hill,
middle 3 platoon 4/6 including attached HMG,  but had always passed morale,
HQ 1/3,has passed all morale,
2 platoon on right broke, but had lost 4/7, had withdrawn, dropped a morale, held, fought on, then routed.
You may refer to me as: Your Grace, Duke Speedy of Leighton.
2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner



Most enjoyable game report.    I was on the ground post war, and spent a while on assessing tactical options of both Red and Blue.

Two comments if I may.

First, the East Falklands terrain - there is much more dead ground in the folds of upland bog.  A few sluggish rivers like the Malo, the Mullet and the San Calos, but there are many small streams, ponds and upland marsh.   The peat is eroded its uneven folds and ridges are a prominent feature.   There are clusters of white bleached rocks on each dumlin  hillock.   There are many un-surfaced tracks -many of these are now improved.   The dead ground assists movement.   In terms of colour a spray of  patches yellow, brown and tan with whitish rocks and small pools of blackish surface water will kill the bowling green effect.

Secondly.  You need rules that reflect the ethos and attitude of the Royal Marines.   If faced with heavy fire from a well entrenched position, the Royals were inclined - not to take gung ho casualties- but  to dive behind some cover,  have a smoke (1980s style) , engage in a quiet tactical discussion and come up with lateral options.  These might include -

(a) Use Support Company - the 81mm will mallet the target with a 3 to 1 barrage of HE and phosphorus.  That causes confusion as well as damage.

(b) The Royals are adroit at using the Pusser's out in the bay with 4.5 automatic or a fire mission for the 105's ashore (same gun).

(c) If the buggers are well entrenched,  you want to spend £10k of the defence budget fire a Milan . One trained Royal is worth 1,000 times that amount.

Its this lateral approach that makes the Royals an elite force




Again, fantastic fight, Lemmey, and thanks for the notes on the casualties.

Sunray - I think some of us may view the Royal Marines a bit differently than what you've indicated in your second paragraph.  While I agree they would undoubtedly make best use of supporting arms/fires in support of the assault, it seems like you just wrote (paraphrasing) "what makes the Royal Marines elite is the fact that when they are fired on, rather than assault they will find a place to hide until supporting fires have taken care of the issue."  Probably not your intent, but that's how it reads to me.

In any case, while it sounds like the Brits may have had problems getting their 81s into action, it seems like Gennorm made good use of the 2" mortars, Scorpions, Milans, and GPMGs to support the assault elements.  And it sounds like a great game, so Lemmey and Gennorm, thanks for posting, and hurry up and play (and post) some more!


Duke Speedy of Leighton

Thanks Sunray, means a lot to have someone who was there comment,
I know the terrain was spartan, I do have lots more.
I would willingly have added lots more broken terrain, and I was thinking streams and bogs, tussocks and tracks, but since this was my first taster with the rules, we kept it simple. I would gladly take your terrain advice. Thank you.
As to the tactical advice, they tried the Milan approach, must have been duds! The mortars were effective however, as was the fire support of the Scorpions. Think the 4.5" were about to be brought in when my forces face up and ran! ;D
You may refer to me as: Your Grace, Duke Speedy of Leighton.
2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner


Good point on the terrain Sunray, it was something I realised very early on in the game. The game was a bit experimental so next time I'll make quite a few changes including some dead ground and some bad terrain to slow movement. The rules assume that troops are 'going tactical' by default - charging gung ho is allowed but with penalties that discourage it - with the difference in training affecting shooting and morale affecting the ability to put one's head up and keep operating while under fire; it's a but abstracted.

The hills were vital and the RM were able to form fire bases on them to suppress the defences - a pair of GPMGs on SF mounts caused havoc although the Milan just couldn't get close enough!