In this time of lockdowns myself and John played a Memoir 44 game Hellfire Pass by telephone.
We both have copies of the Memoir 44 base game and the Mediterranean expansion. We set up the first scenario from the Mediterranean Theatre in our respective houses. We then used a hex map where each hex is allocated a letter and a number to help us with our moves etc. So for example on his turn John would tell me which card he was playing he would then advise which units he was moving (there starting hex) and where they were moving to (the destination hex). Because my board game was set up in a different room to where my landline is I would note down what he said then move the pieces on my board. After completing the moves he would advise what each eligible unit was firing at and roll the relevant number dice relaying how many hits had been achieved and I would remove casualties from my units . Then I would take my turn.
It did take longer to play the game this way than playing face to face- we completed the game in 3 ½ hours not including an hour lunch break .
I attach a photo of the Hexed mini map I used where each hex is allocated a letter and a number. The counters on the map represent the different units on the main map and were used to aid me in my conversation with John. Yellow counters were British Infantry, white counters British armour. Green counters German Infantry, Red counters Italian Infantry, Black counters German armour and small black dice Germen Artillery.
I also attach a photo of the starting positions on the game board
In this game I played the German/Italian forces defending the Pass and John played the British. The historical battle took place on 15 6 1941 and lasted 3 days.
Halfaya Pass is a route through a 600 foot high escarpment- whoever held the Pass controlled the main westward route into Libya and is the key to the relief of the besieged garrison at Tobruk.
The pass was held by the Germans and Italians. Under pressure from Churchill, General Wavell launches Operation Battleaxe . On 15.6.1941 the 11th Indian Brigade supported by the 4th Royal Tank Regiment advances on what became known as Hellfire Pass.
John started the British attack with a barrage and then committed some infantry and armour down the road leading to the Pass and discovered that it had been mined - his armour took casualties. He then attacked the Dug in German infantry on the German left of centre and this attack was beaten off. John switched his infantry attack to the Italians defending the Axis right flank caused some loses but took casualties in return. At this stage the British were losing 4 victory points to 0 all his loses being British Infantry
He then launched an armoured assault using his strong armoured units to overrun the two Italian Infantry units defending the German right Flank and a German Infantry unit defending the centre. The Axis had lost 3 units in one turn and John had narrowed the gap to 4-3 (Axis 4 victory points British 3 victory points).
The Axis countered this attack using Artillery fire and brought up their own armour in a counter attack. The Axis were winning by 5 to 3 and needed to destroy one more unit for victory. The Axis pushed there unsupported armour to far forward trying to deliver a knockout blow and nearly paid the price as they came under attack from 3 British armoured units surviving by the skin of their teeth (john was unlucky the armour survived just). The Axis knockout blow came not from armour but a German Infantry unit fixing bayonets and charging in to destroy a British Infantry unit (using the card Behind Enemy Lines). The game ended in a 6-3 Victory for the Axis.
We both enjoyed the game and intend to try playing another game by phone in the future.