- Game: Wavell’s War
- Scenario: Desert Cauldron (TEM 36, adapted)
- Game played: 2011/12
The reasons we want to use Watson’s Desert Cauldron (DC) May II 42 Axis turn start date for a Wavell’s War (WW) Western Desert (WD) Scenario is first, to maybe actually finish a WW WD campaign game and thereby hopefully give the scenario’s Victory Conditions a good looking at, and secondly, to study better the ’42 epoch of the historical WW II Western Desert campaign. Earlier we had in fact played a WW WD campaign game up to the end of the Mar I 42 turn beginning with Watson’s Operation Crusader (along with Rogers’ subsequent Crusader update) Nov II 41 start date, but alas had to abandon it in Jan. 2011 after the apartment got flooded due to a broken water pipe. In case anyone’s wondering, we’re intending to retrofit into our games much of the VP and side losses’ information found in Watson’s “End of the Beginning” El Alamein scenario in order to arrive at an “historical” at start VP condition situation for our abbreviated WW WD campaign versions. All the above mentioned desert battle scenarios can be found in old issues of Europa magazine.
Long’s updated WitD version of Watson’s early GDW WD Crusader helped a lot with the creation of a newer WW Crusader update. But updating Watson’s DC, which was created using GDW’s original “Western Desert” Europa game, was somewhat of a headache because of numerous OB changes and its use of an older Europa map version in its set-up (eg., the original WD game maps 18&19, as opposed to the WitD maps 18A&19A), but finally we’ve got it going.
The essence of the strategic problem inherent in Desert Cauldron may perhaps be this: The Dec. 1941 Japanese and USA entrance into WW II has compelled the Allies to withdraw a portion of their military forces from the Western Desert to reinforce the Indian Ocean and the Far East war zones. Meanwhile, as the winter ’41-’42 Allied Crusader offensive inevitability petered out and the desert front temporarily stabilized at Gazala, the Axis has slowly been reinforcing and rebuilding their desert forces and by May 1942 has reached a level of strength such that the desert front’s strength balance has now tipped in its favor; hence Rommel’s decision for a major attack against the 8th Army’s desert front line in the Cauldron battle zone.
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