Friday 17 November 2023

More on the Desert

I had a spare half an hour yesterday so decided to take a closer look at the board game No Retreat: The North African Front. As mentioned previously, the production quality is top notch so I decided to share some pictures of the same but first of all….

Inspired by his very readable guide to the Zulu War I decided that the above would be a useful addition to the library - how right I was!

Along with the above, my copy of Dan Mersey’s book A Wargamers Guide to the Desert War 1940 to 1943 arrived - and very useful it is as well! I have also made a start of reading Brazen Chariots - considered by many to be tremendous book on armoured warfare during the period - and from what I have read so far I heartily agree!

For the boardgame below are a selection of pictures of the key components.

A game with nice and clear large sized counters

The first of the maps - nice and compact 

Ideal for the Benghazi Handicap

Derna to Bardia via Tobruk

Meanwhile, to the north, Crete features as a separate game

Finally, we get to El Alamein.

So as you can see the maps are nicely done and offer a lot of potential for a series of linked scenarios or a mini campaign. I forgot to mention that the game itself uses actions cards as part of the game sequence so one never knows what is going on “on the other side of the hill” so to speak.

This has the potential for a lot of fun!


Chris Kemp said...

It sounds as if you have a busy winter ahead, David.

Does Mersey offer any new perspective or is it a useful wargames summery as advertised?

Regards, Chris.

Ray Rousell said...

Looks fun, Dave.

Archduke Piccolo said...

David -
Looking at those maps immediately puts me in mind of my hex-board and my Desert War kit (though I'm rather bereft of Italians) Two are a bit long (21 hexes to my 15), though the main Crete sectors could probably be 'scrolled'.

David Crook said...

Hi Chris,

A busy winter ahead? Always! The book does not appear to offer anything groundbreaking but it is a good primer to start a project with.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Raymondo,

Fun is my middle name - actually it is Roy but you get the drift!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ion,

There is a plenty of potential with this game as the basis for something miniatures related. The Crete maps could be scrolled and I like the compactness of it all.

Much thinking to be done….

All the best,


Donnie McGibbon said...

Not much of a WW2 gamer but the war in the desert always holds an interest for me as it was where my father served in WW2, North Africa and into Italy, so I will be interested in seeing if you develop this into a project.

Aly Morrison said...

I may have to pick up that book myself….
Nicely produced game components David… I can see these maps being very useful.

All the best. Aly

David Crook said...

Hi Donnie,

The desert has always had a fascination for me - both WW1 and 2 - although I have not really gamed the latter using various boardgames. Oddly enough I have been looking at 3mm as being a useful scale for the Mersey rules but who knows? Not sure when I will get to this using models other but for now I shall be using Lock and Load Heroes of North Africa for the tactical side and No Retreat for the strategic.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Aly,

Go on! You know you want to…..

The book is a really useful ‘one stop’ primer and whilst not exactly groundbreaking does give a great flavour for the theatre.

All the best,