April 21–23, 1943: In Tunisia the Allies have been steadily pushing the German forces into an ever-shrinking pocket. However, for the final breakthrough to the capital of Tunis and the other supply port of Bizerte, a series of strongpoints guarding the German perimeter still have to be breached. A pair of hills became known as Longstop Hill. The previous winter one of the pair had already been taken, only to be lost again due to confusion and miscommunication. This time the capture will have to be permanent.
Though the Germans had heavily fortified the area with minefields and barbed wire and their troops were well entrenched, no anti-tank weapons and obstacles had been deemed necessary, as the German commanders had come to the conclusion that the hills would be impassable to vehicles due to the steep gradient. They were proven only partially correct.
In fact, British Churchill tanks turned out to be an exception and would play a pivotal role in the battle, providing Close Support to the advancing infantry. The German defenders could hardly believe their eyes when they saw the steel giants ascending the hills, which made them refer to the Churchills in awe and disbelief as “Metal Mules.”
Will you be able to take complete control of both hills as the British player before the attack peters out or, can you, as the Germans, deny victory to the British a second time and fend off the enemy despite the lack of anti-tank defenses and weaponry?
7 Squad Bases
4 M4 Sherman
9 Squad Bases
7 Squad Bases
4 Churchill Mk III (see Special Rules for stats)
6 Squad Bases
|Strategy Decks||Command 1
British Reinforcements 1
|Starting Strategy Cards||3||2|
|Operations Cards||005 Clear Mines
019 Seize the Initiative
|013 Desperate Defenders|
|Deployment Zone||All British units enter the map during the Action Phase of Round 1 with an Advance, Fire and Movement, or Assault Action. They enter the map on 13B and/or 16B in compass direction 6.||Div. 1: Hill hexes on map 17A and/or 14A and/or in the [fortified] building hexes on map 16B.
Div. 2: on the large multihex, two-level hill spanning maps 20A and 21A (thus, the single Level 1 Hill hex on the south of map 21A is not a legal hex to set up in).
|Starting Initiative||Setup First|
Victory is determined by the number of British controlled Victory Objectives at the end of Round 9:
|Actions per turn||3||3|
Churchill Mk III (use Matilda Mk II models as proxies). These tanks have the following attributes:
Fortified buildings: Entrenchments placed inside Building hexes offer squads inside them +2 cover in addition to the Building’s standard 3 cover. Note that a squad not located inside an actual Entrenchment only receives the cover from the Building.
Coordination effort: Each time a nation wishes to use Combined Fire, it must pay 1 available Command to do so. Note that this does not apply to Combined Op Fire!
Important rule reminders
Do not forget: Vehicles other than the Churchill tanks cannot enter Hill hexes, as described in the special rules section. It’s a pretty essential rule that’s easily overlooked during play.
Steep hills: Vehicles may not enter Hill hexes with the exception of the Churchill tanks.
Robert Lee, “The Battle of Longstop Hill: 21-24 April 1943,” Lee Family History, Apr. 21, 2018,
“Long Stop Hill,” Britain at War, http://www.britain-at-war.org.uk/ww2/Derrick_Jackson/html/long_stop_hill.htm
“Tunisia 1943: Longstop Hill - ACHTUNG MINEN!” Jul. 30, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H2KqvQg-10
Fire at Will, “Gauntlet - Day 2 - Longstop hill,” Will’s Wargames Blog, Jul. 8, 2013, http://willwarweb.blogspot.com/2013/07/gauntletday-2-longstop-hill.html
“Battle for Longstop Hill – December 22-26, 1942,” The Liberation Trilogy, http://liberationtrilogy.com/books/army-at-dawn/mapsfrom-an-army-at-dawn/images-of-maps-from-an-army-at-dawn/
“[Tunisia] Longstop Hill - Action 3 - April 23, 1943 - April 26, 1943,” Days of Wonder Boardgames, Dec. 21, 2017, https://www.daysofwonder.com/memoir44/en/editor/view/?id=18120
“The Tunisian Campaign,” http://northafricagallagher.weebly.com/the-tunisian-campaign.html
Stretcher bearers of the East Surrey Regiment, with a Churchill tank of the North Irish Horse in the background, during the attack on Longstop Hill, 23 April 1943.
(Source: Imperial War Museum, image NA 2237, via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Army_in_Tunisia_1943_NA2237.jpg )
A Churchill tank in the Medjez-el-Bab area of Tunisia, 23–25 April 1943.
(Source: Imperial War Museum, image NA 2304, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_British_Army_in_Tunisia_1943_NA2304.jpg )