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The account of Sub-Lieutenant Vazquez

The Sub-Lieutenant was in command of a platoon of Argentinian marines who defended the middle of the ridge at Tumbledown against the Scots Guards during the fighting for the Falklands.

“At about 23:00 one of my men was wounded by shelling. And I moved over to help him. I left my rifle and ran to his position. While I was doing that, the artillery stopped, and I heard a Sterling light machine-gun firing, exactly at the mouth of my foxhole, it had a distinctive sound and I knew that it was the British. When I peered out of the hole I was in, I could see two British soldiers, one of them smoking, a cigarette in his mouth; they were passing one on each side of my position. With my pistol and a hand grenade, I ran back to my command post, probably right through the British soldiers. They didn’t react quickly enough. They fired at me and I at them, but no one was hit. There was a star-shell at the time. I couldn’t reach my position, so I pretended to be hit and fell as though I was dead. The British soldiers, stepped over me. When the light went out I got up and was able to reach my command post. The British crossed right on top of my platoon position and finished up surrounding us. Some of them were actually mixed up with our own positions; there were a lot of rocks and some empty foxholes. So a fight started all round, at distances varying between ten and fifty meters.”

From Martin Middlebrook’s ‘The Fight for the Malvinas’ which is his companion volume to ‘Operation Corporate’.

On reading his account (which is longer than the quote) it struck me that here is a type of action that probably happens quite often but is rarely described or wargamed. So I felt I wanted to give it a twirl, and also provide solo options. Indeed due to the nature of the fighting, it struck me that even if you had two players, one for each side, the scale and the fact that they have rather lost track of the world outside their wargames table means it’s almost two solo games as each tries to use the unexpected to their advantage.

Now with Hell by Daylight, there is an extra set of rules tucked away at the end after the scenarios. Hell in a Small Place.

After the first edition of Hell by Daylight was published, we did play some games where there was a lot of ‘house clearing.’ Then people played anti-terrorist actions where the Special Forces storm a plane, a school bus, or an embassy. So I ended up tweaking the rules for these actions. So there are some modifications. It’s still Hell by Daylight, some things don’t change, but only a few do. So in Hell by Daylight a move is nominally around 10 seconds whilst for ground scale, 1 inch equals 10 yards. In Hell in a Small Place the ground scale is altered to 1 inch equals 2 yards, (thus making it virtually a ‘real’ scale) and to cope with this the time scale must be altered. What we have done is to give each 10 second move, six phases. So it works well for small actions with small numbers of figures involved.

Back to Tumbledown.

The terrain.

Rough, broken, no trees but still there should be lots of cover and foxholes, a lot of which are not currently occupied. The table doesn’t have to be big, three feet by three feet will work. But it can be bigger.

Then around the table edge place twenty counters, numbered from one to twenty. Spread them equally around the table edge, these are the entry points for troops coming on.  


The fighting took place during a winter’s night. It was dark. Now life has meant that I’ve spent a lot of time outside at night without lights (in rural areas a long way from streetlights.) and it is rarely absolutely dark. You do sort of see some things, but never well.

On top of that you’ll have star shells fired at random. Now the rule of thumb is that these will illuminate a battlefield for perhaps forty to sixty seconds. This is easy enough to work into the rules. The star shell lasts four, six phase turns. On the 5th turn, toss a coin, on heads it’s still working. If it still works, repeat the coin toss on the 6th turn, and if it’s still working at the end of the 6th turn, toss the coin again. If the shell lasts into a 7th turn, that’s your lot. You don’t get an eighth turn.

Each turn after the star shell has ‘gone out’ roll a d6. On a 6 the British fire another one.

So visibility rules are

  • When a star shell is illuminating the area, just treat it as normal daylight.
  • In the move after the star shell has gone out, you see nothing. Everybody has lost their night vision and all you can see is muzzle flashes, explosions, and torchlight. This doesn’t stop you shooting at where you were shooting previously, but now, unless they are shooting back and you get muzzle flash, you cannot aim.
  • The move after that, until the next star shell, you have ‘gloom.’ Moving figures can be seen within ten meters. (moving means travelling from place to place, not just moving an arm to put a new magazine in a rifle.) Also they will be recognised as being either British or Argentinian.
  • Up to 30m moving figures can be seen, but not identified unless they say something (English or Spanish) or fire a weapon only carried by one side (like the Sterling).
  • If the figure is skylined, (for the purposes of the game, if you can draw a line from the observing figure past the figure being observed to the table edge and there is no blocking terrain higher than the figure, it can be seen by the observing figure, at any range.
  • If a figure lies down and doesn’t move it can only be seen by figures within base contact.

The Argentinians

This is you, but in spite of being theoretically in charge, there is, one might say, an element of confusion as to who is where. Place your figure somewhere near the centre of the board. Then place five other Argentinian figures within ten meters of your figure. In theory you might not be able to see them because they are in foxholes or similar. But you have the advantage that you know where they are and know where to look.

Your men, both those on table and those arriving, are decent enough soldiers.

You count as Normal 3, as the Sub-Lieutenant in charge.

On the table, among your five men, you have a machine gun team.

Gunner Normal 3.

Number 2, Normal 2.

Other figures you can roll at random.

1. Normal 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, two rifle grenades.

2. Normal 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades.

3. Normal 2. SLR, three rifle grenades.

4. Normal 2. SLR, 3 hand grenades.

5. Green 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades.

6. Green 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, two rifle grenades.

Treat rifle grenades as hand grenades which can reach anywhere on the table. However unlike hand grenades when you fire a rifle grenade it gives away your location.

The British.

The Scots Guards have an edge over your men in both training and equipment.

Just roll at random.

 1. Veteran 2. SLR, 2 hand grenades, LAW.

2. Veteran 2. Sterling submachinegun, 2 hand grenades.

3. Normal 3. SLR, three rifle grenades, LAW.

4. Normal 3. SLR, 3 hand grenades.

5. Normal 2. SLR, 4 hand grenades.

6. Normal 2. Sterling submachinegun, 2 hand grenades, LAW.

Where does everybody arrive?

To try and get some feel for the chaos and fast moving nature of the fighting, each move roll two d20. This gives the point of arrival of one or more figures. It doesn’t tell you which side they’re on, but you can assume that those figures who arrive together are on the same side. Because hostile troops can arrive after them, figures will attempt to get into cover and move in cover.

So each move you’ll get two ‘parties’ of troops joining your little fracas.

Size of the party

Roll a d6.

1,2,3, it is one man.

4,5, there are two men.

6 there are three men.

What are they?
When the troops are in a position to see something and might open fire roll a d6

1,2,3 They’re Argentinian.

4,5,6 They’re British.

+1 to the roll if there are two in the party.

+2 to the roll if there are three in the party.

So during the game, you’ll gradually get more and more British troops on the table, from all directions.

What will troops do?
They will take cover, try and stay alive, but if British will try and advance and clear the area. If Argentinian they are more likely to stay in cover and just stop the British advance.

Which means that whilst there may eventually be fewer Argentinians, they have the advantage of being able to stay in cover.

Shouting out.

Your figure, when seeing a party of troops, can shout orders to them in Spanish. If you already know the troops you are shouting at are Argentinian, then they will attempt to obey.

If you’re not really sure of the nationality of the troops you are shouting at then just roll a d6.

1,2,3 They are Argentinian

4,5,6 They’re British.

The advantage of this is that, if you take the risk, you’re more likely to get more Argentinian troops in the larger parties.

The disadvantage is that you shouted out and everybody now knows where you are.

Winning and Losing.

Basically if you can get the British to fall back, or somehow clear the table of British troops, you’ve done well and can chalk it up as a win.

East Front Miniatures have brought the old Platoon 20, 20mm Falkland War range back into production.

In 28mm Gripping Beast have a range–category–156.html

Old Glory have a range of figures in 15mm

If you want to do the game very economically (and potentially on an even smaller table, Pendraken do the conflict in 10mm


Obviously you can use if for any modern conflict. Indeed with tweaking to allow for reloading you could use it for American Civil War.

Feel free to just use the troops you’ve got and bend the scenario to fit them.


Hell by Daylight rules are available from Wargame Vault in pdf for £4.

They’re also available from Amazon, £4 on Kindle, or £9.50 in paperback


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