Well as promised in the prior blogpost, I offer you a Flames of War Battle report. Brett Mudgway and myself managed a trial learning game tonight, using forces of approx. 800 points each. Please bear in mind, we are both newbies and possibly using older books/sourcebooks which may not be 'correct' by current standards, but we got a feel for the rules, both enjoyed it, and look forward to more games :-)
Since I don't have many 15mm buildings suitable we had planned to play a Sicily type game using Brett's 15mm African adobe buildings, but these had been packed away somewhere in Brett's 'gaming bunker', and could not be quickly located so we made do with a few left over Warmaster buildings I had from many moons ago.
And thus a Normandy style landscape appeared before us...
I took a force themed on KampGruppe Meyer; 352 Inf Div, 916 Grenadier regiment, Fusilier Abteilung. This force was made up from veterans of the Eastern front and as such are rated 'Confident Veteran'.
- HQ upgraded to PanzerKnacker + PanzerShrek Team + 2 x 8cm G42 stummelwerfer mortars
- (Grenadier platoon (3 squads) + Command SMG Panzerknacker) x 2
- StuG G platoon of 3 assault guns
He took (roughly)
- HQ, with towed gun
- Two full Combat platoons
- a platoon of 3 GMC halftracks fitted with a 75mm gun (this was from the Desert Midwar list )
- a platoon of 4 Stuart light tanks
Checking through the rules for scenario; Delayed reserves, Prepared positions, Defensive battle, Mobile reserves, I deployed my troops roughly in a diagonal line through centre of board. Grenadier squads to either side with HQ and StuGs on central small hill.
Brett came on with HQ + Stuarts behind small wood to left, and combat platoon and 75mms to right. One combat platoon in reserve waiting to come on behind my lines! Grrr!
Brett as the attacker got first turn and swung his Stuarts round the woods to his left trying to out flank my grenadiers on my right. His combat platoon opened up on my concealed troops and after a hail of lead, killed one team. He then failed to range in his 75mm Artillery.
In my turn, I decided to keep my grenadiers heads down, hoping they would stay alive longer doing so rather than firing back. My StuGs however fired on the combat platoon as one of its halftracks was clearly visible on the road. The halftrack exploded in a ball of flame, as Brett realised his frontal armour of 1, didn't stand a lot of chance of stopping the 75mm round from the StuGs StuK40 gun. I also managed to call in an artillery strike from my command HQ Stummelwerfers and while not doing any damage, did pin the combat platoon.
|Combat platoon mounts up as halftrack burns in background|
In the second turn, Brett unpinned the combat platoon and decided to mount them up and try to drive through the woods. The Stuarts continued their end around run, getting right on the flank of the grenadiers this time.
|Stuarts outflank grenadiers|
In my turn I looked hungrily at the Stuarts, down the barrels of my StuG platoon and measuring the range, found them just within. A groan from Brett... I need to move slightly to get all tanks in firing position, (hull mounted main gun) . I also realised I needed something else over that side of the battlefield and advanced my Panzershrek toward to the right flank.
Needing a 4+ to kill the Stuarts with my StuGs from 3 shots I rolled; 3,3,1. Arrgh! Where's a re-roll when you want one?
In frustration my grenadier platoon on my left fired a couple of teams at the unmounted remains of the combat platoon but the firing pinged off the stone wall they were sheltering behind.
Turn three and Brett asked; what was that rule about about bringing on reserves again? Ok, he got one dice and need a 5 to bring on his reserve platoon. And he rolled... a 5. Damn! His Stuarts raced past the grenadiers in their foxholes heading towards the objectives to my right. The mounted combat platoon edged into the woods, with the last half track bogging down in the difficult terrain. I could see what he was trying to do; get my StuGs to turn to fire one way and present their weaker sides to his other troops. But there was not much I could do about it as my only platoon doing anything was my StuGs... all the others were cowering in their foxholes.
In true John Wayne fashion the American reserve combat platoon roared onto the field of battle and took the objective marker on the hill to my right flank. But they would have to still be holding it at the beginning of their next turn to win.
The Stuarts had seen the Panzershrek team scampering about earlier, and let rip with their machine guns on my command HQ, getting 5 hits and pinning the platoon. The only team that failed his infantry save was the Panzershrek team! Bloody typical! Cue; finger of doom - 'Its YOOOOOOOUUU'!
|Panzershrek team gets nailed by the MG fire from the Stuarts|
It all came down this turn, to my StuGs. Could they redeem themselves from the previous turns complete miss (Ostfront veterans my foot!) Again hull mounted main guns meant they had to turn to engage the 2nd American combat platoon on the hill objective, reducing their firing. Checking the hill , I had to kill 3 halftracks that were on or within 4" of the objective marker, from 3 shots... Drum roll please, build the tension...; a 5,5 and 4. Boom! 3 half tracks brew up nicely!
|StuGs take out the halftracks on the hill objective|
As it happened Brett had to call time, as he had to get away.
So we ended the game there. I think technically that would have been a win to me, as Brett's combat platoon was the only one to quit the field.
However, it should be noted that, Brett could have simply come onto the battlefield with his reserve platoon, and just parked on the rear slope of the hill and I would not have been able to see them to fire my StuGs and he would have claimed the objective.
However in true Yankie fashion he roared on, full of gusto, with plenty of fuel, ammo and chocolate on board ;-)
Good on yer Brett!
So the main thing to come out of this was a very enjoyable game for us both. The rules were got to grips with quite well, though we didn't get to try out the assault phase...
We are both more than happy to play more games.
And since Brett has a huge American force ready painted to go, looks like I'll be putting painting priority to my Germans to try and defend Festung Europa against his invasion!