Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Flames of War - Battle Report - newbies!

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'.

I had:
  • 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
Brett took a force that was a bit of mix, he'd taken an Armoured Rifle Company initially taken from an older version of the Desert sourcebook, which I looked at and compared to a similar list I had in the Cobra sourcebook. So it emerged as a bit of a midwar/latewar mixture... Consequently were rated 'Confident Trained'.

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
We rolled up scenario and Breakthrough resulted. Since I was an Infantry company facing a mechanised Infantry company, I was the defender, which was as we would have thought, and played it anyway.

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.

German deployment

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!

American deployment

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
The air filled with machine gun fire from the Stuarts but amazingly the grenadiers all survived in their foxholes. This time the 75mm artillery did range in but failed to kill any troops but did pin down the platoon.

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
My turn 3, what to do. Time was pressing also... I thought about using my grenadier platoon on my right flank to close assault the Stuarts from the behind, with my trusty panzerknacker, but they failed to unpin from the previous turns 75mm arty fire. The American combat platoon in the woods was going to take forever to emerge, so I pondered moving my grenadiers from the left over to assault the Stuarts from the front but that I was sure would have been suicide, so they put the kettle on and dug out the frankfurters and mustard instead.

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
Checking Morale, that would appear to have broken that combat platoon. So it would now on turn 4 but up to the Stuarts to race forward and claim the objective, but once again they would have then been sitting under the gaze of the StuGs...

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!


  1. Great looking game there Scott. Just got home from an ACW game with Roly.I think he had a good night.

  2. Very nice save from the Stugs! Fun report and looking forward to more!


  3. Questions from this game:

    1. When command HQ is pinned, can it use the Commanders re-roll ability to try and unpin if it fails the normal first roll?

    2. Ranging in artillery; rulebook states -1 penalty for 'concealed', yet Summary sheet I printed off from somewhere has this written as 'concealed by woods'. So is the summary sheet a more recent clarification?

    Thanks for any help...

  4. Hi Scott,

    Good to see you guys enjoying the game.

    Re: your questions,

    1. It would roll to unpin in the starting step and it will never be pinned in the first place - having unpinned at the end of the previous step, since it is an independent team. (I assume this question is about the CiC?)

    2. Any concealment raises the target number to range in by +1. So 4+ on a d6 becomes 5+ etc


  5. Jamie - thanks for reply. OK I am a little confused now, I thought the 'HQ'; CiC, 2iC, and its attached 'goodies'; shreks & mortars etc, acted together like a platoon? So if this group took 5 hits it would be pinned, and need to unpin in following starting step?


  6. Hi Scott,

    A few things are going on there (caps for clarity, not shouting):

    1. Your HQ contains @ least two INDEPENDENT teams (the CiC and 2iC plus any others that say so eg observes etc)

    2. It may also have HQ support elements like mortars, ATRs, Bazookas, 'Shreks and so on. These are either permanently attached to another platoon before the game begins or left in the HQ.

    3. Any unattached teams form a single LEADERLESS platoon. This platoon has special rules - see the book.

    4. So the CiC is separate from the 2iC is separate from that platoon made up of any remaining HQ elements.

    5. That HQ platoon needs the 2iC or CiC to join it when it needs a leader (ie to move).

    6. INDEPENDANT teams may join another platoon at any point. Once they do, they must stay with it till the end of the current step (shoot, assault etc). At the end of that step they automatically leave.

    7. Independant teams cannot be pinned. They only suffer pinning when joining a platoon that is pinned and lose any effects of pinning once they leave, automatically, at the end of that step.


  7. Hi again Jamie,
    Thank you for the clarification. I think I get it now. :-)

  8. Good stuff Scott - I have had a couple of games up here - and it's easy to miss the odd rule - like the German Stormtrooper rule, with this your tanks can move onto a hill, fire and then retire back down the hill so that can't be seen.

    Still a great read - maybe we can squeeze in a game when I move back down


  9. Hey Bryan, must admit we didnt worry too much about the special rules a this point although I had remembered the German mission tactics one, but it never came up.
    I had thought the stormtrooper rule was just for infantry, I didnt realise tanks could use it too!

    Sure look me up for a game when you are down here.


Please feel free to comment on my blog. It is always nice to get feedback.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...