Sunday, July 24, 2011

Downed in Flames of War

Today seven of us gathered for a planned Flames of War game, hosted by Gnome Games East in Green Bay.  

The game was to be Russians vs. Germans in some sort of mid-war scenario.  The lists were made and we started play.  As far as I remember, the Soviets had five T-34s, a SPAA truck, six 47mm ATGs, 6 120mm mortars, a Katyushka truck, HMGs, recce, a cavalry element and maybe 100 stands of foot.  The Germans had six MkIVh panzers, four 75mm ATGs, five 81mm mortars, HMGs, three armored SPAA 20mm halftracks, and thirty-six panzergrenadier or falschirmjager stands not counting command.  Totals were around 2200 points per side.

Things began to unravel at once.  For the third game in a third tries the Russians were massacred.  I'm not sure there were ANY Soviet stands around at the end.  German losses were triffling.  One ATG, maybe eight or nine infantry stands.  Now tactics could have been better for the Soviets; four of five Soviet tanks were killed by the end of the second turn but I'm really beginning to wonder if something is broken in the game system.  If this was just a one off game I could rationalize it, but three?

Is it the point system?  The fact that it's always veteran Germans vs. conscript Soviets?  Or are we doing something wrong?  I'm not a big fan of the game in the first place, having some goofy shortcuts or Hollywood mechanisms, but this is the game in the Fox Valley and it needs to work.  I frankly enjoyed putting together my force off the points list more than slaughtering the Soviets.

I'd welcome suggestions or ideas.  We want to make it work.


  1. In most scenarios, that Russian army(infantry company) would be the defenders and the Panzergrenadier force(mechanized company) would be the attackers. The Russians could simply dig in around the objectives and wait for the Germans while enjoying concealment/bulletproof cover. As in real life, in FOW it's pretty difficult to root out entrenched infantry without artillery, flamethrowers, and the like.

    When I run my own Panzergrenadier army, I feel vastly outnumbered by infantry companies and outgunned by armored companies. In FoW, mechanized armies are widely regarded as requiring a lot of finesse to win with. Mechanized units have received points cuts in the most recent late war campaign books(Turning Tide and Earth & Steel for instance).

    My recommendation is to use the scenarios in the rulebook religiously(as dictatorial as they may seem) and to review the 2E rules carefully(I noticed one guy in your group with a 1E rulebook).

  2. We are working on getting everyone standardized. I gave the guys a CD of downloads from the Battlefront website.

  3. Mike, If you ever want to try a practice game or two, I live in Neenah. Just drop in to my blog and post a comment and I'll give you contact info somehow. I'd also love to play a SYW game sometime, I've looked hard at the period, but no one in our group shows an interest in much other than skirmish games.