Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Nail-biter

Over the years I've been quietly, and sometimes not so quietly critical of Flames of War and the game mechanics.  But I have to confess that last Sunday I had a tense but very fun game that came down to the wire.

Our "Ranger" group was teaching the rules to an interested player but I was paired off for a solo game.  Late war Falschirmjagers against the British rifle company.  1500 points each.  The scenario we rolled for was a Meeting Engagement with Delayed and Scattered Reserves.  As such we each had to choose half our force to be kept off table to be diced for.  I chose to start with a Falschirmjager platoon, a platoon of 12 cm mortars, and a platoon of three Marder tank destroyers.  My opponent Tim opted for two platoons of infantry and a platoon of Vickers machine guns.

The British moved first and made rapid gains, bounding across the table covered by a withering fire from the Vickers, compounded by my wretched saves.  They even managed to bail one of my tissue paper armored Marders.

On turn 3 we began rolling for reserves, needing a "5" or better on a d6.  Tim got none and to my relief I got the platoon of StuG IIIs, right where I needed them.

On Tim's turn he got a Sherman platoon and the random placement put them in a position to threated my weak right flank.  So thinking I had to deal with the threat to my center (objective) I assaulted the British infantry, thinking it would be easy.

Alas, I did little to him and his counter-attack with Gammon bombs in the end destroyed three of four StuGs, though the fourth gamely held on.  So it appeared I was defending the center objective with a half strength platoon of Falschirmjagers and one StuG, while on the right I was facing a platoon of infantry with tank support against two active Marders and some mortars.

Tim got two reserve elements, another infantry platoon and a platoon of heavy mortars.  Though in the wrong corner as far as he was concerned.  They raced forward and the others closed on me.  My 12 cm mortars had done little damage but had managed to pin his Vickers and then the infantry platoon to their front, buying some time.  I then rolled for reserves and got both my remaining.  A HMG platoon in the center and a Falschirmjager platoon on my right.  Exactly where they were needed most.

I concentrated all the firepower I could on the British platoon threatening the center objective and it was here that the dice deserted Tim.  Up till now he was way above average on saves, but now it was just a disaster.  The entire platoon disappeared in the proverbial hail of gunfire.  On the right the newly arrived Falschirmjagers hunkered down in the woods to interpose themselves between the tanks and the objective.

Undocumented by pictures my three Marders (I remounted the one after several tries) and remaining StuG engaged the three Shermans and were victorious.  Indicative of how badly the dice deserted Tim, at one point he missed with four shots needing only a "4" or better on a d6. 

Needless to say, my armor was now able to double time it to the enemy objective and the game ended. 

But one full of drama and swinging fortunes of war.  Requiring no special planning or scenario design the game itself gave us all we needed.  Kudos to Tim for taking in stride the savage swing of luck at the end. 


1 comment:

  1. Looks like a good game. I haven't tried FOW yet but have the rules so will give it a go as soon as I can. Now, back to painting tirailleurs.....

    Best wishes,