Monday, April 7, 2014

An Inferno of Flames of War

Seems we can't get enough of Flames of War lately.  I've played four games in the last eight days.  Well, 3.5 if you count the demo game.  We've been doing some interesting scenarios lately.  Which is not to say necessarily good scenarios, just interesting.  Like this one:

"Surrounded on One Side"
The scenario is the Cauldron.  In this case the British must deploy all their on-table forces in a 16" diameter circle while the Germans are split among the remaining quadrants.  Each side had to hold half their forces off table, the Germans in reserve, the British in Delayed Reserve.  The Germans (Confident Veteran) managed to scatter their on table forces.  The Panthers in one, the Scout platoon in another, and the towed 15cm in yet another.  The British with cheaper forces (Confident Trained) had a platoon of infantry, platoon of Vickers, platoon of towed 6 pdrs., full battery of 25 pdrs. and in ambush a platoon of towed 17 pdrs.

Forced to deploy the ambush immediately but with no viable targets, the 17pdrs. made for the high ground.
In an effort to avoid the Vickers in their Schwimmwagens the Scout platoon instead clumped up and was devastated by the 25 pdrs.  The meagre survivors ran off.
Next up the 25 pdrs. started taking chunks out of the 15cm guns while keeping them pinned, so no counter-bombardment.
Panzergrenadiers and infantry clashed.    Feeling this piece of real estate wasn't critical the British infantry did not choose to counter-attack, but just retire on friendly guns.

Reserves arrived for the British, who got to come on along their long table edge, so brought on a Bren Recon platoon that machine-gunned then assaulted the guns to finish them off.
Looking to take out the 17 pdrs, which had lost half their guns already, the Panthers engaged them, only to be swamped by tanks getting flank shots.  With only a platoon of panzergrenadiers (plus the shot up one) and a few Mk IVs remaining the Germans conceded.
Some things never got engaged.
Others never even got on table.  In this case the Germans were victim of the scenario and dice.  If we play this one again we're going to tweak the rolls for the surrounding player, who although counter-attacking, doesn't even get the first move!

Next, for International Tabletop Day the Fox Valley Rangers set up demo games at Fire for Effect Games in Oshkosh, WI and Chimera Games in Appleton.  The whole demo kit fits in the tub pictured below, as Paul looks on.
With a major convention the same weekend even our cheery, welcoming style couldn't pull in players.
The objective.
British tanks and American paratroopers from the "Open Fire" set.
StuG IIIs, a Pak 40 and panzergrenadiers prepare to contest the V1 launcher.
These demo games are always very quick (the goal)...
And very messy.
So after a time we pulled out our "extra" armies for a little mid-war Italian on American action.  A Bersagliari "battalion" of two "companies" with a platoon of M14 tanks, 81mm mortars, and an 88.  The Americans had two platoons of Stuarts, platoon of armored infantry, a trio of Priests and a P-40 in sporadic air support.  By dice rolls the Italians were all veteran, and the Americans were Confident-Trained.  With no further ado the Americans won the roll for first move in the "Free for all, fair fight" scenario.

With the attacker counting as moving the first turn regardless, no bombardment and no air support, Paul aggressively attacked.  Gunning down the 88 before it even got to shoot.  The towed 47mm guns, integral to the Bersagliari company bagged some halftracks but failed to impress the Stuarts.
Picking on the lightly armored Priests and fearing their big gun, mortars and anti-tank guns prioritized them.
American aircraft showed up twice in the game but only did minimal damage.
On the left the Stuarts time and again shrugged off the hits from the towed guns and M14s.  On the right a desperate duel developed between the two 47mm guns and a trio of Stuarts.  Why don't we have gun shields!?
The "big picture."
Chipping away at the M14s.
The American infantry advances and gets caught in a deadly cross-fire of HMGs and the remaining mortars.
The company commander in a Stuart plus the remaining Priest and a halftrack finally wipe out the Bersagliari on the right.  An objective is within range!  Fortunately I can contest it.

The American infantry failed a motivation test and scattered, and the odds finally caught up with the Stuarts on the right and were destroyed.  Which allowed me at the critical moment to turn and race to my right, some even risking a double move.
It won't matter in the big picture, but some stands make a move in the general direction of the American objective.
Tanks, the last mortar and assaulting Bersagliari take out all the remaining American AFVs.  Of course, it is easy to assault a bailed out tank.
Though the Americans were wiped out by destruction or motivation it was a very close game.  Had the aircraft been a little more effective or had I not rolled so well for my "8 Million Bayonets" rolls it could easily have gone the other way.  A fun time, even if the scheduled demo didn't meet expectations.  The rest of our Ranger group in the Fox Valley area did much better.

1 comment:

  1. Great reports, and beautiful terrains...I especially like the river and the V1 launcher!