Monday, June 5, 2017

101st Airborne vs. 12th Volksgrenadier

I've been enjoying a real glut of gaming lately, making up for the dismal early spring.  Sunday we played a round of Flames of War 4th Edition at our favorite game shop, Adventure Games Oshkosh.

My LW list was from Market Garden and the paras were supported by the 11th Armoured Division.  My 1500 points had two para platoons with extra bazookas, a battery of pack 75mm howitzers, a .50 cal AA platoon, LMG platoon, a pair of 57mm ATGs, a "limited" P-47 and a troop of Shermans (one Firefly) from the 11th.  Bob fielded three grenadier platoons, a platoon of 8cm mortars, three StuG III, four Mk. IVH and a Tiger.  We initially rolled an Annihilation mission, then were talked into trying the new Fog of War Objective Cards, which pretty much eliminates the mission.

My initial deployment.  Both sides start dug in and gone to ground.
Bob had the first move and as such couldn't issue bombardment fire.  Not sure why the rules call for that since we hadn't moved.  It gave me the chance to hit them with my 75s and pin them for most of the game.  The Germans advanced with StuGs and infantry on my left, tanks on my right.

My tanks hide from the superior numbers.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, advance in the center.

Utilizing the "Blitz Move" my tanks engaged the Mk IVs finally.

The remnants of my para platoon seek cover.  Meanwhile the
StuGs and 57s continue a mostly ineffectual duel.
 I discovered quickly that 4th edition has really emasculated aircraft.  Planes that used to be the terror of the battlefield are no longer effective against real tanks.  I'm told that it is because the author feels that aviator claims were wildly exaggerated and they really destroyed very few tanks.  Maybe.

Finally gaining the advantage.  Six shots vs. six, then four, then two.

Bob's previously hot dice went cold and my tanks gained the upper
 The Objective Cards were... strange.  We each got three cards initially and had to play one a turn till the three were out.  Each time we played a card we got three more and kept one of them.  One card Bob played had him place an objective along the mid-line and two more within 12" of the first.  Naturally it allowed him to place them close to his forces.  Another played later let him place a 3 point objective (we were now playing to six points) anywhere.  There was a countdown before he could claim the points, but about 3" from the table edge behind a dug in grenadier platoon meant he would get them unless the game ended sooner.

I also drew the place three objectives card.  One next to Bob's
and two more safely in my zone of operations.

 The tide drastically turned in my favor.  The last StuG was destroyed, giving me a free hand on the left.  The Tiger was bailed by the Firefly and being a one tank platoon, failed his motivation test and ran off.  The surviving Mk IV likewise failed, so suddenly my two remaining British tanks were the only ones on the field!

Keep moving boys!

Tanks secure the center objectives and along with the other points
from cards mean a 6-4 win for me.

I had mixed feelings about the game session.  The firepower cap of 3 on artillery and plane bombardments doesn't seem right.  Tigers can no long be killed by Rockets or bombs, only bailed.  Planes needing to range in on targets in the open also seems weird.  Mortars no longer get to re-roll the first ranging in attempt, but also not have to range in every turn anymore.  The Objective cards felt gamey to me and introduced an extra element of luck, though it was suggested that picking good cards and knowing when to play them added to the strategic element.  Maybe.  Other things: I continue to like the improved survivability of gun teams.  Morale and "Last Stand" changes are superior to the old system.

We'll continue to play and report.  

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