The Old Giant

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FoW Learning Batrep

The Old Giant

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Having failed to get any more buidling and painting of any kind done due to ebay sales demands (it’s hard being a seller and a full time worker!) on Saturday just gone I decided to say hell to it and get my 4×4 tabletop out and try and learn the Flames of War game at last. I set up some scenery (rocks and foliage to break up line of sight and add some difficult going).

The big problem here is not having enough US troops to make a valid force. So I just went with what I had and matched points with Axis troops. Some 500 points only. A small battle then…

Basically a free for all mission with 2 objectives each side of the board to be grabbed and held to win. With hindsight it should only have been one. But this was a learning curve for me. The rulebook is well laid out and can be followed along in a logical fashion. They did a good job. Minor quibble my almost unused mini rulebook started to fall apart wihin minutes of being used on the tabletop. The glue binding couldn’t cope with pages being folded back to be left open. My glue gun soon got the binder and page 3 back in shape though!

Dogs and Devils – Italy list:

US 3rd Infantry Division (505 pts):

1 x HQ (two SMG team) – 70pts

1 x M1 57mm anti tank gun platoon – 75 pts

1 x 4 Sherman M3 75mm tanks – 360 pts

Axis HG Schwere Aufklarungsschwadron (500 pts):

1 x HQ (2 x SMG teams, 1 Panzerschreck team + Kfz15 + motorcycle&sidecar) – 70 pts

1 x Pioneer Platoon (HQ + 3 squads + Kfz70 trucks) – 260

1 x Artillery Battery (HQ + 2 Wespe 10.5cm howitzers) – 170

Setup – US won choice of table edge and finished its limited deployment first.

First Turn – Axis won the initiative and took first turn.

Axis Pioneers and HQ moved toghether on the right flank to take out the objective near the US M1 anti-tank guns.

Axis Artillery couldnot fire on first turn as it counted as having moved. Used conventional shotbut was out of range of the US anti tank guns.

US Tanks moved forward toward the Axis Artillery pieces. Shooting proved ineffective as the targets were concealed and the tanks on the move.

US Anti tank guns failed to find a target due to LOS and range.

US HQ stayed concealed behind their rock.

Turn 2.

Axis Pioneers and HQ dismounted and headed at ormal pace to the US guns. They failed to hit their targets with their MGs.

Axis Artillery managed to range in on the third attempt on the US anti-tank guns but failed to do any damage at all. Could probably have tried the tanks as targets as the Pioneers I think have 360 line of site – never mind – one to check in the rules.

US tanks stopped and fired. The extra dice meant they got two hits in on the one visible but concealed Wespe. Their firepower managed to blow it apart. First blood to the US 3rd. Only one US anti-tank gun had a target and failed to hit.

US HQ stayed where it was, observing the fighting and remaining hidden.

Turn 3.

Axis Wespe moves to get a Sherman in its LoS – big mistake. It misses and in return is blown apart by the massed guns of the US tank platoon.

The Axis Pioneers see the danger their other obkective could be in and head at speed over to the US Shermans. Too late really as the range is just too much.

The US anti tank crew fails to do any damage to the Pioneers as they hug the ground too much! The US HQ moves to support the anti-tank crews.

Turn 4.

The surviving Wespe HQ has nerves of steel and withstands a charge by two Shermans. However, the fighting is too much and their morale gives. The fall back to the table edge. The US Sherman platoon consolidates on the objective and win the game.

Conclusion.

A short learning game. I learned a few important things….

With a small force a single objective is sufficient.

Don’t split up a small force like this. The game was really lost from the outset for the Axis. The Wespe’s did not have the ability to deal with the firepower and speed of the Shermans. They needed some infantry support, preferably with some anti-tank firepower thrown in. Had I put all the Axis on one side of the table, opposite the Shermans if possible I should have been able to overwhelm the Shermans and move up to the objective ith only a distant US gun crew and HQ to try and stop me.

Next time, I will know better. Next time I will have a valid force list as well!!

Enjoyable. Better than 40K or WFB… a serious contender methinks…

(pics to follow).

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