I played a game of Flames of War Late War at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport, UK on Tuesday against Fraser.
It was very very much a learning exercise for me. I used my full 1750 points of Us 3rd rifle infantry from Dogs and Devils. He used his tank horde. Basically a crap ton of T34/85s and a few SU-100’s and a trio of armored cars. All backed up with a command tank.
HQ with two bazookas.
Assault Rifle platoon
Weapons platoon (2 LMG, 3 mortars)
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas
81mm Mortar platoon (2 mortrars for smoke)
Sherman platoon (4 M4/M4A1 tanks)
Recon platoon (3 Jeeps)
AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
Soviets: (Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Batalon – Red Army)
HQ – 1 x T35/85 obr 1943
Tank platoon 1 (10 x T34/85) obr1943
Tank platoon 2 (as 1)
Tank platoon 3 (4 x SU-100)
Recon platoon (3 armored cars – BA64)
After setting up the great looking scenery on one of the 6×4 tables the mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Fighting Withdrawal (page 283). The 3 objective markers were placed in my defending table half. As the defender, I set up my US rifles first, holding back my AT gun platoon in reserve.
At first the game seemed to be a difficult one for the Soviets with the Hen and Chicks rules versus my dug in Veteran troops saw no damage done to me. The SU-100s seemed to bog as they slowly made their way to my left flank. No real damage was done to me but equally I had no way of doing anything back with by AT guns in Ambush for a side swipe and my Shermans hiding behind a wood near my right flank objective.
The real threat came as the rest of the force of tanks seemed weighted to my right flank.
It was when it came to combat that the real hit was done. Fraser played a blinder in getting both his 10 tank platoons to threaten the centre and my right objective at the same time. He peeled off one tank platoon to head to the centre instead of the my right flank. Despite doing my best, he managed to push back both defending platoons for very little damage. I played my ambush but that was not enough. I threw my Shermans in to defend the right objective but only managed to just hold it at the loss of two tanks. On my turn 6 I withdrew that objective but now had only a 3 team mortar platoon defending the central objective. I could do nothing as the remaining platoons on my left flank could not reach the central objective to contest it.
Fraser took a 6-1 victory on his turn 7 with my not being able to reach the objective to contest it prior to it being removed.
Good game, well done Fraser!
With the list that I had I could have done more. I put myArmored rifles, pioneer rifles and weapons platoon on the left flank, my rifles and mortars in the centre and my tanks to the right behind a wood close to the right side objective. The right flank had my HMG platoon with its 2 bazookas. The Recon jeeps were no real use this game and were the first platoon to be taken off after the command jeep was killed (this scenario requires the defender to start checking for withdrawing platoons at the start of his turn 3).
I guess with hindsight it was no surprise that Fraser decided to hit my right flank and them peel off to the centre. These were the weaker defenders. The fact that I was dug in veterans meant he had to go in for an assault to dislodge my infantry. I kept sitting on my behind waiting until it was too late. The Armored rifles could have been on the centre to prop it up one more turn until I could remove that objective. He would then have not been able to take the the left side objective in time as his nearest tanks were too slow.
I failed to stop the tank horde due to lack AT firepower. The rifle platoon lost 6 stands in assault and fell back. Next round the tanks wiped them out to a man. With only two bazookas in the rifle platoon and an integral AT of 2 in assault they could not breach the top armour of the tanks or stop them from assaulting. The best they could do was bail one tank with a bazooka. Had the ARP been there in their place with 5 bazookas……
I should have deployed the ARP onto the wheat field where the mortars were to prop up the centre. No sure what the Shermans could do in this game. Against AT of 12 and 16 on the Soviet tanks versus their front armour of 6 they were doomed if they appeared.
I am strongly considering a platoon of 4 GMC10 tank destroyers for the US rifles. You can find the list in the Dogs and Devils battle book / on easyarmy.com
I am hoping for a rematch next week, or at least v. heavy German tanks (!)
Here are the few pics I took. Sorry for the picture quality. I only had my crappy Nokia phone cam with me.