I played another game of Flames of War – Late War – at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport against Fraser. Last time out with that Soviet list he beat me hands down.
HQ with two bazookas.
Assault Rifle platoon
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas
Sherman platoon (3 M4/M4A1 tanks)
AT gun platoon (2 57mm guns) (2 bazookas that didn’t seem to make it to the table?)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
M10 Tank Destroyers (act as mobile artillery in Dogs and Devils not Tank Destroyers) platoon.
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 Pincer (rulebook p. 281). I got to defend one short edge of the table, the attacker got to send all his tanks out across the length of the board at me. Two objectives were placed by each player in the defenders half. I chose to put the dismounted Armored Rifles in a wheat field to defend one of the objectives. The further back objective was left to the Tank Destroyers. A unit of AT guns was put in Ambush. The HMGs were all combat attached out. The rest of the force was put in delayed reserve.
The large block of T34’s and the HQ tank went straight down the road with their recon platoon nearby. This carried on until they got to striking distance of the M10-s. Despite their best efforts the M10-s were not enough against this horde. To assist, the AT guns came out of Ambush with a side view to the T-34s and tried to help. The firepower was not enough. The ARP platoon was being forced to keep the other objective closed down to the 4 SU-100s. If they moved away they would be easier targets and the SU’s would move on their objective. All they could do was to look on while their bazookas did not have the range to do anything.
My US reserves were slow to enter and a lot of my shooting poor. The best I could do was bail a number of the T34’s. The M10s died in defense but a reserve of pioneer rifles hot footed it onto the table to 4 inches of the objective. The objective had been contested by just the 1iC at that point until he died (too late for the Russians to win that turn).
After that it was looking like n US disaster. The Sherman’s came on the side and tried to get a quick kill on the Soviet armored cars. They failed to do anything. The T-34s tore them apart – 270 points wasted. The US rifles came onto the table edge to back up the Pioneers. At this point, things started to turn in the favour of the US as the T-34s looked weaker from bazooka fire.
One platoon of T-34s no had only 1 survivor who was hidden away from the action. The other platoon broke away to make for the second objective. The SU-100s now moved in on the ARP who looked very surrounded.
The other US platoons now moved across the board to pincer the T-34s between them and the ARP.
It’s fair to say that the game went on a long time as the sides got whittled away. The T-34 platoons and the BA-64’s armored recon for the Soviets managed to stay intact due to wasted opportunities and some bad dice rolling on my account. The Soviet HQ was destroyed but the US could not force a Company morale check.
In the end after 14 or 15 turns, the SU-100s were left to try and win. The objective in the wheat field was fought over time and again but in the end the Soviets were forced to retreat and the ARP and 1iC consolidated and the game was over.
4-3 win to the US 3rd ID.
I need to work the troops together more. I have a habit of sitting on my backside waiting to react to a threat. That puts your opponent in charge of events. Attack may well be the best form of defence. Fraser did a great job of commanding the Soviets. He kept his force as intact as he could. Tried to take an easy victory v. the M-10’s – only the intervention of the 2ic and reserves saved the US bacon.
As for my play, the consensus seemed to be that I should have put the rifle platoons up near the centre half of the table to stall the tank attack, making use of bazookas to stall any attacks. This would give the tanks, TD’s and AT guns more time to whittle away the tanks. the ARP would have made a useful backstop in reserve after the Soviets game plan became clear.
An enjoyable game if VERY tiring.
Here are the pictures: