Another game of Flames of War – 1750 points Late War – at the North West Gaming Centre in Stockport but this time against Hammy. I hadn’t fought a game versus Infantry before so this was going to be a big learning curve. Hammy did not spare the punches in this game.
US: (Confident Veteran Infantry from Dogs and Devils)
HQ with two bazookas.
Assault Rifle platoon
Rifle platoon (only 2 sections)
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas
81mm Mortar platoon (6 mortar teams)
AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns and 1 bazooka)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
M10 Tank Destroyers (act as mobile artillery in Dogs and Devils not Tank Destroyers) platoon.
Jeep/Infantry Recon (3 Jeeps, 1 AA MG – can dismount to 3 teams of carbines/rifles).
German: (Confident Veteran Grenadierkompanie from Grey Wolf)
HQ –SMG and Panzerfaust SMG teams
2 x Grenadier Platoon (1x Panzerfasut SMG, 6 x Rifle/MG teams)
MG platoon (4 x HMG)
Mortar platoon (2 x 81mm plus observer)
Pioneer Platoon – cmd team, supply cart, 9 pioneer rifle teams inc. 3 flamethrowers.
Panzer 4H x 4 platoon
Marder 3M x 4 platoon
AA battery platoon (2 x 3.7 cm armored)
Panzerwerfer rocket launcher platoon (3 Panzerwerfers, command and observer)
After setting up the great looking scenery on one of the 6×4 tables the mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was Breakthrough (rulebook p. 286). As both sides were infantry we tossed for attacker and I lost. I had to deploy into two opposite table quarters. The attacker got to send half of his troops into one other quarter and his reinforcements would arrive later in the opposite quarter. The Defender has to get into the Reserves quarter and take one the objectives but only on Turn6 or later when they go ‘hot’.
I placed my rifle and pioneer platoons and HMGs in a way to make a line across the table in a sort of diagonal. I then put the dismounted ARP platoon near to the objective in the woods as I could. My aim was to double time to the woods and defend the objective for when then Reinforcements arrived. I put my AT gun platoon on the little hill with a line of sight to the part of the board where the attackers reinforcements would enter after turn 3. The mortars went into a position behind the ARP platoon where their command team could see the objectives and be within range of any reserves that entered. My own reserves were the M10’s and the Jeep recon.
What followed was a great lesson in how to attack a defended area. The Panzerwerfers opened up on my AT guns for two turns and destroyed them to a man. They then proceed to kill two M-10s, the 1ic and a rifle team in the rest of the game. For my part, two M-10s came in from reserve and managed to kill tow of the panzerwerfers before they all died.
The German infantry crept up on the US dug in pioneers. All the US could do was hold on and fire their mortars. Casualties were light from the mortars but at least they kept some of the German grenadiers and HMGs pinned.
The Marders and some of the grenadiers were used to keep me occupied in the centre of the table by threatening to sweep south of the road and head for the objectives. In reality, Hammy was just playing for time with the troops on the table (IMO).
What really did it for me was the arrival of the German reserve Panzer 4H’s and the Pioneers with their flamethrowers. Hammy had put his objective in the wood in his reserves quarter. my US ARP platoon was supposed to counter any attack with their MGs and bazookas. Hammy used his flamethrowers to kill three of my front team, pinning me and then assaulting me.I could not take advantage at first as I could only see 6 inches into the wood at best. So, the Pioneers assaulted the objective and made mincemeat out of the ARP.
The ARP were pushed back and reduced. They made their morale tests and hung in, but the Panzers were cleaning up the HMGs near the other objective. There was no AT left to take out the German tanks. Inevitably, the US were beaten in turn 7 when Hammy took the game on a handshake as I only had two ARP teams left to cover two objectives against pioneers and panzers.
German victory 6-1
Hammy was helping me to understand the game mechanics and strategy. He and Dave had some good advice about how to keep your infantry away from the edge of the board where you could easily succumb to flamethrowers and the like. In the end, this just delayed the inevitable. The German forces on the table kept hitting me from afar waiting for the time to move forward (when the reinforcements arrived). At that point I was crushed even more mercilessly. I should have kept my AT guns out of LOS of the observer for the Panzerwerfers and moved them at 4 inches per turn behind the village to wait for the Panzers. I should also have moved another platoon of infantry with the HMGs attached to cover the more central objective. I would have stood a better chance I think. As it was I left too much for one platoon to do (the ARP).
Hammy is a veteran player and played the perfect game (IMHO). He was surprised at how well the Panzerwerfers did. They were the star unit of the game, notching up kills at least twice their points cost. (180 for three vehicles that count as 2 each plus an observer team!) Bargain.
Here are the pictures: