Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Flames of War - Mid war desert, a game of 2 games

A Mid war game, set in the desert of North Africa, with 2 tank heavy forces, Brits and Germans. This wasn't going to be a complicated game, and it wasn't anticipated to being a long game. But just how long was going to be quite a surprise.

The Germans had a CiC and 2iC in PzrIV F - long 75's, a troop of PzrIII's - long 50mm and a commander in a PzrIV F, a troop of 5 PzrIV's F, with a commander in a PzrIV F. following up behind was a platoon of infantry. A priority Stuka was available. In addition to this was a special character - Rittemeier, a 'warrior' who has 2 abilities, rerolling to hit dice, and rerolling the stormtrooper move to the platoon he is attached to.

The British had a CiC in a Sherman, with 3 Shermans as the HQ troop. The 2iC was in a troop of 3Grants. There was another troop of 3 Grants, along with 2 troops of 3 Crusaders, and a troop of 4 Deacon 6pdr portees, with a platoon of infantry bringing up the rear. A spasmodic Hurricane II was available.

Die were rolled and the game scenario was an attack on a central position, defended by one side with a unit in on table deployed ambush. The attackers would have to deploy a unit on either short table side, with the rest of their force deployed where they wished on the short table edge. They would be able to deploy up to 8 inches in.

Germans were the attackers, Brits defending. 11 German gun tubes vs 26 British gun tubes, however, the German 50mm's had a range of 24 inches, the 75mm's had a range of 32 inches. 3 50mm's and 8 75mm's. The British had 10 75mm's with a range of 32 inches, the 37mm and 6 pdr having a range of 24 inches. 10 75mm and 16 37mm and 6 pdr's. But, whoever was deployed in the centre would move after the attacking player had moved, and if deployed in the centre section would be in short range automatically - 16 inches, and within range after a move anywhere on the table.

The British deployed, after the German objectives were placed in the centre section, and then the Germans deployed, with the British on table ambush revealed. Dave and myself were the Germans with Gavin and Ian as the British, John adopting his role as FoW rules Guru. We deployed to try and get some cover for the advance into the centre and the objectives, and ended up deploying on one side of the table either end.

Game on, with a die roll for the Stuka, only a single plane coming on. The Pzr III's and infantry advancing behind the hill for cover,

the Pzr IV's and Rittemeier advancing behind the village to sweep up  to the centre.

However, the British CiC and his Shermans were in the centre, backing up 2 troops of Crusaders behind the village. The Pzr IV's remained stationary and opened up on the Shermans, along with the CiC and 2iC from the command and the troop leader from the Pzr III's.

Due to the positioning of the Shermans and the fact of the 2 sides of the attack, the Germans got rear armour and worked back, even though the Shermans counted as obscured.

 The Shermans were annihilated, prompting the Pzr IV's to shift onto the Crusaders, who lost a troop and a tank from the second troop. The Pzr III's moved onto the hill and engaged the Grants in the centre. Exit the Grant troop.

 After firing, the Stuka arrived and had a go at the Crusaders, contributing to the shambles developing around the village.

The German infantry moved up to the hill to dig in on, within 16 inches of the objective. We decided that instead of trying to go for the 2 objectives, we would go for the best defensible one, nearest the hill that the infantry were going for. As we had to be near either or both objectives, and having such a small force, going for one was best use of resources.

The Germans finished the turn with die rolls for stormtrooping, Rittermeier rerolling his accompanying platoons roll.

Everyone stormtrooped up another 4 inches closer

This was the end of turn one - German. Brits - 3 troops of tanks down, a 4th with 2 operational, no German casualties. Also, with the CiC brewing up in his Sherman, he bailed, but did not have a working tank to deploy to, I believe he could run to the nearest tank within 6 inches. He was therefore removed, along with his ability to reroll the motivation die rolls, Critical for bails and the forthcoming casualties. Also, any attempt to engage either of the 2 German tank groups, would open the Brits to rear and side shots from the other German tank group.

British turn 1. Fortified by a large mug of Dunkirk spirit, Gavin and Ian set out to hold the Germans off. This meant the Crusaders skitted round the village and went for some shots at the Pzr IV's, hoping to get concealment from the expected return fire. The remaining troop of Grants advanced on the Pzr III's cresting the hill, and a swarm of Hurricanes turned up to attack the German infantry in the open behind the hill. The Deacon portees ran out to engage the flanks of the Pzr III's, with their tip and run tactics.

All the shots going in were ineffectual, either glancing off, or bailing at worst. The front armour of the Pzr III's were too tough for the Grants and 6 pdrs from the Deacons. The Pzr IV's didn't receive enough shots in to get anywhere.

German move 2. The Pzr IV's shifted 12 inches to their left, all the platoon being able to fire at the Crusaders. The Pzr III's moved up onto the hill to engage the Deacons and remaining Grants.

The priority Stuka arrived with 2 other planes, meaning that when it hit, it would be rerolling misses. They swooped in on the Deacons.

The Pzr IV's opened upon the Crusaders, and with 2 kills, it was game over for the  Brits. They had no way of stopping the fire except for the Germans to miss. The 4th unit of 7 British units had been destroyed.

For arguments sake, the Grants were engaged and destroyed, as well as the Deacons. The only intact unit left was the infantry.
As the whole game had taken less than an hour to play, the game was run again, with Dave and myself taking the British, Gavin and Ian the Germans. 

We deployed in 2 lines either side of the deployment box, working out that the Germans would deploy their tanks in one large grouping. It would have been our deployment after playing the first game, applying maximum pressure on the Brits.

The DAK phalanx appears, as if by magic 8 inches from the table edge.after we had deployed.

The German infantry deploy on table, dug in, with no intention of moving.

The British deployment, showing the Phalanx about to engage the Brits. Pure line them up and let them loose. They were let loose.

German firing, the annihilation of the British line, all the Crusaders and the Deacons are destroyed. However, the Germans can not win by turn 2,as they can not engage the British second line.

British move 1, and the Grants move up to the infantry position

The Shermans and the other Grants move up to the centre, taking cover from the hill. 


German turn 2, the Phalanx splits up, the Pzr III's forming a spear head, spreading out to avoid targeting by the Hurricane, the Pzr IV's moving left to engage the Shermans.

Shots coming in, hit only 1 Sherman, with that its the end of the German turn 2, as the Stuka strike on the infantry and Grants only kill an infantry stand, pinning the remainder as they get 3 hits on the platoon. An airstrike, whilst not artillery, counts as artillery for pinning effects.  The Grants are undamaged but have 2 bailouts.

The end of the game, a final look.

On the whole, it was agreed that this was probably one of the worst scenarios possible for a tank force, and for Mid war Brits facing Germans, a source of a good kicking. Tank on tank games tend to be pretty quick affairs, but to run 2 games in 2 hours with the same result, game over in turn 2 and turn 3 respectively, was a bit of a shock. Whilst set in a desert, you wouldn't expect to find a great deal of terrain, and to be honest there was quite a bit on the table, but the result also can be attributed to the torrent of devastating fire of the Germans 75mm and 50mm guns in turn 1.
Great games nonetheless, and a big thankyou to our host John, Dave, Gavin and Ian.

No comments:

Post a Comment