Sunday, 1 November 2015

Flames of War, Take 3

So, I have been slowly chipping away at the start of an American force for Flames of War, a World War II 15mm game. Still waiting on more models for that force, so for today's battle I borrowed Mark's late war Panzergrenadiers (at least I think the list was for Panzergren.)

I was playing against Rob's Soviets. So. Many. Tanks. Anyway, we rolled for a battle, and got Dust Up, which is a fair fight that uses table quarters as deployment zones.

 So, this was the battlefield, dense forest in one quarter, good roads throughout, and rolling hills with plenty of broken ground.

I chose to deploy in the quarter with the forest, thinking it would provide a solid defensive advantage—it would have, if I remembered a key rule from the game.
 This is our deployment. I have a platoon of PzGr. in the woods, and two Königstigers holding the flank (I would later learn this was a mistake, and they should have stayed on the back road).

[Better yet, I should have put the second PzGr. unit on top of the objective and dug them in—but guess which rule I forgot about?]
Rob gets first turn, and his T-34-85's rush forward in the traditional Russian Blob-o-Doom formation. I advance my Tigers to hold the open objective at the crossroads.
 Rob's T-34-85's move up and ping a shot off the side of the Königstiger, bailing it out.
In my turn the Königstiger remounts immediately…
…and decides trying to get into a better position is a good idea. He misses his single shot at the Blob-o-Doom.

 Three SU-100's drive on from reserve, Rob having gotten a good roll. They proceed to miss horribly, but put the willies up the Tiger drivers.
 The Königstigers turn to face this new threat, blasting one to pieces.
The Blob-o-Doom arrives, killing both Königstigers. Rob also rolls well enough to get his other reserves onto the table—a massive infantry blob.
 Some StuG assault guns arrive from reserve and put rounds through the back of a T-34-85, but do little else.
Rob's Blob-o-Doom repositions to the edge of the forest, while the northern blob moves out to deal with my StuG's.
The blob attacking my PzGr. unit in the forest. Things do not go well for the infantry, because I forgot to use the rule allowing them to dig in (and thus become about 10x harder to dislodge).

 The infantry get some revenge by assaulting the SU-100's, destroying one, and buying some valuable breathing space.
 Which is lost when the infantry blob marches into the forest and begins capturing the objective in there. I have nothing close enough to contest it.
I move my StuG's up in vain attempt to start capturing one of Rob's objectives, but the only real gain is killing his company commander.
The Russian conscripts in the forest scratch their heads in consternation as to why a single Kubelwagen was so important to the STAVKA.

I have a few things to take away from this game—aside from needing to learn the rules better. Heavy tanks work better as snipers, not brawlers. They lose too much from their rate of fire when moving (my American tanks won't, but they lose accuracy instead). Infantry die easily if not dug in or in bulletproof cover. Deploying in rocky quarter opposite the forest might have been a better choice, but I keep thinking like I'm playing other games, and forests are essentially godly in terms of cover and survivability for troops inside.

Also, I need to remember which infantry units have good anti-tank scores (which, for my Americans, falls to my many, many bazookas), and which are better simply digging in and holding onto their cheeks.

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