20 February 2012

Flames of War

Brittany, August 1944
Got in a game of Flames of War on Saturday evening with Zig. My Rangers had not gotten much run lately so I put together a 1750 point list. Ziggy put together a Fallschirmjager list. We set up the table and rolled a mission which came up Fighting Withdrawal. Since we both had infantry lists, we diced to see who would attack - Zig won the roll, to his chagrin. His list was very defensive and just not geared to attacking. The forces:
Full Company
Full Company + 2 60mm Mortars
Half Company
3 81mm Mortars
FAB (4 @ 105mm Guns)
AFAB (3 @ M7 Priest)
4 @ M4 Sherman (I kept these in Ambush)
Half Tank Destroyer Platoon (2 @ M10)
Limited P-38s

Fallschirmjager (From memory, don't have his actual list handy)
HQ + Mortars
2 @ Full FJ Platoon
1 @ Full Fallschirmpioneer Platoon
4 @ 8cm Mortar
2 @ PaK40
1 @ LW FlaK36
2 @ 7.5cm Recoilless Rifle
Half HMG Platoon (2 HMGs)

So, as you can see, the board we laid out was to be a big ol' bitch for those German paratroopers trying to break the American encirclement. Ah, the whims of the dice.

The Germans began with a surge forward on their right flank towards the hill and bridge on that side. Their mortars completely failed to get a smoke screen going, their spotters having trouble locating the Yankees hidden across the river. The 88 on the far side did manage to locate the AFAB's OP Sherman in the trees on my right and hit it, causing the crew to bail out. The PaK40s moved forward to get within range of anything.

The Rangers called in some Air Corps support and got a single P-38 to respond. The crew of the Sherman decided to not remount. The mortars on my far right flank hustled forwards to get within range of any German units. The Red-Legs managed to get a good bombardment on the lead group of Germans, eliminating two stands. The M7s and P-38s failed to cause any casualties.

Fallschirmpioneers advance

The view from the Yankee side. You can see the two recoilless rifles that just crested the hill in the distance.

The Germans continued their advance, getting two recoilless rifles into firing position atop the hill overlooking the cabbage patch. The mortars managed to find the range this time around and covered the field with a large smoke screen, cutting the AFABs field of vision to practically nil. One of the PaK40s on the other side of the battlefield managed to find the observer tank and brewed it up. Now the Priests really were blinded.

The single P-38 made another battlefield pass and the Shermans which had been skulking in the back moved forward on my extreme left to add the weight of their machineguns to the impending firefight. The field artillery blasted away at the Pioneers this time and killed another two stands of Germans. They were proving to be just vicious! The P-38 strafed the PaK40s and pinned them down. The American mortars and M7s failed to produce any results.

Beginning of Turn 3

The Germans, desperate to get out of town, kept moving forwards and across the bridge. Their supporting guns set up on the hill, ready to blast away at the Rangers in the field below. The PaK40s took some pot-shots at the Ranger platoon in the center but failed to cause any casualties.

The Lighting that had thusfar been rather ineffective returned (yes, another single-plance flight!) and lined up to strafe the large mortar platoon again. I had to withdraw a platoon so the mortar platoon which wasn't very busy anyway got to leave. My Tank Destroyers moved out from the center towards the crowded bridge, machineguns ready. My artillery failed to range in for a change, and I had moved my M7s so they couldn't shoot. Shot of the game came early in the turn, when the cheap God-forsaken FlaK36 managed to hit Bucky in his P-38 and shot him down. Gah! Revenge came swiftly when the Shermans rolled forward and machinegunned down the heavy machinegun crews setting up on the hill. The M10s got in a few hits on the Fallschirmjager on the bridge but caused no casualties.

Turn 4 - The Germans move up to assault!

The German paratroopers finally crossed the river and were in position to assault the Rangers in the cabbage patch of death. One of the recoilless rifles blasted a Sherman, destroying it. The large mortar battery smoked the M10s and a good portion of my other stuff on that side of the board. The other mortar battery expertly landed a barrage on the Rangers, pinning the and clipping a Sherman. No Rangers were harmed but the fucking Sherman was bailed. Yes, AT2, firepower 6, top armor 1. I rolled a 1. He rolled a 6. Are you fucking kidding me? A mortar? Deep breath. The assault came in hard but defensive fire and remarkable tenacity on the part of the Rangers drove off the elite Germans. The Pioneers attempted a second wave but due to bad positioning, weren't able to get the weight of numbers necessary to complete the task. They pulled back to bridge and the Rangers in the field went back to their foxholes.

My Turn 4

My P-38s failed to show up, I guess the 88 put some fear into them. I had to withdraw another unit and pulled the Ranger platoon farthest to my right. The center Ranger platoon moved towards the bridge. My Shermans attempted to occupy the cabbage patch but instead got hung up terribly on the hedge - only one of the tanks actually reached the field. ( grumble ) Shooting was successful, the M10s and 105s accounted for four of the Pioneers.

With that, the Germans headed back into the town to await the impending American assault. They were unable to break out and now had to await reinforcements or be eliminated.

It was a decidedly one-sided affair, which is a shame but we've decided that our next game would pit the same two forces. The Fallschirmjager will be defending the town next time and I'll have to deal with the bridges of despair. Oh joy. In his defense, Ziggy's dice were atrocious - he failed every Stormtrooper roll in turn 1 and failed to range in smoke with mortars twice on turn one - that's eight rolls with NO 5s or 6es. He got some good spite kills in to lighten things up a bit. I'm sure he's going to enjoy defending next time around! We don't normally play knowing what the scenario and layout will look like in advance, so it will be interesting.

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