30 July 2017

AAR - Rate of Fire with Soviets and Ze Germans

Mark and I got together for some Rate of Fire Saturday evening. It was kind of a last minute affair, so Rate of Fire was a natural, as was setting up Prelude from the Gross Deutschland at Kursk Skirmish Campaigns book. It's a small scenario that fits comfortably on a 3' x 4' space. We used the random game length option - the game would run for 8 + d4 turns but we wouldn't roll for the extra time until the end of turn 8.

Mark went for the Russians, leaving me to attack with the Germans. Our objective is to capture or destroy the building towards the upper right. The tan bit that I have so many troops in is a ravine, a few feet deep that works like a trench. Fairly safe to run around in unless some Untermenschen are at the edge with their submachineguns.

My plan was to run one squad, plus the platoon HQ up the ravine, take up firing positions across from the killing zone in front of the building. The other squad and flamethrower section would zip up the left flank, hidden by the woods, and get to work on the guys in the trees in the middle.

The Russian infantry squad in the woods. There was also a Maxim in the building and forward observer team by the house - running to the central wooded area in this picture. There is also an AT rifle team in the building.
March march march! Turn 2 and the ravine group begins its advance. They killed an unlucky slob at the far end of the ravine on turn 1 with some brilliant long-ranged machinegun fire.
My UAV flyover of the building.
Turn 3 - my boys get into firing positions. Although they'll be receiving a good bit of fire, the woods and creekbed should provide decent cover.
The machinegun in the building open fire at my assault team!
And four Fritzes are killed just that quickly! Nooooooo!
A turn later, the machineguns in the ravine are set up and dump a hail of bullets into the building.
And an equally deadly dice result finishes off the heavy machinegun team! It's already turn five and I'm still trying to figure out how to cross the gap "safely."
I catch a break as the FO team hits the retro thrusters and heads back to the building to help defend it now that the MG is gone. My machineguns take some opportunity shots at them as they bolt across, taking out two of the four.
My squad in the woods continues to take a beating - now down to just five guys. Their morale has held steady though.
Turn 7 - I prepared to assault my way into the woods but Mark, seeing my guys leave the comfort of the creekbed (and the machineguns going off-line) made a run-for-it with his infantry squad back to the building. The "assault" produced the desired effect anyway!
Turn 8. Two machineguns are set up for action in the ravine while the command team and other infantry squad do their best to advance and pour shots into the building.
I rolled to see how many more turns I'd get - 2. I had to hurry now.
I pushed the guys forward, knowing the Soviets couldn't produce enough firepower to kill them all.
By turn 10, the machineguns I had held back had really done a number on the Ruskies in the outpost. Only one remained; my command squad assaulted their way into the building and after a short fight, captured the charnel house.

A nicely fought battle with a few surprises along the way. Because the game was pretty quick, we set it up for a second go, swapping sides this time!
Mark's setup. Command squad in the ravine, infantry squad on the hill and the other squad and the flamethrowers running up behind the trees.
I didn't take a picture of my deployment, but the Maxim was at the end of the ravine, the AT rifle team was in the central wooded area, the FO team in the building and the infantry squad in the woods behind the building, towards the center.
A lucky early shot. Incredibly, the Maxim had no luck against the sitting ducks down the creek.
It took very little time for the godforsaken flamethrowers to get to me. The machinegun op-fired at them but of course whiffed.
Predicable results. The AT rifle group exchanged fire with other German troops nearby.
The Germans lined up for the assault which they won handily, although my brave boys took out a couple in the process!
While that was going on, I had pulled most of my infantry squad into the building, seeing as though it is the objective location and all. The clock was running out on the German plan. The flamethrower group is at the front while the accompanying command squad disastrously broke off and retreated after taking considerable gunfire from my troops.
This left the flamethrower team in the unenviable position as the only troops close enough to attempt the wipe out / capture. They charged in.
Two were gunned down. The lone flamethrower, rolling five attacks, hitting and killing on 4+, completely whiffed and produced NO kills. The game ended after turn 9. A tense affair at the end for me.

That second game was an avalanche of misfortune in the final couple of turns for Mark. Only getting one extra turn, a miserable failed morale causing the command team to retreat just when they were needed most, terrible attack rolls with the flamethrower... I got lucky for sure.

That was two quite entertaining games and it was very cool to play both sides of the same scenario back-to-back. I don't know if I've ever done that. RoF was a solid cheap investment for WW2 skirmish rules and I'm very happy with it. It always makes for a good game.

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