Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Contested Ground - Flames of War AAR

Curt and I had another game of FoW recently (our last one before the end of winter break). Once again, my British and his Fallschirmjagers clashed in Normandy.

We decided we wanted a quicker game this time (and that backfired horribly), so we took a couple of simple 1000 point infantry lists with limited support. Oh, and by the way - everyone was painted! We did it! Woohoo!

I took a rifle company from the 51st Highland Division (Reluctant Veteran). I had 3 infantry platoons, a platoon of 6-pounder guns, a platoon of mortars, and a troops of Shermans.

The Germans consisted of 2 platoons of infantry (which kampfgrupped into 3 smaller platoons), a platoons of mortars, a pair of Pak 40's, and a pair of StuGs.

We rolled up Dust Up as the mission, and I was the attacker. I decided to hold two infantry platoons and the tanks in reserve, and Curt did the same.

My own plan was to have the guns take up positions in the nearby hedgerows. With AT 10, RoF 3, and the ability to engage infantry with HE, I would use them to hold back the Germans that would go after the two objectives in my corner. My infantry would go through the town, with the mortars backing them up. My hope was my armor and additional infantry would be the main attacking force.

Curt deployed his Germans much in the same way - infantry in the center, supported by mortars, and the Pak 40s holding down the other side.

Not much happened in the first two turns. Both forces advanced on the town, with the mortars setting up and firing. The British mortars managed to pin down the German infantry, but they unpinned in their subsequent turn. The German mortars, however, failed to hit any of the advancing British infantry.

The Brits managed to close with a couple of teams that had advanced into the town and wiped them out, consolidating into the field in the center of the table. The returning German fire took revenge for their lost comrades, and then stormtroopered back into cover. I should mention that both sides failed to bring reserves onto the table.

The reserves failed to show up for the fourth turn as well. I decided to pull my infantry back out of the field. Curt's infantry dug in and his mortars pinned my infantry down.

My reserve troops apparently decided to break out the tea and biscuits, since they still hadn't shown up. The Germans, on the other hand, had already finished lunch, with the StuGs accompanying a platoon of infantry onto the table. The platoon of infantry I had just behind the field was pounded with MG fire, but managed to stick around.

Finally, my reserves arrived! With a platoon of infantry and the Shermans pushing on the far side of the table, I still had to worry about my center. I had my infantry fall back further, and then covered them in smoke from my mortars. The Germans advanced, but the houses and woods kept them from firing. The last Fallschirmjager infantry platoon arrived as well.

Finally, the last of my reserves arrived. My Shermans started a long ranged firefight with their armored opposites, and managed to knock one out. I also had my infantry in the hedges dig in. The Germans shifted a little bit, but the remaining StuG failed to tag any of the Shermans.

Turn 8 saw a minor German victory. With my troops in the hedgerows buttoned up, I started advancing my other platoons in a conga-line to get them over the river. German fire, however, sees one Sherman destroyed and another bailed.

With my infantry still advancing on the river, my mortars decided to lay down some fire on the Pak 40's, and in a stunning round of fire, knocked both guns out and forced the platoon command team to run. The remaining Sherman attempted to deter the advancing Fallschirmjager with its MGs, but to no avail. The remaining StuG hit and destroyed the Sherman troop commander, and the remaining tank decided to run for it.

The remaining infantry platoons on the far side managed to knock out the Fallschirmjager company command team, the panzerschreck team, and the last remaining team of the platoon they were attached to. In return, the remaining platoon on that side forced a British platoon off, but the last StuG was lost due to defensive fire from the 6-pounders.

And with that, we reached the appointed end time. We decided the call the game a draw - Curt didn't have his company commander, but his remaining platoons could have done some real damage to my own force. Most likely, we decided, the game would have devolved into our mortar platoons exchanging fire for a while, and we didn't want to sit through that.

I blame the length of the game on the fact that we both played infantry companies, and because we both lacked fast-moving assets in such low-point lists. That said, I enjoyed the game, and it was a fun send off.

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