The last time time Curt and I played Flame of War was all the way back in July, 2013. Deciding it's been too long since our miniatures saw the table, Curt asked if we could play a game, and I agreed, especially since I wanted a chance to use the buildings I recently bought from Mk IV Miniatures.
The table set up saw a large crop field and hedgerows on one side, and a forest on the other. A large stream flowed across the width of the table, and a small farming village was placed in the middle of the table. Kudos to Curt for putting out the terrain.
Curt brought his trusty paratroopers:
Fallschirmjäger Anti-tank Gun Platoon (PaK40s)
Fallschirmjäger Mortar Platoon
Heavy Tank Platoon (Tigers)
While I brought out my British rifles:
Rifle Company HQ
CSM Stan Hollis, VC
Anti-tank Platoon (6 pdr)
Independent Armoured Platoon
Independent Armoured Platoon
I deployed my British in a line across the table, with an infantry platoon and both HQ elements in front of the one German objective, and the 6 pdrs covering the others. On the far flank, I planned to have my one tank platoon move through the woods, while the other tank and infantry platoon were on the other flank and ready to advance through the fields. My mortars sat back in a hedgerow corner (in what I thought was relative safety), next to my machine gun platoon. The more observant of you will probably realize that I completely forgot to deploy my Carrier Platoon. D'oh!
Curt deployed his PaK40s to cover the forest approach, while his two big platoons of paratroopers made ready to dash towards the farm buildings. His mortars deployed much like mine, safe behind the hedgerows, with their observer next to the anti-tank guns on Curt's left. His Tiger tanks - always the scariest part of Curt's lists, especially for my British - idled behind the infantry.
We decided not to establish a time limit, and to just go until one side had won.
One the first turn, Curt advanced his tigers and infantry towards the village. On the left, I double-timed one of the tank platoons, pushing them almost all the way through the fields. An infantry platoon followed them in, while the machine guns moved in to hug the hedgerow. One of the mortar observer teams hopped over the hedgerow to get a better line-of-sight.
My infantry and anti-tank guns stayed put on the right, waiting for the advancing Germans.
My other tank platoon began to move through the forest on the far right. While I needed to roll Bog Checks to see if they would stop moving, I was confident that I could keep myself from rolling poorly.
Said confidence was quickly shattered when the platoon commander was the first to bog down, meaning my tank platoon quickly stopped its advance!
Our tanks began to play a game of 'cat and mouse' (I'll let you guess which platoons are which). My hope was that my tanks could at least machine-gun the mortars to pieces before being popped by the Tigers, since their shells were raining down and decimating my own mortars and machine guns. In fact, my Mortars were the only platoon to retreat off the table, thanks to their German counterparts.
Curt's paratroopers moved forward as his anti-tank guns waited, listening to the British tank commander cursing his bad luck.
My plan actually worked, with the Shermans rolling up to the hedgerows and starting to shoot at the Mortars, who lost two guns. The Tigers fire back, but the cover and range means Curt has to roll 6's to hit.
Knowing I needed to get my tanks moving again, I had my platoon commander move from the bogged tank to a mobile one. The Firefly managed to move to the edge of the woods, but the new platoon commander's tank went and bogged down again! A certain driver was going to get a stern lecture after the fight.
Curt's infantry finally moved through the town and into rifle range. My dug-infantry proved difficult to dislodge, however.
My platoon commander managed to un-bog his tank, but then was forced to bail out by incoming Pak40 rounds. The other two tanks retaliated, blowing up one of the anti-tank guns.
The two tank platoons continued to trade volleys with one another as the British infantry prepared to go up and over the hedgerow, led by Hollis.
Unable to get enough hits with which to pin my infantry platoon, my own rifles chased off one of Curt's paratrooper platoons.
Finally, Curt's Tigers blew up on of the Shermans. Deciding that they had waited long enough, the British infantry move out into the field, running towards the Tigers.
The only remaining part of the anti-tank platoon was the command team, who passed the necessary morale checks and moved to stop the British from capturing the objective for at least another turn.
The British infantry were finally pinned, but Curt's assault was held off for another turn by some lucky dice rolls.
And in the next turn, the British had the objective in hand, winning 5-2.
It was a fun game, although Curt and I had to knock some cobwebs out of our heads to remember the rules. I'll probably go over the rule book a couple more times, since we did have a few questionable calls (firing in and out of woods, for example).