A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Thursday, March 14, 2013

sitrep(FOW):Just when I thought I was out...

... they pull me back in.

I have been trying to cut back on the tournaments lately, nothing wrong with them, they are a great way to meet new players and get a fresh perspective on the game but time is commodity I lack at the moment.  Flames of War was intend to be my not tournament game. So why did I hop on Train to Leipzig for the weekend to take part in Saxony’s first FOW tournament?

Tank Destroyer scout section tries to probe German lines

The truth is I am very weak willed. But I keep telling myself showing up the events will promote the game and create a bigger player pool making it easier to get more games done in the long run.

Also for a while now, some of the Leipzigers have been putting up pictures on the local forum show casing their work in progress. The work was stunning and I have had itch to head over there and throw down against their toys.  

Stuarts push through the weak point

The event was very small and was nearly cancelled due to lack of numbers.  The event was also a test of Saxony’s first FOW rules pack in preparation for a larger tournament later in the year. I picked my Task Force Butler list (AKA Task force A) and made some adjustments to include some freshly painted models. A tank destroyer platoon, a recon patrol and the Free French were dropped in favour of an armoured rifle platoon (ARP).  The ARP is probably one of the strongest unit the game being capable attacking and defending in equal measure and so should be usefully for the event.

Followed up by Shermans

Round one Vs Fortified Grenadiers (Daniel "BlackLegion" Schulz) in Hold the Line
Daniel had;
2 genadier platoons
1 pioneers platoon
1 Antitank platoon with 3 guns
1 Stug platoon with 3 assault guns
1 heavy mortar platoon.
1 HMG platoon with 4 guns
Trenches, minefields and bunkers.

1st battlefeild

Hold the Line sees the attacker trying to capture one of two objective in the defenders deployment zone. To keep it interesting the defender also has a objective in the attackers deployment. The game ends when someone captures an objective or the attacker is beaten out of the defenders table half. The task force is always the attacker and the fortified company is always the defender. The defender started with just three platoons on table. The pioneers covered one objective with heavy mortars covering both objectives. The Antitank guns would deploy after the attacker deployed. The task force deployed opposite the undefended objective forcing the anti tank guns to deploy to cover the threat. The task force then switched flanks and launched a heavy assault on the pioneers’ objective. The tank destroyer scout section was destroyed but the rest of the force pushed forwards destroying the pioneers, the company command and over running the Mortars. The Defenders broke before any reinforcement could arrive.

Round two Vs Grenadiers (Christian "Haubi" Haubenreißer) in Hasty attack
Hubri had;
1 panzer platoon with 3 panthers
2 grenadiers platoon with 3 sections each
1 HMG platoon with 4 guns
1 Heavy Mortar section with 4 tubes
1 Anti tank section with 2 guns
1 pioneers platoon with 2 section

Grenadiers covering an objective

Hasty attack again sees the attacker trying to capture one of two objectives. It is fought down the long table edge. The defender has two platoons in ambush that can appears anywhere in the defenders table edge but half his army is in reserve and will not start to arrive until turn three.  Haubi Kampfgrupped his Grenadiers to increase his platoon count from seven to eight and to get an extra platoon on the table. The Panthers and the Anti tank guns went into ambush. While a platoon of Grenadiers reinforced with some HMG covered the most endangered objective while the Heavy Mortars sat back covering the table.  The task force deployed in three groups. Group Able consisted of the Shermans backed up by a recon patrol and deployed to threaten the nearest defended objective. Group Baker consisted of thee artillery support and deployed to cover both objectives. Everything else went into group Charlie and deployed to treat the furtherest undefended objective or to turn the flank of the defend objective if the opportunity arose.   The initial movement by the Americans was very cautious with multiple platoons in ambush the recon patrols pushed forward to shut down possible ambush sites.

Americans probe an objective

The Germans respond by deploying but ambushes. The Panthers faced off against the shermans and the Antitank guns went after the flanking group. Panthers Vs shermans never goes well for the shermans. One tank bail and another was destroyed. The Sherman took the standard counter measures and ran away to hide behind the forest. The Anti tank guns destroyed the tank destroyer scout section and got into a fire fight with the tank destroyers. The tank destroyer were eventually destroyed but during that time the rest of the flank force over ran the undefended objective. The Anti tank guns and the heavy mortars were destroyed. The defenders tried to launch a counter attack but failed. The all Panthers missed at point blank range then infantry refused to assault the Stuarts and the command team failed to storm trooper in contest range to keep the battle active. The game ended with the Americans holding an objective with a bloody nose.

While tank Destroyed get inot a fire fight with some anit tank guns

A German counter attack about to go in.

But the big cats whiff their shots

Leaving Stuarts controlling an objective

Round three Vs American Tank destroyer (TD) company (Horst "Onkel-Hotte" Oppermann) in Break Through
Opperman had
2 Tank Destroyer platoons
2 Cavalry patrols
2 Pioneer platoons
1 artillery battery
1 Anti aircraft platoon

Heavy Mortars prepare to fire

Breakthrough was the third defensive mission this time deployment is from table quarter to opposite table quarter. Task force A was the attacker again and the TD company deployed in across the centre of the broad. The mission was tough for the task force it can not end until turn six or until a company breaks.  Long and protracted fire fights are not what the force is intended for. Also the TD company is a next generation list with better destroyers and support options. The initial defenders consisted of an artillery battery, a TD platoon and two pioneer platoons. With the rest going reserve starting turn one. The task force again split into three groups. Group Able consisted of the shermans and the TD platoon and deployed to go after the Artillery battery. Group Baker consisted of the ARP and the Scotts and deployed in delay reserve meaning they would show up starting on turn three but would arrive close to the objective. Everything else went into group Charlie and deployed to try and breakthrough at an isolated pioneer platoon.

Americans move on to German positions

Then it went downhill.  Group Charlie could not clear the Pioneers, who refused to leave their bullet proof cover.  Group Able got into a fire fight with the enemy TDs. The shermans were destroyed. The friendly TDs got to guns and destroyed a few but where eventually also destroyed.  Group Baker arrived and seized the objective with the ARP. All (3) Scotts broke down trying to go into woods for cover.  The task force was in a bad way but the objective was secured. Group Charlie gave up on the Pioneers and moved to block any potential counter attack on the objective. The game ended before the TD company could put together a solid counter attack.

Scotts demonstrate how not to drive into a wood

With three games the Task Force got three wins and walked away with first place. I am not sold on some of the FOW mechanics in a tournament event. I do not like the idea of auto attacker or defender I think it would be better to randomly determine who is who, maybe with aggressive lists getting a bonus over defensive lists. That said the missions are good, it would have been nice to play a better selection than three defender/attacker missions at the event. The FOW victory conditions are good as you can win the game but if you lose platoons in the process it reduces the benefits of the win. So you have a tough choice to pull back or conserve units vs using them aggressively to push for the win. 

Last objective of the game

1 comment:

Frank O'Donnell said...

Well done on the win mate,so haven dipped your toe's in the tournament end of fow will you be doing more of them ?

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