Sunday, 23 May 2010

Somewhere in France...June,1944

The scene is set. Elements of the 101st Airborne push south of Carentan in a bid to locate enemy forces. Heading north, on a similar mission are elements of Kampfegruppe von Churchill (no relation to the stalwart British PM). Two platoons of paras move into position and occupy a defensive position. To their immediate front, a infantry gun battery occupies the high ground and AT-guns encroach on the wood land. On the paras left flank two Tiger tanks (scourge of the Allies), move into position. The paras dig in to ride out the approaching storm!On the paras right flank the dull rumble of armour can be heard. Then a platoon of the workhorse of the Allied advance burst onto the scene-M4 Shermans! They begin to advance towards the enemy.

On the left the Tiger's realising that it will be hard work to dislodge the entrenched infantry begin to steadily creep around the flank. Time and again air support is requested and P47's come screaming into attack the 'big cats'. The panzer crews unfortunately hold, and the bombs of the attackers fail to dent the armour of the tanks or break the nerve of the crews. As time presses on more German reinforcements arrive. To oppose the Sherman's, two Jadgpanther's come forward. (In typical Teutonic subterfuge, these machines are disguised as Panzer 111's, is Otto_Skorzeny nearby?!)
Not to be out done. The Americans realise that they will have to take the fight to the enemy. One platoon of paras break cover and advance towards the foe. The M4's occupy the high ground and quickly lose one vehicle to the guns of the tankhunters. The Shermans pull back slightly, and snipe at the enemy artillery, on the adjacent hill (without success), whilst those same guns take a steady toll on the advancing paras, who make it to the next hedge line. The paras now begin to trade fire with the AT-guns and infantry (who had joined them in the wood). The Jadgpanthers, perhaps overconfident that they had halted the American advance, did not seek cover, and then the P47's swooped down again this time knocking out one of the tank hunters on the first pass. In response the Germans rushed forward a platoon of two halftracked AA guns only to see them burst into flames when the Shermans pressed forward the attack again.

The lone Jadgpanther now pressed forward to the hill to take the fight to the enemy, and despite having lost another machine to its 88mm gun, the M4's spotted an opportunity to take the fight to the enemy. Two American tanks outflanked the tank hunter, one pressing forward to the far base of the hill. With the vulnerable side armour exposed the 75mm AP round struck the side of the German machine and knocked it out. The other Sherman turned it's main gun on one of the surviving 50mm AT guns, and torn it apart.
On the American left, the two Tigers and slowly worked their way around the back of the remaining platoon, and realising the danger, the paras, swept forward to assault the enemy tanks. Despite bazooka rounds ricochetting off the hull and infantry, attempting to clamber all over them to exact revenge the two German tanks drove off their attackers .
With the sun setting both sides broke off and withdrew.

So ended my first game of Flames of War. First impressions......I liked it. Didn't remember all the rules, but at the same time didn't seem to difficult to pick up with steady practice. Played the encounter scenario, and fortunately rolled for my reserves on the second turn, which was fortunate only having one platoon to bring on. Chris very sportingly called it a draw, I personally felt that I had come off the worse.
The air support was not as effective as I would have liked, despite having priority air support, but thats the problem with any diced based game. If a recall correctly, I was able to call down air support three times in a row against the Tiger's and did nothing!
Now I just need to paint up more troops to have a variable force to game with.