Saturday, 24 October 2020

Big Flames of War is the Best Flames of War

Test Games?

So we planned on playing some test games with our respective Flames of War 60 point lists after a random 100 point LW game on an 8x6. Let's just say that StuGs vs Churchills is still a really tough match ESPECIALLY when your Hornisse can't hit the side of a barn.  

Given that we had the 8x6s out, the crew had the great idea to play a 2 v 2 120 point MW game as we had two British lists, one Italian and one German. So Scotty's DAK and my Genio took on Pel's Brit Rifles and Tank's Grants. 

Scotty and I decided to defend, just for the lolz, and forced the Allies to attack in a No Retreat. We craftily walled off our right flank with a double-deep minefield (great idea from Scotty to make it worse!) before he occupied the buildings next to it and I deployed engineers between the front line and both objectives: 

The Axis defence

There was a small rise in the middle of the board and so it was that I put my most ridiculous control asset on that hill, confident that it'd attract a round or two of artillery before it went down in a screaming heap. Boy oh boy was it worse than that.

Lancia da 90!

The Allies decided to force the Axis right and focused most of their attacking troops on their right with some Grants and the seriously impressive Grant commander in the centre:

Attacking Allied armour

The armour pushed rapidly forward, with the infantry stubbornly refusing to follow their officers into combat. One platoon of Grants pushed towards the Axis centre with their carrier support while the rest attacked up the open Axis flank. In their haste, they tripped an Axis ambush and DAK guns fired into the lead Crusader tanks bailing one and destroying the other two:

The Allied armour scattered after the appearance of some DAK 76.2mm guns
 
The Stuarts peeled off from the main advance to knock the Lancia da 90 off to allow the Grants in the centre to attack more vigorously through to the objective behind the minefields. Oh, yeah, after first two turns the Lancia hadn't fired a shot but was still very much alive. The Allied artillery dropped smoke to protect their advance from the 76.2s. The Lancia took an unpleasant revenge on the Stuarts as a platoon of M14/41s arrived in the backfield:

A crafty smoke bombardment shields the British armour

The Stuarts fled, having been perforated by 90mm Italian tank busters, but the Grants and Carriers started giving the German platoon defending the front objective a lot of grief. The British infantry decided to cut across the front of the Axis defence and push on to the objective on the Axis right:

The Italian Counterattack!
 
Finally, the Grants ruined a bunch of the  M14s and 25 pdrs blew up some rapidly onrushing L6/40s. In a final ignominy, the Lancia da 90 managed to stay alive for FIVE turns, bombarded and / or MGed almost every turn before a British Infantry platoon took advantage of the Grants' success at destroying M14s and overran the Lancia and it's crew:
 
The final savaging of the Lancia da 90

At this point, we realised there was no way for the Allies to get close enough to an objective to continue the game and so the Axis won a successful defence. We talked through it afterward and realised that playing down table on an 8x6 meant the back objective was basically out of reach because it was another foot further back than where it would have been on a lengthwise 6x4. We played a second game measuring all the distances from the centre and it was definitely better. I suspect we should work out proportional maps for the slightly different size of table as we looked at another mission that looked like it'd be great fun but on an 8x6 the defenders basically couldn't win because of the way the table layout would fall.

Thoughts on the Italians? 

I think for the 60 point list, I'll probably drop the 90mm, since it's hilarious and attracts an entirely unwarranted amount of attention, but it isn't much use. That saves me six points that I can reasonably replace with....Semovente 47s. BF have released "community cards" for the other Semoventes that aren't in the book and Remember December seems like an opportunity to use these. And it means that some time next year I'll be able to roll out the Sicily Fucilieri with their 90mms. Epic. 

The other three lists were also awesome! I was very pleased to see that Tank has managed to build a list with Grants and the sheer volume of dudes that both Pelarel and Scotty put on the park was brilliant. Looking forward to seeing them in action solo! I hear rumours that blogger McBeth has managed to work out a 60 point Panzer III list that I'm really curious to see. It seems like it might be a real sweet spot for North African MW lists.

 Next Time

After this weekend, I think I'll paint some 15mm Grenadiers. I've got a Nebelwerfer battery and PaK40 battery sitting with the guns finished but unpainted crews and that seems like a fun thing to do in advance of the release of the Flames of War Bagration book for Late War. And I should probably finish this bleeding Strike Squad. 

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