Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flames of War battle Report

This is my first attempt at a battle report. I really got into the game and forgot to take pictures of anything after deployment, so I'm really working from memory.

This game was, unfortunately, blue on blue. My SS Panzerkompanie vs a Tiger company and 1750 Late War.

This is my force here, seven Panther A's, one Luftwaffe 88, and a full SS scout platoon.

Here is my opponent, Greg's, force. 5 Tigers, on bergepanther ARV, 6 nebelwerfers, 3 squad platoon of scouts with command panzerfaust, and panzerpioneers.

This is a rather blurry picture of nearly everything after deployment. The only thing that you can't see is my poorly placed 8.8 way off to the left and his CiC Tiger which will get placed in the sunken road at the top left corner of this shot.

I'm the attacker, we are doing the Fighting Withdrawal scenario, I'm attacking and he has two blasted Tigers in ambush. My primary plan is to scoot one Panther platoon through the woods in hopes of minimizing the the treat of his Tigers and send another Panther Platoon racing up the middle to spread out his fire. My scouts will stay in between each platoon to reduce his ambush options.

My recon team used the recce pregame move to slide up in position to assault his entrenched scouts and flush them out of the woods.

My turn one saw my snow pattern Panthers roll up into the woods and my standard issue Panthers roll up into the village. My scout platoon moved forward and opened fire on his scouts. I failed to do anything significant with any of my shooting. Needing his panzerfaust toting scouts out of the way, my recce platoon pressed that assault only to repelled by defensive fire and losing two stands.

Greg's first turn consisted of sitting tight, butchering my scout platoon, taking out my 8.8 with his nebelwerfers and destroying one Panther in the village.

My second turn was a bit more eventful. My snowy Panthers and CiC slid up outside the second set of woods and managed to crack one Tiger. My Panthers in the village fired a volley at the remaning Tiger and bailed it. Sadly, his crew refused to flee.

Greg's second turn saw Tigers spring an ambush as close as possible to my flanking Panthers near the woods, destroying one and bailing the other. His recce platoon runs up and assaults the remaining Panther in the platoon, destroying it and capturing the bailed out tank. Not looking good for me, but I still have my CiC and two Panthers in the village.

My village Panthers sit tight, hoping to destroy more Tigers with extra shots. My CiC crashes his way over one of my destroyed Panthers and fires a shot as this Bergepanther that is screening a lone Tiger, it'll mean Greg has to move his Tiger around or through the wreck to get to me, either way it'll slow him down. My village Panthers drop some well crafted rounds on his platoon of ambush Tigers that stormtroopered out of the woods and blow one up and bail the other.

Greg's turn is the make or break for me. If he knocks out one more platoon I'll have to pass a Company Morale check to not bug out. All of his bailed out vehicles remount and prepare to wreak havoc on my Panthers. His Bergepanther slides out from it's screening position and the Tiger behind blows my CiC back to the factory. The village Panthers take some hits, destroying another, but they pass their platoon morale.

My turn. Company Morale time! I need a 3+ to stay in this game....oh wait. My CiC is dead. I can't roll Company Morale, there is no one to give orders. My remaining force panic, flee, and turn in their uniforms.

What did we learn today? One, I need artillery, if only for smoke screens. Two, I need to stop leading the attack with my CiC. He always gets killed when I need him to be in command. The main reason why I keep doing this, it's the main reason I keep losing, is because I have the 40k mentality for Company Commanders. In Flames of War, your Company Commander is just as squishy as all the rest of your troops. In 40k, your Company Commander is usually a giant beat stick of doom that chews kittens and spits out tank rounds.

It was a good game, I'm working on a SS-Panzergrenadier infantry company using Panthers and nebelwerfers as support. I think I'll do better with that. We'll see.

Questions, comments, concerns, quips, wise-crack, or smart-ass remarks? Leave some.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Flames of War pt I

I recently started playing Flames of War. I've had a small force for sometime, but only really got busy with it recently. I probably have a good 3000 points at the moment, though I aim to amend that. My current collection:

7 Panzer IV H
7 Panther A's
4 Panzerwerfer
3 Wespes
4 StuG G
2 full Fallschrimjager platoons
2 Jagdpanthers
1 full platoon of motorized scouts in Swimmwagen

And oddly, I am yet to win a game. Mind you, I've only played about 4 games. Mostly it seems as though I simply have lousy dice and luck. Despite my losses I'm rather keen on this game and would certainly like it to gain more steam in my local gaming community. Which it is, slowly, but I managed to get a friend hooked on it the other day. So it's slowly gaining steam. And that's good.

Now, what is Flames of War, you ask. And why should I play it, that you also ask.

Well, it's a World War Two based tabletop wargame set in the European Theatre. And from what I've seen there is no such thing as a broken list. Infantry companies are numerous and inherently defensive. Mechanized companies are fast, mobile and well suited for nearly any situation. Tank companies are small aggressive forces that may seem unstoppable at first glance.

Well the game is surprisingly well balanced. Some players that have experience in other wargames may see the balance straight away. For the inexperienced, the difference is a bit harder to see.

One may say to themselves, "Tank companies must always win. I mean, they're tanks! I know something about WWII and those German Tiger tanks are tough nuts to crack. A whole army of them must be unstoppable." That can be true. Tigers can be unstoppable beasts in even inexperienced hands. However, a well entrenched infantry platoon can destroy a Tiger in close assault. And artillery just ruins everyone's day.

The gameplay may seem complicated at first, but is surprisingly smooth. I've also found that it can be inexpensive to get into. The "American Rifle Company" box contains nearly 1300 points of infantry. Mortars, bazookas, snipers, and lots and lots of little men. Mind, a Panther platoon box contains nearly the same amount of points for a mere 5 tanks.

I'll cover more on this game later. Battle report to come this week.

Starting up

Well, I suppose this is where I tell everyone about me and how great I am at gaming. Not quite the case. I'd say I'm a relatively average gamer, though I am a rather avid gamer. I currently have two 40k armies, Daemons and IG, along with two Uncharted Seas fleets, Orcs and Elves, and one Flames of War German Panzerkompanie.

What I'm intending to do with this blog is to put up the odd product review, battle report, and painting tutorial (though I'm a lazy painter and find easy and quick ways do finishing stuff). There may even be a rant or two in here about the type of gamers or perpetual floaters that annoy me so, like the nefarious Unsupervised Game Store Kid.

I currently do all my gaming at my FLGS, Atlantis Games and Comics in Norfolk, VA. I'm actually planning on heading up there tonight to get a Flames of War game in and, hopefully, document it with pics and such to my first ever battle report.

Oh, and I chose the name Undercroft Enterprises because I like the way it sounds.