Saturday, 1 April 2017

Flames of War Tournament: Battle Report 2 [February 2017]

This is the second Battle Report in my three part series from the tournament at Phoenix Games. This time, I took on Brenden - the tournament organizer. He played Americans and faced my German list. What a great looking table!

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
This is the European Mat by Cigar Box Battle that Must Contain Minis loaned to the Tournament organizer. This is the table where Brenden and Jacob would square off. 

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
On this side of the table is Jacob's deployment. For this mission, his entire force starts on the table. He has his Jagdpanthers set up to speed across the field and StuGs to head down the road while his infantry keeps the German heads down. The Wirbelwinds would provide an unbreakable anti-air umbrella.   

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Brenden is running a Paratroopers list and started with two infantry squads on the table, as well as two tank hunters in ambush. Above is one of the two infantry squads guarding an objective. 

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Closer to the middle of the table is the second infantry platoon. They are by a V1, but that is not the objective. There is another objective on the far side of the table. In reserve, Brenden had a couple more platoons of infantry. He also brought along Priority Air cover that my Wirbelwinds were more than capable of holding at bay.  
Most of Brenden's forces were held in reserve.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
On Turn 1 Jacob's StuGs fired into Brenden's second Infantry Platoon.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Jacob's Commander and the Mortar Teams behind him fired at the first platoon.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Two Wirbelwinds and the Jagdpanthers cautiously approached the far objective through the clear path of the fields. It is "gamey," but one of the Jagdpanthers is facing backwards for better reactionary fire versus a possible ambush of two American Tank Hunters.
 
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
The Second Objective is on the left just level with the houses. The plan was to rush that objective and hold it a round before Brenden's troops could reach it for a quick and easy victory.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
I don't remember how Brenden managed it, but he was able to bail out all of my StuGs on the first turn. If I remember right, he had a small, light anti-tank gun hidden in his HQ (off camera) and got off four lucky shots. Had he have advanced his troops here, I would have lost the entire StuG Platoon. Instead, he went to ground on the movement phase of his turn.
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Yep... There it is on the left. Beside the objective is a small but accurate anti-tank gun. Since I "Moved at the Double" to get where I was, he got extra shots in on my tanks. That gun is going to have to go!

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
A further back look at the action.
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
A look at my infantry and Command StuG. I also held back two Wirbelwinds to protect this group from incoming plane attacks. This round, the group would concentrate on getting rid of the anti-tank gun.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
The Jagdpanthers and two Wirbelwinds race towards the far objective. Brenden brings on another platoon of infantry. This one is a large one (far right corner).

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Look!!! I got rid of his Anti-Tank Gun!!!
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Brenden moves his infantry up to assault the tanks realizing that he failed the opportunity last turn. One tank is still bailed out and one is facing the wrong direction so only two tanks get defensive fire vs the assault.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
These are late war StuG Gs, so they get 4 dice of defensive fire each. All I needed to hit were 4s, 5s, or 6s. 5 successes on 8 dice and the assault is called off. Of course I failed. I tend to roll as per above in most of my games.  :)

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Brenden gets in close with his assault teams.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Two StuGs are killed and two break off and flee. They are now holding the objective.
"I win!!!" Proudly states Jacob. "Not yet you do," replied Brenden. "It is not yet the right turn!"

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
On my turn, I surrounded the objective with my tanks and let Brenden know that I won the game as there was no way that he would be able to push my tanks off the objective by the end of his turn (he also had nothing fast enough to reach the objective and contest my victory). Brenden let me know that the condition for holding the objective does not kick-in until a later round. I made the exact same mistake in my last game of Bolt Action. I will have to start reading the missions better before playing!   :) 
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Last turn, Brenden popped his Tank Hunters out of Cover to attack my Jagdpanthers. My Commander made short work out of one of those tanks. My Jagdpanthers would make short work of the other.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Brenden brings his troops close to the objective for a future assault. He then realized that I left one of my tanks too close to the woods. He could get an assault off from there without me taking any reaction fire.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
Realizing my Mistake, I moved my tanks further back and brought up the Wirbelwind. This brought about enough firepower that Brenden would not be able to get through a barrage of fire if he were to assault my tanks.
Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
On the other side of the table, I brought my Wirbelwinds up closer to "rejoin" their platoon. They would take a few shots at the enemy Machine Gun team left in the open on their way through. The mortars in the back smoked the rest of the German squad to provide cover for the assaulting infantry.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
When everything was done, no American units were left on this side of the table.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
The Germans claim the objective.

Flames of War Battle Report - Germans vs Americans
On the opposite side of the table, the Germans continue to hold the objective, but there is an American unit of Paratroopers in the forest. They would not be able to assault the tanks or contest the objective.

At this time, the true turn limit condition was reached and our match was done early with a 6-1 German Victory.

Looking at how things went, there were a couple of things that Brenden could have done differently. The first is in List building. His list could have done better with more mobility and more anti-tank assets. The other thing is that if his infantry had of assaulted my "Move at the Doubled" StuGs on the first round, this would have been a very different game. Losing a full StuG platoon to paratroopers would have been a devastating blow to the German forces.

Brenden's list did have a plane to help provide anti-tank capabilities, but the German Wirbelwinds were 100% effective at providing anti-air support. The planes never got past the umbrella of bullet fire.

This was the second in a three part battle report series stemming from the Flames of War Tournament that I attended at Phoenix Games this past February.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

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