Thursday, 22 January 2015

Battle Report - Flames of War - Crossing the Moselle

So Wednesday war-gaming is back again for the new year, this time we decided to try out a practise game for the upcoming Lorraine campaign. Turn 1 has the allies trying to cross the Moselle river so we played that and did an attack off the campaign board to get some firestorm troops and see how that would work out.

I took a American Tank company as follows:

We were playing 1250 points, the rifle platoon and artillery were firestorms, but the armored rifles ended up getting switched for a foot rifle platoon so the above is not 100% accurate.

The Garmans had a Confident Trained Pioneer company with 3 infantry platoons with heavy anti-tank guns, nebelwerfers (rocket launchers) and Brumbars in support.

We decided to give the actual River Crossing mission a try, so I would ave to assault across 2 fords, rest of the river is impassable (but infantry can take a full turn to row across), and take some objectives. You have to have a team on the other side of the river by turn 6 or you loose.

So here is out set up for the start after the allied preliminary bombardment which killed 3 teams. My main plan is to cross the ford on the right, the 3 light tanks are hull down behind a small hill to pin the big pioneer platoon on the left, the left Sherman platoon is meant to fight the heavy anti-tank guns which are concealed behind the ridge lines, the other Shermans have to batter the platoon in trenches and cross, and the infantry have to row across on the far right. I have my artillery off screen just below to fire on the 88s.

Seems I need to turn the flash off for close in shots
My plan to fight the 88s did not go well, I got unlucky with the artillery and my tanks didn't have much effect either.

So I decided discretion was the better part of valor and tried to hide behind the big hill. The infantry got pushed back by a torrent of mg fire across the river, being supported by to machine gun nests makes that platoon dangerous. So I decided to hammer that infantry in trenches and let the artillery works on the 88s. The light tanks just went to ground so the 88s couldn't fire on them but I was still keeping the pioneers from moving.

The Germans decided to tow an 88 off the hill to avoid the artillery and get a better field of fire, in return I sent a pair of tanks up the hill to fire on it. This turned out to be a bad plan as I had no effect and the Germans ended up killing both and finishing that platoon. But I did send my commander over to help un-pin the infantry who were not keen on rowing the river.

At this poin the infantry in the trenches were getting low so I advanced my tanks to the river to fire on the machine gun nests, and was able to kill both in 2 turns to free up my infantry for another crossing attempt.

Additionally I had finally killed in 88, and the trenches infantry failed to un-pin so they couldn't move over and block my tanks. The Germans had managed to bring some tank support up from reserve thou and this proved very important.

I got 2 of my tanks across the river and took out 1 of the Germans, but on there turn them plus the 88s took out the full platoon leaving just my commander. The reaming infantry started to row but it was now looking bleak.

Finally I had my light tanks assault the Germans in the trenches, and amazingly was able to defeat the rest of that platoon. unfortunately 2 of them bogged down trying to cross the trench, and the third bogged trying to take cover in the wood. So that platoon was left to be easily captured by the Germans on the next turn effectively ending the game as nothing was going to be left across the river and I had taken to many losses.

So I fun game trying to cross the Moselle but the Americans were not quit able to managed it, I think I got a bit unlucky with my artillery being unable to damage the 88s, but these things happen. Allowing the Brumbars to fire on my tanks was a major mistake that could have been avoided by careful positioning. Although they have a hig front armor so would be tough for my guys to kill them regardless.



  1. I think we made at least two mistakes. First after looking at my list the ROF of 8.8 cm Pak 43 is 2. Not 3 that I was using. No idea how I made this mistake. Second, trench lines are slow going for fully-tracked vehicles, difficult going fr half-tracked vehicles and impassable to all other vehicles and gun teams. So your Stuarts would not have been bogged down.


  2. Nice bat. rep., Mike!

    However, beer, and not Moselle wine while gaming a Moselle battle?


    Almost Anonymous

  3. Well I guess the extra rate of fire matters a bit, the bogging thing still would have mostly happened thou as I was trying to put them all in the woods. So would just be 2/3, possible to have the same result but I guess it would reduce the chance by 50% or so. Still good to know I was thinking trenches were difficult for all.