Thursday, 15 September 2016

Battle Report - Flames of War - Early Desert

Well time for another battle report. Flames of War again, this time we decided to try out some Early War desert games to practice and experiment a bit with lists for the upcoming campaign. Also the early war in the desert can be fun so I thought it would be a cool change of pace.

I went with a Schutzen Kompanie (Motor Rifle) and had:

2x Platoons of 6 MG teams with light mortar and Anti-tank rifle
Platoon of Mortars
Platoon of 4 Panzer 3H
2x Platoons of 222 Armored Cars with 221 Radio commander

The evil British had (Jock Column):
Brigadier Jock
2x Motor Rifle Platoons
2x 18/25lbr Platoons
Platoon of 3 Crusaders
Platoon of 3 MG Carriers

We rolled a mission and got Free for All which is not one of the more fun ones, but anything other then a defensive battle is fine by me. The British was nominally the attacker and won the roll to go first.

Here we are all set up. I deployed one platoon of infantry mounted in their trucks so I can make a push for the objective. This is usually not a good way to win in Free for All as you often just bleed platoons and break on company morale. But it is boring if everyone just sits and ignores the objectives. Better to loose a fun game and go down trying. My plan is to attack the objective in the depression, I figure if I can kill just the 2 guns I can take it. But that is not easy. My idea is to chip away with MG shots and try for a lucky kill while storm troopering back from the edge, and win the tank battle fast and bring them in also. Plus I have some armored cars there. Of course there are artillery guns all along the back edge so that is a problem.

To get things started the carrier platoon starts to fight with my armored cars behind the hill, and the crusaders annoyingly double time over that way. Not much effect, but my cars shoot back and get a bail. Can be hard to kill with 5+ fire power. On the other side my stuff moves up to get into position.

Next turn the tank battle starts. The crusaders move into cover of the mosque and fire but get no kills, the range is a bit far for their liking. I move to get some side shots with my armored cars and get a bail, but my tanks have to move, so also just get a bail. Not the decisive battle I wanted. The brits bombarded my infantry and cars and killed one armored car. I moved up to the edge for some shots but got no kills. My infantry came back to safety but the armored cars got stuck in the open.

The Crusaders fall back to get ride of my flanking armored cars with the help of the carriers this is easily done. Which forces my tanks to move and I just get some bails again. The brit artillery on the right flank shoots my cars of open sights making short work of them, they are very strong especially with Jock there to re-roll misses under 16". The other artillery bombs and kills an infantry or something like that. I have been moving my mortars over at the double to get in on the shooting at guns.

Next turn the crusaders finally come in to play, killing one of my tanks. Which finally allows me to return at full rate of fire and I get rid of all but one.Sadly my infantry platoon decides this is not happening and heads back to Germany.

The brits increase the pressure on my tanks, creeping some guns up to direct fire, and bringing in the carriers. They are also moving on my commander and mortars. This is not looking great! But my tanks are finally able to kill the last Crusader before they die so something was achieved.

I made a last ditch effort against the motor platoon that crested the hill. Firing my mortars directly and moving their commander and the CIC up to SMG and then assault. I ended up one team off from a platoon morale check thou. So next turn all of that stuff was easily killed. Leaving me to roll a company morale with no CIC. I forgot that the 2IC can still roll in the new version now that I think of it. But there is nothing to stop the carriers from taking the objective so that hardly matters. With 1 platoon lost it was a 5-2 victory for the Brits.

I really like the desert, but Free for All is a tough nut to crack against all that artillery which is very strong shooting directly and hard to kill, seeing as they are fearless vets with turn tables and gun shields, and not allot of things have high fire power in this period. Even my tanks can hardly save against them!

I have a few ideas for list changes to help put a hurt on them thou, maybe the Heavy Infantry Gun platoon which I do find good can get a kill or 2. Really the best option is a stuka I think, they are cheap in early war even for priority, but due to limitations in the campaign they can't always help.

Another option is a full company of Panzer 3s which I will try eventually. But at 610 points for 4 I don't fancy my chances against the Royal Horse Artillery!


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