Time for another Wednesday wargaming battle report!
This week we are still messing around with the new Flames of War rules on the Eastern Front, trying out some different lists missions ect.. I changed up the terrain this time around, I knew I would be playing Kampfgruppe Bake, so I put in a bit more terrain and tried to have more things to block the long sight lines, to make it more interesting and less standoffish. We will see if I was successful or not!
As discussed my army was Kampfgruppe Bake, a mix of Panthers and Tigers. I had 2 Tigers, 3 Panthers, and the commander was Bake and his Panther, time to try out a special character in the new game. I also had my usual rocket artillery, and a couple of AA guns to fill in the points. The Russians had a Tankovy platoons with 2 platoons of 5 T-34/85s, some pioneers AA guns anti-tank guns and mortars. We thought that the Guards Tankovy doesn't have Hens and Chicks, but I am pretty certain this was a mistake, but this didn't play a big roll so whatever right. The main reason for this was the platoons looked expensive, but I think that was just due to being fearless and all 85s.
For missions I decided to do a Prepared attack hoping to avoid having to put platoons in reserve, as it would be very awkward for my list, and the Russians chose to defend so we ended up with no retreat.
Here we are in the start, one objective on the hill and one in the woods. The ambush is a tank platoon, very scary for me as I can't afford to take any side shots with so few tanks. So my plan is to move up slowly and try and wait out the ambush, or at least kill the tanks that come on from reserve first. For there is just infantry and guns on the hill and mortars in the woods. The Russians brought in some tanks and tried to hide along the edge of the woods.
I slid over as much as I could helped along by Bake making people Blitz! move on a 2+. This got me a couple of shoots I think they missed. I moved up the AA to shoot at an observer that was in a house. My rockets had killed the gun they could see last turn so I moved them onto the house as well.
The Russians tuck into the woods more, and try a few shots but not able to penetrate a Panther at long range really. The mortars are trying different targets, but are not having much luck. All of my stuff is at least armored, so gets a pretty good save against them.
This turn I got a lucky hit with the AA guns and took out the Russian observer, so this will mostly end the mortars being able to fire, for awhile anyway. The Panthers fire some more shots and get some kills, and the Russians bring on the commander tank and the other guns platoon from reserve. All the reserves are on now.
The Russians had moved their commander up the the edge of the fair minefield to try and get some long shots at my rockets. So I moved my Panthers over to kill him while Bake kept picking at the other tanks. Still had my tigers waiting within range of the center of the table, but waiting out the ambush still. The other tanks are mostly dead now so we are kind of in a stalemate.
After a few more turns I decided to start moving into the woods anyway. So I moved up the AA guns, they are pretty much useless now anyway. They died, but I didn't get anything I wanted.
By now we are into turn 6 so I had to move the tigers across the center line or lose. Also creeping up the Panthers now. They are especially vulnerable with a side armor of only 5, so can be lost very easily. But the Russians don't ambush so I am having to take more chances or just except a draw and end the game.
Next turn the tigers move to the edge of the woods. I was really expecting an ambush now, so I tried to put the Panthers where they were protected but could still get some shots. With only 2 tanks left the other tank unit pulls back into the woods.
Next turn the tigers head in and I moved Bake down. Still not will to expose the Panthers badly, I am hoping the much higher side armor of the tigers will be able to take the brunt. One failed the cross test, but that is not a huge thing now. The Russians pulled their tanks fully back to the objective.
Now I have the tigers fully in and committed, and the Panthers up to the edge of the woods. At this point I am close to threatening the objective so the ambush is pretty much forced to deploy now. But I am not feeling super confident.
The T-34s of course ambushed in now. They got 6 hits out of their 10 shots so each tiger had to make three, and they both ended up bailed out! I was pretty happy about this at first, but only one remounted so I was forced to make a last stand test, this was failed so they left the board. I don't have any more pictures but the Panthers were able to move in and get some shots, with Bake gong over the mines successfully. I reduced them down to 2 tanks as well without further losses as the Russians tried to surround me. We ran out of time at this point, so it was again a draw!
I think this was allot more about us being careful and not wanting to take big risks then the rules thou. Also the terrain was not easy going for a tank battle, especially a long range gunnery duel which would have been perfect for me!
One thing that really has become apparent with the new rules is that small tank platoons can be very vulnerable to last stand tests which is not good! Tigers will have to test if they loose a single tank so you can see 400 points running away even from just a single bail! But the big Russian tank platoons may have to loose 9! That is a huge difference. Arguably good but I don't think I totally agree. At least the tiger ace rules give a slightly better shot to stick around, fearless SS tigers maybe are allot more tempting now also?
Anyway thanks for reading, more Flames of War is likely coming hah.