Time for another Wednesday Wargaming Battle Report! Still working on getting painting finished off for Aeitus and Arthur Saga, and waiting for dice, so we decided to try another game of Flames of War. This time trying out the mission using the new objective cards. Also as a bit of a change up we are doing an Western Front this time so it will be my Americans vs the Germans, lists from the Battle of the Bulge compilations.
I went for a trained tank company so I had:
Jumbo Command Tanks
2x Tank Platoons with 2x M4A3 Shermans, and 2x M4A3 76mm Shermans (gain detroits finest)
4x Stuart Tanks
3x Mortar Half-Tracks
Creighton Abrhams in M4A3 76mm Sherman
Tank Destroyer Platoon with 2x M10s and the Security Recon Patrol
The Germans Had:
2x Panther Tank HQ
Infantry with full Panzerfaust in Tracks
Mobile Wagon AA
Believe that was it.
For the mission with the cards it suggest you to play either free for all or dust up and just don't deploy objectives, instead you draw 3 cards every turn and pick one to use, allot of them have you deploying objectives. We did Free for All so there would not be reserves, as this was complicated enough!
Here is the deployment set up, got to give some units spearhead due to having Abhrams, so choose the stuarts, and then one paltoon of tanks which didn't really use it, and the recon guys already had it. This makes your deployment zone bigger now so I got some guys a bit further up, and blocked the German recon from making much use of it. With Shermans you really need to get around the sides of the Panthers, so starting up is good!
First card for the Germans was Hold the Line or something, 3 objectives towards the middle worth 1 point each. They captured them with the recon behind the church and some mobile wagons by the hill, but I ended up getting the central one, so that was 2-1 for the Germans.
Here we are a bit later on. I got a percise attack card and used it on the Mobile Wagons, so got a point for killing those guys. Then a scout objective which if in the woods with the 3 Panthers, after 2 turns a unit with spearhead can take it. The Germans got a slower card that can be captured after 4 turns, but for 3 poitns! in the woods with the infantry. The HQ panthers creeping around the left side woods murdered my recon guys. I have advanced out on the right to fight the 3 Panthers and got a kill! This put a bit of pressure on the Germans as the could fail a morale a loose some guys. On the Other side I put down a line of smoke to protect my flank, all my other tanks tried to cross the hedge line but bogged! Being trained is not good sometimes.
Here we are a bit later again. The Panthers in the forest have killed of my light tanks, 2 kills and a bail and I failed both to unbail and to not run, so they left. Next turn they killed half of my tanks, 1 76 and 1 regular, but I unbailed due to the 76s having wet storage so stuck around to help Abhrams battle it out. The Germans got another scout card which is counting down on the lfet most red house, and one to put by an enemy platoon in good morale which is by the Panthers. I got another percise attack card and put it on the Panther HQ, and a big hold in the center which will eventually give 5 points I can hold it. Hitting back against the Germans my Shermans were able to flank the Panthers in the woods, Abhrams had to blitz to make it, but he is a veteran and can re-roll it so no problem. With those 3 tanks shooting with stabilizers I needed 6 to hit and got enough to kill the last 2 Panthers. On the other side the HQ Panthers advanced but came a bit to far, so I was able to get a kill and a bail with my M10s moving on to the hill. The Panther commander then failed to remount twice and failed to not run away twice, so the German company was broken.
Final score points wise was 4-3 for the Americans. Without the Germans breaking it would have probably come down the the 5 point objective in the middle. You need to get 8 points to with the game.
I thought the cards were a fun variant, puts a bit more of an unknown element into the game as you don't know where you will have to go or what to do. They are a bit similar to the Warhammer 40k cards where mobility and number for table control are important. So I would probably say that American tanks are great for that, and Panthers maybe not as much. They are powerful but vulnerable in the side, and you can be forced to advance and take chances to capture ground and get points.
But also it is true that I got all the kill cards so it was some what easier for me to accomplish some things. Version 4 seems to be pretty kind to the Americans who got to keep most of their special rules. Less so for some of the German companies, the big expensive tanks feel much more brittle from a morale perspective. But they can easily kill one of my platoons every turn if they get effective shooting so it could go either way I guess.
Sorry there is only a few pictures, I seem less likely to remember to take them when I am getting into the game more!