As life begins to get back to normal in the UK it’s great to see more and more events popping up, bringing Flames of War players back to the fold. GamesHub in Edinburgh have started hosting FoW/WW3:TY days every three weeks with a chance to come down for a mini tournie over three games. This time it was the turn of late war and I decided to head up there and get three practice games in with my tweaked British list as practice for Warfare (UK Nationals) in Nov.
The event was 105pts, which is 5pts more than Warfare and meant that I dropped the lucky card from the 100pt variant (last seen at Bun-in-grad) and added three Stuarts.
In a change to the list from my previous outing, I removed the motor platoon (very small and fragile), the allied 76mm Shermans and the Italian Churchills. In their place I have three Churchill Crocodiles, and two French Resistance Platoons, which don’t count towards reserves. The idea here is that it gives me a better infantry presence and, at 100pts, means my AVREs and Crocs are all that is in reserve (If I really need the AVREs on from the start then I can use recce platoons in reserve which also helps protect my core units).
I was impressed with Crocs at my previous event, FA11 is a beast and, while they can’t take objectives, they are big problem to shift of one of your own.
Game 1 – Fighting Withdrawal vs Romanian Armour and Infantry
My first game was versus Romanians with a formation of 10 Pz IVs (T4s in the local parlance), a formation of three large infantry platoons with panzerfausts, a pair of Tigers and three AT13 guns. We rolled up Fighting Withdrawal with me defending. I was quite pleased with this and, due to the set up of two escarpments along with FIVE minefields, I managed to block off my left flank from anything that didn’t fancy charging across some mines. My right flank got the 17pdrs and some infantry backed up by the Stuarts while my left had 6pdrs, recce and infantry on the objective. My Crocs and AVREs held the centre, ready to react with the Achilles in ambush.
The Romanians really had a tough time. They had to advance and knew that the Achilles ambush was going to hurt [Mark’s 17pdr ambushes clearly work better than mine – Lee].
The infantry focused on the left flan, supported by six T4, however the advance stalled with some poor rallying rolls after my mortar bombardment. The 6pdrs held fire until the T4s were forced into the open however they only killed one tank. Luckily the Achilles faired better, leaving only a single T4 alive. The Tigers moved to target the Achilles and, along with the remaining T4, killed two, forcing me to pull them back behind the escarpment to prevent a platoon loss.
To this point I had been pulling cheap core platoons off as each turn’s strategic withdrawal tithe but I knew I couldn’t do any more or I’d be risking formation morale.
A brave advance by the the CiC and three T4s on my right flank forced me to withdraw my Stuarts. However my 17pdrs were too much for this flank attack and knocked them out before they could assault. With the tank formation broken, the infantry had finally advanced but were faced with an impossible wall of defensive fire and minefields. The Tigers started to engage my AVREs until a lucky blitz by the Achilles combined with some 17pdr shots finished them off.
Result – 8-1 to the Brits.
Game 2 – Bridgehead vs SS Panthers
Game 2 was against quite a regular opponent of mine who was fielding his SS Panthers. Now, we all know that Panthers are an uphill struggle and, facing four Achilles, four 17pdrs and the rest of my toys, this was not a great match up for him. The mission we rolled up was Bridgehead.
I deployed quite aggressively forward on my objectives and used my recce to push the right flank, limiting his spearhead down my flanks. The Achilles went in ambush with the 17pdrs on the left flank. Unfortunately this time scenery was not in my favour and I had a hill to contend with, meaning my 17pdrs couldn’t cover both objectives.
The Panthers refused the 17pdr flank and advanced to the centre and right flank. While lots of shots were put into the 6pdrs, they stubbornly refused to die. I managed to knock a Wespe out with a 17pdr which meant he was now re-rolling hits and his infantry advancing through the church quickly stalled under MG and rifle fire.
The big cats finally broke cover with the Tigers valiantly assaulting my hilltop position. They weathered the 6pdr fire and won the assault pushing me off my vantage point. I was now one lost assault away from a defeat!
The Achilles ambushed and only bailed a Tiger(!) while an Achilles died in return [see, this is much more like the traditional 17pdr ambush I know and “love” – Lee]. The Tigers knew their luck wouldn’t hold and, despite the horrible defensive fire, they had to assault this turn which resulted in them both blowing up. At this point the Panthers had to try their luck too, but just couldn’t get into assault with the 6pdrs covering the objective.
Result – With many burning wrecks the British lines held for a 8-1 victory.
Game 3 – Encirclement vs Hungarian Medium Armour
The final game was versus Hungarians, which are quite a new to me. A Turan formation with ten Turans plus five Toldis and a pair of Nimrods. I didn’t like this; my list is more designed to hit higher priced vehicles not masses of cautious tanks! He also had three Tigers (nasty), recce and six Nebelwerfers.
Defending in an Encirclement, I was not liking my odds. I had to bunch my units up in the centre and even deployed in my own minefields to deter assaults. The 17pdrs split arcs of fire, two to each flank and the 6pdrs overwatched the exposed forward objective. The rear objective was defended by a single infantry platoon and recce on the flanks. The Achilles were, of course, in ambush.
The Hungarians advanced rapidly on the left flank. However, I breathed a sigh of relief as the Nebs failed to re-range in on my juicy crowded objective. In fact, they spent the game pinned by my mortars and never fired.
The Turan’s put a lot of pressure on my flank, beating up some recce despite 6s to hit and actually making me worried that he might be able to pick my core units apart; I had no-where safe to hide them. It was looking like they would sweep around and assault my exposed rear objective until, in typical FoW fashion, the game swung back to me.
The Achilles ambushed, killed two Tigers and finishing the third in the next turn. This meant there was now nothing, except panzerfausts, on the table which could hurt my Crocs. They arrived from reserve on my left flank and started to move up towards my objective, firing as they went. One of them split off to defend the center objective and two headed for my weak objective; it was obvious that the Turans would now be picked apart. There was nothing they could do to dislodge them and the Achilles, having dealt with the Nimrods, were coming for them as well.
Result – A surprising 8-1 for the Brits.
It was great to get three, fantastic, games in. It was also brilliant to see that the Edinburgh FOW scene is alive and well, and has some new members who started up during lockdown. While I won’t make the September event, I shall hopefully return for the October Mid-War bash.
If you are in the area, check out the FOW Scotland FB page for more details.