I ran another teaching game of Flames of War in the basement this past weekend, this time with my old buddy, Walt. I didn't put quite as much time into the table for this one, so its not quite as fancy, but it sure was dense! Probably a little too dense, but hay, he's the one who out out all the tree stands. We played "No Retreat," from the Firestrom: Bagration book. I did a good bit of coaching aside from just teaching the rules, so Walt learned a bit more about what works and what doesn't and I still got some valuable insight into how to run a paratrooper army.
As the German Panzergrenadiers hastily prepared their support positions...
...the paratroopers of Easy Company dug into the woods through the center of the table.
Finally, the German attack was ready to begin.
Breaking his force up into two columns, each with a Panzer platoon and a Panzer Grenadier platoon, Walt began his advance with one group going up the center, the other through the woods on his right flank, and scouts advancing along the high ground to his left. My boys laid low, and I tossed a few artillery templates at him, to no affect.
By Turn 2 he was ready to kill him an observer.
Meanwhile, my boys explained to his tanks the concept of the 3+ infantry save, plus fox holes, giving the impression that Flames of War does, in fact, love infantry.
It wasn't a bad idea, going in tanks first, and he tried it on both sides:
I tried to tell him (OK, I tried to imply and suggest, without coming right out and saying it,) but these tanks don't know how fucked they are:
After Turn 2, there were tater tots and pizza bites. My wife rules.
He was doing basically right, trying to hit me with his tanks while he got his infantry ready, he was just waiting way too close. The StuGs in the woods got mugged by infantry hiding in the woods and cave. The Panzer IVs up the middle got shelled into oblivion (two died and two ran away), and the Pumas never found anything better to do with themselves.
I think he'd been planning on assaulting my rear with them, but after seeing what happened to the StuGs they sort of hung back and watched the objective for a while.
Turn 4 was where the real action was. It started in the woods on Walt's right flank, as the halftracks scraped paint against burning StuGs to get at my men and give the ol' Mounted Assault rules a try.
Suffice to say, they work better against pinned targets (I was really enjoying being Fearless in this game, I passed every moral check and he couldn't keep me pinned down.) Half his initial assault bogged down, either on the way in or after failing a moral check to counter attack.
I was sliding teams into the fight every chance I could get, even running up Lt. Speers for a little action.
It was a massacre, with fleeing Germans shot down in the woods and only halftrack crews surviving long enough to surrender.
In the center his now unsupported infantry gave it another try, but the results were largely the same.
I didn't take a picture of them, but only a few German teams managed to get out of this fight.
And all that was in his 4th Turn. At the start of mine, I rolled and got all my reserves at one go, like the US Army finally got into the war (and no, the bombers are just for the picture).
At this point all he had left was his artillery, the Pumas, and a few halftracks pretending to be a platoon, and we called it a night.