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Monday, March 28, 2005

An Odd “What-if” Battle

On Saturday afternoon we played Flames of War. We based the game in Russia, with some odd turns to it; we had Brits (8th Army, Desert Rats) as allies to the Soviets, fighting against German Fallschirmjagers and Deutsche Afrika Korps(DAK).

In order to reign in total flights of fancy, the DAK directly faced off against their traditional opponents, while my Fallschirmjagers faced the Red Horde. We only blurred the lines now and again…

Highlights of the battle on my end of the table were my three Marder II tank hunters taking down two SU-152s. While that may not seem significant, think of it like this: three small, light, but heavily armed open-topped tanks tore up two heavily armed and armored self-propelled guns (SPGs). One hit from either of those beasties should have taken out the Marders, and most everything else they aimed at!

‘Sneaky’ Doug, the shop owner, has made good use of the German “Stormtrooper move” rule in the past. You park your vehicle just on the ridge of the hill so you can see over, but you are down enough to be considered “hull down” – and then you fire into the enemy. At the end of your turn, you roll for your “Stormtrooper move” and then move your vehicles back down the backside of the hill into full cover.

I fired six shots the first turn and killed one of the SU-152s, then successfully stormtroopered back down the hill out of sight. The remaining leviathan moved on his turn, but had no target; on my turn, I moved my Marders back up the hill, and then fired at the reduced Rate of Fire (RoF) of 1 each. All three shots hit, killing the last major threat on that side of the table.

With the freshly killed SU-152s still smoking, I chose to move my Marders down the hill in an attempt to flank the lend-lease Sherman tank platoon. Unfortunately the Brits decided that my Marders were a threat to them and they dropped fire on the three open-topped SPGs, killing all three in one go. Ouch. Still, they more than earned their points!

Another highlight between the Sovs and FJs was the game-long gun duel between the 88s and the Sherman platoon.

I couldn’t roll to save my life (literally!) and only managed to kill 3 Shermans and bail-out a few with the 88s.

The battle raged back and forth like this; Louis would fire his Shermans at my 88s. I would save. On my turn, I would fire at his Shermans, and “wiff” miserably! (needed 4s on d6 to hit, I was rolling 1, 2, 3s!)

That went on nearly the duration of the game.

Other “highpoints”, though not from the view of the FJs, was the destruction of two FJ platoons by MG fire (tanks), and infantry assault on one flank, and death by Anti-Aircraft MG on the other flank, followed by infantry assault. Louis sort of forgot about the 2cm flak guns my FJ crews were dragging across the table into range, and after he had killed my company commander and another stand of FJs, my turn came. The three 2cm flak guns opened up with RoF 4 each, decimating his infantry. As if that didn’t hurt enough, my “team mate” had roared to my rescue with some Panzer IIIs and he opened up on the remaining Popov infantry, finishing off the last of them.

We called the game at this point, each side retiring to lick their wounds and prepare for the next onslaught.

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