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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Doing the “Do Over” - a Flames of War After Action Report

Louis and I ran our Do Over game with the same rosters and troops and the same terrain; or at least as close as we could recall.

We began setting up, and my poor communication to Louis had him thinking we were going to imitate our initial set up as well. When I placed a unit in a spot different from where it had gone in our original game, he realized that I had miscommunicated and began changing his placement as well. As it stands, he only changed one units position – the IS-2 Heavy Tank platoon moved to my right flank instead of the center of the board. After all, that’s where my Marder II and Hetzer platoons were. In fact I heavily weighted that side of the table with troops!

To start with, the company commander Kampfgrupped – that is, he took a squad from each of the FJ platoons, then a single HMG from the HMG platoon. This gave him nearly a full platoon of his own. They, along with the remnants of the HMG platoon were to secure the left flank.

On the right flank, two FJ platoons, a light anti-aircraft platoon, and the tank platoons would move onto the objective.

The game started off quietly, but we knew it would turn bloody.

I marched my troops at the double (moved double) and parked them all behind trees or other cover so they couldn’t get shot. (Troops that move at the double take twice the hits when fired upon!)

Neither of us had much shooting in the first turn, and I failed to get air support. My demon die proving that I can’t roll what I need when I need it, once again!

Turn two saw a bit more give and take. I lost two AA guns and crews, as they were still “driving” up to where I wanted to set them up.

My HMG and the CO hammered a platoon of infantry on the left flank

The recon platoon moved to threaten his mortars.

On his turn, his naval infantry assaulted my Marders, but failed to accomplish a destruction. Instead one crew “bailed” on me. I also lost a Hetzer and a Marder II – death by IS-2. The monsters lumbered closer.

His platoon on my left flank moved some lads forward and covered their movement with some HMG fire.

His scouts appropriately attacked my recon platoon with some light arms fire, doing no damage. He moved a pair of AT guns towards those threatening armored cars, but couldn’t get a clear shot – plus, the guns were still limbered.

On my turn I retaliated on the right flank by moving my surviving Hetzers and Marders into cover so the behemoths wouldn’t see them. The light AA guns set up and fired on his naval infantry, along with some infantry who had just moved onto the objective. I now owned one objective! His naval infantry platoon was decimated from all the fire and decided to pull back.

My armored cars moved and shot some more on the right flank, killing his Artillery Observers, while the CO and his lads moved up under cover of fire from the HMGs on that flank, pinning the Soviet infantry platoon there.

On Louis turn, he hammered my HMG with his Heavy Mortars, but had no effect. His infantry remained pinned, and he unlimbered his AT guns. The IS-2s fired up some infantry and killed another Hetzer while moving closer yet.

The Hetzers and Marders made a sacrificial play, moving into the open to get a side shot against the IS-2s, while my infantry moved to assault. Unfortunately, the infantry failed their “tank terror” roll, staying in place instead. I killed his support vehicle and bailed out one IS-2 with the fire from the Hetzers and the Marder. The close proximity of two infantry platoons armed with panzerfausts caused him some concern.

I also was able to move the CO and his lads up onto the objective. I now owned both objectives and it was game over.

We both learned important lessons in support. Tanks can’t do it all by themselves. Infantry and tanks are mutually supportive. It was a good game, and as always, Louis was a great opponent.

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