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After-Action-Reports

Flames of War (Infantry Aces)
Hold the Line Mission

October 2011

Russia 635pts (Paul) vs

Germany 635pts (Chris)



  'Hitler's

   Buzzsaw'


About this battle

Paul once again joined us for his second Flames of War game, and after a cursory update of our modelling and blogging activities, we decided that the evenings play would be first Chris and then Justin against Paul in a couple of infantry aces games, the first of which is documented here. In this first game, Justin acted as both observer and umpire, and it is his commentary and narrative that forms the basis of the following after action report. We started on Guiness and ended up on beer, with mints and peanuts filling in the gaps.

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The Battlefield

We returned to the Eastern front this week, and a reduced landscape was decided upon as we weren't playing with our usual weighty companies which we tend to often use in this theatre.

A windmill overlooks much of this small settlement or selysche, which also has fields, and a small woods and marsh.

A small farm overlooked provides the locale for my first refereed game. We agree on a ninety minute duration for the game.

A two storey windmill on a hill dominates the battlefield. Impassable on two sides and overlooking an objective.

Windy Miller would be proud!

Looking North, the small farm offers lots of covered routes.

There's even refreshments on-tap at 'The Hammer and Sickle' public house. Well water on-tap!

Today, we've agreed that you can see and shoot through 1 long fence section, but at +1 modifier. We thought it might open up the battlefield a little more.

The south-western corner of the board has a few drainage problems.

We're playing the swamp as impassable, but there's certainly opportunities here.

Orientation over, Chris puts down one of his objectives on the edge of the farm opposite the marsh. The second, a newly painted Pz.IV goes into the other corner on top of the hill. Interesting. Is he trying to make Paul split his force?

First platoon digs in on the defensive.

The rest of Landsers deploy next to the farm buildings.

Leutnant Zoltan Pepper contemplates where to spring his HMG platoon's ambush. The rest of the Company is in reserve.

Chris covers the approaches to the first objective with Rifle/MG teams.

I'm still not convinced that those boys aren't just enjoying an nice cup of char in some locals samovar.

"Herr Leutnant! Looks like Ivan is on his way!"

Paul deploys his first company in the top-right hand corner of the board. Looks like they're heading for relative comfort of the 'Hammer and Sickle'.

Each Company is supported by 2 sturdy Maxims.

As well as a platoon of SMGs.

The Centre is occupied by a couple of 45mm AT guns and some 81mm mortars. They look a bit exposed, but the ground is flat and there's always the gun shields for cover...

The second company goes opposite the windmill. There's options here. Does Paul plan to cross the swamp, occupy the windmill or cut into the farm?

Chris has placed his other objective in the bottom right-hand corner on the hill where he's located his CO, Major Hertz Von Rental, and 2 x 81mm mortar teams.

Good views, shame about the lamp-post - that's Centralised Planning for you!

Game on!The Soviets charge in.

Mortars and gun teams roll up losing an opportunity to offer covering fire.

Covering fire? That's for wimps Comrade! OOOORAAH!!!

I declare this hill liberated from the Fascist invader!

The Landsers push out to greet Ivan with open arms (what's Chris planning here? I'd have stayed indoors).

Major Hertz Von Rental ranges in with the Company mortars...

...and demonstrates the price of freedom.

Undaunted, the Soviets plough on turning away from the swamp.

Both platoons converge on the centre. Are they walking into a trap?

Roll up the guns!

"What do you mean we can't move and fire?"

"Plough on!"

Turn 2 and the Germans roll lucky, on comes the secnod platoon as reinforcements arrive. Chris consolidates his hold on the first objectives.

With the Soviets entering a natural killing zone, Lt. Pepper springs his HMG ambush!

With long lines of sight, the ambush experiences a little difficulty squeezing in the bases within Commmand Distance

But just about pulls it off :)

The ambush teams have good fields of fire on both the Soviet centre and right flank, whilst the Company mortars range in on the Soviet left.

Second platoon moves up towards the swamp with options to directly block the Soviets by deploying in the farm or flank them through the swamp.

Phump! Phump! Phump!

There's alot of eligible targets here!

Phump! Phump! Phump!

Bang! Bang! "aaargh!" Bang! "aiyeeh!"

As if this wasn't bad enough, the HMG ambush begins to open up on the Soviet right flank: Chop! Chop! Chop!

I've got a feeling there's going to be a lot of lead orphans by the end of this game.

"Band-aid comrade?"

Inevitably, the Soviets are Pinned Down...

Turn 3: Being Fearless has it's benefits and the Soviet left flank rallies and charges forward.

"26 bottles of vodka and hold the well-water Landlord!"

The Soviets return fire with no effect.

The Soviet centre rallies, but chooses not to advance. Surely now is a good time to return fire? They do, but Paul rolls snakeyes!

The bad luck continues and the Soviet right remainds Pinned and chooses to Go to Ground.

As the German reinforcements make it to the swamp, the HMGs tear into the Soviet's Pinned right flank. 24 dice reap the whirlwind and despite Paul's best efforts his bad luck continues. The Company fails their morale test and routs!

With time running out, the umpire calls the game. Victory to Chris!

Reflections

I enjoyed refereeing my first game of Flames of War. It was interesting to watch Paul and Chris play. Paul got enthusiastically stuck in, but it's hard to translate a good knowledge of history in to effective game tactics. Paul's experiences reinforce the necessity of making good use of cover and employing covering fire, particularly from gun teams, if the inevitable impact of HMG ambushes are to be off-set. Unfortunately, Paul was channelled in to a natural killing zone in the centre of the board. Through careful placement and good fortune, Chirs was able to ensure an excellent return from his 2 mortars. Once Paul lost the advatange afforded by overwhelming numbers and a covered advance the writing was on the wall. Good game!

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