I don’t play much Flames of War these days, I’ve become rather jaded with the system . Actually, I’m not jaded with the system, rather the stupid army lists, it’s pitched as a company level game, but the lists allow players to take stupid amounts of divisional and corps level support with an understrength company, so players being players that is what they do. Another gripe is artillery being deployed on the table, silly idea except in exceptional circumstances.
Enough about my ranting, I’ve been working in Yeovil this week so took the opportunity to hook up with Steve Bowman for a game of Flames of War, I’ve not played the new third edition yet so it gave me the opportunity to try it out.
When I arrived, Steve had laid out a table ready for us, we had a chat and had our first cup of tea of the evening. Steve has a massive collection of Flames of War troops, it puts even my huge collection in the shadows, so he asked if I wanted to play Early, Mid or Late War, I’d not previously done any Early War so too the opportunity to have a try at that.
|A rather splendid table of terrain awaited|
Two lists were duly picked
German Panzer Kompanie:
- Company HQ: 2 Pz38(t)
- 1 Platoon: 4 Pz38(t)
- 1 Platoon: 5 Pz38(t)
- 1 Platoon: 5 PzIIC
- 1 Platoon: 2 SdKfz222
- Priority Stukas
A French Tank Squadron:
- Squadron HQ: 1 Renault R35
- 2 Platoon: 4 Renault R35
- 1 Platoon: 3 Souma S35
- 1 Platoon: 4 Souma S35
- 1 Platoon: Recce Tanks (forgotten the name)
- 1 Battery: 4 105mm
We rolled a dice to see who got which set of troops; I would be playing with the Panzer Kompanie and Steve with the French. We then rolled up the scenario, I would be defending in the Counter Attack scenario. Obviously then I was Rommel’s 7th Panzer and the French were trying to throw me back over the Meuse.
We had a great game, I found out that the Souma S35 are the early war equivalent of a Tiger tank and Steve learned to hate the Luftwaffe.
Realising that I would not be able to do much against the S35 I played a fighting withdrawal strategy against them keeping them at range and allowing the Stukas to do the donkey work against them. My reserves were severely delayed and Steve managed to get his R35 onto the ‘free’ objective, but I managed to move up the armoured cars and keep the game going by contesting it until I eventually broke his army. At the end of the game, Steve had lost his four tank platoons and I had lost the armoured cars that had to be sacrificed to keep the objective covered.
I really enjoyed the game, it was too well balanced forces with realistic levels of higher echelon support and Steve is a great bloke all round. I did drink far too much tea though, my back teeth were floating by the time I arrived home.
Here are some shots from the game.
|Rather a lot of French on the way, call up the Luftwaffe|
|After the sirens had died down and the smoke cleared the S35 were untouched|
|The French retaliate and I suffer the first casualties.|
|The Luftwaffe have more success over the next couple of turns|
|Eventually no French tanks remain on that flank - well apart from a couple of recce hiding in a copse|
|On the other flank there is a hard fought scrap around the objective|
|In the end the Hun are victorious|