This led to my significant other offering such comments as, "its just a game, whats so difficult about it?".
To which my replies were something to the effect of, "Well if you don't think its so hard why don't you try it and see how well you do?"
To which I got the response "Is that a challenge?"
"Sure why not" said I...
"I do have two degrees you know? If I put my mind to something , I can do it!"
"Fine bring it on..."
So Saturday night resulted in an impromptu game of Flames of War, between me and the Mrs.
The game ended up being a full on family affair initially, as young daughter became my dice roller, and young son becme the wifes dice roller... though this state of affairs didn't last too long once the gameplay grabbed my wife and she wanted to roll her own dice... the kids drifted off to watch movies...
Therefore I present what went down...
Just to make it easy for my wife, Tracey, to get to grips with the game, I set up a 1100pt tank game, and Free for All mission.
Forces were picked from the recent Market Garden release. This would give us each an HQ and 2 combat platoons.
I set the terrain up as a generic western front theatre, with a main road crossing the board, farmstead either side and woods dotted round the periphery.
Tracey took a Guards Armoured, XXX Corp Sherman tank force:
HQ - 2 x Sherman V plus additional Sherman V
1 combat platoon - 2 x Sherman V + 2 x Firefly
1 combat platoon - 3 x Sherman V + 1 Firefly
I took a Schwere PanzerjaegerAbteilung
HQ - 2 x Jagdpanther
1 combat platoon - 1 x Jagdpanther
1 x combat platoon - 4 x StuG G
We rolled the dice and Tracey won that as the attacker and placed her objectives, one in centre of my area and other to my right flank.
I responded spreading mine apart to each of her flanks...
Then we deployed our troops in alternating fashion, as per mission...
|Tracey ready for the off after having spent the afternoon perusing rulebook and army lists.|
|Tracey's deployment, her right flank... 2 HQ tanks in centre area|
|... and left flank, including one HQ tank|
|I put one Jagdpanther covering my right flank...|
|2iC on central objective...|
|...and StuGs backed up by CiC on my left...|
|Tracey advances Shermans to edge of wood with firefly ready to shoot anything that may come round the flank of woods|
|On her left flank the Shermans advance through the woods is met with an introduction to the bogging test, resulting in two 1's !|
|StuGs ready to nail firefly...|
|While the CO takes aim on the Brit CO. Tracey hadn't spotted this long range diagonal shot across board and hadn't moved the CO|
|My right flank tank, moves to cover of wood line for a shot on approaching Shermans, then plans to stormtrooper back out of the way.. The shot misses, and I fail stormtrooper!|
|The StuGs only manage one bail on the firefly! (daughters dice rolling, grr!), but do manage their stormtrooper to get out of harms way...|
|British CO is bailed by the jagdpanther Co's shot...( he remained this way for next 4 turns!)|
|Tracey motivates to get back in the firefly and advances on the StuGs|
|She also presses forward towards the exposed flank Jagdpanther...|
|2iC decides to join the action and bogs trying to move out of the wood...|
|Shermans and firefly fire, 3 shots total; 3 hits - 2 kills one bail. (Son's dice rolling, grr!) StuGs fail morale and are gone! Leaving German CO exposed! I am now down to 3 tanks vs 11 !|
|The German CO moves up to cover of burning wrecks to fire back... and misses|
|2iC in centre drifts over to try and help Right flank...|
|Firefly stays where it is as 2 shermans go for the German CO's flank...Firing only bails him, but he failed to remount next turn...|
|Large cat stopped play!|
|Having survived the attentions of the Shermans on my right, I had dropped back behind wood. Tracey moves up round the other side of wood. Now begins the game of cat and mouse...|
|One bogged tank passes a skill test on Tracey's left to move out of the wood, then hits the same tree root and bogs again! Last HQ tank is staying on objective, just in case...|
|The German CO fails to remount|
|Sherman's advance properly onto German CO's flank this time...|
|... but he survives their attention.|
|Meanwhile, Shermans and jagdpanther on flank continue their cat and mouse game...|
|Jagdpanther moves out for a shot on firefly, and misses, and stormtroopers back. Centre 2ic has failed to hit anything either...|
|Amazingly German CO survives, remounts and reverses away from firefly and flanking Shermans, round wood, fires back and kills one Sherman.|
|Tracey follows up with firefly, whilst other tank goes to hide in woods on right, and 2iC unbogs and moves out of wood behind German CO.|
|The cat and mouse game ends on German right flank as Firefly and another Shermans get either side of jagdpanther trying to hold objective. The inevitable happens.|
|And the German CO gets bailed|
|Last gasp desperation... German CO remounts and heads over for a single long range shot at Shermans on objective and 2iC moves from its centre position to try the same. Both shots miss. Game to Tracey!|
So what did I learn here? Perhaps I was too bold with the StuGs, and leaving only one tank on each objective was not going to be enough to hold back the Sherman tide. Once the StuGs got blown away in one turn I was on a hiding to nothing...
So we played exactly the same game again, only this time I won roll for first turn...
|Tracey stoked after first game win, deploys again.|
|Surveys her left flank and ponders her tactics|
|This time I deploy defensively with a plan to sit on objectives, and just fire at whatever approaches. Stugs on right flank...|
|...jagdpanthers in centre.|
|StuGs advance through woods to edge of treeline to fire...|
|And blast the firefly!|
|Tracey decides to move round other side of woods to engage StuGs... but fails to do any damage|
|Right flank Shermans move through centre to cover of small wood avoiding LOS from Jagdpanthers|
|StuGs fire blasts another firefly, and bails the CO.|
|Jagpanther fire knocks out another tank, and platoon fails morale, leaving a bailed CO and an HQ Sherman behind the wood.|
|Firefly at top sneaks to edge of wood for a shot at jagdpanthers but misses, and 2iC tank moves up behind farmhouse, trying to get over to help deteriorating left flank.|
|Return Jagdpanther fire kills the last firefly|
|CO and HQ Sherman move round wood away from jadgpanthers and bail a StuG|
|StuGs return fire killing HQ tank and bailing CO|
|CO remounts and 2iC arrives behind wood|
|StuG is bailed again|
|Remaining Shermans realise they can't do anything to jagdpanthers and try to relocate to hurt StuGs|
|2iC and CO trying to hit Stugs|
|return fire kills 2iC tank and bails CO|
|Jagdpanther decides now is time to make a break for the exposed objective...|
|So Sherman platoon is forced to head back to cover that.|
|In doing so get caught in crossfire from StuGs and Jagpanthers getting 2 bailed.|
|Brit CO destroyed|
|Another Sherman dies|
|Jagpanther gets on objective and can't be hurt by Sherman from front|
|Shermans move up to contest objective|
|StuGs break cover for other objective but two bog leaving woods|
|"You're mine" says jagdpanther but only bails them!|
|They both remount, move to flank and blow away jagdpanther!|
|But nothing can stop StuGs claiming other objective!|
So again lessons learned; in this situation a defensive playing style better suits the Germans, and forces the enemy to come to me. It could have turned into a long range duel, with who could roll a 6 to hit, and with the Shermans Semi-Indirect fire tipping the balance, but early hits from the Germans with some lucky rolls, followed by Gun Tank rule successful rolls saw the fireflys go down quickly. After that Tracey was on the back foot, with no way to get to a flank on the German tanks... She continued gamely, but it was just a matter of time.
So two great games, which she thoroughly enjoyed and wants to play more! Having read the army lists again she has discovered she can add air support, and wants to try that in our next game , so I need to get that typhoon finished off!
She also wants to watch my games with the guys to learn from these experiences and wants to try her hand playing against them too! Whatever is the world coming too! ;-)