Thursday, August 8, 2013

FFT3 World War II Battle - North Africa!

Played a "big" battle with Fistful of TOWS 3 today.  Played ANOTHER meeting engagement in North Africa, this time with a tank company, mech company, and recon platoon on each side, with 2 batteries of Self Propelled Artillery in support.  Almost completely equal forces.... (lots of pics!)

 Sides started out at diagonally opposite sides of the table.  I received 2 arty templates for each 3 platoons on the board, so both sides had 2 SP batt's firing in support.  Naturally, being the former American officer type that I am, I went for the recon!

American recon stand in the grove calling in Artillery on the Kraut's recon.

Suppressed!  Gerry wouldn't be doing any spotting with these guys for a turn.

US recon knocked out by artillery....

Ride of the Valkyries...
 the German plan was to maneuver into position and pummel the US player with fires while the infantry swung around and assaulted the flank of the grove.  The US Player decided on taking a defensive strategy and oriented his armor north of the grove to trade shots with the lighter skinned and smaller gunned Germans.

Advancing on the Americans

US player deployed infantry into the grove
dismount platoons digging in!

meanwhile armor flanks the position to deploy

dispositions right around when the shooting started
 When the Germans started coming under fire, they enacted their plan, moving the 251s behind the tanks to protect them and get them into position.
Germans deploy the infantry behind the armor and an eventual over run of the grove.
 By the way, overwatch fires are nasty.  A German halftrack was knocked out trying to get into position and it enabled the US player to maximize fires in both turns.
trading fire!  view from a driver's hatch of a 251/1 halftrack!

casualties starting to rack up

Watch out for overwatch fire!  Scratch 1 German Mech platoon....

Another transport platoon bites the dust - but the dismounts pass their quality check and survive.

Closing with the enemy.  Close Combat Time...
 The German tanks and American tanks simply ground to a halt, trading shots and casualties while the German armor moved to over run and close assault the Americans in the grove.  The German infantry, miraculously, took zero casualties moving into the assault and close combat lasted for quite a few turns before the Germans destroyed an infantry platoon and halftrack section.  Eventually combat stopped with 1 German infantry platoon remaining and the US player firmly in control of the grove.

The Germans lost their quality checks for casualties in the Armor company and the Infantry at the end of this turn!  They retire in good order and this battle's finished.
Really beat up, the Germans limp home.  Rommel was not pleased.

Final view from the grove.  A half track platoon sits burning - knocked out by US Infantry bazookas!  (fierce in close combat)

OVERWATCH: Units on overwatch can shoot enemy elements that are moving.  You just can't move the turn prior.  Makes tactical sense and the US player was able to even the odds in close combat getting a few shots off and KO'ing 1 German infantry platoon before they even got into the fight.  If you're playing FFT, make sure you are sensible with your companies and battalions - cover all movement with fires.

Protect the Infantry: Infantry are so nasty to fight up close.  While their halftracks protect them from Artillery and small arms, tank fires are a different story and your tanks will make short work of them.  Take a covered / concealed route to the objective if possible.

American Bazookas: While I have only played the WWII version of the game, I was horrified as an American bazooka made short work of my halftrack sections.  Even with infantry support close by, your halftracks are vulnerable to man portable AT systems so be careful!  Suppress before going in if possible!

Quick Reference Sheet: It would be smart to make your own QRS up prior to gaming a battle.  It was a serious pain researching things through the PDF rulebook (which is 450 pages...).  I used the "abbreviated, free rules" which can be found here but I also bought the rules a year ago.  I love the amount of detail included in them (as well as the TOEs and massive equipment lists) but there is so much data to digest that you're bound to miss rules like I did.  Start small with the free rules and gradually incorporate the more advanced stuff.  That being said, the free rules are stand alone AND you can download the vehicle lists from the second edition for free.  you do the math.
That being said, the QRS they provide is good but you need to make your own data sheets or you'll be wasting time looking stuff up.  The FFT3 information I have referenced can all be found here.

Impressions:  FFT is a unique system and one that was very enjoyable.  I think they capture the deadly feel of the modern battlefield and the game is simple and not overly simplistic.  My recommendation is to take the abbreviated rules for a spin, which are fun and not overly complicated.  They have modern ones as well.  FFT3 also has a very popular support group on Yahoo Groups where the writers answer your tough questions  on their rules.


  1. Great photos. However... those dining room chairs look suspiciously familiar.

    1. Thanks, John. You're correct - and an Ikea trip is in order!!!

  2. Great report Steven, those links copied!


    1. Thanks, Paul. FFT is a very solid system - tons of meticulous research and the designers are always available for assistance on the yahoo group.

  3. Lovely work all around Steve, particularly on the Shermans!

    1. Thanks, FF. They are the pre painted "POC Miniatures" Shermans which did show up a little small. If you look closely, you'll notice I glued stilts under the tracks to make them a little taller.
      I also sprayed them, washed them light black, and then dry brushed them to give them that dusty "north africa" look!

      They may also be the wrong body type but what the hell! They look fine enough to me.

      Thanks for commenting!