Monday, December 9, 2013

500 Point Flames of War "Ostfront" Battle: Free For All

Played a rip-roaring, highly mobile game of Flames of War this evening while the slush froze on my driveway outside.

Battle was a "Free For All" Scenario from the "Open Fire" quick start rules.  500 points with small German Kampfgruppe of Stug IIIs, PanzerIV H's and a Gepanzerte Infantry platoon in 251 halftracks.  I also got the free "upgrade" with the door-knocker 37mm AT gun on the command track.

The Soviets fielded 10 T-34s with 3 of them being the lethal T-34/85 upgrades for 15 points each and that was money well spent.  Talk about reversals and a nail biter - this game was left in question up until the final turn, and I'm still not really sure who won...

Let's get to the action!
German setup.  Stug III platoon guarding this hilltop on the right, mech infantry in the center woods and a Panzer IVH platoon on the left.  The Command Section is a Panzer IVH and a Stug III

Russian setup was not so subtle....all of the tanks here.  The commander bravely has exposed himself to enemy fire and is unbuttoned.

The board.  German objectives are behind significant terrain features.

The telephone poles are not just aesthetic for once.  They helped me measure the limits for scenario setup, 8 inches from the table side.

T-34 "85" moving up the hill.  Yeah yeah they're mid war but the turrets are bigger than my T34"A" models so they're 85s tonight.  

Here comes Ivan!

The German guns had a field day and the shooting started instantly with the Russians not hitting anythign.  The Germans managed to KO some T34s on turn 1!  I'm thinking this is going to be a cake walk - until I met the T-34/85 in combat!!!

The Stugs are cleverly making use of the terrain to make it hard on the Russian gunners.

German infantry dismounts.

except for these guys, who I'm assuming threw a track on the way in.

Command team moves up to join in the turkey shoot

meanwhile my Panzer IVs are on a flanking mission to capture the hill to their front-right

Russians burning with a bailed out tank

2IC (in the US we call him the XO) yelling to the boss
The shooting intensifies with the Russians KOing a Stug and the 2IC tank, which would come back to haunt me later....

It's curtains for the lead Russian tank platoons and I'm starting to think about moving my infantry over to the objective, but with all the success the heavy T34s are having on my opposite flank, I dont want to expose my halftracks to that murderous fire!  So I wait to move them . This is another decision I will pay for as the Germans.

Casualties mounting but it's not a big deal...yet

German dispositions

Just what I need now!  A German tank throws a track moving into cover.  He's bogged down.  

meanwhile the Russians are reduced to the command section on their right.

The demise of the Panzer IVH platoon on my left caused a short crisis.  I move out the German command section to engage the T34s on the hilltop with initial success!  2 Stug III and a Panzer IVH (The commander's tank)

meanwhile the armored infantry races to get to the objective and win the game!

racing like hell!

Ahhh 2 T34s this shouldnt be a big problem, right hans?

Hit, hit, and hit....

and kill, kill and kill 

So here we go.  Here is where I "think" the game ended.  Although my Halftracks got on the objective at the end of last turn, they also lost their Company Commander and the other combat platoons during the Russian turn, effectively ending the game last turn because they had more platoons destroyed than alive.

monsters!!!  T-34/85s have new respect in my book (yes yes I KNOW these aren't T-34/85s!!)

 So in the final analysis, technically I need to get my OOBs right because the Russians may have lost the game turns earlier when the CO's tank was knocked out.  I had the T-34s as one big mob so had I counted the actual number of platoons lost, they may have lost the game a few turns prior.  That said, it was fun fighting on with these T-34s and had my German command tank NOT have been knocked out, the end of the game would have come down to a morale roll with the Germans needing to pass to stay in the game.  I hear and read about so many FoW AARs where that is the case and i hate to say this but it's exciting to have all of the game's results come down to that roll!  For me anyways.  Next few games I need to incorporate more infantry, artillery air power, and of course AT guns into the fight!  Until next time, Kamaraden!


  1. Don't worry about the pseudo-T34/85s - they looked sufficiently distinctive to be unconfusing to anyone. Meanwhile, I guess the most satisfying wargame actions are those that go down to the wire. Looking forward to more of this sort of thing -

  2. Thank You, Archduke,
    Fear not. While I am learning Flames of War and its nuances, I'll be posting more games on my blog. I also want to play the Vietnam and Arab Israeli Wars supplements as well with my miniatures so hopefully there will be many more to post.


  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Ken! They add some nice flair to my games!