That being said, there's always a little time to cram in a game as long as it's an easy one! Flames of War is usually the easiest choice for fast games without too much prior planning. I will get into a discussion below the AAR on my ideas about using MicroArmor for FOW. But first? The action!
|Soviet Guards Tank Company with Infantry Tank Riders|
|The Heavy Metal! A company of IS-2 Breakthrough tanks following the assault on the right.|
|All the German armor is in ambush except for the lone company command tank on the reverse slope.|
|German Veteran Infantry Platoon and a Tiger I - all my support options for this "Desperate Measures" Veteran Panzer Kompanie.|
|Unfinished Panzer IVs in ambush. They will all be repainted soon.|
|The Soviet advance grinds forward.|
|Comrade Commander! The objective has been spotted! No enemy in sight!|
|The Germans spring their ambush! A veteran platoon of Panzer IV tankers, dug in and ready to shoot. Bent tank gun barrels are the bane of my existence!|
|The German ambush is sprung with both platoons showing up in perfect shooting positions. The Soviets really could have used some Recce here as the Germans would have had to spring the ambush further back.|
|Not bad shooting for either platoon, but not the results the "old man" was hoping for.|
|Soviet armor closing!|
|As the tanks take hits, the infantry dismounts, pinned, and they lose 1 team here under heavy fire.|
|Apologies for the unpainted, unflocked stands. Again I just wanted to get a quick game in!|
|The battle unfolds! Note the spacing between vehicles, all still well within their command radii.|
|Heavies passing a burning T-34.|
|Infantry advancing through crops. The Company Commander looks on.|
|Fritz exacts a heavy toll for the Red advance. Still though, the Soviet companies continue to pass their motivation checks!|
|Will need to come up with a better casualty marker for microarmor! These cotton balls are for my bigger 15mm tanks.|
|Advance through the open fields! That's suicide!!|
|Meanwhile on the German left, the Soviets open fire on the Germans, killing a tank.|
Then an incredible turn of events. Fritz moved up halftracks to the bridge in the hope of getting his "stormtrooper move" - which did not happen! So an entire platoon of veteran panzergrenadiers stops just short of the bridge within Ivan's heavy gun range!!!!
|Amazingly, all of the IS-2 shots miss the halftracks. How is that even possible?|
|Ripe for the plucking...oh wait. We missed.|
|2 Soviet squads move against a lone tank who turns out to be the German Company Commander!|
|Pass their "tank fright" test and continue the assault. Only 1 hit scored and the armor save beats the "Tank Assault" rating!!!|
|German Company Command tank backs off the hill top.|
|meanwhile at the bridge, German infantry makes themselves at home, effectively barring the objective from those heavies. The Tiger helps as well.|
|THIS IS ANVIL TO ALL STATIONS! WE ARE ADVANCING ON THE OBJECTIVE!|
|Panzerfausts and Tiger I fire - nasty stuff! Even the thick hide of the IS2 is not immune.|
|Meanwhile, the German CO is back along with the other platoon. They fire mercilessly into the Soviet infantry in the open. All that main gun and MG fire and Soviet teams start falling down. The company is pinned!|
|Final dispositions from the German side.|
|View from the Soviet side!|
What a battle! I would really like to refight this one using the "Battlegroup" rules and see how it turns out. I learned a few things about Flames of War support options and task organizing your platoons for assaulting. Clearly the infantry would have went after the bridge if they would have known that's where the German infantry would go.
The Soviets could have benefited from having bigger tank companies as well. 5 and 6 tank companies are not big enough to soak up all the hits you'll receive from a drawn out assault like this. Lesson learned!
If you've been on my blog you know how much I like the idea of using MicroArmor for Flames of War. The advantages are pretty obvious in my opinion:
- Preparation time for the miniatures. I can paint up a tank company in under an hour's worth of work. An infantry company in a little longer.
- More realistic looking ground scale. No "parking lot effect" and troops are spread out as they should be.
- Cost. For ten dollars I can buy a platoon of tanks or a company of infantry! That's 1/5 of the cost of a nice 15mm platoon from Battlefront or 1/3 the cost from PSC.
- Space. I can store said companies in a quarter of the space it would take me to store 15mm.
- Rules are ideal for large, armored engagements with lots and lots of tanks. IE microarmor
Here are the disadvantages of using microarmor for FOW in my opinion and they are equally obvious:
- No pleasing effect on the eye that 15mm has on the tabletop.
- Harder to paint and results still could not look as good as 15mm infantry (as an example) because the detail is absolutely tiny.
- Larger open space could mean more terrain if that's your thing.
- Bent tank barrels!!
- Depending on where you are in the hobby (eg you started out your wargaming life as a 15mm FoW gamer) you may have to repurchase an entire army.
Anyways that's it. The game was certainly enjoyable and I also have a great excuse to break out my Arab Israeli MicroArmor forces and try out "Fate of a Nation" and who knows - maybe if that works out well enough, I can try out "Stopping the Red Tide's" Modern Flames of War variant which are available completely free in the blog-links section of this blog! I already have all of the troops and vehicles!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, remarks, etc.