I have to admit, I really enjoyed playing these this time. Hail of Fire (henceforth referred to as HOF) are another set of rules where you aren't permitted to do everything you want each turn so you have to weigh your options each turn accordingly.
|Full Soviet Battalion - 2x12 stand infantry platoons, along with an HMG section, and platoon leaders, 1 x 4 stand mortar platoon, 1 x 4 stand AT gun platoon (behind the infantry off camera)|
|German tank platoon next to a full strength German company (2x6 stand platoons, 1 x 2 stand AT gun platoon, 1 3 x stand mortar platoon)|
There is a neat mechanism for determining your command points each turn and there are bonus points you can store up (hero points) that come in handy, if you don't use them all up right away like I did.
|Table set up for a brawl!|
The TOEs are generous, but troop quality is NOT! So beware if you have a Soviet force. It's cumbersome and your poor Ivans will have a really hard time rallying on their own. The Germans are better at doing things like rallying
|Soviet reserves waiting to be activated. With my rolling however, not likely!|
|Soviet FO and Battalion Commander. The poor slobs were suppressed most of the game.|
You then test the team(s) hit to see if they 1. remain in the fight, 2. become suppressed, or 3. are knocked out. It's not easy to knock out an enemy team shooting, but it is fairly easy to suppress one unless you roll like I do. I really like a roll to hit and an effects roll. For armor, you roll to hit the same way, but if your weapon's firepower is greater, you roll penetration, if not you roll "ping" in which case if you roll a "6" it's handled like small arms adjudication and you roll again to see if you're suppressed or destroyed.
|Soviet AT gun platoon guarding the objective. they would see some rough combat getting chewed on by a German infantry platoon but giving back as good as they got!|
|I used the green dice as my "hero dice" Here a war weary Hauptmann watches the battle unfold.|
Movement is variable with tanks and other vehicles getting to move 2D6. Infantry roll 2 D6 and take the higher die.
|Soviet HMG shoots up one of the German PAK 40s as it's being prolonged or pushed by its crew and suppresses one!|
|Soviet HMG nails the gun platoon!!!|
I basically started adjudicating my RCF's immediately after I received them, regardless of the terrain they're in.
I might be doing all this wrong however so bear with me!
|Soviet HMG crew hit by German MGs|
|The infantry duel with the ATGs. Pretty bold! They move into a culvert or ditch and start suppressing the ATG guns in the woodline.|
|And with decent effect!|
|Amazingly one of the Soviet guns rallies and they start pumping round after round into the Germans|
|CHARGE COMRADES!! URRAHHH!|
|I ran out of time but the last round of the game so far saw some intense close combat at the farmhouse with a German platoon and 2 Mk IVHs move up and engage the T-34s while also grabbing one objective.|
As I said before, I really like where the author has taken these rules. They are very streamlined from the first time I played them and he has made them into a very slick, fast moving game. There are some very small rough edges to iron out but like 5CCC the other day, this will be a rules set I keep on the shelf and will definitely play again. If the author ever gets these to the point where he sells them, I'll be one of the first people in line with my cash in hand.
If you're going to play this game keep a few things in mind:
Turns are wicked short and go by really quickly.
Use your leadership to help rally suppressed units, especially if you're the Soviets!
Close Combat is BRUTAL. I mean brutal. I'm quite sure I didn't do it all correctly (the steps in the rules are trying to explain ALOT of things in a very small space and my brain took a few reads to process how to do it). The Germans attacked a collection of Soviet teams moving towards the farmhouse and, while they won, they Soviets rolled great and knocked out 3 teams in the German platoon, forcing a platoon morale check which also forces a "chit draw" each turn. In close combat you roll quality checks to hit and each passed QC kills an enemy team. Deadly!
I think this game is going to be a Soviet victory for the simple fact that the German infantry platoons can't really carry their attacks out, and the Soviets have an entire platoon along with a 3 more T-34s still to bring on the table. It's not looking good for Jerry!