Friday, September 1, 2017

Flames of War Version 4!

Played a terrific and exciting solo game of Flames of War Version 4 tonight with the free Late War/Early War rules pack and a list from a late war book.  German/Soviet  eastern front game with the scenario rolled for as "Encounter" battle.

This scenario was an "into the Reich" type of game where a small scratch force of high quality German troops with good equipment were standing in the way of a mobile Soviet horde.  This was a "big" game with 2 full companies of T34s (that never completely made it onto the table) a small company of T-70s, a small company of KV-1s, a mortar platoon, and 2 platoons of infantry.

The Confident-Trained Soviets fought against Fearless Veteran Germans with 2 infantry platoons, a machine gun platoon, a small Tiger-I platoon, and a Panzer IVH platoon with a Wespe battery in support.  The Germans were outnumbered 5:1 almost in tanks!

Soviet T-34 company moves into the Reich!

Mortars attempt to range in.  

Meanwhile under the watchful eye of the company commander and the kommissar, Soviet infantry surgers forward!

Soviet platoon moving out!
 On the German side, tired eyes scan sectors of fire as the ever vigilant Grenadiers and tankers await Ivan's inevitable arrival.


MG Platoon

The first turn the Soviets surge forward using a cross country dash - 24 inches!  They close the distance to the German infantry and an objective quickly.

Soviet infantry in the center would be the anvil.  A disposable holding force.

End of Soviet turn 1

Germans move their MGs up to the front and train their sights onto the advancing Ivans in the center!  They reap a deadly harvest.

The Tigers join in the carnage now.
 The German left platoon in the wheatfield digs in and just in time.  Turn 2 the Soviets roll up to the front door and start firing buckets of machine gun dice at them.  They'd pin the lot and kill 2 teams while they're at it.

Meanwhile the Company Commander has other plans and fires a smoke barrage at the Tiger I position.

German Tank MG Fire!

Russians move out towards the objective.  The smoke buys them some time.

Ivan over runs the German positions!  
 Question here.  Can the infantry shoot their small arms at the tanks?  What if they score 5 hits?  The armor cannot be pinned so how does that work?  The Platoon Leader had an upgraded Panzerschrek which they used to good effect by killing a T34 but is that all I get for the pre assault shooting?
Does anyone know?
PL Killed a tank with a Panzerschreck.
 The Soviets win hands-down in the combat and the Germans fail to make their counter attack roll and bug out, pinned, allowing the Soviets to walk through the front door and capture an objective.

The Germans break off the fight and head towards the rear!

 Beginning of turn 4 the Soviets actually make a reinforcement roll!  5 T-70s move onto the battlefield.  I had an entire other company of T34s but wanted to play with these cool tanks before the battle ended.  After the Germans retreated off the objective, the Soviet T34s over ran it and held it as the Tiger I's rolled a ridiculous 4 "1"s this game and failed to kill a single Russian tank!

End Game!
So that's it.  I haven't gamed in awhile but I was really looking forward to some WW2 action this evening and Flames of War delivered in a big way.  I'm not sure if they're my "Go To" set of rules but I have to admit they deliver a satisfying game that is packed with decision making and excitement.  They're also some of the quickest rules to play with in our time strapped world.  This game took about 2 hours and you really cant beat that for a Friday night after a long week.  Mission accomplished!

I like Version 4 better than Version 3 of Flames of War as I feel it plays a little quicker.  Still some unanswered questions (like can infantry shoot against tanks during pre-assault defender fire?  If so, how do you adjudicate that?  That was my only serious question from this super fun game.  More World War II coming up folks.  Watch this space!


  1. Hi Steven, I feel the same way about v4 - plays well, quick but has a lot of tactical depth. Tanks with top armour 1 or 2 on assault are only stopped if you bail or destroy two or more from defensive fire (p56, 2nd para of 'forcing the assault to fall back). Defensive fire hits side armour (p55). So the number of hits is irrelevant, only the number of destroyed or bailed.

    1. Thanks James. These tanks were attacking troops armed with only a single Panzershreck stand (ROF2). I guess my question is that Rifle/MG stands that are shooting obviously cannot bail a tank right? Defensive fire during assault isn't any different from regular small arms fire which has no effect against tanks.

    2. Correct Steven. Unless the weapon can at least bail the tank it does nothing. Only bails and destroyed tanks count for stopping an armoured assault, and the assault stops if two vehicles are bailed or knocked out.

    3. So if the side armour value +1d6 armour save is always going to beat the AP of the weapon, it can have no effect. (Ap 1 (small arms) vs side armour 0 would bail on a d6 armour roll of 1 (if firepower 6+ was rolled). Most tanks have side armour higher than 1 making them impervious to small arms).

  2. Looks like a great game mate. I missed FoW completely, and heard bad things of course, but what you have described here sounds excellent, and I can see the nuances of the game within your commentary. It 'feels' like the Ostfront, really does.

    1. Thanks Darren. So I'm at a funny place with my tactical WW2 gaming. I want texture, tactical decision making, and problems to solve. On the other hand I want those games to move quickly without alot of fuss. This game certainly delivered that, but for "Grognards" like you and I, I think to make FoW a viable option is to ensure any game we play is firmly rooted in a historical engagement.

      THis was a very enjoyable and fun game and I will play again. Plays faster than Battlegroup with very similar results.

  3. nice to hear a bit about it.
    I'm permanently soured on GW and companies that work the GW model, and a number of design aspects of V. 1-3, so won't be hitting FoW myself, so glad someone I know did!

    1. I understand Alex. I've made a conscious effort to play with as few battlefront models as possible, especially with the wide range of inexpensive and very nice alternatives out there (all those early model T34s were Zvezda models)
      This game was very enjoyable and I'll play V4 again.

  4. How'd it compare to Team Yankee?

    1. Very, very similar. I can't think of any differences off the top of my head. I love the dash moves and used them to good effect in the game.