Monday, March 20, 2017

Hail of Fire Game: Against the Odds!

This past Sunday after I was still motivated from all that gaming action at Cold Wars, so I decided to play a game of HAIL OF FIRE, eastern front of course!

This game featured a Soviet Infantry company (-) and a heavy tank platoon of KV-1s trying to overrun a reinforced German platoon with an HMG section and 2 x PAK-40s in support!  I was almost certain the Germans wouldn't be able to hold out...

My Crossfire Soviet Company, minus 1 platoon moving out
 The Soviets had the first move and after moving the infantry up, decided on moving the tanks out!  KV-1s rumbling up to the front!  Also, the astute among you will notice that the KV-1 isn't on the HOF stats.  I gave this beast frontal armor of "3" but side armor of "1" to give it some vulnerability.

Lighting was perfect for taking pictures!

 The Germans wait until the Soviet turn is over and decide to place the Pak-40 sections on the table, directly in front of the KV-1s!  They shred them with a devastating initial volley, inflicting an RFP on the 2 lead KV-1s and an extra one on the point vehicle.

 The Soviets try to use a hero point to shoot back and when they resolve the RFP things don't go that well resulting in the lead KV-1 suppressed and the middle KV-1 KO'd!  The KV-1 platoon bugs out after failing their morale test!

Interesting question posed here - if you have RFPs on a team can you attempt to react?  I did here, took the Received Fire Checks and the lead KV-1 was suppressed.  Would I have been allowed to attempt to rally him there?  Remember, this was a reaction!

 The burden of the attack will fall on the Soviet infantry and pure numbers to win the day!

 The Paks have a field day with the infantry as well, and the infantry lose their concealment bonus due to the HE fire.  Rough!  Interestingly here, the Germans haven't even revealed their infantry force yet. Finally the Soviets get a break and bring up the HMG.  After some lucky command point rolls, the Soviets get some sustained firing in against the PAK sections and knock out a PAK 40!  They BOLO their morale roll and the remaining section bugs out!  The Germans reveal their infantry platoon and HMG in the orchard next to the PAK 40s
Ouch!  2 x RFPs because the rest of the teams around him were wiped out!
 Even though the Soviets started out with a pretty large force, they're teetering close to their morale test break point, and given their terrible morale rating, I'm not certain they'll pass!

The HMG gunners get a medal for taking out the PAK 40!

 The final nail in the Soviet's coffin is the German HMG in the orchard that opens up on their lead teams, sending 2 more to commissar heaven.  The Soviets fail their subsequent morale roll and this game is over!

gratuitous shot of my German teams, who finished the game without firing a shot!

burning KV-1s.  Gerry held Ivan off this time, but he'll be back!


Note the 15mm ivans in the distance breaking off!
After watching all that good HOF action at Cold Wars I really wanted to get another game in, especially now that I am a little bit better schooled on how hidden units reveal themselves.  This was a tense and fun game and I was shocked at how those PAK-40s kept the Soviets at bay for so long. They were able to keep up a sustained fire and the Soviets needed to use more of a combined arms approach in getting to the hill (their initial objective).

Players in Hail of Fire really have an opportunity to make tactical decisions in the placement of their forces and also the forces they will choose to reinforce during crucial moments.  I love that about these rules. The Germans, who had a mortar platoon and the FO in reserve, failed in all their attempts to bring on reinforcements but made up for the shortfall by conserving the appearance of their main defensive belt (the infantry platoon) and used their most casualty producing weapon (the PAKs) with great effect.  A rules set that makes you think that way is well worth having on your shelf in my opinion.  Mission accomplished!


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  2. Exciting report! Especially getting those KV1's one the field. Well, for a little while anyway. ;) Again, the Pak40s prove themselves to be monsters. At Cold Wars, one of my players deployed his 2 platoons of Shermans at one end of a flat open clearing and began driving them towards a forest, to the glee of one of the german commanders. 3 pak40s opened fire from the trees and shredded the tanks. What was left ran from the battlefield.

    How many units did you have on each side and did you use the chit puller or was the victory clear enough to call it? There are some small changes coming in the next update, including adjustments to the chit system. It will probably mean more actions per turn and fewer chit pulls per game, but with each pull being more dangerous.

    1. Yes this was a great game especially when placing those AT guns. So in actuality larger Soviet units against 4 small Germab units. The Germans had their hands full with the tanks so they never got a chance to reveal their infantry until much later in the game. They had a sniper team and mortars in reserve but never had to use them.

      The game was definitely called when the Soviets took their morale tests and failed them. The only unit they had left were their mortars so they called it quits! Really exciting game.

    2. oh, forgot to answer the question: "if you have RFPs on a team can you attempt to react? I did here, took the Received Fire Checks and the lead KV-1 was suppressed."

      Yes, sounds like you did it correctly. Any time a team attempts to do something, they resolve RFPs.

      "Would I have been allowed to attempt to rally him there? Remember, this was a reaction!"

      No, but only because the suppression was revealed during that received fire check. After you give an order (active or reactive), you attempt to rally any suppressed teams with no RFPs on them, then resolve RFPs on teams that have them. If the received fire check reveals a suppression, you have to wait for the next order to see if they rally. This also means that once you suppress an enemy team, they're easier to keep shut down, as if you apply even a single RFP on them, you know they won't rally on their next order.

  3. Steve,

    Good looking fight on a good looking table with good looking miniatures! those PaK-40s seemed to have carried the day (despite being driven off ultimately, they sure did the heavy lifting).


    1. I couldnt believe it. The germans didnt even have to reveal their infantry until close to the end of the game since the AT guns were doing so well!