Friday, 14 February 2014

Tank Action!

"TANK ACTION!" was the command yelled by an infantry commander to alert his Carl Gustav 84mm anti tank gunners that an armour engagement was 'on' in the British Army during the Cold War. On exercises in my TA Battalion it was just an embuggerance as it heralded much sprinting and heaving the heavy launcher and even heavier rounds, but I imagine if heard for real had the balloon gone up it would be quite spine tingling, to say the least!

In fact there's quite enough excitement for me these days with the Flames of War 'tank only' game I played with Bryan at the Uni on Thursday evening. Pandering to the prejudices of the most jaundiced FOW critics, there was no infantry or artillery to be seen!

Since we are both heavily focussed on our first Waterloo 200 game on Sunday, we just wanted a quick and 'relaxing' 1000 point pick up game, Late War Eastern Front. Hence the village somewhere in Western Russia or Eastern Poland...

I had, in ascending order of effectiveness, a platoon of T34s, a platoon of T34-85s, and a platoon of JS-2s. Bryan also had 3 platoons, 2 of STUG III and one of PzIVs. However his platoons were of 3 AFV whereas mine where of 4-5.

The objective was to capture the rail crossing in the centre of the village. Accordingly, I adopted my usual plan of  'move fast, get close, and shoot wildly'. Hence I moved all my platoons at double speed up to the village, coming from both left and right flanks...

I've used this strategy before with Bryan, and, whilst it inevitable leaves the table strewn with burning T34s, I thought the last thing he would expect me to do would be exactly the same thing I'd done countless times before....

Needless to say the wily old fox was expecting me to do just that and had positioned his armour wisely using the higher ground to get off effective shots and then retreating into cover with his 'stormtrooper' move!

I won't go into the painful details, suffice it to say that I was loosing the balance of attrition by quite a margin. However, if I held onto the objective, I could claim victory that way...

Alone of my 3 platoons, my Guards JS-2 platoon survived the initial exchanges of fire, so the hopes of the toiling masses rested on their broad shoulders...

And sure enough they did start to pick off enough German AFV's that Bryan's platoons were now also having to take morale checks...

And for a time the glorious Red Army was master of the objective! Urrah!

But the lumbering IS-2s weren't at their best in the village, with Bryan's surviving panzers coming in from all sides..

And with the loss of my Company Commander (circled) it was game over!

An enjoyable game, and a useful reminder of the pros and cons of the Flames of War ruleset as next Thursday we play a trial game of BattleGroup Kursk...

So long Comrades!


  1. Some lovely photos there. I especially like that tank peeking out from by the house.

  2. Great report with wonderful pictures!

  3. nice one Sparker,

    actually having a Modern RF game at the stormers in March, some charlie gutsakes will be getting a work out then!


  4. Thanks Gents...

    'Charlie Gutsakes' - brilliant name, not heard that one - mainly just 'Charly G', '84' or, from me, under what little breath I had left, 'bl**dy fecking thing'...