Tuesday, 25 April 2017

FOW Version 4 trial - Normandy '44

 

Today I put together an ad-hoc trial of Flames of War Late War verison 4, based in the close country of Normandy in the summer of '44. This Norman valley is fairly well populated with small towns and a village, and the area accross the table, with the coniferous woods, forms considerably higher ground than the bottom of the valley either side of the stream.



Rolling for the scenario, Annihilation came up - which is was convenient - no objectives, no complicated deployment zones, just 1 foot in from each long table edge.



I spent quite some time putting together the stat lines for each side - possibly got a few things wrong but everything felt right in the game...Each side had around 1500 points, which feels strange after playing so much Team Yankee 100 point games!



The British were based around the Guards Armoured Division Armoured Recconnaisance Regiment - 2nd Armd. Recce Bn the Welsh Guards. (Whose tac markings should be white, btw, not yellow!) with 10 Cromwells.


Fire support came from a battery of 5.5 inch Guns.


The second formation consisted of 2 infantry platoons from 3rd Bn Irish Guards:


with a 3 inch mortar battery in support:


And of course, essential for Normandy, hard hitting air support from the 2nd ATAF in the form of Priority Air Support from a flight of 3 tiffies:


The defending Germans had a platoon of 5 Panthers, whose frontal armour was invulnerable to the Cromwell's 6 pounder, whilst the frontal armour of the Cromwell could not withstand a hit from the Panther! Much rested on the Brylcream Boys!



For fire support the Germans depended principally on a battery of three 15cm Nebelwerfers, hiding in the marshalling yards...



and a platoon of four 120mm mortars nestled in one of the many woods. The German force had only the one platoon of Grendier infantry.



The Micks went forward first in the half light of the pre dawn...


Followed by the Merry Welch as soon as there was more light - given the harsh realities of the relative quality of the opposing tanks, the plan was to maximise the speed of the Cromwell and probe along a wide front troop by troop,



hoping to form a right angle between two mutually supporting troops so that at least one troop might get flanks shots in...


The German plan had been to keep concentrated and simply react to the Allies, but deployment was cramped in an attempt to gain concealment from Air attack by remaining within lee of tall buildings.


Which proved sufficient to escape without damage from the first air raid...
 

As the Welsh Guards used their speed and a succesion of 'Follow Me' orders to get well forward...


and attempt to form a kill sack around the Panther's likely route of advance...



Whilst the opposing infantry raced each other to be first to get to the hard cover of the empty town...


The second air strike caught the Panthers entirely in the open, but only caused a brace of bails...


So that whilst the Cromwells had raced down to the valley floor, and used every scrap of cover to advantage...


The Panthers had managed not to get themselves into a fire sack, presenting their tough frontal armour to both troops of the first wave of Cromwells...


With the inevitable result...


The formation commander took stock of the situation - he still had an uncommitted troop up his sleeve...


And only one way to outflank the Panthers: send the third troop right around the road network using their phenomenal Road Dash speed - 32 inches, plus another 4 if a 'follow me' order worked, so as to fetch up on the opposite flank of the Panthers - one way or another they'd be recieving side shots...but first some smoke from the 3 inch mortars to protect the Cromwell's own flank as they raced down the road...
 

And they did make good time down to and around the town, itself the site of an ongoing infantry firefight...


And with some Grenadiers assaulting the rear most Cromwells on their way through...



The rear most Cromwells were quite exposed, as the assualting infantry were immune to their defensive fire, having snuck up on them, and a Panzerschreck having bailed one of them, but the defensive fire of the supporting Micks was enought to beat the assault back...which was just as well, since meanwhile, the Panthers had been closing on the other side of the kill sack - but poor shooting at concealed and gone-to-ground Cromwells resulted in only one bail... a lucky break, but the timing was going to be close...


The outflanking troop, having recovered from their sprint, jockeyed for their flank shots....


A target rich enviroment, with plenty of side shots to take...but, alas, only one bailed out Panther to show for the dash!


And in the next turn the Panthers, having manouevered once again with their front armour now showing to both surviving Cromwell troops, extracted their revenge!


With a distinct lack of air strikes in the last few turns, and both remaining troops hurting, it was time for the Cromwells to withdraw...


So with this only my second game of FOW Version 4, and my first attempt at translating it to cover the Late War period, I was very pleased with the rules and play process, if not the rather one sided outcome! It is similar enough to Team Yankee that I am confident in my mastery, yet still delivers that WW2 flavour.


12 comments:

  1. Entertaining as ever Ralph. Nice looking models & terrain.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jonathan - yes its great to be able to go large ona 12 x 6!

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  3. Thanks for this. Still learning FOW4 so this is useful. Love your models. Speed and trickery do seem to be the preferred tactics for British armour in this game. Curious to see how my Soviets do vs the Germans.

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    1. Thanks Michael - yes I think we're all learning at this point!

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  4. Table and models look great! Excellent report...

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  5. A great looking game, love these wonderful figures and pictures...very impressive!

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  6. Great table and miniatures together with a nice write up of the action. Perfect!
    /Mattias

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