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Friday, August 29, 2014

Spotlight: Sherman Crocodiles (US060)

I am slowly building out my American forces for Flames of War and decided to add in the Sherman Crocodile. While this is a very specific tank that cannot be used in a ton of lists, it does fit right in with my 29th Infantry Division theme for my US Infantry. Why the Croc? Well, at 280 points for Confident Trained tanks, I think there is some significant value in this unit. Steven and I are particularly fascinated with units that have significant drawbacks that push their points down, but allow for some really good advantages when played properly.

Advantages

  • The Flamethrower - This tank has a flamethrower and a trailer, which mitigates the major drawbacks of having a flame tank - it explodes easily (re-roll FP against). At ROF 5 with a 6" range, this platoon is deadly against infantry and gun teams.
  • It's a Sherman - Even though the flamethrower is the focus, this is still a Sherman tank with a full compliment of guns. This includes the .50 cal AA MG, Hull MG and more importantly the M3 75mm gun with Stabilizer and Smoke.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guns of August Tournament Report (Hail to the King Pt II)

Guns of August happened over the weekend of August 23rd, and I just barely got my silly Remagen King Tiger List done in time, thanks to Sonbae painting the volkssturm for me on the quick!

I was literally putting the final touches on the King Tigers and the AA mere hours before the tournament. I know that's standard operating procedure for many of you, but it's a wholly new experience for me! Some last minute work travel book-ending Gencon, ate up all of my buffer time. 
The list I ran was the Reluctant Trained King Tiger company from Remagen with 6 Kings (HQ + 2iC, 2x2 platoons), 2 platoons of Volks (Xyzax Bloodbags), 4 2cm AA guns, and volks rockets.

The tournament was Western Front and no NGFS was allowed, so I was feeling pretty good about my list choice!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finns vs Soviets in Pincer, 1000 points, MW

By Steven MacLauchlan

Sean and I were feeling inspired to play a game of Flames Of War, but it was already a bit late in the evening so we agreed to do Eastern Front, 1000 points. We whipped up a table, made some quick and dirty lists, and went to town! We rolled for mission, and came up with "Pincer". We weren't so sure how this was going to work out, but decided to let Lady Luck have her say. We rolled for attacker/defender and the Finns got the distinction of being chosen to attack.



The Soviets start with the big strelk on the board and the little Strelk with 2 HMGs in ambush. The bottom right Finns are lead by Torni.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Behind the Scenes Pt. 1

By Matt 'ViciousEgo' MacKenzie


Wearing a uniform and serving your country has it's perks. Once in a while, the bad food, sleepless nights and time away from your family pays off!

I recently had the opportunity to go on a 'behind the scenes' tour of the Canadian War Museum here in Ottawa. 

Having a chance to be picked and take part in a behind the scenes tour of this museum was a dream come true!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

1650 Westfalen vs 51st Highland Division

By Mitch Reed, Photos by Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah

After a summer in what seems like playing nothing but Mid-War Flames of War games, we dove back into Late-War in order to get ready for some upcoming tournaments. I have to say I missed playing Late-War and I was very eager to play a list from the new Remagen book. So Chris from team Gobel and I decided to throw down.

From the moment I got my hands on the Remagen book I really wanted to check out the Westfallen list. It's an Always Defend Fearless Trained list with the SS platoons getting the "Enjoy the War" morale check roll at 2+. I also wanted to see how the Volkssturm and the Panzerfaust Trap teams would do in a game.


My force: SS Panzerbrigade Westfallen Fearless Trained, 1650

170 pts  HQ Platoon 2 SMG Panzerfaust, 3 x Panzerfaust Trap Teams, 2 x  Panzerschreck Teams
200 pts  SS Erstaz Aufklarungs Plt (Full)
145 pts  SS Erstaz Aufklarungs Plt (2 Squads)
60   pts   SS Ersatz HMG Plt (2 x HMG)
105 pts   Panzer AA Plt (2 x Ostwind) Reluctant Veteran
600 pts   Schwere Jagdpanzer Plt (2 x Jagdtigers) Reluctant Trained
300 pts   SS Ersatz Panzer Plt (4 x Panzer III M)
70   pts   Volks Rocket Battery (3 x 15mm Nebelwefers) Reluctant Trained
100 pts   Volkssturm Plt (with 1 x MG-08-15) Reluctant Conscript

Chris's Force

That is a lot of artillery!  I think Chris still can't hear...

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Building a Better List: Chaffee Edition

By Bill Wilcox

The Chaffee has gotten a bad rap in Flames of War in the current V3 tournament environment. A Confident Veteran Chaffee from Devil’s Charge has the same point cost as a CV Plain Jane Sherman, 5 for 415 points.  

With a Chaffee, you get the same weapon stats and special rules as the PJ Sherman, but with 2 fewer points of both Front Armor and Side Armor; however, you move 4 inches faster. The Chaffee platoon cannot be upgraded, so no Jumbos, E8s, 76mm guns, protected ammo, etc. For a paltry 25 additional points added to that Sherman platoon, your 5 PJ Shermans can be upgraded to M4A3 Shermans with Detroit’s Finest and a 14 inch move, thus negating some of that speed advantage that the Chaffees bring to the table.

The other big downside to a Chaffee list is that you lose access to Patton from the Blood, Guts, and Glory lists. Having Always Attack, Spearhead with everyone, a re-roll for reserves, adult leadership (a higher command team with re-rolls), and for all intents and purposes a fearless force is well worth the 100 points even with the potential VP loss for losing


Old Blood and Guts.


The Chaffee list has some pretty tough competition for best tournament US tank list from the Confident Trained 7th Armored Division (7AD) from Blood, Guts, and Glory. Here’s my normal 1780 point force that I’ve some good success with and that I’ll be taking to the European Team Championships.


HQ with E8 and Jumbo – 235
Patton – 100
Sherman platoon with 2 E8s, Jumbo, and M4 – 415
Sherman platoon with 2 E8s, Jumbo, and M4 – 415
4 Stuarts – 160
Cav Recon – 70
Priest Platoon with half-track – 175
Priest Platoon – 170
AOP – 40

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

SS-Westfalen vs. US ARP in a Remagen Free-for-All

By Luke Melia and Dirty Jon Baber

Jon and I got together for a Remagen themed Flames of War game. I played Confident Veteran Armored Rifles and Jon played an FT SS Panzerbrigade Westfalen company. The mission we rolled was Free-for-all.  I rolled to be the attacker and took the side with the church on it to attack from. 


The ARP was dismounted. I needed every point I could get. I am still having difficulty building Remagen lists because of the cost of the US support. In many lists you can have your core units at veterans and support as trained. That cost savings has been with the American forces for most of late war however in Remagen that changes dramatically.  Everyone keeps talking about reluctant veteran as being the way to go. I am just not so sure about that with infantry. With the tanks, you get protected ammo so it is not that bad. I have just never had good experiences with reluctant anything (except my wife) so I would rather be able to somewhat count on the core of my army. Before anyone says "with your commander to re-roll its better than confident" I would like to say that your commander can't be everywhere all the time. Also reluctant with a re-roll is not better than confident with a re-roll. Lastly, I'm sorry to break it to everyone who has a love affair with math, but the game is not just about math. I truly believe there is a feeling you have to go with. Math is a major consideration and it would be ignorant to say you do not have to look at the odds, but it is a game and sometimes you need to be in tune with the ebb and flow of the battle.

You have to "trust your feelings" and for lack of a better phrase "use the force". Reluctant infantry does not do it for me unless I am definitely going to be the defender. If we had the option for a higher command team warrior I would say reluctant is a great choice. I am going to experiment with some RV lists and play a few more games to see if I can make things work and change my mind.

The Board - US takes the bottom, Germans at the top.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Product Review: Volkssturm Platoon

By Mitch Reed

With the recent release of the Remagen for late war Flames of War play a player has the option of fielding a Volkssturm Platoon with either 4 or 3 squads. These troops represent Germany’s last ditch efforts to stave off enviable defeat.
  
While I was unsure of my desire to ever field this unit, I thought it would be a fun platoon to use if I had the extra points (105 for a full unit, dirt cheap), and it would challenge my mediocre painting skills since they have a mix of uniforms and civilian clothing. I picked up the blister at Historicon and put it at the top of my painting priorities. 

The blister contains enough casts to build nine medium based squads and a platoon commander. The casts themselves were excellent, with a mixture of models in both military uniform and civilian clothes. The blister also contains the MG-08/15 LMG, a relic from the Great War, which can be substituted for one of the other Rifle/Panzerfaust teams for -5 points.

Full platoon 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Early War Strelkovy vs Panzer Schutzen (Fauxbarossa)


By Steven MacLauchlan

The man himself- Throck Morton, came down to Richmond for a lil' Flames Of War. I whipped up two lists: Panzerschutzen from Blitzkrieg, and Strelkovy from Rising Sun. I wanted to play "Fauxbarossa" so came as close as I could to creating appropriate lists. That, and, I really wanted to have as many T-28s on the board as I could! We rolled to see who ran what, and determined I would run the Germans, and Throck would (for the first time ever!) push the Soviets. I told him to call on his inner sadist- there are gonna be casualties![I was terrified and bewildered! ~T] The mission came up as Counter Attack. Interesting, since Jon and I had just played this, it was fresh in my mind.



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Monday, August 18, 2014

Allied Artillery is Too Valuable

I don't like the terms 'broken' or 'over powered'.  I have probably used these terms at some point, but I really do not like them and I should not be using them.  I think they are unnecessarily inflammatory and generally are not terms that encourage discussion.  I prefer to think in terms of relative value when judging lists.

GUILTY!
As tournament players, we are always looking for value.  What does that mean?  To me, it means purchasing something that has a high relative worth as opposed to the cost - especially as this relates to other possible purchases.  This consideration is what makes a .50cal upgrade very, very good.  It costs about as much as adding some trucks to a unit, but in most game situations provides a more often used set of capabilities.  Looking for lists and units that offer the highest value is a big part of tournament play.  You cannot win a tournament in list construction, but you can certainly lose it - or at least make your task much, much more difficult.

This idea of value is what brings many current Allied tournament players to artillery - and lots of it.  Later, I will look at why I think that artillery has very, very good value.  But right now, I want to look at how Allied Artillery is making this game boring.  There, I said it.  Trudging toward an Arty Park is just terrible and no fun.  Want to sit on D?  Go ahead, because you'll be bombed or bored to death either way.  Artillery is so good these days that - even when on the defense or in a fair fight - you have to go after it.  To me, this game is most fun with some moves and counter-moves then a violent conclusion.  Sitting turn after turn rolling lots of dice and moving few figures is not fun.

Back in the old days -- version 2 and early version 3 of Flames of War -- Steven and I used to say that the game was all about tanks.  Yes, there was infantry and support, but the game was really about getting the tanks in there and mixing it up.  This was a fun time for me, even though I usually played British infantry back then.  The game moved well and seemed to have a lot of flow back and forth.  I personally do not really see this game as often unless we just play some 'fun lists'.  Why is that?

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