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Thursday, September 30, 2010

EW Fighting Withdrawal: German Panzer vs French Compagnie De Combat

Ron and I tried out a scenario tonight representing the 5th Panzer Division racing against the clock as De Gaulle begins calling back the armor to form up and prepare for a counter attack.

The full details of the scenario can be downloaded here: .doc file


HQ (Hotchkiss H39 w/ long gun)
3 Light Combat Platoons ea. with 1 long and 2 short guns
3x Panhard AMD-35
3x Somua S-35
3x Char B1 Bis

HQ- 1 Panzer I command, 1 Panzer II C (late)
1st Zug w/ 4 Panzer II C (late)
2nd Zug w/ 3 Panzer II C (late)
3rd Zug w/ 3 Panzer III E
PanzerSchutzen with 2 squads
Leicthe Pioneers with 2 squads
2x 6-rads
Limited Air Support

The board prior to setup from the French Perspective.  The objectives were placed in the center of the wheat field (defender's obj) and the other two between the small hill on the left and just in front of the field.  All of the objectives were fairly close together.

A Hotchkiss waits in the wheat field near an objective, as a reserve for the Somuas.

Another Hotchkiss platoon deploys near the two attacker placed objectives, hull down on the hill.

Somuas take cover behind a wall, ready to repulse the Bosche.

German Panzer IIIs, Panzer IIs, Panzerschutzen, and Pioneers deploy with the HQ.

Panzer IIs and 6-rads ready to move through the fields.

The 6-rads scout ahead.


Panzerschutzen roll out.

The Luftwaffe arrives!  Unfortunately from here on out, the luftwaffe does absolutely nothing.

The Char Bs spring their ambush!

The Somuas pull back into the wheat.

Two halftracks go up in smoke!  The crews all die in the burning wreckage.  You can see my dog Scout nosing into Ron's stuff- I was completely oblivious.  She shredded some of Ron's smoke templates before we knew what was happening :(

"Incoming enemy tanks!"

The Chars drive forward and machine gun the pioneers- 3 hits 3 kills!

On the French right, a light tank platoon moves out to occupy the 6-rads.

The Pioneers advance on the Chars, but decide not to assault.  Per the scenario, the Chars are the first to be withdrawn.

The board from the French POV.  Panhards and Hotchkiss surround the wheat field objective.

The Panzer IIs surge forward.

The 6-rads and the H39s exchange fire.

The first French tank goes up!

With the Chars and Somuas now pulled off board, the Panzer IIIs advance, firing wildly at the hull down French armor.

Panzer IIs line up to pour fire into the French defenders.

The H39s on the hill return fire, knocking out one Panzer III!

A Panhard scores a kill on a Panzer II!

The Panzer II now swarm the French position.  Hotchkiss tanks begin brewing up.

The first objective is pulled as the platoon leader provides covering fire for his platoon-mates to redeploy with the company commander.

The Germans race against the clock to annhilate the French defenders.  So far the Somuas and Chars have been withdrawn and the Panhards destroyed.

The 2nd objective is pulled leaving only the Defender's objective.  The French send every available tank to hold it!

At the bottom of the German turn 7!  The French have now lost 1 Panhard Platoon, and 1 light tank platoon.  There are only 3 tanks between the 2 remaining light tank platoons, plus the company commander.  The French hold on by a thread!  But the Germans still have their turn 8 to try and annhilate the company!

Despite 7 Panzer IIs and 2 Panzer IIIs firing at full rate of fire, the only result is two bailed H39s!  The French literally have a single active tank, but they start their turn 8 still holding the objective and not yet below half strength.  Just barely earning them the victory!  4-3 to the French!

This scenario was a real nail biter.  Losing the Chars and Somuas early due to the withdrawal is awful, but using them aggressively can slow the Germans just long enough.
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Look for me in the Bell of Lost souls.

I've recently been accepted as part of the Bell of Lost Souls team, and my first article went live yesterday.  It's nothing spectacular, just a very high level overview on some French armor.  My next article is done and should be up in a week or so- it's a bit more in depth and discusses the kradschutzen and Blitzkrieg motorcycle teams in general.  I'm excited to have a new outlet, but fear not!  WWPD will continue getting plenty of attention.  I may cross-post some AARs to BoLS and see if we can convince some WH40K guys to try out FOW!

Anyways, you can check out the article I wrote here: French Armor Overview
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something Completely Different: "FOWdy K"? WH40k Epic with FOW rules.

Tom has been working on some "fowdy k" rules for a while- basically an adaptation of 40k Epic to Flames of War. The conversion is fairly straight forward and we found the FOW rules really handled everything quite well. I am not going to post the rules here as I don't want to be sued into oblivion, nor am I going to be very specific on the rules as we go, but suffice it to say the batrep should be easy enough to follow. note: All Warhammer 40k references are IP of 40k. Don't sue me. please.

I will briefly say the Space Marines do have a neat "armored infantry" feel to them- not quite as beefy as tanks, but not as puny as infantry. Additionally, the level of abstraction for squad levels was handled very elegantly, and kept the game moving. Tom did a bang up Job on these rules, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversion. Without further ado, here is our Free For all using about the only terrain I have that works with 6mm.

Tom's Space Marines
HQ (2 space marine stands)
2 Combat groups each with 6 teams + 1 dreadnaught + Rhinos
2 Land Raider platoons ea/ w 3 land raiders

Steven's Imperial Guard Leman Russ Company
HQ (2 Leman Russ)
1st Platoon w/ 5 Leman Russ and 1 Vanquisher
2nd Platoon w/ 5 Leman Russ and 1 Vanquisher
3rd Platoon w/ 6 Leman Russ
Manticore Battery w/ 3 launchers
Basilisk Battery w/ 6 tubes
2x Infantry platoons

As you can see, the Imperial Guard vastly outnumbered the space marines. We decided to do Free For All, though we'll try to change it up next time.

The Imperial Guard side.

A Leman Russ Platoon rolls out.

An observer takes advantage of a large plateau.

Basilisks prepare to provide artillery support.

Guardsmen tanks roll out.

Infantry move forward through a wood.

Space Marines are deployed the hold the line against the rogue troops.

A venerable dreadnaught prepares for battle.

Land Raiders wait in a copse for the enemy armor.

The observer can find no targets.

The Manticores attempt a barrage on some gone to ground marines, but fail to range in.

Despite being outmatched, the Leman Russes go toe to toe with the Land Raiders hoping numbers will carry the day.

Guardsmen move towards the intersection.

The Land raiders return fire!

One Leman Russ explodes spectacularly!

The presence of Leman Russes bolster the infantry's morale.

Massed fire from the Leman Russ knock out a Land Raider!

The Basilisks range in, but do no damage to the Land Raiders.

A combined arms force moves towards a wood held by a Space Marine group.

Land Raiders move out to assault the Guardsmen!

MGs soften the infantry up.

The assault succesfully forces the guardsmen back!

Leman Russ move up to provide cover for the troops.

The Guard's left. Leman Russ line up to blast the Space Marines out of their foxholes.

The Land Raiders finish off the Imperial guard near the crossroads, and begin inching towards the IG objective! Basilisks move up, but unsurprisingly do no damage.

The assault force on the IG left.

The Land Raiders push even deeper into guard territory! Backing up the whole way, heedless of the Basilisks!

The Space Marines open up on the infantry with everything they have, causing massive casualties.

But the return fire is devastating. The Space Marines lose several stands, their transports, and their dreadnaught to the powerful battle cannon.

The Land Raiders lose one tank to the pursuing Leman Russ, but pull back past the Basilisks.

Tom almost cinched the game here! I didn't even realize he was contesting the objective. I failed to move any teams within contesting range…

More fire from the Battle Cannons continues whithering the Space Marines.

Another Land Raider goes down! Moments before, however the other Land Raider was also bailed, and thus Tom did not start his turn with the objective. He did, however, manage to pass morale to keep the platoon in the game and remount the bailed tank.

Tom backs up behind the burning vehicle for cover and opens up on the Basilisks

On the following turn, massed fire from lascannons, battle cannons, and the Vanquisher knocked out the last Land Raider.

On the Guard left, infantry moves up to assault the severely depleted space marines.

At the same time, on the right, the other Leman Russ finish off the Land Raider at a cost of two of their own.

At this point, Tom's Space Marines on the left fail motivation putting Tom below half and giving the Guardsmen an objective. The guards lost an infantry platoon and the basilisks, making the game a 4-3.

This was a blast. It played quickly, the rules were intuitive and worked fine. I'm looking forward to playing move to get a better feel for the balance. I think we both underestimated the Leman Russ, but the Space Marines didn't get much of a chance to show their strengths.

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