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Monday, September 9, 2013

Seize the Flank! A new mission for Tank and Mech armies.

by Eric Lauterbach

Living in Virginia, I have always admired Grant's 1864-65 Campaign on Richmond.  His strategy of go around the left flank, go around the left flank  all the way to the end of the war ground the Confederates down.  Grant's tactics of outflanking the enemy have been around for some time and will always continue to be sound strategy.  The Flames of War Seize the Flank Mission tries to capture that phenomena, as it happened in WWII a lot.  Two large forces have made contact and each is attempting to out flank the other with fast mobile units. If you can turn the enemies flank, your job is a lot easier.  

The Set up is a long edge game with one objective placed on one side of the short edge board and deployment on the other.   The strategy here is study the terrain and how it will help you obtain victory do you go for the flank or try and break the enemies army before he takes it?  The objective turns hot turn 6 in this mission.  The first thing that happens is a die roll to be attacker or defender - it does not matter if you are Mech or Tank.  High die is the Attacker.  As the attacker, you get the first turn, so choose your long edge side accordingly.  The Defender now has the choice of which side he puts the objective.   You better have a plan for withstanding the attacker getting the first turn if he decides to come right at you.  Choose your ground and orientation of the game wisely. The objective is placed 10" from the short edge and within 4" of the center line. Any obstacles are placed now. Both sides now choose half their army to deploy in their deployment area.  The attacker places his army on the table all at once, with half in reserves. Do not alternate placing platoons.  The Defender then places his half. The remainder of both the attacker and defenders forces appear on turn two with no reserve die roll needed.  These forces enter from the board edge of the deployment zone 12" in and 18" out. A Defender tactic is try and enter behind the attacker from the 12" zone.

One of the main ideas behind the mission was we wanted a swirling gun fight all the way to the end of the board.  To accomplish this and to make the mission as fair as possible, we added the rule for the Mission "Situation Unclear"  which means  No pregame movement such as spearhead and there is no double-timing allowed at any point during the game.  This rule makes sense because nobody in their right mind would march move throwing caution to the wind with the enemy near.  Remember that our players birds eye view on all the enemy units on table is some ridiculously good intelligence.  Also, there are no bombardments or Air Attacks allowed until turn two.  With only one objective on the end, most games end with a very ugly fight at the end around the objective, so "You Gotta Move OUT! Troop" Turn Six can sneak up on you don't lose sight of that.

Playtest with the Germans trying to catch Detroit's Finest  
The deployment stare down
At the objective, ready to strike - the Germans are near!
The mission forces aggressive play for the objective and swirling gun battles

At turn six, you have to get close to the enemy and stay there contesting the objective.

The Defender always gets the last turn no matter what.  If a time out is called, who ever holds the objective at the end UNCONTESTED wins the game.   The Defender has the last chance at winning, and this rule is to make up for the attackers first chance at getting to the objective first.

I hope you enjoy Seize the Flank you can find a copy of it in the WWPD files section.

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