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Monday, January 20, 2014

AAR: Ghurkas Vs Panzer Grenadiers Dust Up

By Charles Baxter

Recently a new player to Flames of War contacted me about wanting to learn how to play the game. Our group had him over for our annual Tanksgiving game so he could dip his toes into the FoWater. We followed that game up with a game using the forces from Open Fire, which is a great way to introduce new players. After catching a taste of the FoW bug I worked with him on building his first army, Mid War German Panzer Grenadiers. I wanted to give him the opportunity to play using more troops, so we met up for a 1500 point mid war game.

I built two armies using troops I owned, Ghurkas and Panzer Grenadiers.  I ran the Ghurkas while the new guy ran the Germans.  We built our lists using

2 Infantry Platoons with PIATs and light mortars.
2 Platoons of 3 Shermans
Heavy Mortar Platoon
2 Patrols of Indian Pattern Carriers

Panzer Grenadiers 
HQ w/ Panzer Knackers
2 Platoons of Grenadiers w/ light mortars
Heavy Platoon
3 StuGs
2 Pak 40s

I wanted to introduce him to reserves to we played Dust Up. I held my tanks, a platoon of infantry, and a recon patrol in reserve, while my opponent attached out half the heavy platoon, held the other held in reserve with the StuGs and another platoon of infantry.

German troops line up on their objective

While Ghurkas do the same on the opposing hill

Heavy mortars guard the little piggy

Pattern carriers take off using their recon move

German rockets take out a heavy mortar in the villa

German panzer grenadiers get pinned by mortar fire

Germans Nebs lay down smoke

A pattern carrier burns on the road

Carriers move up and fire on the German infantry in the open

But a second one gets knocked out

More mortar fire hits the German positions.

But it is not enough to save the recon patrol

Ghurka infantry arrive from reserve

So do more panzer grenadiers

Ghurkas on the hill redeploy to counter the threat

Shermans roll up in support

Supported by more mortar fire

The rest of the Germans roll in as well, the fight is on

At this point this moose decided to try to play too, but realized he cant roll dice with hoofs

A Sherman takes one for the team

Nebs hit the Shermans with little effect

The Ghurkas fall back to a more defensable position

The Ghurka noose closes on the Germans

A Sherman tank covers his buddies

Supported by tanks, the Ghurka infantry moves in for the assault, driving off the Germans

German Nebs get slammed by heavy mortar fire losing two guns

After driving the Germans out of the villa the Ghurkas consolidate their position

Taking a commanding position the Ghurkas prepare for their next attack

Meanwhile the Germans keep up the pressure on the other objective

A single Neb pins the Ghurkas, this was huge. Despite being fearless the Ghurkas remained pin for 3 turns.

Caught in a crossfire between guns and StuGs, the Shermans start to feel the heat

Two of them peel of with little effect

The fight over the German objective gets personal

The PIAT team knocks out a StuG, KABOOOM!

Recce assault, ends in failure

So does the tank assault

Ghurkas get down to business, killing Nazis

After driving off the infantry the Ghurkas now have to face HMGs

Nebs try to soften the Ghurka position

A pattern carrier gets knocked out

Two more Shermans get knocked out

The Germans in the vineyard fall to withering fire, but not before knocking out the rest of the recon

But the last Commonwealth tank breaks

Heavy mortar fire bails a StuG

Fearless Ghurkas still pinned in the villa

The last StuG rushes to prevent the German objective from being captured

Finally, the Ghurkas unpin and push the StuG off the objective

After several rounds of withering fire the remaining Ghurkas defending the hill and their XO launch a final assault

Driving off the Germans they capture a StuG

Despite their last ditch counter attack the Ghurkas morale fails them and their company breaks.  4-3 Germans.

This was a brutal learn to play FoW game. Even though my Ghurkas broke in the end, the Germans only had a hand full of stands left themselves. Its been fun slowly introducing a new player to FoW. Even I am learning a lot. Teaching someone to play can seem daunting, my recommendations is to start simple, using the tools in Open Fire. After that, slowly introduce different units and mission rules. This will help the new player pick up on concepts and prevent rules overload. Also make sure you have any game aids and charts ready to go this will help the new guy follow along.

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