Tuesday, October 30, 2012

1st game versus French (Early War)

I was lucky enough to get a great Flames of War game recently (Early War) with two fully painted Armys.. We played 1750 points and the mission was Breakthrough. My list was simple.

Confident Veteran German Tank Company from Blitzkrieg Book
HQ: 2 x Panzer IIIE
Combat 1: 4 x Panzer IIIE
Combat 2: 4 x Panzer II C Late
Support 1: Recce 2 x 8 Rad
Support 2: 2 x BunkerFlak
Air Support: Priority Stuka support with Swearing Punks upgrade

The table was interesting as Grant rolled it up from the Blitzkrieg French table chart. A tree lined road feature was a part of the table and this I think may have been critical to how I played.

I lost the roll off and became Defender. I faced lots and lots and lots of Panhard armoured cars, 4x Somua tanks, Infantry (some on bikes) and artillery. The French force had to deploy in 1 Table quarter so it looked like a traffic jam to start with but as they had turn 1 and lots of Recce move prior to turn 1 units they soon spread out. All the Panhards headed towards the Objective that was unguarded at the start of the game.
One thing that was interesting at the start of the game was the 'Mobile Reserves' rule. My small 4 Platoon force who we thought could only deploy 1 platoon on the table to start with (all tracked vehicles) could actually deploy another platoon when we re-read the rule. Cool and yaaaaay Verison 3. Bunkerflak in Ambush and deploy all the Panzer III tanks.....hmmmm...still very outnumbered

The French moved in force with all the Armoured cars and biker infantry towards the unprotected Objective. I ambushed with the Bunker Flak and two platoons used the Recce ability to disengage. I stupidly forgot my Stukas in turn 1 but remembered for the rest of the game. I got my 2 reserves (8 Rads and Panzer IIs) in turn 2. They attacked the armoured cars as they came on from the opposite table corner from my deployment zone. They had a bit of a western style shoot out for a turn or 2 but miraculously they came out on top but the 8 Rads got destroyed (minus one platoon). I moved my Panzer IIIs away from the Objective they guarded to help out then moved them back once the threats had stopped as while doing this the 3 Somuas (I got very lucky and destroyed one early) made a move on the Objective the Panzers had left for my 2iC to defend.

I was VERY lucky not to have lost both BunkerFlaks (I lost one) early in the game but the remaining one went on to fire long range and concealed shots at the Somuas and managed to destroy them over 2 turns....great shooting and a relief as the Somuas front armour is very hard for a Panzer III to break.

It was a knife edge game for much of it but the French force had lost a few platoons and was forced to make a Morale check on Turn 7 or 8. They failed so the small German Tank force managed to hold the table.

I am really enjoying using this Early War force. It's not every ones cup of tea and it may not be a popular choice looking at Early War tournament rosters. It looks like it is more likely that players opt for a non tank list and this list might be seen as having a few weaknesses. It may come back to my playing style but I will continue to use a German Panzer company in Early War as I find it a lot of fun regardless of the result.
Captions underneath the images.

Table set up. Red arrows showing objectives. Bunkerflak beasts on the road are actually in Ambush.

French deploy...Gulp! I am a little out numbered.
The French move out. Recce move...YIKES!

Reserves arrive and start to lay it on to the Panhards and biker infantry in the hedge area.

Panzer II platoon (left) after having survived a hail of shooting from Panhards help to remove the infantry. Two 8 Rads now alight. The Panhards in the top corner survived a Stuka attack (1 destroyed and 1 bailed).

Left side secured.

Near end game. BunkerFlak (lower right) blasts the French Somua tanks at long range. Panzer III E tanks move back across the bridge on the canal to defend the objective.

Cheers and enjoy your games from Brendon (The Kiwi)


  1. Good looking game.
    I have not done much with EW as yet... interesting that forces can be considered 'veterans' in the early phase of the conflict, though I suppose after experience in Poland, the Germans would have become veterans by the time of the French campaign...

  2. Yeah. Good point. But perhaps it is a reflection on the Spain experience prior to WWII as well and also lots and lots of training (a lot more than the allies perhaps) and how the Germans performed in general terms in Poland and France.
    Cheers and thanks for the comment.