Friday, December 17, 2010

Rolling Towards Arnhem

We got in a large FoW game this last week with 2500 points per side, Brits versus Germans. This was my second game of Flames of War with my own forces, and only my fourth game overall. There's so many things I still don't know about the rules, which is probably because I don't have a rulebook, but it's an easy enough game to learn on the fly.

I'm a bit behind in my posting, well really there were just a lot of other posts already queued up, so chances are you've already seen this battle over at Little Lead Heroes. It's not really double-dipping though, different cameras, different summaries, et al.

We played the Roadblock scenario right of the rulebook. Did I mention I don't have a rulebook yet? Anyway, the scenario lent itself well to the forces we had on hand and played it out somewhere on Hell's Highway between Nijmegen and Arnhem itself.

The table layout was great and really put them game over the top. A platoon of British Shermans started the game on board, but unfortunately so did a pair of German 88's. They got a surprise round of firing to represent the ambush, and knocked out three of the four starting tanks on the British side. This locked up the remaining tank since they were without a lead tank. They could only pivot in place and shoot, normally not the worst situation, but it was also partially behind one of the houses, so it's arc was limited.

Another good reason to check out the sister batrep is because I took way too many photos of my tanks and not enough of the rest of the battle! You can't blame me though. Here are the two tank platoons that started the game on the road.

Before and (ka-blam) after...

Dug in and deadly, the German 88's

The British had their tanks on the board, but off-board they had seven dice of air support, which is above average I think, plus a couple of units of Sexton self-propelled artillery. It was weird because the Sextons weren't actually on the board, but their Sherman observers were. Nonetheless, the British artillery seemed to play a larger role than the Shermans themselves, and I know the air support did which was kind of nice given that air support is kind of abstract in the rules anyway. Between both the British planes and artillery they were able to hammer on the Germans to some effect. One of the 88's went down, as did a couple of the Panzer IV's that came rolling onto the table as well.

On the other side of the board a fresh platoon of Shermans rolled on, taaking cover behind a copse of trees. In the distance you can see German halftracks rolling in as well. The objective on this side of the table was about to get hotly contested. This was a good thing since it seemd that Germans were going to roll up the other objective.

German Sd.Kfz. 251's, ready to unlimber their PaK 40 anti-tank guns

I learned a lot in this game, mainly about my own forces. First off, I could've/should've/would've brought on my squadron HQ platoon with any of the reinforcements. I didn't know I could do the same thing with my warrior I brought along, SeƱor Vandeleur, and he came on very late in the game, probably too late.

Other things, hmm, air support is cool, rolling for reinforcements each turn...not so cool. Also there were three players controlling the British, and I learned that some players choose tactics and strategies I would've never dreamed of, for better or for worse. I learned I need to learn...the rules and that FoW ain't too shabby of a game. Most of all it left me wanting some more and thinking about what I'm going to paint up next for my Guards Armored force.


  1. Really nice report and photos, What a great gaming table.

    Btw, is really FoW that good? I have a friend who's trying to get me in, but i'm not sure, i already have way too many hobbies.

  2. I think you suffer from not having any infantry, honestly. Infantry can be very survivable. It's hard to ask tasks to contest objectives when the 88s are out.

  3. Well, I was supposed to have infantry...the 101st Airborne!

    @Fridge: Thanks for coming on board. FoW is a fun game, but it depends on what you're looking for. It's incredibly affordable, and it's an easy scale to paint up too (and fun). You can always start small and have on hand to play with your friend when the need arises.

  4. Frigdge- FoW is great. It's the game of the movie of WWII. There's no charts and tables to look up, but the rules are still granular enough to really do a great job representing "real life" without bogging down in minutiae.

    Mik- gotta get yourself a rule book my man! But that's the tournament player in me speaking :)

    Gyro- agreed, especially British infantry would've been great at digging on on those objectives and holding the line!

    Fridge- my blog is about 90% FoW if you want to see some battle reports over there:

    Glad to see you guys getting into FoW!

  5. Good stuff Buddy ! Glad to see your forces hit the table .... they are looking great !

    You can nab a small sized rulebook on ebay from one of the beginner sets. Cheaper than the large hardcover. But get one and things will fall into line :)

  6. That's a hell of a write up and I love the photos. Keep up the good work!

  7. FOW is a really nice game, but finding a dealer can be tough. Their initial terms are really steep.

    Aside from that, I love your pictures and writeup!

  8. Get yourself a Open Fire set! Unlike 40k's starter box, you can actually use the miniatures included in the box. You get at least 30 bucks of miniatures in addition to the basic miniature rulebook, all for around 40-45 bucks. I just got one myself this weekend.

  9. Table looks great. Where do those flame/smoke markers on the tanks come from?

  10. All of the fire markers are homemade, there's two different kinds we used here, one is plentiful and the other is pretty much a prototype.

    The easiest kind to make are the ones in the very last photo. It's basically "pluck" type foam, cut into an irregular column suitably smokey looking, then painted with a fire effect and glued on a metal washer. YOu can also do this with cotton that's been soaked in watered down white glue, allowed to dry, then painted and put on a washer.

    The flame marker on the right in the photo that shows a blown up German tank and the blown up German 88 gun is the prototype. It's actually a flashing LED marker, you can see more of it here: