Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Somewhere in Belgium a FoW AAR

Yes really, I have played a game of Flames of War, and it certainly had it's moments. I went into the game as open minded as I could manage and whilst I looked forward to it I was not expecting too much Indeed we had been chatting at what other rules we would  be able to use with the figures based as they were!

I arrived to find Lee in the middle of finishing putting together the last of the three building bases we were to use. He still had a row of three semi derelict to make up that was not going to be ready in time. Lee had been out that day to Caliver Books to buy them as the 20mm buildings were too much of a stretch to be of use.

Lee also bought a load of walls and fences also 4Ground and a bunch of hedges and barbed wire that both of us felt was rather over priced and not really finished, though Lee just wanted new shiny for the game. Our final thoughts on the subject, 4Ground good, Battlefield in a Box, er not and expensive to boot.

So with Lee spilling well over £100 on the day for terrain the pressure was on to come out of the day with something positive, no pressure then LOL.

I got my first reinforcements before Lee got his. In may case three StuG's I had the idea that these would be able to hold the American's in place whilst my all infantry force attacked on the left flank via a wheat field and woods.

All this was based on no knowledge of the rules or how powerful each sides troops were but based on many years of playing ASL. Note the force working it's way through the corn.

I was advancing directly into the face of four HMG's (at this point anyone who has played this game will be wincing). In my defence my 81Mtr's were missing with my hoped for smoke.

The result was as brutal as it was predictable but lead to rant number one. I was facing MG fire of 24 D6 dice that hit on a 4! It was a slaughter. This in my mind at the time and still remains lodged is way to powerful. If it gets to fire under this sort of situation it's very rare it's opponent won't me mashed and this is far worse when they are in bulletproof cover as return fire is far less likely to get kills. We need to play more games to get the feel for it fully but at the moment it's a major concern.

In an attempt to try the rules, Lee moved five Stuarts onto the hill facing me only to find their guns could not penetrate my StuG's front armour. On the other hand my StuG's had no problem punching through theres. I took out four in one round leaving the commander to run for cover after passing his morale check.

Lee on his next reinforcement brought on the Sherman's (5) in an attempt to get revenge. Rather than rant I just paid note of another difference to ASL. A Sherman and StuG are classed the same as each other for purpose of ease of hitting or being hit whilst ASL has the StuG slightly harder to hit than the average and the Sherman one easier but then again it's a 2D6 rather than 1D6 system but it rankled a little. More of an issue is that a moving vehicle gets to fire on a stationary enemy before that unit gets to fire and has the same to hit as if it was stationary, though in most cases gets less dice to throw.

My last reinforcements finally arrive and have a long march to the battle and indeed never got there. On the other hand my StuG's and PzIV's had polished off all but one of the Sherman's whilst only losing the one StuG.

Meanwhile my HMG's, 81Mtr's and two PzIV's had taken out two American HMG's and pinned the rest. I now had far more fire going into the town than coinmg out though I did lose a HMG just before an American rifle platoon were driven back.

When we called the game, Lee still held the whole line but was facing overwhelming fire and had to expect my Pz'IV's turning the flank and hunting down the last tanks. We preferred to dissect the rules than pay a few more turns.

So our thoughts?
It's a quick play game system with a veneer of chrome to make it WWII. But it works well enough if you don't peer too closely. Not that we think it necessary works well. We won't be playing competitively so won't be looking at how to get the most out of our points.
The HMG's seem to powerful, especially when defending in bulletproof cover vr's attacking in softer cover. But we need to play more before thinking of doing something about that.

Lines of tanks. I hate it, but it happened in our game. Very much in part to the short command radius, that's something I would like to see increased to see if that encourager to break up tank platoons more.

Terrain, we need more, I think the table needs lots of objects to break up the battlefield so both sides have to use it better.


All in all a better experience than I had expected and something I am really keen on having another go at. At this point I won't be buying any kit for this but once I have my mountain reduced I will probably get into it to a point. I think my buying and painting up a load of Russians would be good for the cause, given how any are required it may well help Lee out of selling the house to buy all he needs but first things first, those French and Prussian Naps.

14 comments:

  1. FoW is a great game if you want a quick no nonsense game, but I am game that you enjoyed the experience. Is a good looking game there

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    1. Yes the rules soon become straightforward on the surface and we do need to get more in. I would rate it at the moment as OK but still prefer the Ancients at this stage

      Ian

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  2. A beautiful battlefield, love your buildings!

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    1. 4Ground are nice, the boards are the Quatre Bras boards with them in slightly different order

      Ian

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  3. Interesting write up. I found FoW too gamey..and I too have lines of tanks. Table looks good though.

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    1. The lines of tanks thing, and the squads all in lines can be tackled.

      The reason they have them like that is so that you don't have units all over the place I guess but I think the distance is far to short

      Ian

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  4. Its sad to say that your impressions of FOW are pretty much everything I fear about the game. It just seems to much like lining tanks and bases up and charging. When ever I see battlereports of FOW it just looks like lines of tanks with little tactical going on.

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    1. That is also how I have seen it and why I had not reached out to it. If Lee had not gone for the figures I would probably never played.

      It's an obvious get you to buy lots of toys set of rules and I do see the comparisons with GW though these do seem more human. We will invest more time into it, time will see if I invest any £££ though

      Ian

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  5. Never played it myself but you seemed to nail it like other reviews I've read!

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    1. I think many will just not like it or love it based on experience. The more your into WWII ironically the more I think you might have issues with it.

      With the right attitude it's going to be a good game to play though

      Ian

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  6. Looks like a great game, never played the rules though.

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    1. We will find out over the coming months, Lee has invested a lot of coin into it so we do need to work with them, though I doubt they will remain as written for long

      Ian

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  7. I love how much space you guys have for gaming. That's great room. And very nicely set up board. Cheers and boogie boogie.

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  8. FOW is a fun game, but not my preferred WW II rules; those are Command Decision. When we play, someone else does the scenario and we don't pay that much attention to the points.
    I'll play, but I won't pay.

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