It's been a while since I posted, been off on holiday with the family. We drove up to Blenheim for my son's rep soccer tournament and took the opportunity to head over to Wellington on the ferry for a few days. The kids haven't ben to the North Island before and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with their cousins and exploring our capital city.
On the way up we stayed at my friend Ian's place for the night so we too the opportunity to play a game of Flames. Ian had made up a couple of Mid War tank forces suitable for Operation Barbarossa.
5x panzer III hs- late Js
2x 231 armoured cars
For me had selected a mixed tankovy:
3x tank rider platoons + 2x HMGs.
We played on a 6x5 table which (IMO) gives a much better game that a 6x4 does. The extra depth on the table made it in a game of manoeuvre much more than happens on a 6x4 table- during the game the 88s needed to redeploy twice to get better opportunities. It’s a shame that Ian uses is beautiful terrain boards so infrequently- each time I use them it inspires me to build as similar setup. Maybe another future project…
Ian won the dice roll so was the attacker. I deployed 2 KVs and put the infantry into immediate ambush. Ian deployed both tank platoons and my ambush deployed on the objective that wasn’t removed.
Turn 1: Ian advanced his panzer IIIs and command tanks towards my tank riders pinning them. My company command KV survived a direct hit from a stuka and rumbled forward towards Ian’s panzer IVs.
Turn 2: No reserves for either of us. The panzers assaulted my tankriders killing a few and I retreated. Ian consolidated his tans forward forcing my infantry to give up more ground. The KVs continued to move over to help the infantry and the company command tank too headed towards the objective on Ian’s side of the board.
Turn 4: Ian’s panzers again assaulted my infantry and cleared the from the objective, the survivors ran off the board despite the attempts of the commissar to keep them following orders. So now I was down to 2 working tanks and my reserves again failed to turn up. The 88s spent this turn redeploying. A recce 231 managed to grab the central objective.
Turn 5: I was contesting Ian’s objective so he used some to blind the company command KV and made it almost impossible for him to hit.
My reserves finally arrived but not where I wanted them. The T26s arrived on the central area and rumbled forward against the central objective. Unfortunately my T34s arrived on my far right and so were in completely the wrong position but they too moved round a balka to take potshots at the 231 which promptly broke off and hid.
Turn 6: Stukas once more arrived and in a spectacular bombing run knocked out 5x T34s, including the commander and a T26. The panzer IIIs knocked out 2-3 T26s and mt return fire either missed or was saved.
The 88s had redeployed on a hill, lined up the KV which was skulking in the balka and knocked it out. The T26s were reduced to 2 working tanks with no commander and the panzer IVs again used some to minimise the effectiveness of my commanders KV. 6-1 to Ian.
A fun game in which I managed to kill one tank! I’d probably tweak the list I was given, adding some air support by losing tank or two and taking motostrelk instead of tankriders (or I'd add a 4th KV1E) but they were two flavourful forces that mad for an entertaining game. The Luftwaffe was amazing arriving 6 turns in row and knocking out most of my tanks- it was only the last round or so that the panzer IIIs got any kills (T26s)
I really do like using 6x5 table as it makes for a much more interesting game due to the extra depth (I would recommend giving 6x5 a try).
1. I still hate using conscript Soviets!
2. The T26 is complete junk, FA 1, slow, unreliable. I now know why I’d never taken them. I’m sure they have some redeeming features (cost?) but would rather use T60s if given the choice (which I wasn't).
3. I probably screwed up deploying the T26s but had to try to contest the central objective- I wanted them to take on the panzer IIIs from the side if I could have.