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Flames of War- America’s Rottweilers versus the Sitzkrieg!

My regular reader will know I have limited my model buying to one a month. It’s a start to avoid making an appearance on Hoarders. Now that’s one diecasts a month and last month’s Elefant should really count as two. Anyhow, there was a time, not so very long ago, when I would buy ten a month. At last count I had over thirty Shermans and there is my dilemma. It’s not economic if I have kit and don’t use it. This week it was back to Flames of War and company sized actions…

The quiet before the storm- Normandy Breakout

I took the stock a hundred point list from the Normandy book that I hadn’t remembered that I’d bought. I fell out of love with Flames after version three when the transition left the community divided and confusion abounded. Steve had God knows what edition and decided to take several thousand points of version 3.2! I then found I also found the German force cards behind a pile of old invoices. We calmed down Steve’s force to two formations of panzers and infanterie.

I do think Battlefront saw the writing on the wall as far as simplifying rules goes. The competition crowd were fine with a bible sized ruleset and numerous FAQs and supplements but , for good or ill, those days are gone. The new version is a lot cleaner and I’m a real fan of the cards that carry the unit information. My M5s were first on the board to scout out any weaknesses in the Kraut lines.

There is a wonderful line in “Generation Kill” when one of the Marine recon soldiers describes the Corps as America’s Rottweilers- always kept unhappy and anxious to let slip the leash. My 2nd Armored were similarly motivated but did have the kit, in this case tank destroyers to tackle any lurking cats.

On my left wing I had a short battery of Priests and 76mm Shermans in a screen in front of them. Steve had brought a lot of Infanterie and they were already advancing through the central orchard in turn two. Time on Target when you can reroll saves would come in very handy.

The German fusiliers were invisible to my artillery and so my doughboys from the Armored Rifles would have to garrison the ruined factory in order to stem the German advance. The sheer size of this platoon should keep Helmut Porter honest.

I thought that five automatic weapons teams would dissuade the attackers but Herr Porter wanted the position and would eventually commit a whole Kompanie.

The German infantry were confident but their supporting armour was less than keen. We were playing the annialation scenario. The win would go to the player who destroyed their opponent’s formations. The panzers took up firing positions on my right and were content to lob shots towards my waiting Shermans. 

Four Shermans went up in flames but the smell of burning tanks led to Steve remaining inactive on this flank. It was time to duel with my tank destroyers.

In the finest traditions of the cavalry, I ordered my M5s into the orchard. The US supply of 30 cals is always welcome. Despite losing one tank to the bocage, the other Stuart’s recoiled the leading German infantry.

The falling back German infantry stunned the Stug commander to come to their aid but in their excitement all but one bogged in the ruins!

When they did close however, I had no response. My left wing Shermans and Priests were turned to hulks of metal. A long shot took out a Tiger but all hope was lost. If and when the Panzers rolled , both my flanks were in no shape to resist.

I’m very much looking to playing version four again. Richard Jones, he of Welsh wargaming on YouTube has threatened to play a game soon, part of the ever growing band of great programs on the net. I spend far too much time watching uncle Adam’s Tabletop Minions and Armchair Dragoons. Steve did mention his willingness to film our games so you never know.

Tabletop Minions- essential viewing

Great AAR s and banter from these guys

I may need to start cutting down on my viewing time as well as miniatures buying but at least they are back being used. I must mention the film Furious (2017) that I watched this week. Ilya Malakor is great in the role of a Russian prince holding off the Mongol hordes. My own Tartar hordes on the painting are finished but , guess what? I bought some more! Sorry!


  1. Ann

    Some nice-looking miniatures and a nice board. Interesting point about simplifying rule sets. As much as I like certain games, which have both extensive and every-changing rule sets, I find myself gravitating more toward playing games that are easier to pick up the rules for. I find it is much easier too to find other gamers willing to play said games.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Limited to one a month!! Ive just been limited to a year !! The wife said there must be a world shortage of 1/72 figures as they are all-in your room! I just love the ruined building mate, just lucky I’m not a WWII enthusiast or I would be in trouble !

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  3. Nice looking game and figures. One of my gaming buddies refers to Bolt Action as a “game and not a simulation” and I wonder if based on anecdotal evidence FoW is not the same? Nice write up all the same, though (as a US Army veteran and WWII history nut) I would please note that the USMC and the US Army by 1944 were no different in terms of effectiveness.

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    • Hi Mark,
      It’s Netflix and Generation Kill that are fuelling my admiration for the marines! Still haven’t lost my admiration for Patton and the army either.
      Flames does I think get a bad press from older players who have dropped out at version three. The biggest reservation is track to track tank lines but smaller points games on bigger tables seems to avoid that. The system itself though is quite sound though.
      Bolt Action is for me like WW2 Commando comics- if they ever got to the US?

      Liked by 2 people

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