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Flames of War

Breakthrough Mission

February 2012

America 500pts (Chris)

vs Germany 500pts (Justin)


  'Capture the


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About this battle

After picking up a generous quantity of Guinness to tide us over, I headed over to Justin's for our first head to head in a month. Armed with two newly painted static 88s which had been nicely painted by Paul who is producing much of my armour at the moment due to my infantry commitments.

Little was I to know that by the end of the evening I would be heading out into thick newly fallen snow as our small part of England suffered its share of Europe's winter storms, but for now I unloaded my grenadiers from their mobile billet and prepared for war. Chris

For my part, I was keen to have a look at what 'nearly finished!' Normandy-style buildings. That's the trouble with fighting a war on two fronts! Justin

The Battlefield

Justin managed to usher the family from the kitchen in short order and proceeded to deploy several new to the table Decors Normandy town houses, alongside Terra Firma Studio’s bocage, hedges, ploughed fields, corn fields and metalled roads, Terrain Matt’s forest tiles and dirt roads; and Woodland Scenic trees.

The Forces & Scenario

Earlier in the week we'd decided on a 500 point game to enable me to field my relatively small group of US paratroopers. We figured the Breakthrough scenario fitted best and, after some discussion, Chris suggested out of the blue that he play the paras whilst I defended with the Germans. Kerching! The Guinness was working!

In order to reflect an early action of D-Day, we opted for a reduced 101st US Parachute Rifle Company running a Company HQ (no bazookas) and 2 Rifle platoons with 2 and 3 squads respectively.

The Germans were fielding a Bodenstandig GrendierKompanie (Steadfast position infantry company) with a Company HQ and 2 81mm mortars, 2 Grenadier platoons, a Scout platoon and a machine-gun platoon. That's a shed load of Hun...


Terrain Features, Buildings and Objectives

Roads, woods, trees, crops, regular as well as ruined multi and single storey buildings, hedgerows and bocage all featured in today's Normandy themed game. The array of obstacles presented many challenges for line of sight, with the tall three buildings providing good vantage points for observation and fire.

Justin: I've gone for an inn at a crossroads for this table, inspired by the original photos of the Hotel Ingouf in Carentan. The 88mm objectives are in the bottom right hand corner of the board.

It's also a good excuse to get the bocage out.

This ruined farmhouse is a 15 Fieldwork's ruin

Looks like it's recently rained, that, or some matt varnish needs to be applied.

I would be nice if I could source a town square tile...

Those letraset white letters don't look too bad from here.

The road into town...

German Deployment

Being able to deploy in either corner, I thought I'd divide my forces in to 2 groups. A main line of resistance running diagonally along the main road and hooking up into the hedges on the edge of town.

The platoon on HMG's would provide fire support from the elevated buildings at the cross roads. My intention to was destroy whatever was placed in the top right quarters quickly whilst racing my Scout platoon down to secure the objectives. Justin

The first platoon deploys in the bombed out buildings on my left flank.

MG's offer powerful fire support in the centre.

American Deployment

I deployed with my first wave of assembled Paratroopers, opting to leave the largest of the two Rifle platoons off the table as delayed reserves. My plan was to threaten the German lines as much as possible before springing a late rush for the objective from the reinforcements from the other side of the battlefield. I had so few forces it wasn't funny. Chris

These guys must survive for at least 4 turns for me to have any chance. Maybe more.

They look cool but I'm more interested in their staying power.

This HQ is tasked with holding an entire flank - with a couple of carbines. Some of these guys used to work for the US Postal Service. Thats handy, because they need to deliver today.

American Turn One

I had to keep the guys on the table alive as long as possible, but also to tie up as many Jerries as possible to give my reinforcements a chance.

I immediately advanced into the field. I was facing a Panzergrenadier line and an MG42 and I knew this was going to get rough.

The supporting mortar from the rifle platoon was to provide a steady stream of fire for the entire game, with the aim of creating a bit of a stir and major distraction.

They looked for the best immediate target.

There was scope to pin the nastiest and most immediate threat directly in front of the advancing platoon and to hint at a possible attack.

The mortars hit home immediately, pinning the inhabitants as planned.
I dared a glance at Justin's brow which I am sure furrowed momentarily.

German Turn One

The scouts double time it down to the objectives whilst the platoon on my right flank moves to envelop the axis through the cornfield.

HMG and Rifle/MG fire rakes into the Americans cross the fields claiming 1 squad.

American Turn Two

Suddenly I'm not sure about this. I'm advancing with concealment as my only protection against dug in and fortified Germans with machine guns.

A clutch of troops go down in the field. Welcome to Normandy.

Mortar fire proves futile and falls hopelessly short. I expect a lot more than this from the best of the best.

My troops in the field are now perilously exposed. My reinforcements aren't here until turn 3 at best. Can I hold on?

German Turn Two

I ain' t gonna fix what ain' t broke, more HMG fire takes out what's left of the paratroopers in the field!

The view from a forward picket line pushed out in front of the mainline of resistance to pick off any stragglers.

That's got to hurt!

Right, now that we're here, let's dig in and await any enemy reinforcements.

American Turn Three

My HQ spots for the mortars, and although the shells fall perilously close, they do the job on the flank and pin the advancing enemy. Some good news at last.

The hail of bullets from the Germans has forced me to retreat the Rifle/MG platoon to cower behind the cover of the trees.

The situation looks desperate on the ground, but as long as my morale holds the plan has a chance. My mortars range in on the flanking Germans and some damage is done.

German Turn Three

Sick of being stonked by 60mm mortar fire, my lads close with the US Company HQ after shrugging off being pinned down

BANG! STOMP! STAB! CRASH! The assault goes in over the bocage. Rallying, the US HQ retaliates with little effect but my boys fail their morale and have to break off! CURSES..back over the bocage we go.

American Turn Four

Reinforcements fail to arrive! And with the Germans poised to assault again I have no option but to mortar directly over the HQ position in order to abate the German attack!

Disaster! My mortars once again fall short but this time fatally on my own Commander! Worse still the Germans escape without a scratch!

Heh! The CO rubs his gloved hands in glee!

German Turn Four

With the CO gone, we can put down enfilade fire on what's left of the first paratrooper platoon taking out a squad or two.

With the threat evaporating to their front, it's time to pull the first platoon back to consolidate on the objectives before the reinforcements arrive.

American Turn Five

With perfect timing and not a moment to spare the larger Rifle Platoon bursts onto the scene! They just need to get within touching distance of the objective and stay alive to force a draw! they sprint for the bocage and fire at any available targets!

I know Justin will throw everything he has at me and my track record in these do or die situations against Justin recently has turned out badly for me.

Some grenadiers are pinned and shot up and this and the sheer quantity of Americans bodes well for my fortunes. I brace myself for the big attack.

German Turn Five

With the arrival of the American reinforcements the objective is contested. Desultory rifle fire from the scouts fails to discourage these gangsters from the sky.

Still, we've pretty much mopped up North of town

But it isn't enough. End of play and it's a draw. Curses.

We did it lads! We bloody did it! Lets celebrate with a brew!


I've still to be convinced that Fearless Veterans are worth the points, particularly in smaller games. This was a tough one for the Americans, it was unlikely that they'd be able to break through given the small number of platoons involved. Good game. Justin

This draw came off the back of a long string of defeats to Justin so it felt like a victory. And something actually went to plan for me. I must try some of these strategies in real life.Chris

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