I am on the road this week and I have the great pleasure to bring a battle report from the Ozarks in Southern Missouri. I did not manage to take many pictures, nor did I gather a great deal of information about the individual orders of battle on the board tonight. Fortunately I did have the pleasure of meeting a great group of guys who call themselves the Mozarks Historical Gaming Society.
About a week ago I just happened to be perusing the Flames of War website while at the same time preparing for my current trip, and noticed that a St. Valentines mega battle was being planned along my trip route. Nestled right in a time and on a day that I could attend I decided to make contact with this Springfield based group through their Facebook page.
Not only is this group involved in Flames of War, they are also involved in some other historical game systems. Feel free to contact them to find out about the other Eras they are involved in!
TO THE MATCH!!
So the battle sized up nicely. It turned out being a 6v5 match. To the best of my knowledge there were 4 American Companies, a Russian Company, and a British Company vs. 5 German Companies.
The table was laid out beautifully with several small hamlets spread out along a country road. The Battle was effectively split into two sectors by a giant River in the middle of the board.
This photo is blurry, but shows the entire layout of the board.
(I am not practiced with the panorama photo feature on my camera yet!)
As to the game itself I can only speak to my portion of the battle and the final outcome, for I was just a minor participant in this event, and I became very focused on my specific section of the battle.
I must say it was an absolute joy to just be able to come out and play in such a wonderful event!
All of the players knew the game system well, and even the new players were able to move through the steps of the game play very smoothly!
The CO of the right sector ordered my company to push across the board, secure a house overlooking the main bridge over the river. The intent was to prevent the Tigers from the other sector from spilling into our sector, and preventing the Panthers in our sector from moving into the left sector.
Additionally, I took it upon myself to corral the 5 Panthers and 3 bunker busting Stugs in the center of the board. (They weren't Stugs, I am not sure what vehicle they were, but they looked like Stugs!) My plan was to hold the center and the bridge while preventing the German Armor from interacting with the Sherman tanks of our sector, thus protecting our sector's left flank.
My forces Deployed under the Blue Arrow and pushed forward to hold the field and building just to the right of the red square. The Panthers were corralled in the area of the red square almost the entire game. Unfortunately I and my sector allies were unable to neutralize the Flak 88 battery that overlooked the center of the battle from the heights above the main bridge. That battery was responsible for the destruction of two Russian Armor platoons that attempted to push up the center of the board on the right flank of the left sector. (Oh and my cousins best friend's dog stole my dice.........not really)
The Right sector commander pushed the center of our opponents left flank with his American Rifle company. His company was responsible for the destruction of at least two German MG platoons.
On the Far right flank another American Rifle Company pushed across the board (blue arrow) into the Germans defenses. (red square) I believe there was as much success on our far right as there was in our sector's center
This is another view of the board from the point of view of the right sector.
The British Airborne were in the Red Box, the Blue and White Boxes were the respective American Rifle Companies.
The game wrapped up in a 8-0 victory in favor of the Allies. I believe that the Axis were entitled to a few more defensive structures than what they began with, due to the 6v5 status of the game, but the scenario still played well.
The scenario created by battlefront for the St. Valentines day massacre is EXCELLENT! It enables the forces to begin in immediate contact, and spurs on the pace of the mega battle. Instant contact=instant action. It is hard to be cautious when you are put in such close proximity at the beginning of a battle.
To the Lawyer. Policeman, Frenchman, Active Duty Reserve instructor, and all of the other participant/ organizers thank you for A WONDERFUL TIME! To the Lawyer who wishes to remain anonymous, apologies once again on the rule I unintentionally made up about bogged/bailed vehicles blocking travel in defiles! That is the rule clarification I will take with me from tonight.
I hope to see you all again soon and thank you again