Friday, August 11, 2017

Flames of War - EW French vs British

Last weekend some of the guys and I met at the local shop to play some Early War Flames of War Version 4 games. I brought my Early War French and Germans and Robert brought his British Expeditionary Force. One of the new players, Brandon, was there and I let him use my French to take on Rob's BEF, since neither of them have played a V4 game yet.

I will start with this caveat, I can put together almost any French list and I made Brandon a pretty well balanced armored list. Robert literally had to put in every single British tank he had in his list just to get to 1500 points, as he doesn't have much beyond the old box set. That meant his force was much less than ideal, also he was fighting french tanks that have pretty good armor.

Also, we will just say that Robert has little regard for the French military in World War II. It is an understatement to say that he is rather vocal about his position. Just remember that for later!

We decided to just play a free-for-all with their 1500 point armies.

The French force consisted of:

  • Somua S35 - HQ
  • Somua S35 Platoon - 5 tanks
  • Hotchkiss H39 Platoon - 4 tanks
  • Hotchkiss H39 Platoon - 4 tanks
  • AMD 35 Platoon - 5 AMD 35 armored cars
  • 75mm Artillery Battery - 4 75mm guns

The British force was made up of:

  • A10 Crusier MK II and Light Mk VI C - HQ
  • Armored Company - 5 A13 Mk III, 1 A9 Mk I CS, and 3 Mk VI C light tanks
  • Armored Company - 5 A13 Mk II Cruiser Mk IV, 1 A9 Mk I CS, 3 Mk VI B and 3 Mk VI C light tanks

Cruiser Mk III A13's trying to increase their armor, with a bunker.
Cruiser Mk IV, A13 Mk II's they are fine, they have extra armor, right?

The regiment and company HQ's.

The French lines.

The really killers on the board, Somua S35's.

Another platoon of Hotchkiss tanks on the left flank.

Those French 75's are bad news.

I painted these guys like they were from the 3rd DLM.
On turn one, the British rushed tow platoons of A13 cruisers into a field to take on the Somua S35's, while the other three A13's and the CS tanks moved that way to help. The British tanks have an anti tank rating of 7 so could do some damage. However the few hits that were made bounced harmlessly off the armor of the S35's.

In their phase the French mainly remained stationary and fired into the A13 cruisers, gutting both platoons.

It is a stare-down!

But only for a minute.
The other Cruisers re-think their next move.

Fine gunnery from the stationary S35's.

The Vickers Mk VI light tanks decide to not mess with the Somua's,

In the following turn the remaining couple of bailed cruisers from the first two platoons fled the battlefield after failing ro remount and the remaining platoon of A13's realized that there was no longer anyone to support on that flank, moved back to defend the right objective. The nine Vickers light tanks hide around the objective on the left, ready to rush out suicidally to contest it if the Somuas went for it.

The Somua tanks moved forwards towards the left objective, with the HQ S35 moving back to guard the British objective on that side of the board. The Hotchkiss tanks on the left struggled to get out of the woods. The Panhard armored cars on the right poked around and took a few shots at the British HQ on the that side, with no effect. While the French gunners pushed their guns up, trying to get in range.

S35's pushing forward.

The A10 Mk II command and Vickers Mk VI 2iC.

The Panhard AMD 35's start to probe the right flank.

And the Hotchkiss tanks move up in support.
Turn three saw little movement and a small amount of shooting as both sides shifted their forces.

The British bailed a few Panhards and and tried to machinegun others with the CS tanks.

The French  moved up the 75mm guns again and with the Panhard armored cars knocked out a couple of tanks from the HQ platoons. Both Hotchkiss platoons struggled in the woods again, but most of their tanks were out.

The Panhards feel good with the 75's in support.

A surviving A9 Mk I CS decides to go out in a blaze of glory, it only has smoke rounds.

The Regiment commander is trying his best to hold out.

The H39's on the right go hunting for Vickers light tanks.

On turn four the British knocked out a couple of Panhard AMD 35's and the last remaining CS tank charged bravely into their midst, machinegun turrets blazing, ineffectually... A plaoon of Vickers Mk VI's tried to rush over to the right on the road, in order to help their Regimental commander.

The French S35's were now on the French objective on the left flank with Hotchkiss H39's in support. The H39's on the right also moved up to support the Panhards. The French return fire from the 75mm guns and Panhard's knocked out all the remaining A13 Mk II cruiser Mk IV's. Also on the right, a H39, with it's tiny 37mm SA18 gun, knocked out the brave CS cruiser. Then on the left flank, the Somua S35's decimated the Vickers tanks on the road at point blank range.

At this point Robert conceded as his force was almost entirely destroyed!

Good armor and gun, what does it matter how many men are in the turret?

The company commander has been holding the dreaded "88" the whole game.
This objective belongs to us, Englander!

That extra armor was not quite enough.

Tiny tanks rolling out.

It was the tiny SA18 gun on the Hotchkiss that ended the A9 MkI CS!

I will admit that it was fun to see Robert beaten by his hated enemy, the French! Of course his list was at a distinct disadvantage against the list he was fighting.

The one man turret rule change helps the French out a lot! Just a blanket +1 to hit instead of not being able to move and shoot is a huge change.

Overall, I think both Robert and Brandon had a good time, one more than the other, and gained a pretty good understanding of the Version 4 changes.