FOW at Games Empire

During the last quarter, WR has travelled to Games Empire (Pasadena CA) for several of Bruce’s 15mm Flames of War 1942 scenarios played over successive weekends. Bruce’s FOW Ver3.x group typically, like WR’s, play a themed scenario which recently has focused on the Eastern Front of 1942. Several gaming days featured large multi-table team force structured scenarios such as: Approach to Stalingrad, the outskirts of Stalingrad, in Stalingrad itself, and soon forthcoming the Soviet counterattack. Now the group has expanded their history period to Kursk 1943.

Several games photographed below. First the 1942 Stalingrad scenario with every building or ruins displayed on the tabletop. WR played the part of assaulting the large foreground building, which was heroically defended by Bruce. After many turns of close quarter action in and around the large building….. the Germans lost and were forced to regroup for another day.

The Stalingrad scenario. WR’s initial force lower right posed to assault the large building.

Opposite end of the Stalingrad scenario. Scattered platoons occupy the ruins.

WR’s hasty floor diagram to handle the multi-floor action inside the large building. Bruce was impressed with AR’s artwork for his building model. Ground floor action was hot and heavy.

Enterprising Soviet teams cross the main street to seize buildings from their former German occupants.

The volume of shooting across the main street never really let up during the scenario play. Soon as one soviet team was hit…. another team advanced to retain their position.

Hey…. any seasoned FOW player needs a vacation. Tropical climate, warm sea breezes, friendly locals, river cruises at day or night. Welcome to Vietnam as you take your assigned seat for a quick tour.

Change of pace and climate. Welcome to Vietnam.

The locals seem to be disrupting the local shipping trade.

Next scenario saw the Germans advancing on a Soviet training / military collection center in the Volga region and near Stalingrad. WR’s assigned task was to whip the new recruits into some military formations, hand out their rifles and ammunition, and prepare them to march on Stalingrad. Unfortunately, the Germans rudely interrupted the peaceful Soviets during their morning dress parade, sending the nice row of T-26 tanks into linear scrapyard, and causing the infantry in their new uniforms diving into local ditches or scattered buildings. This time around the Soviets held their ground, after loss, to secure a minor victory at the town but lost the scenario out on the open flanks.

The disrupted town training center, with the Soviets manning position against the encroaching German army, as their flanks outside slowly crumble.

German aircraft ruled the sky it seemed. This Me110 raid destroyed several 45mm A/T cannon behind a low rise.

A welcome reinforcement…. a company of KV-1 tanks. Unfortunately they had to turn right to secure the crumbling right flank and couldn’t aid the pressed Soviet new recruit infantry.

As the KV-1’s exit stage right, their following Tankovy company of Lend Lease Lee’s valiantly drove into the town, secured the crossroads, and blunted the final German onslaught.

The crumbling right flank….. the T-34’s running about the battlefield, untrained mob of ex-cart drivers it seems, while German panzer crews work their deadly business. Late cossacks lower right.

Repulsed by the Soviet training camp defenders, the German panzergrenadiers regroup for another day of battle.

So far score one Soviet win and one German win. The next scenario was a battle outside a built up town and nearby open Soviet countryside. Again WR returned to the German team with panzergrenadiers fighting inside the Soviet unnamed town. WR thinking….. crewed halftracks, armored cars, all inside a Soviet town crawling with lots of small A/T cannon, ATR teams, and the Soviet mob? Didn’t bode well as the scenario played out. Should have gone with the 2nd plan of tabletop strategy (post game thought. Set up on town edge then drive into the countryside, overwhelm the Soviets outside the town, and secure the scenario win, thus avoiding the Soviet foot infantry with their nasty A/T cannon hunker down in the building maze.

The open space outside the built up town at top. Soviet infantry holding a thin line across the open battlefield vs. German panzers. Their supportive panzergrenadiers stuck in the town above.

WR’s panzergrenadiers doing a little local shopping…. not. Really fighting with their small platoons against the growing Soviet mobs roaming the building. Red streets need their brickwork Bruce.

The open battlefield…. German panzers need some help trying to subdue the Soviet naval infantry.

WR’s ruins collection during the scenario. Germans hold the tall green window building, the adjacent department store, but the Soviets hold the factory and the ruined section of town.

German panzergrenadier halftrack MG rake the buildings… but the Soviet just duck into cover. The SIG 105mm cannon totally ineffective during play then taken out by Soviet air force.

Just too few German tanks to handle the Soviet defensive position. Dragging the German artillery on the tabletop didn’t dent the Soviet infantry line. German loss so game score 2:1 for Soviets.

Soviet take the game score lead 2:1. Next weekend scenario in open country with mixed armor and infantry forces. Structured as a 4,000 point match up scenario. WR returns to the Soviet team opposite his son Daniel playing the Germans. Soviets on the offensive this time so they try their infiltration tactic with their scout platoon and a full infantry company. Total success and the surprised Germans soon have Soviets starting in the forward village buildings.

WR’s Soviet infantry company is quietly led into the village by their scout platoon. Positions taken and secured, totally surprising the nearby Germans.

Lance’s NKVD armored train heads into the station not aware the Germans have nearby Panzer IV’s.

Soviet infantry occupies the village as their reinforcement snow dusted T-34 and Lend Lease Stuarts cross the RR embankment.

NKVD armored train finds 75mm Panzer IV shells riddling the steam boiler. Soviet infantry occupies the station.

Later on the Soviet infantry erupted from the station and secured the nearby orchards. Germans are forced back and concede the sector for a Soviet win. Against Daniel panzergrenadiers, WR pressed the Germans, taking one then a second objective marker. Late arriving flanking German panzers reduce the lend-lease Valentine Tankovy company to smoking wrecks, then reclaiming one objective. Reduced to tattered ruin after two assaults on the battered panzergrenadiers, the Soviet infantry company cannot contest further German panzer advance into their rear so the Germans claim a contested victory for this sector. Score the game a tie overall, leaving the running total as 2 wins / 1 loss / 1 tie for a Soviet edge.

More fun with Flames of War (15mm or 20mm) is scheduled for August. If interested, contact WR directly via the information found under the “About the WR” menu pull down tab. Meanwhile the 1942 engagements continue heading toward the siege of Sevastopol and the Soviet counterattack.

Update: August FOW game “Soviet Counterattack to Kharkov August 1943” and post Kursk. In this scenario WR’s flanked the German front line with his T-34 companies but were massacred by arriving German reinforcement….. panthers and tigers no less.

The grand scenario for the first Soviets vs. German panzer counterattack game….. which died on the German front lines. So we redesigned the scenario to include a flanking option for the Soviet armor and played a second game.

Boldly the Soviet tankers drive on the battlefield, hitting the German exposed flank. Panzer IV’s. AA 2cm halftracks, and isolated panzergrenadier platoon in their Sd Kfz 251’s are targets.

Couldn’t hit the barn…… or Panzer IV’s, or the exposed AA 2cm. The German counter was quickly decisive…… burning T-34’s littered the battlefield but after the Soviet finally destroyed the isolated PzGren. platoon fleeing the Soviet tanks.


P.S. Next up on WR blog should be the start of some Peninsular War discussion. Starting with the Portuguese revolt and the Battle of Evora 1808. This leads up to the battles of Rolica then Vimeiro, a featured historical 28mm napoleonic scenario game at the upcoming HMGS-PSW October regional convention.

Update 11/27/2018: Some photos of the 1943 Kursk action fought on Nov. 25, 2018 at Games Empire.



2 thoughts on “FOW at Games Empire

  1. Nice looking games. Did you have any part of that vietnam game? Always womdered how fun that really is. Seems like a cool idea. Sorry i have been busy. Tomorrow will be my first desert battle. Never had nor seen one played. Will now. Lol

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

  2. Tim,
    No part of the Vietnam game other than playing a US platoon. Was fun. I have a collection of 20mm Vietnam miniatures ready to paint in storage and a lot of 29mm US vehicles for the era. A future project after I finish up more WWII 20mm. Good luck for the desert action.


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