28 March 2012

North Africa Firestorm campaign Turn 1

The North Africa Firestorm campaign started this weekend, we had 8 players, 4 axis and 4 allies on location for turn 1 - 500pts. Right off the bat I have to say that this game isn't made for playing 500pts. You get some pretty messed up army lists. Like 1 platoon of tanks vs 4 platoons of infantry.

While I like the whole campaign idea and think it will grow to be a lot more fun as the points rise to 750-1000pts and beyond the first two 500pts battles were just weird.

My first battle was against Jonathan who played with a Indian army with a few Gurkha platoons, an AT gun platoon and a HMG platoon. I had 2 Pz III L as my commanders, and a platoon of 3 Pz III F as my only platoon. The scenario was Hold the Line IIRC, he had 1 platoon of infantry and the AT guns in Ambush, and 1 platoon and HMGs in reserve.

So there was really nothing else to do than to move up to the objective in a way so that he could not use the nearby field to ambush me - moving at the double. Instead the AT guns appeared in the down and sent a hail of AT7 shots my way - within 16" they managed to blow up 2 of my tanks. Platoon morale was passed, in the following turn I repaid the favor my wiping out his infantry platoon - killing everyone but the commander, and moving out of short range. In turn 3 I killed 3 out of 4 AT guns.

Unfortunately the Indian troops stayed in the fight despite horrific losses, then they were reinforced, I was still parked near the objective and kept mowing down infantry as they were approaching. And then a bizarre thing happened - the game ended because the time ran out. The enemy had a total of 5 stands on the table , (of which 4 were various command stands), passed their company morale and won a freakshow holdout victory because they somehow managed to contest the objective.

Very unlikely ending, but nothing to do really - and since the battle had not been all that exciting I didn't really care. From what I could see and heard afterwards pretty much all the battles had been displays of very odd incidents and unlikely situations. But it did suck to be the only Axis player who did not win.

We managed to squeeze in another game before I went home, 500pts worth of US paratroopers under Patrik's command. Another list with 4 platoons if I'm not wrong. Scenario Fighting Withdrawal. Literally nothing I could do but to drive into the heaps of infantry and hope I would not Bog Down on their corpses. To shoot out all the enemy platoons gathered around the objectives would be very improbable, and I was kind of in a hurry so I just drove up and crashed into Patrik's infantry. We had a 5 counter attacks long close combat where I think I destroyed 1 platoon and lost 2 tanks. Then had to retreat, only to follow it up again during the next turn, killed more infantry, lost 2 more tanks and my remaining tanks drove away after a failed platoon morale check.

I said afterwards that it would have made more sense to use the Victory Decision rules for the 500pts battle (keep all the points and platoon organizations from FoW but play it on a squad/section level). Sadly I did not have time to try out those rules this weekend, but I hope to do so next week.

And now to end it on a enthusiastic note, the new tables looked really good - and so did the new terrain additions. Everyone's desert armies also looked great - really loved the way Thomas Grant tanks looked, David's super cool Fallschirmsjäger's and to see those funny Italian troops was awesome. Not to forget the Gurkha's and Indian army units.

As for the campaign, it looks like next week will be all about invasion/defense of Malta as there is a large concentration of armies and firestorm troops in the area (for some unknown reason).

Oh, and funny anecdote about my new dice. They rolled really damn good today - except for when I tried to make a Stormtrooper move. Failed every single time. I guess the dice agree with me on the sillyness of that rule so they refuse to support it.

8 comments:

  1. I have to agree - some lovely models and terrain there!

    Campaigns are wonderful beasts. Sometimes the early games from that side can be a bit meaningless, but that will come to change.

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  2. Great eye candy and the dice always know....

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  3. great photos anatoli!
    i think ill have to make some escrapments as they are so typical for the north african campaigns.

    the battle for malta will be intresting. looking forward to more games and more ARRs.

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  4. Great looking campaign map and despite the weird results the tables look good. FOW really dosen't seem to deal with 500pts very well at all. Although thinking about it at the start of the Africa campaign the Afrika Korp pushed through to Egypt so its sort of realistic, if unbalanced game wise.

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  5. This looks great! Any chance you will post up the campaign rules?

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  6. @Ben, the guys who are in charge of the campaign wrote a 9 page PDF document - but it's in Swedish. I will try to translate the essential goals and game mechanics of the campaign and post them around the weekend.

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  7. @Anatoli. thanks I can't read Swedish so that would be great!

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  8. Swedish, pah how hard could it be, a quick google will sort this out.........hmm seems its very hard!

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