Paul Nettle and I had an interesting Flames of War game yesterday. It was a standard match off for Mid-War Africa. I took the Indian Rifle Company with British supports, whilst Paul played with his Mechanized German company.

My force comprised of 2 rifle platoons, a HMG platoon, a 6lb anti tank section, a unit of Matildas, a battery of 25lb field artillery, a carrier recci unit, as well as limited air support from a hurricane. Pauls force was smaller with quality being the order of the day. He had 2 infantry platoons, a unit of 2 Stug self propoelled artillery, a field artillery battery, sporadic air support, and a Tiger tank.

We played the Fighting Withdrawal, with me playing the defender. The game consists of the defender trying to protect 3 objectives whilst their forces are slowly withdrawn and leave the table from turn 3 onwards. The objectives also start to dissapear from turn 6.

The objectives were placed, with 2 on my left flank, and the third on my right. I deployed my entire force dug in and tried to split my forces as evenly between the various objectives. Paul only needed to capture one to win the game. Paul opted to deeply all of his forces against the objective on my right flank.

The early turns consisted of Paul bringing his troops up, whilst I tried to bring the forces on my left flank around the intervening terrain to support my right flank. By the end of turn 2 the Indian platoon defending the objective on my right had started to suffer attacks from the Tiger and artillery. Despite being dug in they failed their motivation test and became pinned. They remained pinned until turn 5 when they were finally removed. In turns 3 and 4 the German infantry attempted to assault the dug in infantry supported by the Stugs. The Indians held despite their precarious position and in the lull between assaults the German infantry were whittled down by the British artillery. However by the end of turn 5 the objective was held by the Germans with me bringing the second infantry platoon up to contest it.

I was fortunate that Paul need to hold the objective uncontested for a turn. In turn 6 he forced my troops back and held the objective, he just need to hold it until the start of his next turn. Unfortunately the scenario rules allowed me to remove an objective marker, so I removed the one he held. My artillery and infantry anti-tank oopened up on the Stugs, eventually destroying one and forcing the other to flee the field. By this time Paul only had the Tiger and his artillery left to try and take the other objectives. Given the time he gratiously conceeded the game. An Indian victory (a first).

Whilst I enjoyed the game it felt like a stolen victory, with me being able to remove the captured objective. Maybe for future games we can review this and not allow contested or captured objectives to be removed.

Thoroughly enjoyable and definitely recommended. I felt guilty about my unpainted artillery command, especially when compared against the great paint job Paul has done on his Germans. My next outing is against Peter Davids Germans later this month.

Warren