Some things:

My photo
I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

08 November 2015

Firestorm Caen: Turn 1

As mentioned maybe 2 or 7 times already in previous posts, Cameron at the Rust and the City blog is running an online Flames of War Firestorm Caen campaign. Densmol and I decided to get in on the action and got our first game underway this week.

It's D-Day and the allies are amassing off the French coast to push the hated German invaders back up into Northern Europe. The Canadian assault forces were to attack Juno beach in an effort to create a beachhead for the remainder of their assets to come ashore and fortify gains made that day.

Densmol took a German Infantry company and I a 3rd Canadian Assault Infantry Company, respective lists were taken from the Overlord and Atlantik Wall books to keep in theme. Neither of us own any beach terrain, nor fortifications, so we played the alternate mission (Fighting Withdrawal). I arranged the terrain on the board to loosely simulate the type of features that the Canadian forces would have had to cross right as they got off the beach and into the very beginning of French countryside and used this 1944 aerial photo as reference.
The area within the red box  was my inspiration for scenery placement. I just added the tree stands to make it so my PBI had "some" cover to hide behind as they advanced.
The forces were as follows:


3rd Canadian Assault Company - Confident Trained

1 & 2iC (Plus Jeep that didn't feature all game)
2x Full Infatry Platoons
4-stand 3" Mortar Platoon
Independent Sherman Tank platoon (3 regular shermans)
Breaching Group (Regular sherman, 2x sherman crab flail tanks & 2x Churchill AVsRE)
2x Crocodile Flame tanks
Recce Armoured Car platoon (3 Humber III's and 2 Humber LRC's)
I also had Medium Naval artillery with an AOP observer.

My Firestorm troops were a 3rd Infantry platoon and a 2nd Sherman tank platoon, though this one had a Firefly and 2 regular shermans.


some sort of German Panzergrenadier Company - Confident Veteran

1 & 2iC with Kfz 251 half-tracks
2x Full Infantry Platoons with Kfz halftracks
4x Gun 15cm artillery
3x Nebelwerfer rocket artillery stands
2x Flak 88 AA guns
3x Panzer IV tanks
3x Luchs Recce tanks

 Densmol's Firestorm troops were a small 5-stand platoon of Confident Trained Infantry and a Pak40 AT Gun.

Per the scenario instructions, we played the Fighting Withdrawal mission with my Canadians as attackers. After all the Objectives were placed, these were our deployments:

A view pre-turn 1 from Densmol's side of the table.

Firestorm German infantry and AT gun, supported by Veteran 88 and Luch tanks.

Frightening 15cm German artillery.

The forces on the Canadian right flank

And the Canadian left flank looked remarkably similar, give or take a longer barrel.
Recce moves saw my Humbers darting up the furthest left flank to hide behind a bridge and Densmol's Luchs shifting more toward the center of the german deployment. (No arrow graphics for the Luchs move, I got fed up of messing with photos really quick.)
Turn One sees the shermans on the left moving up, leaving their Firefly behind so it can take advantage of some Semi-Indirect firing. This saw me roll a sweet double 6's to hit as my first dice of the game! Swiftly followed by double ones for firepower rolls....  *facepalm* Still, the only panzer iv visible has it's crew run off, too sensible to stick around for another 17 pounder gun shot. first blood to the good guys!
Densmol, not impressed at all having lost a tank already.

 Canadian center moves up, Breaching Group sherman tanks shoot at the other two Panzer iv's and miss all shots. Firestorm infantry in support. Crocodiles trundle forward through the woods without any mechanical issues.
Right most Sherman platoon Machineguns the German Firstorm infantry and kill one stand, but get the pin. Rightmost infantry platoon moves up in support.

Naval bombardment drops on the redeployed Luchs in the center and take out a tank!
Humbers Unleash a whole mess of shots at the Dug In and Gone to Ground artillery and.... miss every shot! The Canadian mortars though manage to pin the scary big guns. (Also, though not pictured, my sniper plops down opposite the 15cm's and fails to hit. This becomes a pattern.)

In German Turn One, the 15cm Artillery and Firestorm Infantry unpin. Then the remaining two Panzer iv's move to get clear shots and pop both Sherman Crab flail tanks.
The 15cm artillery drop a bombardment onto the 3 remaining Breaching group tanks, but only manage to bail a singe AVsRE!

The two German 88 guns take some tricky shots at the right most Sherman platoon, blow up two and bail the third! For some reason, the crew of the third feel it's a better idea to stay and fight than to run away...
The Luchs move over to help out the 15cm artillery and shoot at the Canadian armoured Cars, but fail to damage. 

After this the German tanks all make stormtrooper moves to get out of sight or get better shots for the following turn.
Turn Two opens with some lovely shooting by the sherman platoon who take out a second Luch. The third decides it would be safer to leave the field altogether and so the Canadians score a point.
Right of center, the Crocodiles are within flame range of the center german infantry who are holed up in the house and also the Firestorm infantry in the right most hedge. They unleash their terrible flamethrowers and kill three infantry in the building and two in the field.
The AVsRE fire their very short range Petard Mortars at the same building and kill another of the infantry stands forcing a morale check.... But the German 1iC is lurking behind the building and reminds them they have to stand firm!

(Some dramatic flame effects for those petard shots!)
The Armoured Cars once again open up on the big guns and this time do kill something, but it's not the guns, merely their platoon commander. The sniper again fails to hit.
On the right flank, the infantry assault the lone poor German artillery observer, in the hopes of drawing in the enemy Firestorm infantry. It works, but not nearly well enough as two German stands of infantry survive which means the platoon is at half strength, no need for a morale check yet.

German Turn Two and Densmol drops his ambush! His second Infantry platoon was hiding behind the hedges the whole time! (And in their half tracks too no less - not looking good for my right flank...)

The not-in-picture Nebelwerfer rockets barrage my very exposed rightmost infantry, killing two stands and pinning the platoon. The Newly arrived Panzergrenadiers in half-tracks first machinegun, then assault my poor infantry, making short work of them and the few survivors run foro their lives.

Followed by the final sherman on that flank getting blown to pieces by more 88 fire. My right flank is gone and the Panzergrenadiers are on the prowl. I'm now two platoons down and losing.

Panzer iv's line up some easy shots on the Breaching Group, but both miss! At the same time, the 15cm guns (Who couldn't unpin last turn.) get two cheeky direct shots off at the left flank sherman tanks and pop them both!

The German tanks Stormtrooper back out of Petard range and also of the Piat team in the ruins, whilst the sherman tanks at top left snap, crackle and pop with exploding ammunition.
Canadian turn Three. Notes and pictures get a little spotty from here as it was getting muy late and the wine had been flowing a bit freely. The Firefly once again uses some long range shots and manages to destroy a Panzer iv! Bloody last one sticks around though, again, the German 1iC reminding them of their duty.
The Firefly who could. Also on the left, my #1 infantry platoon, slowly making their way up to try to tackle the 15cm guns and then on to tackle the left most objective.

The mortar platoon realising it's in a rather vulnerable position, shuffles about so all teams can line up some direct shots at the Panzergrenadiers in half-tracks. 6 shots fire and!!!! Nothing. O dear. Meanwhile, the AOP calls in another bombardment and actually hits the German artillery, but only manages to kill their Staff team!

An overview of the turn.

German Turn Three sees Densmol remove the last Panzer iv under the strategic withdrawal rules. Damnit, I was ready to assault that tank in my turn as well! His artillery once again do not unpin. The halftracks trundle over unimpeded and machingun my poor mortars to death as expected. Now they are in my backfield.

Densmol's defense is looking good from here.

Canadian Turn Four and my Armoured Cars ONCE AGAIN open up on the artillery killing a single gun. (Densmol has rolled about 7 or 8 fives and sixes for saves on these big buggers. They should have dies two turns ago! The sniper tries to make himself useful and finally take out an artillery team from the bridge - hits (!) and then fails his fire power roll... Worst unit ever.

The now flamethrower-less Crocodiles manage to shoot and kill the Firestorm Pak40 and also blow up one of the half-tracks, killing the infantry inside.
German Turn Four starts with Densmol withdrawing the a required platoon and chooses the infantry in the central building. Then the 15cm guns decide they will stay pinned! The Nebelwerfer rockets bombard my central Firestorm infantry platoon and kill a stand, then the half-tracks move in and Machinegun two more. A 88 AA gun shoots and blows up both AVsRE Churchills and force the platoon commander regular sherman to flee the field of battle.

I'm now four platoons down and have to make a Company Morale test. I roll a one... Thankfully Assault Companies get a re-roll so I do and roll.... a three. 5-2 win for the Germans.
So Densmol's holding action allowed the remaining German troops who were manning the defenses at Juno Beach to get back and regroup safely and perhaps buy enough time for a counter attack whilst the Canadians get themselves reorganised.

It was a fun game on a very open table terrain-wise, though I felt it kept in theme because of this and so didn't mind the hard slog my poor bloody infantry had to get at those German positions. Saying all this though, it went on far longer than it should have due to us being rather rusty on rules after not playing for 2-3 months and we didn't end up finishing until almost 1:30am. ~_~

Round 2 rules of the campaign should be up tomorrow, so we'll try to get that in soon.


  1. Looks like a fun game Dai! I wanted to get in on this campaign myself, but no luck. The guys in El Paso have been busy.

    1. You can always join in at any time. Don't think Cameron has put any limit?

      And.... if yer back for the hols, we can get together and play too! :)

  2. Awesome stuff. I've linked it in my turn 1 recap!

  3. Some very nice kit on display, Dai. Great to see it in use. Posts like this make me realize what a different sort of game FoW is from the WW2 rules I use (Lardies, mostly) but it still looks like a grand time. Glad to see the Canucks doing well.

    1. Thanks Mike. It's taken some time to get it all collected, but I like to think I can put on a half decent spread when game-time comes around.

  4. Cool battle report! Table and the miniatures all look grand indeed!

  5. Love it! I am particularly enamoured of (a) the use of those petard rounds and (b) the 'stealth' Auster.