British Paras vs Reserve Infantry Company – Surrounded (NGFS Test #1)

This battle report and post would have been a great follow up to a post I was working on just after I finished 1st in the UK Games Expo FOW LW Competition, running a British Para list with full 300pts NGFS, however the week after the expo, an article went up from the guys at Battlefront re-jigging some of the rules of how NGFS works as it had been perceived too powerful. Those rules involved it dropping from AT6 1+ to AT5 2+ and only allowed one attempt to range-in. Now we’re on phase 2 of the rules re-write and this one seems a bit better and more balanced, so with that in mind i’m going to run a couple of test games to see how it fairs. For reference, here are the current proposed rules;

Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) in Flames Of War has been receiving a lot of attention lately, with a lot of people finding it rather too effective. Battlefront put out a suggested change to the rules for public feedback. Having reviewed the feedback, we’ve decided to try a different approach to see how that works.

This approach leaves the basic rules unchanged, but reduces the size of the battery to a maximum of four guns to better reflect the amount of fire that a warship could practically deliver against a ground target. Light Cruiser NGFS also has a reduced Anti-tank and Firepower rating to reflect the smaller calibre weapons compared to heavy cruisers and battleships.

Please try them out and post your battle reports on this forum.

We are proposing the following arsenal entries for the various types of NGFS:
• LCG Support (75 points): 2-gun battery, Anti-tank 4, Firepower 3+.
• Destroyer (150 points): 4-gun battery, Anti-tank 4, Firepower 3+.
• Light Cruiser (250 points): 4-gun battery, Anti-tank 5, Firepower 2+ (was an 8-gun battery with Anti-tank 6 and Firepower 1+).
• Heavy Cruiser (300 points): 4-gun battery, Anti-tank 6, Firepower 1+ (was a 12-gun battery).
• HMS Roberts (150 points): 2-gun battery, Anti-tank 6, Firepower 1+.
• HMS Warspite (300 points): 4-gun battery, Anti-tank 6, Firepower 1+ (was a 6-gun battery).
• Prinz Eugen (275 points): 4-gun battery, Anti-tank 6, Firepower 1+ (was 200 points).

Please try out these ideas over the next month and let us know how it worked.

So, I was running the following list;

 Fearless    Veteran   Parachute Company (6th)
 
British Late-War
Infantry Company
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Headquarters
Parachute Company HQ (6th)  p.23
2
3
Cmd SMG team
PIAT team
120
Combat Platoons
Parachute Platoon (6th)  p.23
1
1
6
Cmd Rifle/MG team
PIAT team
Rifle/MG team
230
Parachute Platoon (6th)  p.23
1
1
6
Cmd Rifle/MG team
PIAT team
Rifle/MG team
230
Warrior
Lt Colonel R.G. Pine-Coffin  p.21
1 Lt Colonel R.G. Pine-Coffin 50
Weapons Platoons
Parachute Mortar Platoon (6th)  p.24
1
1
4
Cmd Rifle team
Observer Rifle team
ML 3″ Mk II Mortar
130
Support Platoons
Commando Company (Beaches)  p.46
1
6
Cmd Rifle/MG team
Rifle/MG team
195
Airborne Recce Platoon  p.34
1
1
1
Cmd Motorcycle Rifle team
Motorcycle Rifle team
Universal Carrier with extra hull-mounted MG
85
Airlanding Anti-tank Platoon  p.29
1
4
Cmd Rifle team
OQF 6 pdr gun (late)
160
Naval Gunfire Support  Confident  Trained   p.161
12 Heavy Cruiser 300
Company Points: 1500
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Overlord book

 

Dave, on the other hand had brought a reserve infantry pdf list, he was worried about the lack of recce in his list for attacking but as it turns out, my Commando platoon forces me to attack against an infantry company anyway, so he was fine.

  Confident    Trained   Walkürekompanie
Reserve Infantry Company
German Late-War
Infantry Company
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Headquarters
Walkürekompanie HQ  p.5
2
2
2
Cmd SMG team
MG42 HMG
Panzerschreck team
125
Combat Platoons
Walküre Platoon  p.5
1
6
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
Rifle/MG team
130
Walküre Platoon  p.5
1
6
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
Rifle/MG team
130
Weapons Platoons
Walküre Mortar Platoon  p.6
1
3
6
Cmd SMG team
Observer Rifle team
8cm GW34 mortar
145
Divisional Support
Assault Gun Platoon  Confident  Veteran   p.9
3
1
StuG G or StuG IV
StuH42
380
Veteran Tank-hunter Platoon  Confident  Veteran   p.15
4 Hetzer 340
Panzerpionier Platoon  Confident  Veteran   p.11
1
1
1
6
3
Cmd Pioneer Panzerfaust SMG team
Kfz 15 field car
Pioneer Supply 3-ton truck
Pioneer Rifle/MG team
Kfz 70 truck
240
Company Points: 1490
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Walkürekompanie PDF

We rolled up Surrounded for the mission, which on reflection was quite a good test, the double template NGFS would have made it very difficult for Dave to put everything on the board and not have lots of it covered under the template however single template made things a little easier.

Objectives wise we ended up with one on the North end on top of a hill, and one on the South end at the bottom of another hill, neither of them close enough to woods or buildings to contest. Dave deployed one Walküre on each, with the Mortars also taking the northern hill and then Pioneers holding a central wood so they could counter attack whichever objective was threatened, the PSV placed 3 bits of barbed wire covering the northern hill (and the mortars) on each side.  The hetzers chose the south eastern cornfield as their terrain piece and the StuGs chose to hide in immediate ambush.

Deployment

The StuGs and the Hetzers had taken a good deal of Daves points, so I opted to send the Commandos straight towards the Hetzers through the corn, the 6pdrs would cover their advance from atop the hill, the first Para platoon would aim towards the mortars using the farmhouse for cover and the second Para platoon would come from the western direction through the corn and down to the Southern objective, Mortars covering their advance. Dave popped the immediate ambush to stop the Western para platoon (or at least slow them down) and it also split his tanks which stopped me from focusing on one area of the battlefield.

Turn 1 movement!

Despite attacking in the daylight, I could still make a spearhead move with my Paras thanks to pine-coffin, the Immediate ambush of the stuGs had limited my advance however I still got a few inches, and the other platoon made for the Farmhouse.

Turn 1

Using the cornfields for cover, the Para platoon on the western side of the board advanced, the Paras on the eastern side moved through the farmhouse and the Commando platoon rushed up the centre towards the Hetzers. The AOP tried to range in on the StuH42 to kill off Daves only breakthrough gun however it failed to range in at all, despite needing 4s on 4 attempts.

Using the Farmhouse for cover, for the minute….

Dave moved up the Hetzers to have a go at brassing up the Commandos who were fast approaching, the StuGs also advanced to machine gun up the paras on the western side, everything else stayed still. The Mortars had a go at ranging in on the Paras in the farmhouse, but failed to range in at all. We joked that if we both continued with awful dice, it wouldn’t be much of a battle report. the Hetzers scored some hits on the commandos but could only knock out an infantry team and the Stugs did much the same. Using his stormtrooper rolls to move back, Dave had badly positioned one of them…..

Closing the gap on the hetzers

Turn 2

A single para team was within 10″ of the Hetzer platoon, and a couple more were within 12″ so it would be possible to assault the hetzers with at least 2 platoons this turn (the commandos were also in range), the Paras also could reach a StuG or two, so everyone moved up for some early assaults, the Commandos and Paras on the eastern side had some nice concealment using the cornfields however the Paras attacking the StuGs needed some concealment so the Mortars opted to drop some smoke down.

The NGFS tried again to get the StuH42 however despite ranging in first time, it failed to hit, having lost its re-roll in the new rules update.

The first platoon to go in was the Paras attacking from the farm house, after having moved them up, Dave could only get 2 hetzers to shoot in defensive fire so 6 shots but not the 5 hits needed, in a single swing, the paras hit the Hetzer and Dave rolled the magic 1 for a destroyed Hetzer. Having nothing within 4 he was forced to break off. The commandos were still in range to assault however a failed Tank Terror test kept them in their foxholes. Over the otherside, the lack of a dead StuH had given dave another 3 dice in defensive fire and coupled with an MG team or two being a little too close, Dave got the five hits needed to push the assault back, an infantry team or two were taken down and platoon was pinned in place. Not good.

Gotcha!

In Daves turn, he followed up by pouring more machine fire into the Paras and commandos resulting in a couple more kills, the pressure was on as I was running out of infantry teams pretty quickly. The Pioneers moved a few teams (and two flamethrowers) out of the woods to try and cripple the commando platoon, the counter attack was on. From 4 shots, only 1 dead commando team, pinning the platoon. Dave opted not to assault with the Hetzers for fear of 2+ PIAT team in the commandos, so used stormtrooper to move back into the town, creating a bottleneck for the two platoons whilst the Pioneers could provide a speed bump. The StuGs opted to divert for a moment and focus on the 8cm Mortars to stop me from putting smoke down in the future, they killed off a gun and in the assault got another one, however a counter assaulting 8cm mortar managed to bail a StuG, and when the counter assault from the Germans didn’t come, captured it and knocked it out. The platoon however would almost certainly not last another turn.

Taking lots of fire from the Germans.

 

Turn 3

The Paras on the western side who were pushed back by defensive fire failed to un-pin, so opted to dig-ing, over the other side, the Commandos were back on the move again. Without smoke I really needed the NGFS to start reducing the numbers. The Paras also moved up to assault the Pioneers.

The NGFS was now trying to clear out the hetzers and I was able to get all 3 under the template, however I ranged in on the second attempt and could only hit one, that hit was converted to a kill however it still left 2 of them blocking the entrance to the town.

NGFS can be very precise, making sure my own teams aren’t going to be under the template.

The Paras went in first and cleared out a couple of teams, the counter attack knocking out another Para team, after another counter assault, the Pioneers retreated they were on a platoon morale test which they failed.  The commandos pushed up to assault the Hetzers but couldn’t do any damage and the Hetzers opted to break off, giving the commandos the town and a couple of buildings for cover.

Closing in on the town and getting ever closer to that objective.

In Daves turn he cleared the last remaining mortar so he could start coming back to support the infantry in the centre of town.

Turn 4

I was losing teams left and right (in Daves turns he had been hitting my advancing infantry platoons with mortar fire to whittle down their numbers, all three of my platoons were now one team away from platoon morale checks so at this point I probably wouldn’t win the game.

The Mortars bag a StuG, but are cleared the next turn.

The NGFS did the same as the previous turn, exactly the same. Ranged in on 2nd attempt and killed a single Hetzer, but the platoon passed its motivation to stay in the game, it’d have to be knocked out manually it seems.

Around this point Dave poured all the fire in and was able to destroy enough teams to put the Paras in the centre on platoon morale check which they failed, Pine-coffin opted not to join them so he could join the Commandos. The Commandos were also put on a platoon morale check but they passed, without Pine-Coffins help.

Turn 5

With a larger amount of infantry (7 or 8 teams) now sitting under the template, the NGFS went for a potential game winning move of blowing a large chunk out of the infantry platoon sat on the objective, however despite ranging in first time (with gone to ground removed) Dave passed all hit saves for the 7 teams I hit.

The Commandos take the town.

Dave continued to shoot up my last remaining infantry platoons and put both on platoon morale checks which they failed. Leaving me with no infantry platoons. And only recce and a couple of 6pdrs left. I did pass my company morale check however which gave me one last turn before we called it quits.

Attempts to blow apart the infantry failed.

Turn 6

With the game lost by scneario, I made one last attempt using the NGFS to bag the final hetzer to give me my second platoon, despite only ranging in on the last attempt, I scored the 6 needed to hit and Dave failed his armour save so that was the second platoon and a 4-3 to Dave.  We discussed how much effort with the NGFS it would be to take out another 2 of Daves platoons to put him on Company morale and I would have lost either way much quicker.

Thoughts

Game wise, I probably should have focused more on one side however I wanted to have enough infantry coming in from both sides to stop Dave pummelling me with everything shooting the same direction, the initial assaults were useful however losing my smoke stopped me from being able to protect my infantry platoons so once the bullets started flying I was losing teams quite quickly.

NGFS wise, ultimatley it accounted for a single hetzer platoon, which cost 340pts with what I would call fairly average dice. At 300pts its maybe a little bit on the expensive side but I think it would need to be more expensive that the priority typhoon which is 220pts. So possibly 270pts might be better.

However, in its current points value, the question is what would 30pts bring to the list as it is? Nothing, there is nothing else I can upgrade on a unit, I could possibly swap out the commandos for an Airlanding platoon instead to get a bit more TA3 in the list however the 2+ to hit from the commandos is very good for anti-infantry work and the flexibility of that platoon is also good. In the end I think any difference between 30 and 50pts is not going to make a massive amount for the list and i’d prefer NGFS to be an expensive but more precise method of getting AT6 bombardments into the army.