Yesterday I was able to take advantage of the public holiday to enjoy a game of Flames of War with a mate. He took command of my Hungarians while I commanded the Soviets. We rolled [MISSION] and he beat me in the roll off to be declared the attacker. The Soviet force being smaller in terms of company numbers, I took advantage of the +1 to my roll to secure the first turn. I didn’t take precise notes, so I know my recount is not 100% accurate, but read on for a rough order of battle.
Company HQ, two rifle platoons with three squads each (all with rifle/MG teams), weapons platoon with three MGs, 149mm howitzer battery (two guns and observer) and three Panzer IV F2s.
Battalion HQ with two 45mm Obr 1939 AT guns, two strelokovy companies with two platoons, Maxim MG and commisar team, strelokovy mortar company with three sections and commisar team, six T-34 1942 medium tanks (no cupolas).
The image above is of our deployments from the southern end of the field. Our Objectives are mirrored: the Hungarians are going for the road on the south flank and edge of the field on the north flank, while the Soviets aimed to secure either the edge of the field (behind the barn) on the south flank) or road on the north flank.
Order of Battle
The first turn was pretty uneventful for both sides. I moved my forces straight up, my line spanning the entire battlefield, except my mortars (which would stay stationary and unharmed for the entire battle. My mortars pinned the MGs on the north flank, but failed to inflict any casualties. The MGs failed to unpin (this was the theme of the battle, a lot of things getting pinned and crawling around on the ground while slowly being picked off). Hungarian shooting was similarly uneventful, with the howitzers pinning the strelokovy on the southern flank, but MGs and AT guns (which had moved up) failing to cause any damage.
The Hungarian AT guns covered their centre. The spotter is just to the right.
The first casualty of the battle was inflicted when the commissar for the southern company attempted to motivate the men after they opted to stay pinned following the artillery barrage the turn before. He was unsuccessful (also a running theme) but the men managed dig in. Meanwhile the northern company moved further up the field and managed to pick off one of the Hungarian teams in the buildings opposite them. My mortars picked off an MG (I think?) while my T34s poured machine gun fire onto the AT guns, pinning them but causing no casualties. The AT guns and MGs both failed to unpin in the Hungarian turn. The PIVs repositioned in an attempt to set up a trap for my T34s. The northern rifle platoon moved up and the shooting from them and the MGs took out a couple of squads from my northern company. Artillery fire bailed on of my T34s also.
Soviet infantry advancing on the north flank.
My southern company failed to unpin, but did manage to dig in this time (I decided not to try motivate them). Opening up on the rifle platoon opposite on the north flank I caused some casualties, but more importantly I managed to pin them. My AT guns fired on the Hungarian AT guns for nil result, and I took out another MG with mortar fire. My T34s moved up and opened up with machine guns on the southern rifle platoon, causing significant casualties. In response the PIVs moved up and took out a T34 and bailed some others, the rest of the Hungarian forces stayed put with their heads down. A few more of my northern company were picked off with rifle, MG and AT gun fire.
The south flank, Hungarians moving up to assault.
My south flank unpinned and moved up next turn but didn’t cause any damage. My T34s all remounted and took out one PIV (the central one, breaking their chain of command) and bailed both the others. On the north flank I moved up and shot some more of the Hungarians opposite. The remaining two PIVs remounted and opened up on the T34s with devastating effect, taking out three of the remaining five. The tanks held firm though and didn’t quit the field. The MGs and AT guns stayed pinned, along with the northern rifle platoon. The southern Hungarian platoon unpinned, however, moved up, shot and assaulted my southern company. In the assault that followed the Hungarians were killed to a man, but the Soviet conscripts lost their nerve and broke off, despite the best efforts of the commissar to motivate them to fight on. In response the victorious platoon consolidated back out of sight to (hopefully) be withdrawn from the field next turn.
On the left, the panzers and T-34s face off, on the right the conscripts flee from the lone hungarian rifle team.
Next turn my whole force moved up, my remaining two T34s made a beeline for the southern-most PIV but only managed to bail it. My AT guns managed to bail the other PIV. It was this turn that saw the Hungarian AT guns silenced, and the last MG team die too. Both their command teams held firm though and did not quit the field. The north flank saw concentrated mortar fire and rifle fire inflict little damage on the Hungarian rifles, followed by an aborted assault when the remaining five Hungarian teams all hit my conscripts. The Hungarian turn netted another T34 kill, but little more damage was done by anything – though my southern company was again pinned by artillery fire. The remains of the southern Hungarian rifle platoon, AT guns and MGs were withdrawn from the battlefield to deny the Soviets the chance to completely destroy them.
The assault is stopped in its tracks.
By this stage we were both pretty bloodied. My north company was at 5 squads (out of the 21 it started with), I only had a single T34 and lost over a quarter of my other strelokovy company. In response I’d seen off three Hungarian platoons (though they had not been destroyed). The Hungarians were in no position at this stage to push forward and take an objective, except with their remaining tanks. My north company, however, was able to move up and onto my north objective. I bailed the remaining two PIVs and, luckily for me, both failed to remount. The remaining riflemen on the north flank made a last ditched attempt to clear the Soviets off their objective. Another two squads were killed, and in response the remaining three (or perhaps four according to the image below) achieved nothing. The nerve of the Hungarians broke, however, and they fell back while I consolidated my three teams onto the Objective.
The Soviets consolidated on the objective.
And so it was that the Soviets secured victory! Having not lost an entire company, the victory would be a stunning, 6:1 victory – however it was far from such a feat. We both agreed that it was far more appropriate to consider it a 1:1 victory to the Soviets (i.e. working things out as though the game were a draw) given the high cost paid to secure the Objective (I had about 14 rifle teams left out of the 42 I began with, only a single T34, one AT gun, my HQ teams, plus the unharmed mortar company plus spotter. The Hungarians had two PIVs, unharmed artillery and spotter, their command teams and five rifle teams out of the 20 they began with. So really, both of us were at about 25-30% strength at the game’s end).
Some end games shots. The remaining T-34 facing the (bailed out) Panzer, and Soviet infantry pinned down in the centre of the field.
It was a good battle though and much closer than our first engagement. We both agreed we looked forward to being able to meet in the North African desert in the future!