Flames of War – Sicily Campaign

Played the first game of what will hopefully become a long running Flames of War campaign on Friday night. The campaign is basically the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. There’s four of us playing: two playing the Axis forces whether Italian or German, one playing the British and I’m playing the US army led by the lunatic General George S. Patton.

What we did on Friday night was the initial pre-invasion preparatory raids with the aim of securing objectives in order to make the beach landings easier when we fight them out on the table top. If we were doing it again, we’d set up specific objectives such as coastal gun batteries, railway bridges and the like rather than trusting to the rather abstract victory rules in the rulebook.

We played two games of 750-odd points each played using the Seize and Hold mission from the D-1 sourcebook. One game represented the British pre-invasion raid and the other reporesented the same event in the US sector.

The British attack stalled and was eventually repulsed by the Italian defenders. This was unfortunate and was caused primarily by dicing for where the British platoons entered the board. One British platoon came on right where Italian armour reinforcements turned up the next turn. That one event was largely responsible for turning the tide against the ever valiant Brits.

The US attack went better. Two platoons of US Rangers infiltrated through an orchard and some monastic buildings and went straight into hand-to-hand combat with some very surprised Italians. After they were taken care of, the Rangers turned their attention to the artillery sitting on a nearby hill. The Italians real problem during this game was the non-appearance of their reserves.

The next game is going to by the British landings just south of Syracuse using the Assault the Beach mission from the D-Day supplement. Because of British failure to take their objectives, from memory, we’re playing that the Italians can use the naval gun boambardment rules to simulate the intact coastal guns and the British only have 1500 points rather than the standard 1750 points for their army. (I’m sure I’ll be corrected if needs be.)