Friday, 19 June 2015

Firestorm Caen Campaign Weekend - AAR

Hello All

Last weekend Adam ran a Firestrom Caen campaign weekend at Entoyment, set over the Friday night and Saturday. This was Adam's first ever event to fulfill one of his New Years Resolutions. 
The event had one round of games on the Friday night and three games on the Saturday, this left it one round short so the first round (the beach landings) where rolled for using the Generals Wargame. The Friday was optional and I was unable to attend, so I will pick up the story from Saturday morning and round three Operation Espon.

My army

I decided to run my Churchill's for the weekend having just painted them up. My list was simple, Two platoons of Churchill's with upgraded front armour, Stuarts for recce, three Crocs as I also wanted to see what they did in action and finally three CT carriers to give me five platoons. I figured I would get away with this as I would have Firestrom troops to get me up to six platoons.

I figured the list would be good against Panzer IV/StuG lists and Infantry, unfortunately I didn't face a single infantry list, I only saw one infantry platoon over the whole weekend...

Round 3 - Epson

I arrived Saturday morning to see and I was interested to see how the first two had gone, it turned out not too well... Gold and Juno beaches had made no progress, from sword beach the British had managed to get to the outskirts of Caen and the Airbourne landing was still holding on.
The number of missions was rolled up and was eight, this meant we'd have three Generals game missions and five games played. The allies were attacking in four of these games and I offered to defend. My opponent was are own Winner Dave who was using German Panzers. This was my favourite game of the weekend and it went to the wire. We rolled up Hold The Line, Dave attacked along the two roads either side on my deployment area, he used the bocage and stormtrooper well to stop me from getting many shots. I had Typhoons as Firestorm troops and they did nothing for me... they turned up once in the first four turns bailing one Panzer IV and after that they were too close to do anything.

I killed Winners AA, Panzer IV's and reduced his StuGs to one tanks. But the five Panthers started to make an impact on the game and Winner ended up breaking me. 4-3 to the Axis.
Double bailed on but Winner passed the motivation test to keep him in the game.
The rest of the round went better for the Allies with 4 wins including Mike Parker's Canadian Infantry taking Northern Caen. But an Axis coutner attack int he Generals game cut them off and Caen ended up out of supply.

Round 4 - Charnwood

The round after lunch was operation Charnwood, after the third rounds wins and loses we decided to try and set ourselves up for round five. They allies attacked towards Villers Bocage, the Caen-Falaise Road and attempted to relieve the surround forces in Caen. We again got eight games but this time it was a six to split to the Allies.
I was attacking towards Viller's Bocage and would face Viking Mikes SS Panzer company. This was a hard mission for Mike, my Churchill's were pretty much untouchable in the front from his army. We rolled up encounter and I decided to try and play aggressively. My Churchill's crossed into the middle as fast as possible under the cover of some 5.5 Artillery I got as firestrom troops. Mike was a little indecisive and had deployed a little to far back, this meant that when he did move out he lacked cover. I killed a platoon of StuG very quickly and reduced his FlaK88's and Armoured Nebs. Mike was close to a company moral test when he got reserves and that made a game of it. Mike managed to get a platoon of StuGs into my back field and with his reserve StuGs and Panzer IV's I ended up getting shot from two sides. Mike had one of my objectives when my Crocs turned up behind them and saved the objective.

After this I managed to pin down his platoons and broke Mike army, I did lose my Stuarts and so it ended up 5-2 to me.

The rest of the round was a mixed bag for the Allies. We took two places to attack Viller's Bocage from and Cagny to attack the Falaise Road from but we lost are foot hold in Caen.

Round 5 - Goodwood

It really was everything to play for going into this round, a couple of good attacks and defends and the Germans would be cut off and the victory would go to the allies (admittedly without Caen...). But the Allies had no room for mistakes, one bad attack in a critical area and it would be all over.
 There would be 6 games this round and the Allies ended up with most of the attacks. Attacking Villers Bocage, the Caen-Falaise Road, South of Caen and the areas around Caen. The Germans had one attack it was onto the Sword Beach!

I was leading the charge to Falaise against Carl. I got Typhoons and 5.5 Artillery to help me with this task. We rolled up Dust Up and I put one platoon of Churchills, Carriers and the 5.5 Artillery on the table. I faced two platoons of Panzer IV's and platoon of firestorm German Field Support (the one you roll randomly for).

Carl played aggressively as he always does I and sat back in a wheat field picking off his tanks and smoking the survivors with my CS Churchills. The Carriers advanced and then fell back quickly before they got over ran by Panzers. I killed most of the Panzers when my Crocs turned up and killed all the infantry on the objective pinning them and stopping them from moving to contest the objective. The artillery pinned Carls artillery which also failed to unpin and that was the game, 6-1 to me.

Result and Closing Thoughts

Unfortunately for the Allies, despite taking the Caen-Falaise Road most of the other attacks failed and the Germans even captured Sword Beach (although they were cut off in doing so). The end result was about 420VPs to the Germans and 250VPs to the Allies (They could be a little off). The Germans had stopped the British cold and it would be done to the US to take Normandy.

I do think the 1250pts for are games made the Firestorm troops (particularly the Panther, Tigers and 5.5 artillery) too powerful. It's hard to have all the counters you need to take these powerful units and still have a balanced list. 1500pts/1650pts I think would have worked better. But you only learn by doing and learning is half the battle.

Adam did well for his first event. There are a few things I would have done differently and Adam did chance a few things for the better as the tournaments went on for the better. I think if he did this again next year he'd run a great event. We are thinking about running St. Lo next year to complete the D-Day Firestorms.

Photo Dump

Yes that one 2IC faust team did all that!
Thanks for reading and until next time



  1. Very cool. I'd really like to do a similar event here. Did you find the firestorm troops unbalanced? Did you have games where one player did not have them?

  2. I thought they were about right at 1250, really powerful but not unbeatable - yes we had some games where the allies had two 'good' firestorm troops and the axis had only a dice roll - but because the allies almost always attacked, and the need for them to keep going I think it was really well worked

  3. I disagree Adam, the allied firestorm troops were fine, it was the axis panthers and Tigers that the allied struggled with in combination with a platoon of panthers in the army lists too. 5 panthers if hard to deal with in a 1250pts army with firestorm troops that aren't the best at killing them. Trained artillery and limited typhoons aren't the best answer for veteran tanks.

    I think 1500pts to 1650pts with the firestorm troops would be better. All the other firestorm campaigns I have played in were these totals and it meant the firestorm troops were good but not game breaking, about the level they should be.

    That's not to say it wasn't worth trying 1250pts and it was ok, but I think it needs to be higher next time.

    1. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun campaign and I enjoyed it, but like all things tried for the first time it jests needs a little tweaking.

    2. Also Adam if the biggest problem is the amount of points you picked i think that shows you did a good job.