Earlier this morning I introduced Tinglyed to the joys of Rapid fire. It was only a small scale engagement with the newly finished 23rd Hussars and the Germans still being a work in progress.
While Flames of War is a great set of rules for WW2 I find that it tends to be far too in depth for the 15mm scale. The quick reference guide is confusing and complex. Don't get me wrong, while its nice to have vehicle crews digging out bogged in tanks and different squads weapons having different effects, all the special rules and complex procedures takes away from why we enjoy playing wargames - the fun and tactics it takes to beat and opponent.
I gave Ed the quick reference sheet for Rapid Fire and within 5 minutes was happy enough to deploy his forces. He chose the Germans for this engagement, a fictional skirmish between the 10th(SS) Panzer Division and the British 11th Armoured Division around hill 112 during the opening days of Operation Epsom.
|11th Armoured Division deploys|
|A Squadron 23rd hussars waiting for H hour|
|At this stage we were still blindly probing forwards. Us generals floating above the battle could clearly see where the enemy was, but our troops on the ground still has no idea where each other was.|
The battle began in earnest with the Germans spotting my armour pushing up the right flank. The opening salvo saw one of my Cromwells burst into flames! Rapid fire uses a simple firing system. Guns range from class 1-5 and armour A-E. Using a simple chart you find out the score needed for a hit and any modifiers for moving, cover etc. If a hit is scored you then roll for damage causing either light, heavy or you destroy the tank. Damage caries over so two lights = heavy and 2 heavys = destroyed. Shermans having an armour class of C tend to get destroyed very easily from the German Class 2 guns!
|The right started to get deadly, with only my Firefly being able to punch through the Germans armour.|
|The Germans pushed my left flank hard while I was forced to reinforce my floundering right flank.|
|My ARV tried valiantly to repair a damaged Sherman and get it back in the fight.|
Finally the weight of German fire proved too much. An entire company of infantry had been wiped out holding the church and all but one of my tanks were on fire! B Squadrons remaining Firefly decided he had had enough and withdrew from the field. With the infantry at risk of being surrounded and with only a PIAT to hold off the German armour I decided to withdraw and regroup.
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable game and all done and dusted in just over an hour. While being a simple rule set it still gave a good feel for the tactics and weapons of the day. My 75mm Shermans were all but useless unless point blank against a German tank, but my advantage in numbers made for a balanced and challenging game. Just a shame they decided to go up in flames every time a Panzer so much as looked at them!