Niki and I spent the weekend in historic Williamsburg, Va. at this year's "Guns of August" convention! We ran two sessions of Hail of Fire, in addition to playing a number of other awesome games. The first session was Friday afternoon, and as could have been expected, attendees were mostly still at work and hadn't arrived. Mine was the only minis game in the room though a couple others were starting to set up. That said, we made our table as pretty as possible and quickly made a new friend named Joey, who was eager to learn to play.
He took the German armor and I grabbed the US paras and prepared to defend the village. I quickly explained how the turns worked and before I knew it the Werhmacht was pouring down the road and over the hills.
It didn't take long before they were moving into the orchard I was tasked to defend, only to meet paratroopers ready for their arrival. However the attackers overwhelmed the teams in the orchard and they decided best to withdraw to the rest of the unit in the house across the road and regroup to counter attack.
Luckily a few Shermans began arriving in support, but they became engaged with a group of PzIVs attacking from the left flank.
The Shermans now caught in the crossroads, an explosion of activity erupts. The Shermans tried to brawl but quickly became suppressed under fire and the commander ordered the unit to pull back away from the panzers. At the same time the paras in the 2-story farm house have opened fire on the grenadiers in the orchard, slowing their advance, all while also now under fire from the StuGs down the road.
The Shermans' retreat for cover wasn't fast enough, and one of them bursts into flame, all while artillery fire began to drop on the farm house, suppressing the paras.
The Allies needed to try to take back the initiative, and the Shermans begin to try and flank around the house and try to push back the StuGs.
But just then an artillery round found the perfect soft spot on the top of the platoon leader's Sherman tank. KABOOM! The remaining tank in the platoon choose self preservation and routed from the battlefield. Without armor support the paras had little ability to hold off the swell of armor and troops closing in on their position, and chose retreat!
It was a quick and exciting game. Exciting enough that Joey asked to play another round on the Russia table! Pics and summary in part 2!