Testing Hail Of Fire - Part 1
Dale Hurtt of the fantastic blog, "Dale's Wargames" has published a very thorough, two-part playtest session report, with great pictures and excellent analysis to boot! A couple rules mistakes aside, it's a great pair of articles and has initiated some quality discussion and feedback online. Take a look, and also check out his many other insightful articles!
Testing Hail Of Fire - Part 1
Steven Whitesell got in another game of Hail of Fire and posted a quick AAR with pics on his blog. Check it out!
Here is part 2 of my Guns of August photo dump! We were able to play two more games of Hail of Fire that weekend. The first being a rather desperate soviet charge to retake a crossroads. Superior German positioning and equipment meant a field filled with dead Soviet soldiers and burning tanks! A sad sad sight indeed!
The last game saw a German force again moving over the French countryside to engage the Americans. While not quite the sweep of the first two games, the Axis power again pushed it's enemy off the field and grabbed victory!
Thanks again to those who played and said hi! We'll see your all again at Muster in February!
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!
Ivan Sorenson of Nordic Weasel Games (designer of Fivecore, F.A.D., Clash on the Fringe, No End In Sight, and on and on...) posted on his blog a shout-out to Hail of Fire, giving it some kudos and encouraging peeps to check it out!
Steven Whitesell of "Sound Officers Call!" has written an exciting post sharing his thoughts and experience playing his first game of the revamped Hail of Fire rules. Check it out here: Link
Well, a goal of mine for the last 3 years is finally met. Hail Of Fire is now available on WargameVault.com. I've had previous versions available here for people to try and discuss, but wanted to wait to publish it elsewhere until I felt more excited about the state of the ideas and the presentation. It's "Pay What You Want", so everyone may still download it for free, and I have it currently tagged as Beta while I solicit feedback from the larger audience. Hopefully I'll get enough good feedback to polish what's currently there and shed the tag before the end of summer.
You can download them here:
For any of you who've had a chance to play HoF before, this is quite a bit different, and so far has been much more fun and interesting to play for me (Previous versions will always be available on my website).
It's still only a few pages long, though much more readable. It uses a delayed combat results system, where neither side knows the result of fire until the target tries to act, and it has a very simple and fast interactive turn sequence. It can be played with traditional "blinds" but features a quick and easy hidden deployment system that doesn't require tokens or book keeping and keeps things exciting (it's a game, not a simulator), and a "Battlegroup" style chit system for force moral (I have a free digital chit bag for anyone to use on my website).
Anyway, I'm very interested in feedback now that I have something I'm excited to share. Check it out and tell me what you think! :D
Also noteworthy, I got to debut the rules at my very first Historicon! We had 2 games going with total 7 players, and everyone seemed to have a good time and grasped the untraditional aspects of the new rules pretty quickly. I was unfortunately too busy jumping back and forth between the two games coaching players to recall the specifics, but was lucky enough to have my lovely girlfriend present to snap some pics and prove that it really happened. ;)
I've removed the forum in favor of this blog, and so felt it would be nice to preserve here my AAR from Williamsburg Muster. Enjoy!
Hey guys, last weekend I went to my first games convention since relocating to the east coast, Williamsburg Muster! I was able to host 2 demo games, both of which went very well. The first was with a father/son team, Shawn and 9yo Henry, commanding the Soviet armored horde, vs Bob, defending conquered land with his Grenadiers, panthers arriving in support. It wasn't until we started playing than I realized that between the holidays, a cross-country move, and starting a new job, that I hadn't played or looked at the rules in 3 months! I had to apologize a couple times for needing to double check the rules a few times while coaching, but at 4 pages total, it didn't delay things too long ;)
Henry and Shawn seized the initiative early and kept it going for an INCREDIBLE duration, rolling 6's for activation no less than 6 or 7 times in a row. However Bob's patience seemed to serve him well, keeping his troops hidden for a long as possible and not giving the Red's easy targets. Slowly but surely, his well dug in Pak-40s picked off tank after tank, but it was when Henry decided to undertake a daring flanking maneuver with his heavy armor through the woods that things turned.
Bob, under cover of the woods, ambushed the JS2s with close ranged 'faust and 'shreck fire to their flanks, destroying 2 of the 3. The third tried to recover and counter-attack, but the foot troops took advantage of the confusion and managed to take out the last tank before it was too late. After that it seems the Soviet's luck had run dry. Panthers and more grenadiers arrived from reserve and the defense become near impossible to crack. The Soviets moral broke soon after.
In the next game, I got to play myself :) I played the US paratroopers holding the town against Ben's counter-attacking wermacht. Ben's took to the rules expertly, and used the terrain and mutually supporting units to execute his advance far better than I could have predicted. Before I knew it, artillery had thoroughly suppressed my rifles holding the church, and a full platoon of grenadiers, backed up by Pz4IV's, was there immediately to take full advantage and push me off the objective. My boys were completely overwhelmed and teams that survived the initial assault were gunned down trying to escape the slaughter.
Another platoon of dug in paras held firm on the other objective while a platoon of sherman tanks made their way in from reserve, but the thick bocage managed to destroy any chance of arriving in time to retake the church before the rest of my force routed.
*Forgive my lack of trees! Realized last minute I didn't have them with me in Virginia!!!
Both games were a lot of fun and I gleaned a few small points I was to further polish in the rules. Muster was a fantastic venue as well. Made a few new friends and got in a bunch of other fun games before the weekend was through. Special Thanks to my best bud, Grant Ellis, for enabling me to participate that weekend and also for taking the pictures while I GM'd and played!
Brian Hamilton of "By Brush and Sword" fame has written up a battle report of his first time playing Hail of Fire! It's a fun write up with great pics, check it out!
"By Brush And Sword" Broadside of a Barn - Hail of Fire AAR
Hey guys! For my first blog post on the site, I've decided to post a video going over the activation system used in Hail of Fire, as well as demonstrate an new layer if command and control I'm considering implementing. It's a work in progress, so check it out and let me know your thoughts: