Dawn Attack Mission

Flames Of War

Dawn Attack

By Craig Courtis

Dawn attack simulates the confused fighting as the attacker tries to exploit a breakthrough and the defender launches strong counter attacks to halt the advance.

The Dawn Attack uses the Night Fighting (page 154 Flames Of War), Mobile Battle (page 198 Flames Of War) and Dawn Attack special rules.


Late yesterday afternoon after heavy fighting your division broke through the enemy lines and your company is in the vanguard exploiting the gap. You have been advancing all night and now, as dawn approaches, you are near your objective- strategically important ground which will allow you to cut off the enemy’s escape route and thus seal their fate.

As the first rays of dawn light up the sky you regroup and prepare for one last push to cut off the enemy forces.

Your orders are to capture one of the two objectives and thus cut off the enemy formations trying to escape the noose.


Yesterday was a day of bitter fighting and the front has started to collapse. Division has hastily gathered your company, the only available reserves to plug the yawning gap in the line. As dawn approaches you at last arrive at your start line only to find that there are no prepared positions and the enemy is, at most, only hours away away.

Dawn Attack Mission

You have counter attack and recapture strategically important territory and hold it long enough for the forces around you a chance to escape and form a new defensive line.

Your orders are to seize one of your objective points before the enemy seizes one of theirs and cuts you off.

Preparing for Battle

Dawn Attack uses the same deployment conditions as a Free-for-all mission (page 202 Flames Of War).

1. Both players roll a die. The player with the higher score chooses one of the long table edges to attack from. The other player defends from the opposite edge.
2. The attacking player now places two objectives on the defender's side of the table. The defending player then places two objectives on the attacker's side of the table. The objectives must be at least 16”/40cm from the centre line of the table and may not be placed within 8”/20cm of the side table edges. Both of a players’ objectives must be within 48”/120cm of each other.
3. Both players, starting with the attacking player, alternate placing platoons in their own half of the table. The platoons may not be placed within 12”/30cm of the centre line of the table. 
4. Both players now alternate placing their Independent Team in their deployment area starting with the attacking player. 

Depolying to the front

Beginning the Battle

1. Starting with the attacker, both players make Reconnaissance Deployment moves for any Recce Platoons they have on table.

2. Both players now roll a die. The player finishing their deployment first adds +1 to their roll. The player with the higher result has the first turn. In the event of a tie roll again.

3. Because the Dawn Attack mission uses the Mobile Battle special rule all teams are moving at the satrt of the battle. 

Ending the battle

The battle ends when the player starts their turn in possession of either one of the objectives that they placed in the enemy’s deployment area.

Deciding who Won

The player that took their objective wins the battle.

Attacker: You have captured your objective despite strong enemy counterattacks and thus have driven a wedge into the front lines, which will be exploited by the follow up troops.

Defender: Your counterattack has been successful, you have halted the breakthrough and forced the enemy onto the defensive, thus giving your comrades time to fall back, dig in and shore up the battered line.

If neither side wins:
Should the game run out of time before either side can secure an objective marker then the game is considered a draw. Both sides have fought themselves to a standstill. Both sides calculate their points from the Loser’s Points column, looking up their opponent’s losses in the Winner’s Losses column.

Victory Points Table

Winner’s Losses
Winner’s Points
Loser’s Points
0 platoons
Stunning Victory
1 platoon
Major Victory
2 or more platoons
Minor Victory

Special Rules

Night Fighting
As the game begins the night fighting rules (page154 Flames Of War) are in effect.

Dawn Attack

The game starts in darkness and used the Night Fighting special rules page 154 Flames Of War) until morning breaks.

  • At the satrt of the attacker's turn two, the attacker rolls a die. On a score of 4+, morning has broken.
  • If the roll is unsuccessful, at the start of the attacker's next turn they roll two dice with morning breaking on any roll of 4+.
  • If it is still dark at the start of the attacker's next turn, they roll three dice, and so on untill morning breaks on any roll of 4+.

Once morning breaks the night fighting rules are no longer used, and it is daylight for the remainder of the game.

Note: Only roll once per turn (not once each players turn).


Campaign Results- Next Mission

If playing the game as part of a campaign use the following table to decide the next battle.

Next Mission Notes
Stunning Victory
~ Attacker
Free-for-all The situation remains fluid and your advance continues at breakneck speed. You continue to run into more enemy forces being rushed to the front.
Major Victory
~ Attacker
Meeting Engagement Enemy forces are encountered piece- meal to try to stop your advance.
Minor Victory
~ Attacker
Breakthrough The enemy has recovered and is scrambling to form a solid line. However small gaps remain which you maybe able to exploit with a flanking force.
Stunning Victory
~ Defender
Big Push You have held long enough for your forces to prepare solid defensive positions.
Major Victory
~ Defenfer
Hold the Line The front line has stabilised and you have managed to dig in but the enemy.
Minor Victory
~ Defender
Fighting Withdrawal Your counter attack was unsuccessful. The enemy has swept aside your blocking position, your orders are to continue to withdrawal but to deny the enemy ground in the process.

This game is a slightly modified Free-for-all to allow for a few more tactical options and give infantry armies a chance to dig in before the line-of-sight war begins and thus reduce the line ‘em up and shoot ‘em fest that Free-for-all sometimes inspires.

This mission was used in TAGCON 2005 and was enjoyed by all players. Rolling for Dawn from turn 2 onwards was so that players with air power were not unduly penalised/disadvantaged. It seemed to work out OK.

Last Updated On Friday, May 9, 2008 by Wayne at Battlefront