Probing Attack

Flames Of War

Probing Attack

By Phil LeHunt of the Monday Knights

Designers Notes: Having played a growing number of tournaments and scenario driven campaigns, it became apparent to the Monday Knights that there wasn’t a Reconnaissance based scenario for larger armies (1500 points and over). While the Recon scenario works very well for smaller/skirmish forces, it can’t be used as part of a tournament or scenario driven campaigns without a specific army list being prepared for it.

This scenario intends to reward both completing reconnaissance objectives as well as “mission kills” using a larger scale force. We hope that it presents Generals with an interesting choice to be made regarding list composition, in particular where a fixed list is used in competition play.

In addition to Ambush special rule (page 196 Flames Of War Rule Book), Probing Attack missions use Probing Attack and Reinforcements special rules as detailed below.

Probing Attack missions recreate engagements between opposing forces that are probing each other’s lines for weaknesses to exploit.

Situation Report

Attacker: Contact has been made with the enemy, and the fluid front line is establishing itself. Recon and Scout forces are ordered to break through the enemy line and harass enemy supply lines and disrupt communications. To assist with the break through any enemy forces encountered are to be engaged and destroyed.

Probing Attack

Defender: Enemy forces are reported to be advancing on your area. Your orders are to engage and destroy any enemy forces encountered. Should the opportunity present itself, Recon and Scout forces are to infiltrate the lines and harass the enemy behind the lines to slow their advance.

Preparing for Battle

1. Both players roll a die. The player scoring highest chooses one of the long table edges to deploy from. The other player deploys from the opposite edge.
2. Each player must hold at least half of their platoons off table as reinforcements.
3. No Objectives Markers are required for this mission.
4. Both players roll another die. Starting with the lower scoring player, players alternate placing their remaining platoons. Roll a die for each platoon as they are deployed. Consult the mission diagram & deploy the platoon in arrival area within 8” of the table edge.
5. Both players now place their Company Command teams in their deployment areas, starting with the lower scoring player.

US Infantry Beginning the Battle

1. Both players roll a die. The player who placed the last platoon adds +1 to their roll. The player with the higher roll has the initiative, and moves first.
2. All teams are moving at the start of the battle, so all infantry in the open are not concealed and no teams have gone to ground.

Ending the Battle

The battle ends when either force has been destroyed, fails company morale or a combined total of “7 points” of recce has left the table (See Victory Points Below).

Reinforcements Special Rule:

In the fluid situation of a meeting engagement, a force can be scattered over a considerable distance when battle is joined. The outlying parts of the force dash to the sound of the guns arriving from all points of the compass. The Reinforcements special rule operates much like the Reserves special rule with the following differences:

The player does not roll for reinforcements on their first turn. Starting on turn two, the player rolls two dice. On each roll of 5+, a reinforcing platoon arrives. The player then rolls another die to determine where each reinforcing platoon arrives. Reinforcements always arrive in their own player’s table half with the die roll determining their arrival area. Consult the mission diagram to find the arrival area for each roll. On each subsequent turn the player rolls one more die than the previous turn, so on turn three, the player rolls three dice, on turn four they roll four dice, and so on. Each roll of 5+ brings another platoon on from reinforcements.

Probing Attack Special Rule:

The objective in the Probing Attacks mission is to find a weakness your opponent’s line and break through into the rear. Recon and Scout troops are excellent at sneaking through the lines and harassing enemy supply chains and lines of communication and they are more effective if they can penetrate the line undetected.

Locating Recce Troops:

If the enemy manages to positively locate one of your recce teams, they immediately shoot to kill. The hits they score tell your troops that they have been spotted. Since sneaking off the table without being located is vital to this mission, you need to keep track of which of your recce teams have been hit. You can do this by either writing a roster of your recce troops and crossing them off as they are hit, or placing a counter beside teams as they are hit. 

Victory Points

There are a total of seven victory points available for the game.

Any of your recce platoons that exit the table via the enemy table edge during any of your own Movement steps gains you further victory points.

• A recce platoon exiting without any teams ever being hit by the enemy earns 3 victory points.
• A recce platoon exiting with at least half of the remaining teams having never been hit by the enemy earns 2 victory points.
• A recce platoon exiting with more than half of its teams hit earns 1 victory point. In addition, if your Company Commander is a recce team, you gain victory points for exiting them off the table.
• A recce Company Command team exiting without being hit earns 2 victory points.
• A recce Company Command team exiting after being hit earns 1 victory point.

To gain victory points a recce platoon must not have moved At the Double when it left the table. There is a total pool of seven victory points available in a game (including the victory points awarded for playing the game). Once the players have gained seven victory points between them, recce platoons exiting gain no more points. The last platoon exiting the table may not gain the full victory points if there are not enough left in the pool. Teams and Platoons that exit the table to gain victory points do still count as being on the table for Company Morale Checks. Teams that exit the table like this do not count as destroyed. 

Deciding who won?

If game ends because "7 points of recce" have left the table, then score is the number of points each side’s recce got off the table.

If game ends due to company morale, the winner starts with 7 points and modifies the result as follows:

• Subtract 1 point if one "own" platoon destroyed or 2 points if two or more “own” platoons destroyed
• Subtract the recce Victory Points the looser got off the table.
• Add the recce Victory Points that the winner got off the table.

Looser’s score is 7 minus the winners score. (Note - It is possible to break an opponent and still loose).


US Rifle Company breaks Italian Recce force (+7 points)
US has lost 1 platoons (-1 points)
US Recce managed to get 1 recce platoon off the table (+2 points)
Italians managed to get 2 recce platoons off the table (-4 points)

Total US = 4 pts, Italians (7pts less US score) = 3pts

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