Hauptmann Otto Meyer Reporting Sir...

Blake leaves Sean scratching his head Hauptmann Otto Meyer Reporting Sir...
with Blake Coster

What Do You Mean No Tanks!
Anybody who has played a game of Flames Of War against me knows how I love my tanks. So when the Battlefront Studio planned on playing the Infantry Aces campaign, it gave me an opportunity to experiment with an infantry force in Flames Of War.

Left: Blake leaves Sean scratching his head.
Quantity over Quality?
While everyone else was favouring a smaller force made up of quality troops I decided to do something radically different; fielding a horde of inferior troops in the form of a Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie (page 82 of Earth & Steel). Rated as Reluctant Trained, I hoped that the quantity of troops would make up for the lack of quality; I also pinned my hopes on the abilities of my Infantry Ace to offset the company’s motivation level.

Read Phil's account of the Infantry Aces campaign here...
A Hero is Born.
I choose the Hero archetype from the Leadership abilities for my Infantry Ace Otto Meyer. A former member of the elite 1. Fallschirmjäger Division; Meyer distinguished himself early in the Cassino campaign be leading a number of counter-attacks that prevented the Allies from gaining an early advantage in the campaign. However, he was promptly transferred and put in charge of a Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie for refusing to collaborate as a witness in order for a superior officer to be awarded the Iron Cross.

Right: Blake's StuG platoon in action during the last day in combat.
Blake's StuGs in action during the last day in combat
Turn One Ability Meyer’s Infantry Ace Abilities
I’m Already Here!
Turn One Ability
This gave Meyer the ability to hold and contest objective despite being an Independent team. I used this skill in this way; I would guard an objective with one or more Jäger platoons with Meyer behind them within command distance so the enemy would have to fight through them before being able to contest the objective. If the Jäger platoons had to pull back for any reason Meyer was able to provide motivation or if they were wiped out then he could hold the objective until reserves were able to be bought up to reinforce his position.

Stick It To ‘em
Turn Two Ability
This gave Meyer the ability to automatically rally a pinned down platoon upon joining it. This proved extremely useful against opponents with artillery or who pinned down my platoons during the shooting step. Behind the deployment I described in the example above I placed my mortars so Meyer could act as a Fire Brigade for motivational purposes where ever he was needed. Often an HMG platoon wouldn’t too far away either.

Learn what Infantry Aces is here...

Turn Two Ability
Turn Three Ability Unshakable
Turn Three Ability
This was the most valuable skill that Meyer bought to the table; the ability to re-roll any failed Platoon Morale checks and Company Morale checks. With the Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie being rated as Reluctant meant that there would plenty of failures.
Heavy Assault
Ace of Aces Ability

With my force only being Trained meant I needed all the help I could get when it came down to hitting in assaults. Heavy Assault allowed Meyer to re-roll any failed attempts to hit in assaults, Meyer always led from the front; he’d accompany any platoon that ventured out with the intention of attacking the enemy.

Read the Cassino Design Notes here...
Ace of Aces Ability
Time for Action
I felt quietly confident before the start of play. In the first game I faced Victor and his Indian Rifle Company led by his Infantry Ace Raj Patel. My confidence was quickly shattered as his Indians made short work of my Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie. Meyer fought bravely but was unable to motivate his troops despite having the superiority in terms of numbers.

Left: Victor's Indians on the charge.
Next up was Phil’s British Motor Company; his force, like mine was also rated as Reluctant, but were better trained (Veteran).  Facing off in No Retreat I was able to stack on side of the table (with the help of some barbed wire) with troops using my deployment strategy. His artillery was a real thorn in my side but the real killer was the inability of the ambushing HMGs could not kill a single stand of infantry vanguard of Phil’s attacking formation. Salt was then rubbed into the wound as they immediately unpinned and assaulted the Jäger platoon off the objective, killing Meyer and then mopping up the reinforcements as they tried to re-capture the objective.

Learn more about what's inside Cassino here...

Right: That's a bit of bad luck old chap!
That's a bit of bad luck old chap!
For the game against Sean the points escalation had reach its apex (900 points); Meyer was now in command of a nine platoons. Facing off in Breakthrough, Meyer sent a majority of platoons under his command on a flank attack while the artillery softened up the Nisei platoon defending the objective. The StuG platoon were able to make short work of Stuarts before slowly rolling towards the objectives. However, they were beaten to thepunch by the infantry as a single Jäger platoon did the unthinkable and pushed a slightly weakened Nisei Rifle Platoon off the objective who then prompt failed platoon morale (on a 2+) and the re-roll provided by the Company Commander!

The Luftwaffe artillery take cover behind a hill.
The Luftwaffe artillery take cover behind a hill
Last Day in Combat
Entering the last day of combat the Luftwaffe Jägerkompanie faced off against a Goum Rifle Company (Chris) flanked by a the old foe in the form of the British Motor Company (Phil) and a New Zealand Rifle Company (James). Meyer was reunited with an old friend from 1. Fallschirmjäger Division, Fritz Von Warner (Mark); after making short work of the British armour the German position was quickly overrun by the Goums and British. Despite fighting bravely and demonstrating outstanding leadership the Jägerkompanie finally yielded to the relentless Allied pressure.

Below: The British make tactical use of the smoke screen against the German position.
The British make tactical use of the smoke screen against the German position
I enjoyed playing the Infantry Aces campaign despite being the total tread head that I am. The ability to customise the skills of your Infantry Aces to make up for a deficiency within your force or add that something extra to an armies already existing special rules adds that extra favour to a new exciting way to play Flames Of War.

~ Blake.

In a last throw of the dice, Meyer leads a desprate assault in an attempt to pull off a Axis victory.
In a last throw of the dice, Meyer leads a desprate assault in an attempt to pull off a Axis victory

Last Updated On Thursday, August 4, 2011 by Blake at Battlefront