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Flames North 2023

Flames North 2023 - South Australia
With Saravan Peacock

Ten Flames of War enthusiasts gathered on a cold day in Adelaide this weekend for some hot contests over the fields of Russia and the deserts of North Africa. 

Our club’s third annual Flames of War tournament was a lot of fun, using dynamic points for the first time. 85-point matches using the new Extended Missions matrix made for quick games. All 15 games achieved a result with no timeouts (2 hours 20 mins allowed for each round).

We had fantastic support from our local sponsor Military Hobbies and from Battlefront and Aetherworks who chipped in a Stalingrad starter box and some other goodies, with entry fees covering club costs and extra door prizes. Trophies and vouchers went to the category winners (Best General, Best Painted and Best Sport). Other prizes were drawn from a hat, with everyone taking home something for their efforts.

Flames North 2023

Numbers were a bit down this year due to illness in our cold and flu season, and some last-minute work commitments, but we still had a good range of players from around the state.

There was a lot of medium armour on the table, looking to take advantage of the dynamic point discounts.

There were also some heavy KV-1s and Churchills in support, and some infantry, but Panzer IIIs with Bunkerflaks looked to be the dynamic points version of the Marder meta. The winning list (taking three 8-1 wins) was a base Panzer III company with two platoons of Bunkerflak expertly commanded as usual by Scott Elaurant defeating both Soviet lists and the Italian Tank Company.

Overall Results:

  • Scott Elaurant - 24 points (3 wins) - Best General (German Panzer IIIs)
  • Saravan Peacock - 17 points (2 wins) (Soviet M3 Lees)
  • Norm - 16 points (2 wins) (Italian Tank Co with M14/41s and Semoventes)
  • Gary - 16 points (2 wins) (Romanian Medium Tank Co with T-4s and R-2s)
  • Jim - 14 points (1 win) (Bersaglieri Weapons Company)
  • Christian - 13 points (2 wins) (Australian Divisional Cavalry)
  • Ken - 12 points (1 win) (StuG Late Company)
  • Cameron - 11 points (1 win) (German Panzer III Co)
  • Dominic - 9 points (1 win) (British Sherman Armoured Squadron) - Best Painted
  • Greg - 4 points (0 wins) (Soviet Hero T-34 Tank Company) - Best Sport

With three eastern front and three North Africa theme tables, games aimed for historical settings, though opponents were matched on the usual Swiss pairing system after the first round.

This was my first event both playing and organising and I was a bit worried I wouldn’t have enough time to keep everything going. But everything ran smoothly with help from players and a few onlookers.

I ran a Soviet M3 Lee company, with KV-1 and KV-8 support, hoping the dynamic point discounts might finally give me some joy as a Soviet player.

Flames North 2023

Round 1

With first-round Axis v Allies historical matchups, I drew Gary’s Romanian force of light and medium tanks with a few key anti-tank assets that would threaten my KVs.

With joint attack stances, we rolled the Probe mission, with the Soviets defending. I had just a handful of units on the table to hold off the rushing Romanians until my reserves arrived.

I had a tough choice on where to deploy my ambushing Lees. My KV-1s and infantry each covered an objective, but the ambush couldn’t cover both. I opted to back up the KVs in the centre, deploying on a hill to rake the advancing TACAM T-60 AT guns with great effect, largely removing the main threat to my KVs. The Lees took punishing return fire from T-4s arriving from reserve and were almost wiped out but the HQ and remaining team redeployed to the flank to try to rescue the infantry, leaving the KV-1s to mop up and save the centre objective.

Flames North 2023

Flames North 2023

The infantry took a hammering from MGs and main guns but held out long enough for the remaining Lees to arrive and bolster defences. One Lee duelled with the Romanian formation commander, surviving long enough for the reserves to arrive. While the KV-1s duelled the T-4s, the reserve KV-8s and Lees made short work of the flank attack and seized the opposing objective. 8-1 to the Soviets, and my best start ever to a tournament!

Round 2


My second game was against one of the feared Panzer III companies backed by Bunkerflak and Wespes, led by Cameron, a top player. Attack versus Maneuver led to Counterstrike (one of the new experimental missions), with the Soviets attacking. Lacking spearhead to exploit this mission I didn’t see much advantage in spreading out so I focused mainly on one objective and put a huge weight of heavy tanks down the centre.


Flames North 2023

I was lucky that my opponent had possibly the worst dice rolling I had ever seen and my KVs were able to withstand the withering ambush of 88mm gunfire.

The Lees on my flanks did get cleaned up by crossfire from Panzer IIIs arriving from reserves, but I was able to put the Bunkerflaks out of action and then my heavies were largely invulnerable.

But despite his frustrating dice my opponent didn’t give up and tried to achieve a formation break by concentrating on my Lees and infantry. I was now defending the objective and doing my best to keep my weak troops out of harm’s way. In the end, the Germans couldn’t do everything and Turn 6 rolled around giving me the win 8-1. This was unheard of - I was actually at the top of the ladder!

Round 3

Unfortunately, that meant I was now facing Scott’s Panzers with double Bunkerflak this time. It was my turn to suffer the woes of the dice gods as my troops couldn’t hit a barn door or muffed their FP rolls. But mainly I was beaten by the sound planning and deployment of my experienced opponent who kept his Bunkerflak on overwatch covering most of the board while his numerous Panzers menaced my flanks. I managed to destroy one Bunkerflak platoon but couldn’t make inroads elsewhere. 8-1 loss, leaving me second overall.

Flames North 2023

Winning force:

Flames North 2023

In other games, the Romanians recovered some ground, in part through a very sneaky move onto an objective through tight quarters using their tiny R-1 tanks looking as big as a VW beetle. The Aussies and Brits had an adventurous time with rapid sorties and a savage Churchill assault on Italian gun positions, winning a few and losing a few, including a flight of Hurricanes that got shot down by determined AA fire. The Italians had an almighty stoush against each other on a beautiful desert town board put together by Jim Mason. This grinding battle saw a lot of casualties on both sides. And a ringer StuG (late) company of 7 StuGs and a handful of Panzergrenadiers caused some real grief to many opponents while adopting a Defend stance throughout.


Overall a great day out.

Mid-war is a very entertaining period with some interesting matchups. Solid but unspectacular tanks and infantry that are finding their way but need backing from tanks or AT guns. The dynamic points added some spice and while they aren’t perfect yet (infantry cost reductions please!) they’ve got us back into this period again with some interesting new variations.


The support from Battlefront this year was fantastic and drew a lot of praise from players. It helps build the buzz and excitement of tournament play. And our local sponsor Military Hobbies continues to provide excellent ongoing support for our clubs and events. Thank you both!


Next up for Group North Historical Wargames Society - Lock and Load, our Team Yankee tournament in October!


~ Saravan

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Last Updated On Thursday, June 29, 2023