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Firestorm: Lorraine

Firestorm Lorraine:
Mini Campaign
by Jökull Gislason

With the publication of Blood Guts and Glory I would like to bring the battles in Lorraine out in a larger context. These battles saw some of the heaviest tank engagements on the Western Front in World War Two, of which the Tank battles of Arracourt are the most famous. The Lorraine Campaign saw two poorly supported armies face each other. The US Third Army was at the end of a successful campaign to liberate France but was now reduced to a secondary role while the Allies prepared for Operation Market Garden.

Learn more about Firestorm: Greece here...
Learn more about Firestorm: Warsaw here...
Learn more about Firestorm: Bagration here...
Learn more about Firestorm: Market Garden here...

Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
Supplies were reaching critical levels for the Allies and this affected Patton’s Army. At the same time Hitler planned to strike at the Allies with an armoured thrust against the South part of their line before the Armies in North Europe could link up with the 7th Army coming from Southern France. To this the Germans devoted four of their new Panzer Brigades well equipped with the excellent Panther tank and supporting elements. But Germans had problems of their own, Allied air superiority hindered their deployment and critical shortages, mostly fuel prevented them from properly training their men. Their situation was made more desperate since they had lost hundreds of thousands of men during the summer in the Falaise pocket and the Soviet summer offensive Bagration. Morale was low, supplies were low and many of their men were poorly trained. This is background of the Lorraine Campaign that can be played using the excellent Firestorm system.
Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
One of the good things about Firestorm is how simple the system is and how easy it is to twist and peak it to what is required. Designing this campaign was quite hard since it has a number of engagements but generally the lines did not change much – even though the small gains were important. With this in mind there are a few differences between Firestorm Lorraine and the previous Firestorms, Bagration and Market Garden. Like Firestorm Greece and Warsaw it is smaller in scale and can easily be played by as few as two people. In fact, I call it a mini campaign since it is best suited to a small group and can be played far more quickly. Secondly, the game is spilt into three turns that resemble the entire campaign. Like Firestorm Greece each turn focuses on a certain part of the fighting and this will affect how each turn is played.
Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
To best represent the Lorraine battles each turn is played a little differently and guides you through the conflict trying to capture the essence of each stage. It also gives players a good opportunity to field the right armies that should centre in the campaign. Also included in Firestorm Lorraine is Bazooka Charlie; a legend in an outfit where reckless bravery was commonplace. This character is based on the real life exploits of Major Charles Carpenter who fought a private war against the Germans in his Air Observation Post (AOP) to which he had rigged six bazookas to under the wings. He is not official but any 4th Armored Division Company in the campaign may field him in their force.
Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
Getting Started with Firestorm Lorraine
Do I need Firestorm Bagration or Market Garden to play?

No. Firestorm Lorraine is mostly self-contained. We have included all of the rules you will need to play, so it is not necessary to own Firestorm: Bagration/Market Garden. Downloadable tokens are provided although you can easily substitute them with other models.

For those who are familiar with Firestorm, what is different?
There are a few fundamental variations and differences between Firestorm Lorraine and previous Firestorms Bagration and Market Garden. To help players out here is a list of the major differences:

Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
Unlike Bagration and Market Garden players do not receive Aircraft models on the table like other units, but the Allies have a number of sorties available to them. Only the Allies have air support, in this campaign the Germans have none, but weather can seriously affect air support. You can allocate a sortie to an attack or defence although the aircraft can only be the second unit allocated to each attack. Sorties are provided for each turn so there is no need to roll for losses; you always get what is allocated for the turn and once used they cannot be used again that turn.
Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
In Firestorm Lorraine, the player with the initiative automatically becomes the attacker in the Flames Of War game, this supersedes any other special rules, both in missions and army lists.

In this version of Firestorm only an attacking player can capture a region. If the defender wins, he has done just that, successfully defended. Also in order to make an attack you must commit at least one Firestorm unit to the battle which effectively means you can only attack from regions containing Firestorm troops. Empty areas can still be attacked into and defend.

Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
Bazooka Charlie
Bazooka Charlie is a Warrior and Independent team and an aircraft. He is based on the real life exploits of Major Charles Carpenter and can be used in the campaign as a Warrior with any company of the 4th Armored Division with whom he served. He is not official so if you wish to use him in outside the campaign you should get permission from your opponent first.

Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
German Panzer Units
These work in a special way to simulate the campaign. The Panzer Brigades were the key attacking elements of the Wehrmacht but they were placed in a role they were never designed for and their commanders were forced into attacks they knew had little hope of achieving success. The units had limited training and lacked a number of support elements; in fact they had been designed to form mobile reserves for the Eastern Front and lacked reconnaissance and artillery. Also during the campaign it became clear that they lacked proper co-ordination. In the game this is reflected by three things. Firstly, if the Germans gain the initiative and attack they must do so with a Panzer unit. Secondly, the Panzer Brigades always act alone, that is you can only commit a single Panzer unit to a battle rather than two Firestorm troops as normal. Thirdly, if destroyed the Panzer unit it counts as captured by the Allied player even if it was not surrounded.

Firestorm Lorraine: Mini Campaign
Unlike Bagration and Market Garden this is not a large scale campaign and can be easily played with only two players. If you have a large group then I suggest you play more than one battle as part of the same attack and then the side with the most Victory Points wins. Work this part out yourselves and be flexible.

No Exploitation Moves
With both sides hamstrung for fuel and supplies neither get any Exploitation Moves.

Each turn plays differently with regard to two things, determining initiative and number of battles. Each turn has a suggested number of battles ranging from four to nine in number. There is a reason to this suggested number of battles and that is to keep the campaign running efficiently and within a reasonable timeframe. I have played many Firestorm games and found this crucial to a good outcome. But feel free to adjust this to your needs.

The Lorraine Campaign Map
Download an A3 version of the Firestorm Lorranie campaign map here...

Lorraine Campaign Map
Victory Conditions
Firestorm Lorraine has a little different victory conditions than previous Firestorms. Germans will score a bonus at the end if they are in possession of any of certain areas. Read the Victory Conditions carefully.

The month of September 1944 saw unusually heavy rains and overcast skies. In any battle with aircraft, be it Air Sorties, AOP or Bazooka Charlie you must roll on the weather table and this will affect the availability of aircraft in the game.

Right: Examples of the Firestorm Lorraine tokens.

Download a PDF version of the Firestorm Lorraine tokens here...
Firestorm Lorraine Tokens
Firestorm: Lorraine Firestorm Lorraine
Firestorm Lorraine covers the first battles of Lorraine using the Firestorm system. This campaign allows you to re-fight the battles of Lorraine on a grand scale. While the course and outcome of the real battles can’t be changed, the outcome of your campaign is up to you. Either side can win although the odds are in favour of the Allies then the Axis stand a chance if they can manage a breakthrough.

No matter who wins, the campaign is a great opportunity to get in plenty of Flames Of War games, play new opponents, win glory for your army, and perhaps to meet new friends and rewrite history along the way!

Download a PDF version of Firestorm Lorraine here...

Last Updated On Thursday, June 7, 2012 by Blake at Battlefront