We pit 1 Tiger and 3 StuG III G versus 6 Sherman V and 2 Sherman Firefly to better understand how tank on tank battle works in Flames of War.
In Flames of War tank on tank battle is simple yet quite realistic. Now, i don’t mean angles of penetration and actual thickness of armor at the point of contact realistic, but it manages to get by quite fine with the simplest of die rolls.
First we determine if the enemy is in range of our guns. If the enemy is within range we next determine our Rate of Fire (ROF) so we know how many shots we’re firing at it. Most tanks have a ROF of 2 when stationary and if the tank moved in its turn then the ROF is reduced to 1. After that we roll to hit, based on the enemies experience level: Conscripts require 2 or higher to be hit, Trained 3 or higher and Veteran units 4 or higher.
If the enemy is either concealed (visible but still hidden after a terrain feature) we add +1 to the difficulty of the shot. If the enemy is over 16 inches (or 40 cm) away from us that is another +1 added as a modifier.
Face to face: 2 British Sherman Platoons versus 1 Tiger and 3 StuG III G.
The Germans choose not to move and go straight to shooting.
The Tiger tank is armed with the 8.8cm KwK36 gun. It has a range of 40″ and a ROF of 2. The enemy is in range so the Tiger rolls 2 dice (its ROF). The British tanks are Trained so they are hit on the score of 3+. A further modifier of 1 is added due to them being over 16″ away so now we need 4+. Since the Tiger rolled 4 and 5 both shots hit!
Now we see if the shot penetrates or not. The British tanks take armor saves: they roll a die for each hit and add their armor rating, comparing it against the Anti-tank rating of the enemy. The Tiger has a mighty 13 Anti-tank rating on its gun and the Shermans have only 6 frontal armor so normally even a roll of 6 would not suffice however due to distance (more then 16″) they get an extra +1 to armor so they at least have a chance to equal the AT rating.
Having rolled low the Sherman’s armor is penetrated by the Tiger’s shots!
Now the Tiger rolls a die for each penetrating shot to see the effects of it. Having a firepower of 3+ means that on a roll of 1-2 the shot will not cause enough damage to destroy the tank however it will make the crew bail and a roll of 3-6 actually destroys the target. A 1 and a 5 mean 1 bailed out and 1 destroyed.
Check range to target. If target is in range you can shoot at it.
Roll as many die as your ROF (moving tanks reduce their ROF to 1).
Hitting the enemy is based on their experience level: Conscript 2+, Trained 3+, Veteran 4+.
Add +1 for concealed targets and a further +1 to the required roll for targets more then 16″ away.
Enemy takes armor saves for each scoring hit:
If the armor of the target + 1D6 is less then the AT rating then the shot penetrated. A further roll for firepower is now necessary: 1-2 bailed out, 3-6 destroyed.
If the armor of the target + 1D6 is equal to the AT rating then the shot penetrated. A further roll for firepower is now necessary: 1-2 no effect, 3-6 bailed out.
If the armor of the target + 1D6 is higher then the AT rating then the shot did not penetrate and no further rolls are needed as it has no effect.
We’re going to speed things up a bit now. It’s the StuG’s turn to fire. Each has ROF 2 for not moving and require 4+ (3+ trained enemy and +1 for over 16″) to hit. They score 4 hits.
The StuG 7.5cm StuK40 gun has an AT rating of 11 so the Shermans need to roll 4 (6 frontal armor and +1 for being over 16″ away) to equalize the shot (meaning it penetrates but it can have reduced effect) or 5+ to ignore it. All 4 shots penetrate (1 with reduced effect).
The reduced effect shot is a 4 on the firepower table so that’s 1 bailed out results. The remaining 3 shots cause 2 destroyed (4 and 6) and 1 bailed out (1) result. In summary 2 tanks are destroyed and 2 are bailed out. Nice shooting StuG’s!
The view after the German turn. Not pretty. Normally there are morale tests when certain units take so much damage however for the purpose of this demo we’re going to ignore them.
As the British turn starts we first need to check if the crews that bailed out their tanks due to enemy fire will get back into their vehicles. A Morale test is required. Reluctant troops pass on 5+, Confident on 4+ and Fearless on 3+. The British are Confident so they need 4+. Of course i misread that and actually allowed 3’s to count (instead of 4’s) so apologies for the mistake.
First platoon tanks pass Morale and remount their vehicles.
Second platoon tank passes Morale and remounts too.
The British tanks race towards the German lines. It is better to close up with an enemy and fire fewer but more effective shots then just sit still and fire many ineffective shots. By moving closer to the Germans the British lose 1 ROF from each tank but now they don’t suffer the +1 to hit penalty and deny the Germans the +1 armor save bonus for distance.
The first British platoon fires (1 shot each since they moved) and they need 5’s to hit (4+ veteran StuG’s and +1 because of concealment). 2 6’s mean both shots hit.
The Sherman V has AT 10 and the Sherman Firefly has AT 13. The StuG’s armor save fails.
On the Firepower test the Sherman’s shot bails one StuG out and the Firefly destroys one.
The second British platoon fires and misses all shots needing 5’s.
The second German turn starts and the bailed out StuG passes his Morale test and the crew remounts the vehicle.
4 shots are fired (2 each StuG) and 2 hit.
The British fail both armor saves however one of them is reduced effect (armor + dice roll equaled AT rating).
Firepower test means 1 bailed out and 1 destroyed tank.
The Tiger opens fire but misses both shots.
The second British turn. Again, a mistake as they actually needed 4+ instead of 3+. The bailed out crew remounts the vehicle.
First platoon goes next to the wall to deny concealment for the STuG’s. Second platoon flanks them.
2 shots (1 each) and 1 hit.
The StuG manages to equalize the AT rating of the shot.
And after Firepower it gets bailed out.
The flanking platoon opens fire but only the Firefly hits.
With a side armor of 3 there is no chance for the StuG to save the hit so we just test Firepower directly. 1 dead StuG!
German 3rd turn. The StuG fails its morale test to remount the vehicle (at least i got it right this time).
The Tiger opens fire and hits once.
Shooting from the flank means that the Sherman’s have no chance of saving this (4 side armor versus 13 AT rating).
And one more dead British tank.
British 3rd Turn.
Both platoons (or what is left of them) race to flank the Tiger. They require 5’s to hit (4+ veteran and +1 concealed from forest) so only 1 shot hits and it’s from a Sherman V.
The Tiger is a beast with 8 side armor so it actually can save versus the Sherman’s AT rating of 10. And it does!
German 4th turn. The StuG passes its morale test.
Both its shots hit.
Sherman’s side armor of 4 can’t save against the StuG’s 11 AT rating so it’s straight to the Firepower test: 1 bailed out and 1 destroyed.
The Tiger hits both shots.
And with the Sherman’s unable to save forces 1 bail and 1 destroyed result again, at which point we can stop as it is clear this match is over.
This is it folks! This ends the first tutorial for Flames of War in regards of Tank vs. Tank combat. If we can learn anything is that:
– Being a veteran has its perks, as you are much harder to hit (this is justified because veteran troops know how to best use terrain to their advantage).
– In Tank vs. Tank cover is essential!
– It is infinitely better to move towards the enemy if it has better armor and cover then yourself then to sit still and try to damage it with ineffective shots. Once the Sherman’s got close they had actual fighting chances.