Flames of War: Lingevres 1944 Scenario


By D-Day +8 on June 14, 1944, the British 50th Infantry Division had pressed about 5 miles inland from Gold Beach to the outskirts of Lingevres. Dug in at the town were elements from the Panzer Lehr Division with several Panther tanks ready to force back the looming British attack. With 6-pdr anti-tank guns in tow, the British pushed into town mid-morning following a bombardment by 25-pound artillery and runs from supporting Typhoons above. A ferocious battle commenced between the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the German Panthers. When the smoke cleared, several Panthers sat burning as victims of Sherman Firefly and anti-tank gun fire. At day’s end, the British controlled Lingevres.


British 6-pdr anti-tank gun deployed outside Lingevres, June 14, 1944

The WWPD website has a Lingevres scenario available which two of us adapted for play this past weekend at Metropolitan Wargamers in Brooklyn, NY. Using the scenario as a guideline, we laid out the tabletop battlefield with cornfields stretching outside the town occupying two-thirds of the table. With our 1750-point forces on each side, the Germans began with two platoons of infantry and a heavy machine gun platoon inside two buildings and the church at the center of Lingevres. The British then deployed with their artillery battery, two rifle companies and a recon patrol. All other forces were held off table, with German delayed reserves set to arrive in turn three and British reserves eligible to arrive immediately at the beginning of the game.

Victory conditions as presented were simple — the British needed to take three buildings in the town and the Germans needed to drive the British from the field. How the game played was not simple and once again revealed my need to sink more work into creating accurate, playable scenarios for FOW.

IMG_3163Germans dug in at Lingevres in the town’s buildings while British artillery and infantry deployed from the cornfields in the distance


Initial movement of British forces into Lingevres with recon carriers moving left and infantry moving into the woods near the church

The first two turns of the game saw the British marching from their edge of the table toward Lingevres. At the town, a German machine gun platoon sat waiting in a building at the crossroads while two other infantry platoons took up position in the church and shops across the road. By turn three, British artillery had opened fire on the machine gunners and pinned them. The first British tank platoon also rumbled onto the table, as did the German Panthers which made way for the center of town.


Panther reserves roll into the center of Lingevres


British infantry in the woods take fire and are pinned as armored reserves move from the rear

The first British infantry platoon made way through the woods at the center of the table but were pinned and cut down over two consecutive turns of fire from nearby Germans. The British recon patrol, edging its way through the bocaged fields near the church, was chased away with the appearance of the Panthers.

IMG_3167A British Sherman takes up position to spot for the artillery battery


British infantry move from the farmhouse across the field


Panthers destroy a Firefly and the Sherman spotter tank at the edge of town


British infantry fall back after taking fire from the German half-tracks

On the main road to town, the British ran their Sherman spotter tank and lead Firefly toward the nearby farmhouse. On the other side of the farmhouse, a British infantry platoon moved into position using the building and nearby bocage as cover as they made way for the open field. The heavy British push around the farm was stymied with the arrival of German halftracks which fired machine guns into the field. By turn five, the Sherman spotter tank and spearheading Firefly also lay in flames after some quick shots from the German Panthers.


British machine gun carriers and tank reserves roll on


Armored reserves move to support infantry

IMG_3172 British infantry reserves move in near their artillery battery

By turns six and seven the inital British assualt had been repulsed at a safe distance from town. All German infantry platoons remained safely bunkered up in the town’s buildings, and the spotter for the German’s reserve 12cm mortar platoon was now camped out in the church’s bell tower. The three Panthers prowled back and forth at the center of town, and the incoming fire from the British artillery in the distance was the only real agitation to the occupying Germans. The Britsh rolled on their final reserves of machine gun carriers, Sherman/Firefly tanks and a fresh infantry platoon.

Even with all reserves on the table, the British attack was stumped. With one rifle platoon destroyed and a second whittled down, the British had just one intact infantry platoon on the field. One tank platoon struggled through the fields to one side of town, while the second sat idling on the road to town. Clear lines of fire around the church and town center presented open killing zones for the Germans in the town’s buidings and the three Panthers. All the Germans needed to do was sit in place and mow down the coming British.

I love playing wargames for historical scenarios, but our game this past weekend at Lingevres presented some serious limitations to the FOW rules as written. Playing an even match of 1750-point forces per side ultimately did not allow for a satisfying game for either player. What works for a head’s up FOW tournament game or randomly-rolled mission simply does not play well in recreating historic engagements.

In our Lingevres game, the British simply didn’t have enough units to create a critical mass to advance into town under what was sure to be withering fire from the Germans. We decided we liked the scenario, but perhaps the British needed a 50% increase in points, perhaps with additional rifle and tank platoons and a Typhoon providing air support.

With a three-day D-Day weekend being planned at our club this June, we’ve got multiple historic airborne, beach and inland fights to sketch out in the coming months. There’s going to be a lot of playtesting and tweaking to get our historic games to play well. With wargaming, striking the balance between a game that provides both historic accuracy and the potential for different outcomes is the real challenge that lies beyond just the roll fo the dice.

Flames of War: Fielding the FOW Universal Carrier


British Universal Carriers in Normandy 1944

Used extensively by Commonwealth forces in all theaters throughout WWII, the Universal Carrier served as a transport, a towing vehicle and a quick-response weapons platform for machine guns, flamethrowers, anti-tank guns and mortars. So popular were these agile and flexible vehicles that production ran until 1960 and over 100,000 eventually rolled off the assembly line, making them the most-produced armoured combat vehicle ever produced.

With my new British forces moving along, I picked up a few inexpensive packages of Universal Carriers in the flea market at Fall In! this past weekend. The models from Battlefront come three to a carded package in solid-cast resin with metal crew and gun options. The packs I got were the early war models but I decided for gaming purposes I’d fudge them a bit to make them work in my late war gaming. Along with a carrier from my Royal Artillery battery I’m also working on, I’d wind up with seven vehicles to start.


Carrier example with rear gun mounted

I chose to model my inital six carriers with extra 50 cal. machine guns, hoping to use them to quickly get into a fight and pin down German infantry with a hail of bullets. Adding the 50 cal. gun was a field modification during WWII, but without any extra parts on hand I simply clipped the barrels on the guns at the front and added a bit of plastic to make some semblence of a machine gun manned in the front seat.


Carrier example with the rear gun carried in the back

Since construction is minimal, these glue-up fast. I modelled a couple of the guns in the back thrown in the back seat as if those guys were moving fast to get into action before re-mounting their guns. After a quick spray of green armor basecoat, the crew get hit with some drab, brown and flesh paints and washes. Tracks get a black base followed on with some metallic dry-brushing. Guns and other details added from some leftover tank stowage get some gun metal, browns and weathering. I decalled the carriers with the Guards Armoured markings, and then everything got a splatter of muddy earth tones.


Guards Armoured carrier platoon ready for the roads and fields of Europe

With so many British troops cruising around Europe in these vehicles during the war, adding just a few of these to my growing menu of options in creating British company lists for my FOW gaming at Metropolitan Wargamers in Brooklyn, NY was a good place to start. I’ll fill in these early war models with another three of the late war models at some point, making it into a nine carrier transitional platoon of old and new model vehicles. One of the reasons I wanted to expand my Allies with UK forces was the chance to model different infantry, armour and artillery. Getting these nifty little Universal Carriers into the mix will definitely give my games some new interest on the tabletop and hopefully wreak havoc on my German opponents.

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