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"Fireball Forward! Test Scenario - France 1940" Topic

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gambler165009 Feb 2021 1:56 p.m. PST

Hi all! So, I really didn't like the starting scenario for Fireball Forward! for learning the game. So I made my own! Basically a small French force trying to hold a hill against a German force. I actually plan to try this scenario with IABSM, Chain of Command and Battlegroup (all rule sets I have) in addition to Fireball Forward so it's nice to have a basic, relatively simple scenario to try out the different moving parts with).

French Side (All in foxholes on the hill, or in the woods)

French Company HQ: Company Leader, 1x Rifle Squad, 1x Light Mortar Team (in the forest to the lower right).

Rifle Platoon: Platoon Leader, 3x Rifle Squads (On the hill)

Anti-Tank Platoon (-): 2x 25mm AT Guns (On the hill)

Machine Gun Platoon: 2x MMG Squads (One in the forest on the lower left, one on the hill)

2x Tank Platoons: 2x H-35 (Reinforcements on Turn 4, randomly determine whether come from the left or right side)

German Side – Coming from the top side on Turn 1:

Company HQ: Company Leader, Anti Tank Rifle Team, Rifle Team

3x Rifle Platoons: 1x Platoon Leader, 3x Heavy Squads

2x Tank Platoons: 2x PzKpfw II A B

1x Tank Platoon: 2x PzKpfw IVD B

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2021 7:14 a.m. PST

Looks like you are using tabletop simulator there.

gambler165010 Feb 2021 9:58 a.m. PST

I am… And enjoying the Fireball Forward! rules with it.

wargamingUSA10 Feb 2021 4:58 p.m. PST

I lived in Virginia when FBF was being developed and got to play regularly with the author and his cadre of play-testers. Always had fun and am glad to see folks still finding the game system to their liking.

gambler165011 Feb 2021 9:32 a.m. PST

Here's Turn 2 after the first few activations.

The German Pz IIs charged up to spot on Turn 1, and took out the central machine gun. Anti-tank fire from the two 25mm ATGs was ineffective. After seeing how much damage the tanks might do to the infantry elements, I decided to not give the Germans their Pz IVs. At the start of Turn 2 I rolled to determine which side the French tanks would appear from on Turn 3, and it was the right edge.

The French had three activations first, and rallied the squad on the far left of the hill, took a shot with the mortars at the back rightmost German squad and missed doing any more damage than they did the first turn (which was pretty nice a suppression and a broken squad). Then they fired their two ATGs again, but only one hit and the PzII passed a morale check. The Germans got the next activation, and decided to turn the tanks to meet the threat coming from the right of the map. I'd grown complacent with the threat of the ATGs as they hadn't done anything yet, so after firing the far right tank, I backed it up and turned. The movement brought another opportunity fire ATG shot and this one slammed through the front of the tank and brewed it up. The other two tanks pivoted and then fired in retrospect should have done those in reverse order. Each broke the morale of the two ATG gun crew members who moved back to safety further back on the hill.

(I cloned the ATGs to represent the crew, so the ones near the front are the empty guns, the ones behind them are the crews which fell back)

I really like the system. I saw a first time player write that they didn't like how opportunity fire was allowed once per unit activation for each element – in that they felt it was too powerful. I disagree. It means you need to use proper tactics. Suppress first (suppressed units can't opportunity fire), _then move_. Far worse are games which allow each element one opportunity fire only during a turn. Once used, enemy forces can just charge without worry.

gambler165025 Feb 2021 8:27 a.m. PST

As a final follow-up to this, the next two turns saw the Germans pretty much roll forward and decimate the defenders on the hill. This was mostly because the remaining MG ran out of ammo as it was getting charged by German infantry squads. Even the arrival of the French tanks was too much to turn the tide.

I'm backing up a step in my next solo test, and removing the tanks and anti tank guns entirely, just to get a better feel for the flow with infantry and mortars. Slight changes to the order of battle, even discounting the tanks. Basically giving the Germans a light mortar instead of the anti-tank gun in the Company HQ.

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