Monday, September 8, 2014

A New Regime!!

Greetings fellow gamers!

The STAVKA wishes to announce a new leadership for the Front.  The Komissar has seen fit to step in and serve as Front Coordinator until further notice.  The outgoing Front Coordinator, Beau Tanner has traveled to greener pastures, and we all here wish him the best of luck.

However, the war continues...

the 13th of September is our next club meeting. If you have an idea of what you would like to play, or would like to bring something, please email the club and let us know.  If nothing else, if you have Flames of War armies bring a 1000 pt late war list. 

We do have a little business to discuss, but it shouldn't take too long.

See you all there!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Missions set for the Winter Offensive, with a little twist...

LISTEN UP PUKES!!!  This may save your life... or mine.
The STAVKA has determined the best manner to accomplish this operation is to plow straight into the foe with 6 pre-determined missions:  2 "Defensive" missions, two "Mobile Battle missions, and a pair of "Fair Fight" missions.

The STAVKA has determined that the Defensive missions will consist of "Surrounded", and "Hold the Line".  The FairFight missions will be "Dustup", and "Encounter".  Lastly the Mobile Battle missions will consist of "Breakthrough", and "Roadblock".

There is going to be a small twist, however. Instead of rotating missions and tables as is traditional in a Flame of War tournament, the missions as determined will be assigned to a table and attached to that table.  Officers will draw lots to determine which mission they will undertake with priority consideration for "Red on Blue" issues, skill level, and victories, and rotate between tables.  Yes, there may be a chance that officers may play the same mission twice (that issue is the lowest priority).

Please take this new intelligence and make the best use of it when forming your company/battalion lists.

Any questions should be taken up with the Komissar at

It is VERRRRRRRRY much suggested that officers confirm their readiness status early, and provide a list to assist the STAVKA in organizing this offensive smoothly and effectively.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meeting low key, but productive and fun...

Yes, the numbers were low for this first meeting, but the core did attend and put together many details for the next six months of activities.

Tops on the list is the upcoming Moscow Winter Offensive.  We've set the date for 22 February, 2014, at Strategy and Games on 6th St. in Moscow.  Here are the details so far...

The tournament with be themed, Late War, multi-front, winter books only.  Tournament lists will be considered valid from the following books:   Desperate Measures, Blood, Guts, and Glory, the ENTIRE Bastogne series, Gray Wolf, & Red Bear, including the latest errata and updates.

Here's the "monkey wrench"... the lists are limited to BOTH 1650 points, and four platoons (combat, weapons, or support).  That being said, the mandatory 2 combat platoon rule is waived, only 1 combat platoon is required.

The will be prize support, with a discount for early entry.  Lists are due by the 20th, but we would love to have player commitments as soon as possible.

The next big item was discussion about a Summer Offensive event, later June, with a Normandy theme.  More on that later!

Also, in conjunction with S & G, we will try to dedicate the last Saturday of the month to FoW Ranger events, promoting and teaching the system we all enjoy.

Lastly, the Moscow Front wishes to publicly issue a club challenge to Da Mommaz Boyz, for a tournament-style event in Flames of War.  This is intended to be a friendly affair, and if the challenge is accepted the details can be ironed out.

That is all the news deemed fit by the Information Komissariat for your consumption.

Remember, Victory is Forward!

Monday, January 13, 2014

First Meeting of the Year 2014!!

Wow!! That's a lot of brown!


It's time to come together again this Saturday, the 18th at Strategy and Games in Mosocow! 

On the docket is some Flames of War with some late war 1800pt pickup games. If that is too big for you, the store's FoW Ranger group is hosting 600pt teaching games so that soon, newcomers can join in on the 1800pt action!

The group will also host a terrain clinic, with emphasis on hill building.

Also, if we can find the room, is some PanzerBlitz boardgame action.

When 85mm just isn't quite enough.

The Front Coordinator also wants us to remember that on the 25th, there will be a FoW "Open Fire" event, 800pts, latewar, infantry and light to medium tanks only.  Email the club for more details as that situation clarifies.

Be there... or face the Komissar!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

STAVKA plan for operations in the next 180 days...

On a dark, dismal afternoon the STAVKA of the Moscow Front met to plan for the immediate future,
Marshall Zhukov and staff
concerning operations. As of this date all times, dates, operations and codenames are ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.  Please refer to this and subsequent dispatches for changes.  Oh yes, there will be changes.

The intent is to let everyone know what is coming, and to be able to plan accordingly.  This is by no means a complete list. Again... there will be changes.

TENTATIVE DATE:  7 December, 2013

The STAVKA realizes that with the holidays coming up, much, if not most of our time will be with family.  We plan a light meeting day, no games planned as yet, but hope to work as a terrain making day.

TENTATIVE DATE: 18 January, 2014

Again, time is a precious commodity and we want to keep club demands as light as possible this month.  The Komissar will bring his Panzerblitz game, and introduce victims to the fine art of Avalon Hill wargaming.

TENTATIVE DATE:  15 February thru 22 February, 2014

Early spring is going to be busy with planning and executing an open FoW tournament, period and points TBD.  15 Feb. is our scheduled meeting date, and can be used to finalize tournament plans if necessary. the 22nd is the hard date of the tournament, additional details will be released as they are finalized.

TENTATIVE DATE:  28 February to 22 March, 2014

The Front will be conducting FoW infantry operations using the Infantry Aces format.  More details as they become available.

TENTATIVE DATE:  5 April, 2014

The Komissar is planning a midwar FoW event covering the battle of Prokohrovka using historical maps, a simplified OB, and FoW midwar rules.  The intent is to have all figures/models provided, but if you are interested and have MW German and Soviet armies, please contact the Komissar to see how you can contribute.  More details will be coming by early March.

TENTATIVE DATE: late May, 2014

The Font is making plans to possibly attend the HMGS convention in Olympia this spring, so the May calendar will be cleared. This is highly subject to change so stay vigilant!


The Front will plan/host a D-Day campaign/tournament in commemoration of the greatest amphibious landing in history.  Details will be released sometime soon.

There it is, a planning framework for the next few months or so.  We hope this helps, and hope everyone is able to assist and participate.  We realize that there is much deadspace in the schedule, please feel free to contact us via email ( ) to make suggestions and perhaps fill the gaps.  This club is what we make of it, and we all work for its success.

the Komissar

Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Review and some FoW Intel analysis...

Greetings tankmen!!

Today I want to introduce you to the the book "T-34 in Action: Soviet Tank Troops in WW2"
 Drabkin and Sheremet
By Artem Drabkin and Oleg Sheremet.  This is an account of oral histories, and yes, that should give the serious reader some pause.  Drabkin and Sheremet address that issue, admitting that oral histories, often decades after the fact (even minutes after the fact), tend to be a little "incongruent with other established facts". Relax, in this instance the "drift"isn't so bad as the the value of this book isn't necessarily in the details of where and when, but the what and how of these men's experiences.  

The book offers12 chapters, each focusing on the wartime experiences of 12 Red Army tank men of various ranks, from driver to battalion commander, how they entered the tank forces, their training, and their experiences at the front.  There are many parallels in each man's story, most were called to tank training after having some automotive or technical/mechanical experience. They were often whisked away to training centers, and/or deposited at the factories to assist in the assembly of their own tanks. With limited tactical training, they were swiftly left to their own devices facing down the panzerwaffe, often with dismal, grisly results. Most men have lost many friends and crewmates, as well as having several tanks shot out from under them.  Supplies were often scarce, having to do for themselves in many cases. The road west toward Berlin was a terrifying and torturous one, but they were survivors.  Even though their stories were sanitized and polished for the best possible effect, meaning nearly everyone was dutiful, dashing, brave, competent, and bold, one can find the nuggets of truth and piece together a picture of a tank man's life, short as it may have been.  Each story is entertaining, and can be riveting if the reader can sympathize with the storyteller.  As a former tanker, these stories are a bit richer and fuller in my view having shared many of the experiences they speak of. 

OK, so what about the "intel analysis"?  Having finished, I find a bit more clarity to the new changes to Soviet lists in Flames of War. Desperate Measures "luckier, smarter, sharper" is taken directly from ch 9. The book goes on and on about replacement vehicles and crews, how the new commanders never lasted long, and those who did survive went through a gauntlet of fire to get there. They continue in describing the horrendous losses they suffered, and how they kept battering the Germans with everything they had, despite how often they had very little to work with.

Clearly, much of the inspiration for "DM", from the Soviet perspective at least, is taken from Drabken and Sheremet, and if players can't wrap their heads around the new changes coming to the Red Army lists, I highly suggest reading this book. For the casual Soviet player, or opponents of Soviet players, much of the new changes may be a shock and make little sense. Agreeably, there are many preconceived notions about Soviet armor, and much of that may be the fault of a 'top-down' approach to research and game design. However, I was always struck by how 'bottom-up' FoW is, and how it is in constant struggle with 'top-down' game designs and 'top-down' game thinking. I can't say this is a whole new design perspective, using turret-side combat accounts versus the General's report to High Command, but in this case it may appear to make the Soviet forces a bit more realistic, and perhaps a bit more competitive with other LW lists.  Regardless, "T-34 in Action" was very entertaining, and enlightening.

I would give it a rating of  8 out of 10 spare track links. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Allied Forces CRUSHED by the Axis at TANKSGIVING 2013!!!

The best steel the Allied forces could muster was no match for the King Tiger horde that rolled onto the battlefield, but that didn't mean the Allies wouldn't try their best!

This is the field looking SSW to the NNE. The Allied forces would take defensive positions west of the main road.


Len's Panther and JagdPanther companies

The Marder II's look so cute don't they?

Here's a special look at Len's winter Panthers… I love these things!!

7. Kompanie, 1. Zug hier und bereit!!

Ken's Panther company

OH yeah!! With a double helping of Panzerwerfers and crews!! 

Anna's KingTiger Battalion

We all thought the mascot was awesome… but didn't figure it to be the good luck charm it was!

Sadly, the late Axis entry didn't have his photos included, but Joe (one of the proprietors of our host Strategy and Games, Moscow, Idaho) brought his KingTiger company along with his panzerwerfers and FLAK 38 guns to the show.  In all, including air, the Axis began the match in very strong terms.


The Komissar's Tankovy Brigade

"they look like good, strong, hands…"

The Front Coordinator's Tank Battalion

"It's not easy, being green…"

The Newbie's Tank Company

Can you spell cannon-fodder?

Now that the abusers and victims have been introduced, let's take a gander at the initial deployments.

Looking at the field from the NNW to the SSE...

From the beginning, it doesn't look good for the Allies. Can they pull out a victory? Perhaps a close defeat with honor?  Find out in part two, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

the Komissar