Counter-Attack Mission

Flames Of War

Counter-Attack Mission

By Craig Courtis

All armies launched counterattacks to recapture recently lost positions before the enemy had a chance to consolidate their hard won victory. The Germans especially were renowned for their ability to counter-attack quickly to recapture lost ground. This mission tries to capture the feel of a counter-attack designed to dislodge the enemy from such a newly won position.

Situation Report

Attacker: The enemy has recently captured a vital piece of ground and now have created a salient in the frontlines. Your company is the only available reserve and has been ordered to launch an immediate counter-attack to dislodge them from these positions and restore the situation. 

Defender: You have just captured a vital objective and are ordered to hold it until relieved. Strong enemy forces are still present in the vicinity and may launch a counterattack. Dig in and hold until relieved.

Special Rules

• Limited Ambush (as Ambush on Page 196 Flames Of War, but limited to one platoon)
• Prepared Positions (Page 198 Flames Of War)
• Delayed Reserves (Page 200 Flames Of War)
• Random Deployment (Page 199 Flames Of War)


1. A player with an infantry or Motorised Infantry Company will defend against a player with an Armoured/Mechanised Infantry Company or a Tank Company; a player with an Armoured/Mechanised Infantry Company will defend vs a Tank Company. In all other cases, both players roll a die and the higher scoring player decides whether to attack or defend.

2. The defender decides which of the long table edges they will defend from.

Counter-attack Mission
They then mark out a box which is 24”/60cm from the side edges and 24”/60cm from the attackers table edge (on a 6ft/1.8m x 4ft/1.2m table with will create a 24”/60cm square box).
3. The defender places an objective in their deployment zone which must be at least 8”/20cm from the defenders base edge and no closer than 4”/10cm to the front or sides of the defenders deployment box. The attacker then places an objective using the same restrictions.

4. The defender deploys up to half of their units in their deployment zone.

5. The attacker then deploys their forces in the attackers deployment zone using the Random Deployment special rules. Each of the four zones are 12”/30cm from the edge of the defender’s deployment zone.

6. Both players, starting with the defender, then place their company commander.

7. The defender takes the first turn.

Beginning the Battle:

Both sides start in Prepared Positions.

Ending the Battle:

The attacker holds an uncontested objective at the start of their turn four onwards.
The defender wins if they start any turn from turn 4 onwards with no enemy teams within 16” of either objective.

Deciding Who Won

The attacker wins if they take either objective and hold it from the start of turn four onwards. The enemy penetration has been neutralised and the front stabilised once more.

The defender wins of they hold both objectives at the end of the game. All counter-attacks have been repulsed and the position reinforced. However, both sides must have completed at least 6 turns, or else the game is considered to be a draw and both players work out their victory points based on the Loser’s Points column, looking up their losses in the Winners Losses column. 

If either objective is contested, the game runs out of time, and at last 6 turns have elapsed for both sides, then higher command has decided to call off the attack and the game is considered to be a defender’s victory.

Victory Points Table 

Winner’s Losses
Winner’s Points
Loser’s Points
0 platoons
Stunning Victory
1 platoon
Major Victory
2 or more platoons
Minor Victory

Special Rules

Delayed Reserves:

The defender does not get to roll for reserves on turn 1 but gets two dice starting turn two with an additional die added per turn thereafter (3 dice on turn 3, 4 on turn 4 etc) On a 5+ reserves arrive.

Limited Ambush:

The defender may hold one of their on table platoons in ambush. Ambushes must be deployed in the defender’s deployment zone and all usual ambush rules apply (i.e they must be in concealing terrain or at least 16” from all enemy teams). Platoons in ambush are considered to be on table for the number of platoons that count towards company morale break tests.

Prepared Positions:

Both attacker and defender start in prepared positions.

Random Deployment:

Because the attacker’s forces have been rushed to plug the gap in the line there are disorganised at the start of the battle. The begin using the Random Deployment rules.

Each zone (on a 6x 4 ft table) is 12” wide by 3 ft long (see the map for details).

The four deployment zones are:

1 Left Side
2  Central Left
3 Centre Right
4 Right Flank
5  In Reserve
6 Attacker’s choice

Roll for and deploy each platoon before moving onto the next one.


The attacker’s reserves can come on anywhere along their long table edge. The defender’s reserves may only come onto the board only along the edge of the deployment zone box (in the central 24” of their long table edge on a standard 6ftx 4ft table).

The map shows the deployment zones for a 6x4 table. On larger tables the distances for each zone will need to increase but keep at least 12” no man’s land between the attackers and defenders zones.

Notes: The attacking forces must start at least 12” from the defenders deployment zone as opposed to the standard “in concealing terrain or in the open and at least 16” from enemy teams”- mainly to stop the pegging of the attacker into a very small deployment zone that can occur in some missions (but especially in a Breakthrough mission).  If a defender deploys well forward they run the risk of being assaulted on the first turn, but this is a risk they must be prepared to take.

This mission is little more than a “tweaked” Cauldron, but in the play-test battles seemed to give a more “balanced” or fairer game than a Cauldron using the standard rules. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Craig Courtis

Last Updated On Friday, May 9, 2008 by Wayne at Battlefront