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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Glen Burnie Tournament (A Brief AAR)

Despite having been up all night before at the Emergency vet for a dog that ate way too much clumping cat litter (ewww), I had a phenomenal time at the very well run Normandy Invasion tournament in Glen Burnie MD.

Kudos to Shan for yet another very well run event, and to all my opponents who were all stellar guys. We Richmonders love every opportunity to get together with the MD crew. I think it's high time Richmond hosts a tourney!

I ran 2nd Armored Division Armored Rifles.
2x Combat Platoons
Armored Mortars
5x Stuarts
4x Shermans
Priests w/ AOP

My first game was a Road Block vs Pete Torres' grenadiers.
From memory his list was something like:
3x Grenadier Platoons
3x Stugs
3x jagdpanzers
8.8 battery
Limited Stukas

He ambushed my shermans with his stugs. My 2nd platoon on the board were the Stuarts. His ambush completely whiffed and not a single sherman was harmed!
He also deployed his jagdpanzers, 105s, and 8.8s on the board opting to leave all of his infantry in reserve.

Through careful use of my Spearhead move my Stuarts managed to flank his stugs on turn one, and with combined fire from the shermans knocked them out on turn 2.
As the game went on, I was able to dig an AR platoon in on both objectives. My Artillery + Stuarts + Shermans knocked out his Jagdpanzers next, followed by some serious MG death when my Stuarts caught a grenadier platoon that moved at the double.

Pete's planes and artillery had absolutely abysmal luck. I think in all I lost a handful of infantry, 2 Stuarts, and 1 shermans.

As I had lost no platoons, the game was a 6-1.

Second game was another Road Block vs Pete Ellis' Panzers.
His list was:
8 Panzer IVs
1 Tiger IE
2x 7/1 SPAA

Pete chose to ambush my Shermans with 3x Panzer IVs. He also deployed his Panzerwerfers + SPAA.
Again I started with my Shermans and Stuarts on the board. And again my Shermans escaped unscathed! Someone was looking out for those brave tankers!

Pete had a pretty rough time of this game. Heavy Bocage + reserves on a 6 meant I was really able to put insane pressure on him. On turn 1 Stuarts + Shermans + an armored rifle platoon coming on from reserve knocked out his ambushing Panzer IVs.
On turn 1 he rolled for reserves and brought on his Tiger.
Turn 2 saw me bring on the priests + balls to the wall charge towards his positions.
On his turn 2 he assaulted my AR across the bocage with his Tiger. He scored a few kills, but finally I got a bazooka up to him and knocked out the tiger. The consolidation put me very close to both his AA and his panzerwerfers.
At the top of my turn 3 I realized he had forgotten to deploy his HQ + 2iC Panzer IV. Since things were looking very grim for him I said he could deploy them on his turn as if they were in ambush. Unfortunately, he never saw another turn :(
My Armored Rifles assaulted his panzerwerfers and knocked them out (after a surprisingly bloody battle- one panzerwerfer killed like 5 teams). My Stuarts MGd the jebus out of his AA and knocked them out.
So he started his next turn with nothing on the board and we called it.

Pete was an incredibly gracious player, and despite such an abysmal situation he was easy to get along with. I look forward to more games with Pete in the future!

Another 6-1.

At this point I was going into the last round tied for 1st place with Keith Shur.

Me and Keith set to face off on a very bocage heavy board with a very difficult creek running diagonally through it. Keith was running a very well set up Festungkompanie, and as such would be defending against my breakthrough.

keith's festungkompanie (from memory)

3x Grenadier Platoons (Confident vet with MGs)
3x Stugs
10.5cm Artillery
3x Pak40s

2-4 barbed wire sections (can't remember exactly how much he had)
2 minefields
2 tobruk MG bunkers
1 7.5cm AT bunker
1 Tank turret bunker
1 37mm AA bunker

After Keith deployed his entire force in a 4x4 area, with cleverly placed fortifications, I felt sheer terror. My army thrives on mobility, and fortifications + bocage were totally eliminating that advantage.

So I did what I had to do: I deployed both my mortars and Priests across the volga. Then I put my Stuarts and one armored Rifle platoon in my flank attack. So I started the game with only 2 platoons! shermans and Armored Rifles.

My Shermans really didn't do much this whole battle. Mines, bocage, pak 40s, and Stugs abounded and they never really got out of their deployment zone. My original Armored Rifle platoon was likewise little more than a spotter for my mortars, though they did put pressure in one zone of the map.

The real star of this battle? My L4 grasshopper. My priests were able to slow his forces moving towards the objectives through pinning, and soften them up in preparation of the flank attack.

And then the flank attack came on turn 3. An armored rifle platoon rushed on and knocked out a stug and large chunks of grenadiers. On the following turn they weathered whithering return fire from his 10.5s. He tried to assault with some grenadiers, but the AR pinned them and ran them back. Turn 4 saw my Stuarts also arrive. In one fell swoop the Stuarts + Shermans ran his Stug platoon, knocked out a pak 40, and decimated 2 grenadier platoons.
At this point Keith lacked the mobility to contest the objectives and conceded.

Another 6-1. Keith is a great opponent, and I cannot believe how lucky I was with my reserves. I'm also so glad I chose to drop the 3rd Armored Rifle platoon for the priests + AOP. That really won me that game.

In all a very enjoyable tournament. Look forward to seeing all those guys again!

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