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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mid War Doubles tournament in Fayetteville NC recap!

Sean and I headed down to Fayetteville NC, about a 3.5 hour trek from Richmond, to participate in the All American Gamers' mid war doubles tourney.

We had an absolute blast, and the All American Gamers really do know how to run a tourney. Superb terrain, generally very good sportsmanship, and a great gaming space combined to make the tournament well worth the drive. Extra special thanks again to the guys who spent the time setting it up, running it, and cleaning up after.

Anyone who's been around here long enough knows that I rarely take any pictures at tournaments, and this was no exception. So I will give just a brief recap of the games we played.

disclaimer: I am terrible at remembering names so if we played and I forgot your name- I apologize!

Sean and I ran German Grenadiers and Pioneers.  The Pioneer list had 2 full strength platoons (one with a supply wagon), 4 Marder III Ms, and Nebelwerfers.  The Grenadiers had 2 weak platoons (3 squads), 3 Brummbars, 1 captured KV-1e (affectionately named Smetna), and Limited HS129B air.

GAME ONE.  The first round was a Domination mission by I-95.  This was actually my first time playing the vanilla Domination.  We were on a board that featured a river running the length, with scattered crops, woods, and buildings filling out the outskirts.  Our very excellent opponents were a father and son team- I only remember that the son was named Austin.  These guys hands down get my choice of sportsmanship for the day- really laid back and a joy to play.  Plus- Austin knows the rules well and has all the signs of becoming a great FOWarrior!

They ran soviets- Guards razvedki, and Guards Strelkovy.  From memory the Strelk were 2 big blobs with flame throwers and HQ pioneers + 6 120mm mortars.  The Razvedki was 2 combat platoons, 3 BA-64 armored cars, and 5 T-34s (3 were upgunned to 57mm and Mariya was in the platoon).

The 12 total victory points were divided up into 2 4 pointers and 2 2pointers, with one of each on either side of the river.  Thus, the only way to capture 10 Domination points was to hold 3 of the 4 objectives.  This had the effect of making this mission essentially a modified free for all.  Sean and I knew immediately we had very little hope of wading through so many fearless trained soviet infantry stands and resolved immediately that we had to break a company.  (breaking one company meant the game was over).

Sean and I sporting the brand new WWPD shirts!
Austin and his Dad deployed well- their mortars and a huge strelk blob covered their 4 point objective.  Razvedki and the other Strelk held their other flank, with the T-34s in the center.  To make a very long story short, our Marders and Brummbars focused on the conscript T-34s and dispatched them rather quickly.  Our HS-129Bs were on point and completely eliminated Austin's recon platoon.  Austin made a daring push for our blue objective with his Razvedki, but concentrated MG fire and an assault from the brummbars saw them off.  Being fearless, however, tiny remnants of the platoon remained and fell back.  We knew we had to break that unit to force the issue, and pursued relentlessly.  Finally combined fire from our nebelwerfers, HS-129s, marders, and brummbars saw off the unit.  Austin's company was now below half, but time was running thin and he was passing his company morale checks!

Finally we were able to hound his company commander and gun him down.  (And, as I realized several hours later- neglected to roll a warrior save for his CO which, of course, could have changed the outcome of the battle!  Fortunately, we had at least enough time for 2 or 3 turns left, so I do feel confident the end result would have been the same.  I am going to send Austin and his dad some WWPD shirts which are hot off the presses as an apology)

With that his company broke.  We had suffered a few losses (a brummbar, a marder, and a handful of infantry) but no full units.  Our first game went down as a 6-1.

Game two was a breakthrough.  We were up against Todd and Tony who were running New Zealanders.  Div cav with 3 units of Staghounds, a platoon of dingos, and lorried motor infantry.  And Motor Infantry with 2 units of motor infantry, scout carriers, 6 pounder portees, HMGs, and another unit of Staghounds.

The baord was fairly dense- woods and buildings covered a good portion of it.  The board was also 6' x 5' meaning sean and I had to travel just a tiny bit further to get to the objectives in the objective quadrant.  We elected to start with all the grenadiers and pioneers + the nebelwerfers + the brummbars.  Smetna our KV-1 and the Marders would be held in reserve.

They elected to stick 5 full units in their flank attack- 2 motor infantry, 2 staghound units, and the 6 pounder portees.  On turn one they moved up trying to break through our left flank and pour their units into our rear area and go for the nebelwerfers.  But the planes.  My god the planes.  Our HS129s were absolutely 100% on point this game.  Bottom of turn 1 they swooped in and knocked out TWO platoons.  A unit of Staghounds and the scout carriers went down hard.  After that Sean's grenadiers did a great job of staying out of assault range of the NZ infantry and fell back little by little drawing them in.  HS129s continued hammering them the entire time- the HMG unit was battered, and another unit of Staghounds was chewed up. 

Their first reserves to arrive were Staghounds which rolled up and MGed Sean's grenadiers (electing to use their AA MGs).  Feeling like pressing their luck, the Staghounds assaulted across a stream.  With a panzerknacker in counter attack range and the company commander within command distance for a re-roll- the results were not pretty.  The Staghounds were a flaming wreck.  On the following turns the Marders arrived from reserve and wiped out the Dingos leaving the recce company below half.  They then failed their company morale check.  Again Sean and I lost no full units giving us another 6-1.  But our reign of HS129B terror was about to come to an end.

GAME THREE.  First.  Let me get this out of the way- Will and his Dad epically trolled us.  Knowing who I was they decided to try and play mind games and act like epic douche bags for the first hour and a half of play.  They argued every rules point and generally came off as total jerks.  With about 45 minutes left in the game they told us what they were up to and Sean and I were significantly relieved (Sean was literally about to flip a table- these guys were acting like no one I'd ever encountered in my life).  Epic troll- they got us.  My advice to them is to watch their backs. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it is very cold in space.  Once that came out we all had a laugh and continued on in a much more civilized fashion.

They ran Finns.  An infantry unit consisting of 2 big units armed with SMGs, plus 120mm mortars, and pak 40s, and a tank company with 5 T-26s, 3 T-28s, 2 KV-1es, and 2 Landsverks.  Sean and I assumed horribly incorrectly that breaking the tank company would be an easy task.  That was not to be.

To top it all off the battle took place atop Mamayev Kurgan (which, has been the source of my heartbreak before) with little terrain, and a lot of hate.  The mission was Free for all.

The entire game was a bloody, tooth and nail fight to make any ground.  In the end neither of us were in good shape, and we were all pushing objectives.  Units were hanging on by the skin of their teeth, but not a single unit broke.  Our HS-129s knocked out the pak 40s, but their platoon commander passed a sole survivor check and hit the road.  Their tanks were far more difficult to annhilate than I anticipated, and the infantry.  my god the infantry.  Both of the infantry units were tattered but they kept going.  Likewise my pioneers were run ragged but also held on.  My brummbars vaporized a few tanks, but just not enough to break any units.  My Marders were their focus for quite some time, and in the end one brave little tank hunter stood.

This two and a half hour slugfest finally ended in a draw with not a single unit destroyed.  1-1.

Sean and I were quite pleased with our final tally.  Our opponents in the last game got 2nd place (tying us in score, but having won their domination game by grabbing the points.  Domination points were used as a tie breaker), with Sean and I placing 3rd.

I was also fortunate enough to win best painted with my German forces!  That was quite flattering.

All in all- an epic day of wargaming and an excellent trip!  Thanks again to everyone who made it happen and to all of our opponents.

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