Today was Ron Bingham's 6th Annual Flames of War day at the Women's Museum at Fort Lee in Petersburg, VA. Ron runs an excellent themed tournament every year, and it's one everyone looks forward to. This year's theme was the siege of Leningrad. Two years ago I ran US Rangers, but unfortunately had to miss the previous year. Today's tournament consisted of 2 rounds (round 1 was mid war, and round 2 was late war) which were each 1500 points, and armies had to be historically accurate.
Lots of people worked hard on some great terrain- highlights included the Czar's Palace board, a lake resort with a massive frozen lake, a 100% swamp board, a gorgeous city fight, and others. In addition to the tournament there was a living history group there with two reenactors: one soviet and one german, displaying all of their cool kit. The highlight of the living history for me was an honest to God ex-Afrika Korps soldier and noted author, Gerhard Hennes.
Before the tournament, I caught up with local, yet rarely seen Richmonder Gray Collins and we snuck out to get a glimpse of all the great tanks now housed at Fort Lee. Unfortunately most (including a SOMUA S-35, a Hotchkiss H39, Semovente 75 & 47, M10 Tank Destroyer, and many others) were covered by tarps. Gray and I poked around a bit under the tarps to see what we could see, but couldn't get any good pictures. I snapped a few pictures of the ones that weren't covered, including an Elephant recently rebuilt on Tank Overhaul.
Here's a few pics of the tanks:
The big beauty.
Welded hull M4 Sherman.
Soviet KV heavy tank. Not sure which flavor this is. 1e?
The tournament was set to start, and it was time for Ron to deliver his briefing. As usual, each table was based on a historical location, and these locations were displayed on a big map so we could see which side was making the most progress.
Ron, our God King, delivers his sermon.
All the participants on the right say "yeaaaaahhh".
With the briefing out of the way, it was time to get down to brass tacks. Keith Schur and I were matched up for the first round. He and I play against each other in every tournament I go to in MD, and Keith is both a great player and a great sport! The battle was at the Czar's Winter Palace, and the mission was I-95's Domination.
GAME ONE: THE CZAR'S PALACE
GERMAN GRENADIERS FROM EASTERN FRONT
KEITH SCHUR'S STRELKOVY (approx)
For game two I had both the joy of playing on a swamp board (100% difficult ground!), and playing with my old friend Chuck Carey and his co-commander Aaron Meany. Chuck and I go way back, and hadn't gotten a chance to play in ages. Chuck and Aaron also decided that combined arms was not for them. This second round was late war so the soviets have gone from conscript to trained. My army stayed mostly the same except for the addition of some air, which was only mildly useful this game (though it did pin a lot!).
GAME TWO: SWAMP THANG
GERMAN GRENADIERS FROM FORTRESS EUROPE
CHUCK & AARON'S STRELKOVY
In the end, I think I ranked somewhere around 3rd or something. Not entirely sure, but I do know Tom "Mad Dog" De Mayo qualified for nationals! Get em! I was fortunate enough to win best painted army, which I consider a massive compliment. Ron truly outdid himself this year- his tournaments get better and better. It really sets a high bar- I'll be sure not to miss the next one. Brian stands with the Soviet reenactor. I wanted my picture taken with Gerhard Hennes. Two assault rifles casually left in the "Children's Corner". No worries- they're display models :)
CLOSING THOUGHTS AND MORE PICS