First up, let me say that Guns of August was a well run, organized convention. I like the smaller nature, though it will definitely be awesome to watch it grow! Thanks to all the guys who put it on and knocked it out of the park.
Sean and I drove up after lunch on Friday. I planned to run the Verlastete Panzerkompanie for the early war tournament. I was excited to see them on the table, and was fully prepared to play all out aggressively. Unfortunately, as the start time of the tournament approached only Tom, Luke, and I had shown. The guys running the tournament (Jon and Jimi) were even caught in traffic and were a good 30 minutes late! A raging fire was choking the entire area, and the interstate was clogged with friday traffic crawling through the haze. Let me just say that getting back home and breathing the (comparatively!) fresh Richmond air was a relief my lungs were aching for.
Anyhow, as it turns out, despite the hard work of Jon and Jimi to get several tables set up, no additional tournament players showed up. So Jimi decided to go ahead with it, and we decided to push the tables together and play a 2v2 Total War battle. Tom and I on one side, Luke and Jon on the other!
STEVEN & TOM
LUKE & JON
The board was 8'x4'. A town with some hedges sat in the center, with a town to our left, and a wide creek to our right. The terrain was fairly light. We were terrified of the regiment, but resolved to win by bleeding objective points away from our opponents.
Our center. Luke's Cruisers are largely in the top right… behind the creek...
Looking from the right. Again Luke's cruisers are largely out of frame.
Suffice it to say that "General Creek" was a powerful asset on our right. Luke underestimate the water obstacle, and I pushed my Panzer IIs into the two copses of woods looking over the only bridge. In the center, our infantry moved up and solidly held 2 objectives. The Infantry tanks were deployed on our left where my Panzer Is and Tom's Panzer IIs resolved to just go contest objectives and die valiantly.
In the end, I was able to pick apart Luke's cruisers on the right as Stukas rained down and the creek kept them at bay. Our left flank collapsed in the face of Matildas, but not before siphoning off 2 objective points from our opponents every round. Jon lost some A11s when he got a little too close to my pioneers, but besides that his company made it through unscathed! Luke's company saw the focus of 5 Panzer II platoons and 3 Panzer IVs. Tom and I each lost two units, but won solidly by victory points after several hours.
After the big game, Jon showed up and we cracked open Talisman and Knob Creek whiskey. I will talk more about Talisman later, but suffice it to say I didn't care for it. I wandered around for a while. Met up with an ODMS-man named Justin and partook of some Jungle juice while admiring a "Kelly's Heroes" scenario board. By this time, I was fairly toasted. And so, to round out the night, we met up with the Lehman boys plus Jon and Jimi at the hotel bar where I was treated to many more drinks by Luke. Most of the rest of the night was a blur!
Saturday came, and I had a solid case of the whiskey flu. It wasn't until I tried to choke down some food at breakfast that it really hit me. This wasn't going to be pretty.
The tournament was Domination based, with very heavy, gorgeous terrain boards. Each board had it's own flavor of Domination, with tons of unique special rules. My first matchup was against Matt Lehman's British paratroopers.
MATT'S BRITISH PARATROOPERS
This game was rough for me from the get go. I was recovering not only from an awful hangover, but a piss poor deployment! The table was an Italy themed valley with a single bridge across a river that fed into a town below. All of the domination points were in the town, in the extreme end of the board. Matt deployed beautifully, with HMGs and artillery covering my own approach to the town thanks to some impassable cliff faces!
But, recover I did. I used grenadiers to tie Matt's paratroopers up across the front while my armor and remnants of my infantry (after being bloodied by HMGs and artillery!) made it into the town, which was defended by a single para platoon. Probably the most epic moment was when my grenadiers charged single-file across the trestle bridge to silence his HMGs, and one 25 pounder battery! They were immediately gutted by a paratrooper counter attack, but that kept Matt's units tied up just long enough for my forces to recapture the town.
In the end, we called it when it was clear Matt couldn't get to the town fast enough. I was relieved, as my hangover was in full force. And I apologize to Matt for my many, shall we say, "breaks". We still got through many turns (probably 9 or 10!) and that is a testament to Matt. He played quickly, declaratively, and amiably. Very easy going game, and probably my favorite from the whole weekend! He knocked out my T-70 and a grenadier platoon giving me a 4-3.
For game 2 I was matched against Joe Moore. My reward for defeating the Tommies in Italy was a trip to icy Russia to face the horde!
JOE'S RED ARMY STRELKOVY
This mission was a fairly standard Blind Domination which is one of my favorite missions to play. The majority of the domination points were along the center line of the board. I quickly got my HMGs in place in the center to keep an eye on them, while my grenadiers flanked them. Pioneers were placed in reserve behind my Grenadiers on the right. My tanks drove forward to the outskirts of town to contest objectives and pour MG fire into the horde.
In the end, I was able to keep enough pressure on his conscript horde with small arms fire to keep them at bay. No assaults were successfully launched this game which is insane!
Panzer IVs fired until their barrels glowed red!
Our looted T-70 is surrounded, but the fearless soviets fail to assault! They are then gunned down mercilessly.
In the end, Joe called it as his forces were decimated. The grenadiers fared well, earning us a 6-1.
My 3rd game was against Bill Dorais' Nisei in the ruins of a once-great city!