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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NOVA Open Mid-War Tournament Report

by Aaron Skrivanek



NOVA Open occurs every year on Labor Day weekend. It is held in Arlington, VA - just outside of Reagan National Airport and just across the river from Washington, D.C. (in case any of you want to fly in next year - it is SUPER convenient for transportation). The convention is focused around miniature wargaming and hobbying. Warhammer, 40k and Warmachine/Hordes make up the largest presence at the show, but other games such as Flames of War have been growing steadily. There were two Flames of War tournaments this year - a 1500-point Mid-War tournament held Friday and a 1750-point Late-War tournament Saturday and Sunday. I wasn't able to stay for the whole weekend, but Maurice and I made the trek out to Crystal City for the Mid-War Flames of War tournament. As always, it was an excellent event run by Scott Simoneau.

I decided to run a four-platoon German Gepanzerte Pioneer list from East Front. My list consisted of:
  Confident    Veteran   Gepanzerte Panzerpionierkompanie(Heer)
Armoured Motorised Pioneer Company
German Mid-War
Mechanised Company
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Gepanzerte Panzerpionierkompanie HQ(Heer) p.53
2
2
Cmd SMG team
Sd Kfz 251/1C
70
Combat Platoons
Gepanzerte Panzerpionier Platoon(Heer) p.53
1
1
1
6
6
Cmd Pioneer MG team
Sd Kfz 251/1C
Pioneer Supply 3-ton truck
Pioneer MG team
Sd Kfz 251/7 (Pioneer)
335
Gepanzerte Panzerpionier Platoon(Heer) p.53
1
1
1
6
6
Cmd Pioneer MG team
Sd Kfz 251/1C
Pioneer Supply 3-ton truck
Pioneer MG team
Sd Kfz 251/7 (Pioneer)
335
Divisional Support
Heavy Panzersp√§h Platoon(Heer) p.58
2Sd Kfz 231 (8-rad)85
Armoured Rocket Launcher Battery(Heer) p.90
1
1
2
2
8
Cmd SMG team
Kfz 15 field car
Observer Rifle team
Kubelwagen
Panzerwerfer 42 (5+ crew - counts double)
475
Air Support p.84
7Priority Air Support Hs 129B200
Company Points:1500
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Eastern Front




My first opponent was Joe Trueblood in the Frontline Domination scenario (one of the I-95 scenarios), running an armored (armoured???) British list along the lines of:

  Confident    Trained   Light Armoured Squadron
8th Army - Africa
British Mid-War
Tank Company
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Light Armoured Squadron HQ p.135
2
2
Crusader II
Crusader II CS
195
Combat Platoons
Light Armoured Platoon p.135
3Crusader II155
Light Armoured Platoon p.135
3Crusader II155
Light Armoured Platoon p.135
3Crusader II155
Light Armoured Platoon p.135
3Crusader II155
Weapons Platoons
Heavy Armoured Platoon p.133
1
2
Grant
Grant w/ AA MG
290
Heavy Armoured Platoon p.133
1
2
Grant
Grant w/ AA MG
290
Divisional Support
Air Support p.153
3Sporadic Air Support Hurricane II C105
Company Points:1500
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: North Africa

My opponent's army was beautifully painted and was pretty much a nightmare to face in this scenario - extremely mobile and able to bum-rush my forces before air could come into play. He was able to push me off of most objectives, but it was a slog for his tanks.



Joe was an expert and gracious player. We both got to test Murphy's Law as well as the Law of Averages with dice swinging wildly throughout the game. I was able to kill a couple of his platoons but in the end, I just didn't have enough platoons which could withstand his armor to spread out over the objectives. His increased command distance and staying power won the game for him. I'd need some more platoons and ranged anti-armor capabilities to compete against this force in this scenario.  The end result was a close win for Joe - 4-3.

Game Two saw me attacking Mitch Reed's very nasty elite Gurkha list in Breakthrough.
  Fearless    Veteran   Rifle Company (Indian) (Tunisia)
British Mid-War
Infantry Company
PlatoonQtyUnitPoints
Headquarters
Rifle Company HQ (Indian) (Tunisia) p.171
2
1
Cmd Rifle team
PIAT team
55
Combat Platoons
Rifle Platoon (Indian) p.171
1
6
1
Cmd Rifle/MG team
Rifle/MG team
Entire platoon turned into Gurkha Rifle Platoon
185
Rifle Platoon (Indian) p.171
1
6
1
Cmd Rifle/MG team
Rifle/MG team
Entire platoon turned into Gurkha Rifle Platoon
185
Divisional Support
Infantry Tank Platoon (1st Army) Confident  Trained   p.165
3Churchill III410
Infantry Tank Platoon (1st Army) Confident  Trained   p.165
3Churchill III410
Recce Platoon (1st Army) Confident  Trained   p.179
2
1
Humber LRC III
Humber III
85
Field Battery, Royal Artillery (1st Army) Confident  Trained   p.185
2
1
1
1
3
4
4
Cmd Rifle team
Jeep
Staff team
Observer Rifle team
15 cwt truck
OQF 25 pdr gun
Quad tractor
170
Company Points:1500
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: North Africa

My air and artillery were devastating to Mitch's artillery and the infantry making the run toward the objective. Unfortunately for Mitch, my Pioneer flank attack arrived at the objective before he was able to dig in and the Gurkha platoon couldn't withstand the firepower of 56 shots (he had moved at the double) and had only two surviving stands which proceeded to fight on despite overwhelming odds. The next turn sealed the game as I took the objective, dug in, and Mitch couldn't push me off. 6-1 victory for me.


Game Three was against Bill Dorais running mech Italians with some German support in the Fighting Withdrawal scenario.

Unfortunately I didn't get a copy of Bill's list, but it was a lot of armored cars and some German Panzer IIIs in support.

Another crazy dice game for both of us, with some weird swings in luck. Assaults were brutal in this game. Bill initiated an assault against one of the pioneer platoons, wiped a couple out - I counter-assaulted and killed a couple of his light tanks and then he failed to stay in the fight. He then assaulted with his Panzer platoon at the same pioneer platoon and ended up with 3 of 4 tanks dead, but wiping out my platoon after a failed morale check. In the end, I wasn't able to secure the last objective on a mad dash and Bill pulled out a 5-2 win and Tournament Champion.

The list of winners: 

Renaissance Man:  Byron Sinor

Tournament Champion:  Bill Dorais

Field Marshal (2d VP):  Al Edsel

Brigadier (3d VP):  Maurice Kent

Master Engineer (Appearance):  Ramon Solis

War Chaplain (Favorite Opponent):  Mitch Reed

Conclusion: An excellent time overall! The 1500-point MidWar format is a lot of fun and the group of players at the convention made it even more enjoyable. I am looking forward to attending again next year. NOVA Open was one of the most enjoyable and well-organized events I have ever been to. Two thumbs up!

And now for a picture dump. 

A Russian farming village in the Spring setup for Frontline Domination. This was from my first game against Joe.

Round three sees a North Africa board setup for Fighting Withdrawal.

LOTS of dead tanks on that board.

Those buildings in the center were hotly contested by all of the players on that board. Many infantry teams took up position - SOME of them even made it out.

Joe's Brits facing Maurice's Americans in Breakthrough on the Western Front. American AT Guns showing the Brits how to kill Germans.

Another sleepy Russian village setup for Breakthrough.

Americans contesting the left flank of that village. Looks like Patton's advice to keep rolling into Russia was finally being followed.

Germans stage a fierce defense!

Many American vehicle crews gave their lives when the commander decided to invade the Russian countryside.

The staunch German defense stymies the Americans!

Brits preparing to defend against a German incursion.

Brits not liking the AT guns firing up-close.

A German Stuka rolls in on some tanks. 

Smoke rules the day while the Americans defend this town. 

Lots of smoke to hamper the Elefant!

A shot of the devastation from Bill's and my game. So many dead vehicles on out board. 



"Aaron Skrivanek is a full-time game pimp, spreading financial ruin to his fellow miniature addicts. Living in the Maryland suburbs of DC, he has written and tested numerous game systems focused mostly on 28mm skirmish gaming."

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