Friday, August 19, 2016
Flames of War ETC Debrief - Part 1/2
Hey, I am back from the ETC and ready to do my own report on how the event in Greece went for me!
Note: This year, I played Soviet Tanks for the Polish team. We managed to win 25/36 games and take the ETC Champions title! :)
Because there is so much I have to say about this year's ETC, I thought I would do two articles instead of one. The first one (the one you reading today) will be about gaming aspects. It will describe how my list did at the event. In the next episode of this short series, I will talk about the organizational part of the tournament and some things that happened outside of the geeky circle :)
So, what about my Tankovy?
I have to say that at first, I was not so amused to play a tank list during this tournament. Since it was Mid War, I already knew that tanks will have the hardest time of all available company types. The issue with them in this period is that they lack the tools needed to be a complete, competitive all-rounders. This inherent weakness makes them very vulnerable to bad pairings, and pairings are the essence of the ETC. Nevertheless, because of how ETC teams are composed, somebody had to play one. And because German list was already taken (you can only have one tank/mech/infantry list of a given nationality in a team), we agreed that for the lack of other options, Soviets will be a good addition.
Since I hate going the orthodox way, I had to develop my own way of making the Soviet tanks work for the Polish team. After some tests on the home front, I came up with this list:
Fun fact about it is that the captain of team USA confessed that when he first saw it, he laughed it off. But the more he was thinking about it, the more it made sense to him as a counter to all the other Soviet lists that were bound to be numerous during this event.
During the ETC, I got to play 6 games with it. They were the following:
vs Team Romania's Cossacks - 6:1 win (good pairing, good play)
vs Team England's Fucilieri - 3:4 loss (medium pairing, poor play)
vs Team Ireland's US Armored Rifles - 6:1 win (medium pairing, good play)
vs Team USA's German Tanks - 2:5 loss (bad pairing, good play)
vs Team Italy's Cossacks - 6:1 win (good pairing, good play)
vs Team Australia's Gepanzerte - 2:5 loss (bad pairing only discovered during gameplay, medium play)
Overall, what I learned from the tournament, and I really feel my knowledge about this build is now complete, is that this list is a hammer against most trained opponents (with the notable exception of German Panthers for instance). On the other hand, trying to dig out veteran AT 12 guns is always an uphill struggle - Tankovy just does not have enough staying power to take damage and still go on. It has some nasty surprises that can be pulled off, however:
- "the Chaika is the best plane per points in the game" (copyright: Bill Wilcox)
- Matildas are fire magnets, pulling fire away from the KVs that do awesome job at taking out enemy medium/heavy tanks. This is supported by the fact that the Guards KV 85s do not suffer from the Hen & Chicks rule. It is very close to what the Soviets really did on the Eastern Front, as described by Dimitry Loza in his memoirs (just with a different mix of tanks).
- T-60s and Matildas are perfect for forcing ambushes to the surface. In 2 games i managed to use them to lure out those pesky anti-tank assets before they could be used to target the KVs. Recon in force is the new recon in my opinion!
In the end, I really enjoyed playing this list, although I knew right from the start that my results will be heavily dependent on the pairings I get. I loved making 'kaboom' noises when enemy tanks were being lit up and 'swoooooosh' sounds, when my Chaika, the "Red" Baron was launching his rockets. I would not recommend this Tankovy build for singles tournaments, but if for some reason I would be required to play it in the next ETC Mid War cycle, I would be more than happy to do it! :)
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