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Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Tournaments (Part 2)

And we're back for day 2 of my 2 day Flames of War binge.  My first tournament (Battle Report can be found here) ended in a 4th place finish after 3 fun but bloody games with armored lists in Manchester CT.

My second tournament, Sunday August 21st, would take me south to Cedar Grove NJ and the Time Warp Comics Store

The store was a crazy mix of stock.  Every game system was represented, and in the back were tables enough for 6 to 8 games simultaneously.  Much was taken up by comics or people's armies and terrain, but it was the kind of store you could get lost in while finding all sorts of crazy stuff.

There would be prizes for Best allied player, best axis player, and best painted. we had 6 players come in, but a wide variety of lists participate.

Game 1 - 51st Highland Division vs. Veteran Japanese infantry in fighting withdrawal

After 2 days, 6 games and a whirlwind of travel, I confess I forgot the name of my first opponent, should he read about himself here, I apologize! I think it was Dave.

Dave, a Japanese player, played with the list he had.  This included 3 total platoons. A bulked up infantry platoon, a nikuhaku heavy suicide squad, and some pioneers.  He also took priority zeros and a destroyer for naval gunfire support.

He placed his objective on his right flank, which let me place my two spaced out to stretch his smaller force.  I dropped a platoon of carriers over by the right objective, and then all 12 other platoons to charge into his non-removable objective. mortars covered the middle. All my units doubletimed on my left flank since he had no direct AT to challenge me with.

                                   (Double timed Armor....None can assault)

Airplanes came in, but only wound up destroying 1 tank over the course of several turns of shooting.  My hot dice are mostly to blame for that.

                                                                      ( a juicy target)

The Crocs torched his naval observer as well as multiple teams in the defending platoon hiding in an orchard.

A bloody assault led to his going senshin with one platoon, but they were forced to charge near a useless objective, and would eventually be removed during the withdrawal.

He managed to savage and destroy an infantry platoon in the process, but with more than 9 platoons, he would have needed to kill one more.

As my many engineering tanks drove up on him, he went senshin, and was forced to charge into around 30 MG dice.....I have never rolled more in my life.

The UC's took their objective on the following turn

6-1 to me.

Game #2 - Vs. Joe's vanilla German Panzers. - Dust Up

joe had (all CON-VET)
1 KT
1 Command STuG
1 platoon of 3 StuGs
1 platoon of 3 Panzer IVs
1 platoon of 3 StuH42s
1 platoon of 8rads

Joe won the roll off and chose the table edge.  and Joe chose well.  The terrain as it was, I would need to cross an open field to get to the objective.  Mine wound up in some Bocage. I took some AVREs to bulk up my platoons, but I was relying on my 4 tank sherman platoons to hopefully do some damage early.

Due to the Breaching Groups' rules, I needed to start with all my armor on the table....despite not wanting to.  Joe would make me pay dearly.

in the 1st turn, my shermans advanced across a bridge and tried to stay out of sight, but they failed. The other platoon rolled to bog and.....

              (My Club's symbol is a giant flying 1.....we celebrate failure in western Connecticut. Our motto is "rolling low, rolling proud" - Ordo ineptus)

After the fact, I realized I could have just taken the bridge and avoided the whole problem. But too little too late.

Over the next few turns, Joe played position well, and without the loss of any tanks, eliminated my shermans and began his advance on the objective.

                 (the death of the 2ic, as the KT crashed through some hedges)

Coming in from reserve were the Crocs, infantry platoons, some UC's and 6pdrs. none of which could do much against a player with a King Tiger and a good sense of how to play it.

I managed to make it over to my objective before the last AVRE was destroyed by StuG fire.  My rolling got hot late, and I managed to bounce MANY shots off the front and side of those churchills.

the Crocs were able to weaken the Panzer IV platoon by bailing one, then destroying another.  My reluctant vet infantry charged the bailed out tank and.....passed. destroying it.

The Morale check went south, and he failed the reroll with his 1ic, erasing 4 tanks in one swoop.

The next turn a second assault this time against the StuGs ALSO passed a 5+ tank terror test.  This time he chose to break off through bocage....and bogged both tanks. destroying the platoon.

With this he fell back to his objective. we had 15 minutes left and I started to advance my infantry to try and swamp his tiger.

Backing up, he sniped another infantry team from my orange infantry platoon...which put them below half...they failed morale, and the 1iC's reroll couldn't save them.  down 5 platoons of 9 with no 1iC or 2iC left, the game ended.

If I had dug in or declared a draw, I may have won out overall.but its not in my to just sit there with all that time, I'm no camper.  And Joe played so damn well, he deserved that win.  What started out as a very frustrating game (I didn't kill one of his teams until around turn 8) turned into an exciting back and forth mess.

3-4 loss for me.

Game 3 - Vs. Greg McNally's Hungarian Tank list in cauldron

Hungarian Tanks?

Why yes....of course. with a front armor of 5 and a side of 3, these little adorable tanks seemed no threat to me. I dispensed with the AVREs and went for 2 full platoons of 5 shermans, crocs, and an infantry platoon on the board.

Greg and I met at a tournament in Nanuet around 3 years ago and have been friends since.  He is an awesome painter, and has some of the weirdest lists I've ever seen played.  He nearly took a tournament by playing the polish home army....with street barricades.  So I should have taken his tiny tanks more seriously. if anyone knew how to mess with me with those would be Greg.

In my hubris, I deployed just outside of 8 inches from the woods he was in, thinking I could wipe him out in 2 turns.

How wrong I was.

First came his plane..

...which nearly wiped my crocs out with bombs. they passed morale...barely.

Then came the side shots on my shermans. Despite my 10 AT 10 shots, I underestimated how much I could hit his veteran tanks, and left enough bailed or operational to wipe me out a turn later.

 On the left flank, my infantry marched into the woods, wiped out a platoon and sat on the objective.  But they didn't go live until turn 6.

In came the 6pdrs, and around came the other platoon of shermans.....and this was the result.

A failed company morale test later, and it was over.

The mission did Greg no favors....but a pile of 13 cheapo tanks in British Breaching groups were too much for his adorable wonders...still, he took a point I needed.

Proudly, Greg's brave stand cost me the tournament, as I gave up 1 more point than the next closest allied player.

So while finishing 2nd on overall points, I wound up with no prize and was once again, a Bridesmaid and not the bride.

I had a great time, and I bought more British infantry while I was there because I wanted to base them differently than the ones I currently have....yes, I have a problem.

I think, after 6 games 2 states, and nearly 400 miles driven in 2 days, I'm done with the British for a while.  Time to bust out some Germans, and see if I can make some bulge lists work....

Thanks for reading and thanks to all the people I played against, it was a fun two days.

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