I finally made it down to Fall In! in Lancaster PA for the first time in my mini-gaming career. I've made it to Historicon before, but never Fall in. It was a well run really laid back convention, and I got a chance to meet a lot of people the WWPD crew has spoken so much about in podcast or article form.
I decided not to play in the Doubles on Friday, which in retrospect was a mistake, since I had my winter germans with me , and it looked like a blast. But I did jump into the Mid War tournament the following day. I took a lot of pictures (with my good camera) and can honestly say that after a lot of travel and a lot of tournaments, I lucked out with the best 3 man panel of opponents I've ever had. All were funny, gracious, and solid players. I had a really hard time voting for favorite opponent.
HQ -1ic and 2ic both with Panzerknackers
1- Full Gren Platoon with halftracks +Panzer Knacker
2- Full Gren Platoon with halftracks +Panzer Knacker
4- 2 8rads
5 - 1 Tiger 1e
6- Heavy Mortars x4
7-10.5s artillery x4
8-2 Pak40 guns
8 platoons, 9 if I kampfgruppe the mortars and some HMGS
Kurt Reese put on quite a show, with a ton of I95 Tables and a lot of prizes on offer, a lot of folks came to win. I had brought my display board for one last ride before I sold it to a kind and deserving fellow with a winter army.
Some of the Armies on Parade (there were a lot of good painters and I asked for a lot of advice) I feel my painting is average or a bit above. but some of these folks put me to shame.
Jesse Schaeffer's Italians
My vote for favorite Army, I believe these are Kevin Hatch's Germans
I love the bathtub on these guys
Game 1 was Breakthrough, and I wound up attacking as a Mechanized Company against Dennis Campbell's "Free French". Part of a contingent of Canadians, Dennis had a beautifully painted army that looked suspiciously American....but he pointed out that the Free French just use American equipment, and I confess, he got me there. They were also really really well done.
The Man Himself. Proud Canadian and all around Gentleman, Mr. Campbell.
I Deployed in the lower right corner, and elected to have one of my Panzer grenadier platoons make the delayed reserve counterattack on the other side of the board. Dennis deployed his artillery and an infantry platoon across from my main deployment blocking the way for a frontal attack, and positioned his security section for the TDs and a bulked up infantry platoonon the other quarter to prevent me from swinging around too quickly. He placed some Shermans and armored mortars in reserve.
All of my games would follow a similar pattern through the tournament....I'll leave it to you to decide what that pattern was.
Turn one began and I advanced my troops in their halftracks, bombarded some of his positions and tried to push quickly into the town.
Caught in the open on turn 2 and exposed to withering Machine gun fire, The Free French platoon evvaporates while trying to cross the board into the area my reserves would be coming on.
In an effort to finish them off, my mech platoon charges in and assaults.
After a bloodbath, his platoon fails morale and runs. The following turn, his Shermans arrive, and swing around some woods to MG what is left of my Panzer Grens. They are destroyed.
Swooping in the Tiger takes his shots...but leaves himself exposed. and the TD ambush is dropped.
My reinforcements arrive! race to the objective, and jump out of their halftracks....The French bombard my platoon....and wipe out everyone...as well as the 1ic. Having reacher turn 6, I realize I have no teams within 16 of an objective and I call it.....but Dennis points out I can stormtrooper! I do! and kill the TDs!
3-4 loss for me.
Game 2 -
I assume given my loss, that I'll be paired against someone a little less skilled this time around...but I get...
Jesse Shaeffer, #3 ranked player in the US....and proud painter for hire. I plan to enlist his services in the near future, I really loved his Italians.
Jesse used the lid to my plastic bin since he forgot his tray.
If you haven't checked out his basing article on here, I highly recommend it. His stuff is very well done.
And these puppies? are AT 13.
We drew no retreat, and once again...I attacked. The map and mission did me few favors, but thanks to some magnaminity on Jesse's part, and some bold chances it was a pretty close game.
The Board - the view down my right flank
A look at my overall deployment area
I tossed my Panzer grens up my left flank in an effort to force him to pop his ambush, so I could shove my Tiger up the right side with some more infantry.
Pop them he did...and a brutal series of assaults, artillery bombardments and firefights ensued.
But despite hitting 5 halftracks, he caused almost no damage, killing one and bailing another.
He looks how I would feel in the same situation...those are ones in front of him.
My units assaulted and drove back the AT guns and they would eventually panic and run. But his artillery would keep me busy most of the game.
Their advance stalls in the cornfield as a parade of adorable tanks flys up the right flank.
The Tiger advances, and pushes back some infantry, contesting the objective.
He is quickly joined by Panzergrenadiers who try to hold tight in the cornfield...but fail to dig in. They will pay for their poor digging skills. with a pile of MGs and two artillery bombardments. They will quickly vanish.
Don't worry...they'll be on their way soon.
On the left, a bloody assault for the church is underway, with the Germans succeeding and throwing the arty observer out into the cold night.
But nothing can stop the adorable tanks....they swarm through the town.
The Tiger is powerless to stop them. Even with ROF 3
Having run out of time, the Germans lose the game 3-4 yet again. but this was hilarious. it was like watching a monster truck being chased by clown cars.
Game 3 - The Final countdown.
I fought a second Canadian! and he brought Panthers!
I had practiced against this list, and in a free for all (encounter), he elected to come after me. I waited for my reserves to come on, and hoped my Arty would get lucky.
The attack in the middle hit a wall as my pak40 took a side shot and popped one tank. another tank fell to an assault and threw back the other. Despite having Gone to ground lifted, the Panthers could not capitalize and get rid of the pesky pak40s.
No guts no glory.
Then the theme of all the games became clear....great start....horrifying finish. 3 Panzer IIIs snuck around my flank and barrelled into an MG platoon, destroying them, and nearly rolling up all my Artillery. A counterattack barely succeeded and his company broke. But he grabbed a point, 5-2 win for me.
The Tournament and the convention were a rollercoaster. I was glad to have gotten the chance to meet so many people I always hear so many good things about. Give Jesse's painting service a try! he is great! Thanks to all my opponents for 3 great games, and I hope to see everyone again soon.
Tom Mullane aka Captainecho on the forums, is a High School Social Studies teacher in NY who lives in Danbury CT. His club "Ordo-Ineptus" (rolling low, rolling proud) is based at Hobbytown in New Milford CT USA