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Friday, February 24, 2017

The Portal's World at War Tournament - December 10th 2016

So I begin by apologizing to Chris Kadish and My friend Karl, as well as the folks over at CT Valley Gamers for not getting this typed up sooner.  My laptop died a horrible death right after this tournament and then I waited for its replacement to arrive well into the new year.  After that, I had to chaperone 20 kids into NYC for a 4 day field trip....bottom line, this AAR dropped down on my list of priorities.  Moving forward however, I expect I will be a lot faster with these reports.  Since my new computer doesn't randomly shut down and erase all I was working on.

Without Further ado....

The Portal in Manchester CT, has played host to a few FOW tournaments over the course of the past year.  and I've been lucky enough to attend two of them.  Chris Kadish, TO organizer and man about town, helped put this one together.  A doubles tournament with 2000 pts per team, and some restrictions on combinations. (no fortified companies for example) drew in quite a few teams.  Due to some friction over criteria for lists, a few teams from up North had to drop (when their ride decided against going.)  But we still wound up with 6 teams, and 12 players, which was more than enough to have fun moving our toys around the table.

Below, Chris, wondering why I am taking this picture.


Below: Some photos of the tournament area and some of the folks setting up.



 Below: Zach starts setting up against their rival team, Matt Looks on introspectively


I played with my friend Karl, who I had a really fun game against last tournament.  He was also nice enough to come over the week before so we could test some stuff out.  I had British stuff I wanted to try, but in Bulge, they aren't exactly spoiled for options, and the list I made wasn't very good.

We went with the German combo.  He took A Pieper list with mostly Panzer IV tanks, and I took some Reluctant trained Volksgrenadiers.  It was a wacky horde list, and it would prove both fun and challenging to play.

Below: The horde. Not all were snow themed, since I didn't have enough models based that way to cover the teams needed for the list.


 Below: for some reason, I consistently have trouble posting pictures of lists. Here is what I ran....


And what Karl Ran


Our first game was against Richard White and Jerry Lane, both of whom are experienced players, and both of whom I have enjoyed playing against.



Their pretty models, quite a variety.


Mission was Hasty Attack (I think) Below was the board.  They are deploying in the upper right corner, and we deployed below. My troops are spread out to avoid their artillery, and we hoped that our Skorzeny commando would be able to keep their guns pinned down.


Below, the men prepare for battle


After they moved up, we tried to get into position...


we move into range.


But a timely smoke bombardment by them blinds our tanks and limits their exposure.


The Gun battle between trained tanks in the open and vet tanks at range, would end badly for us, resulting on most of our armor getting wrecked.  We tried to end run around their right flank, and  they tried to do the same to us on the other side when reserves came in.


The KT moves out into the infantry


Reserves arrive..


As it looked they were close to pushing in for a climatic assault time was called.  We had gotten through around 6 turns? but free for all missions usually end in time outs for me. I though they played well, and since they took a platoon off us, it ended 2-1 for them.


Game 2 - Against the Doctor and his wife.


I'm a little jealous that my wife isn't as willing to play tabletop games with me.  These guys were running a Pair of Brit lists.  Armored Cars, and infantry with lots of guns.  We had to attack in surrounded.  Not a good beginning.



The Board:

Most of our troops would deploy on the upper right, and charge down the hill.  They deployed infantry in the wheat field near the objective, and 6pdrs near the other (which was down left in the frame)  We tried to apply pressure to both sides, but didn't have a lot that could dig out infantry, especially the fearless variety.

The left objective....


The Right objective


They deployed their tanks up on the hill, and were forced back by tons of fire.  But rerolled morale checks kept the tank in the fight for  awhile.  Additionally, their tanks at the base of the hill used semi-indirect fire against the trained P4's to devastating effect.



A game of cat and mouse ensured with the armored cars on the other side of the board.


We tried to see into the crop fields from up on the hill, but a misunderstanding of the rules, meant we treated them like woods, and our artillery never had a chance to do anything.


These infantry remained untouched. the tanks in the back ground would evaporate very quickly


We timed out (2 1/2 hours) before we had completed 3 turns.  Unfortunately, as the attacker, we lost. 2-5 (I think)

By this point, Phil's team was winning no matter what, so the 3rd game was just to decide how tied everyone above us was.  Karl and I were determined to win one.....and into the 3rd game we went.  Which would wind up to be the most wild and fun of the day.


I'll get you someday Phil.

Game 3 - against an american armored division with some more armored support.  Run by Mike Cunninham, and Zach Blume.  I've played Zach before, but not Mike.  Mike is sort of the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Zach's Darth Vader. (that isn't entirely fair, Zach is much nicer than Vader.)


The Board...Mission was Breakthrough


We started in the upper corner as you can see.  And I arranged for some Pumas and infantry to come in from reserves in the foreground.  Mike would point out afterwards, it is often a good idea for an infantry army in this mission to simply put their infantry in reserve to get them across the table without being shot at.  We stormed across the board popping the occasional Sherman as we went.


 Below: The Americans meet the horde.



To The Wheatfield!


Then....Mike popped his TD's, with flank shots at the KT....and we prepared for the worst.


The glare obscures how horrible this is.  Mike missed all 8 shots. These TDs would be destroyed in a few turns. in the meantime, trained Panzer IV's are dying to easy 8s and Jumbo 76s


The Pak 40s take their first shots in the whole tournament. and wipe the TDs


Coming in from reserve, with tanks nice and close, the Reluctant trained Faust and Shrek horde arrives.  passes their 5+ motivation and charges.


 After passing my 5+ 3 times, the assault is over, and the tanks are toast.


They move within the objective, and dig in. but more americans are on the way.


The situation on turn 7


Running out of manpower, and surely close to a break, the Germans hope for a miracle...and then the Americans adjust to meet the KT...moving away from the objective....and giving us the game.


We win, 4-3....but probably shouldn't have.

Thanks to all for a fun tournament.

Phil and Matt were 1st 
Richard and Jerry were 2nd
Zach and Mike were tied for 3rd, and Karl and I brought up the rear.

A good time was had by all and a big thanks to CT Valley Gamers!



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