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Friday, July 28, 2017

Team Yankee - North American National Tournament 2017 Historicon

Ever since Mitch, Sean, and Erik announced that there would be a team yankee nationals this year, I was excited.  After spending around 5 months painting my West Germans (covered in this 3 part series from a few weeks ago) I was ready to get some games in. I read the rules over the night before to see if I could find things I may have missed.  Knowing who was showing up, and knowing that over 40 players were expected to attend meant I had no expectations of winning anything.  Battlefront partnered with WWPD for some prize support, tables, and other logistical concerns.  This would winf up being the largest tournament at Historicon this year,
Below: Luke sets up a display and looks longingly at models he will soon be buying

Some of the 28 or so tables prepped by Brian Sullivan, Sean Sarah, and Mitch Reed (among others)

Mitch tries to take the edge off with a Vacation themed shirt, but his expression says "we are going to be crunching numbers all afternoon" He brought his entire collection with him, and was ready to lend it all out to players that wanted to give the game a shot.

A wide shot of some of the tables.

I also spent some time building a series of display boards to show off my army, including one with a river crossing and water effect.  I think it turned out pretty nice.

I used 1X4 to frame a box, and sanded and stained it.

These rocks are Pine mulch chips.  which when sprayed grey, look just like rocks. The Bag I bought 3 years ago for 10 bucks is still going strong. Lightweight spackle along with playground sand and kitty litter for debris complete the look.

Its a bit bulky, but I have a lot of Leo 1s.

There were some amazing armies to see.  Some went full historical (John Sulek's airborne) others went with a variety.  All were beautiful to look at.

I particularly enjoyed battlegroup Conan. Fun fact, I believe the script for Conan the Barbarian is only 12 pages long. It of the greatest movies of all time.

The players assemble.  

At this point, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my finest hour of the tournament.  While trying to get the photo above I tried climbing onto one of the white chairs you see before you.  They fold of course, but I thought, its just for a sec, what's the worst that could happen.  well, I fell, slid my foot into it, and proceeded to dance around while trying not to drop my camera.  It was a great start to the day, and Mitch will never let me live it down.  

Game 1

West Germans Vs. East German Everything Horde (Chris Jackson)

In characteristically careless fashion, I elected to attack.  he elected to defend, and we wound up playing fighting withdrawal.  I hoped I would be able to swarm over one flank, but as soon as he had everything on the board, I suspected it wouldn't quite work out that way.

Chris took out my Gepards, steered clear of my Fligerfaust teams, and used his strike aircraft and direct fire to whittle down most of my armor.  a Few suicidal charges in the woods later and it was all over for me.

Chris was a gentleman throughout, and gave me some pointers for the future.  But this mostly came down to my bad choice of attacking a force this large.  I'm not sure having half his force off table would have helped me much if we had drawn a different mission.  By turn 3, I conceded, and we figured he would have wiped nearly everything off except for some red eye teams. Since kill points were a thing, I felt it was fair to make sure he got them. I did kill a few platoons of gaskins or some other adorable soviet vehicles, so I think it was a 5-2 instead of a 6-1.

With my game over by turn 3, I took some pics of other games in progress...

Game 2
West Germans vs. T-72s and Hinds (Jim Best Sr)

I've met Jim and his son a few times now, and know what talented tacticians they are, but I realized as we checked out the table, I had never drawn one of them as an opponent in a tournament.

We drew Counterattack or breakthrough, not sure which.  the mission is a bit different in team yankee, with a bubble in the center that limits deployment of troops and objectives.

Unfortunately, this was one of the few missions where the Luchs I had brought served a legit purpose. They helped me drop my troops much further up, and I was on the objective and dug in by turn 2.  Jim's force had to hold part in reserve, and would suffer huge losses for that.

My Helos and some side shots from Leo 1s helped destroy a T72 formation, and ambushing BMPs would kill some of my guys as well. Jim's reserves also waited as long as possible to show up.  But by the time they did, my AA wasn't in a position to shoot them down.

After killing the requisite # of platoons and guaranteeing a 4-3 either way, he called it.  I was dug in on the objective, and he had taken horrible losses.  The game was fun, but my deployment shenanigans made is hard for him to get the drop on me with his better tanks. We got confused with kill points, because transports don't count. But I think in the future, we'll wind up counting them as 1/2 the points of the platoon they are transporting, which made sense.

Game 3

West Germans vs. Mech infantry and some Tank support (Kevin Kelley)

Again I attacked, this time at night, and this time it was fighting withdrawal again.  I threw everything I had at him on the right flank, and we managed to leave a trail of destruction all over the table. 

After several bloody assaults, I managed to push him off the objective, but would have needed a few more turns to secure it, since he had moved in more men to contest.  With time running out, we called it a draw.  

3-3 with heavy losses on all sides.

There were a ton of plaques to give out, as there were prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, as well as the best general in each country's faction who didn't finish in the top 3. A best sportsman, and a best painted.  I got pictures of some, but not all.

 I got best sportsman, which I'm very happy with! Thanks to everyone I got to play with!

Full Standings are listed below:

Last word From Mitch: "I want to thank all of the participants for attending and making it such a great event. Despite last minute drops, we were able to get 6 players armies to play in the day preceding the event. I have never seen such comradeship and teamwork among players, which led to everyone having a great time. I hope that we get to run the event next year with Battlefront."

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