Tom, Evan, Phil and Derek ran another smooth event this year with an excellent BBQ dinner on the Saturday night, also had some excellent prize support from Battlefront in the form of the new Japanese tank box sets and books out. There was 5 games over 2 days with each mission pulled out of a hat, It was a doubles team event, with both members having a limit of 1100 pts each, making for 4400pts of models being played on 8" x 4" of table.
I was teamed with my brother Andrew (as usual) and we both were running LW German Infantry companies this year. I was using a Reluctant trained Sicherungs force with 10 platoons, Andy was using a Reluctant Veteran Sperrvanband force with 8 platoons, so it was fitting our team name be The Reluctant Ones.
For complete list breakdown see my earlier post about army - my first blog post in fact.
These days we always carry our armies on trays (having not very good carry cases) ... so as we arrived everyone seemed to congregate around our table to see what we had brought this year, one person (forget who) said that the force looked big, I then pointed out that the other half of the army was over in Andrews tray ..... most amusing.
We designed our force around having the Captured armoured train and a Motorised Artillery unit of 10.5cm guns, so the best for this was the Sicherung company, but that creates another problem as the rule states that you can never place the infantry combat platoons in reserve and have to be on the table. So the answer was to take lots of platoons so we have a lot of chaff off the table while still having the StugG, Pak40 RSO vet tank hunters, Captured T-34 tanks, 10.5cm Artillery, Sperr Pioneers, a Sperr Infantry and all three of my Sicherung platoons on the table in reserve missions.
We went into the tournament knowing that we were going to at best come away with a 4-3 win in games, as it would be terribly easy for us to bleed points given our force. So had a plan to concentrate firepower and try to secure the two points for us first and then worry about trying to win the game - which worked out well for us.
|Overall photo of both our army's - 92 elements in total|
1st game was a FFA against Team FarCanal - Damien and Shep
They were running a Kastner / Puma force with 2 infantry platoons, 3 units of Pumas, Nebs, 2 units Stuh42 tanks, 2 units of 88's and some AA halftracks.
It was a tense first turn as they got to spearhead one unit of Stuh42, followed by two units of Pumas recon move, so all nicely positioned to blast our gun teams apart, but shep failed 4 firepower 2+ tests in a row to kill them. If they had some moderate luck I think they would of had us after this but the game ended in a 3-3 draw.
2nd game was a Counterattack mission against the two Stu's - one Stu was running a large mechanised PzGren army all in half-tracks and the other Stu was running a Panther force. Both army's were Confident trained so were rather large. The train track had an impact in the game as the half-tracks could only move 4" across and having a river to cross as well, caused in slowing down their attack. Andy's 105 artillery and mortars had some good luck in this game catching a heck of a lot of half-tracks under templates and a few panthers as well. Game ended up a 5-2 win to us.
|2nd game table , we deployed on the far left corner with two Stu's on opposite side, with the train track |
placed on theclose left corner to the middle right long table side.
3rd game was a Fighting Withdrawal mission (my favourite) Game was fought against Bob Pearce and Brian Trot who were using a Cromwell army and Brit infantry army with Typhoons and artillery park. The table had a large hedgerow maze in the middle third with a river on right side with a town on the left side. All their infantry went in the maze backed up by Stuarts and UCarriers, with all the tanks on the left side. The game ended up in lots of shooting and multiple assaults that resulted in lots of burning wrecks littered over the battlefield. I must say that Brian has a talent for air-power as every time I have had the pleasure of playing against him he has punished me with it time and time again. A most enjoyable game that could of ended up 4:3 either way, but Andy and I ended up with the 4 point win. They were also the closest team to almost break one of us.
Bob had told us the next day that he had totally forgot to use his indirect fire rule not just in our game but for the whole of day one ......... might of come in handy.
|Game 3 was played on this table, river on one side, hedge maze in middle with town on other side.|
We deployed on the far side of this photo.
4th game was a Dust up mission, against Team Hippo artillery park - Tim and Nick who were running a Romanian Vanatori Motorizata and Hungarian tank force. A fun and clever list that quite frankly packs some punch. Had two Vantori infantry platoons, two 100mm and one 150mm artillery platoons with a mobile element lead by Ervin Tarczay warrior panther, 2 x panthers, 3x Turan II, 2x Nimrods, 3x R-2 tanks and 3x TACAM T-60.
They had placed all their light mobile stuff in reserve and hid them behind a hill until all their stuff was on, I thought we would struggle against so many light tanks but with the train and us being able to place the tracks in our side of our deployment zone, it came to the rescue in time from reserve and quickly eliminated the threat.
Our reserve was the T-34 and Stugs with Sperr platoon and mortars, backing them up - their character Ervin was very good and combined with direct fire from the 155 artillery killed the T-34's and had us down to one Stug, the BA-10m had a chance to kill Ervin in the flank but failed his FP - it would of been funny as hell if he had killed him (a little BA-10M being a 25 point unit and all)
It was another fun game that had assaults, lots of artillery barrages, and lots of burning wrecks. The game ended up another 3-3 draw for us as neither of us had the punch left to tackle the objectives in time..
|4th game played on this table, we set up on the far left corner with Tim and Nick|
in the close right corner.
They placed a mine-field on the track and also used pioneer teams to break up the tracks - a wise move as it stopped us moving the train in for MG dice.
The biggest problem was killing the artillery as being a medium support artillery their repeat bombardment goes from AT3/FP6+ to a whopping AT5/FP2+ so this caused us no end of problems.
The game had us fail a lot of reluctant rolls and we couldn't unpin to save ourselves as the repeat bombardments continued to whittle our numbers.
It was a very fun game though and had more than a few tense assaults in there. The game was our only loss of the tournament and ended up a deserved 6-1 to Joe and Cameron, we got one platoon but it didnt count due to the 9 platoons. Even if we did defend in this mission I fear there force had all the right tools (night attack and deadly artillery) to deal to us, not a good match up for us being reluctant but shit happens
|Final game, we attacked from the far side of photo, fairly open but lots of mini forests/tree lines|
to block the line of sight.
Best units of our army was the Captured Train and the 10.5cm Artillery battery. Some people think the train is a pain in the backside ( especially the tracks) but for 210 points for 2 Heavy Artillery cars with AT4/FP4+ that can also combine batteries to form a 8 gun battery, it is worth every penny. The AT cars keep the tanks honest and can often surprise you and the enemy - also gives the train the extra length you need.
Already thinking of new armies for next year - considering taking Andrews AK Polish uprising force each, lots of fearless trained infantry all with gammon bombs running around - fun.