Driving up to the Icon early Saturday morning, the battlewagon was certainly sponsored by Redbull - much to the annoyance of Ben Davy, I'm sure.
For this weekend I was joined by Justin 'The Troll' Carnzu, running his Jumbo laden 7th AD, and Freddie 'Ratman' Dutton, with his S.S Panzergrens. Corrivalry was these guys first FoW tournament, (being my second), however both are veteran war gamers from other systems.
The venue has great parking (despite having to move out of the multi-story at 6pm), and a nice cafe.
GAME 1 - Soviet Hero Tankovy - Cauldron- Mick Rood
Lady luck had blessed my newly decaled army. I rolled as defender, and Mick had random deployment.
|Scared of the Katusha horde!|
The m10's duelled with the cat killers and IC t-34, while the Katusha Observer team waits for the rocket trucks to move into a firing position, having been deployed in the only cover in their random area - a large wood.
|Bye bye t34's|
|The m10's and assault guns trade fire|
|A battle the m10's win!|
|The Katushas set up, their barrage failing to harm the m10's, when Joe arrives with the cavalry!|
The Flank Shermans were surprised by some reserve Zis guns, that only managed a bail and a sherman destroyed. Then my universal carriers turned up and machine gunned the guns, who fled. The M10's killed the IC, and after some lucky non-bog checks, took out the second assault gun. Add the shermans killing the Katushas, and I forced a check, which was an auto fail. Sorry Mick, luck really just swung my way!
GAME 2 - Kampfgroupe Swoboda - Road Block- Phil Powell
If luck was with me the first game, it transpired against me the second - I was about to be ambushed by a force of heavy anti-tank guns!
Phil chose my M10's to be ambushed...
By four Hummel Tigers. Ouch.
|So. Many. Guns|
|Bye bye m10's, bye bye.|
The m10's died. I brought on Joe and the forward air controller, who spotted for a 3 Strong Typhoon flight to kill the tigers. This was my one chance to win really - If I killed the tigers, Phil didn't have any other platoons who could sweep up and capture the objective. Being trained, I only needed a three to range in. I failed. Then I failed the re-roll. Sob.
Over the next turns, the Guards were slowly shot/bombarded to death by combined tiger and 88mm fire. The typhoons failed, as once the tigers closed to the objective, my contesting platoons forced them to try and fly the gauntlet of AA fire at the back of the board. One of the highlights was having the lorried rifle platoon vapourised in their trucks by reserve 88mm fire. All but one stand died. That one stand then survived man alone tests, along with multiple attempts on his life by tigers, 105mm shells and flak 88's so live the whole game. I marked the team up after the battle, to give them some special attention for their heroism.
Hands up, this game had the biggest rules mistake ever. Joe Vandeleur, having lost all his supporting shermans and forward air controller, went on a rampage and tried to assault the gun teams. He survived masses of fire, but in the end, he shouldn't have been assaulting - hes a warrior TRANSPORT team. To be fair, we both missed this one. However, it didn't change the outcome of the battle.
In the end, I had to pull out all the stops to get a platoon kill, with my last ditch shot of the game the remaining Universal carrier took out the remaining flak 88 to kill a platoon.
GAME 3 - 21st Panzer Division - Fighting Withdrawal - Phil Parker
Phil gave me the most high adrenaline game of the weekend. Defending on a fighting withdrawal, Phil flew in head first, guns blazing!
Here they come!
The Panzer IV's fly into the teeth of the AT 15 fire.
|A second platoon threatens the left flank|
|After a rather nice shooting round....|
My 2iC spent this game mainly bogged in the wood. When he finally un-bogged, he immediately bogged again. Go figure.
After a tense few rounds of trading fire, I lost my sherman platoon, but the enemy had fled the battle.
GAME 4 - Motostrelkovy - Counter Attack - Rodger Whittham
After wayyyy to much Caffeine, I had the energy drink shakes on Sunday morning! I was stuck trying to charge into a moto-strelk, supported with more heavy guns and lee tanks than God.
I learnt a lot from this game, many thanks to Rodger, who taught me a few tricks with team positions, and took my noob questions in his pace, while proving a fierce defence.
My only hope was to push hard down one flank, which nearly worked. The Typhoons were less than impressive, some assaults went better than others, and Rodger had set up very well. With lucky (in my eyes) morale rolls, I failed to kill a second platoon.
GAME 5 - Panzer Kampfgroup - Free for all - Mike Parker
Another great game, against the perfect gentleman of an opponent, who taught me a thing or two about the game, and indeed about my army, being an experienced Guards player himself!
|Sneeky Luchs kill the bofors, and threaten an objective - the shermans claimed revenge|
|Better luck next time Rudel - those .50 Cals worked a treat|
|So much armour 10+|
|Just before everything died..|
And the second half, where Mike's luck returned to 'distinctly average'. To be honest, that was all he needed, as I had certainly pushed mine too far. In one turn, he killed all but one of my platoons, upon which I failed the break check, (and guards re-roll).
Mike won, but I made him work for it!
53 points out of a possible 100
38th place out of 84!!
Not bad for my first late-war tournament!
Over all, we all had a great weekend - The driving wasn't too bad, however we might share the pain next time rather than having Justin sacrifice his organs to energy drinks. The games were fun, the boards and missions gave an interesting variety, even if it lead to some less-than-favourable line-ups.
Here's some more pictures of games/boards:
|Tim Harris vs Bill Wilcox - a crazy game!|
|Justin 'the Troll' Carnzu - just plain crazy/|
We'll be sure to book again for next year!
Thanks to all involved, an event of this size takes a lot of effort to organise, and it's quite spectacular - recommended if you can make it.
Thanks for reading,