Monday, February 18, 2013

Showcase Comics 1780 Late War AAR

Look sharp... but act dumb... 
Well hey there dear reader (I imagine there's only one of you, and it's my mom). This weekend I had the opportunity to travel up to Media, PA with my homie Ben and get some great games at a most excellent location.

Showcase Comics and Games hosted a 3 round 1780 point late war tournament at their Granite Run Mall location. First off, they have a great store and if you're on the I-95 corridor here in the mid-Atlantic you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't go at least once.

They've got a great selection of comics (if you're into that sort of thing), 40k, Fantasy, Warmahordes and my baby Flames of War not to mention a slew of other games and fun. The store has great decor as well, a space marine stands guard out front while Genestealers crawl out of air ducts on the ceiling. Fun stuff.

The gaming loot is excellently sorted by army and type and they had a 20% sale on pretty much everything over the weekend, so: Wallet 0 -- Showcase 1.

But on to the gaming!

So, for the tournament I decided to get experimental and go with Kampfgruppe Hummel out of the new Bridge by Bridge Market Garden Compilation. Here's the list

HQ: 2x Tiger 1E
Combat Platoon 1: 4x Tiger 1E
Combat Platoon 2: 2x Tiger 1E
Support 1: 4x 250/9 recce
Support 2: Full Pioneer Platoon (Each round I took 3 flamethrowers)
Support 3: 3x Nebs
Support 4: 2x FlaK36 1x 88 Anti-Aircraft

It came in at 1780 exactly and 6 platoons. Here's some pics:

After the break I'll break down the rounds:


Me vs. Russian Sappers in fighting withdrawal (me defending)

Set up & recce moves, I go forward on the road while those sneaky commies bastards on the German right move up 
They're like 2ID wood elves but suicidally dedicated to their dear leader. 

Rat and crew look hungry for tigers, they'll move up to center board and spend the gaming playing hide and go seek with my cats. 

By Turn 2 that sapper blob is well on it's way to the German Right objective. 

AA Guns and tigers take their toll on the platoon but there's a ton of them, the Cats score a kill on the ISU-122's

His smaller engineer section begins to move towards center board giving my flame a wide berth. 

Sapper blob gets into assault range on the AA and the ISU's kill 1 and bail 1 Tiger

After the assault I've lost the small tiger platoon and the AA but his blob platoon is down to 7 stands. I can deal with that... right? I assault with my 3 tigers from the opposite side of the hill. 

And can't make a single 2+ top armor save. I kill 3 stands, he comes back kills two tigers (I roll double 1's) I come back whiff and he kills the final tiger. 
At this point, as it was my turn he triggers the win on the beginning of his next turn. Game goes to him 6-1. It all came down to that one assault. I thought I had tigers well supported with the AA guns, boy howdy was I wrong. Also, my dice totally sucked, which is no excuse, I could have pulled my pio's over (which I had started to do but too late) along with my 1iC to help support against the oncoming horde. The lesson learned here is that when running small platoons you MUST get numbers heavily in your favor, weight a side if you can and annihilate 1 platoon at a time, cajun style. The dude I played (sorry I can't remember your name! Miles maybe?) was certainly a great opponent and a great deal of fun to play against.


Me vs German Grenadiers with 2 platoons of Panzer IV/70's in Breakthrough. I'm attacking.

I set up in the close to the edge of my deployment with the 88 overlooking the road. He's got a nice hill to overlook my Tigers up there at the top center of pic, it's where he places his PaK 40's. I jump off with recce covering the advance across the ford at bottom left and towards the bridge at top-ish center. 

In three turns I couldn't remove gone to ground from either the infantry or the freaking PaK 40's. All I wanted to do was smoke man... Just a little smoke

He deployed the IV/70's deep in his backfield and rushes them up to threaten the tiger advance. 

My inability to smoke leads to the demise of two of my Tigers. 

But the Tigers press on, taking cover behind the small hill and taking potshots at the IV/70 platoon. 

Nice gamescape shot. Love playing on winter boards with my winter army. 

The sparring between the IV/70's and my tigers last 5 turns until I can finally finish them off, and take out the PaK 40's. 

The breakthrough is on! I assault the extended (and mostly unsupported) elements of the two infantry platoons holding the bridge and sweep them away. My pio's showed up turn three (more on that in a minute) and took a squat on both rear objectives. With the break through of the Tigers that was game. 

Leaving a wide hole (natch) between the two infantry opposing infantry platoons. 
So, to my great chagrin we got the reserve rules backwards. The mobile reserves are not delayed and my reserves are. We realized this at the end of the game, I was deeply embarrassed (and I apologize again here) but my opponent was very sporting and we both agreed the game really turned on the deployment and the action near my deployment zone. So I pulled it out 5-2. Once again I didn't play it safe with my tigers and it cost me a point.

Round 3 Me vs. Aufklarung Schwadron in Fair Fight


Set up, dude uses his 150's in an AT role, with all the open LOS this is smart. I keep my stuff in or near terrain so his air (AIR? What german takes air in late war? I'll shut up, cause it worked :) would be forced to range in. 

Close up of deployment.

We spar, recce moving in and out of cover (I score 1 puma kill) and air/arty starting to poke holes in things. 

The two objectives are well covered by arty. Those, 150's force me to keep my tigers 24 inches away, because once again my smoke doesn't know how to smoke. 

His HS-129''s take out my AA

The sparring with nothing much happening continues for 7 fricking turns. I don't want to tie, I hate ties (almost as much as I hate fair fight) so I develop my Tigers, sending 5 over the right flank to take on two Puma's, a spotter and 4 StuH 42's. 

Two turns later (blerg) I cross the road after losing one tiger to arty.  In the resulting furball my dice fail me again and I can't make a 2+ save to save my live. I lose another Tiger, and one gets bailed forcing my 4 tank platoon into a 4+ morale check, which I reliable fail.
At this point I call the game for him. He'll take it 6-1 after taking out a platoon of Tigers, my AA and my Nebs. This was the most frustrating game of the day, I find nothing enjoyable about sitting around. I don't blame the other player, we were just in a mexican standoff. If his StuH's or infantry moved forward I'd eat them alive and if my Tigers moved within 2 feet of that arty he'd eat them alive. In the end, racing across the field isn't tactically interesting (or particularly sane) but I wasn't going to sit around for 2 1/2 hours while air and arty slowly ate away at my forces. Something had to give, and my all statistical rights I should have been fine against the StuH's but, the fates and fortunes were not in my favor. ALAS! But no worries, I had fun with my list and learned a ton and he got a 6 - 1, a favorable outcome for all.

Ending thoughts.

I had a great time playing fun people at an excellent location, what more could I ask for? OH WAIT. I got best painted army. WEWT! Now, what more could I ask for? How about the Indiana Jones/Raiders of the Lost Ark objective. YEP got that as my prize. Awesome. Needless to say I was pretty happy.

So, what did I learn? Never ever trust the dice to the job that weight of fire should be doing. With small platoons you can't just have "enough" firepower, you need to make sure the odds are stacked well in your favor. By the final round I felt like I was using terrain properly and shepherding my tanks into favorable situations but If I keep using the list I'm going to have to be more savvy about how I support them.

In the end, I had a total blast, huge thanks to the folks at Showcase for running a great tourney.


  1. Great AAR and wonderful looking army
    It is exactly the sort of battleworn winter look I am looking to do with my KG Bake
    Do you have any tips on your paintwork?

  2. Excellent report and your army looks awesome. Looks like it was an excellent event.

  3. This is just sad. Two of the bloggers that I regularly communicate with were in the same room with me, and I didn't know who they were till I see their blog updates. By the way, I also voted for your snow tigers.

  4. Thanks guys! It was a blast to play and paint. Truscott, I'm going to do up a guide as my next blog post (tonight or tomorrow work depending). I just tried to write up a quick guide in the comments here but it was getting blog post long. Keep your eyes peeled it'll be up soon.

  5. Cheers Throck look forward to it. Also looked at the P3 paint you used on the Tigers in the Lehr post interested in your thoughts on that - I can get that in Australai now - is it worth it for this job as against Vallejo?

  6. Yeah, I think Vallejo paints are mostly great (and mostly what I use now) but that P3 white is excellent. It holds up really well when you water it down, which is how I did white wash. Get the white to a consistency somewhere between milk and melted ice cream and apply to the non-zimmerite areas in multiple light layers (2 to 4).

    When used that way Vallejo pigments tend to separate into Yellow-ish and clear-ish but the P3 did not.

  7. How to is up:

  8. Great AAR, your army looks fantastic. I love what you have done with the winter camo - dark, dirty and spot on.