|Look sharp... but act dumb...|
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.|
Me vs German Grenadiers with 2 platoons of Panzer IV/70's in Breakthrough. I'm attacking.
|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.|
|Leaving a wide hole (natch) between the two infantry opposing infantry platoons.|
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.|
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.