Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 the Review

Hello Troops,

I hope your holidays have had great !  I know the family and I had a great holiday and I am looking forward to the many projects, tournaments and games to review and post for you the fine readers.

So without any further delay, 2010 in review ...

Site Visitors

I have been very fortunate as a blog author to have many readers and visitors for 2010.  I currently have 37 followers to the blog.  Thanks so much !  I have had 1693 hits with 46 countries representing.  Not too shabby I must admit. 


To date of this writing I have 37 followers.  Again I thank all of you, both followers and those whom stop by.

Games Played in 2010

I was able to get a decent number of games this year, this includes tournaments and home games.  Flames of War lead the pack with 15 games and 2 tournaments.  I ran 2 games of Star Wars RPG.  CY6 was also played twice as well.  All games were great and I hope to get in many more in the new year.

Tournaments for 2010

The two tournaments I was able to participate in where great.  The first one was the Guns of August in Williamsburg VA.  I place 10 out of 12 and got the Best Sportsmanship Award.  The last tournament I participated in was the Icehouse Warriors Tournament in Claymont DE.  I was able to place 10th out of 16.  I played against some awesome fellows and had some great games.  I learned tons and so look forward to the tournaments planned in 2011.

WWPD: News from the Front

I was invited to start a podcast with Steven and Sean in 2010.  WWPD:NFTF has been a great success and an awesome project to be part of and contribute to.  You can catch it on iTunes and it has a great fan support and listening audience.  I was able to participate in Episodes 0, 1, 3, 5 and 6.  I am so looking forward to the New Year with the podcast group.  It's gonna be a blast !

2010 Miniature Tracking

I invested 3 days of man-hours in painting this year.  Give or take this is pretty accurate.  I was able to complete 26 miniatures.  Since the majority of my painting this year was Flames of War miniatures this works out as 26 stands and or vehicles.  My stands are anywhere between 3 to 5 miniatures per stand.  So its not a shabby figure for me.  It is definitely an improvement from 2009. I was able to finally finish my US Army (Glider Infantry),  US M-10 Anti-tank Destroyer Section, US Engineer Platoon, US 81mm Mortar Platoon and US Sherman Tank Platoon.

Book Reviews

I reviewed 3 books this year.  They were Death Trooper, Dies the Fire and Homeland.  I recommend all 3 to the followers of the blog.


2010 saw 75 postings minus this one.  2009 only had 25, so I can say I successfully did better.  The months of February, August and September lead the months with 8 postings.  On average I had at least 5 to 7 postings a month which considering my active household, paramedic school and my fire station schedule of 24 hours a shift, not too shabby at all.

Well I hope you enjoyed the bean counting for 2010.  I am looking forward to sharing more in 2011 in all aspects our hobby and gaming world.  Please feel free to share my site with your friends and invite them along as followers.  Please also check out WWPD: News from the Front.  We enjoy hearing from you and giving programming that the listeners ask for.  Hit up iTunes and listen away !!

Happy New Years ! Be safe and keep the Paint Flowing and the Dice Rolling !

Joe ... aka Mezz

Friday, December 17, 2010

3rd ID vs German Horde

Today, Steve and I got together for a Late War 1750 point game.  I brought my US infantry representing the 3rd Infantry Division.  Steve had a unique way of choosing his forces.  Steve has a list of 20 various forces for the German army, his pick of the list is based on a roll of a D20 dice roll.  His roll produced a list of ... Tigers and Panzer IV's !  **Glup**

We rolled for the mission and produced ... Domination.  Domination has vital points of the battlefield represented in poker chips.  Various chips equal certain points.  Seeing the battle at hand I figured it would go more towards who remained ON the field of battle before victory would be shown by points.

Steve's photos and AAR are excellent.  To see his side of the battle check out the link: WWPD

1st Platoon (Rifles) deployed in the woods moving towards an objective.  They were attempting to get to a hill and be able to dig in.  But German Panzer IVs had another idea.
 Sherman Platoon's deployment area with 81mm Mortars getting ready to dig in.

2nd Platoon (Assault) looking towards their objective point.  This vital point (the hill) overlooked the village.
 81mm Mortars dug in while the Shermans move towards the roadway.

2nd Platoon moving with no obstacles to contend with. 
  1st Platoon getting to the base of Hill 1A.  Unfortunately German tanks occupy it.
 The lead M-10 pops a Tiger with a side shot. Then all heck breaks loose !

 Two M-10s go up in flames as combined fire of Panzer IVs and Tigers return fire.
 The unlucky crews had attempted to fire but no luck and definitely no luck now.

 The sherman platoon moved to make better of the one destroyed Tiger.  The remaining 2 Tigers made quick work and revenge for losing one of their own.  Thinking the wiser the remaining Shermans move.

 Tigers move into the M-10s hind quarters.  One of the burning tanks was the Lieutenant.  Without a command presence, the other 2 remaining M-10s could do nothing but shoot.

 Another Sherman explodes in fire causing Mortar crews to hug dirt in the foxholes !  Being the third Sherman destroyed, it forced a morale check.  Fail.  Shermans leave the field.

 The lead M-10 errupts in flames as his sister tank killer gets bailed behind him.

 The final M-10 is destroyed.  He failed 2 bail in attempts before falling. This bridge should be known as "Widow Crossing" ...

 Another look of "Widows Crossing"

 Last photo taken as the field of battle turns to German hands.

 It was a tough yet great learning experience.  Steve played a heck of a game and being a gentleman, offered to re-roll his force.  But I like a challenge and never played against Tigers before so I declined the re-roll offer. Tanks against infantry is always tough.  But I feel playing against them makes me a better player for the games that I get running against infantry with armor support.  I also been trying to figure out the best way to use my Shermans and M-10s so this was another great chance to learn.

Some of the things I learned today ...

Never face a Tiger in a shooting match, which resulted in 2 easy kills. A 3rd Sherman fell later and the platoon left the field after a failed morale check.

I had 81 mm mortars which killing wise was not an option but I failed to use the smoke by never getting observers in positions to assist (get more eyes in position next time)

The Assault platoon had a chance to move towards a weak recon platoon in the village (next time think about moving/assaulting with smoke cover)

Steve was great at reviewing the final battlefield setup with me and giving advice to maximize my forces.  Every game at Steve's is great for that reason.  I learn tons.  I have always been the type to learn by making mistakes.  In fact every mistake I have made in past games has helped me in future games.

Kudos to Steve ... great game and as always a pleasure to play against ! 

Till next time ... Keep the Paint Flowing and the Dice Rolling !
Joe .... aka Mezz

Monday, December 13, 2010

Icehouse Tournament Part 2 Briefing ...

Greetings troops,

This is Part 2 of the AAR debriefing of the Icehouse tournament.  If you missed Part I, you can click on the link ... Icehouse AAR Part 1.

Game 3 - Opponent Blair

The group took a lunch break and got back to business.  Game 3 was against Blair and his lend lease Russians.  Blair was also in the new category but none the less eager to hit the ground running.  The mission was No Retreat.  

I was unsure how this game was going to go.  Some factors were in my favor.  I had my assault platoon "Gone to Ground" and "Dug In" near one objective while I had my Shermans deployed in ambush (unseen until deployed).  My reserves including 1 rifle platoon and my mortars.  Blair had ground to move to get to me but had that ambush to worry about.

Blair moved forward and stopped.  He was taking shots with his machine guns with numerous tanks in the front while moving a large force of Shermans down my left flank towards a one lane bridge he would have to cross.  Shots were aimed and Blair moved cautiously towards my forces dug in. My reserves all came in on with reserve rolls, moving the infantry towards the bridge to assist delaying the tank horde. The mortars took a position in the rear to assist. I was losing maybe one stand a turn in both the dug in front and the flank forces holding the bridge but nothing that would force morale checks.  Time was a factor and it was do or die for Blair to push and get the objective.  I popped the ambush with the Shermans in the woods near the bridge.

Tanks began to fall.  I took out a tank of his and blocked the bridge.  Time ran out and I was still holding both objectives.  6-1, my win.  Great game Blair !

Hindsight .... Blair had a strong list.  Unfortunately, he had to get dug in infantry out of the area of the objectives.  I would have not changed anything.  I have learned in previous games and from my mentor Steve to hold on to the ambush as long as I can.  I was able to get my infantry on the board and move them into support of the left flank and choke point.  Both objectives had woods and my infantry and tanks could and did use them for effective defense.  Time was a big factor.  Blair did a good job. I enjoyed the game.

Game 4 - Opponent Miles

My last game of the event was against Miles and his German Mechanized Pioneer troops.  He had mechanized pioneers troops with halftrack transports, 3 Pumas, 3 Pak 40s and 1 KING TIGER !  The mission was Hasty assault and I won the roll to see which side of the board I wanted.  Looking at his forces I chose the side with a hill.  A very difficult terrain ravine was 8 inches in front of the hill.  

I chose to start the mission with the assault platoon, since they would be "Dug in" and "Gone to Ground" to start.  I had my Shermans, whom were the Immediate Ambush choice on the backside of the hill to limit shots by his Pumas and King Tiger.

The missions first two rounds went without much action as Miles moved his forces forward, taking shots at the infantry and not doing anything.  During this time I moved the shermans to the right flank placing 2 near a building and 2 on the backside of the hill out of view as well.

Miles moved his pioneers to the ravine and deployed 3 (maybe 4) bridges over the ravine and began to cross his transports and pumas.  The King Tiger sat back across the ravine. His Pak 40s came on during a reserve roll.  I was able to score my reserve of rifles, and had them move to the back side of the hill and wait to assist or fill the gap.

Round 4 was when the heat started.  Miles assaulted into my dug in troops with his transports and pumas.  Assaults and Counter Assaults were traded ending in the destruction of the Pioneer platoon and their transports.  The Pumas remained .... so I moved my Shermans over as not to expose to return fire from the Pak 40s and King Tiger.  Shots were traded and eventually my assault platoon was destroyed. I was able to keep the Pumas honest due to the Shermans. I moved the reserve platoon up to hold the objective.

Miles was able to get the King Tiger across the very difficult terrain (dang it ;P) and began to move towards the trenches.  Things were getting tight.  But Time was on my side and the game ended.  I was still holding the objectives. 4-3, my win.  Awesome game Miles !

Hindsight ... I was very happy with my forces.  I knew digging in and keeping out of sight was my best option.  Time was the factor if I could hold till time was done.  It was awesome to see Miles throw bridges and cross.  And I can see why he was using the transports and getting 3 machine gun shots with 7 transports.  I was surprised that he didn't get that King Tiger up on the hill sooner.  I feel the game would have been uglier and quite possibly the chance I would have lost the hill.  But it was a great game !

Well ... that is the down and dirty of the tournament.  The guys from Icehouse gaming group were awesome.  Great sports, good gaming and seemed like a great bunch to play FOW with.  I would not blink an eye to compete again with these fine fellows.  Steve placed 2nd just missing 1st by 1 point.  I can't remember where Luke and Jon exactly placed but it was 4th and 6th I believe (possibly 4th and 5th).  I wound up placing 10th out of 16.  Not shabby.  

It was a great time with great friends and so looking forward to doing it again.

Keep the paint flowing and the dice rolling ....

Joe ... aka Mezz

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Icehouse Tournament ...

Greetings troops,

This weekend Steve, Luke, Jon and I road tripped it to Between Books in Claymont, DE for a Flames of War Qualifier Tournament.  It was hosted by Jesse and the Icehouse gaming group.

We started our roadtrip Friday evening and met Pete Ellis in Glen Bernie, MD. Awesome fellow, treated us to a great round of beer and talked shop about everything in the wargaming world; including FOW as well. Pete is a contributing editor to Steve's Blog What Would Patton Do ? .  I hope we can get together once again and play some FOW ... it would be a great time.  Good luck to Pete Monday regarding a tournament he is participating in.

We got in late to our hotel Friday night ... tired but in high spirits.  Saturday morning we awoke about 9, taking advantage of sleeping in, and headed to the local IHOP to fuel up the tanks. 

We arrived early to Between the Books and was able to walk around the store and see the inventory.  It was a spread of sci-fi, fantasy, history, boardgames, RPGs and the such.  Nice store.

In the back of the store we were able to fit 4 tables, divided in half to allow for all present to play.  16 generals arrived with glory in the mind and bags of of lead in hand. All armies were late war and made with a cap of 1000 points. The following brief AARs are not exactly to the tee since I am writing them from memory ...

Game 1 - Opponent Mike A.

Mike was running Germans and like myself a noob to the FOW scene with about 1 year in game.  He was running HQ, German Stugs supported by a FJ platoon and Towed Nebelwerfers.  I had the 3rd US ID with HQ, Rifle Platoon, Assault Platoon, 2 sections of 81mm Mortars and 4 Shermans.  It was a free for all mission, meaning all units were on the board with deployment.

Not to bore you with all the details, Mike was able to pin my assault platoon all game (on my left flank), tore up my rifle platoon in the middle of the board attempting to use cover in buildings, popped 1 Sherman at long range and the other 3 engaging in front of the assault platoon.  3 of his Stugs moved on my right flank, staying out of assault range and finally taking out my mortars near the objective.  Uncontested objective, his win. 6-1.

In hindsight, I should have moved my Shermans to the right flank to assist the gap he used to move the stugs. He did an excellent job staying out of the Rifle Platoons assault range. He wasn't going to attempt to rush infantry, especially an assault platoon with Tank Assault 3.  Poor coverage of the right flank equaled failure and loss of the objective.  Good job Mike !

Game 2 - Opponent John

John was my next for Game 2.  Once again, John was a noob like myself.  Actually this was his 4th game ! No pressure there .... lol.  Encounter was the mission.  John was running German stugs and Panzer IVs. I was defending a city with a river running in front and a road leading north towards John.  I started the game with my assault platoon in the city and my 4 shermans; leaving my other Rifle platoon and the mortars in reserves. 

As expected, John came across the river and trading shots with the infantry fighting from the buildings. I moved the Shermans up the left flank, 2 near the building the infantry were shooting from and the others placed shooting at the 5 Stugs on my city's NE flank. He was just about in assault range and I was able to bail 2 drooling with thoughts of a pending assault with reserves coming ...  then John got his only reserve.
The Panzers took out 2 Shermans, bailed one and eventually forced them from the field.  My infantry attempted a tank assault, took heavy defensive fire and was pinned, attack stalled.  I got them back on their feet and into the buildings.  John maneuvered his tanks down the flanks shooting at the infantry and whittling down infantry stands.  Reserves NEVER came.  I was forced into a morale check numerous times and eventually failed.  My company left the field, John was last one standing. 6-1 John.  Great game.

Hindsight, nothing could have changed really.  John did place his tanks within assault range but being Round 1 I didn't pull the trigger.  I brought the tanks up hoping to clean some out and then pounce on the next turn hoping he still would not realize he was in assault range.  His reserves arriving quickly, eventually killed and forced the Shermans out of the field of battle.  The lone infantry unit was at a major disadvantage and not able to forcibly take on 8 to 10 tanks alone.  My Reserves must have taken a wrong turn at the fork in the road and NEVER made it on the board with 6 dice roll attempts. I believe the game went longer then it needed.  John could have moved out of infantry range and sat on the objective with no able response from me (especially with infantry reserves possible but that never came).  But it was a fun game and John & I laughed at my horrible situation.  Good game John :)

Lunch Break Thoughts

The first two missions were rough for me.  Free for all and Encounter are missions I have played in the past and always seem to give me a tad of trouble when running infantry lists.  I learned from the games and that is an important aspect of these games.  Everyone makes mistakes but learning from them is very important in this gaming system.  I can go back when thinking about these games and KNOW where the critical mistake or misjudgment was.

My next posting will cover Games 3 and 4 ... I want to split the postings so its not all in one long post.

Till the next posting .... Keep the Paint flowing and the Dice rolling .....

Joe ... aka Mezz

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Posting via Phone

Hey troops,

I thought I would try this app for my phone and see how it does. The photos are of 1st and 2nd squads of my US 81mm mortars. The other picture is the platoon lt.


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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Additional Recon Photographs

Greetings Troops,

The following photos have been cleared by the Censorship Office to be published. All photos are of US forces engaging German forces somewhere in Europe. The units and names of the soldiers have been omitted to keep them safe.

I can finally say that I had some figures finally on the board. All American Infantry was mine minus the American Tanks and Mortars (not pictured). Germans and previously mentioned was Steve's. Great game ! I had a blast and was happy to get a great game in.

Enjoy the pictures. Keep the Paint flowing and the Dice rolling !