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