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