A great weekend. As is usual with Southcon it was Axis vs Allies with preset tables (one mission per table). My armoured PGs came 3rd Axis (and 3rd overall on points) and very nearly won- had I unpinned a command team to contest on the last turn of the last game I would have won 5-2 and been first equal or first so it was a close, close finish and literally went down to the last turn. Played lots of interesting and fun lists.
Game 1: 4-3 Hasty Assault (defending) vs Dave D’s USA Armoured Rfifgle- we always have great intense games and this was no exception. his passing 6 morale tests to keep platoons on table didn't help my cause and it could have gone either way.
Game 2: 5-2 FFA vs Guards strelk on a table with 90% woods! Had to kill very single Russian infantry stand (2 and 1 coy formations) to win it in another hard fought game on a table that did my half tracks (and artillery) no favours.
Game 3: Bye (one Russian tank company didn’t turn up)
Game 4: 5-2 Cauldron: Vs a very solid British rifle force- a cat and mouse game that went to the wire. Very well played by Che.
Game 5: 5-2 Breakthrough vs Nick G’s Paras supported by Kiwi’s. a game won by Nick’s fearless paras failing every morale check they needed! It was up to his kiwis to win some respect for the game where the dice gods really did abandon him. I think his 4 failed out of 5 infantry saves pretty much summed up his luck for the game.
Game 6: 3-4 vs French Foreign Legion. Encounter (see above)- the French artillery rules, even with light guns, are nasty!
The last game was always going to be tight- encounter on a table with only 2 bridges and a river running across the centre of the table, vs a French Foreign Legion force that had been roughly handled vs heavier tanks (best AT was 8) but with all its light AT guns was perfect counter to my panzer grenadier force-we had a fun, free flowing game that went to he last turn of the 2 hrs and he just grabbed an objective before me I I failed to unpin a command stand to contest (would have been 5-2 the other way if I had) The time limit for the last round made it hard for both of us and we both made mistakes as a result as we were trying to win and get though as many turns as we could.
We gave it our best shot and the French pulled off a great win- in the nick of time. Great finish and lots of fun.
Final result: 3rd Axis and 3rd on overall points- about 2 pts behind 1st (Fusileri) and 1 behind Panzers with lots of flame tanks! So it was very close at the top. The Allies took a bit of a beating most rounds but Nick fought his way to the top of the back with his para’s.
Great to see a Sicily Fuscileri cleaning up all the allies lists for Peter B to take best Axis and best overall.
So what worked, what didn't?
So what worked, what didn't?
Infantry: Fragile but dangerous. Couldn’t afford to take casualties but could hit hard. Was never able to take advantage of an armoured assault although would have liked to on a couple of occasions. Should come with a handle with care sticker on them.
Marders 1s: Not overall happy with them, and If I could I would upgrade to marder IIs or 3s. The slow movement and overloaded made them less useful than other versions so will find the points for the later versions.
Panzer IVs- did okay- even managed a bombardment vs the French. Faced 3 armies with shermans and 1 with KV 85s so were totally outclassed in all tank duels but they managed to help kill all 3 tank Sherman platoons without losing a platoon- by only attacking when the Sherman’s were down to 2! I think panzer III Ls or Ns would have been a safer option though (FA 6).
150mm Infantry guns: Underperformed in almost all games. Bailed a Veteran Kiwi Sherman and killed a 6 pdr vs Nick (no HE meant I could deploy close enough to use the main gun) and got a KV 85 which couldn’t move a way from an objective I had a panzer IV contesting but apart from that rarely go into play or missed- would definitely look at replacing them, either with Grilles- which would mean a radical rethink- or by changing a few other things to upgrade the tanks and tank hunters.
Nebelwerfers: Solid and dependable but I missed the big panzerwerfer template so next time think I’ll take a ‘43 list to utilise them.
Pak 38s with half tracks: These were my favourite unit. I usually combat attached to one or both platoons so that I had extra 1-3 MG half tracks and found this flexibility very good- adding 3 + 2iC and commander gave me up to 9 half tracks. Very, very flexible and added much needed ompph (and protection vs pesky