Twelve players from around the country were invited to this event. I managed to get an invited although not in the FoW ranked top 20 (I think I’m about 22 at present) thanks to some support from North Island gamers who vouched for me and was happy to accept “wildcard” entry (or as I prefer to consider it affirmative action for the us poor cousins in the South Island to ensure it was a NZ wide event). I was happy not to repay their faith with the wooden spoon!
Some good tables and 6 good, hard games were had and the event was wide open until the very end- with 4 people (not me except as a very slim outsider- I needed results to go my way big time!) in contention going into the final round.
I took my US para list I’d been playing lately but at 1500 pts felt it had a few weaknesses but I hoped would be reasonably competitive.
Hell's Highway US paras
Para HQ + 2x bazookas
57mm AT guns + jeep
105mm Artillery (CT)
Shermans (2x fireflies)
Game 1 FFA vs Andrew Stanton with Romanians
A terrain heavy table to face a horde from hell. Lots of CV troops (as it turned out). My first clash with Stalins Europe- 2-3 big lots of infanry, a big battery of light guns (8x 75mm?), katys, 81mm mortars, Zis 3s on steroids (AT 13), 6x 45mm AT guns and some more stuff I forget.
Andrew rushed me and I was forced to dig in. We sparred for a while but in the end a big CV platoon (22 stands!) failed to unpin a few turns and stopped him in his tracks. My tanks avoided his heavy AT and ran round machine gunning infantry. In the end my paras saw off a pioneer assault- thank to my 2iC rushing forward to create a “no go zone” and thus stop the flamethrowers reaching my infantry then pinned the infantry in assault and they failed most saves and disappeared. I traded a para platoon to break the big CV platoon and they ran (as did my sole survivor). On the other flank my dug in guards, 57mm and a tank strategically left behind stopped the CT Romanians pushing too far forward and managed ot thin them out with artillery.
With the large CV platoon halted my paras made an end run as Andrew’s 45mm AT guns back peddled and I grabbed an objective with only a couple of minutes on the clock
5-2 to the paras!
A hell of a lot of infantry to wade through and the failure of the CV platoon to unpin for 4 turns really messed up Andrews attack- which was about to come in with pioneers + 22 stands of troops! A lucky break for me!
The final end run!
Game 2: No Retreat vs Steve “Sonic” Hill KG Kastner, No Retreat.
I played Steve at NATCON and really enjoyed the game so was looking forward to this one. He had auto attack and carried on his tournament form of attacking at night- he attacked 6 times at night!)
- 2x infantry platoons (1 with SMGs)
- Scout platoon
- Pioneers- 3x flamethrowers
- 3x pak 40s
- 2x 88s
- 3x marders!
The table was another good one with lots of hedges to disrupt LoS and a village running diagonally across the board which made nice lines of advance for attackers and a real pain to sort out a defence.
I deployed a para platoon + guards intermixed on the front objective and my other para platoon with attached bazookas in ambush.
As it was night there was little action early on as Steve advanced past my force and towards the rear objective and neither of us really shot. My artillery came on early (turn 1) but had nothing to shoot at for ages.
Turn 3 I was forced to deploy my ambush to prevent Steve grabbing a wood and then leaping though into the rear objective!- I deployed 4.1” away from his SMG platoon and then rolled a 1 for visibility so failed to see them in the dark, doh! Stee had just joked how he could here the paras mess tins rattling and that that would give away their position!
On his turn Steve lifted GtG and charged home with 8 SMG teams. I failed to pin in the dark (surprise surprise) and he killed 6 teams! I countered and killed 4 (out of 5 rolls!). Steve’s next round with 5 teams only hit once ! I then killed 3 more teams and the survivor and Kastner retreated! What a crazy round that was!
In my next turn daylight arrived, my Sherman’s and a couple of bazookas killed or bailed the marders, my infantry shot up Kaster and my other paras took care of the scouts knocking them below half (Steve then rolled 4 1s in a row for moral tests o lost the lat marder, the scouts and SMG platoon!) My artillery smoked the pak 40s to deny shots in his next turn.
Steve still had a full pioneer platoon and grenadier platoon in the town and over the next 2-3 turns several assaults in the village were launched. In the end my dice proved luckier and I managed to destroy/break both platoons with my guards and 2nd para platoon- although in the end the paras decided enough was enough and legged it. This left Steve with 4 platoons from 7 dead and he failed his morale test.
The initial advance under the cover of darkness.
The Germans move round our defences and towards the deep objective.
The situation just after Steve failed all his morale checks!
House to house fighting has worn us both down.
What can I say the dice swung one way then the other but when they turned against Steve they really turned. A hard fought win but I felt like Steve was cheated out of victory by the 3 atrocious morale rolls- he was about to get stuck into the rear objective with very little to stop him. Even though the dice hated him Steve played in the same good spirits that he had in our previous game and I thoroughly enjoyed the game as I had losing to him in our last game
It was the first time I can remember putting 3 infantry platoons down defending a NR and afterwards Steve told me he was hoping I wouldn’t so he could run through my force- I was sweating for a while but decided I needed every infantry team I could muster vs his force and in the end it paid off, just!
Game 3: Breakthough vs Mike "Surfboard" Haycock US 3rd infantry Div
Two good wins had put me near the top so I got to play Mike and his US Rifles:
- 2x rifle platoons
- 1x 105mm cannon platoon
- 1x 105 battery
- 1x 155 battery
- 1x 2 57mm ?AT guns
- 1x 3 57mm AT guns
- 1x 2 HMGs
- Limited Kittyhawks
When I saw the table and got to attack I knew I was in trouble. An Italy inspired table with two big hills, each with buildings, both of which were in HIS deployment area. No area terrain to speak of and an advance under major artillery! Oh goodie. I was aiming to try to get 2 platoons before I died but thought even this would be a big ask!.
Mike deployed his artillery out of sight behind a hill, covered by a big platoon of infantry. He left the other quarter more open with 2x HMGs in the village- overlooking my deployment zone and 57mm AT guns tucked in behind- but it was still a perfect enfilade position.
I deployed paras, guards infantry, 57mm at and 105 artillery leaving my tanks and 2nd platoon in the flank march and hoped to survive long enough to see my reserves!
For most of the game I was staring down the barrel of a 1-6. My guards infantry were pinned for 3-4 turns , my 57mm couldn’t knock out the 2HMGs and my para platoon advanced a turn, got hammered by multiple ToT barrages as well as rifle fire but for minimal loss so I unpinned and dug in to await the reserves (and to not be broken too quickly!)
About turn 4 my last 57mm (the others falling to the HMGs) destroyed both HMGs and my guards infantry assaulted and killed the commander (they had finally unpinned) and so grabbed a point. My Shermans arrived and managed to knock out the 155s over 2 turns but the other artillery took care of 3 Shermans and the last one legged it- leaving my 2nd para platoon trying to assault a full strength infantry platoon- and the result was predictable. With my force in tatters the guards rifles carried on their merry way and managed to assault and kill a 57mm from the small platoon but the survivor then retreated. In my next turn my small para platoon charged out and knocked it out from behind the gun shield and the commander fled to give me a 2nd (unlikely) point. Mike then assaulted my troops near the objective and destroyed them winning the game.Result: 3-4 but really should have been 1-6
Holding all the high ground, Mike's artillery was ready to dominate from turn 1.
I have to deploy under the gaze of the HMG teams in that village!
The Americans move to cover the objectives.
I dig in to try to avoid losing too early!
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