A great weekend. As is usual with Southcon it was Axis vs Allies with preset tables (one mission per table). 14 players this year but one pulled out on the morning so we were down to 13, meaning that most German players got a bye.
With only 2 hrs per round most players took armoured or mechanised companies, there were only 3 infantry forces present! Another issue was that due to the axis vs allies split two of the stronger allied players were asked to bring Axis forces and this meant that the Axis side had some very, very good players and the allies, as a result, really struggled to get any wins. After three rounds (18 games there were only 4 allied wins!). My only suggestion would be, as I try to do, ensure that both sides have some of the more experienced players too maintain a balance. However, that being said on the way an axis vs allies draw works out the axis players weren’t competing vs the allies they were competing vs each other and all doing their damnest not to drop points. Scoring were standard points with the +2 bonus for a win.
My own force was based round the concept of Nimrods! So how did “TEAM NIMROD” fare?
One of my pre-comp decisions was IIINs vs panzer IVFs (2) + IV F! as my main AT tanks. I am glad I took the F2s as I faced a lot of Shermans are relied on them punching through the front armour 6- the IINs simply would not have cut it. Three of the German players took tigers and they had a field day- except for Nick’s which was the only one to be knocked out during the weekend
So on to the games
Round 1: Cauldron on a very desert like table vs Phil
US Armour: 6x Shermans, 4x Stuarts, Armoured recon, Armoured Rifles, lightings
Phil got to defend. I deployed Apart from the central wadi (Snipe) the table was very, very open. My marders and panzer IVs went to ground behind rises and my pioneers dug in near the US base line. The pioneers were unsupported- due to the random deployment so Phil ambushed and drove 6 tanks straight at them, destroying them all on turn 2! After that the panzer IVs started duking it out with the Shermans but missed and the Shermans were equally as bad at shooting back, eventually I got a decent round of shooting and managed to knock out 3 and eventually took care of the HQ tanks as well. While this random dice fest was happening the Stuarts had appeared and had bailed several marders. Luckily the nimrods and panzer 38ts arrived and in the end my veteran status won out and then it was a matter or rolling up the infantry for 5-2 win.
A really close game where we both had some good dice, and bad. Phils air turned up 6 tursn in a row and managed to miss, or not spot every time (until the last turn were a panzer IV managed to pass an armorur save vs the bombs) and the result didn’t really reflect the closeness of the game- could have very easily swung the other way and probably should have , the turn where his 3-4 Shermans all missed needing 4s being crucial to my survival! Phil is a relative new player but watching his games with interest over the weekend I was really impressed with the way he played in all games, a bit more experience with his Americans and he’ll be very hard to stop!
Nimrod kills: 1x bailed recon M3a1!
Game 2: Roadblock vs Noel Black
US Mech infantry, 2x Armoured rifles, 4x shermans, 4x stuarts, 3x armoured mortars, 3x priests.
Noel ambushed and took out my panzer IVs, my recon was ineffective at stopping the ambush. My marders came on and missed all 4 Shermans (needing 4s)! The Shermans and stuarts (which came on on turn 1) managed to be equally ineffective an only bailed a marder. My return fire hit 3 shermans and managed to fail all firpower tests! That was the end of the marders- the stuarts and shermans ripped them to pieces. Leaving me Nimrods, 38ts, toldi and pioneers to face 4 Shermans and the stuarts! My 38ts however had been busy ripping the Armoured Rifles to pieces (at least 1 VP) and then they ducked round through a wood to the far side of the table to try to take on the priests, and draw the Shermans away. Noel spent a couple of turns shooting at range and then went after the 38Gs as they left the wood, thus taking him away from the objective and on turn 6 found him 20” away from my uncontested objective and thus handing me a very lucky (sneaky) win.
Nimrod kills: none- they hid behind an objective.
I made a fundamental tactical error in trying to take out the Shermans with my marders. My infantry and 38ts went for the other objective and I should have use the marder in their intended role to move into overwatch position and force the Shermans to engage on our terms- failure to do so should have resulted in a 6-1 to Noel but he was distracted by the 38Gs and toldis and that cost him an almost certain victory as once he had tanks in range to contest the objective I had nothing available to move them away.
Game 3: Peter Black- No Retreat
Death & Glory: 3x Grants, 2x crusader III platoons, 2x Val platoons, 8x 25 pdrs, limited hurricanes
I got to defend so placed the panzer IVs in ruined buildings (safety from air), marders in ambush and infantry on the front objective. The table was really nasty. It had a ridge running right along the half way line, which meant unless the defender held the front on line they couldn’t fire (at least I couldn’t) until the attacker reached the ridge line- and so got cover. I decided to stay back and wait and see- with front armour 5 as my best I would have been torn apart by massed tank fire had I held the ridge.
My 2iC acted as alone tank picket and managed to kill a 25 pdr transport (but not the towed 25pdr) before dying. The British tanks came over the ridge and ran down a couple of pioneer teams (which failed to counter attack- as they did almost all competition) but my panzer IVs and marders rolled well gutting two platoons. The nimrods and 38Gs came on and I massed my firepower. The 38Ts got a crusader, the marders and IVF2s dealt with the Vals and grants and the Nimrods bagged 2x crusaders. My pioneers refused to take part in an assault on bailed tanks.
It was still a bit touch and for a couple of turns but the last few tanks failed morale checks and Peter was left with the 25 pdrs (with no observers) and no tanks left.
6-1 to the Hungarians
So end of the 1 the Hungarians were 2nd equal (16 pts) with Stephen F (panzer IIIs with 2x hummel batteries, Nick (2x Grenadiers, full pioneers, tiger, KV, 2x pak 40s) and Poochie (2x panzer grenadiers, grilles!!!!!, tiger, 3x marders, nebs) and were all nipping on the heels of Dave D (Dak panzer grenadiers- HQ HMGs, 2x platoons tiger, 3x pak 40s, 4x 25pdrs) with 3x 6-1 wins.
To be continued...