British Armoured Company: 10x Shermans, 3x Stuarts, 3x carriers, limited hurricanes
I got to attack and faced 4x ambushing Shermans. My only Hope I figured was to threatened all objectives and stretched the Shermans, if they could mass their firepower I was dead meat!
I went right with most of my forces and was promptly ambushed by 4x Shermans but only lost 1x F2 and bailed the other- despite re-roll misses for long range. The other F2 failed to get back in and was taken out the next turn. The last (IVF1) dived into a wood and stayed on table. Infantry and 38ts advanced round a wood while the toldis hid waiting to rush out and grab an open objective.
Jamie moved his 2iC up to snipe a marder but missed and return fire KOed the 2iC- meaning he could not sit near an objective and free up the other 3 Shermans. My Marders also took out a Sherman and bailed another. Jamie massed his fire on the marders bailing 2 and an airstrike another but rolled a 1 for fp! The marders remounted and then used the marder shuffle (stormtrooper) to snipe the Shermans, reducing them to a single tank but even when bailed my infantry twice refused to assault and finish off bailed tanks.
We ended up duking it out over the objective. His company commander, stuarts and last Shermans firing for 2-3 turns vs my 38ts, nimrods and marders with supporting infantry. The toldi drew off the last 3 shermans by forcing them to cover the last objective and when I moved over a ridge to draw them even further away I failed to break off and 3 shots hit and blasted the cheeky toldi to smithereens- so much for breaking off too safety.
However, although he was able to removed the objective I’d been contesting since turn 3 the remaining Shermans weren’t able to move back fast enough to contest and my panzer IVf1, marders and 38Gs finished off the company commander and stuarts breaking the company.
5-2 to the Hungarians
Nimrods: killed 1x stuart and bailed another
Very, very lucky. Average FP tests the turn Jamie almost took out the marders was decisive as the removal of the marders meant Jamie would have simply rolled me up with his Shermans for a 6-1. The only mistake was probably that he tried sniping with the 2iC- had he not done so then the 2iC alone would have prevented the toldi taking an objective- due to good lanes of fire- and thus his last three Shermans could have intervened and allowed him to mas his firepower. Good game and the dice falling my way was really the deciding factor and the result did not reflect the closeness of the game. I really thought I would be struggling to get point of him, when attacking, let alone a victory.
(Sorry was a bit busy concentrating to remember ot take photos during the first few turns)
Dave Ds run of 6-1 came unstuck vs Peter Black in the Breakthrough- Dave needing to bail 2 tanks in the last turn to prevent the British winning, his tiger and paks missed and Pete took to victory (6-1), thus dropping Dave back and putting Stephen, Nick, Poochie and me back in the hunt- with only a point or so between us.
Game 5: The bye
Played a short NoSB with a fill in player for n hour or so but he had to leave. The bye gave full points to the player with got it. The games in this round were close and intense s there were still 4 players contest the top Axis position.
Game 6: Free-for-all vs Dylan
Kiwi infantry- 3x sticky bomb armed platoons, HMGs 6 pdrs, 8x 25pdrs, 3x carriers
Going into he last round I was still in the running along with Stephen and Nick. Poochie managed to lose his 5th game by failing to unpin and contest ina brekthough (he lost a single infantry team which happened to be other only one contesting after Noel rolled a 6 with MG fp test- Poochie having only lost 2 teams in the game- his luck definitely deserted him at that point!)
The FFA table was a nightmare- as it was last year- an Ardent able with woods covering 80% of the table, no decent line of sight for anything, and lots of streams too.
Dylan deployed fairly predictably but made one critical mistake. He had the 8x 25 pdrs covering one objective but placed the 6 drs central, leaving the other objective covered by HMGs and 2 (sticky bomb armed) kiwi platoons and the carriers. I went for that one, bogging a number of vehicles. The carriers attacked my toldi and missed and in return were destroyed by 38ts, a F2 and toldi. Dylan launched infantry attack when he could but 2-3 tank platoons stopped each dead in their tracks and whittled him down. The 6 pdrs were pushed through the woods (like my tanks frequently bogging) on their way but were unable to really intervene and eventually I massed Nimrods, infantry and 38Ts to take out the far (AT gun + 25 pdr free) objective.
With an infantry based army he needed a rock solid defence. 6 pdrs on one objective, 25 pdrs on the other would have stopped me cold as my tanks could not have closed vs the AT 9 or AT 10 gone to ground gun lines so I was a bit lucky. I've played for and against enough infantry companies to know exactly how to dismantle this type of defence and unfortunately due to lack of LoS it wasn't that hard to do- and it was the one force with lots of the very infantry my 38Ts were designed to deal with.
Nimrods: 1x infantry team
Marders cover the other objective
Nimrods- cool but not exactly overwhelming successful- they never fired AA once depite there being 3 players with air support vs them! However I think I only ever managed to have 1 bailed and bogged one in the last game! Never lost them though which is a plus!
I felt the force far too fragile. The 38Ts really need another tank to be effective and a lack of infantry in forces meant they were very rarely able to engage- especially in a Sherman heavy environment. They performed well vs Stuarts and even crusaders but struggled to be anything but bait vs the Shermans.
The F2s and marders worked well together and I feel I needed both. The tiger armies were able to shrug off most Sherman shots the IVF1s & 2s were always singled out for special attention so needed the marders to keep those medium tanks more wary and to concentrate my firepower.
Overall through I felt the force was far too fragile and probably had one platoon too many. I would not take it to anpther comp without a major rethink. I think I might drop the recon and add an extra 38G and the extra infantry for when on attack as 3x 38Ts was far too fragile. I wouldn't really mind having 5 platoons- it would be 4 + nimrods really.
Some of the Forces
Phils US Armour- well deserved best painted
Stephen F's Hummel Surprise
Poochie's Grille/Tiger goodness
Nick's Grenadiers- another rock hard force
Pete's Death or Glory Boys
Stephen S' DAK Panzers- another very nicely painted force!
I beat the Panzer III/double Hummel behemoth by a point to take first (thanks to Noel taking a point off Stephen in the final round Fighting Withdrawal) with Nick close behind. The top allied was Pete Black but on overall points he came 8th behind ALL the German players so it was a rough weekend of the allies. Too many tigers vs too many Sherman based forces for them to destroy.
The bye was a bit of a pain as only Nick out of the 4 top axis players missed it and it may have changed the final placing by a place or two. However, the draw was preset (you played 6 of 7 players on ther other side) so it was just luck of the draw who got the bye.
Thank once again to Richard of organising another great weekend, I enjoyed all my games and catching up with the players from down South. Great to see 4 Christchurch players as well as Nick (Wellington) and the usual suspects (Noel, Pete, Jamie and Stephen) from Invercargill also making it. Next time I will make sure I am on the other side to Dave D and Stephen F both of whom I was looking forward to facing again but both swapped sides so was unable to do so!
Finally, looks like Poochie and Nick have talked Kent and I into 28mm Lasalle! Another project on the horizon?