Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Game 4- FFA vs Poochie

As we were driving to the venue on day two I told Poochie I'd rather not face Andy T in the morning round as didn't fancy facing his Soviet Sapper horde. We also hoped not to have to faceeach other for a change and as there were about 6-7 players on 2 wins I was hopeful, but as it turned out Poochie and I got to have another of our totally random, totally silly comp games.

Poochie and I both attended the first Conquest. He as a 15 year old who had only been playing a month took best general with his US Armoured Rifles, and my Stelk came 3rd. The highlight of our first ever game being when I bombed my own KV 1 with a sturmovik (V1 rules) and his M10s to try to win the game- I missed the M10s and KOed my KV allowing Poochie to run riot and take the game. Since then we've had a lot of games and more often than not they end up as very close, very entertaining and one or the other of us wins though some totally random dice roll towards the end. Last year he stopped my US paras with his German infantry. Who would win this year?

Poochie had a HH Guards Rifle Company
  • 3x full rifles platoons
  • 3x carriers
  • 4x 6 pdrs
  • 4x M10s
  • 2x fireflies & 2x shermans
  • 4x 3" mortars
We got to play a FFA on a fairly interesting table. I created a pak line and waited to see what would happen- he had more infantry so immediately seized the initiative. Pooch is also one of the more aggressive players I know and really likes to put pressure on so I was expecting a lot of trouble!

I managed to destroy a lloyd carrier in my first turn with the nebelwerfers but the 6 pdr survived and by the end of the game accounted for: a marder, 2x pak 40 nests, 1x HMG bunker. Poochie advanced his Shermans into a central wood as his infantry followed up the advance.

My far right objective was held by a full FJ platoon, Poochie sent another rifle platoons & his M10s towards this objective- the panzer II nest was quickly destroyed by the M10s.

Turn 2 or three. I raced out with the marders and also fired 2x pak 40 nests at 2 shermans- I managed to kill one Sherman and bail the commander (with 8 shots-grr) before racing into the woods (stormtrooper) to hide. But the 4th marder bogged at the endge of the wood so left me a bit vulnerable. My stugs were also moving from the right flank to assist (I decided the FJ could hold the single rifle platoon by themselves!). Poochie's return fire from the Sherman commander, 2 fireflies, a 50 cal armed carrier and 2x 6 pdrs was about as effective as mine- one marder destroyed and another two bailed (could have been a lot worse!)

My stugs also weighed in and I managed to kill the Sherman commander and a firefly as well as a carrier. The last Firefly passed its motivation test and the 6 pdrs bailed two more marders while the last one remained bogged!

Poochie smoked and stugs and assaulted the marders destroying them. I lost a stug to another infantry assualt under the smoke but passed my motivation test and broke off 12" towards Poochies uncontested objective!
In my turn the infantry that had killed the marders were pinned by nebs and failed to unpin for 2-3 turns but the M10s redeployed from my far right flank back to the far left objective (over 2-3 turns) to try to deal with the stugs.

My stugs double timed to the objective but were hotly pursued by the two (also double timing) carriers. As you can see the infantry were unable to move back fast enough to intervene. In our next turns neither of us could contest but the carriers were enough to stop me grabbing a sneaky opportunity victory!

Meanwhile my right flank is under pressure. I raced out and missed the (destroyed in the picture) M10 with my panzershrek but an infantry assault destroyed it. Poochie's infantry then charged out of the far wood and I took a few losses in the assualt before breaking off to the safety of my trench- and the protection of the HMG bunker! It is about now that the stugs made their move so the M10 retreated to support the far right flank- so had a bit of ground to cover.

Poochie followed up with another assualt but took casualties and the FJ held on. By he end of several assaults the British Rifles were dead and my platoon was down to 3 teams (including the CO)- had the platoon that had been pinned in the photos above been unpinned it could have easily of switched its attack to this objective and won the game- my FJ were also being sniped by the lone firefly (now with a newly promoted commander) and a couple of 6 pdrs so things were looking grim- the 6 pdrs also knocked out the HMG nest.

In fact I was all but out of the game as a I'd bogged a stug and had another destroyed by an M10. The last active stug fled the table and I now had to deal with carriers and M10s and advance across the table with 1 full FJ platoon if I was to somehow win!

Poochies third platoon was strung out and being sniped by a pak nest and also losing the odd stand to my nebelwerfers. With 2 platoon still pinned I decided to charge out of my trenches with my last platoon and take Poochie on.

The 2nd British platoon is soon destroyed and the 6 pdrs too.

Alas at this point things were so intense the propaganda crew forgot to take any more photos!

At this point things also got very, very silly! Poochie assaulted my last 3 teams on my right objective with his firefly. He killed the only regular FJ team then missed for 3 rounds in row (veterans my arse!). I on the other hand managed to hit the firefly 3 times with the platoon command panzerknacker but Chris passed all saves & motivation tests- rolling 5s & 6s for top armour saves! In the end he retreated and I passed my sole survivor test. The next turn Chris assaulted again and I again missed, but finally fell to the panzerknacker. With the platoon commander being the only team contesting and only team to get anywhere near the objective I had to keep hi on table and he passed 3x sole survivor tests in a row.

Meanwhile my other FJ got into the buildings and badly damaged the third rifle platoon leaving it without a command stand! Chris had no company commander- he' died trying to take the objective earlier and was also just obove half strength. i was trying to avoid the M10s, knock out the carriers and infantry while also slowly being whittled down- in fact I got down to 4-5 stands but passed my platoon morale test.

In the end the rifle platoon broke first and somehow I turned around a 3-4 into a 4-3.

My only advice after this, and it has been true in many, many games over the years, is don't give up! When dice are involved strange things can happen and just as happened in reverse last year a couple of improbable assaults changed the course of the game. It could have gone either way, was intense and a thoroughly enjoyable game but I think I reclaimed the Get out of Jail free card off Poochie for that one.

End result that Poochie and I joined about 3 other players on 3 wins out of 4 games at the top of the field and Poochie and I were tied on the tie breaker (BF) points.

Bob (British Paras) had just managed to defeat Andy Ts Sappers so it was me vs Bob in my final game- a Roadblock while Poochie and Nick took each other on in another other tough final game.

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