Monday, June 4, 2012

Southcon Day 2

Day 2: Fighting Withdrawal vs Jamie MacDonald (Finns)
My 4th Invercargill player in a row- the Invercargill guys are all good players so this was potentially another tough game. Jamie was running:
  • 2x infantry platoons (1 was reduced strength)
  • 3x pak 40s with a couple of infantry teams
  • Pioneers
  • Heavy mortars
  • 3x captured T34s

I didn’t think he had enough AT to stop me, especially if I could stop him concentrating T34s and pak 40s so decided to split my force and make him defend both objectives I’d placed. 

The majority of my force aims at the lightly defended left objective. 
The Shermans ensure that Jamie has to defend both objectives.
BAs screen the advance.
 The left flank advances.

I stopped a couple of turns to fire on the pak 40s. The paks ambushed the SU 122s killing 2 bailing 1 but they stayed on board, and then the 122s hid. The heavy morrtars caused a few bails but little else. My return fire only managed to kill 1 pak with 10x gun Stuart shots and 15x 50 cal dice. The next turn the pak bailed a scout car and it was then killed by my massed firepower leaving the objecitve pretty much undefended except for 3-4 infantry teams.
 Meanwhile the Shermans blocked the T34s, stopping them reinforcing the left. A couple of times Jamie thought about taking them on but each time the number of tanks eventually swayed him and the T34s remained hidden.
 The Shermans managed to blast out a few teams and ensure that Jamie could not leave that objecive unsupported. 
 Turn 4- the razvedki sweep the last 3 teams off the objective and put a defensive screen on it. Jamie's sends 6 pioneers teams to try to wrestle it from me but in the following assaults his teams come in piecemeal and in two turns he only manages to kill 2 teams with 6 or so dice. My 6 razvedki become 4 but kill all the pioneers and pass their morale test and so I win at the start of turn 5. 

Result 6-1.
Jamie simply did not have enough AT to stop my attack and by forcing him to keep his AT seperated he was not able to mass enough fireower to slow me down. A bit one sided in the end but still a good game (at least for me) as you are never sure what will happen when conscript tanks are involved. 

Game 5: Surrounded vs Bob Pearce (Tiger company)
Bob and I knew we were about to meet- he was doing well and had smashed some infantry forces I thought should have slowed him down so he was obviously running his tigers well. Not exactly a huge list but one which woyuld cause me no end of problems.
  • 3x tigers
  • 3x 20mm AA
  • 3x pioneers
  • limited stukas
 On the right table I rated my chances to try to get the small VPs and who knows a lucky airstrike and I was in with a chance- on the wrong table I was pretty much screwed. We both agreed the Cauldron table would not be a good one for my force but alas that is the table we drew- oh crap. I also got to defend- gulp.There as a wadi, a few rises and no LOS blocking or area terrain at all- the tigers would be able to fire the length of the entire board and the best I could hope for would be the occasioanl concealed shot!

I deployed my razvedki in the wadi and ambushed with my BA 64s! My plan simple- hope to hold on for 3 turns and get my reserve to intercept his reserves (i.e the small platoons). No point deploying any tanks as at best he need a 4 or 5 to hit from anywere on the board!

Turn 1- my BA64's ambush then use the recce move- to chase down the  AA and try to stay alive and annoy the tigers. It kind of worked- the aAA double timed away then the next turn let rip from long range- oops.

 Turn 1 a tiger arrives from reserve- hey no fair!
 The other tigers hug my defences ot prevent airstrikes (clever boy that Bob) and start shooting. 
 This isn't looking good but I hold on till turn 3- the AA destroys my recon on turn 2.
 Now that's what I call a tiger!

  Turn 3- my battalion commander and Stuarts turn up (forgot to deploy hm but luckily in V3 you can attach warriors to reserves). The AA half tracks and shot to peices from behind then what is that noise behind us...?
Tigers vs Stuarts is never pretty within seconds the tigers and stukas kill 3 and bail a couple more Stuarts.  My Shermans then arrive and their shots miss or bounce off the tiger's armour.
 The turkey shoot begins.
 SUs arrive and a shot bounces of the side armour of the company commander- who misses with 2 shots (neeeding 2s) and bails another ha, ha! Unfortunately the other two tigers were better shots and the 122s are destroyed in seconds.

Shermans valiantly close to try to get to the tigers flanks but again the one hit bounces off the side armour. This has allowed the staurts ot duble time around and attack the pioneers.  Killing one and them destroying the othe two in assaults. Moments later my last tanks including the battalion commander are destroyed. 
4-3 to Bob. I was bloody lucky to limp away with 3 points from that one. The table was truly  worse case scenario for my force but that's the luck of the draw and I would have been struggling on many  tables vs that particaulr force. Bob probably should have retreated his last two infantry stands from the assault vs the Stuarts (I would have) to conserved a VP but that isn't the way he rolls. A fun game if a one sided one- Bob made sure he stayed away from my flame thrower and hugged my infantry negating my rata airstrikes but he did all he had to do. So that is now 1-1 between us.

Going into round 6 I was a point ahed of Cal (my old rival) on the allied side and first equal with Kent's FJ and Bob a point or so behind us, so I was hoping to face Kent but Richard made sure we didn't meet and instead he faced Cal. I would have preferred to meet Kent simply becuse I did not want to face Rob and his panthers- bugger I got the one match up I didn't want.

Game 6: No Retreat vs Rob Shirley (Panzer grenadiers)
  • HQ + Remer
  • 2x motorised pgs 
  • 2x AA
  • 3x panthers
  • 3x nebs 
We played on my Ortona Table- lots of places to hide from panthers (I hope). Rob ambushed with panthers, and depployed AA and a large PG platoon with Remer.

I loaded up my right flank and left my Shermans a bit wider to act as a possible decoy.  I was hoping to pin the panthers to an objective then scoot away behind buildings to grab the other one- a dodgy plan is better than no plan at all!

Turn 1: Recon 16" (Tob deployed near the objectives, not to far forward) + jeep mobility on turn 1 meant my recon was aready on the objective meaning the panthers had tro deploy. Likewise the M3A1s race forward towards the objective.
 Panthers ambush the razvedki killing two half tracks and bailing another. Luckily I only lose 1x infantry team, the PGs then charge out and drive my razvedki back in disarray, killing another team or two. On my turn the stuarts sit on the objectives while the razvedki rally and kill the 3 nearest pg teams- the AA halftrack is bailed by the stuarts.

 Turn 3- the pantrher kill 4 stuarts and kill a couple more (but I stay on table). Another infantry team leaps out of a building near the burning flak to the left of the shermans (which had killed it). He missed with the assault so my Shermans (whcich had been in the assualt) and BA 64s broke off through the German lines- there s about a 2-3" gap between the teams in the rubble and buildings. This meant on my turn I was on the panthers flanks! 

The Shermans fanned out- some heading (with the BA 64s) to the other objective, 5 tried to hit the panthers from the flank- I scored 3 hits(needing 5s). The near panther rolled 5 and 6 so was only bailed (and got straight back in- arrgh, the frist time in i don't know how many years my MW tanks have flanked a panther!) but the far one was knocked out. My other Shermans and BA 64s machine gunned 2 teams of the original PG platoon and then used shooting to succcessful to grab the objective.
 Reserves arrived but nothing that could sway the battle.Yah for the new Hens & Chicks!

 The Shermans consolidate ot the objecctive- one of the 5 near the panther is about to be moved to make sure the command chain is kept

 The panthers killed 2 more stuarts and the two survivors were attacked by remer and the sole survivor from the pg platoon- I missed them in defensive fire and survived a panzerknacker strike then backed off and to the battallion commander and passed their stay on the board test.
 Game 6-1.

Didn't think it would go that way- the assault fror the building probably changed the game as it gave me an extra move towards the pantehrs and wass not what Rob eas expecting.

Final Results
I came first allied and first eqaul overall with Kent- Kent won all 6 games vs a wide variety of oppoents so very well done to his FJ. He crushed Cal in the final round and so really deserved his laurels- a great result for his FJ. We ended up on same points- he had a few closer games but the extra  +2 for winning each round and although I only won 5 we were on the same overall points and Bob nipping on his heels as second best Axisby a point or so. Cal was 2nd Allied (I think)

A fun comp, as usual. some outstanding tables but a couple were a bit too hard possibly- the Breakthough in the snow (I didn't get to play on  it though)  was pretty hard on most forces amd the Cauldron was just nasty vs tigers!

Thoughts on the army and 3E

The tankovy did better than I hoped- I was surprised not to see any German medium panzer companies (might be my army for next year). I didn't get to breakthoguh gun much but only lost the 122s once, and the entire army combined well.Tthe rata's underperformed but a few times the I moved tanks into the 16" bubble to get better shots and so waved off some of my few strikes. The game vs Noel  as probably when the planes performed best although they did fail to kill the stugs they got a few infantry and a couple of werfers. The razvedki were damn handy and possibly the  most useful unit.

I still find conscripts a challange, turn 1 and 2 I am always anxious as to whether I've done the right thing and it isn't hard to to start bleeding units as a couple of turns of average dice can gut a company or two. Still if massed it can throw out a lot of dice and put psychological pressure on but vs a calm opponent who knows how to focus on one unit at a time they can quickly come unstuck.

I really enjoyed the new Hens and Chicks. German players once again had to worry about their tanks' flanks rather than moving slowly back and keeping front armour to the tankovy. I'd rather need a 5 or 6 to hit from the side than no chance at all. If the Germans can keep the tanks at range they do fine but at least now you can work towards getting flank shots and they need to be on their toes.

Final comments
That's my 5th win out of 9 Southcons- I never go into a comp hoping or expecting to win, rather I go in trying to make the army perform the best I can and minimise opportunities to lose platoons/companies and so make my opponent's work for every point they take off me (of course it doesn't always work out that way but that is the plan).

I had 6 good games against very good players and managed to win 5 of them so was very, very happy with the outcome. Richard put on another excellent weekend. The tables were top notch- I was happy to accept an equal best table for my Ortona table. I look forward ot catching up with the players again next year for the 10th Southcon FoW comp.

Menwhile, on Wednesday it is time for some Crusades era Impetus for a change of pace



  1. Well done Craig, nice to read the reports. Sounded like fun and its a shame I had to miss out again, but then 3 weeks in Aussie made up for it.

    Maybe next year I can get to attend, sigh. small crews all wanting weekends off makes for a long time between my turn.

  2. Well done Craig. Especially the win over the MW wrecking Panthers! (At least Shirley had three).

  3. Cheers Bede, A bit lucky vs the panthers (and I agreee they are about their affect on MW- hence DoD next year has a Stalingrad theme, this year we had an Italy (MW) one- Conquest is Alamein so we will expunge them by using history against them:)

    Was a bit lucky being able to utilise ye old run away forward from the assault trick vs the panthers- not quite what Rob was expecting. I think that force needs a back up AT asset to support the panthers, i was really surpriised at the differnt things that managed to destory them over the weekend- they seemed to die...alot :) Rob only managed one or two wins.

    There was a couple of games of Bob's where I thought the infantry players should have handled his force quite easily but he came out on top so I think he was pretty onto his game- not sure how the staghounds managed to beat him though! He easly dealt with both MW armoured companies (mine and Cal's) he faced as well- but that was to be expected.


  4. Yeah, MW took a big dive for me with the inclusion of 2 Panthers and Tiger Cos. Pretty much makes tournaments into LW lite which is stupid. LW is for big toys with lots of cheese if you want it, EW is for little toys with several stupidly unbalanced forces to ruin your day, and MW is supposed to be nice and balanced! Guess that explains the Saga force on my painting table this weekend :)

  5. PS What was Kents final list?

  6. I think it was:

    HQ with a couple of light mortars
    2x full FJ platoons
    3x pak 38s
    2x HMGs
    3x stugs
    priority BF 109s

    He couldn't afford stummels as he wanted knackers but it seemed to work well.

    Not an uber list but was effective.


    1. Glad to know Bob beat others. The effort to try to learn how to play with infantry turned bad on me but I enjoyed seeing you, Kent and the others demonstrating how to work through tough situations.

      conquest is way too soon for me :-)

      Stephen S

  7. Congrats Craig. Very well done. Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend. Excellent photos and reports too.

  8. Just to play devils's advocate - surely Rob has demonstrated that they aren't all bad for MW? :P I mean, Chris W gave me a game of 1000pts LW, last week and believe me it can be a lot worse - at least they aren't RT MW....

    Anyway, well done with the Southcon result. It's never an easy or sure thing, with conscript Tankovy!

  9. Good point Jamie- I don't mind 3 so much (which is how Dale used to run them) as it tends to make for an unbalanced force and has plenty of other weaknesses. It's the option for 2 only I don't like from the game point of view in the new EF and didn't think it was necessary. I was very surprised at how unlucky Rob's appeared to be dying at the most unlikely times. Perhaps though the new air rules have balanced them out a bit as if cuaght in the open they are much more likely to die- that auto range in is pretty good.


  10. Tigers in MW are not broken. at 385 a pop and 395 for the CO, they are, as you can see from my list EXPENSIVE!! Panthers on the other hand.... I could have played an uber-cheesy army of just 4 Tigers and Air, this would have made my oppos job a nightmare, as I only lost one Tiger all weekend, and that was to an Air-Strike after my 'soft' SPAA PL had been smashed. I lost the game to Keith for a few reasons, the table, it was Stalingrad rubble-tastic, and I had not picked iup on what was rubble etc, meaning lots of bog and skill checks to move, my mistake. Also, it was my first game, and I rarely do well in game one...! I beat Phils US ARs due to him being a gent. We were on the snow-table-from-hell, with the left hand corner being filled with a frozen lake. The rule was you had to roll UNDER your FA on a D6+2 to cross. Now, with a Tigers FA being 9, that wasnt going to happen... :-( So, Phil could have chosen the corners that would have made me put the objs on the ice, meaning I could not get to them and and auto win to Phil, but he didnt, and this illustrates the Mainland gaming stylee, AWESOME :-) In the end I was ONE POINT behind being equal 1st place.... Maybe I should have taken Craigs advice and run my Pios away, but as he said, thats NOT how I roll ;-) Awesome fun all the same, looking forward to my next excursion to the Mainland! Bob.

  11. I like MW tigers- though I usually only take 1. Not any uber army by any means- and I'm stilll not sure how you did so well with them actually Bob!

    Too much ice on the frozen table for my liking- would have been fun to have cossacks on that one!

    Will catch you at Bedecon if not before, I won't be at Cavcon

    1. It was a combination of my outstanding choice of army, above average playing ability and brilliant use of terrain and tactics... ;-)

      Oh yeah, and a whole boat-load of luck and some jammy dice rolls!!!! :-)

      Bedecon for sure my friend :-)

  12. Great Reports Craig. I really really wanted to play that tiger time. I dont mind tigers and panthers in mid war at all. Hope to see you at CavCon, havnt had a game vs you yet. If you are not going to CavCon mabye we could get a game at Conquest.

  13. I'll pass on Cavcon- will keep to the regular ones I go to- Tempest (loved that format this year), Conquest, Southcon and Day of Days- adding in a Wellington comp as well that's plenty to keep me busy :)

    Bob would have found it a hard slog through all those US infantry teams I would have thought- your force would have been much better suited to slow Bob down- my tanks were hardly a speedbump for the tigers

    Are you going Axis or allies for Conquest Jeff? At this stage I'm axis- picked up the last of the Italian carri I need from Rich at the weekend

    Good luck with Cavcon

  14. I am going as 8th Army British Inf....lots of sticky bombs....mmmm...sticky bombs...if you are going axis I will ask Stephen if he can gives us a game if you want.

  15. Sounds good- it will depend on how the split works out, I'm happy to go whatever way is required to keep things balanced.