Monday, December 3, 2012

NZ Masters 2012- Day 1

This past weekend was the NZ Masters in Wellington. Wellingotn is the oonly direct flight from Tiamru so i decided to go (after flagging it last year) and took the Hungarian motorised infantry out to see how they'd fare.

My force was:

2x ,Rifle 2x Panzerschreck
3x R/MG platoons + P/K (7 teams),
3x 75mm 40M guns
3 Panther A
3x Zrinyi II
2x Nimrod
3x Nebelwerfers (CT)
Sporadic Stuka Ju87D

Having seen the army lists there was one force I didn't want to face in the Hasty Assault round 1, Bob's Chaffees, so guess what I got to fight :)

  •  2x Chaffees
  • 5x Chaffees
  • 5x Chaffees
  • M8, 2x Jeeps
  • M8, 2x Jeeps
  • 2x M8 Scott HMC
  • 4x M36 90mm GMC Jacksons

I'm defending on the left, panthers in the woods, infantry covering the objectives.

 I was under pressure on both flanks- bob camped 5x chaffees on my left objective on turn 2 but kept contesting for the next 8 or so turns. Meanwhile his other chaffees and recon used tot errain to avoid any fire until they were nice and close then put pressure on the right objective too. I hate light tank hordes!

 This stand off last for a few turns, the panthers were lurking so the chaffees didn't advance to far, one big bogged for 3 turns probably being my saving grace.
 The panthers head over to help. The paks have taken out 2 jacksons after the fluffed their shots at the panthers- only bailed one!
Result: 4-3 to Bob.
A real nail-biter that went to the wire- I needed to kill a jeep and either  a Scott the last Jackson to break his force when he finished off the last panther and finally broke my company.

The most amusing unit? Bobs recon platoon. The paks and Zyrini's took care of his other Chaffee platoon only to be cleaned up (along with the nebs and a few infantry stands) by 2x recce jeeps that passed every save they had to make (or I missed with the Zyrinis). They zoomed round my table edge killing one and then bailing 2 Zyrinis over two turns then ran riot! Alas as it turned out afterwards we'd make a slight mistake and the paks killing the greyhound had killed the commander so they should actually have been halted with no commander but hey, these guys ere so badass they had mission tactics. A very  enjoyable, if stressful (for me game as I struggle to avoid losing 6-1). The jeeps changed the game somewhat and it could have gone 4-3 the other way had they not shot me to pieces but hey, the game was fun, it was an honest mistake and made for a very amusing few turns. Well played Bob.

 So, I didn't want to face US light tanks on Hasty Assault, I also did not want to face Bede Bailey (who typically ranks 1 or 2 in NZ) and his Shermans in a  free for all, so guess what... Oh and I drew the same table!

Bede's US Shermans  (CV)

  • CinC M4, 2iC M4 (105)
  • 2x M4, 2x M4A1 (76)
  • 3x M4, 1x M4A1 (76)
  • 3x M4A3 (105)
  • 3x M4 81mm MMC
  • 1x M8, + 2x jeeps
  • 4x M36 90mm GMC Jacksons (CT)

My plans? Try not  get rolled over too quickly and get some points if i could! 

 Bede's army is WIP- according to Bede but as usual is looking absolutely stunning!

 He advances his Sherman's on my right flank, protected by the recon jeeps of the Jackson section- meaning I am wary of using my panthers to counter.
 On my left the other Shemans creep a  bit closer and present me from moving forward- the Zyrinis and paks hopefully can keep things tight, but also mean i'm not going forward and am in danger of losing 6-1 on the right. The panther near the building takes a snipe at a mortar half track only then to be destroyed by a bombardment by the 105 shermans! Not being able to snipe then storm trooper is not good!
Then the panthers went right and tried to snipe a 76mm sherman but missed. Bede's response? Reveal his tank destroyers and charge with them and the shemrnas vs one panther! Arrgghhhhh! Stormtrooper, stormtrooper!
 Whose ya daddy?. Just to add insult to injury Bede masterfully starting using his mortars and Shermans to drop smoke on my remaining panther. I am still looking at down the barrel at a 6-1 loss.
 Can to platoons of infantry hold on? About no the dice gods gave me a glimmer of hope- for a point at least. Bede had bunched up his other Shermans behind a building as they carefully advanced avoiding LoS on my Zyrini's and a lucky airstrike destroyed 3 of them! Then the next turn a lucky nebelwerfer strike killed 2x Jacksons and I bailed two shermans with the same ht but failed to assault with my infantry to get them.
 Time to go! The zyrinis and my 3rd platoon advance too get that last sherman which ended up being bailed by the zyrinis and destroyed by another airstrike.
 Charge- the infantry advance can e get a point at least?
 Bede thinks not...
Luckily though the sherman died, the Nimrods died trying to get the recon unit but in the end the Zyrinis managed to finish the jeeps off (breakthrough gun) and I almost also got the 105 shermans and ended up on the far objective but not quite soon enough- a 4-3 to Bede.

To tell the truth I was damn glad to walk away with 3 points, as for most of the game I was starring down the barrel of 6-1 hiding. I got a couple of moments of luck but really was on the back foot from turn 1. Those Jacksons and their recon units really make panthers cautious and can easily react to whatever shenanigans I tried to do. Bede played really well as expected)  and as unlucky to drop a couple of points really, but hey I'll take them.  

Game 3: No Retreat vs Damien & his Finns. 
Damien was running 12x CV Finnish platoons! Yikes. Luckily I got to defend. I also drew the ame table for 3 in a row but someone kindly sapped. 

  •  2x command SMG
  • 9x Infantry +Kapteeni Lauri Tourni
  • 7x Infantry + 4x Maxim HMGs (combat attached)
  • 2x Maxim HMGs
  • 3x M35 81mm mortars
  • 2x Lahti Anti-tank Rifle
  • 2x Pak50 PstK/38
  • 9x pioneer rifles (RV)
  • 2x PaK75 PstK/40, Corporal Toivo Ilomaki Special Character
  • 3x T-34/85
  • 2x Anti II SP AA
  • 4x 122mm H/38 Howitzers
Damien plots my downfall. I've never had the privalage of facing him so was looking forward to this game..sort of.
 He attacked on 3 axes, each with a very different but very nasty infantry platoon- the hero and his mob were scary, luckily I didn't realise how scary till later! Panthers ambush to support the infantry on my right before they are overwhelmed by the infantry + HMG platoon.
 The super scouts- 2+ on skill checks, recon etc take the centre- and spend lots of time lifting GtG so his support units can decimate my force. They worked really well together. 
 Zyrinis appear from reserve and destroy the T34/85s! doesn't count as a point though as he has more than 9 platoons.
 The last shot- too much pressure over the next 1.5 hrs to remember to take a single shot. As you can see the panthers did well covering the centre- the nimrods got hit by a 122 bombardment and destroyed. At the top of the picture the pioneers prepare to assault too.
 Result: A very hard fought 4- 3 to me.
Damien's force is really scary. He almost got the forward objective and I only just drove him back. In he end I managed to break his company- no mean feat to kill 6 platoons but eventually got there. Again it as a tough but fun game that could have easily gone the other way so I was happy to get a win off him. Not sure how I'd have fared the other way round and I'd have had to attack, not very well probably. I also liked the fact each of his infantry platoons were combat monsters but geared to very, very different roles very cool.

So end of day 1 10 pts which was close to several other players as there were lots of very tight games.

Russell then let us know our match ups on day 2, Rob Torrence and his SU 122 company in a Breakthrough. Oh joy! Everything is FA 8 or 9 including the KV 8 flame tanks- this was not going to be good. 


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