A smaller field this year (14) LW, 1750 pts. I took:
8x Motostrelkovy (SMG) 130
15x Motostrelkovy (SMG) + HMG 265
5x T34/85s 350
4x ISU 100 310
4x M10s 250
4x Zis 2 145
6x Heavy Mortars + Observer 155
3x M 17 AA half tracks 110
Game 1 Free for All vs Robert- Canadian Infantry
Robert was one of the new players I hadn’t met before a great guy and a great game. He ran LW Canadians with land mattresses (or Pizza Boxes of Doom) some bombarding recce carriers a couple of infantry, 2x platoons of Shermans and some 6 pdrs.
Never been a fan of non-historic games and this one ended up a tad one sided. I ducked a bullet (or pizza box) on turn 2 when Robert rolled 5x “2s” in a row and failed to range in the land mattresses (or save), my tans at was too much for the shermans and they were soon burning wrecks and the large motostrelk were a tad too much for the British infantry.
It ended up 6-1 to me.
MVP= motostrelk that took out an infantry platoon, 6 pdrs and a couple of bailed Shermans. I lost 6 or so infantry stands, a couple of mortars & 2x Zis. Enjoyable , if one sided game vs a very nice opponent.
The very cool looking "land mattresses"
Game 2: Pincer vs Dave E
Dave as running Fearless Vet Gebigsjager with 10 platoons and got to defend- lots of small platoons. The game was played in fog (which helped me). Dave is one of those defensive methodical players who took ages to figure out what to deploy and where- in a game where you are infantry you really need to have a an idea before the game of what you’ll deploy in defensive scenarios. In the end Dave deployed some infantry, pioneers, his pak 40s and ambushed with his 88s. So we were a bit slow (read very) to start. In the end I lined up everything but my SU 100s on my far right flank and charged. Dave ambushed my SU 100s at about 36” range and in the fog had no hope of seeing anything! A rather strange move and after that I simply rolled forward crushed his paks and drove him off the objective. I lost an M10 eventually and his reserves came on behind my tanks. I didn’t argue the point that there was plenty of unblocked deployment area to deploy them and rolled with it. My M17s MGs helped in defensive fire and the sheer weight of firepower I bought to bear ripped to pieces lots of small platoons eventually breaking his company.
6-1 to the motostrel- casualties a few infantry and an M10.
MVP- probably the M17s for aiding in defensive fire and MGing a few infantry but again the SMG armed motostrelk performed well.
Game 3: Cauldron vs Bob’s British paras.
A table with a really large wood in the centre of it. Bob was running 3x paras supported by 6 pdrs 17 pdrs, 2x pack howitzer batteries (reinforced by artillery), pioneers and 2x 17pdrs.
Bob and I were top of the table and in our previous duels I think the results are now 2-1 to him so knew it would be a tough game. My plan was to try and intercept the reserves and destroy them but my mortars had to deploy along the backline where the reserves were due so I ended up having to have my AA half tracks nearby to try to cover them.
I didn’t quite read the rules properly and deployed my T34s to flush out the immediate ambush then when I started they’d drive into cover but alas the DEFENDER got the first turn so my T34/85s were sitting ducks. I lost 2 for 1x 6pdr and then had one bailed and it refused to rally for two turns. In the end Bob killed it and the other two T34s broke. Meanwhile pack howitzer batteries were raining down death and destruction, repeatedly pinning my big Motostrelk mob. I got a couple of tem with mortars but couldn’t finsh off either platoon.
Bob’s first reserves arrived assaulted and killed of my 2 mortars, then my small SMG company arrived and destroyed the paras. Next turn 2 more para platoons turned up and chewed up my SMG armed infantry. We ended up having 3 separate games in one the left large motostrelk (and Zis 2s- briefly) vs th pac howitzers and 6 pdrs my SU 100s and M10s on the other flank vs the MGs & pack howitzers and the brawl at the back between my infantry, the mortars & M17 AA vs the paras and 17 pdrs. It was a great game and was very, very close. In the end a run of abysmal (fearless) platoon saves swung the game in my favour and I broke the paras but was close to being broken myself. It was a game that the result hung in the balance till the very last (failed) morale save and probably my game of the comp for sheer intensity and enjoyment. We both had plenty of “if only moments” but I think that Bob can feel a tad robbed by the result. It was a blood bath but in the end I burgled the te 4-3 thans to some bad luck from Bob and a few very lucky rolls from myself.
MVPs: the M17s that helped stop the para reserves in their tracks and killed a 17 pdr. Also the heavy mortars which somehow survived for much longer than seemed possible and kept me in the game- their commander even killed the last 17 pdr in an assault!
Game 4: "Diagonal FFA"
John is another long time Conquest stalwart this year running Wiking (FT) armoured PGs supported by 4x panthers 4x stugs, 251/9stummels, nebs and an 88. We played a FFA diagonally across the table giving a deeper deployment zone.
Trained Germans! This was a change- I could hit them. John got the first turn threw his infantry forward and let rip at my M10s killing 3 and the bailed one bolted (I rolled a 1). I returned fire with the SUs and hit 3 panthers killing 2 bailing one and the survivor fled (1-1). The 120mm mortars killed 2x nebs. A turn or two later the SU 100s ripped the stugs to pieces leaving John rather short of AT. The infantry and stummels got a couple of Zis 2s but Jon was running out of troops fast. In his last turn the last neb blew up another Zis and the survivor broke. I ripped a couple more platoons to pieces and John surrendered: 4-3 to me.
MVP: SU100s for claiming all 8 enemy tanks- though the “Cat killers” reroll wasn’t needed.
Game 5: Josh. Panzer Company. Fighting Withdrawal.
(Was too busy playing to remember to take any photos!)
Josh was running 6x panzer IVs, 4x panthers, 4 x stuhs and 2x 31 armoured cars. I was on 4 wins so a 5th win would give me the comp (it was decided on wins and BF points to decided equal placings). Josh is a young guy who has really come along in the last couple of years and is one of the players to watch out for in CHCh, underestimate him at your peril. He tends to be a bit rash at times but aggressive and likes nothing better than assaulting things with tanks!
Turn 1 the panzer IVs and panthers destroyed 3 (GtG) M10s and for the second game in a row the survivor rolled a 1. My heavy mortars bagged a panther on turn 1 but from then it was one way traffic to Josh. He simply rolled up my army destroying my Zis 2s, small infantry and eventually my T34s too. I got 3 panthers with my ambush on turn 4 but was scrambling to hang on. The panzer IVs eventually succumbed to SU 100s (mainly thanks to the 2+ FP tests) and I got the armoured cars on turn 6 or 7. Turn 8 and I was down to about 8 infantry stands and the SU 100s, Josh killed a few more infantry then the company failed its morale test so I attached the company commander and commissars but neither of them could stop the company fleeing. The company commander fleeing autoboke my company. 4-3 to Josh.
MVP: My SU 100s.
Josh played a great game he used his Stuhs + recce effectively and concentrated his forces nicely. I couldn’t fault his performance and it was a very one sided game even if in the end he only had the company commander 2 stuhs and a panther left operational!
In the end Josh and I had 4 wins and I pipped him on BF victory points 23/22 with Bob one point behind in third so I burgled my 7th Conquest win out of 10. 5 fun games and got to play a couple of guys I’d not played before and guys I hadn’t played in a long time. As per usual many thanks to Stephen for all the work he did organising and running the event- he really does an outstanding job.
Also thanks to Poochie for his hospitality in putting us up at his family’s bach and for all the guys that hung out on Saturday night. Its hanging out with, and catching up with, the likes of Bob, Jason, Nick, Adam, and Poochie, and making new acquaintances, that is what these comps is really all about.
Post Comp changes?
Probably bring back the Vals at the expense of the Zis 2s. They were a bit susceptible to artillery (and other) fire, the mobility of the Vals would have come in handy. A 6th T34/85 would really help too. In 3 games the M10s 50 cals was an asset but today they really were picked on early and didn’t have enough front armour to survive even when trying to hide. I lie tem and see them as being handy so not sure if I’ll change them- I guess they could be replaced by more T24s though to make more larger and more survivable platoon.
I really liked the Cat Killer rules it made the SU100s much more dangerous.