Just finished this years Day of Days. the theme being the breakout from Normandy. We lost one player a couple of weeks ago so Keith volunteered to run 2x 1100pt companies himself.
As usual we had many of the old regulars (Nick and Poochie having been to all 11 previous events!) and many at least 10 of them. A smattering of new faces and some who've been coming for the past few years rounded out the numbers and with a field of 23 I was more than happy.
Half a dozen guys crashed at my place the Friday night, the last lot (Bob, Nick, Poochie and Adam) arriving around 10:30 after flights from Wellington and a drive south. A few quiet beers and before we knew it it was 2:30 and time get get some sleep before the big day.
Round 1: No Retreat
The Allies attacked on all tables. The lack of tactical strategic bombing as per the real breakout battles proved to be decisive. The Allied attack was decimated as it ran into a wall of panzers. In my own game Martin W & Robert fielded a churchill squadron of 12 + Churchills and some British paras as well as some naval support (which we measured out and could have provided support to the neighbouring 4 tables!) Martin E and I ended up stopping the attack but for a long time it was touch and go and could have gone either way. In the end though we took the win without losses and so it turned out of 5 of the 6 tables with a 6-1 victory to the defenders! Yikes!
|Churchills support the paras advance|
|A panther pushes a it far forward and pays the price|
Round 2: Breakout
The allied attack had faltered but elsewhere the German front had collapsed and so forces were thrown into exploit the situation. Breakout worked okay but the deployment zone should probably been 3ft wide each as the games turned into mini 1v1 and so some forces were unable to support each other properly. A few tweaks were suggested to improve it and will be taken on board.
Martin and I had another enjoyable game, this time vs Mark and Simon from Wellington who manage to get down each year. We played on Robert's table (which won best terrain) and had another fun but tense game. My panzer grenadiers trying to slow down hordes of confident trained infantry while shermans and panthers had a battle. The shermans charged in and got up close and persoal with the panthers (and into their side armour-yikes!) In the end though roll of the dice favoured the panthers and with a little luck Martin defeated the spirited attack and we managed to take the game, again without suffering any losses even though it was a tense game. A little more luck and Simon and Mark could have taken it.
|Robert's table- lovely|
|Mark throws his Shermans at the panthers.|
|Things are looking a bit dicey.|
This round had 4 German victories and 2 allied so the allies were under a bit of pressure with only 2 wins out of 12 games so far.
Saturday evening almost everyone came back to my place. Usually we have a BBQ but this year to save a clean up for me on Sunday evening we ordered in lots of pizzas. As per usual the Saturday evening catch up/drinks was the highlight of the weekend for me. A few beers were drunk and much smack talked. We had a reasonably early night this year and once again I had a full house of gamers crashing at my place.
Game 3: No Retreat
I had planned for the mission to be pincer with the allies attacking but discussing it last night we decided to give the allies the option on each table of pincer or no retreat- all chose no retreat. These games were much closer. Martin and I had a really tough game v Poochie and Adam. 2x lots of hellcats were a real pain to face and in the end our attack was well and truly crushed. At the end of the last turn all that as left of my force surrendered to the Americans: Company commander, platoon commander and 1x MG team.That was all that was left of our entire force! Luckily though we managed to destroy all the hellcats and a platoon of Shermans but Adam and Poochie used their forces very, very well and we were on the backfoot most of the time.
|Hellcats ambush the panthers|
|The last panther decides to keep attacking.|
|The highwater mark- the panzer IV is Martin's last remaining tank.|
Game 4: FFA
The final round was a Free For All. Martin and I played Nathan and Estella and had a bit of a slog though lots of churchills and confident trained guards infantry. We managed to nibble way at the churchills. I got lucky taking out one platoon with my jagdpanzers, and once we had finally dealt with a platoon of archilles the panthers were able to use their guns to full advantage, destroying the churchills- though my infantry had to assault and destroy the company commanders as they would not flee the table. In the end with time running out my panzer grenidiers were forced to assault a full platoon and by the end of the assualt my platoon had been destroyed but so had most of the British. This left the jagdpanzers to assault and drive off the last few teams and grab an ojective.
|Paks defend an objective.|
|Jagdpanzer IVs take up ambush position.|
|Nathan ponders his next move.|
Other games also seemed to go well. Most of the games seemed closer than some of the earlier games even thought it ended with another round of German victories.
We need to look at defensive battles in these events, trying to get the balance right with the reserves. The allies struggled vs the tigers and also panthers (6x panzer IVs and 3x panthers being a common list) and with the points totals weren't able to counter these tanks all that well, so a few games were pretty rough on the allies.
Overall though, I thought the weekend was a great success, games were played in a great spirit and everyone brought the right attitude with them and I felt it was the best event so far. As usual it was great to catch up and chill with a great bunch of guys (and girl) and I hope most of them can mae it to the next one.
I had send an e-mail out stating it was probably going to be the last Day of Days (in its current format anyway as I was keen to try a Bolt Acton event) but we brainstormed a few ideas and the informal organising committee (i.e all the players) decided that they want too stick with Flames for next year but go early war, with Greece 1941 being the theme. EW has never really caught in the South Island so will be an interesting change of pace and I'm all ready dreaming of a motorcycle themed German army.