Saturday, February 8, 2014

Warclouds 2014: FoW

Today as the annual Warclouds comp. I don't usually go but thought I'd support it. Keith had organised a loose "Kursk" theme, probably more correctly an East Front '43 theme. Not wanting to put any thought into it I simply dropped the Razvedki and ran my MW Sherman conscript tankovy at 1110 pts:

HQ Stuart
8x stuarts
7x shermans
4x SU 122s
3x BA 64
 Sorry about the photos, they are from my phone.

Game 1: No Retreat vs Andy
Andy as running some armoured PGs backed up by 3x pak 36s, a ferdinand (crap!) and Remer. We chose a very cool looking airfield table. My plan to win before the ferdy coild do too much damage. Andy deployed a PG platoon near the hanger and the ferdy in ambush.

On your mark...get ready...
 Recce move- 24" along the airfield. Halfway is now behind my recon before turn 1. "That was pretty fucken ninja".
 Turn 1 my Stuarts double moved towards the rear objective as the BA 64s advanced to screen them. Remer and the company commander were all that stood between us and victory. Until, dum dum da dum.  Ferdy surprise! Andy had no choice but to ambush.
 4 dead stuarts!
 So on turn 2 I bravely flank the ferdy which had the audacity of ignoring the stuarts and shooting at my AB 64s- somehow the one he hit was only bailed! The 2x pak 36s arrived from reserve and bagged a Stuart. The survivors stay.
 Meanwhile the Shermans and SU122s, hidden by the huge hanger, were blasting at the infantry, trying to win the game before the ferdy was able to do anything about it.
 The bailed BA 64.
 Shermans and SUs clear the objective of infantry.
 I'm trying to keep the Ferdy busy so it can't support the panzer grenadiers.
 Too late the ferdy is able to get a LoS on the shermans and kills one.
 But too little, too late. 6-1 to me :)
A bit lucky but a quick charge seemed my best hope on this one and the hanger helped by screening my shermans. Hard luck Andy. It could have been very different.

Game 2: Dave D FFA.
Dave was running Guards strelkovy (2x 1 platoon companies, 2x SU 122s and 3x KV85s). A mix up between Soviet Fronts resulted in a friendly fire incident  (I hate these kind of games!). Dave's list was even scarier for my tanks than Andy's as he had 3 times the shots each time he moved.

My plan this time: Try not to get killed and grab an objective once the KVs were committed. Didn't fancy my chances though.

Since I'm not a fan of blue on blue games only a coupe of shots. The tables had lots of LoS blocking treelines. The KVs went after my SUs and Shermans so as soon as they were committed I sent my Stuarts round on an end run to get some points before I crumbled. 
 The stuarts assaulted the infantry on one objective, killing a few. He then broke off and retreated the survivors but now Dave was under some serious pressure. Dave tried to redeploy the KVs to counter them but was a bit slow.
 This meant the shermans went for the other objective (they'd knocked out Dave's SU 122s in some lucky shooting).
 The enemy commissar helped out by killing 3 teams before shooting himself. With the objectives taken Dave finished off the last SU 122 to grab a belated point.
5-2 to me, but bloody hard. A bit of switch and move and keeping the KVs stretched helped but had Dave ignored my diversions & shenanigans the KVs could have simply advanced onto one of my objectives uncontested! Morale of the story: keep your eye on the ball.

Game 3: Fighting Withdrawal vs Josh.
Hungarian tanks: 4x38Ts, 3x panzer IV F1s, 2x Nimrods, 3x Marder IIs.
A replay of our last game. I lost the dice and got to defend but when I said I hate defending Josh said he didn't mind and so would. I happily agreed.
On this table my recon would be moving 4:" per turn! Yee haa!

Turn 1. Shermans advance on the right but are ambushed by 3x marders. Lucy dice rolling meant 2 Shermans saved and only 3 died!
 In return the Shermans took out the Marders. In the foreground the SU 122s advance on the 38ts and the Stuarts are beside them.
 Turn 3: Shermans destroy the panzer IVs, stuarts & volleyfiring SU 122s kill the 38ts. Game over within 15 minutes!

One of those tank games where the luck of the dice on turn 2 decided it. We then replayed it with Josh attacking. The game lasted till turn 4 with a 4-3 victory to him- mainly as the only Stuart to be destroyed was the company commander meaning I couldn't move to contest in time, at that point Josh had 2x panzer IVs and 2x nimrods on table! Time taken for both games: 30 mins :)

Another shot of Andy's super cool Ferdy.

Game 4: Cauldron vs Dave D.
Dave was running a snell squadron and had won 3x 6-1 victories. He had: 2x snell platoons with assault rifles, 3x pa 38s, 3x marder IIs and 3x 20mm quad AA. Dave didn't do himself any favours with his deployment. He has a tendency to take small infantry platoons and max out support but in this case he placed his pa 38s on and flak in ambush and a small platoon. Marders were off board meaning I placed my stuarts in reserve to deal with the marders, SUs and shermans on table.

Turn 1- 2x Sherman MG shots aren't saved, I rolled 2x 6s. The small platoon as even smaller and there was no way the pa 38s were ever gong to be useful as they weren't place in ambush to actually influence the game!
 SU 122s advance on the hill.
 These guys are to going to do Sweet F.A. in this one.
 Here come the Shermans
 Volleyfire + Breakthrough gun= only the company commander being left on turn 2.
 Turn 3 the marders arrive and roll to hit the SU 122s at short range... needings 2s Dave rolled 2 1s! So only one died.
 Turn 4: Stuarts arrive and kill 2x marders.
 The SU 122s line up the company commander and blast him to smithereens.
 Game 6-1 in 15 or so minutes.

A bit of a disappointing last game. The mission and table were against Dave but his choice of on table units and immediate ambush were not helpful to his cause.
End  result: 3x 6-1s and a 5-2 so I assume I took out first (Dave and I were about 7 pts clear going into the last round). but I left as soon as we'd finished as there was another hr 45 to play and I had a 2 hr drive home.

Only a small turn out (9 players as one player couldn't make it on the day) but some newbies which was good to see. Keith made it a fun day and the smaller points totals made for lots of space on table (which suited my stuarts) and some interesting forces. 4x 2 hr games in  day meant it was an early start (8:30 am after a 2 hr drive) but I got home early as well. I thought the guys put together some really interesting tables that were fun  and challenging to play on. 

Thanks to all my opponents, I look forward to catching up with most of them at Day of Days in a couple of weeks.



  1. Sigh, Craig really needs to be banned from these comps.........

  2. I am impressed with your skill and rapid victories, but must admit, having been on the receiving end of such games, the loser often feels like, what was the point of turning up !?

    What do you think were the key factors in your rapid wins: army size, terrain, missions, newbie players, deployment errors, dare I say 'luck' ????

  3. Didn't get to play the newbies Scott. Thee first two games were really tense pressure cookers as I tried to thin of ways to win while avoiding getting chewed up by tanks I couldn't kill (being hit on 2+ sucks!).

    Game 3, young Josh has beaten me the last two games. He is very aggressive and lies to attac. I wasn't actually expecting the ambush vs my Shermans on turn 1, thinking he'd delay it a bit and had I not rolled 2 sixes to save vs marder hits would have had 5 dead Shermans on turn 1 and probably would have had a very different outcome. Either way though it was going to be fast as we both had tanks.

    Game 4: Dave has been playing for a long time but sometimes makes really dumb decisions in deployment- ambushing with flak guns vs a tank company? He should have had the paks in ambush to strengthen the more threatened objective, he deployed them so they'd take no part in the game. As soon as he put his marders in reserve I put my stuarts in reserve knowing they'd be able to intercept/ deal with them when they came on. Not an ideal mission at the points cost me thinks, so really only game 4 was likely to go my way off the bat.

    1. Thanks Craig... I think I am in the same boat as Dave sometimes...

  4. You played well Craig and showed your calibre :)
    I think the fast games were due to the low points (1111pts allowed) and this allowed for plenty of room to move.
    I won my last 3 games and had the first game been a different scenario, it could have worked out bad for Craig verses my list. A couple of rusty moments with the rules meant I wasn't able to quite deploy and manoeuvre as I wanted to (ahhh V3 strikes again).
    Great games Craig and I'm glad to made the effort to come up, cheers mate

    1. Cheers Andy- that hanger was critical to shielding my Shermans and SUs and so keeping them all alive long enough to deal with the PGs whilst preventing the Ferdy from getting too many shots. At no stage did I feel I had that game in the bag- and only made it by about an inch when your reserves came on :)

      A challenging game for sure and glad to see to bounce back and, as I understand it, take 2nd.

      Was a long day (had had a biggie Thursday night after winning our cricket final) but glad I went. Really enjoyed the terrain and thought all tables were very well put together.

      1111 pts is tough but makes for fast games, maybe banning armored companies though as its hard to muster enough AT for a solid defence at that total.