Monday, October 31, 2011

Game 3- Bocage FFA vs Urdany

Estelle is pretty new to FoW and we played a FFA on a bocage table that I had provided for the comp. She had never used the bocage rules before so the movement was a bit of a pain to get used to. Etelle is also the first woman to take part in Conquest in the years it has been run.

She ran: Urdany
HQ + 2x attached 45mm guns & pioneers
2x Urdannny Coys
4x Flamethrowers
4x HMGs
4x ISU 122s
4x 122mm artillery

As it was boocage we started at least 12" apart- much nicer than 8 inches vs Dave's Urdany mob.

There were few fields of fire but I was able to stretch out my nests to cover the whole front.

Turn 1- All the flamethrowers were attached to this company. I decided to dig in and await developments- not liking the idea of attacking four flamethrowers.

On the left flank my FJ advance into a field- and in my next turn dig in as the Soviets have begun advancing.

The ISUs advance. The stug gets a lucky hit, destroying the lead ISU!

My next turn the stug bails another and a panzershrek kills a third. The last one fails its morale test.

With pak nests, flak nests, stugs and a full FJ platoon with attached stummels I was confident that I could hold my right flank- the key would be dealing with the infantry on my left.

Anti-Flamethrower tactics 101: Send a lone team (or two independents) forward to create a no go zone- the FT have to attack this team as they can't get past it and closer to the rest of the platoon and so casualties are minimised. If the team dies (as this one did) send forth another one next turn- no problem with mission tactics :)

Estelle assaulted before I was ready to- my nebelwerfers and stummels causing casualties no doubt forcing the issue. My defensive fore was enough to stop her in her tracks and I then let rip with everything I could, gutting the platoon.

To her credit she valiantly tried to attack on both flanks but without the ISUs to worry about my infantry and assualt guns were enough to stop the attack cold and wear her force down.

The bocage minimised our artillery and I managed to kill Estelle's observer so hers was next to useless.

A bit one sided in the end but Estelle played well and satyed positive thoughout, even thought the last couple of rounds were a bit one sided (6-1 to the FJ).

She played well and I hope had a good weekend- I gave her my vote for best sport, the way the game went and the way she continued to stay positive she deserved it. As it turned out she won best sport overall.

They played an excellent supporting role I this one- the flak nest even killed a few stands.

End of Day 1
So after the disastrous start I've clawed my way back into the pack of players on two wins out of three, with Poochie ahead on 3 wins. I am a point behind him on BF points but its wins first, BF points to decide tie breakers (we are 16 vs 15). Not sure how the others are going but the comp is still wide open as lots of people have 2 wins a piece and some have racked up a few 6-1s.

Day 2 tomorrow....

Cassino Game 2- NR vs Nick's Kiwi's

Nick (aka Lintman of my Blog list) and I mentioned to the tourney organiser how if we got to meet we'd like to play on my Cassino table- it just seemed right: Nick's Cassino kiwi's vs my Cassino FJ. Steve decided to oblige us in round two.

Nick and I have both been playing FoW since V1- in fact we both attended the first Conquest (I had Strelk, he had British Rifles supported by Churchills). Although we didn't get a game in at that comp we've played at many Conquests, Southcons, TAGCONs and Day of Days since and I've a pretty good record against him. However, he is currently ranked number one in NZ so I knew I was in for a tough game.

Nick's Kiwi Rifle Company
  • HQ + 2x pioneers
  • 2x rifle platoons
  • 4x 6 pdrs
  • 3x Staghounds
  • 2x 3 Shermans
  • 4x M10s
  • 4x US 105s (firing "freedom" rounds)
I got to auto defend so placed the paks aiming down all the road ways, the panzer II nest in Cassino and the flak and HMG nest further forward to slow down the infantry (lesson learned fomr game 1). The marders were in ambush and an FJ platoon + attached mortars & a shrek waited for the onslaught.

Of course Nick did a night attack to minimise damage in the initial rounds.

Nick's objective is placed beneath Cassino walls so my FJ have to cover this and my left flank.

Nick then deploys on my right flank!

Staghounds lead the way.

I had to start shuffling my defence right to cover the assualt...

We both rolled badly to spot so not much action early on till morning arrived, although the Sherman's (or was it staghounds?) did manage to snipe a pak nest, but not before I knocked out a Sherman.

M10s deploy in an orchard to give covering fire- they lost one to a nebelwerfer.

Infantry advance through shellholes supported by Shermans. Although under pressure I've managed to keep my ambush hidden. However, probably the biggest saving grace was that my stummels pinned a rifle platoon and it failed to unpin for 3 turns meaning that the infantry assaults vs my FJ were only by one platoon rather than both coordinating 1-2 routines.

A pivotal turn. A Sherman platoon roars round my flank, the one in the open missed the flank of the stugs and the stug's glacis bounced a front shot. I then ambushed with my marders destroying the platoon and relieving some pressure (well also getting an all important VP).

The stug in the vineyard managed to bog 4 times. It bogged, unbogged them promptly bogged again! This ineptitude was only matched by the "Freedom rounds" firing 105s which failed to range in 3-4 turns in a row. The one turn they got a ToT bombardment I rolled 3x 1s for my saves and Nick matched that with 3x 1s for firepower tests- followed by a 4th one for his next firepower test the next turn.

Now I was overcommitted dealing with infantry, 6 pdrs, M10s, staghounds, which are excellent at cleaning out pak nests BTW, all threatening to capture the back objective. At this point the commander of the other Sherman platoon (actually the last tank) roared back to a almost contest the front objective with very little to stop him! A stug managed to get into position though and end that threat.

The next turn the stugs missed the (last) M1o and it missed them with its return fire (summing up the final couple of turns for Nick), then I finally managed to knock it out- finally forcing a company morale test- with votes back in NZ being important the Kiwi's decided to call it a day.

The picture and report really don't do justice to this battle. I almost lost 1st platoon twice and it was down to 2 teams at the end (rolled 1s for platoon morale tests and the CO rolled 2s when he attached himself :). Nick's infantry assault with 1 platoon were devastating and well executed. Had both platoons been able to coordinate their assaults I think I would have been very hard pressed to halt him, as it was only the stummelwerfer pins and some poor motivation checks disrupted his main attack being coordinated better.

There were several brutal infantry assaults though buildings and Nick's troops got the better of me in a couple of them, but in most situations I retreated to try to keep my troops intact- only to counter attack isolated teams in one building to minimise DF so I had a reasonable chance to win without too much risk- this attrition tactic eventually paying off.

Nick switched his point of attack skillfully several times and really exploited any opening. He cleaned out 2 pak, the HMG and flak nests easily and really had me on the ropes. I think the failure of his artillery (except in the 2nd to last turn when it finally managed to range in AND do some damage- killing 2 teams, my CO and 2iC!) also helped. The score does not reflect the hard fought, close nature of the game and although I kept my entire force intact for a 6-1 it really was a very, very close game.

Well played by Nick and an ounce better luck and it could easily have gone the other way.

The nests often had limited lines of sight but accounted for a couple of Shermans and M10s. However, Nick was very adept at knocking them out with staghounds and Shermans- watch out for Staghounds with CS artillery options as bunker busters! The HMG and flak bunkers were quickly dealt with to make it easier for the infantry to press home their attacks. Towards the end Nick finally failed a firepower test with his staghounds and the nests accounted for the last two of them.

Memorable Quote from Nick:
"I put my first hit on the platoon commander!"
[Rolls a 2.]
"Excellent- I now use mission tactics to appoint a new commander. If you've got special rules you might as well use them!"


Conquest 2011- Game 1

Last weekend was the 9th Conquest. I'm happy to say I've been to them all and played FoW at the all- 8 comps and one Arnhem demo game. I've had pretty good success in the past but was a bit unsure how my Cassino FJ would fare.

This year there were 20 players including some new faces form CHCH. There were 10 different missions- one per table (that part was the same as the last few years). There were some really nice tables, well thought out and which suited the mission. I got lots of positive comments for the Cassino table.

Of the 20 forces 16 were infantry and most of those went infantry heavy- infact in a couple of games I felt decidedly infantry light!

Before the tourney I was hoping to play some of the following: Nick (Lintman), Pooch, Bob (Blodenplatt) and Rob Shirley as well as Dave D who I'd already arranged a grudge match. As it turned out I got games vs most of them.

My force was Cassino FJ:
  • HQ + 2 panzershreks & 2x stummelwerfers
  • 2x full FJ platoons + P/Ks
  • 4x FJ marders
  • 4x Heer Stugs
  • 3x Heer nebelwerfers
  • 3x pak 40 nests
  • 1x HMG nest
  • 1x flak 38 nest
  • 1x panzerII turret
Game 1: Not One step Back vs Dave Dreaver

  • HQ+ pioneers
  • 2x full urdany
  • 4x flamethrowers
  • 11x pioneers
  • 3x ISU 122s
  • 2x 45mm AT guns

Dave and I go way back over the years we've had some great games that have tended to go to the where but in every case the final roll of the die has gone my way. So before the comp we arranged a grudge match and it turned out to be a Not One Step Back.

My defences. FJ in the big building, pak nests in the rubble, with marders awaiting the onslaught

Turn 1- before the onslaught

I got the first turn- my nebels damaged his smaller Urdany (my plan being to ambush them enxt rturn and make my way forward). I decided not to charge out and attack the big urnday (was not sure I'd get tyhe pin) but felt confident that a full FJ + 4 stugs could hold them off- yeah right!

Here they come!

Turn 1: Urrah! Dave ambushes with volley fire ISUs, hits me with flamethrowers and then follows up with the Urdany- I lose 6 teams and 3 stugs for no casualties and am already on the ropes. Actually, I was down for the 10 count and trying to get back to me feet!

From then on I was playing catch up to keep the game alive. My ambush was forced to reveal to assist 1st platoon and in the ensuring bloodbath of assaults and counter assaults I lost 1 1/2 FJ platoons for the loss of his big urdany- he rolled a 2 for morale while contesting both objectives with them after cleaning up my FJ!


When you are left with a panzer II turret and a company commander to protect an objective you know the writing is on the wall. Although they can't contest the enemy needs to be in teh room to contest so that means surviving yet another assault...

The CO didn't last long abut the turret survived several rounds of assaults but eventually fell!

The last hurrah. I was down to half my platoons (2x marders + 1x stug) & no CO vs ISUs, pioneers & Urdany- if in doubt charge!

I missed and got cleaned up next turn.

4-3 to Dave (I managed to snipe his 45mm guns with my paks & marders)

A great game. Dave smashed me on turn 1 and didn't let up. The 8" deployment meant I couldn't create a picket to slow down the FT and my idea of stugs + full FJ to hold the line quickly came unstuck and from then on I was scrabbling to get back into the game- or at least some points!

A great game and Dave thoroughly deserved the win. Well played. In future intend to keep at least 12" and a line of pickets between my troops & any flamethrowers.

Did okay- nests picked off the 45mm guns and some infantry and meant one half of the board was not used. I lost the panzer II and nothing else. Probably should have deployed a couple more forward to disuade the Soviets a bit more.

Well done Dave!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FoW- Cassino Falls!

A playtest of the Cassino table tonight with Dale commanding a Tyne & Tees (what are they doing there?) force vs the Cassino FJ.

As I have fortifications I got to defend.

The table is designed for a No retreat but is pretty nasty as there are few long LoS for the defenders.
HQ + 2x stummelwerfers, 2x panzershreks
2x platoons
3x nebelwerfers
4x marders
4x stugs
3x pak 40 nests, hmg nest, flak nest, 3x gn pits, 2x trenches

The Tyne & Tees Rifle Company
2x rifle platoons
3x carriers- 2x 50 cals
3x Cromwells + a firefly (7th Ad- RV)
3x Crocodiles
8x priests :)
Spotter plane

Deployment- looking towards the British lines. An infantry platoon with attached stummels and a panzershrek are deployed near the forward objective, marders are in ambush and fortifications are scattered about- mainly on the hill and cassino ruin to dissuade the British- it worked.

The British prepare to advance along the left flank- Dale has turned the vineyards into a crazy maze!

Crocodiles advance supported by infantry.

Another advances through the orchard

The fallschrimjager prepare for the assault. I lost a team to a murderous bombardment from the 8 priests.

My turn one consisted of rolling for reserves and rolling the nebelwerfers into their gun pits.

A rather blurry pak nest but the panzer II turret is visible in the background.

Dale prepares to assault my forward line.

The first rifle platoon supported by carriers assaults, I lose a team and pull back to regroup- then fial to unpin despite having the CO able to attach!

In my turn I managed to drop a nebelwerfer bombardment on the infantry platoon- pinning it for the rest of the game :) But Dale sends his second platoon forward to assault. The assualt goes terribly for me, I lose 3 teams and coutner assault with 7 teams (including the company commander, 2iC and observer) but only manage 2 hits. Dale kills 3-4 more and in my final round of assualts I only get 1 hit out of 3! Dale fails his morale and falls back. I am left with 3 teams, two of whcih are independent teams to hold the line! The panzerwerfer is Dale's objective.

The cromwells hide in the orchard.

My reserves show up but fail to stormtrooper. The preists open up on them and kill three teams and two nebelwerfers. The infantry then fail to unpin for the rest of the game!

My sole survivor from 1st platoon and the company commander prepare to hold off the British- yeah right!

The marders roar out from behind cover- and fire four flank shots at the crocodiles, scoring three hits!

Two crocodiles are knocked out by marders- the third one stays on the table.

Stugs advance under cover to try to contest the objective.

Dale has killed my company commander and sole infantry team (my defensive fire missed again!) and so my stugs are thrown in to drive the British back. My schtuzen saved a tank from a PIAT shot but one tank bogged. The others kill 3 teams but then the British counter attack. One tank is bailed the the survivors fail their morale test.

Game 6-1 to Dale!
The woeful assault dice didn't help my cause, I needed to damage the British infantry more but Dale played smart, atttacking on a narrow front and supported his infantry well. I have never failed so many fearless morale tests to unpin too. A well deserved, and crushing victory, to Dale. The game was a bit closer than the result indicates- not a good final game for the FJ going into Conquest this weekend :)

On a brighter note, I got lots of positive comments about the table.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rubble & Hedges

Tonight I finished off some hedges I started the other night- to add a bit of colour to the table.

I also made a couple of large piles of rubble- it just wouldn't be Cassino without rubble piles! These were easy. I simply poured plaster over some chunks of polystyrene- then sprinkled it with cat litter and sand while it was still wet. I added a few bits of balsa for wooden beams etc and then once the plaster had dried I sealed it with watered down PVA before painting it.