Day 2: Fighting Withdrawal vs Jamie MacDonald (Finns)
My 4th Invercargill player in a row- the
Invercargill guys are all good players so this was potentially another tough
game. Jamie was running:
- 2x infantry platoons (1 was reduced strength)
- 3x pak 40s with a couple of infantry teams
- Heavy mortars
- 3x captured T34s
I didn’t think he had enough AT to stop me, especially if I
could stop him concentrating T34s and pak 40s so decided to split my force and
make him defend both objectives I’d placed.
The majority of my force aims at the lightly defended left objective.
The Shermans ensure that Jamie has to defend both objectives.
BAs screen the advance.
The left flank advances.
I stopped a couple of turns to fire on the pak 40s. The paks ambushed the SU 122s killing 2 bailing 1 but they stayed on board, and then the 122s hid. The heavy morrtars caused a few bails but little else. My return fire only managed to kill 1 pak with 10x gun Stuart shots and 15x 50 cal dice. The next turn the pak bailed a scout car and it was then killed by my massed firepower leaving the objecitve pretty much undefended except for 3-4 infantry teams.
Meanwhile the Shermans blocked the T34s, stopping them reinforcing the left. A couple of times Jamie thought about taking them on but each time the number of tanks eventually swayed him and the T34s remained hidden.
The Shermans managed to blast out a few teams and ensure that Jamie could not leave that objecive unsupported.
Turn 4- the razvedki sweep the last 3 teams off the objective and put a defensive screen on it. Jamie's sends 6 pioneers teams to try to wrestle it from me but in the following assaults his teams come in piecemeal and in two turns he only manages to kill 2 teams with 6 or so dice. My 6 razvedki become 4 but kill all the pioneers and pass their morale test and so I win at the start of turn 5.
Jamie simply did not have enough AT to stop my attack and by forcing him to keep his AT seperated he was not able to mass enough fireower to slow me down. A bit one sided in the end but still a good game (at least for me) as you are never sure what will happen when conscript tanks are involved.
Game 5: Surrounded vs Bob Pearce (Tiger company)
Bob and I knew we were about to meet- he was doing well and had smashed some infantry forces I thought should have slowed him down so he was obviously running his tigers well. Not exactly a huge list but one which woyuld cause me no end of problems.
- 3x tigers
- 3x 20mm AA
- 3x pioneers
- limited stukas
On the right table I rated my chances to try to get the small VPs and who knows a lucky airstrike and I was in with a chance- on the wrong table I was pretty much screwed. We both agreed the Cauldron table would not be a good one for my force but alas that is the table we drew- oh crap. I also got to defend- gulp.There as a wadi, a few rises and no LOS blocking or area terrain at all- the tigers would be able to fire the length of the entire board and the best I could hope for would be the occasioanl concealed shot!
I deployed my razvedki in the wadi and ambushed with my BA 64s! My plan simple- hope to hold on for 3 turns and get my reserve to intercept his reserves (i.e the small platoons). No point deploying any tanks as at best he need a 4 or 5 to hit from anywere on the board!
Turn 1- my BA64's ambush then use the recce move- to chase down the AA and try to stay alive and annoy the tigers. It kind of worked- the aAA double timed away then the next turn let rip from long range- oops.
Turn 1 a tiger arrives from reserve- hey no fair!
The other tigers hug my defences ot prevent airstrikes (clever boy that Bob) and start shooting.
This isn't looking good but I hold on till turn 3- the AA destroys my recon on turn 2.
Now that's what I call a tiger!
Turn 3- my battalion commander and Stuarts turn up (forgot to deploy
hm but luckily in V3 you can attach warriors to reserves). The AA half tracks and shot to peices from behind then what is that noise behind us...?
Tigers vs Stuarts is never pretty within seconds the tigers and stukas kill 3 and bail a couple more Stuarts. My Shermans then arrive and their shots miss or bounce off the tiger's armour.
The turkey shoot begins.
SUs arrive and a shot bounces of the side armour of the company commander- who misses with 2 shots (neeeding 2s) and bails another ha, ha! Unfortunately the other two tigers were better shots and the 122s are destroyed in seconds.
Shermans valiantly close to try to get to the tigers flanks but again the one hit bounces off the side armour. This has allowed the staurts ot duble time around and attack the pioneers. Killing one and them destroying the othe two in assaults. Moments later my last tanks including the battalion commander are destroyed.
4-3 to Bob. I was bloody lucky to limp away with 3 points from that one. The table was truly worse case scenario for my force but that's the luck of the draw and I would have been struggling on many tables vs that particaulr force. Bob probably should have retreated his last two infantry stands from the assault vs the Stuarts (I would have) to conserved a VP but that isn't the way he rolls. A fun game if a one sided one- Bob made sure he stayed away from my flame thrower and hugged my infantry negating my rata airstrikes but he did all he had to do. So that is now 1-1 between us.
Going into round 6 I was a point ahed of Cal (my old rival) on the allied side and first equal with Kent's FJ and Bob a point or so behind us, so I was hoping to face Kent but Richard made sure we didn't meet and instead he faced Cal. I would have preferred to meet Kent simply becuse I did not want to face Rob and his panthers- bugger I got the one match up I didn't want.
Game 6: No Retreat vs Rob Shirley (Panzer grenadiers)
- HQ + Remer
- 2x motorised pgs
- 2x AA
- 3x panthers
- 3x nebs
We played on my Ortona Table- lots of places to hide from panthers (I hope). Rob ambushed with panthers, and depployed AA and a large PG platoon with Remer.
I loaded up my right flank and left my Shermans a bit wider to act as a possible decoy. I was hoping to pin the panthers to an objective then scoot away behind buildings to grab the other one- a dodgy plan is better than no plan at all!
Turn 1: Recon 16" (Tob deployed near the objectives, not to far forward) + jeep mobility on turn 1 meant my recon was aready on the objective meaning the panthers had tro deploy. Likewise the M3A1s race forward towards the objective.
Panthers ambush the razvedki killing two half tracks and bailing another. Luckily I only lose 1x infantry team, the PGs then charge out and drive my razvedki back in disarray, killing another team or two. On my turn the stuarts sit on the objectives while the razvedki rally and kill the 3 nearest pg teams- the AA halftrack is bailed by the stuarts.
Turn 3- the pantrher kill 4 stuarts and kill a couple more (but I stay on table). Another infantry team leaps out of a building near the burning flak to the left of the shermans (which had killed it). He missed with the assault so my Shermans (whcich had been in the assualt) and BA 64s broke off through the German lines- there s about a 2-3" gap between the teams in the rubble and buildings. This meant on my turn I was on the panthers flanks!
The Shermans fanned out- some heading (with the BA 64s) to the other objective, 5 tried to hit the panthers from the flank- I scored 3 hits(needing 5s). The near panther rolled 5 and 6 so was only bailed (and got straight back in- arrgh, the frist time in i don't know how many years my MW tanks have flanked a panther!) but the far one was knocked out. My other Shermans and BA 64s machine gunned 2 teams of the original PG platoon and then used shooting to succcessful to grab the objective.
Reserves arrived but nothing that could sway the battle.Yah for the new Hens & Chicks!
The Shermans consolidate ot the objecctive- one of the 5 near the panther is about to be moved to make sure the command chain is kept
The panthers killed 2 more stuarts and the two survivors were attacked by
remer and the sole survivor from the pg platoon- I missed them in
defensive fire and survived a panzerknacker strike then backed off and
to the battallion commander and passed their stay on the board test.
Didn't think it would go that way- the assault fror the building probably changed the game as it gave me an extra move towards the pantehrs and wass not what Rob eas expecting.
I came first allied and first eqaul overall with Kent- Kent won all 6 games vs a wide variety of oppoents so very well done to his FJ. He crushed Cal in the final round and so really deserved his laurels- a great result for his FJ. We ended up on same points- he had a few closer games but the extra +2 for winning each round and although I only won 5 we were on the same overall points and Bob nipping on his heels as second best Axisby a point or so. Cal was 2nd Allied (I think)
A fun comp, as usual. some outstanding tables but a couple were a bit too hard possibly- the Breakthough in the snow (I didn't get to play on it though) was pretty hard on most forces amd the Cauldron was just nasty vs tigers!
Thoughts on the army and 3E
The tankovy did better than I hoped- I was surprised not to see any German medium panzer companies (might be my army for next year). I didn't get to breakthoguh gun much but only lost the 122s once, and the entire army combined well.Tthe rata's underperformed but a few times the I moved tanks into the 16" bubble to get better shots and so waved off some of my few strikes. The game vs Noel as probably when the planes performed best although they did fail to kill the stugs they got a few infantry and a couple of werfers. The razvedki were damn handy and possibly the most useful unit.
I still find conscripts a challange, turn 1 and 2 I am always anxious as to whether I've done the right thing and it isn't hard to to start bleeding units as a couple of turns of average dice can gut a company or two. Still if massed it can throw out a lot of dice and put psychological pressure on but vs a calm opponent who knows how to focus on one unit at a time they can quickly come unstuck.
I really enjoyed the new Hens and Chicks. German players once again had to worry about their tanks' flanks rather than moving slowly back and keeping front armour to the tankovy. I'd rather need a 5 or 6 to hit from the side than no chance at all. If the Germans can keep the tanks at range they do fine but at least now you can work towards getting flank shots and they need to be on their toes.
That's my 5th win out of 9 Southcons- I never go into a comp hoping or expecting to win, rather I go in trying to make the army perform the best I can and minimise opportunities to lose platoons/companies and so make my opponent's work for every point they take off me (of course it doesn't always work out that way but that is the plan).
I had 6 good games against very good players and managed to win 5 of them so was very, very happy with the outcome. Richard put on another excellent weekend. The tables were top notch- I was happy to accept an equal best table for my Ortona table. I look forward ot catching up with the players again next year for the 10th Southcon FoW comp.
Menwhile, on Wednesday it is time for some Crusades era Impetus for a change of pace