Tuesday, 16 April 2013

FoW Doubles Tournament

    I managed to recently play in my first ever Flames of War Tournament.The Tournament was organized by Drexoll Games and was late war with one veteran player and one new player.  The vet got 1050 points and the new player got 1100 points.  If the two forces were from the same nation they could be treated as a single company for morale and reserve purposes.  Needless to say everyone took advantage of this rule.
    I didn't know about this tournament until fairly last minute and managed to find a partner and borrow some models through a friend of a friend.  My partner Mike and I were originally planning to play Germans but had trouble coming up with a satisfactory list so switched to British.  I brought Guards Armoured and he played British Paratroopers.  Our lists were the following, except the Para higher command team was replaced with something else.

I hadn't met Mike before the morning of the tournament and neither of us had played a game in a couple months so we joked about all the practice we had had coming into the tournament.

Game One was against two new players running Soviets.  A Heavy Assault Gun company with an IS 2 and 12 ISU 152's in two platoons with Rat in one of them.  The other player had Strelkovy with 2 min infantry units, 10 Valentines, 4 Su 122's, recce, and limited Sturmoviks.  They attacked us in a free for all.  The objectives on our side were in the middle and on the right fairly close together.  Their objectives were on the left and middle.  They deployed their heavy assault guns on the right the Valentines in the middle, SU 122's on the left and Infantry on both objectives.  We placed a firefly in cover watching the right flank and the other platoon hull down behing a railway embankment looking up the middle.  Both artillery batteries were behind a hill on the left with the AT guns on top of it and the two para units dug in on the objectives.  Deployment took a long time and we were behind time before the game even started.

The assault guns rolled up the right, the Valentines tried to come up the middle and got shot up by the Shermans. Their one Sturmovik that didn't get intercepted wiffed on the Sherman mob in the middle killing only one.  Our air didn't do much till the last turn when it hit the bunched up armoured cars and su 122s causing massive casualties and both platoons failed their morale checks and fled.  Time was called at that point with no one being close to taking an objective.  Our air gave us the only two platoons destroyed in the game and a score of 3-1.  This was a fairly frustrating game since none of us knew the rules that well and we only got to play 3 turns.

Game Two was against my friend Cam and his partner Amin they were also running Brit Paras and 11th Armoured, very similar lists to ours.  Game was fighting withdrawal and they "won" the roll to attack.  We dug Paras in on two of the objectives and the third had the artillery command teams contesting it as well as my 2IC.  I had one platoon of Shermans holding down the left side of the board and the other in ambush.  Amin double timed his Paras forward while Cam's Shermans moved through the town in the middle trading shots and smoke with our AT guns on the hill.  I popped my ambush on the right and drove forward to machinegun the double timing Paras in the open.  Killed almost half the unit which had lots of attachments and forced him to pull back and dig in.  We maneuvered in the middle of the board as they tried to move their tank to a position where they could assault the objective.  With the time limit looming close on turn 3 or 4 they had to try and assault the objective with the Stuart Jalopies and the remaining Shermans.  They got close to pushing us off but didn't quite succeed and we could have moved units to contest the next turn.  Man of the match was one of my UC's who was bailed 5 times in the game but never died some of the bails coming from Sherman main gun shots.  Cam and Amin were great fun to play with but they had a serious handicap having to attack us and with so little time to do it in.

Game Three was Breakthrough where we defended against Schwere Panzerjagers and Beute Panzers.  Finally a game against Germans!  We placed Paras on both sides of the deployment zone, one blocking an avenue of advance around the town and the other ready to move in to defend the objectives.  I tow hooked a couple of the 6 pounders next the objective with my command Shermans.  The germans were counting on their flank march with ten french panzers 5 flame panzers, marders and panzerfaust infantry arrive together and secure the objective.  Air killed 4 out of 5 french panzers in a platoon on the first turn.  One Sherman platoon traded shots with 3 Stugs eventually running them off.  And the second came on in a flank march to gut a French Panzer platoon and threaten the Jadpanthers.  One reserve platoon came on and assaulted the para platoon in the open killing some stands before the shermans and AT guns killed them off in the next turn.  At this point they had more platoons killed than on table and failed their company morale.  If there reserves had of come on it could have been close, but the new player didn't want to take chances with his Jagdpanthers who never even fired at the shermans.

With one loss and two wins we managed to place first overall thanks mainly to our two kills in the first game.  With the plethora of new players and what amounted to 2150 point armies there really was not enough time allotted to each game in order to finish them on time.  The mission selection for the first two games which had no reserves also made the games take longer.  It was a fun tournament well run tournament in general with terrain sheets for each table and a print off of the mission.  Every one was friendly and willing to talk out any rules issues and I think all the new players learned a lot, I know I did.