Last night was the last tune up prior to Adepticon. Mike was there to give a final test of his Mid-War Nationals list and I was there to test out my Mid-Ware list for the "non" nationals folks. Joe chipped in and gave me a game, while Mike was on another table playing Ben (who I played in the last tourney).
Mike is ready. He has a good list, but he is still questioning decisions. I don't envy his position. He wants to make a good showing in the Natl. tournament and is second, third and forth guessing his list. I like the list. I think he does too, but he just needs the reassurance. I think he will do well!
I am pleasantly surprised by my list. I like it. Joe put down a German Grenadier list, with a pioneer platoon, 81mm mortars (4) and a Tiger-E. 4 Platoons against my 4. We played Encounter. I was attacker, but Joe rolled to go first. He put on the board his Tiger and Pioneers (they could have been Grenadiers - but it was whichever platoon did NOT have the two flamethrowers). I put down my Stewarts and Armored Rifles. He moved his Pioneers forward, as well as his Tiger. He got off a long range shot on my Stewart and bailed him (failed firepower). On my turn, the Stewart stayed bailed (this single tank would spend half the game bailed, on two separate shots from the same darn Tiger!). I was able to quickly close the gap with the remaining Stewarts on the Pioneers and quickly stopped their progress. I also swung over my CiC in the halftrack to add to the firepower. On the other side of the board, I used trees to block my ARP's advance and was able to threaten the other objective. This forced Joe to move the Tiger back on his next turn and now he was in full defensive mode. The next few turns were me advancing, shooting Pioneers and getting ARP in position. Unfortunately, two things happened:
On Turn 4 (after no reserves for either of us in turn 3), Joe rolled a 5 and 6 for reserves. Bad news for him - mortars had to come in right on top of my ARP (still in HT). Bad news for me - so did the Grenadiers. Combined with the Tiger, the slaughter started. I actually survived the first round of the massacre and got stupid. I did not dismount. After the game, Joe pointed out that I should have dismounted one turn earlier. In hindsight, I agree. But in my blaze of glory (literally because Joe flamed me with flamethrowers), I took out a mortar team and the platoon commander. Next turn - bye bye ARP. Oh, no reserves for me.
Turn 5 saw all my reserves come in and that really helped. Armored mortars moved forward and the Shermans moved towards the open position where the ARP was located. On the other side, my Stewarts had contested the other objective, which forced Joe to move his Pioneers back. That was fateful. I rolled very, very well at this point and it turned the game around. Pinning the Pioneers, Joe had to move the Tiger to contest the objective. That gave room for my Shermans to move ahead and take out the Grenadiers. Now we are both down a platoon. I killed enough Pioneers to force a platoon morale check and they ran. In the area was the CiC, who needed to hang around and let the Grenadiers run. The next turn I took care of him. The Shermans finished up the mortars, forcing a company morale check. No CiC, autofail and the game is over in turn 7. Score - 5-2 Victory.
After the game, Joe and I talked over some strategy and tactics.
1) American mobility - I did use this to my advantage. I was able to move teams into position and my Stewarts were the stars again.
2) Avoid the Tiger - I did not get sucked into a battle with the "big kitty". Now it helps that my Stewarts couldn't do squat against the Tiger. But the Stewies did exactly what I needed them to do - keep the enemy infantry engaged an dtake advantage of the 16" movement. Against the list I faced, the Stewarts become a MG platform.
3) I did not use my CiC to the fullest. I should have swung him around to help the bailed Stewart from the 1st turn. He stayed bailed until turn 3 or 4, then moved forward and got bailed again. On the other hand, the 3 shots of .50cal from the CiC's halftrack did help out!
4) Stayed in the halftracks too long - I should have pulled at least half the troops out. That would leave a passenger to fire the halftrack MGs and have ground troops to prevent the slaughter from the assaults. I would rather learn that lesson on Wednesday, than on Saturday during the tournament.
So off we go to Chicago.
My son finished up his 40k list and his team is ready to go in the 40k Team Tournament. I wish them well!!