Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

All -

I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas!

It has been a great FoW year and I am so very happy to have met and made such wonderful friends playing a silly game of toy soldiers.

I look forward to the New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Campaign Update and Doubles Tournament Update

So we have moved into Round 2 of the Campaign.  If you are interested in the campaign rules, check out my previous post.

This past week, Mike went down the list for determining "initiative" which meant that I was subject to everyone else's whim.

And guess what?  My expanding territory was not even atatcked!  Turns out that Rob decided to attack Robert.  So Rob went for a para-drop.  Mike decided that since Robert wasn't there to play, that Rob would instead face me as Robert's proxy.  The deal is that if you can't make an evening, you should not be penalized with an "auto-loss."  Not sure how Rob was feeling about that...

So we had US Paras dropping on top of...  US Paras.  Both Rob and I fielded a list out of Nuts!  I went with 2 para platoons, para LMGs attached into those platoons, TDs (Hellcats), glider arty, and 2 sections of .50cal jeeps.  I also upgraded to Toccoa Sergeants and bought "Shifty" Powers.  Rob went with 4 para platoons, AT guns and arty.  We fought the Airborne Assault mission out of the new Normandy Battles.

No pictures (again?!?!!).  The game went fairly quickly as I deployed the 2 para platoons and the recee jeeps on the board.  I did have to shift one of the para platoons to be able to cover the two objectives that were left (attacker pulls one of the two he places).  Rob slowly moved in, waiting on his reserves to arrive.  So we got to Turn 3 really quickly.  Bottom of 3 Night is still in effect.  Top of 4 Night stays in effect and Rob now is closing the gap very quickly.  I need night to lift!!  Bottom of 4 I get my wish.  And the timing was very bad for Rob.  I ran the arty, but at the cost of my 4 jeeps!  You see, I killed all but a gun and the commander and lost 2 recee jeeps in the process when Rob shifted his paras and got shots on the jeeps.  So with just the gun and the commander, I assaulted with two jeeps.  Got through DF just fine.  So two swings with Vet and...  I missed two.  He doesn't have a hit, so no Motivation test needed.  Two swings with trained...  and two hits.  Damn!

Elsewhere I am gutting paras in the open with LMGs and the TDs had come on to blast .50cals into the same para unit.  After that turn, Rob decided to "pull back" and withdraw from the mission.  This is allowed after Turn 4 in any mission that we are playing for the Campaign.  So Robert keeps his territory with the loss of 100 points.  Not bad...  Rob got a bit of a bloodier nose from the fight.

Doubles Tournament

This past Saturday, Mike hosted a tournament at The Last Square.  The event was MW Doubles at 1,165 per Company - with the ability for you to mix nations as long as they are both Allies or both Axis.  For those of you wondering, Mike did that point level because that is the cost of 3 Tigers.  As a 10th team, he played 6 Tigers.

I partnered with Joe.  He ran Mixed Tankovy with Lees, Stuarts, T-26s and BT-"whatevers" for the points.  Lots of Soviet Tanks.  Oh yeah, Conscript Soviet Tanks.  I ran US Armored Rifles with 2 ARP, M10s, Scotts and Armored Mortars.

Round 1 we ended up playing 6 Tigers.  Thanks Mike!  In a twist, Round 1 was Free For All.  Basically, Joe's 1,165 were almost useless since the best the Lees could do was bail on the side (no long barrels).  But what Joe did was to litter the objectives with a ton of tanks to keep the Tigers from moving in certain places.  The M10s got a Tiger, but couldn't kill the other one.  The ARP did that and we claimed an objective.  Mike was 2-2-2 across the back and he couldn't get over to the objective in time.  Plus we had the other side also locked down with ARP.

Round 2, we played Chriss Fretts and Andrew Hobson from Indy.  Great guys and a game that I will remember for a very, very long time!  We played Breakthrough and Joe and I attacked Chris' US Tanks (Stuarts, Lees, armored recee) and Andrew's Brit Paras.  Bloody, swarming battle that came down to the bitter end.  Joe and I broke Chris' company and took them 6-1.  But the score does not at all describe the closeness of the game.

Round 3 was against Robert and Robert in Fighting Withdrawal.  Robert #1 had Soviet Strelk horde with AT guns and recee, while Robert #2 had US Tanks with Lees, Stuarts (AGAIN!?!?!!?), 105s, Scotts and SP arty.  While I was the main attack force in Round 1, Joe was the main attack force in Round 2.  My job was to kill Lees and the M10s did that perfectly.  Joe's job was to line up and assault Strelk.  Which he did perfectly.  In the end, we had the objective on Turn 5 and won.  But even if we lost the objective, we were going to get both guys to Company Morale rolls the next turn.  5-2 to us.

So we ended up 5-2, 6-1 and 5-2.  With some scoring adjustments (you got extra points for wins and lost points for losing 1iC, 2iC and any warriors), we came in 2nd place behind some of the Indy guys.  So it was Gary's team in 1st, we were 2nd, Joe Lewis' team was 3rd and Chris / Andrew were 4th.  Not bad company!!

But most importantly, I had a blast with my friend Joe!  We played well together and our lists allowed us to carry the other guy when needed - me in Round 1 and Joe in Round 3.  THAT is what a doubles tournament is all about!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LW Campaign in the US Midwest!! Who knew??

New Campaign Underway!

After getting a little burned out with just playing week after week of "decide and era, build a list and drop dice", Mike decided to take matters into his own hands again.  And that is when he came up with the idea for a campaign set in the Midwest USA.

Basically, think of this as a game of Risk.  Everyone that wanted to join the campaign was given two territories - a rural and expansive territory and a "capital."  So with 10 players, we took a map and went about splitting up Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

But that wasn't enough...

Mike also decided that we would be given a "bank account" of 3,500 points to use in battle in Late War.  Now a single battle could only go to 1,780 points.  You could choose to use less if you wanted.  And when you lost a vehicle, you lost the points.  When you lost a gun, you lost a point.  When you lost an infantry platoon, you lost the points.  If a vehicle platoon runs from the table, you only "lost" what was left behind (i.e. destroyed vehicles).  If a platoon of infantry runs, you lose 50% of the points.  You lose more if you had 3 or fewer stands.  Of course, if the entire platoon is destroyed you lose all the points.  And for aircraft, you only have 10 total planes.  If two get shot down in a single attack, you now have 8 total.  So air will be at a premium and expect your bank account to go down.

But if you take a territory, you earn 250 points.  If you take a capital, you get 500 points.  So you are rewarded if you attack!

Players had to choose a nation and cannot change at all.  We also decided that Canadians will not be considered British, rather they are their own nation.  In addition, we can only use books or PDFs that are published and approved by BF.  I, of course, went with U S of A baby!!  American, F@#* Yeah!!

As to the map itself, Mike also rules that if you are on Lake Michigan or Superior, you can amphibious assault from the lake into another territory.  Now you don't have to have a list that is "beach assault" and we are not running the "beach assault" mission, but it does allow you to traverse the map quickly.  He also ruled that you can paradrop on any other territory on the map - provided you have access to a para list.  And for our campaign, that means Soviets and Canadians do not have paras.  As a note on that, this isn't a historical argument but rather a list issue in FoW.

Without further ado, here is the map after Round 1: (although two players have yet to complete Round 1)

I was given Milwaukee (USA) and the area surrounding the city (green in the lower right).  CJ (Canadians) is to the west in Madison, Patrick (Germans) is to the north in Green Bay.  Rob (USA) is up in the UP of Michigan with Mike (German) to his south in Wausau.  Joe (British) is hanging out in Iowa, with Robert (Soviet) to his north in Rochester, MN.  Ben (German) is in Minneapolis area, Kevin (USA) to his north in Duluth, with Pickle (his last name!) in Eau Claire, WI (Germans) and bodering almost everyone on the map.

To start Round One, Mike picked three players who could start the game by declaring their attack.  If you were attacked, you don't get to pick a battle - you are now "spoken for."  He will rotate this list throughout the campaign so everyone gets an equal chance.  I was able to go second and in a quirk of map making, Mike had created an open territory in Illinois with a capital in Rockford.  Well I had to go and liberate my Illinois Brothers!  But I think someone forgot to tell Illinois that they needed liberation.  To counter my move, CJ decided to also invade Illinois.  That led Mike to declare that CJ and I will play Encounter!  Mike decided to paradrop on Rockford for the easy points.  But wait!!  Joe also decided to paradrop on Rockford!  Pickle decided to invade Minnesota and took on Ben.  Patrick and I have a peace pact and he decided to attack Rob to the north!  So four games all happening at the same time!

In my game of Encounter, I went with a 6 platoon Cav Recon list.  To be completly fair, CJ wanted a short game and wanted to experience the TD stuff.  Okaaaaaaaaay - I can do that!  I deployed Jackson Sec Section, Towed Sec Section, 2 ID infantry.  Chafees, and the two recee platoons were in Reserve.  In a brilliant move, CJ decided to actually keep the high point totals off the board because he thought he would be wiped out.  So he put 25pdrs, a Sherman platoon with 1 Firefly, Stuart Recce platoon and an infantry platoon on the board.  His reserves were two Sherman platoons, an infantry platoon and an AA Crusader platoon that was split off from the HQ.  He also got some special hero in a tank.

I won't give a full AAR, but basically the Shermans were dead Turn 1 before he even had a chance to play by virtue of my Towed TDs popping within 16".  My zooks stayed in the halftracks and lit up the infantry platoon.  The Jackson Sec Section stayed on the board and wiped the 25pdr command stand, staff team and the battery command team.  The 2 ID dug in on one of my objectives.  Turn 2 saw me kill the hero, two 25pdr (Jacksons popped) and the Stuarts.  CJ passed the platoon morale.  Now in his shooting over the first two turns, he did get 3 guns and a Jackson.  Turn 3 saw my Chaffees arrive from Reserve in the perfect spot and move to assault the infantry platoon.  But the Jacksons completely destroyed the 25pdrs, and with CJ below half and having lost the 1iC, the game was over.

What was "sad" is that I told CJ I wouldn't go completely crazy with the TDs - meaning I did not pop the Jacksons, assault the guns and run the platoon in Turn 1, which would have placed me on the objective and ended the game because he could not have moved over quick enough.  And that, my friends, sums up a big issue with the TDs.  The infamous Turn 1 win without the other guy really getting a chance.

To that end, I do want to thank BF for opening the official dialog on the subject of TDs!

In the other games, Mike fought to a bloody victory over Joe; Pickle took out Ben and Patrick took out Rob's US Paras.

I will keep folks updated as the campaign progresses!

Monday, October 22, 2012

RockCon Update, Fall-In Preview!

New proclamation:

No More Proclamations.

Another month goes by with a single post.  Wow.  So here is my FoW update to cover the last 4 to six weeks:

This past weekend was RockCon, which is a mid-sized convention held in Rockford, IL.  My LGS is a big supporter, so the guys try to either run events, participate in events or just help out where and when we can.  This year, Joe ran a Bulge game (not a tournament) on Friday night and a 1,780 LW Normandy Themed Tournament on Saturday.  Let me start with Friday.

If you want details, you can see the details at FoW forums under the Conventions Thread.  Basically, the Allies got 1,000 points and the Germans got 2,000.  However, if anyone ran a list out of the three Bulge books, then you got an extra 100 points.  So I created three lists that all saw the table at 1,100.  They were a 2nd Cav Recon list, a 2 ID list and a Combat Engineer list.  We ended up having a Ranger list from Normandy (Igor from Poland was in the house again this year!!), a Para list from Nuts! and Armored Rifles.  We went up against 12,000+ points of German nasties!  The boards were laid out in a giant "H" shape, with each verticle being 24' long and the connector part being 6' long.  Bastogne was located in the vertical connector - right in the middle.  So the Germans could come on at any of the 4 "ends" of the H shape.  Roads were normal, off road was slow going and concealed (very light woods) but did not block LoS.  There were also 4 random events for each section of the ends and the middle connector.  Here is a map:

Bastogne is Orange and the grey boxes were towns along the way.  Based on a random event, my 2nd Cav Recon popped up in the lower left corner of the map above - facing Panthers, Stugs, Grens - Oh My!  Rangers were in the upper left, Engineers popped on the upper right section and Rifles in the lower right.  2 ID was deployed at the start of the game split between the two towns to the left and right of Bastogne.  And of course, our Paras were defending Bastogne!!

After 4+ hours of bloodbath, my Cav Recon were destroyed, but they fought valiantly and took two German companies with them - one by destruction and the other by "no way in heck we are getting to Bastogne so we run!!"  All told, 1,100 Cav Recon points destroyed 2 Panther Platoons of 4 Panthers, 1 Panther Platoon of 3 Panthers, 1 StuG Platoon with 3 StuGs and a Panther 1iC - with that kill coming from a M8 Greyhound!!  But my Jacksons, Towed TDs, 2 Recon Patrols, 2 ID platoon and another M10 TD platoon from the 2 ID company down the road all met a glorious end for the Allies!  The other areas were just as bloody, but the Germans did make it much further down the road than in my sector.  However, in the end Bastogne held as the Germans forces that finally got there were so depleted that they could not move the Paras!

It was a great time and the second time in three years Joe has run this game.  It takes a lot of work and prep.  I do think the next time we run it, we will make movement a little easier as the Germans have a tough time getting down the roads.

Saturday saw 1,780 in LW Normandy - you could only field lists out of Turning Tide and Earth & Steel.  I ran the Cromwell 7th AD list - yes, not TFA!  24 players started the day ready to fight.  I started the day going up against James (Chaos45) and his very good list of CT guns, arty and grens with CV Marders, 8-Rads and StuGs.  James ended up spanking me 6-1 and was a great sport because for a bit he ended up playing against himself as work called and had issues.  So after the game, I talked to Joe and relegated myself to the bottom and helped teach some newer players.  Plus I kept getting calls from work and it was not fair to my opponents.  So I had a fun game with Nick, who was playing a Panzer IV company.  Congrats to Panzer Dan for the victory and to all the other players.  It was great to see everyone.

So now I can prepare for the upcoming Fall-In Doubles Tournament and a MW Double Tournament in Madison next month!

I am also finishing up some long awaited painting chores.  I am close to getting 8 Hellcats, 4 Jacksons, 2 M10s, 6 M8 Greyhounds, 2 Oddballs, 4 Jumbos, 5 Easy Eights, 4 M4A3 lates and 2 Abrams Warriors done and off the table!  Whew...  I am now in the hated "painting treads" part as I choose to paint the treads on the models.  Yes, I know...  Yes, I know...

I will also be finishing up some buildings and I will be placing an order for more Sentinel buildings now that they have released the Row Houses.  And yes, the church will be mine too!

And I also used my Lucage from Luke Melia on Saturday (although we played them as hedges and not straight up Bocage).  They looked great and we got a lot of compliments!

Friday, September 14, 2012

LW List Discussion - Cav Recon in DC

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a certain love for all things Tank Destroyer.  Now this post is not about my feelings over the rules and the power that TDs and multiple TDs bring to the game.  That is a different topic and I am not using this post to discuss that topic.  This post is about list construction using the rules as they exist today.

So with that in mind, here we go!

The key element to maximizing the power of the TDs is to bring more than one platoon to the table.  There are many options here:  Task Force A in Turning Tide, Rangers in Turning Tide (I believe), TD Company in Blood, Guts & Glory, Rifle Company in Devil's Charge and Cav Recon in Devil's Charge.  I might have missed one or two, but you get the idea.  Now if you want a discussion on TFA, look in my archives to March of 2012 and read those posts because...

Right now, my list is Cav Recon.

When BG&G came out, I was all over the Tank Destroyer Company.  You can build a great list using that force - no doubt.  But when DC came out, a friend let me on to the Cav Recon list as a possibility.  After looking into the details, I am convinced this is a great list.

Rather than going through my thoughts, I will simply show the list and discuss each platoon and the reasoning around my choice.  And it will be done with an eye towards tournament play.

Here is a solid iteration of the Cav Recon Company from DC:

Let's start with the "core" of the list, which are the Combat Platoons.  You have to bring two platoons, just like almost every list in the game.  To maximize the points in support, choose the smallest platoons possible.  So with a single patrol in each platoon and the HQ, you have spent 265 points.  That leaves 1,515 out of 1,780 yet to spend.  And this is a huge benefit!  For the math fans out there, I have just spent 15% of my total points to fill out the diagram of what I have to bring.  Amazing!  And this is a key for building a nasty, tournament worthy list.

Next are the TDs.  You have the ability to bring two platoons of TDs with this list.  To bring anything other than two is just crazy talk!  So which do you bring?  One word - Jacksons.  I love the M10s and M18s, but you have to bring M36 Jacksons.  AT 14 is necessary in LW.  Plus you get Detroit's Finest and you get Front Armor of 4.  One thing that killed me in a game at LW Nats was Ed Harding's AA guns.  Those are nasty against Hellcats.  In fact, more Hellcats were killed by AA than by Panzer IVs in that game.  So Jacksons get a better gun, 14" movement and enough armor to ward off machine gun fire, HMGs, .50cals (think Blue on Blue) and some AA.  Do you go Vet or Trained?  The answer depends on points and play style.  Personally, I am going Vet.  Why?  Well, you will whiff on some shots - trust me.  So what is the best defense in that situation?  Easy - don't get hit with the shots coming back!  Assuming you are in terrain, you will be 5+ to hit.  And that is better than 4!  8 shots coming back will hit you between two and three times at Vet.  At Trained, you are getting hit four times.  You want Vet.

Now the second TD platoon will be Towed, since that is all that is offered in the diagram.  But fear not!  You must add in the bazzokas and the halftracks to make a mobile unit.  Plus, with 5 infantry stands (4 being bazookas) that are also recon running around the board, this is too good to pass up.  You need to go after infantry - .50cal them to death.  Armor - guns and bazookas to clean up the mess via shooting and assaults.  And you can leave the guns behind if necessary and take the infantry and tracks to go raise hell on the table! Now, Vet or Trained?  I still like Vet here because I need the Vet roll on skill checks.  Lift GtG with bazookas?  Yes, with a 3+.  Need to hit in assaults?  Yes, with a 3+.  So make the investment in Vet.

So we are now at 4 platoons and have chewed up 1,105 points.  Yes, the TDs are expensive but well worth it.  What do we do next?

Grab an infantry platoon.  You can choose Vet or Trained Rifles, Trained ARP or Vet Engineers.  Now I love Engineers.  I use them in my TFA list and they work really well, provided you jack them up with the bazookas and supply trucks.  With TFA, you can even add a Sherman Dozer, but not here.  The knee jerk is to go with the Trained ARP.  Now this would work and can work in this list if you need points, but the sleeper is the Vet Rifle Platoon (2 ID).  Take that and either go SMG for all or go with max bazookas.  Both have their place.  But remember that you will get the 2 ID benefit of Moving At The Double through Difficult Terrain.  Yes, 16" of Vet, nasty, bazooka laden Riflemen goodness!  This will help when you have to attack an Infantry Company or another Mech list.

Next, you need one more trick up your sleeve.  You need smoke.  It would also help to have more armor.  And fast armor at that.  So go grab Chaffees!!  Your 6th platoon will be 5 Chaffees.  Now I know they cost about the same as a Sherman.  But the real value with the Chaffees is that they come from a different box in the force diagram.  They are not a Tank Platoon, they are a Light Tank Platoon.  And you can get this in the Cav Recon list while still getting two TD platoons.  So you buy a Stuart with a Sherman gun.  And with Stabilizers...  and with Smoke...  This is the final piece.  What you will do is smoke those units that did not die from TD shots.  Or use them to get side shots on high armor targets, like Panthers...

And with the 40pts you have left, go grab an AOP.  Use it to prevent an ambush right where you don't want it to appear.

And that does it!  You have a 1,780 point LW list that:

  • Has exceptional AT capabilites
  • Huge amount of Recon
  • Great Ambushes
  • Strong infantry
  • Supreme mobility with Recon Moves and fast armor (the slowest tank is 14")

And that makes for a killer list...

Friday, August 24, 2012

20 Questions - everyone else is doing it!

I see on several blogs that folks are posting answers to 20 Questions.  So, having the need to be a "cool kid", I thought I would do the same.  Here they are:

Favorite Wargaming period?
WW2.  It is really the only period that I wargame with miniatures.

Next period, money no object?
I would license the FoW rules and create books and models for Cold War “What If” series.

Favorite 5 films?
My favorites are:

The Godfather
Raiders of the Lost Arc
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Austin Powers

Favorite 5 TV series?
The Sopranos
The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show (really)
The Big Bang Theory
Star Trek (original – duh!)
Band of Brothers

Favorite book and author?
Book: Dune, Frank Herbert
Author: W.E.B. Griffin

Greatest General? (Can’t count yourself)
Omar Bradley, US Army

Favorite Wargaming rules?
Flames of War, Battlefront Studios

Favorite sport and team?
Sport: Golf
Team: Michigan State University Spartans!
Single Team: US Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team, 1980

If you had an “only use once” time machine, when and where would you go?
Romantic: Go back to the day I met my wife and relive it.
Historical: Go back to Philadelphia, 1776 and ask “can you clarify this part and this part…”
Religious: Go back to the Middle East and watch…

My real answer: Go back and play the stock market, already knowing what will happen.  I will make billions…  mua mua mua…

Last meal on Death Row?
One that has a key in it that will let me get the heck out of Dodge before the morning…

Fantasy relationship and why?
Darth Vader.  I want him to tell me he is my father and he wants to rule the galaxy together.  That way I can say “Sounds good Dad, let’s go!!”

If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Brad Pitt.  Duh.

Favorite comic superhero?
Superman.  Too easy and vanilla, but come on!  He’s Superman!!

Favorite military quote?

“I want to kill some naaaahtzies” – Inglorious Basterds
“What’s this ‘we s%@t’ White Man…” – Tonto, upon being surrounded by 10,000 native Americans with The Lone Ranger

“Always look on the bright side of life!” – Crucifixion, somewhere around 30 AD.

Historical destination to visit?
Omaha Beach.  Been twice.

Biggest Wargaming regret?

Saying yes to a demo game of Flames of War…

Favorite fantasy job?
I am weird – I like the one I have pretty well!

Favorite band?
Have to answer by eras / genres:

Simple Minds, The Who, U2, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, Green Day

Favorite wargaming moment?
Any moment that I have played with my son!

What upsets you?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Trying to get back in the blogging groove

So last week, I went back into my business calendar (diary for you Commonwealth types) and realized the following:

I have been on the road each week since July 8th.  Seriously?!?!?!  Between work and play, it has been a rough stretch.  I don't travel as a part of regular business, other than attending various meetings and conferences.  I am not in sales, so this was a stretch "for the records."

And I wondered why I had not posted in a while...

I will be adjusting my painting queue to reflect some changes shortly.  But here is what is on the table right now:

I have 8 Hellcats, 2 M10s, 4 Jacksons, 5 Jumbos, 5 Easy Eights, 5 M4A3 (lates), 6 M8 Armored Cars, 4 M20 Utility vehicles, 2 Oddball Objectives all primed and waiting painting.  Funny thing is that the crews for all of these are basically finished.

4 Towed TD Guns based and awaiting finishing touches.

22 T-34s that need decals.

12 Stewarts that need decals.

A starter box of Bolt Action Brit Paras primed.

Bolt Action (28mm) Cromwell and Sherman primed (except issue with turret on the Sherman).

Patton Warrior and Abrams (two tanks) primed.

And boxes / blisters waiting to be painted including Early War stuff, 8 Brit 25 pdrs, etc.

And with that, I have started to unload some of my stuff...

Yes, I sold one of my Oddball objectives - this one was from Historicon.  I saw that David Vigor sold one of his on eBay for $255!!  Whhhoooaaaatttt??  So with a lot of encouragement from my wife, I posted the only Oddball that was still in the blister and it sold for $128.  Wow.

I then decided to unload some other items in the consignment area of my FLGS.  So I unloaded 12 Halftracks that were primed, basecoated and had the panels shaded.  They were from Command Decision and didn't look right on the table.  I also unloaded my Adepticon bag from Battlefoam - the one you got for being the first 500 to register.  I also unloaded my BF plastic Shermans and a box of Brits Paras.  Yes, I decided that there was no way I would ever paint another Para Company, so off they went.  Hey, I only held on to the box for 18 months!!

And what did I do in return??

Bought more crap.

I decided to buy the US Rifle Company (Winter) and do winter bases.  That meant I purchased the Woodland Scenics snow and paste stuff.  BTW - if you want a really good tutorial on winter basing, check out YouTube and watch the Woodland Scenics Snow 10 minute video.  It is geared towards model railroading, but it will work on bases.  I am going to try it first on my Towed TD platoon to see how they look.

So this weekend I was able to get some priming in and assembled the Bolt Action tanks.  It will be a few more weeks before I get another chance to paint.  That is too bad because I do enjoy just sitting, painting and letting all the pressure of work just melt away.


I hope others are not as crazy as I am with respect to selling crap, then buying more crap.  But I doubt it!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Massive update and a little boring... (nice title!)

Here we are in August and I am very far behind on my updates...

Historicon -

What can I say?  It was a blast.  Those of you who read the WWPD forum know of my "less than stellar" time with Delta Airlines and my luggage.  So I was the "best dressed" for the I-95 Tournament!!

I-95 Warmup:

I was "lucky" and drew Jon Cleaves as my first opponent.  6-1 Jon.  I then went against John Baber / Dirty John from WWPD and took him 5-2.  My last game saw me win 6-1, which put me in the bottom third for the tournament.  Ah yes, if I only had not faced Cleaves...

MW Nats:

By the time the tournament started on Friday, I had my luggage and was ready to go.  Too bad my gaming was not with me.

Game 1:
First round I drew David Vigor.  He brought Strelk horde and the mission was Encounter.  We had a bloody fight that saw me almost run his KV-1s, but the Kommisar stepped in and "motivated" the last tank to hang around.  I shot up his Strelk pretty well, but I learned about the MW Bi-Plane from Hell that the Soviets get.  Rockets on a Bi-Plane?!?!?!  Well, those tore up my Shermans and M10s pretty good.  Although time was called, David was going to get the win the next turn.  So I gave him the 6-1 win.

Total VPs so far: 1

Game 2:
I drew a great newer player in Greg from NY / NJ.  He is studying to be a dentist, after becoming a sceintist and realizing that wasn't his calling.  I asked if he watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to many times as a kid...  Anyway, he brought Staghound horde.  I totaly udnerestimated the list.  We rolled Cauldron and I defended.  I was soooooooo sure I would get this game.  Bad tactics on my part saw my M10 ambush whiff, my Shermans get destroyed by 25pdrs and 6pdrs and my M10s not survive the return fire.  Company Morale check already???  Without Reserves on the board, the answer was yes and I failed.  6-1 to Greg!

Total VPs so far: 2

Game 3:
Played Shawn Morris (The Terrain Guy) in No Retreat.  He was infantry, so we rolled to see who would win the game.  He got to defend, so he won the roll.  This turned out to be closer than I ever imagined it could be, but in the end he got me 5-2.  If I defend, I get him 6-1 ro 5-2.  Oh well.

Total VPs so far: 4

After Day 1, I am literally tied for last!  The only way I can go is up!!

Day 2:

Game 4:
Played Chris in Hasty Assault.  I defended and took him 6-1.  The game was closer and planes again were my nemesis...  He brought StugS, Marders and Grens (I won the roll to defend).

Total VPs so far: 10 (will get a +1 later for each win)

Game 5:
Greg Part 2!  Yes, we played again.  This time it was Surrounded.  It was fun, bloody and brutal.  In the end, I pulled out the 4-3 win...

Total VPs so far: 14 (will get +2 for 2 wins...)

Game 6:
Free-For-All vs. Joe Metz's Grens.  Tigers and Marders.  I got aggressive, lost the Shermans and M10s, then we prepared for a slugfest.  Realizing that this would be bloody and long, we shook on a 4-3 to him and got a beer.

Total VPs: 17 +2 for 19 total.  And after my start, I was happy to get that!  In the end, I placed near the top of the lower third or top of the lower quarter.  But going from tied for last did make me feel better.

What's new:

I did pick up some Bolt Action 28mm WW2 guys.  Played a demo game and had a blast.  So Brit Paras, Cromwell, US Infantry and a Sherman are on the table!

Very happy to get Devil's Charge.  Lists are very strong!

That's about it for now.  Lots of travel for business recently and it will slow down in the next week or so...

Friday, July 6, 2012

US MW Nats List

Since the lists had to be turned in to Joe Krone two weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and post the list.

Here it is...

US Rifles.

I thought a lot about this list and about other lists in MW.  Outside of US Armored Rifles, my MW lists are confined to US Armor and Brit Paras (Italy).

So how did I get here?

Armored Rifles were easy to consider.  Great list, great mobility and great integrated AT (if you buy the zooks).  Add in Shermans and US TDs (a MUST have!!) and you have great punching ability that can defend.

Brit Paras - thought about it, but my problem in previous games was the lack of mobility and armor support.  Yes, you can get armor but 3 vehicle armor platoons are just too fragile.  So I threw this guys out of consideration.

US Rifles - the list above and one variant that I ran in my last tournament (and won!!  first time!!) were also considered.  V3 brought out some goodies for infantry, the biggest was driving off armored assaults with two "bad things happening" in Defensive Fire.  You get a hit with a 'zook and bad things are going to happen!

Tankovy - ahh, the 'ole stand by.  In MW, Hen and Chicks has not yet been point adjusted, so you could have some fun.  But at 1,625, you don't have the full power of the Soviet lists.  The only list I considered had 10 T-34s, 10 Lend Lease Stewies, 3 SU-85s and 3 BT-64 (recon).  I still like that list.  If I were to run an armored company, I would do this one.  Fearless Trained and they can move and shoot.  But see the earlier comment about assaulting with armor and it is even worse for Soviets.  10 vehicles (trained no less) closing in on a platoon with 3 bazookas are not favorable odds.

Since I don't run Germans, it came down to ARP or Rifles.  That left me with one question:

Do I want to attack infantry or defend against mech?  Bluntly, do I want to attack my Rifle list or defend against my ARP list?  I chose to defend.  And the other simple truth is that I am not that good at running ARP.  Yes, they are awesome.  But they need to be in the right hands.

The easiest part about this decision?

USA.  Not jingoistic here - in terms of game play for MW, getting 4 Shermans and 4 TDs on the table is too good to pass up.  Way to good to pass up!  I have an ambush?  Take the easy way - ambush teh Shermans and the TDs already have the TD ambush.  Bring it.  Even against the tankovy horde, I am hitting on 2+ or 3+.  8 Shermans shots get 4-6 hits and 8 TD shots get the same.  The horde will be shredded and will not have enough strength to assault infantry.  So I am feeling good about that situation.

The "killer" list?

German Panzergrens with Remer.  That is the one that I fear and that I think is even stronger that ARP.  Remer is that good!  Basically, the list has Remer, 2 PGren platoons, Nebs, maybe recon and two platoons of armor (Panzer IIIs / IVs).  Yes, you could even go with a platoon on Panzer IIIs and a Tiger.  Either way, that is a beast of a list.  Up against my list, it will all depend on mission, terrain and players.  If I get them in FW, I will feel a little better.  Breakthrough?  uggh.  Surrounded?  I might just see if I could get a 2-5 before the game starts and head to the bar!

So if you are going to Historicon, be sure to say hi!  I will be the pasty skinned guy / baby seal from Wisconsin...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Therapist said... It is ok to criticize Battlefront

For those of you who don't hang out on the FoW forum or the WWPD Forum, here is a post I made earlier:

This has been bugging me a bit, so I thought I would just come out with it and release my deep breath when done. I am not trying to be flippant either - I have struggled with this one. So I have finally gotten to a spot where I can say:

It is ok to criticize Battlefront.

Let that sink in for a minute. I am big with the "everyone has a vote" and "my beliefs do not require you to believe" view of the world.

But like my favorite sports teams, I can be a fan and still lament poor trades, poor play and still live and die by the results! And I will still wear the jersey / kit and I will still celebrate the big win over the biggest rival.

And this leads me to my riff on BF:

I love you guys! I like the models, the rules, the books - heck everything! I was giddy when I received my V3 rulebook, I was excited the first time Phil chimed in on one of my forum posts and I was really excited when I played my first tournament. But like my sports team above, I can chime in with what I see are issues / problems with the books, rules, business model, etc. It doesn't make me right and this is not about being right. It is just about making a better game - but still being polite about it.

• There are problems with EW. I believe those problems to be based on points. I just don't understand from a game mechanic that an MG gun / infantry team can cost about the same as a vehicle with a MG. Same price, but I get armor and a 12" to 16" inch move? Really? Others like to point to the BAR issue as a problem with EW, but hey - a mistake was made and fixed. Did they go too far? Maybe. And yes, I have 20+ BAR vehicles on my table to be painted that I just can't get motivated to finish.

• The plastic Sherman from Actung! is bad. Really bad. Not sure that the fix is here, but there are other options for the beginner that will take away from BF. I hope they get this right...

• I don't like the point differences between Turning Tide, V3 Forces, BGG and the quick look at DC that I got last Friday at my FLGS. Having experienced other game systems and their model of "the newest list is always the strongest" (some call it Codex Creep) I have to say that I can understand people having this view with respect to BF. I will admit to wanting to give BF the benefit of the doubt here, but right now things are just a bit off. I was really angry with the point cost of a Sherman vs. Panzer IV in V3 Forces, then only to see the cost of a base Sherman go down in BGG. And there was just a handful of weeks between the two releases!

• Please, ambushing PSV is plain dumb. I have read all the posts and threads on this subject, but come on! Recon cruises down a road only to have wire pop up behind them on the same road. No amount of "historical info" will change my mind. This is a game mechanic that is simply wrong.

• LW war is headed towards EW right now. The split into EW / MW / LW is arbitrary from BF. There is no vodoo here or special reasons. It just helps the game mechanic. But as we progress later into '44 and '45, the points will get completely out of whack. If they don't, then it just means that the list that is fielded from the latest point in the war will be the strongest.

• It is a game, not a recreation of history. Some decisions will need to be made based on the game over history. See PSV ambush above as an example. So vehicles found themselves surprised in a mine field. So what? Saying that an ambushed PSV recreates this is dumb. A minefield didn't always sprout up in the perfect spot everytime. Arguing over stats and historical accuracy is also interesting. I am sure that somewhere in history, a 37mm gun blew a track off of a Tiger or Panther and immobilized it. Does that mean that a 37mm gun in LW should have the ability to bail a tank? Nope. Poor game mechanic if it did. So this is a game that represents history or potential history. Sometimes it seems like we all get a bit caught up in the history argument and forget that we play with toy soldiers.

• Finally, this is a business for BF. Making a game that is fun is good business. Promoting the hobby and the game itself is good business. Not alienating the FLGS is good business. Creating a fair game to play is good business. What is not good business is forgetting that the hobby is expensive. On this point I am candid - I can afford all the toy soldiers and books that I want. I am lucky and blessed. But I never assume everyone else is in the same boat. I see young players who save money and buy 1 Panther at a time. I see young professionals that have taken 6 months to purchase two platoons due to life issues, financial constraints and time. I am concerned about "compilations" and what it means to this game and BF. It is not good business to render LW Eastern Front books "useless in tournaments" a mere 12 months after publication. It is not good business to make my list from D-Day simply not competitive with later book releases. What do you say to the poor person that saved and invested time into the hobby, just to make the list they loved not a viable list for a tournament? I know tournaments shouldn't rule the game - really I do! But do consider this for a moment – on average, tournament players will spend more money in the hobby than non-tournament players. Can’t we have a game that works for both? My fun in tournaments is meeting new people and having fun. But if I travel to Historicon to play in the tournament, I would like to think that my list has a fair chance. And right now my CV list for US Armor in Turning Tide is nowhere near as good as BGG. Disagree? Ok, then why in a game that is points based can my 5 CV Shermans from Turning Tide cost me 450 points and in BGG they cost me 415? Same era here. Let's make it worse, take my BGG Shermans and give them an additional 2" move. Now my 5 CV BGG Shermans cost 440, still cheaper than Turning Tide and they move further! Yes, the equipment got better later in the war. But in the game mechanic, we are in the same era and we are a points based game. The same vehicle with better stats should not be cheaper in the same era!

So forgive me, but like my beloved Chicago Cubs, I can root for them and still complain and criticize their horrid pitching and hitting. And I can complain about Michigan State and Northwestern (alma maters) when they lose a game. But I still bleed for those teams and I want to see them win.

I want BF to succeed just like I want my team to win. But I just see some things that I would love to see improved. And if I offended anyone, it was by no means intentional.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wow - No June Post!!

Holy cow!  A whole month went by and I had no post.  I guess I should put an update out there!

I am in the process of completing my MW Nats Historicon list.  I already submitted the list to Joe Krone, but I needed to paint up some units to fill out the list.  Other than a few basing options, I am good to go!!

I am fielding a US Rifle MW list.  It was really tough, since I thought long and hard about Armored Rifles.  But in the end, Rifles are the winner.

Here are my thoughts regarding US Rifles and infantry in general in FoW:

  1. Battlefront is doing everything they can to move away from "tank fest."  One example is the change in V3 for repelling an armored assault.  If I just get two "bad things" to happen to the assaulting armor platoon in Defensive Fire, then the assault stops.  Think about 5 tanks assaulting US Armored Rifles. I have 5 bazookas that can shoot over friendly teams at vehicles.  Assume I get all 5 in the 8" bubble.  5 shots needing 4+ to stop the assault.  Done.  Say you pin me, now I need 5+ on 5 shots.  You will only get by me 55% of the time (rough math).  Say you are Soviet.  Sweet!  Now I need a base of 3+ in LW and 2+ in MW!  And you have 10 targets, which will bring in a much larger bubble.
  2. Gun saves.  As long as my guns stay silent, they are GtG and get the 3+ save.  At some point, you will have to get closer than 24" and the guns will open up.
  3. In Devil's Charge (saw the preview copy on Friday), you can replace one infantry stand with a bazooka in each squad.  Basic Rifle Platoon is 9 infantry stands (three squads), command stand and a bazooka.  Now I can have 6 infantry stands, command stand and 4 bazookas.  I can also combat attach HMG platoons (each with two bazookas if you upgrade) and a Weapons platoon.  So add 2 HMGs to each platoon and another bazooka.  And don't underestimate the power of automatic rifles...
  4. I can take TDs as support.  My MW list has Shermans and M10s.  In MW, these are beasts.  Yes, they are priced like beasts, but I will be defending against most everything.  Give me an ambush and then it gets awesome...
  5. US Rifle Platoon Commanders can call in arty.  Yes, they could always do this before.  Again, don't underestimate the power of this national rule.

The good news is that all US lists are feeling the love right now.  The bad news is that my Turning Tide book is done for...

For competitive play, all US lists will come from BGG and DC.  Time will tell what Nuts! has in store for the US.

And to all going to Historicon - please, be sure to say "hi" to me!  James / Chairborne was awesome at Adepticon.  He just comes up to me and says "Are you Webgriffin?"  We get to talking and even have dinner with a group on the Saturday after the tournament.  So don't be a stranger and be sure to look for the loser Wisconsin guy!  I will be on the Baby Seal table!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Local Tourney Results (my first win!!)

This past Saturday, Mike (cornishkeebler) ran a local tournament for the group.  We wanted to call it the "Wisconsin Championships", as we tried to invite everyone from the state to the tournament.  We did get three great players from LaCrosse to come down and play!  We had a total of 12 players.

Before I get into the details, I did want to thank my three opponents - Rob, John Pickle and Bill "Mad Hungarian".

The tourney was a Mid-War 1,625 with three rounds.  The missions were Fighting Withdrawal, Breakthrough and Free For All.

My list for the tournament:

US Rifles - Confident Trained

HQ - 2 Command Carbine Stands
Platoon 1: US Rifles (with 'zook)
Platoon 2: US Rifles (with 'zook)
Platoon 3: HMG platoon (combat attached to rifles above)
Platoon 4: Tank Destroyers (4 M10s)
Platoon 5: 4 Shermans
Platoon 6: 57mm AT Guns (3) with 2 bazookas
Platoon 7: Arty - 4 105mm Guns

Round 1:

I drew Rob in a Fighting Withdrawal mission.  He ran a FJ list with 2 FJ platoons, a Tiger platoon (Tiger and Panzer III) and a Ferdinand.  We diced off and Rob was attacker.

Here is a picture of the end state -


I put my objective in the back middle, slightly off center to the left.  It is located just between the building and the road.  Rob put his on the left in the field and the right in the field.  Rob pushed forward in the middle with one FJ platoon, the right objective with another FJ platoon.  He ran the Tiger on the far left and the Ferdinand went up the middle.

I deployed the 105 on the far right, a rifle platoon inbetween the rigth and middle objective, another rifle on the left objective that also strattled the middle objective, Shermans and Security Section of the TD in the middle with the AT guns in ambush.

Basically, I was able to get MG shots from the Shermans on the FJ in the middle, I smoked the Ferdinand every turn I could and I sent the TDs to take the Tiger platoon.  On Turn 4, I was able to kill the Ferdinand by concentrating the Shermans, the AT guns to bail and then assaulted with the two bazookas.  The end result was a dead Ferdinand.  The M10s took care of the Tiger and the Panzer escort.  Basically, I pulled the 105s and then the AT guns right after the assault on the Ferdinand.  That left Rob with 2 FJ platoons and there was no way he was going to do anything.  We shook on a 6-1 win for me.

Round 2:
Breakthrough vs. Pickle's German recon list

Here is the end picture -

Basically, Pickle put everything in Reserve that he could.  He put an 88 gun, nebs, Pak 40s and another light AA gun on the board.  His foot soldiers were in Reserves, with Marders.

The short version is that I just couldn't move and dig-in again without getting blasted.  And I could not kill his stuff quick enough.  Bloody battle ensued when his Reserves came on, but I could not break him.  It was really close, but in the end I came up just short for a 3-4 loss.

Round 3:
Free For All vs. Bill's Hungarian Armor

Bill did not have a list for me, but this is what I remember:

HQ - 1iC and 2iC in a light tank I think
Platoon 1: Hungarian Panzer IV
Platoon 2: German Marders
Platoon 3: Hungarian Panzer III
Platoon 4: Hungarian Recon tanks
Platoon 5: Hungarian SP AA Whirblewind or something like it
Ok, I did not get any pictures, but here is a picture of the empty board -

I defended on the bottom edge.  Bill put an objective just to the left of the orchard trees and just to the left of the building in the lower right of the picture.  I put my objective in the large bombed out building in the upper middle and in the far upper left corner.

The game was tight, until Turn 4 or 5 when I was able to wipe 3 platoons off the board at the same time.  I had already killed the SP AA, but then I added the Recon Tank, the Panzer III and the Marders to the kill list.  That caused Bill to roll for Company Morale and he did not make it.  However, had he made it he would have continued to roll.  Even if we got to turn 20, he would have eventually lost.  6-1 to me.

My final score was 19 points, since the tourney added 2 points for a 6-1, 1.5 points for a 5-2 and 1 point for a 4-3.  I went 6-1, 3-4 and 6-1.

However, the players above me ended up in a "draw" (3-1) and Pickle had another 4-3 bloodbath.  That caused me to "submarine" to win!  I was shocked, but two 6-1 wins go a long way.

And that was how I won my very first tournament!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

AAR - MW 1,625 Fighting Withdrawal

Ok.  I think my browser issue is under control, so I can now put up a posting without it looking like a ransom note.

In preparation for a tournament that is upcoming this weekend, we ran a 1,625 MW mission during the regular Wednesday night games.  With 7 players in attendance, we rolled off to see who would fight each other.  I got Joe...  Ouch.  Great player.  With a Soviet Lee Horde list.  Ugh.

I ran US Rifles for the first time in a really, really long time.  So a first in V3 for me!

My list:

Confident Trained USA Infantry
HQ - 2 Command Carbine Teams.
Platoon 1: Rifle Platoon with zook
Platoon 2: Rifle Platoon with zook
Platoon 3: MG Platoon that was combat attached to the Rifle Platoons, resulting in a 13 stand platoon!
Platoon 4: AT Platoon with 3 57mm AT Guns and 2 zooks
Platoon 5: 4 Shermans
Platoon 6: TD Platoon with 4 M10s (CAN'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT TDS NOW!!!)
Platoon 7: 4 Gun Arty Battery of 105mm guns

Joe's list:

Fearless Conscript Soviet Tankovy
HQ - Battalion commander in a Lee
Company 1: 10 Lees with AT 10 (long barrel)
Company 2: 10 Lees with AT 10 (long barrel)
Company 3: 10 Stuarts (M3)
Platoon 4: 3 BT 64 or something like that

Ok, no pictures.  I need to take more with my phone, but I just forget to do so!!  And folks want pictures!!

I defended and placed my objective off center.  Joe went with his objectives on each flank.  The terrain was heavy, but there was a natural alley for Joe to move down each flank.  In addition, I could not see across my deployment zone, so each flank would be isolated.  Think of it this way - the middle could only see the middle and the ends could only see the ends.  This could be bad...

I attached the HMGs into the Rifles and put one platoon one each flank objective.  Since Joe did not have any templates, I bunched them tightly together in order to maximize Defensive Fire shots and bring more stands in the Counter Assault.  One the far left, I placed the 105mm and put the commander and staff team out of LoS in woods.  Shermans were dead middle and the TD Security Section was also dead middle.  I put the AT guns in ambush.

Joe massed everything and I mean everything for a rush on the far right objective.  Recce moves saw me move the Sec Section into an area for TD deployment.  Joe’s recce moved forward to 16.1” from the Rifle platoon.  I put my 1ic and 2ic in the platoon of Rifles on the far right objective and the observer in the open (dug-in) that had clear LoS all the way up his alley.

Turn 1:

Bullrush.  His recce spread out to prevent my TD ambush from popping in woods near him.  Lees and Stewies blast forward.  Few shots, nothing killed or pinned.

I move the Sherms to the right flank.  I double time the Rifles from the left – but still in a position that I can run back if he decides to switch up.  This is unlikely as he is only a few inches from the far right board edge.  I popped the TDs feeling that I had to do so or I would risk letting him get in a position that would really prevent me from getting the TDs out.  I also popped the AT gun ambush because I wanted the Recce gone.  I moved the M10s into woods and positioned myself where my 6” range for LoS would get his Recce only.  After shooting, all recce teams are gone as he could not disengage due to shooting them at the Rifles.  One platoon down.  I did range in the 105s on the first roll, so ToT!  I have 11 tanks under the template, but only bailed 1 and killed 1.  Oh, the AT guns never fired because the TDs wiped them out.  Oh, well – better to have them and not need than to need and not have…

Turn 2 / 3 / 4 / 5:

Got to be a blur.  Joe did kill the TDs, but it took him 2 or 3 turns to do so.  He also wiped out the Shermans, but that took until turn 4 or 5.  He assaulted the Rifles, we traded two rounds, then I pulled back.  Rifles did not dig back in for 3 turns, but survived all firing.  I ranged in from the 105s in turn 2, got ToT again and only bailed one tank! Ouch again!

But the hero platoon of the game were the AT guns!!  RoF3 at Conscript tanks is just ridiculous.  I wiped the Stewies down to the flippin’ commander and Joe hid him after that.  I gutted the Lees to a Company of 1 tank (no Commander) and a Company of 4 tanks (with Commander).  Battalion (ok, Batalon) Commander was still around, but he was over with the lone Stewart.  I pulled the 105s in Turn 3 as I had 6 platoons on the board at the time.  At the end (time / store closing), Joe did a suicide Assault on the remnants of the Rifle platoon.  I killed both the 1iC and the Stewie commander.  My other Rifle platoon was able to get to the middle objective, dig-in and even get some ‘zook shots off on a Lee Company.  In the end, 4-3 USA.

Ending Thoughts:

By Turn 5, Joe was playing for the Company Morale roll.  It was a bloody mess and there were something like 30 buring hulks of Soviet and US tanks on the table.  Conscript is tough to play with - they simply get hit a zillion times.  Yes, they get a crap ton of attack dice, but assaulting with Conscripts is tough to pull off - especially with integrated AT and AT in support.  Once the Rifles were close enough to drag the AT guns into Defensive Fire, that platoon was safe from assaults.  So the last turn move of Joe assaulting was a desperate move based more on time than any tactical mistake on his part.

Fun, bloody, 4-3 that could have gone a different way with a few roles.

My kind of game!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


As the discussion continues to wage regarding the Tank Destroyer Company / Fask Force A, I thought I would share a few thoughts on possible "enhancements" to the rules / forces that might mitigate problem.  The current "nasty" version of the TDC has two M18 platoons, a towed platoon, armored rifles and Patton.  I don't have the specifics right in front of me, but at 1,750 you can get 6 platoons.

In my view, there are three groups of people that are forming when we discuss TDC / TFA.  While I understand some frustration over the rules governing a single platoon (I still remember the look of cornishkeebler's face when I pulled TFA out for the first time in V3), the big issues arise when you have three.

So here are the three groups:

1) Those that think there is a problem with the TDC / TFA.
2) Those that do not think there is a problem with the TDC / TFA.
3) Those advocating more data.

I have no issue at all with whatever group folks fall into.  I have my view and it continues to evolve.  I happen to fall into #1, but I do not believe TDC / TFA is wacked out like the BAR.  So a gentle hand may be all that is needed to "fix" the issue.  If - and that is a BIG IF - Battlefront does something, I hope it is after time / testing and that the changes represent "tweaks."  Some suggestions (most are other folk's thoughts):

1) Remove recon ability
2) Reduce RoF when the ambush pops
3) Do something to make the Sec Section "count"
4) Remove the ability to "suicide" the Sec Section by moving at the double
5) Remove the recon ability from the TDs themselves
6) Do not give the Sec Section a recon move
7) Do not allow the "jumping" of terrain, obstacles, etc. when the TDs pop.  Something like the TDs cannot be closer to an enemy team than the Sec Section...
8) Do not give the "non-TD" teams recon ability (command carbine and bazookas from the towed platoon)
9) Do not allow the lifting of GtG the turn that the TDs pop
10) Force the TDs to be IN terrain or completely out of LoS when they pop
11) The ever-popular increasing of points
12) Do not allow the TDC to take Patton
13) Do nothing - that is always a choice...

It goes without saying that doing all 11 would be nuts.  But if anything is done, it has to be a gentle change because I do think the list is not invincible by any stretch.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Nerf US TDs!?!?!?!

And so it begins...

The "long awaited" Nerf US TD thread was started.  Feel free to check it out on the FoW forums.  I will wait for a bit before I expand even further on my post.

Having said that, this is not the BAR.  That was a whole different level of wackiness!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TFA wins Best Overall (Wilcox) and Best American (me!)


Bill Wilcox did it again, but this time with TFA.

At my first US Nats, I ended up with Best American since Bill's win takes him out of the running for that award.

So TFA goes 1 and 2 for American lists.  Not too shabby amigos!

I will post a longer LW Nats article as it was a blast!  I met a bunch of people and reconnected with others.  I was even able to meet folks that I have been following on blogs or reading their posts over at the FoW Forums.

It is now beer time!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Expected Value Charts

All -

If you have not been following the posts by Eric Riha, you really need to do so.  They can be found at  I strongly encourage folks to read this stuff.  Yes, it is math.  But if you choose to ignore probabilites in this game, you will never get better.  Of course some people play enough that they simply learn the probabilites over time.

Based on Eric's posts and discussion of Expected Value (EV), I created a series of charts which identify the EV for various combinations of Armor Rating, Anti-Armor Rating - all with a Firepower of 3+ (the most common for tanks).  Feel free to copy!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Task Froce A to LW Nats!

Let's get this straight - I am not that good at FoW!  I have just over two years under my belt, but my first "real" tournament was almost one year ago.  So I consider myself still to be new to the competitive scene!

But I do know how to build a list and how to run numbers.  And I know the rules.  And my very personal view is that V3 is the great equalizer right now.  People are still adjusting to the new rules, so there is an opportunity for newer players to make great strides in the game.

With that in mind, I long decided that I was going to take Task Force A to LW Nats.  If you have read my earlier posts on TFA, it shouldn't be a big surprise.  I have quite a few games under my belt and I can say that I really like playing with the list.  I can also say that my opponents start the game a bit off-guard because they just haven't seen the list before.

So, I have been practicing the list against Mike for a number of weeks.  We have run different missions and he has run a few different lists.  I have also played my "normal" games on Wednesday with US ARP, but really focused on the play of the TDs.  So while my game with the ARP may have been "poor", I was really concentrating on how the TDs performed.  And how Shermans performed with them.  This strategy goes back to my competitive golf days.  I used to go on the putting green and let people see me leaving my putts short.  This made them think I was "weaker" than I really was because I was purposefully leaving the putts short.  Same here.  In this game, it really helps if you can bluff your opponent into thinking you don't know how to play the game.  Ever see "White Men Can't Jump"?  Same idea.  Then about turn two or three, BAM!  They don't see it coming.  I like doing that.

Now this weekend is a "warm-up" tournament that Joe will be running in Madison.  After some thought and discussion, TFA will be there.  I figure more practice can't hurt or more to the point, the benefit of getting more games under my belt offsets any benefit to others in playing against TFA.

So without further ado, here is the list:

HQ - 2 M8 Greyhounds
Platoon #1 - Armored Cavalry (M8, recon jeep, mortar jeep)
Platoon #2 - Armored Cavalry (M8, recon jeep, mortar jeep)
Platoon #3 - Tank Destroyers (4 M18 Hellcats)
Platoon #4 - Tank Destroyers (4 M18 Hellcats)
Platoon #5 - Combat Engineers (Pios, 4 bazookas, pio supply truck and a Dozer Sherman)
Platoon #6 - Medium Tank Platoon (5 Shermans plus Pool)

1,570 points.

I tried several variations of the list, including bringing Priests, planes, Stuarts and Armored Rifles.  But I settled on the list above.  Now we can debate the ARP and Engineers (yes, Igor and others!!), but this list just comes out feeling "right."  More importantly, it plays "right."  My biggest concern will be dug-in infantry.  But I have been figuring out some tactics and listening to other players for advice.  We will see if it helps!

So there you go - my list.  Now we will see how it does this weekend!

or not.

Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tank Destroyer Company

For those of you who have yet to see the updates at, here is a picture of what I consider to be very, very exciting news:

Yes, now we can see the force diagram that will be available in Blood, Guts and Glory.

I will say that I believe this will be a very popular list.  My first impressions:

1) Every list will have 3 TD platoons, with the Corps support being "Trained."
2) With AT now moved up to 13 on the M10 and M18, that first volley will be completely deadly.
3) The Jackson will be the 3rd TD platoon, trained but with AT 14.  A hit on a Panther results in a 50/50 kill ratio??  wow.
4) Depending on points, you could get Vet ARP as support.  wow again.

and most importantly...

5) IT IS NOT ALWAYS ATTACKS!!!  Think about this.  You are defender.  Put the Security Section in cover.  Let long range crazy shots come in - who cares!  When the enemy closes the range, pop goes the TDs.

And that last point in 5 above is the key - TDs should ALWAYS get an opening salvo / "alpha strike" into an enemy platoon with full RoF.  Everytime.  So for $64,000 and control of the board, name another platoon that can do this in FoW? Anyone??

Exactly my point.

Now multiply by three.  Imagine 12 TDs popping at the same time and concentrating that fire.  Crazy good.

Of course, it all depends on points...  ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

V3 Hardback in my hands!

The Last Square in Madison just received their hardback edition V3 books this afternoon.  Wohoo!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Played a great game last night with Joe.  We haven't played each other in a while, so it was good to get a "knock-down, drag out" fight under our belts.

We played V3 Cauldron.  Another friend of ours, Simon / Hedgehog posted on the FoW a thread about this mission.  I would suggest everyone head over there for a synopsis of some fairly strong feelings on the mission.  I will add my thougths at the end of the post (feel free to skip ahead of the short BatRep).

LW 1,575

I brought ARP from US 2nd (Conf / Vet)

Platoon 1 - full ARP with extra bazooka from HQ
Platoon 2 - full ARP
Platoon 3 - 4 Hellcat TDs
Platoon 4 - 4 Shermans with Pool
Platoon 5 - 3 tubes, armored mortars
Platoon 6 - Recon, 2 teams

Joe brought Lee Tankovy (Conf / Trained)

HQ - 1 Lee
Company 1 - 10 Lees
Company 2 - 10 Lees
Company 3 - 10 Stuarts
Platoon 4 - 3 BT "something" armored car / recon
Platoon 5 - 4 SU-100 assault guns

Since I am auto-attack, Joe was defending.

He put the 2 Lee Companies on the table, rest in Delayed Reserves.  I put 2 ARP on the board (mistake) and the Security Section of the TDs.

The first turn was slight movements from Joe and myself.  No shots, but I did get reserves (Shermans).

Turn two was more tactical movement for Joe, but he made a "boo boo" and put some Lees in the open for me.  On my half of the turn, I popped the TDs and moved the Shermans to take shots at the Lees.  Timely shooting / rolls and I gutted the Company pretty well.  He passed the motivation to hang around.

Turn three and Joe blasts two Hellcats.  He took pot shots at the ARP that I had moved out of holes to rush an objective.  The objectives don't go live until Turn 6, but I wanted to get the ARP on one and dig in.  I start a trend of poor rolling for infantry saves.  Plus I bone-head the movement and deployment of the ARP.  Dork.  In my end, I finish off the the first Lee company and start in on the other Lees.

Turn four and Joe gets Delayed Reserves - the Stuarts.  He brings them into the battle and helps the 2nd Lee company in finishing off the TDs.  He also blasts the ARP and assaults.  I can't stop them with the bazookas.  I have to fall back after the assault.  I try to blast the Stewies, but cannot force a morale test - came within one tank of doing so.

Turn 5 and Joe gets the rest of reserves.  SU-100s bail a Sherman.  The recon gets too aggressive and shoots at the last ARP platoon.  Stewies launch an assault (still can't stop it with 'zooks) and make the two ARPs leave the board.  My half of the turn, I try to force a Company Morale.  I kill a Stewie, but only kill and bail a recon unit.  Stewies fail morale, but the recon is not even forced.  We time out and Joe wins 4-3.


I won't get into the tactics of the game we played.  I could have doen things better, Joe regretted the placement of 3 Lees that basically gave away some GtG tanks.  I have to use the ARP smarter (still learning) and my choices for reserves were poor.

The mission.  Well, there seems to be some discussion about the attacker setting up a line to take out the defender's reserves when they come on the board.  In the event of an odd number of platoons, the attacker could wipe those platoons out, force the company morale check and win without taking an objective.  I did not think on that.  On the surface, it would work.  But I think this "tactic" is board dependent and list dependent.  But if you are defender, this tactic should be considered when you think about what you are putting into Reserves.  Being forewarned is being forearmed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

TFA Part 2

This list is getting some love lately!  I appreciate the comments on the previous TFA post.  I have spent the last several days reviewing the list, talking tactics and running the numbers.

This list is no longer viable in my opinion.


But also understand this - it will only be viable for about 9 weeks.  Let's just say that when the first Bulge book comes out, a TD Company will be a part of the list.  Vets.  With Vet Armored Rifles in Support.  That is what I am reading on the blogs and hearing through the "grapevine."  So if TFA is nasty today, TD Company will be downright EVIL.  You see, in the TD Company, you will get 8 Hellcats.  But you can add a 3rd platoon- of Jacksons!  They will be trained, but who cares!  AT will either be 13 or 14.

As a US Armored player, this is awesome.  And I sit back, fold my arms behind my head and think about all those times my Shermans were obliterated by Panthers, Tigers, KT, IS-2s - heck - T-34s!  And I crack a smile thinking about 12 TD tanks spawning under 16" away.  With the Jacksons, you don't care if they are front armor shots.

So let's go to "fun with math":

4 TD with AT 13 (I still have trouble believing they will be AT 14) shooting at Vet Panthers (FA 10).  I will even give the Panthers concealment.  (quick side note - RT Panthers are coming!) 8 shots needing 5+ to hit.  Rounding up, 3 hits.  That will come out to be about 1 dead, 1 bailed.  And you usually come up against 3 Panthers.  If they are in the open, 4 hits - 2 dead with maybe a bail.  An American player has NEVER had this as an option.  Seriously, when you saw a German with Panthers and StuGs, you got sick to your stomach.  And what about a KT?  Now you can kill these things!

Yup.  Dead Panthers.  I like the sound of that!

You will see this list at tournaments.  Guaranteed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Task Force A

Ah, the joys of V3.  Learning new rules, trying to see if your list was completely gutted (my Crocs will never see the table again) and then analyzing old lists to see what just got bumped up.  Admit it - you are all doing this!

Not me...

Damn you!  You make it sooooo easy (pun intended) to go out and look at a bunch of lists.  My productivity has been shot.

But one of my favorite "sneaky" army lists has always been Task Force A out of Turning Tide.  For the unfamiliar, it is an armored recon list like no other.  You have to take M18 Hellcats in a platoon and M8 Greyhounds in the other.  Then you add on platoons to taste.  Just like salt!

So after listening to an old WWPD podcast (I think Mike Haught was on there too) talking about TFA, I have always kept it in mind.

Then this past year, I saw the list in action.  I met and befriended a great guy from Poland, who was in the States on business.  He sent an email to me via the player finder app at and we got a game in.  We also invited Igor (that's his name) to a LW tournament, where he brought TFA.  It was really a lot of fun to see this list in action.  Tank detroyers with 16" of movement, little armored recon units acting like Stuarts - it was great!  But the list still had some challenges and holes.

No more.

Hear me now, believe me in 6 months - TFA actually became a viable list.  Now the list is not for everyone.  First, it is Trained.  With small platoons.  That is still a bad combination.  But everything is a recon platoon and with the changes to wheeled movement, they are all super fast.  Now add on the new rules for American Tank Destroyers and you have a potent strike list.

Want proof?

Just think the standard Defensive Battle mission.  TFA is "always attacks", so let's think about that.  You deploy.  Every, yes basically EVERY platoon gets a recon move.  And you get first turn.  Now, just think of the Security Section of the TDs as a mobile ambush spawning site.  For those of you who play computer games, you get where I am going.  Everyone moves forward in recon move.  If terrain is on your side, you move the Security Section as close as allowed by the rules to your enemy.  Then at the start of the game, spring the ambush.  But be sure to read the rules.  You only need to deploy a certain distance away from the enemies.  And you need to be in command with a team from the Security Section.  But if my Security Team is 16" away from the enemy (recon move limitiation), it doesn't say my TD section that is springing from the ambush needs to be that far out.  They just need to be concealed.

Let that last statement soak in.


And if you look at the picture in V3 that talks about the TD rules, you will see a TD sprung close to an enemy because the Hellcat is concealed by a fence.  It will shoot at short range and the target is in the open.


Yup.  Concealed.  Like wheat fields, orchards, woods or... a corner of a building.  RoF 2, AT 12 Light Tanks shooting at short range.  That's 8 shots.  Add the second TD platoon and you can get 16 shots (8 total Tank Destroyers).  Then push the Greyhounds forward in Turn 1 (or same turn you spring the mobile ambush / spawning point) and you will simply overwhelm the enemy.  8 shots at vets gets 4 hits (assuming open target).  AT12 is a big shell - assuming medium tanks are the target you will get 3 destroyed / bailed.  So there - a mobile ambush that maintains full RoF at short range.



So rethink TFA and American Tank Destroyers.  And think of the TDs as mobile ambush / spawning platoons.  Yes, you will see a lot more of these units on the table in the coming months!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

V3 Airpower

So I was able to get a game in last night with the V3 rules.  Most folks are posting differences in V2 / V3, so here I go:

I adjusted my 1,575 point list for LW to bring Typhoons.  At 170 points for Limited (5 dice), I really needed to make some harsh decisions on what to bring.  But I got them squeezed in and still had a formidable force.

For the record, this list was British 7th Armored (Recon with Cromwells) out of Turning Tide.

The game was fun.  I played a new player named Chris and he brought a similar list (Shermans instead of Croms and Confident Trained) to mine, but Canadian.  We played Dust Up.  In the end, I got him 5-2.  I got too aggressive with a platoon and he used every weapon to go after that platoon.  Bummer.

But what I want to focus on was the effect of air.  In V3, I am a fan.

With Limited Air, I got 5 dice.

In Turn 1, I rolled and received air.  2 planes.  I placed the template over 4 tanks in a field, but the are not concealed to aircraft.  He shot 5 dice (attached the 2iC that was not under the template) with .50cal AA MG.  He scored enough hits and firepower rolls to reduce my flight to 1.  After all the rolls, re-roll hits, armor saves and firepower, I destroyed 1 Sherman.

In Turn 2, I went after a platoon in concealment.  I wanted to play that out with the one attempt to range in.  He was trained, so with concealment I needed a 3+.  While there was some risk, I had a 66% chance I would range in on a juicy platoon.  I did range in, but got the same result - 2 planes, reduced to 1 and 1 destroyed M10.

For the rest of the game, various air arrived but always with 1 or 2 planes.  I bailed, but did not destroy anything else.

So did my 170 points pay off?  I think so.  1 Sherman and 1 Achilles / M10 wiped out.  Points wise, nearly a wash.  But the fact is that he had to adjust any moves knowing that air may be screaming down from above.

My belief is that all armor players (like me) will need to keep within 2" of terrain that will conceal you from aircraft.  I also think if I play Trained, I would bring dedicated land based AA to the table.  Where you can't hug terrain, you best have something to wipe planes from the sky.

Oh, by the way Typhoons rock!!