Monday, January 9, 2012

I qualified for US Nats, long update and AAR

It has been a while, so let me start with the update!

Mike (Cornishkeebler) and I travelled to West Lafayette, Indiana for a tournament at The Sage's Shoppe.  It was 1,750 LW, 3 rounds.  We had 22 players show up, including folks from Columbus, Ohio and Minneapolis, MN.  This was a good sized tournament with a heaping bucket of good players.

The three missions were published ahead of time and they were:

Round 1: Counter Attack (

Round 2: Envelopment (

Round 3: Free For All (with weather)

By the way, be sure to check out the missions.  They are a twist on some old missions and present a bit of an interesting challenge.

I brought the following:

British 7th Armored (Turning Tide)
Reluctant Veterans

HQ - 2 Croms
Platoon 1 - 3 Croms and 1 Firefly
Platoon 2 - 3 Croms and 1 Firefly
Platoon 3 - 3 Croms and 1 Firefly
Platoon 4 - 3 Stuarts (Recon)
Platoon 5 - 4 Achillies (M10s)
Platoon 6 - 4 Sextons

Complete AAR will be further below.  I will give the results and special thanks first:

I came in 3rd, qualified for Nationals and was 2nd Allied General.  Scores were 6-1, 5-2 and 3-4 in the last round.  And that 3-4 was a really good game against an opponent that I have a bit of "history" with (teaser for the AAR portion).

I  must thank Joe (Keamma) and especially Mike (Cornishkeebler).  We played the missions a few weeks before the tourney and that was of great help.  Plus they gave me some great matchups.  Mike was incredible with his advice and positive support leading up to the tourney, on the 5 hour drive down and the game the night before at the "Shoppe."  In reality, I have been a bit down on my playing as I just seemed to be regressing.  The most recent tournament was not good for me and I just seemed to be lagging behind the competition.  I had come to the conclusion that the next several months would be focused on helping Joe and Mike get ready for the Nats scene.  Mike had none of that and was a great cheerleader.  And it helped.  He was so happy when I qualified that my heart just went nuts.  That was cool!  I also had a game (Free for All) with Ben at the store, who I had bring 2,250 worth of German Heavy Tanks.  I needed practice taking out Tigers, KT and Panthers and I thought I would see them at this tourney.  Thought right.

I also want to send thanks to another person and one that I have yet to have the honor of meeting in person - Bill Wilcox.  Look, if you have not read his postings on the FoW site, you must!  He offers excellent advice and is free and open with responding to emails.  You are an idiot if you do not read his advice.  You don't have to follow it, but he will tell you how he views the game and it will help!


Round 1: Counter-Attack (I attacked)

I played Aaron (Tiger Company) in Round 1.  We rolled and he was defender.  Having played this mission, I was ready for anything.  This was due to the fact that in my test game, I ended up having 3 platoons in reserve (you roll for random).  And that game was against Mike, so he did a number on me.  But I took those learnings and had a good, solid plan.  Aaron had Tigers and Nebs.  He had to keep 2 Tigers in reserve, he put 2 in ambush and also put Whitman in ambush.  The only thing he deployed were the nebs.  This deployment would be a tragic mistake for him.  I got all my platoons on the table and actually ended up in really good shape.  Due to his Independent Deployment, he was able to keep my Recon from moving during the Recon step.  At the end of my Turn 1, I had closed the gap and had shots on the Nebs (nothing hit).  In his Turn 1, he shot the nebs and bailed a tank.  Then he realized his problem - he could not pop the ambush.  With my 16" of movement putting my Croms in close and recon, there simply was nowhere for him to put down the Tigers.  Turn 2, I destroyed the nebs with fire and assaults.  He did get his reserves (2 Tigers) on his Turn 2 and missed his shots.  My turn 3, I killed the 2 Tigers and we shook hands.  Start to finish about 45 minutes.  I simply overwhelmed him with Croms, Fireflies and Achilles.  It was unfortunate that he kept 3 Tigers in Ambush that were never going to see the light of day.  His deployment area had wheat fields, but that did not provide concealment to armor.  6-1 me.

Round 2: Envelopement (I attacked)

I played Scott (great guy with a great army - which won best army) who brought Panzer Lehr Grens.  I was comfortable with this mission and the list because it was a similar list to Mike's.  Mike and I played this mission the night before, so I had a plan in place.

Aaron's Lehr:

PanzerGren Platoon - 3 Shreck stands plus the Command Shrecks
PanzerGren Platoon - 3 Shreck stands plus the Command Shrecks
Pumas (3)
Panzer IV (5)
Hummels (3)
SP AA (2)

He placed his objective on the right side of his deployment area, which allowed me to place mine on the far left.  Again, read Wilcox's posting on Fighting Withdrawl and you will understand why this was a mistake.  It forced him to have to spread out and defend both sides of the board (you play short end like No Retreat).  He put one gren platoon on each side, 1iC with the right platoon and 2ic with the left - Panzer iVs in ambush.  The terrain had a creek crossing at the mid point.  There were hills and woods, so no LOS from one end to the other.  Per my plan, I held one armor platoon and the Achilles in Delayed Flanking Reserves.  Per the mission, he got fortifications and chose 32" of mines.  He blocked every ford over the creek and blocked all angles of attack except for right up the middle.  This was a great choice by him.  So I basically ran up to the creek and had to wait a turn to cross.  He sat and did not pop the ambush.  I crossed under the protection of a hill that blocked LOS.  It did take 2 turns to cross as I bogged a few tanks along the way.  Now it got fun.  I got my reserves on the first try and brought in the Achilles on the right side / objective.  This was a feint and a sacrificial platoon.  He already had all his reserves on and had focused them on the middle right of his deployment.  The Achilles did not roll too well and I was able to only kill one Hummel.  As expected, on his turn he popped the IVs in the woods and went after the Achilles.  He killed three and bailed the fourth.  In a roll that was well timed, I made the platoon morale (5+) and the bailed tank stayed on the board.  Luck was not with me as he stayed bailed out.  Put this put his entire force on the right.  Next turn, I took advantage of light tanks and another successful reserve roll.  I came in on the left objective, pinned the grens and started the assaults.  By this time he knew it was over.  He hung on for one more turn, but then conceded.  He just could not get over to cover the objective.  He extended life one turn by sacrificing the Hummels, but I literally had tanks from 4 platoons sitting on the objective.  This was a great game simply because I had a plan, followed it even when I thought I might lose and it just came together.  I caught him off guard.  I also put into practice more of Wilcox's "rules" by realizing that you may have to lose a platoon to win the game.  5-2 me.

Round 3: Free for All on Winter / Snow Terrain

This put me on one of the top tables to end the tourney.  I drew Dan Larson (aka Panzer Dan).  I know Dan.  In full disclosure, if you read some earlier blogs from tourneys, I had a bit of a run in with a player.  I can now say it was Dan.  So I thought "here we go again."  I will also say that Dan apologized again for the last game, admitted he was wrong and we shook hands.  I thought that took a lot (especially for Dan), so it set the stage for a bloody, yet really good game.

Dan brought Tigers.

Whitman and 2iC
2 Tigers
2 Tigers
Pio platoon
Scout platoon

WTF!!!  Tigers again?!!?!?  Snow caused all terrain to be difficult.  Bye bye mobility.  And I don't have wide tracks.  This is going to suck.

I cannot give a blow by blow.  Suffice to say, we played 11 rounds and did not time out.  I ran one Tiger platoon and a pio platoon.  He Company Moraled me on turn 11.  This was a good game!  If you told me I could have a 3-4 loss to Dan on a snow board at the start of the game, I would have taken it and headed to the liquor store across the street.  I gave Dan all he could take and I did have a chance to win.  But I bogged everywhere.  It was brutal.  I would love to play the two lists again on a normal board.  I did not turtle up and while it looked like Dan was going to do so, he did start to move out.  We shook hands at the end and I felt really good.  3-4 Dan.  As we wrapped up, he payed a great compliment by saying "this was a great tonic for the last game."  I thought that was nice and said so!

That performance sealed the deal and put me in 3rd and qualified me for Nats.  Andy won with Brit Infantry with 6 Crocs (shock), Dan was in 2nd and I was in 3rd.  Mike finished tied with 4 others just below me.

So there you go.  Now I know I can play!


I got Red Bear at Christmas and I am in for Soviet Armor.  I have 4 boxes of T-34s from PSC (unassembled), 2 blisters of T-34s from BF (commanders), 3 SU-85s and after this weekend, I purchased an IS-2 Platoon with my "winnings."  I also have primed desert Stuarts (Brits) and I have 15 Mark IV Bs assembled.  I painted up American Shermans and Stuarts, and based another platoon of Armored Rifles.  I am making a huge dent in the painting area.  This weekend should produce more results as I will have Sunday to get stuff done.

This is long enough, so back to WWPD Podcast and V3!!

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