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!