Sunday, May 26, 2013

2nd Annual Cheesehead Championship Update

This past Saturday was the 2nd Annual Cheesehead Championship, held at The Last Square in Madison, WI.  Mike Jacobs hosted the event again and acted as TO for the tournament.  Due to the odd number of players, he also had to jump in and drop dice.  The only "rule" for the event is that you have to live in Wisconsin.  Think of it as a state tournament.

I won this event last year by winning my last round game and submarining up to first place.  The goal this year was to simply not embarrass myself!

I decided a few months ago that I would try my hand at the Canadians from Market Garden.  I ran a Canadian Infantry Company that looked like this:

HQ - 1iC and 2iC
Infantry Platoon with Roos plus .50cals
Infantry Platoon with Roos plus .50cals
Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies plus .50cals
Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies plus .50cals
AT Platoon of 4 6pdrs plus carriers
Arty Battery of 4 25pdrs
1,780 points.

I am pretty familiar with the list and I thought it would do well.  I was very worried about facing a Patton led 7th Armored Division list or a Panzers to the Meuse list.  The PttM list is by far the strongest German armored list for LW.  It is an aggressive and in your face list - in fact the kind of list that I like to run!  Oh, I am always worried about the US 2 ID list...

I helped Mike setup the boards on Friday night and we left two boards for the BF Ranger group from Racine, Wisconsin to setup.  With one of the boards in the front of the store, we decided that we would try to have a local player on that board in case store visitors wanted to ask questions.  So for Round 1, I ended up being placed on that table.

Round 1: Free For All
Opponent: Ryan Pecore with Estonian Infantry

I did not get to keep a copy of his list, so here it is from memory:

Fearless Vet Estonians
HQ - 1iC and 2iC I think with Fausts
Infantry platoon
Infantry platoon (short?)
Infantry platoon upgraded to recee
HMG platoon
3 StuGs

Confident Vet
2 Tigers

Fearless Trained
4 gun arty (105 equivalent)
2 88 AT guns with extra crew
2 or 3 AA Flak guns

We rolled and he got to choose the table side.  Based on the picture just below, he chose the right side to deploy his troops.

He placed his objectives on the left (my zone) just above the road closer to the woods and below the road in the fields.  I placed mine trying to spread out his guns putting one objective at the top right just below the top road and the other below the road on the lower right.  While we alternated deployment, I will summarize:

He put an infantry platoon and the arty on the top, the Tigers in the fields on the top, the StuGs behind the woods just above the middle of the board, the recon behind the plowed fields, then all the other guns and infantry around the bottom objective.

I countered with an infantry platoon mounted in Roos behind the trees on the top left, the 6pdrs and a CAR (Canadian Armoured Recce) in the woods alternating a gun and tank in a semi-circle all with shots towards his zone.  I then put the other infantry on the objective in the fields, with the arty in the fields (we played all fields as giving concealment) and the CAR in the fields.  With the CAR getting Cautious Movement, I knew I could move in the fields and still be GtG.  Meaning his nasty 88 would not be able to hit me.

I won the roll to go first.  I basically dug everything in and did not shoot.  He moved the Tigers up.  His arty started a duel with my battery that would last the entire game!  My Turn 2 saw me shoot the Tigers with everything I had and missed.  He returned the favor by mission his shots!  While this was going on, Ryan started to move the StuGs toward the crossroads and through the woods.  Turn 3 saw me kill a Tiger and bail the other, resulting in a failed Platoon Morale for the Tigers.  His turn saw the StuGs and the other CAR start a duel, but he bogged a StuG in the woods in a really bad position.  Basically, I was able to get the top CAR and 6pdrs into action on one of the three StuGs.  After moving to keep the 88s with no targets, I was able to destroy the StuGs.  I then called my other Roos forward and everything except the 25pdrs were moving towards the top objective.  After seeing what was about to happen, Ryan called the game after Turn 5 or 6.  Basically my entire force was mobile, he had 1 arty gun left and a single infantry platoon on the objective.  Now he was moving another infantry platoon up there, but the Roos were about to unload into them.  Both he and I knew the game was over.

6-1 Win for me.

As a note, I did not get a picture of Ryan's army, but he won Best Painted.  They looked amazingly good!

Round 2: Counterattack
Opponent: Ben Aehl

Confident Vet German Armor
HQ - Tiger and Bergepanther
Platoon 1 - 2 Tigers
Platoon 2 - 2 Tigers
Platoon 3 - 3 Panthers
Platoon 4 - 2 SPAA

Here is a picture of the board:

Ok.  Now Ben is a young and very good player.  He is also super familiar with my list.  I have played his list several times including once last week.  In fact, we played Counterattack and I defended resulting in a 6-1 win for me.  But I have also won in Breakthrough using a Night Attack against Ben.  So I just jumped at the decision to Night Attack and I really didn't think this through.  And it cost me dearly.  What I forgot was that based on linear obstacle rules, if you are against it you see though it and the enemy is not concealed.  But you will be concealed to return fire.  Oh, I should mention we did NOT play the board as bocage, but rather high hedges with a simple bog check.  So I decided to Night Attack and that put him with just two platoons on the board.  He decided to deploy in the upper right, with the lower right holding the other objective.  I had to deploy top left.  He put 2 Tigers and the 1iC to the right of the road, at the intersection of the two hedges (across the road from the dark brown house.  Now I made mistake number 2.  I loaded everything on the top and decided to cross straight ahead as the objective was in the open area on the top right.  But Ben placed it making sure he could contest if he was below the left to right hedges just above the grey house.  I should have used my Spearhead and moved out down the left side of the picture, then cut to the right on the road and go after the other objective.

Suffice to say that Ben played a great game and got a very, very timely roll of shots (got the distance needed with the Night Shooting Range roll, with 5 shots, he got 3 sixes, 2 gun tanks and 2 FP rolls to kill 2 Fireflies at night).  That put me on the wrong side of the power curve and I simply could not recover.  I mean I threw everything I had at him, but he just knocked me down time and again.  The game ended with me failing Company Morale on Turn 9 (having passed the previous turn).  I had the entire arty platoon still alive.  And the 1iC.  And that is all.  And I killed one Tiger and a Bergepanther.

Great win and well played by Ben.  The mark of a good player is that when you make a mistake, they make you pay for it.  I did and he did...

1-6 Loss to me.

Round 3: No Retreat

Now I am back to the middle of the pack.  But local players Ben, CJ Thode (Canadian list!!) and Joe Abrisz (PttM) were all perfect with two 6-1 wins.  With tiebreakers, CJ and Ben faced off.  Joe faced off against a Cromwell list.

Opponent: Rick Gearhart (Lead Racine Ranger)

Confident Vet Panzers to the Meuse
HQ - 1iC and 2iC Panzer IV J or whatever the PttM version is...
Platoon 1 - 4 Panzer IV
Platoon 2 - 4 Panzer IV
Platoon 3 - Full Arfkalung
Platoon 4 - Short Arfkalung
Platoon 5 - Puma Patrol
Platoon 6 - Whirblewind SPAA things
Platoon 7 - 3 Nebs
Sporadic Air

Here is the table:

Now I ask you...  If you had to defend, which short table edge are YOU taking??  The top with a building, orchard, a river and trees on a hill?  Or the fields, hills, trees and buildings on the bottom?

I defended from the bottom.  Now we had said at the beginning of the tournament that no bridge could become blocked - vehicles would always be able to move over the wrecks at slow going with no bog check.  Right as the game started, Ryan wanted the bridge on the left to be high enough to block LoS (the bridge arcs up several inches).  I agreed and we also decided that the one on the right would not block LoS.  Oh, the camo pattern areas are all woods.

My objective was placed in the middle of my area, in the woods just below and right of the road intersection below the building.  Rick put his on the road that connects the two bridge roads.  It was just below the field that extends across the middle of the board (yellow and greenish - furthest right).  I deployed my infantry on that objective, but placed two infantry stands as far forward to the left and right as I could.  I did this to block his massive Spearhead move (4 platoons!!).  I put the CAR in the left dark green field.  6pdrs are in ambush.  Second infantry, CAR and 25pdrs are in Reserve.

Rick deployed the 1iC, 2iC, Pumas, Full Arfkas and both Panzer platoons on the left road just even with the woods on the hill (his deployment line). He was able to get the small Arfkas on the far right, just below the river. I was amazed he could fit them in there, but he did!! Very creative! He put the SPAA on the hill below the woods. Nebs were upper left corner. Observer was in the building.

Spearhead saw everything move as far as they could until they got into LoS.

Turn 1 saw everything move into my area.  The Pumas ended on the road about even with the two buildings (my observer was in the taller one).  Panzers are on the bridge and the short Arfka was behind the field, but still in the tracks.  While he was aggressive, he was not aggressive enough with the Pumas.  Even with the 8" recce bubble, I was able to place my 6pdrs in the woods to get shots (but not all guns had shots).  Rather than the gory details, I will basically summarize:

I was able to catch the short Arfkas in their tracks with Semi-Indirect Fire from a Sherman.  Two hits.  That killed a track, bailed a track and killed a stand.  But he was forced to dismount.  He was not able to dig in and in the next turn I lit him up with CAR MG fire and got him to 3 stands.  His Pumas tried to break off from 2 6pdrs and while successful, I was able to kill one before it got away.  I also got Reserves and brought the CAR up the road that all the Panzers were trying to get down.  Between the Reserve CAR and the SiF of the other 3 CAR tanks, Panzers got lit up.  Over the next 4 turns I killed every Panzer that crossed the River.  I also killed the last Puma.  Down three platoons, he went with the f#ck it move and tried to assault with 3 Arfka stands and the now remnants of the other.  Neither really worked and we shook hands.  All told, I lost 1 Sherman V to air, and 2 or 3 infantry stands.

6-1 Win for me.

So with bonus scoring for victories (+.5 for 6-1, +.25 for 5-2 and +.1 for 4-3), I ended with 14 points and was tied with Joe who lost 1-6 to Cromwells.  With tiebreaker I finished 4th.  But Ben won the event by beating CJ 4-3 in a nail biter!  So that took the sting out of getting a 1-6 posted on my head!

It was a great weekend and after clean up, Joe and I went out with two other players and had a good dinner!  I hope to see everyone back for next year's event!!  It was a great success again!

Here is a photo dump of the tables:

Rural Eastern Germany
Soviet City
Italy (there were hills molded in the boards)
Dutch Village / French Village / End Scene to Saving Private Ryan
Snow / Bulge Board (played snow as hard packed and no movement restrictions)
French Village (All my BF buildings!!)
Ranger Table #1
Ranger Table #2

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tournament Season Arrives

I have been a big slacker this year.  By this time last year, I had played in several tournaments and had some solid results.  This year?  Nothing.  Nada.  Just haven't been able to make it happen.  I had a golden opportunity to head to Wolfkrieg and was not given the 1iC green light.  Adepticon was EW and I am not a fan.  I was planning on going to Little Wars outside Chicago the following week, but real life got in the way.

So I find myself in the middle on May with zippo tournaments.  But the tide is turning!

This weekend will be the 2nd Annual Cheesehead Champioship Tournament.  Mike came up with this idea last year.  Basically, it is open to any FoW player from Wisconsin.  We had a good turnout for Year 1 and Year 2 looks to be a lot bigger!  It is LW 1,780 and will serve as a good warm up to Historicon.

For all to see, here is my list:

Canadian Infantry (CV)
Market Garden Book

HQ - 1iC and 2iC
Platoon 1 - Full infantry, with Roos plus .50cal
Platoon 2 - Full infantry, with Roos plus .50cal
Platoon 3 - Anti-Tank Platoon of 4 6pdrs plus carriers
Platoon 4 - Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies
Platoon 5 - Canadian Armoured Recce with 2 Sherman V and 2 Fireflies
Platoon 6 - Artillery Battery - 4 25pdrs

Solid list.  Not 2 ID solid, but solid enough.  I want to run the Canadians in a tournament and see the results.  Friends have run a list like this (I gave them the idea) to great success on the east coast.  We will see how it works in Cheeseland.

Depending on the way the list plays, I will either bring something like it to Historicon or go back to 2 ID.  We will see...

Here are some progress pictures from the very large painting queue:

Family photo:

Canadian Shermans, Achilles, Crocs, Roos and 2 ID bazooka team.  Now there are three Crocs total, 8 Shermans, a full division of 2 ID and 12 Roos!