Monday, July 22, 2013

Historicon Nats and Doubles Mega AAR!!

Mega Historicon AAR

Well after a long week and weekend, I am back in the saddle at home.  I had a great time seeing friends and making new ones.  It goes without saying that the biggest joy I have is seeing everyone!
So let me get straight into the action.

Thursday Doubles:

Round 1:
I partnered with Bill Wilcox.  He ran US 7th Armored Division with Patton and I ran Vet Armored Rifles.  We each had 1,000 points, but we could swap up to 100.  I ran a 910 list and Bill ran 1,090.  There were 40 teams or 80 guys playing!

Jeff Flint / SonBae on the WWPD Forum had already called us out for Round 1.  He ran a StuG Batterie and Michael ran a Panzerspaeh list with 8-Rads.  Mission was Blind Domination.  If you are not familiar, check out the mission!  It is on WWPD in the scenario section.  Basically, there are Domination Points and not objectives on the board.  You claim the points like an objective though.  Table has 12 points and first to 8 wins (after Turn 6).  The wrinkle with Blind Domination is that you have to choose your entry point (long table edge broken into 12” corridors) before the game.  Then you see how it all develops, but you can’t change the entry point!  Turn 1 you get Recon.  Turn two you get 1 platoon, Warriors and Observers.  Everything else on Turn 3.  In Doubles, it means you each get a platoon on Turn 2.

Turn 1.  Cav Recon comes on and gets to a 2 point objective.  8-Rads get several points right away.  No shooting.

Turn 2.  I put Arp on left middle and place them behind a hill.  But they could be targeted by the 8-Rads if they moved aggressively.  Bill put Shermans on right middle.  8-Rads do move aggressively and race towards our points.  This causes them to sit on a huge number of points.  8-rads shoot the ARP and kill one track plus 2 stands.  They pass motivation to hang around.

Turn 3.  Game changes quickly.  We get out platoons on and we had put Shermans in the same slot as the ARP.  We kill the 8-rads on my side of the table by shooting them to bails and assaulting them with ARP.  Middle has the exact same thing happen.  Right sees the 3rd patrol die from shooting.  Company Morale.  Germans pass.

Turn 4.  Cut to the chase – 1iC is killed and Panzerspaeh Company runs, thus ending the game 6-1 us.  But Bill and I now own 10 of the 12 Domination Points.  And for tie breaks, it matters.

Round 2:
Mission is Free For All and we play Marcus and Al.  Marcus is running JagPanthers or something large and nasty with crazy AT and FA.  The Company was literally a 1iC of this thing, with two platoons of 1 Jagwhatever.  Al is running Grens, SturmTigers and StuGs I think.

The board is rubble city on left and woods / hills / fields on right.  ARP goes on the left in tracks.  Arty is on left with ARP.  ARP on right with Cav Recon.  All Shermans are on right.  Spearhead gets us well forward.

I can’t remember the exact turn sequences, but my left ARP ends up sitting in a niche of rubble, still in the tracks.  This forces Al’s Grens to be very careful.  There is a Jagwhatever in support.  So my 295 point is holding up about 700 points.  This let’s Bill move his tanks on the right and go after the Jagwhatevers.  Swirling battle ensues and we take the objective on the right.  6-1 us.

Round 3:
Mission is Dust Up and we play Erin / Joe Lewis.  The details on this one are even fuzzier.  The one thing I remember is that my 105s got Time on Target for something like 6 turns straight.  Bill and I kill a bunch of stuff, but we can’t break either company.  We assault the objective, but we just can’t pull it off.

But our performance was good enough to get us 2nd place!  Riha and Barnes finished in first – I think one point ahead.

It was a great day and an awesome tournament!  See my picture wearing the “Cheetos Eater” T-Shirt I had made up!


Now to the Nats!

I brought my trusty Canadians to the tournament.  2 Infantry platoons with Roos, 6pdrs with carriers, 25pdrs and 2 Canadian Armoured Recce platoons (2 Sherman Vs and 2 Fireflies – all with .50cals).

Round 1:
I play Jason Roshon, who brought US 7th AD (Confident Trained US Armor).  I can’t remember the exact list, but he had Shermans with Easy Eights (2 platoons), 1iC in an Easy Eight, 2iC in a Jumbo, Cav Recon, Armored Mortars, Trained ARP, 5 Stewies and other nastiness.  Mission was Encounter.

Since Encounter does not have Prepared Positions, I am not subject to Armored Reserves.  With the list I was facing, I went with the two CAR platoons and the 6pdrs on the board.  The board had a rubble town on the right.  It also had trees that would allow Jason to get his tanks fairly close to the objectives and be totally out of LoS.  He put the Stewies, Mortars and Cav Recon in Reserve.  Early turns see me dig in and wait for the attack to develop.  I was also waiting to see what would happen with the Stuarts coming on from Reserve.  Jason moves the Shermans up and stays behind woods.  But along the way, the CAR takes out a Sherman from the left platoon.  We start getting our Reserves (Delayed) and I bring infantry on the far left and the 25 pdrs.  Jason moves the Armored Mortars into fairing range, but he leaves a guy sticking out where my observer can spot him.  I range in and end up causing the platoon to run.  This causes Jason to move into the woods on the left and engage me.  Unfortunately, he bogs a dude along the way.  He does claim a Sherman, but he cannot take the return fire.  I kill or bail everyone and have the infantry ready for the follow-up assault.  I now shift all my CAR to the left, throw everyone in Roos and go Stuart hunting.  Jason now has to respond and starts to move the other Shermans on the far right to the left, but arty hounds them along the way.  I end up wiping the Stewies, Cav Recons and cause a Company Morale, which Jason fails.  It took a decent number of turns, but once the shooting started the game pace picked up.

Result:  6-1 to me.
Round 2:
I draw Caleb Vicks.  He is a CGR Painter guy and super nice.  He had Brit Lorried Rifles.  Two platoons of rifles, UCs, a two mortar tube platoon, a platoon of two 6pdrs with carries, two platoons of Cromwells and Challengers (one had 2 Croms, the other had 3 Croms), a platoon of Achilles M10s and a platoon of Bofors SPAA.  9 platoons.  Mission was Cauldron.  I chose to Night Attack.

This board was total BS.  Horrible board that really sucked for both of us.  There were four sections of narrow trees literally (and we measured it too!) going down the middle of the board as measure from short ends.  So for Cauldron, this forced the game to be played on two halves (left and right).  Oh, there was a break in the trees – that had a building taking up the space perfectly.  This is a BF board too!  Ok, back to the game.

I placed the objectives pretty far apart and on each of the two halves.  Infantry goes on each.  Short Crom deploys with a Cromwell in the woods on my left and looking out the left half, with the other tanks on the right half.  The long platoon is in Immediate Ambush.  Rest are in Delayed Reserves.  Random Deployment sees my infantry on the upper right, CAR in lower right and CAR in lower left.  25pdrs, 6pdrs and infantry are in Reserves.  Immediate Ambush goes on the right half.

I end up killing the Cromwell sticking out fairly early.  I get Reserves Turn 2 and put the infantry on the table on the left, protected by hedges.  These move towards the objective.  Night Lifts top of 4 and shooting really begins.  We swirl for a few turns, but I am able to kill the 2 Crom platoons, then kill the mortars from Reserve and the Bofors.  Realizing that the Achilles were next, Caleb shakes hands.  We then spend a good thirty minutes talking tactics and list building.  Wilcox comes over and joins the discussion too.  That was a blast, and yes I bought Caleb a beer.

Result: 6-1 to me.

Round 3:
I draw David Danner.  Super, super nice guy and a great opponent.  I can’t say enough!  His list?  I don’t have a copy because it was the exact same as mine.  He had come up with the same list, but wasn’t 100% sure about it until he read my article that I wrote for WWPD.  So it was a mirrored list game.  Mission was Pincer.  We both opted to Night Attack.  David had the Maple Leaf dice and rolled a 5.  I shrugged, knowing that I had to defend while I rolled my Brit Para dice.  I rolled a 6.  Wohoo!  And that basically sealed the fate for David.

Our table had a hill in the middle and a lot of woods on the right.  So he made the right his deployment zone.  Nice choice for David.  He puts his objective in the middle (perfect spot) and I put mine as close as I can to my area, but closest to where I happened to be sitting.  You see the hill created two avenues of attack for me and I chose the avenue closest to me.  And there was a field there for me to use.  So everything rushes down that axis.  David chooses to deploy his 25pdrs on the close objective with CAR support from behind.  6pdrs are in Ambush (I know that will hurt).

Under the cover of night, I move out.  With Spearhead and Turn 1 movement, I am now 8 inches away from the close objective and in assault range of the arty.  David knows what is coming and decides to pop the Ambush.  He rolls for sight and he can see one of my CAR.  He lights me up, but I survive.  I arty him back and kill some guns.  I also shoot with the CAR, but can’t kill them all.  I assault the guns with the infantry and they are destroyed.  I am now on the objective, but not dug in.  Bottom of Turn 2 sees the 6dprs finish off a CAR platoon.  His CAR now has to get into assault range to contest and David decides to assault me.  While I can’t stop the assault, I can certainly swing back.  I do and after two rounds of assaults, I end up bailing every tank.  I am now on the objective without anything contesting and win at the top of Turn 3.

Result: 5-2 to me.

After Day 1, I am sitting with 20 points (you get a bonus for the win).  That made me tied for 1st with Tony Davis.

Day 2:

Round 4:
Tony Davis and I face off!  He has a Canadian list, but with Crocs, UCs, Wasps and 2 Breaching Groups.  The mission is Counterattack.  I Night Attack Tony.

First, I know Tony.  I have talked, emailed, broken bread and shared beers with Tony.  I like Tony.  He can be misunderstood on the forums at times – or not misunderstood at all – but in person he is a nice dude.  I had a wonderful game.

Table (again) was rubble village on right and woods / fields on left.  The details are sketchy / it would take way too long to describe, but basically I got on the wrong side of the power curve and Tony was able to knock out both CAR with his reserves.  I was able to assault into the objective in the village, but I could not hold it.  It was a much closer game than the result states, but Tony schooled me pretty well.  I did learn quite a bit during that game and I look forward to the rematch!

Result: 1-6 loss.

Round 5:
Now I continue to my roll of playing excellent opponents.  I get Phillip Messier and his US Glider troops from Nuts!.  The mission is Hold The Line.  He has 2 platoons of Gliders, HMG platoon (he CAs them into the infantry), two Hellcats platoons, two 105 platoons, 57mm AT guns and one more that I am forgetting.  Since his list looks to be weak on the attack, I decide not to Night Attack and we roll for it.  And to be honest, Night Attack would not have been a huge benefit.  I “won” the roll and had to attack.  After the game, Phillip states that he would not have won if he had to attack.  I have to agree.

The game details are boring, but basically I move forward, TDs pop, they have subpar shooting, I can’t make them pay for it, attack bogs down, I shift attack axis, get an assault into the objective, but I am cut down the next turn.  His Hellcats are down to just a few vehicles, but I can’t run the platoon until very late in the game.  I shake hands.

Result: 2-5 loss.

Round 6:
I draw Charlie Clay.  So I have three straight games against solid players.  This will be tough.  Mission is Free For All.

Charlie has Vet US Armored Rifles with Hellcats, Scotts, Shermans, Abrams, Recon, AOP and Limited Air.  Table is rural (no ruined towns!!) with a hill in my area, a hill in Charlie’s, some trees and a rural house with a stone courtyard in his area.  I have trees in mine and roads are in both of our areas.

I put CAR, 6pdrs and 25pdrs and infantry on the left objective area.  CAR and infantry on right.  Right CAR is in a hull down position in the hill.  Charlie loads up my right side with ARP, Shermans, Scotts.  Middle has ARP and Recon.  TDs are on the left.  Charlie goes first, so no air.  He moves aggressively towards me.  In my turn, I mount everyone up on the left and blitz the TDs.  I arty the ARP and do some damage.  CAR shifts slightly.  Turn 2 sees Charlie get air, but only one plane.  He pops the TDs and kills a Roo, but only kills one infantry stand.  The TDs also get a carrier, but the gun lives.  On the right, he doubles the ARP into my LoS, moves the Shermans and the Scotts.  Shooting results in a smoke round on the CAR.  My turn, I destroy the TDs, assault into the rural house with the court yard to kill the 2iC.  On the right, I destroy – to a man – the ARP that doubled.  I think I may have nailed a Scott.  That left the left objective wide open, with Charlie moving Recon in that direction.  Based on the look on Charlie’s face, we decide on a 5-2 for me and call it a game.  I might have gotten the 6-1, but we both did not want to sit and roll dice for another 2 hours.

Result: 5-2 for me.

That left me with 29 points total.  Edited - I now know the results and I finished tied for 11th place.  While I fell back on Day 2, to finish that high with 106 guys playing makes me happy.  I had great games and enjoyed the time!  And as always, learned new tactics that will make me a better player next time!

Congrats to James Gains / Chaos45 for the overall victory.  And congrats to my good friend Bill Wilcox on Best General!