Sunday, February 13, 2011

FOW Saturday Skirmish at Comics Compulsion

Amidst all the 'Boxing Day' PR stunts (hey look! a central government politician in the mall!), Tim put on the first 'Saturday Skirmish' for 2011 yesterday. Since we are allegedly the most 'organised', he made it Flames of War. In the event, we only had four of us there for our three 600 pt Midwar battles, which is exactly sufficient I guess. Stephen S, myself, Dave E and his step-nephew Seth were the combatants. I got Dave first up. He had Schnellschwardren: HQ, Schnell platoon, 75mm IG platoon, Recce platoon of two captured BA-10s and a looted T-34/76. I had good old dependable Grenadiers. I had considered taking simply nine T-34/76s but I suspected, and this was borne out by the lists there, that it would make the games a bit lopsided. So instead I had HQ with mortars, full Grenadier platoon, 2x Pak 40s and a looted KV-1e. 

Game one was vs Dave (no pic sorry). I deployed stupidly and left my infantry in the centre too vulnerable to opportunistic fire from armoured cars. They were covered by Paks from the flanks and the KV, but I was unable to roll my sixes for many, many turns. I got the ACs in the end, but not before he broke the Grenadier platoon. Seeing that I intended to then use my Paks and KV to just shell him out, Dave took advantage of the fact that I had to use the KV to contest the objective and assaulted it with his infantry. He actually managed to bail it out and won the game. A good reward for aggressive play.

Stephen S (Aussies with Rifle Platoon, Carrier patrol and three Matildas) took on Seth's Grenadiers (Grenadier platoon, Assault troops with Schmidt and pak 38 platoon) in the desert and emerged victorious. I was up vs Seth next. The objective is near the middle of this picture, I am the snow based troops. This was only Seth's second game of flames, so he wasn't able to set up enough of an interlocked defense to prevent me pushing him off the objective and then he had to keep troops in the open to contest on the road or lose guys trying to assault infantry intermixed with a tanks and overlapped fields of fire.

Stephen is a veritable juggernaut for the 600pt format. After getting a bloody nose from him last time we played 600 pts -  I told him he had to withdraw my quote verifying his abnormally poor dice-rolling, which he was using as a signature on the FOW forum. He still has it up there. To the left, you can see the tug of war vs Dave E. Dave's T-34 might as well have been a Tiger vs Stephen's force and he ended up with only a single rifle platoon. However, those infantry were FV Aussies and Stephen just wouldn't say die. He was rewarded for it too - he actually bagged the tank and the ACs and won it.

So the stage was set for the epic rematch between us. Wisely, Stephen held his armour back, pushing the Rifles up the centre and flanking with the recce carriers. I had set the Paks up covering both the road and able to direct fire on the building I knew he would be occupying to hold the objective. I had a mortar spotter (the 2iC) up in a nice high perch. Most importantly, I had learned my lesson from the game vs Dave and kept that KV with the Grenadiers! Stephen had aggressively pushed the recce ap there (left of photo) but they 2/3 go hung up on the hedgerows (skill checks).

Things were then quite challenging for Stephen. The KV-1 was essentially a bunker, which I moved to whichever corner of the field best suited at the time. I then put a row of infantry in the concealment of the rubble surrounding the building on the objective, and kept the rest of the platoon gone-to-ground in the field behind. Stephen kept trying to harass them with the recce, but eventually they died to the KV and were unable to roll enough 6s to do any real damage. Meanwhile, my line of boys next to the house were able to roll plenty of 5s and 6s to shoot at Stephen's Aussies as they made their way through the building. 
It took a fair number of turns, but enough hits also translate into successful firepower rolls and I reduced them down. In the end, he had no choice but to expose the Matilda's to the Paks covering the road. By that time, the KV was able to join the action. Matildas are tough tanks and he successfully forced my front line of infantry off. This was not enough to stop me sending troops to contest the objective again though and even Matildas can't survive in front of Pak 40s for too long. In the end, I killed off everything, with the Aussie rifles failing their rerolled fearless check to keep fighting. Another tight game, and a very good end to the day.

Cheers to my three opponents for a fun few hours of games on a Saturday and cheers especially to Tim for putting it on.

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