Monday, November 12, 2012

Wargaming

As a bit of something different, we had a 'Club Day' amongst the Flames of War players at the Chch Cavs on Saturday. The impetus was Craig and Poochie's desire to get some 1750 LW gaming in vs a range of lists. 1750 LW is my least favorite of all possible formats but I gave this a go, and was glad I did - two very fun games of FOW made up for the last terrible one I'd had. The idea was three tournamentish timed games in the day. I managed two and then murmurings that the natives were getting restless on the home front pulled me away. Originally, I was inclined to run stolid and stodgy German Infantry with armour support (yawn) - though the idea of taking Otto Carius with that did have a lot of appeal. The first tournament army I ran at Conquest in 2007 was 161 Grenadier Regt from Narva 1944, with Carius' Tigers in support. However, what I fielded in the end was another of my Conquest armies - one pretty much like what I ran in 2011.

For whatever random reason, despite hardly playing FOW, I had been reading the FOW forum and seeing the claims that LW Tankovy was ruined by V3. Essentially, 'Hens and Chicks' now allows T-34s to shoot if they do a full move (can't see how that'd be useful...)  and then raised the cost of them. However, my sums told me (or Easyarmy.com told me) that you can have 19 CT T-34/85s, Kommissar Dedov, 4 SU-100s and a short Spetsnaz platoon for your 1750 pts. If you want fearless, then it's 16 T-34/85s with the same amount of support and upgrades. I think you can also have about 18-19 FT T-34/85s (1 in 9 chance of failing motivation!) if the SU-100s are Razvedki. Seemed like a good deal to me!


First game up was against Stephen S' Irish Guards. We settled on Encounter, so half on and half off. His force had six platoons: Three of mixed Sherman 75s and Fireflies. Then one more of four SP M10c (17pdr) and three stuarts, and then that odd column unit that can be ATGs, carriers or infantry. That meant he could plunk all his tanks on the table and have the M10s as a reserve. Having just the four 'platoons' meant I had to either put my tank destroyers of half my tanks in reserve. I opted to have the Tank destroyers and pray (well it's a 2/3 chance) that my tanks came on close enough to where I needed them.

First off, I went first and raced my tanks up hide behind the big hill, while the tank destroyers took up concealed positions in the central village. Stephen was leaving a platoon of tanks to hold his other objective (I felt that no one's tanks were going near one of mine...) so two platoons of Vet Shermans faced my forces.


Turn two saw me getting to put the new Soviet rules into action, as I popped a company of T-34/85s up over the hill and had a crack at Stephen's tanks. I only got two Sherman 75s and so there were some stationary Sherman Firefly's sitting there looking back up at my tanks. When they shot back, I lost four tanks and on my turn decided to pull the remainder back down and take pot shots at Stephen's tanks as they tried to push through the village.

Happily, my reserves came on right away and in the middle (Stephen's tank destoyers did the same next turn, sigh). What ensued then was a few turns of tank shoot outs amongst the buildings before Stephen's M-10s got cocky and wore the focused return fire of most of my army. At this stage, Stephen was bleeding tanks, while I had most of a full company and the decimated one was continuing to not break, somehow. Seeing how this would go if I was left to my own devices, Stephen tried working his other units around the flank of the village and in his last turn even used Stuarts to do a flank run on some T-34/85s. However, it was not to be and I basically killed all his tanks.

It would have been a very different battle had he taken Typhoons...


Game two was me back against Jeff L, again. Jeff had opted to take the infamous new 'Wood Elves': some sort of new fangled US Vet company that has infantry that can run 16" through woods and manages to ambush with two AT13 tank destroyer units, one SP, one towed, in addition to any ambushes granted by the mission. We were playing surrounded, so add in another immediate ambush to that. Also, genius level tactician that I am, I also infiltrated a tank company forward. Why, when whatever happened I basically couldn't get the jump on all those units hiding in ambush? Because I had the ability so *had* to use it. Of course, Jeff got the resulting dice roll to have first turn that my using the ability then gave him.

So the first turn of the game was a battery of Priests, a battery of ATGs and a platoon of M10s all suddenly appearing (where do they find all the space to hide this stuff) and wiping out 9 T-34/85s - almost half the tanks gone before my first turn. To the left of the (above) pic you can see what was left, some recce infantry amongst the wrecks of my tanks...

Luckily, I bought spare T-34/85s. The OTHER company worth of tanks (see bottom left of pic, above) was going to have to get busy. And get busy they did. While the original force got decimated further, with the CiC and Dedov both getting shot to pieces, then the SU-100s (amusingly, Dedov was in brief command of a SU-100), it was left to a short Spetsnaz platoon to hold that flank to give the other tanks some scope to try and bring us back from the brink.
Oh how Jeff laughed at my crazy talk of the ninjas sneaking up and bagging his ATGs while he tried to pick off my tanks. What could three teams of infantry do? I think he was envisaging the resulting contest something like the above (hint, I am not Arthur).

Well, while the remaining T-34s patiently broke the M-10 platoon, my Spetsnaz first managed to assault and kill an enemy gun team. Then spent plenty of turns leaping in and out of their transports, evading, reorganising, shooting, and generally firing their mgs and SMGs. They picked off a couple of enemy infantry teams but crucially kept that ATG platoon always watching its back as it was now the sole ranged AT asset. Meanwhile, my T-34s were smashing Priests.

 
It got down to the point where my Spetsnaz were still alive but Jeff had managed to exploit  my need to keep 16" or closer to an OBJ and finally broke my other T-34 unit through mainly Bazooka fire. He definitely isn't the kind of boring infantry player that hides all day in foxholes and waits to time the game out. By this time, his ATGs had been broken and his priests were looking decidedly worse for the wear. The infantry that had the job of shooting bazookas at tanks from open ground did not seem super-enthused about the resulting mg inflicted casualties. However, I broke first, approximately 30 turns (or it seemed like that to Jeff) after the point where he wiped out almost half my army before I even got to go!

I'm not big-city tournament player, but those V3 T-34s seem alright to me. I had heaps of fun, the guys at the Cavs have a good attitude to the game.

On a related note: Below is Stephen S' incredibly cool terrain by 4ground. (15mm versions)

I am on a little bit of a 28mm WW2 binge at the moment and I had been considering getting some 28mm 4ground buildings - but we have a family, and it's Christmas coming up, and... Anyway dreams are free!

 However, Andy also had some of his city fight terrain there. I mainly fail at building buildings but I could possibly achieve a passable building, using his simple approach?
Even a mainly single level ruin looks alright and is achievable if made out of foamcore. I am prototyping, as I type.




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4 comments:

  1. Nice report Jamie - must admit the T34 horde always puts the willies up me! ;-)

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  2. Thanks Scott. I hope I conveyed,how much fun I had. The T-34s are a bit of a paper tiger - I lost ten (concealed) tanks in a round of shooting vs Jeff!

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  3. I enjoyed the day Jamie, good fun, relaxing games.

    One thing I've learned over the years is not to listen to what 90% of people of the FoW forums say- I'd much rather have the new H&C than the old versions

    Craig

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  4. Well perhaps, but some of the guys making that claim include Ben and Robin (from the UK) - who both seem to do very well at events. Still, I'm no big-city tournament player...

    I do see a perturbing tendency to still talk about Soviets in terms of assaulting things though. I'd kind of given up on that even with V2 (and the 16" daisy chained interlocked DF of DOOM). So while it's worse for Soviet tanks to assault in V3, shooting things seems to be the way to go anyway? Soviet armour is now much better at shooting.

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