Monday, December 10, 2012

Europe in Flames of War (Tourney)

Sunday we completed our cycle of 1500 point Flames of War tournaments at Gnome Games in Green Bay, WI.  The early-war, mid-war, and late-war tournaments had the faces change but the numbers remain constant at six players.  I missed the early-war session due to real world considerations so my Italians remained sans glory.

The mid-war tourney was won by my Panzergrenadiers, 10.5 cm guns, Mk III tanks, Marders and mostly importantly, 2 cm self-propelled AA.  In one game they shot down all eight Sturmoviks that came my way.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera so no pictures.

This round all three scenarios were created by our judge and referee, Dan Wideman of Neenah, WI.  I had intended to field a British or Czech force. is great and inexpensive way to generate multiple army lists if you don't want to buy $50 books.  But the anticipated line-up would have meant some "blue on blue" games, so I want back to Panzergrenadiers.  My "Confident-Trained" list from the Panzer Brigades East supplement had two platoons of panzergrenadiers, six Panther tanks in two platoons, and a battery of 10.5 cm guns.  In this list the panzergrenadiers gave me intergral 2 cm AA models so I didn't need points spent there.

The first game had me going up against a "Fearless-Trained" Polish group.  They had a nice balanced list with a full battery of 8 25lbers, Vicker HMGs, and two platoons each of infantry and tanks.  Only two Panther killers though besides the artillery.  The scenario called for the Poles to deploy first and for the Germans to have the first move-shoot.  This combination plus the relative inexperience of the Father and son team of Mike and Thomas led to a short win for the Germans.  Just getting started in historical gaming, I suspect they will be a force to be reckoned with after a few more games.

Round two had me facing Jake's all armor (or should I say armour?) list.  Loads of Shermans, recon Stuarts, recon Bren carriers, Sextons and Typhoons.  The Germans had to deploy first, fully dug in, but could hold two platoons in ambush.  Guess which ones?  My AA had the dubious choice of staying in the open so they could shoot planes (and die), or hide in the woods and be useless.  I tried for the former.  The scenario called for me to do a fighting withdrawal.  Each turn I didn't withdraw a platoon I added a pip to a counter.  Once the pips and number of platoons reached 8 I had to pull a platoon off table.

The game developed fairly quickly with the Stuarts and Bren Carriers rolling forward as the Sherman platoons moved more cautiously.  Faced with the prospect of losing a platoon quickly (I started with five) the first ambush was sprung as the Panthers wiped out a squadron of Shermans.  But then the Typhoons swept in killing Panther each of the next two turns.  My armor saves were horrendous.  The third Panther went down from a rear shot by a Firefly.  Meanwhile the other ambush had knocked out three Shermans the round it was sprung but another trained Panther died.

Finally a combination of artillery, panzerfausts and the surviving Panthers finished off the British.

The last round I fought a "fill-in" force.  A British veteran recce squadron was the base force.  Built around armored cars, with two squadrons of tanks and limited air support.  In this game by AA support controlled the sky and they had little that could hurt the Panthers.  In exchange for two Panthers Bob's British force was eliminated except for two armored cars from the HQ element.  The panzerfausts possessed by every stand contributed to the victory.

So in the end, by virtue of the level of victory I won the tournament though Andrew's German all armor force also won all three rounds.  In fact, the Germans overall were 8-1 winners.  I guess I have to give credit to Flames of War for accomplishing what they set out to d;, give a vaguely historic result in a short period of time.  They let us into the building at noon, didn't start play till after 1:00 and finished the three rounds by 5:30.  A well invested afternoon.

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