Wednesday, March 29, 2017

First Steps Into V4

I got together with my friend Jon down in El Paso to try out some Late War V4, the first game for me from the new edition.  I quickly modified a list I've played a ton of times to make 1750 points and we tried out a Free For All (which hasn't changed much from a first glance).

Jon brought US Airborne and both of our forces were pretty even.

Our table was a little sparse as the store hasn't built up a sufficient supply of 15mm terrain.  Jon had two units of Recon and was able to push his deployment zone forward on both sides.  It would prove pretty huge!
On Turn One Jon pushed his Airborne, Security Section, and M18 Hellcats forward, killing two of my 15cm nebelwerfers, a pair of infantry, and an HMG as well.  The survivors would Dig In on my Turn One.
With a rather large portion of Jon's forces almost on top of my Objective before I even got a turn, I would immediately be put on the defensive.  My StuGs would be forced to react.
My 2cm FlaK guns would engage Jon's recon Jeeps, eventually doing some damage as they now have a 4+ save.
On his Turn Three, Jon's M18s would use a Blitz order and fire eight shots into my poor StuGs, destroying all three they could see.  The survivor would stay on the board, unlike the nebelwerfers who ran on Turn One.
With the battle on the reverse side of my deployment zone looking grim and Jon's artillery battery ranged in on my troops,  I sent my FJs to go hit the Airborne defending this  house.  All was looking good except I forgot that there were several LMGs in the buildings directly behind it which could offer support.  As Jon said, "When in doubt, attack!"
My own HMGs would halt Jon's best effort, putting heavy casualties onto his Airborne and buying me some time.
Just when it was looking good, my assault was pushed back by defensive fire.  The Airborne would come out and finish me off on Jon's Turn Six and we decided to call it.  Having only destroyed one unit (the Jeeps), this would be scored as a 1-8 loss.
Most of our time was spent going over the new rule book, trying to get everything correct, so we didn't really get to see the supposed new speed of the new edition, but with a third of Jon's army on top of my objective before I had even had a turn I can see the advantage of keeping recon in a list.  We both agreed that learning this new edition was going to take some adjusting to, both of us having played since V1, almost 15 years of incremental change.  Many of the new rules from V4 seem to be 'change for change's sake' to me, with renaming of almost everything or an old name for a new rule.  Other take aways for me include a downgraded affinity for Hull-mounted weapons, as the rotate to face rules and what constitutes side-shots will leave them more vulnerable.  I was glad to see the 4+ save for Unarmored Tank teams, as I think the 3+ was a little too good.  I think quick armor will have a distinct advantage as well.  Stuarts should perform well in Mid War.  Ultimately I think the transition to V4 will be a steep one for me, as list building will be a completely different monster, too.

Monday, January 30, 2017

1515 Late War in Albuquerque

Saturday I made the trip up to Albuquerque for an eight man Late War event and decided to bring a variation of the Fallschirmjäger list I took to Kublacon last year.  I figured two platoons of FV Fallschimjägers backed by two platoons of Marders would do pretty well again.  Here's the list I brought:

In the first round I was matched up against Derrick and his Gurkha Rifle Company and I'd be attacking him in Hold the Line on a pretty barren desert table.

There would be a lot of open table between me and the objectives and I figured my best chance would be to take the forward one before his reserves began to arrive.  He had a single Rifle Platoon on the forward objective, a 25 Pounder Battery near the rear objective (right behind the large mosque), and a 2 Pounder ATG Platoon in ambush.  
I used the large hill for as much cover as I could get before trying for a daring assault.  He was unable to deploy his ambush platoon as far forward as he wished but they still posed a decent threat, high rate of fire and enough AT to kill my Marders.  
My second FJ platoon would try to make a deversionary attack on the mosque but receive a hail of fire from the 2 Pounders, pinning them for what would be a decisive turn.
My main attack would fail miserably, the Nebelwerfers would miss the smoke barrage, and 7 out of eight shots of defensive fire would not only prevent the assault but kill six stands...
With no chance at the forward objective my second platoon would assault the mosque, killing the 25 Pounder command teams, staff team, and one gun and contest the objective.  The 25 Pounders would break and run.
Unfortunately, the turn my fearless troops wouldn't unpin gave Derrick's reserves the tuen they needed to move in and contest.  My FJ platoon would be destroyed leaving only a handful of Marders to make the fight for the objective.
Surprisingly, the Marders not only killed a platoon of 76mm Shermans but a Gurkha Platoon too.  With one Marder II left near the objective one of the 2 Pounders snuck in through the gate on the other side and took it out, causing my now HQ -less company to break.  
Derrick would lose three platoons while I lost five (both FJs, both Marders, and the mortars) giving me a 3-4 loss.  Tough game and closer than I thought it would be towards the end!

In the second round I would play Ryan, a pretty new player who was running the US Task Force Alpha list.  I knew it could be pretty tough to face but also knew it was hard to run.  The mission would be Hasty Attack and I would be defending.

I deployed both of my FJ platoons, my Nebelwerers, and the Marder IIs but Ryan's aircraft knocked two of them out before my first turn!  He started with a six-strong battery of M7 Priests, Pioneers, and a Hellcat Platoon on the board.
My Marder IIIs arrived pretty early on and kept his Pioneers from moving forward for a bit.
Ryan's artillery would knock one out and the others would fall back since the second Hellcat Platoon was approaching.
Ryan made his push on the other side, which initially was lightly defended.  I was able to shift my two remaining Marder IIs to engage the Armored Recon and Hellcat Security Section.
With only a single bailed out vehicle from the Security Section left, my 2iC would make a solo assault, destroying it and preventing the Hellcats from being placed on the board since they were too far away from the terrain.  Time would be called soon after.
I would win this round 5-2, losing the Marder IIIs to a combination of Hellcats, artillery, and the 2iC's M8 armored car, but I had two platoons (2cm FlaK and LG40s) down to their command team and making a few Sole Survior checks.  

My final match was against Vince and his Schwere Panzerkompanie in a Free For All.  

Only got one picture from this battle as my phone died, but this is the half of the board that mattered.  The other half consisted of rubble that slowed movement to 8" and really prevented the Marders from doing much.  Vince also had a pair of Möbelwagens keeping my infantry at bay.  I hada few chances to bag a Königstiger, but a failed Tank Terror (1 and a 2) and a failed Pin check ((1 and a 2) really hurt.  My FJs would make it across to the objective, but his tanks all had Schnell and they weren't slowed down at all.
Vince would win this one pretty convincingly, I managed to kill his 1iC tank and Motorcycle Scouts, but he would take my objective.  2-5 loss after a long day of gaming.

The Marders were a total let-down, and my Fearless troops were pretty disappointing all day.  A platoon of StuGs instead of the Marders would've made a world of difference.  I still wound up in third place due to soft scores and took home $10 in store credit and had fun in all three games.  Thanks to all three of my opponents!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Review

What can I say except that I'm glad 2016 is over.  It's been a busy 12 months and hobby time has been pretty slim.  I did find the time to play 21 games in total, down a little from last year, including large events in California and Arizona, and some smaller ones in New Mexico and Texas.  A new Flames of War venue in El Paso has helped establish a new gaming community of about a dozen players since last year, and its continuing to grow.  Here's to a renewed sense of hobby purpose in 2017!

I didn't get much painted for myself in 2016, but I did get one commission finished and delivered and another is very close to completion (Sam, I'm almost there, promise.)

StuG III A Batterie
Fallschirmjäger 2cm FlaK38 Batterie
Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha and Type 95 Ha-Go tanks

I made trips to Kublacon in California and Shifting Sands in Arizona, too.

Shifting Sands

Total progress for the year was pretty small, but I made my goal of not adding to my mountain of models.  I purchased or won a total of eight Flames of War models and two 28mm Samurai miniatures, while painting ten Flames of War models for a +/- of zero!

Shifting Sands is in a few weeks and I'll be trying my hand at Team Yankee for the first time.  Kublacon is in May and I plan on flying back for that, too.  I might even convince the wife to let me go to one more Historicon as well.  Happy hobbying everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mid War in Albuquerque

Way back in October I made the trip up to Albuquerque for a Mid War event hosted by Active Imagination.  I brought my Fallschirmjäger, this time represented by the Tunisia/Sicily list in North Africa.

My first game was against Steven and his German Pantherkompanie.  He had lots of CT Panthers supported by two small infantry platoons.  The mission was No Retreat and I would be defending.

I would deploy my Fallschirmjäger in and around the buildings in the town, holding all four corners of the crossroads.  He would drive his Panthers straight in on Turn One.
With the panzers charging forward, I had no choice but to sit and wait for the ineveitable assault.  I had Marder IIs in Ambush, but wanted to wait for flank shots.
The first Assault by Steven would push back my Fallschirmjäger, though it would cost him three Panthers.  The FJs would retreat to the ruins in the bottom right of the photo.
With the Objective contested, I moved my second platoon of FJs to assist.
Steven tried to push them off again, but this thime the FJs stood strong, destroying all of his tanks.  He would concede here, 6-1 victory for me.
My second round would see me matched up against Eric's Soviet Strelkovy Battalion in Cauldron, and I would be defending again.  Mid War Mosters were allowed, and Eric had a pair of KV-5s that I had no real answer for.  Yikes.

Eric's random deployment would put one Strelk, the KV-5s, and his portee AA MGs on my left.  My FJs were deployed across the center.
These things are big and nasty, but the low ROF and slow speed helped me out.
My deployment.  Marder IIs in Immediate Ambush.
Eric's Strelk came right in, but the FJs were tenacious defenders.  I was just able to hold them back for the 2.5 hours that we played, 5-2 victory for me against the Soviet hordes.
My final round was against Derrick and his Gurkha Rifles in Hasty Attack.  This time I would be the attacker.

I deployed up front, but wanted to aviod the mostly open center of the table.
I sent my troops up early, setting up for an assault where I would have the advantage, but plans never quite go as they're supposed to...  The assault would get pushed back, even though I had them pinned down, 5 out of six shots on 5s!  After failing to break this platoon early, we would both stick around for another 2+ hours, as Derrick had 11 platoons of mostly infantry, backed by Honey Stuarts.  
I would just barely win this one an the last moment, earning a 5-2 victory even though half of my army was down to 1 or 2 stands.  FV troops stick around!  

Thanks to all of my opponents, fun as always!