Saturday, July 26, 2014

Historicon 2014 - Mid War Nationals

The Mid War Nationals were held Friday/Saturday at Historicon and drew 83 players from the US and Canada.  Some great players were on hand and there were also some great looking armies on display.  Six rounds in two days (and nine in three) can be rough, but I had fun.

Round One was Free-For-All vs. Robert Kelly and a Canadian Sherman tank company.

Robert deployed all of his Shermans on the right side and his 25 Pounder battery on the left.  I deployed a Grenadier platoon on each of my Objectives, the Nebs and Scouts in the center and StuHs to the left, Marder IIIs to the right.
The first several turns saw Robert's Shermans push on my right-side Objective but some timely air strikes by my Fw-190s and well sighted Marder shots were able to keep the Shermans from assaulting my Grenadiers.  The Marders were able to hold out long enough for my StuHs and second Grenadier platoon to get across the board to the 25 Pounders.
The Grenadiers were successful in their assault of the artillery battery and Robert's HQ tanks weren't able to reach the Objective in time to contest it.  
A 5-2 win for me, lost the Marders to Semi-indirect Fire.  The Fw-190s really carried the day, as did the aggressive assault across the board to the artillery battery.  Rob was fun to play and his Shermans looked great.

Round Two was vs. Byron Sinor, a very tough opponent that won the Late War Nationals earlier in the year.  He was running a US Stuart tank company.  The mission was Cauldron.

I deployed both of my Grenadier platoons and the StuHs, one of the infantry platoons occupying the church and house nearest the center.  My Marders, Scouts and Nebs would be in Delayed Reserve.  Byron started with Stuarts, Recon and an Armored Rifle platoon on the board.
Byron moves aggressively with his Stuarts and Recon at the church, backed up my General Harmon.
After a viscious series of assaults in and out of the church the Grenadiers are able to hold the Objective through turn six.  
At the end of the alloted time we had played nine or ten turns.  I had lost one Grenadier platoon, my Marders and the Scouts, but I still contested the Objective.  Byron had lost a Stuart platoon and an ARP.
A 4-3 win for me, but just barely.  A few more turns and it would have been reversed.  

Round Three saw me matched up agaist Ed Forbes and a giant Soviet tankovy in Fighting Withdrawl.

I deployed on the three Objectives and Ed deployed 31(!) tanks on the right.  This was going to be rough.
Ed charged all of his armor at my poor Grenadiers.
The Marders were forced to ambush in the face of all of that Lend-Lease steel.  Four kills, four Bails, Fearless platoons don't run.  The return fire would be deadly.
The game was decided by 1/16".  If I was able to get just a little closer I could have contested the Objective long enough to pull it.  A little luck may have even given me a victory, but it wasn't to be.
Almost!  Just too much Soviet steel to fight back.  The number of tanks they can throw on the board can be rediculous at times, especially when you combine Conscript pricing for light armor.  31 tanks, AA and IL-2s for less than 1500 points.  2-5 loss to end my first day, Ed looking good in the standings!

My first round of the second day saw yet another armored company, this time another Soviet tankovy.  Tim Grimmett ran his pretty similar to Ed, but with T-34s instead of M3s and some recon instead of a second Stuart platoon.  The mission would be Hasty Attack.

On Turn One Tim moved his T-34s and AA trucks at my left side Objective.  He made sure to keep the T-34s out of short range of the Marders but the trucks were too close to the Grenadiers.  The Fw-190s decided to finally come back, after being absent for most of the last two games.  The Grenadiers were able to destroy all three AA trucks and the Marders and Focke-Wulfs did the rest.  Tim thought the game was over but his Company Commander was still on the board.  He made the Company check and his reserves began to roll on, which meant we still had a game to play!  Time to move the Marders.
One of the StuHs was nailed early by the Sturmoviks but the survivor was able to hold back the Soviet reserves with the assistance of long-range Marder fire.
I'm glad we got to play a few more rounds.  Tim was a really good guy and we ended up having a fun game.  A 6-1 victory puts me back in a good spot.

Round Five puts me up against Alex Constantino and a Panzer company.  Five rounds, five tank armies.  The mission was Hold the Line.

I deployed my large Grenadier platoon and put the StuHs and Marders in ambush.  The panzers load up on the left, protected by 2cm flak halftracks.
The ambushes both hit the large panzer platoon but one Panzer IV F continues on.  The Panzer IV Gs win the long-range duel with the Marders and the StuH pulls back to defend the Objective.  The other StuH was destroyed by the Panzer IV Gs and their very accurate gunfire (sixes all day long!)  Alex's Ju-87s rained bombs all over the battlefield, coming in every turn and blowing all kinds of stuff up.  My Fw-190s meanwhile were busy getting shot down in droves by the 2cm flak.
The Panzer IIs ruined my Grenadier's day and assaulted all over them.  Three light tanks and the CiC rolled me.  The lone StuH couldn't hold out much longer and all of my reserves arrived in time to getpinned and never move again.  The chance I had to hit the flak with my nebs resulted in all twos to range in.  I bagged the last Panzer IV when it moved into the StuHs range, but other than that, a pretty rough game all around.
That was a really strange game, but Alex was a good guy.  He just moved to the same area my friend Riha did so I was able to introduce them.  I thought I had a pretty good chance but sometimes it just doesn't work out.  Alex was very aggressive with his panzers and it worked.  2-5 loss.

My last round of the event finally saw something other than tanks, a Strelkovy infantry company run by Dick Hurchanik.  The mission was Dust Up.

Dick deployed both Strelk platoons in the orchards and hid his Churchills back in the corner.  He had an infantry gun battery, a 57mm gun platoon and a apir of Su-85s off the board.  I held the Scouts, a Grenadier platoon and the StuHs off board.  My Marders found themselves with nothing to shoot at and moved to support my reserves, which didn't arrive until turn three.
I got one of Dick's Su-85s with the Focke-Wulfs but the other hid in the woods.  Once they were on the board my defending platoon of Grenadiers launched an attack towards Dick's reserve area.  They were able to assault his infantry gun battery on turn four and destroy it for my only point before time was called.
A bit of a disappointing way to end an event, but it is what it is.  We only were able to fit three-and-one-half rounds in three hours and with reserves that didn't arrive until turn three, not much I could do about it.  I launched assaults on turn three and four but the Churchills came out of hiding in time to contest the Objective at the end of his turn three.  2-1 draw.

Man, what a blast! Historicon is the biggest event of the year and I'm glad I was able to go again this year.  Ended up at 34 out of 83, better than last year, that's for sure.  I had a shot to place even higher, but the slow draw at the end cost me a spot in the top twenty.  Some crazy games and several tons of tanks were the theme of the weekend, but at least I got to shoot some infantry with breakthrough guns at the end.  Planning on next year, unless it's Early War.  Congrats to Ron Wismer and his Finns for winning both the Doubles event and the Nationals, a huge accomplishment.  Dennis Campbell was awarded Best Presentation, an award overdue from last year, for his awesome DAK army.


  1. Nice report Richard, thanks for posting! Some excellent games (excepting the last?), terrain and armies. I like your list, though I'm not sure on the Scouts as recon less necessary for an infantry force in MW I reckon.


  2. Thanks! I had fun as usual, especially the after-hours portion. The plan was for the Scouts to work closely with the StuH 42s, lifting Gone to Ground, etc. but I faced five tank companies. They woud've been able to work as planned in the last game, except they only arrived on or fourth and final turn. One more turn and they and the StuHs woud've been able to go to town on that Strelk!

  3. And no cheating opponents to suffer either.

    Congrats for a good result Rich. Far better than I would have mustered.

    Slow games are my bane.... I lose interest if things take too long and then my tactics go to hell.

    1. Thanks Dai. Slow games can be brutal, especially the ninth game in three days! I don't think my opponent was doing anything wrong on purpose, but man there's no way we should've only finished three-and-a-half turns in three hours, especially since he barely even moved a single stand. Oh well, next year!