Round One I faced Ron and his Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk, a heavy tank regiment equipped with IS-2s and Churchills. The mission was Counterattack.
|Here they come...|
|After an initial successful assault on my 2cm FlaK guns, in which they would fall back to the left of the screen, the IS-2s were in position to assault my infantry.|
Round Two would see me matched up against more Soviets and my good friend Reno. He was running a Hero Gvardeyskiy Rota Razvedki and I'd be defending in Hold the Line.
|Reno had two Rota platoons, 120mm mortars, 57mm guns, Spetznaz, all FV, and some FT 76mm Emcha Shermans. I deployed my Nebelwerfers and one FJ platoon, and held both Marder platoons in Ambush.|
|Reno very quickly brought his entire force right into my lines.|
|When the halftracks left the table I was relieved, as I knew their .50 MGs would put a severe hurt on the Marders. Fortunately for Reno, the flamethrower team did enough damage on his own, knocking out three Marder IIIs.|
|The battle for supremecy was held here in this small field, with Reno throwing everything he had at it. More Marder IIs would die to a 120mm mortar barrage and 57mm rounds.|
|One Marder from each platoon and a handful of surviving FJs would stay long enough to see off both of his Rota, his Spetznaz, and the remaining Emcha, and his Fearless troops would fail a Company Motivation check.|
Another 6-1 win, though this one was much closer. My reserves never appeared, but the Marder survivors were stubborn. My FJs were also down to a single stand after withering fire and several assaults.
Round Three was held the next morning, and my opponent Chris' green Masters shirt clued me in to just how tough this game would be. He was running a German Panzerspähkompanie with 10 platoons and the mission was Surrounded.
|Chris' 7.5cm PaK40s would have clear shots from across the board. He kept his Panzer II Ls back until they were needed.|
|On the other side he had mor 7.5cm PaK40s and his Tiger II ran uncontested, taking shots at the Marders from 40" away.|
Round Four I was matched up against Stephen and his British 11th Armoured Recce Squadron, Cromwells and Challengers backed up by infantry. It would be a Free-For-All.
|Stephen rushed in on Turn One, but my 7.5cm recoiless guns would knock one tank out.|
|The Marders would get pinned down behind this ruin, but managed to destroy one platoon plus two other tanks before they in turn were destroyed.|
|Turn Three- With my Objective surrounded and all of my Marders and the recoiless guns destroyed, it was time to get crazy.|
|The FJs, with a little support from my 8cm mortars, were able to assault his Motor platoon and seize the objective. His second Motor platoon tried to assault back the next turn, but was unable to get through my defensive fire.|
I would get a 4-3 victory in a tough matchup, enough to put me in good position going into the last round. I would be matched up against another friend, Dave and his Finnish Lapin Sota Jääkärikomppania. The mission was Dust Up.
|I deployed my nebelwerfers, flak, recoiless guns, and one FJ platoon to defend the objectives, while putting the rest in reserve.|
|Dave deplyed an infantry platoon, 150mm artillery, 122mm artillery, and 50mm guns, while he held infantry, pioneers, HMGs, mortars, and 75mm guns in reserve.|
A tough 1-6 loss versus a tough opponent with a tough list. Dave would go on to take second place overall, congrats! I had one chance to hit his lines hard, but my veteran troops rolled so many twos!
I went 3-2 and ended up tied for sixth place, not too bad. It was great to get back to NorCal again, it's one of the best Flames of War communities out there. Brad Feliz took first place, and my earlier opponent Chris took third. This was the largest attendance ever for a West Coast Nationals or a NorCal event. There was even a ton of prize support, and after the top winners chose thier prize, BF gave the rest out by shortest time playing the game, so as to encourage newer players to expand their armies. They're already talking about next year!