Saturday, May 31, 2014

Armies on Parade at Kublacon

Wanted to show off some of the great looking armies from Kublacon last weekend.  If I missed yours you were probably still playing!

My German Grenadierkompanie
Sam Wallis' US Medium Armored Company
Reno Besseghini's Soviet Rota Razvedki
Marco Quesada's Romanian Companie Tancuri
Ziv Lang's Battaglione Bersaglieri
Stefan Vallecillo's Soviet Tankovy Batalon
Dave Ripperda's German Grenadierkompanie
Russ Moore's Italian Folgore Compagnia Paracadutisti
Dave Partak's LRDG Patrol
Josh Kegerreis' US Rifle Company
Paul Gacek's German Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie
Brad Feliz' US Armored Rifle Company
Wyn Robertson's Battaglione Bersaglieri
Dean Gregorson's Battaglione Bersaglieri

All around some fantastic looking armies with great themes!  Lots of Italian goodness and some great basing from several of the players.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Kubla! Con!

Flew out to San Francisco to catch the big annual event at Kublacon.  Every year the guys from Gamescape North put on an amazing show with great prize support.  This year we had items from Battlefront, Plastic Soldier Company, Forged in Battle and Secret Weapon.  These events are better supported and better run than any official Battlefront Nationals I've ever attended and the after-hours fun can get a bit crazy too.  The format was Mid War, 1485 points.  Here's my list:

Round One I was matched up with Mason Partak, the circuit's yougest member and the son of one of it's founders, Dave.  Mason had the Death or Glory Boys from North Africa, a British tank company of mixed types. The mission was Hold the Line.
I was defending with my Grenadier company and had chose to deploy my large Grenadier platoon, my StuH 42s and hold my Marder IIIs in Ambush.
Mason had a bunch of tanks, he deployed Stuarts, Valentines, the HQ Grants and a Para platoon on his left, Crusaders and Valentines up the middle and 25 pounders and Universal Carriers on the right.
On his Turn One Mason pushed his Stuarts forward and got his observer into a spot to see my StuHs.  On my turn my second Grenadier platoon arrived from Reserve and headed for the center objective.  The Marders ambushed the Stuarts, destroying three and Bailing one.  They failed their Morale test.
Mason began putting some pressure on both of my defending vehicle platoons but the Luftwaffe arrived with Fw 190s, harassing the HQ Grants and the Paras.
Some good shooting by the StuHs breaks the Crusader platoon.
Mason's 25 pounders range in on the Gone to Ground Marders in the trees and destroys two!  A push by his Paras attempts to finish them off the next turn, but the Grenadiers supporting them see the Brits off.  
Ultimately the Death or Glory Boys failed a Company Morale check and I was able to preserve the Marders.  6-1 for the Grenadiers in Round One.  If Mason had concentrated his tanks together it could have been very different.

Round Two saw me matched up against Russ Moore and his Italian Folgore paratroopers.  Russ is one of the nicest guys around and a very solid player in the circuit and on a national level.  The mission was Free For All and this would be a tough fight.
My deployment:  large Grenadiers on the left supported by Marders in the trees.  These would push forward to secure the close buildings and trees on the left.  Nebs in the back, Scout platoon in the center.  Smaller Grenadiers and StuHs in the trees would push at the objective once Russ' 88 was down.  Russ deployed the Bersaglieri across from the StuHs and the Paras on the other side.  88s deployed to support either.  He also had Nebs and Marders.  
Turn One: The StuHs push forward and hit the 88!  Roll a 1 for firepower...  This would be a recurring theme for the invincible 88s.  Infantry push forward across the board.  Scouts occupy the central building, planning to support the StuHs.
Russ countermoves his Paras to assault he domed building.  A second Para platoon advances behind.  Luckily the Paras are denied the assault from defensive fire.
Russ' Marders initiate a duel with mine and chase each other for several turns.  My Scouts decide to harrass the Marders from behind.
Russ' (trained) 88s have by now survived several hits by StuHs, Nebs and an airstrike while shooting down several Focke-Wulfs and denying the StuHs their shots and freedom to move.  Since I've now given up on that side of the board I redeploy the StuHs to fire on the Marders.  
The StuHs and remaining Marder IIIs get Russ' Marders!  The race is on for his objective.
My Grenadiers launch an assault into the building where the first Para platoon retreated after taking several casualties earlier in the game.  I manage to push them back and also destroy the platoon commander of the Paras in the trees.  The commander of the small first platoon becomes the Unknown Hero, but withdraws back to defend.
I throw everything I have at the objective.  The StuHs quickly get across the board and the Scouts and Grenadiers make their big push.  Russ begins to send Bersaglieri to assist.   His Bersags and 88s (!) work over the Scouts, who should have held their fire and then attempted to Disengage but I got over zealous at trying to knock the platoon into another Morale test.  They run.  Wasn't thinking that they were 2+ with a re-roll (Unknown Hero and the CiC) and any attempt and making them break would fail anyways.  The Grenadiers were pushed back by defensive fire before losing their Morale test and fleeing.  My last chance was a push by the StuHs, as we were quickly running out of time.  The 2iC joins the StuHs for an assault but dies to defensive fire.  The StuHs get one para but the two command stands both hit with Passaglia bombs.  My last chance at a win fails.  I've got three platoons left but they either gutted or out of position.  At this point Russ wants to quit and declare a 2-3 draw but I suggest he keep playing.  We have about four minutes left but my objective is only defended by a single Marder III.  He takes his CiC and leads the leaderless Para platoon across the board and assaults the lone Marder, securing the objective with about a minute left. 
You gotta play these games out!  This game proved to be pivotal for Russ as he eventually won the tournament.  If he had stopped playing when he wanted to both of us would have been knocked out early.  I could have let him since it would't have affected my score.  The best I could have scored after my final failed push was two points.  I just didn't have anything left on the board that could have stolen a point from him in those closing minutes, barring a failed Sole Survivor on the 2+ Para platoon.  I encouraged Russ to keep going, to take his CiC and lead that mostly-intact platoon to victory and I'm glad I did.  Russ and his brave Italians deserved the victory. 2-5 to Russ.

Round Three found me matched up versus Joe Harney and his SS Panzergrenadiers in Counterattack.  I haven't had the pleasure of playing Joe before and I'm glad I got the chance, he's a great opponent.
I chose the lower left corner for deployment and held the Marders in Ambush.  StuHs were my Reserve platoon.  Joe picked the quadrant directly opposite of mine, open objective near the muddy stream.
My Nebs and smaller Grenadier platoon would hold this quadrant, the larger would move to hold the open objective and the Scouts would deploy between them to support either.  Potentially.
Joe makes an aggressive move on his first turn, doubling his Panzergrenadiers towards the open objective.  If he can get there first its gonna be rough vs. all of those MGs.
His Nebs hit hard, destroying a stand from both the Grenadiers and the Scouts, Pinning them both.  2iC moves to at least contest the objective.
Joe's advance continues, his Panzer IIIs pushing right into the Nebelwerfers.  His second Panzergrenadier platoons assaults into the trees and front house, pushing my Grenadiers back.  This is looking ugly early...
Luckily, reinforcements have arrived!  The StuHs move onto the board, destroying two SdKfz 251s and their passengers.  An airstrike by Fw 190s destroyed the other two the turn before.  Joe's thrust to the open objective has stalled.
The turn before the Marders ambushed a lone Panzer III made an attempt to assault the Nebs but missed.  The gun crew were able to destroy the Panzer.  After the Marders fired on the remaining Panzer IIIs, (missing most of them) the Panzers fire back before disengaging around some trees.
The StuHs find themselves in a position to hit the Panzer IIIs in the flank, destroying the platoon.  Pak 40s prevent them from doing much else though.
The rest of the game revolved arond the first objective.  Once The StuHs could sneak around to get a few shots on the Panzergrenadiers the large Grenadier platoon make thier assault, clearing Joes forces from my deployment zone.  
The loss of his first Panzergrenadier platoon so early really hurt Joe's chances to take the open objective and he was forced to attack into my strongest defenses.  Once his Panzers were knocked out he quickly found his forward Panzergrenadiers surrounded and outnumbered.  6-1 for me.

This event was awesome.  I had a good chance to win the whole thing, but stubborn Italian resistance found me just short of victory.  I think I still ended up in the top four or five, and I won Best Presentation!  I'm glad Russ got the victory, as it is very well deserved.  Congrats to him and the other winners.  Thanks to the Gamescape North crew and to all of my opponents.  We only had 24 players this year as a number of the regulars moved away, but still, well played by all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tournament at Active Imagination

There was a small tournament held up in Albuquerque (about a three hour drive for me) a few weekends back and I made sure to make the trip.  This would be the first locally held event I've attended since I moved here last year.  Kieth ran the show and did a great job, even if we only had a small four person turnout.  BF supplied a few prizes and all four of us walked out with at least a blister.  Thanks for putting this together, I'm looking forward to your next event!  Totally forgot to take any pictures of the first game but here are afew from the second.  We only played two rounds.

Attacking with my FJ in Counterattack.  Mike, my opponent had Grenadiers.  His 88s could see all the way into my deloymet zone so I was forced to cross the river.  His Stukas came in almost every turn and kept me pinned down.
Since most of my army couldn't get past the 88s or wouldn't unpin, only my StuGs and one platoon of FJs were able to close on the objective.  Unfortunatey he was able to get there first with more and I couldn't push them off.