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!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

3 Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge- It's Back!

Last year I had the pleasure of participating on the Six Month Mountain Reduction and Painting Challenge, and pushed myself to get a pretty decent amount of minis painted.  This year there's a three-month version, having started on September 15 and ending December 15.  I know I'm a week late, but I'm jumping in.  I'm not really sure what my goals are, except to actually sit and paint something, anything, really.  It's been difficult lately, to say the least.  Rules are similar to last year:

1. No purchasing of new miniatures, except if you use a Joker.  You get three Jokers to use on a miniature purchase.  Can be a blister pack, an eBay bundle, or a single figure.  The only exception is if you need to buy a single figure to complete a unit.  In addition, you can earn additional Jokers by completing an entire project, complete with starting, WIP, and final pictures.

2. Gifts do not count against you.  Holidays, birthdays, and gift cards given to you do not count against you.

3. Paint, terrain, and hobby supplies do not count against you.

4. At least one hobby-related blog or Instagram post a week.

5. Zombie-related stuff during October is encouraged.

So far, I think I'd like to work on a few odds-and-ends for my Flames of War Fallschimjäger, a few Star Wars Armada ships that need some paint on them, and a continuation of some commission work.  I've set aside Friday afternoons for painting, let's hope it sticks.

First up will be an Anti-tank Rifle team for my FJs.

Friday, August 19, 2016

1700 Mid War Event in El Paso

There was a Flames of War tournament a few weeks ago down in El Paso, 1700 points.  I ran a Tunisia Panzerkompanie out of North Africa.  Jon hosted it, and provided all of the terrain for six tables, supplied a few of the armies, and even helped develop the community there from two players a few months ago to more than ten.  Military Gamer Supply is a great shop, too.  We would get ten players from as far away as Albuquerque.

Fun list to play with a little bit of everything.  I would Kampfgruppe the Panzer IV F1s in each game to get to six platoons.

In the first round I was matched up against Blake and his Soviet Tankovy in a Free For All.  His list consisted of two T-34 companies, a Rota company in Universal Carriers, a battery of 122mm heavy mortars, and a patrol of armored cars.

Blake left his mortars exposed so I sent my Panzer IIs and Panzer III Ns up the left side.  He would be forced to divert some of his T-34s to defend them, or they would be vulnerable to an assault.
I moved my Panzer IV Gs into a patch of trees between my objectives.  Blakes tanks would need to get through them first.
Blake commited all of his T-34s on an attack up the middle.  With his side armor exposed, my Panzer IIIs would take advantage, knocking out a pair.
Blake continued to push his tanks forward, but the Panzer IVs would continue to thin their numbers.  
The Panzer IIs assault his heavy mortars, destroying the platoon and positioning themselves to capture the objective.
With nothing on his side of the board to contest, it would be an early 6-1 victory for me.  I expected him to send some of his T-34s back to defend it, or maybe for him to race his Rota platoon back, but he never did.

Round Two would be against Hayden's American Ranger Battalion in Hold the Line.  Hayden had two Ranger companies of two platoons each, a Rifle platoon with 'Commando' Kelly, a weapons platoon, a mortar battery, and a platoon of three M6 heavy tanks, as Mid-War Monsters were allowed.  He also had P-38 air support.  So much FT infantry!

My force was bunched up near the buildings, with my recon well forward to clear the trees.  Those M6 tanks were hiding somewhere in ambush!  Three Ranger platoons would be deployed around the objectives.
My Panzer III Ns moved in first to soften up the Rangers.  Hayden only had one bazooka in the list, so they only had the ambush to fear.  The Aufklärungs would follow while the Panzer IVs would keep to the rear.  They were all I had to counter the M6s.
Hayden sprung his ambush on the far side of this palm grove, just visible through the trees.  Once they were out, my Panzer IIs hit the end of the front Ranger platoon, thinning their numbers a bit.
Now that the M6s were out, the Panzer IVs moved to engage.  The langs would bail out the closest one while the kurtz barrels would smoke the remainder.  They would continue this tactic for several turns.
With the M6s distracted, my Panzer IIIs and Aufklärungs continued to work on the Rangers near the objective and also countered Hayden's reserves which were now arriving.
A series of mounted assaults and fire from the Panzer IIIs managed to force the Rangers off of the objective, but they usually fought to the last.  
A concerted effort by all of my forces led to another 6-1 victory, though FT Rangers are stubborn in defense.  Hayden's P-38s never once showed up, but most of my tanks closed quickly anyways.  Mounted assault can work wonders without any bazookas to ruin their day!  I asked him why he only had one, and apparently he hadn't built any yet.  Direct-fire smoke is a great tool to have, a rare treat for a German player, and it worked to negate the M6's 76mm guns very well.

In Round Three I would see more Soviets, though they would be Strelkovy backed by a pile of guns and assault guns.  Eric had two full Strelk companies, a company of six 76mm Zis-3 guns, a full company of PTRD anti-tank rifles which he would attach out, a 122mm heavy mortar battery, SU-85s, and SU-122s.  Each of his Strelk companies would have around thirty stands!  The mission was Breakthrough, and I would put my Aufklärungs and Panzer IV Gs in the flank attack.

Eric deployed his heavy mortars in a lonely corner, so I sent my assault Panzer IIs to get them, backed up by Rettemeier in his Panzer IV G.
My Panzer III Ns and Panzer IV Fs would move up the center, wary ofthe 76mm guns.  Eric moved one of his Stelk mobs to the objectives.  My nebelwerfers, which had been less-than-stellar all day, continued their poor performance, failing to range in on anything all game.
With the heavy mortars cleared, the Panzers tuen their attention on the Strelk in the trees.
My Aufklärungs arrive at the same time as the Strelk, killing about six stands, but it wouldn't even slow them down.
This picture sums up the rest of the game nicely, a handful of tanks vs. a giant pile of men and anti-tank rifles.  I was able to contest the objectives until the end, but couldn't break the Soviets.  I was able to destroy the heavy mortars and his SU-122s.
Eric would win 4-3.  This last game was a marathon, with several last-ditch attempts to assault his troops off of the objectives.  I managed to push most of them off, but Fearless troops stay around and unpin quite easily.  

Thanks to Jon for hosting a very nice event and thanks to all three of my opponents, who all drove the four hours from Albuquerque!  I would win the tournament on over-all points and come within a point for Best Painted, which went to my friend Alex and his German Tigerkompanie.

Monday, July 25, 2016

1500 Early War Tournament at A.I.

We had eight players attend the first Early War tournament held in Albuquerque this last weekend.  There were three Germans, and one each of Italian, Soviet, Finnish, British forces, and someone even snuck in a Pacific U.S. Marine list. (Pacific points are supposed to be the same as Early War)  I brought a simple Infanteriekompanie from Barbarrossa, backed up by StuGs.

The first round of our two round event saw me matched up against the TO, Keith and his 'Honey' Stuarts on a very barren desert table.  The mission was Dust Up.

Both of us started without any of our tanks on the board (except for Keith's 1iC), choosing to let our reserves act as our assault force to take an objective.  Keith started with his Motor Platoon, a battery of 18/25 Pounders, and a pair of 40mm Bofors AA, while I deployed both of my Infanterie Platoons and my 3.7cm PaK36s.
On Turn One Keith moved his Motor Platoon up to take the large ridge of Very Difficult  terrain, supported by his 1iC.
I also moved out to take the ridgeline with my Infanterie, thinning his numbers a little.
I prepared myself to assault his position, but couldn't get a pin on the Gone to Ground Vets.  I went for it anyways, facing eight shots of Defensive fire (by leaving two of my teams as Non-Assaulting, I didn't bring the 'Honey' into Assault, and his Platoon commander was too far down the ridge to fire) but Keith landed six hits!  I was forced to retreat, but didn't suffer any losses.  My infantry would need to wait for support.
Keith's 'Honeys' decided to show up together, and immediately made a push for the oasis objective.  They destroyed two PaKs with MG fire, pinning them in the process.  With little to contest, Keith goes infor the kill...
And loses a platoon in the attempt!  The Anti-tank Rifleman, platoon commander and 2iC saw them off, one Bogging Down on the way in, and Panzerknackers doing the rest.  
Finally some support on Turn Five!  The StuGs bravely face the 18/25 Pounders, destroying all of the guns over the next three turns.  
Once the artillery was eliminated, I was able to surround the Motor Platoon and claim the objective from them.
That ended up being a very fun game. My Stukas came in for the first six turns, but all of them were shot down by Keith's AA.  Keith's 'Honeys' almost took the oasis, and destroyed the PaK platoon, but I was able to hold out long enogh for my reserves to make their appearance.  5-2 victory for me.

My second game was against Jeff and his Schutzenkompanie in Breakthrough, with me attacking.  

Jeff deployed his forces all along the front, forcing me to bunch my troops up in the corner.  He had a platoon of HMGs guarding the center of the board, so I figured breaking through his spread out Schutzen was my best chance.  I held one Infanterie platoon and the PaK36s as my flank attack, while Jeff held his Panzer II flametanks in reserve.  
My Stukas arrived on Turn One and caught one of his Schutzen platoons in their trucks, killing six out of eight teams.  After losing the platoon he was going to defend the objectives with, he started to pull everything back to the rear.  My main force would begin to quickly move to chase them down, catching them on Turn Five.  
My flank attack would arrive early and beat Jeff to the objectives, holding on until Turn Six when they would claim the win.  Jeff did some damage tothem with his flame tanks, but the PaKs that came in with them helped quite a bit.  6-1 victory, and a tournament victory as well!  

Thanks to Keith for organizing this, to Jeff for pushing through a vicious string of 'ones', and my friend Jon for driving eight hours round-trip.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Digs in El Paso

A new game store opened up in El Paso a few weeks ago and I finally got to drive down and visit.  Military Gamer Supply has a nice selection of mostly miniature games, and lots of tables.  Very nice store.  Jon started an escalation league there last week, and he wanted to get together to test a Mid War list for Nationals in Austin.  I ran a Panzerkompanie from North Africa at 1700 points.

This list is pretty fun to play, I Kampfgruppe the two Panzer IV Es out of the Panzer Platoon, giving me six platoons.  The Panzer II recon moves through terrain nicely, and Rettemeier in a Panzer IV G kills things dead.  The Panzer IV Es can also bombard in a pinch, and get direct fire Smoke rounds.  

Jon ran a nine platoon Schnellkompanie from Eastern Front with two Schnell Platoons, Pioniers, PaK40s, Marder IIs, Nebelwerfers, 2cm FlaK, a captured KV-1, and a micro Kampfgruppe of questionable legality.  We rolled for scenario and got Breakhrough.

Jon set up a nasty mess of AT pointed at the open approaches to the Objectives, and with a rail line and a river crossing the board would be slow.  I decided to run around the long way, around the woods and through Jon's undefended nebelwerfers.
Panzer IIs got there first and Assaulted them.
Knowing the KV-1 would be likely arriving soon, I positioned my Panzer IV Gs to watch my backside while the rest of my armor pushed through the woods.
I attempted to make a bridge crossing here and split his defenders, but one Pak40 took out two tanks and they ran away.
Jon is always aggressive with his Flak, even the towed variety.  He tried to send them to harass my own nebelwerfers, but my 2cm flakwagens met them in a flak-duel!
With my flank assault surrounded and destroyed in a wood, as Jon mined the only entrance that wasn't through trees, the Panzer IIIs didn't last long.  My main attack force positioned itself here and needed to destroy some platoons to try and force a Company Morale check.
With most of his AT assets destroyed and my Panzers within striking distance, Jon tried to assault into the woods.  My Panzers were able to force them back and MG fire broke two platoons.  I was able to outlast Jon, with him failing a Company Morale check.  
A hard-fought 4-3 win, I lost the Panzer IV E KG platoon and the Panzer III platoon.  Jon lost the Nebelwerfer battery, the 7.5cm PaK40 platoon, the 2cm FlaK platoon, a Schnell platoon, and his Kampfgruppe.  If anyone is ever in El Paso I highly recommend Military Gamer Supply!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kublacon Armies on Display - 2016

Here are some of the armies layed out for the painting competition, if I missed yours I apologize, but the space was a bit crowded!

There were some great looking armies this year and Eric Camba deservedly took the award home with his Soviets!

Brad Feliz' Hungarian Puskàs Szàzad
Josh Kegerreis' German Panzer Lehr Panzergrenadierkompanie
Dave Ripperda's Finnish Lapin Sota Jääkärikomppania
Reno Besseghini's Soviet Hero Rota Razvedki
Russ Moore's Canadian 3rd Infantry Rifle Company
Kanon Bene's German StuG Batterie
Tyler Baum's US Armored Company
Lance Vaughn's US Rifle Company
Ron Lange's Soviet Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk
Robert Welch's German Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie
Stephen Armellino's British 11th Armoured Recce Squadron
Eric Camba's Soviet Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Samokhodno-Artillyeriyskiy Polk
Jon Holland's US 101st Airborne Para Company
Dru Johanson's British Armour
My German 1. Fallschirmjägerkompanie