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.