Sunday, January 21, 2018

Shifting Sands Armies on Display- 2018

Some of the armies on display from this year's Shifting Sands tournament in Mesa, AZ.  Hope you enjoy them!  If I didn't get yours, you were still playing!

Tom's Italian Bersaglieri (Two Formations)
So many Italians!
My German DAK Schützen (One Formation) Compare how small my force was compared to the Italians!
Mark's British Motor and Armoured (Two Formations)
Great looking tanks and Kittyhawks!
Wyn's US Armored Rifle and Armored (Two Formations)
Wyn would win the event with this force.  It's very strong at 100 points.
Jon Halter's US Armored (One Formation)
Jon would win Best Painted with these.  Well deserved!
Jake Halter's German DAK Panzer (One Formation)
Jake's Panzers were really well done!
Another nice German DAK Schützen.  Not sure whose it was.
Not sure whose these are, but this British Armoured is nice!  Not sure if it's one or two Formations.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shifting Sands 2018

I attended another Shifting Sands this month, my fourth, and had another good time.  The theme this year was the attack by US and British forces through Tunisia, and the new V4 lists for Mid War plus an unofficial Italian Bersaglieri list, were allowed.  I brought a DAK infantry list supported by a pair of Tiger I heavy tanks, mostly because many of the older units I had for my DAK list aren't usable any more.  There were 18 players in total, two from NorCal.  I ended up somewhere near the bottom, but fellow NorCal player Wyn Robertson won Best Overall!

In the first round I was matched up against Art and his dual-formation US Armored and Rifle list.  The mission was Annihilation.

Art put his infantry on one side and pushed his Lee tanks forward on the other.  I deployed my Tigers to engage his armor.
My 2cm FlaK attempted to meet his armored rein, but they don't last long.
Tigers make their way forward, supporting the infantry.
Art's Lees get past the Tigers, continuing to hide.
The 5cm PaKs finally go down, but last longer than they should have.  Tigers are surrounded!
They both get Bailed Out, but quickly remount.  Art was able to clean-up most of the remainder of my force, though.
Art and I had a 1-3 draw, Annihilation is a dismal tournament mission.  There was no way I could ever break both of his formations, and even with a huge numerical advantage, Art couldn't break mine.  A fun game, but tough for both of us.

In Round Two I played Rob and his combined British Armoured and US Tank Destroyer formations.  The mission was Breakthrough, and I was the attacker.

Rob began the game with both of his M-10 platoons on the table, plus his HQ units.  My 5cm PaKs were able to cross through the scrub terrain and take out two tank destroyers, and the Tigers knocked out another pair.
Rob's Grants arrived from reserve, and engaged my 10.5 artillery, eventually destroying them.  
I was able to knock out the rest of the US formation and seize the forward objective, but not before Rob's Crusaders assaulted an infantry platoon and destroyed them.  
What looked like an 8-1 victory turned into a 6-3 score on Rob's last turn, but a win is a win.  He decided not to use his mission-given ambush, and I think he easily could have knocked out at least one Tiger by putting a platoon of M-10s there.

My next round was against Mark and his British Motor and Armoured formations in Dust Up.  

I deployed everything except the Tigers, while Mark kept his Crusaders off table.
Mark moved into this building before I assaulted him, though he would come back in the next turn.  He would push me out, which would have larger consequences for me later.
A smoke line keeps my PaKs from firing on his Grants, while his Motor platoon engages the remainder of my infantry.  
Mark's Kittyhawks would hunt and kill my 2cm FlaK without fear.  AA is currently a joke for the Germans.
The Tigers quickly make their presence known, knocking out a pair of Grants!
Though they made quite an impression on most Mark's armor, the rest of his tanks made quick work of my infantry on the plateau. 
Mark would get the win and I took a 3-6 loss.  Had I won the battle for the corner building, I would have taken my Tigers right through town and assaulted his guns with my Tigers, but Mark's infantry just got mine in a series of assaults.  Might not have mattered though, with all of those Crusaders!

Round Four was against Wyn in a Free For All, and he had US Armored Rifle and Armor.

I tried to engage Wyn's Shermans with my Tigers, but he hid them well.
On the other side, Wyn attacked with his Lees and Armored Rifles, supported by lots of templates.
My 2.8cm anti-tank rifle would knock out a Lee but the first assault did some damage and pushed me back.  Subsequent assaults would finish me easily.
Tigers push forward, but only manage to kill a pair of 75mm assault guns.
Wyn would win without taking a loss, though I had several of his units close to a break check.  1-8 loss for me against a very strong list played by a very good player.

In the final round I was matched up against Mike and another US Armored Rifle formation in Rearguard.

Mike's pre-plotted Ranged In markers would restrict my deployment quite a bit, but my Minefields would restrict his movement as well.  Tigers were in Ambush.
Mike ran both of his Armored Rifle platoons and his Lees at this objective, and shift his 105mm artillery to support.
Luckily for me, my Tigers could ambush to assist, knocking out two Lees!
Mike force quickly made a U-turn!
The rest of Mike's artillery was able to soften up my position before the Armored Rifles had to approach.
The Tigers tried to take a shortcut through the old fort, but couldn't do enough damage to really matter.
With all of that coming right at me, there wasn't much to do.  Mike's remaining Lee would finally break, after making four or five Last Stand checks.
Another 1-8 loss for me, though I expected about as much.  The speed with which Mike could redeploy his whole army was pretty impressive, and his artillery was very effective as well.

I finished somewhere near the bottom, but didn't really expect to do very well with two Tigers anyways.  They're pretty unkillable, but so very expensive!  I didn't consider exactly what 100 points translates to, but most lists can get so much on the table for that.  US lists could easily get two solid formations with all of the tools to get the job done.  British lists were hindered by their small infantry platoons, but could still get a huge amount of light tanks supported by artillery and anti-tank guns.  The German forces I saw were primarily based around Panzer IIIs and Marders, and the one Italian force was huge.   I also realized just how ineffective AA is in general, especially the 2cm German guns.  Aircraft had little to fear all event.  Two-stand units are just a bad choice now, unless they're Tigers!  Still had a fun time!

Monday, January 15, 2018

DAK 2.8cm PzB 41

I painted a second 2.8cm anti-tank rifle for my DAK force last week, since I needed another one for my Shifting Sands army.  Nothing too special here, but it's my first work of the new year!

Quick and easy, all figs by Battlefront.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Review

This past year has seen the smallest amount of time devoted to painting and playing in a decade, and there were so many factors that got me to that point.  A change of location, larger family commitments, kids sports, returning to school, and work all contributed, for sure.  I barely found time for a game, and perhaps that prevented me from wanting to paint much, too. I managed to play 10 games of Flames of War and a single game of X-Wing.   Now that I'm back in California, maybe I'll find some more games and feel like theres a purpose to painting all of these little tanks.

Again, I didn't paint much for myself, but I did knock out a pretty large commission for my friend Sam.

Great War British HQ
Great War British Rifle Platoon
Great War British Rifle Platoon
Great War British Vickers MG Platoon
Great War British Vickers MG Platoon
Great War British 3" Stokes Mortar Battery
Great War British OQF 18 Pounder Battery
British Artillery HQ
Great War British Mark A Whippet
Great War British Mark IV
Fallschirmjäger Sniper
Fallschirmjäger Anti-tank Rifle team
DAK 2.8cm Anti-tank Rifle
HMG Bunker
I actually got quite a few miniatures painted with Sam's commission army included, more that double what I managed last year.  I also painted more than I purchased, so that's a win.  10 Flames of War models purchased, 1 Imperial Assault figure, and 22 Flames of War painted, a 2:1 ratio!