Sunday, February 27, 2011

1st Official Saskatchewan Flames of War Tournament

So, I made it to my first tournament on 4 hours of sleep.  I finally finished my 501st Schwere Panzer army at 1:30 am the night before.  Because the tournament was 2.5 hours away, I head to leave at 5:30 am.  I tell you, it was a lot of fun.  Met some great people...and Shawn.

Many of you know him as Shawn the Terrain Guy.  I've "known" him for some time...or rather known of him.  We've chatted on MSN, and facebook.  I've bought terrain from him.  But this was the first time we would met in person.

He wanted a 4 game format for this tournament.  After all he was driving 14 or so hours to come, who can blame the guy.  I was very very skeptical.  There wasn't much time to fit 4 games in.  But, I definitely have to tip my hat to Shawn.  He  basically organized it all.  I think it was his wife that actually made things run smoothly...but who knows.  Lol, thanx for all your effort Shawn, you pulled of the 4 games.  And I think everyone had a great time.

Believe it or not, out of 17 players, him and I both won!  Yes we tied for the win with 42 out of a possible 48 points.  And a special note goes out to Nik with his cheater fearless veteran Americans.  He finished 2nd, and spoiled my run at a clean sweep.  He was the only one to beat me.

But I have to thank him for the tie because he faced shawn in the final round and forced a 4-3 game.  Going into the 4th round Nik and I were tied for 2nd and Shawn was 1st, ahead of us by 1 point.  I ended up getting a 5-2 game in my final victory.

Here was my force.

501st Schwere Panzer Abteilung
HQ - 1 Konigstiger
Platoon1 - 1 Konigstiger
Platoon2 - 1 Konigstiger
Support1 - PanzerPioneer's (6 teams, 3 optional flamethrowers)
Support2 - Armored Artillery (3 Wespe's)

sorry if I get anyone's name wrong, or I forget.  I'm horrible with names.

I was very happy with my painting.  I think mine was defiantly one of the best there.
I recieved 3 points for all games, and a lot of great things were said by everyone.

This is a bit of a moot point.  There were a lot of great guys there.  I don't know that anyone didn't get a 3 for sportsmanship.

Except that damn Nik.  I should have given him a 1 for using his cheater American force.

Game 1
Faced off against Chris and his US special forces in Encounter.  In all honesty this was my easiest game.  But not because of any great skill of mine.  He was very in experienced and made a few mistakes.  But greater still his rolls really let him down.

I"m sorry I don't know US forces at all.  But right of the bat my PIII op take has line of site to his huge AT guns on top of a hill.  I think they are the equivalent of German 88's or better?  no idea.  But my wespes wiped them out in one bombardment.  Not to mentioned he failed his moral check.

Then it went from bad to worse for Chris.  He has his special forces who normally should be able to knock out any tank...even Konigs,  began to make mistakes.  First he double moved to my wespes, to knock them out.  So, the wespes opened up with MG fire and slaughtered the US troops in the open.  But being fearless veterain an lot of them survived to assault the wespes who were actually holding an objective.

The way on the other side of the board his other platoon was trying to assault my HQ Konig.  I don't know what the chances if this are, but apparently this US force gets to reroll failed motivation tests to assault tanks.  He failed that is 4 rolls in a row where all he needed was a 3+.  By then my other cats came on the board and that force was slowly widdled down with MG fire.  And 1 Konigs rushed  to take an objective.

In the last turn Chris actually had a chance to make the game a draw, when he brought on some AT guns at the right time on the right side of the board.  But again it was not to be for chris.  His dice failed him and he was unable to even get a single hit on the KT's side armor.

So a 6-1 victory for the 501st.

Game 2
This game again came down to crappy dice rolls, but Bryan also left his objectives open.  This (I thought) was a perfect force for me. A tanks, no infantry, and the best he could do is force bail outs on the KT's.

Pretty much the entire game he had 2 of my KT's surrounded.  He had so many tanks it was only blind luck I didn't get 2 bailouts in the same turn.

But the real game was happening on the other side of the board.  He has some stupidly fast Stuarts.  They couldn't hurt me, so I had my KT block a bridge. to my objective.  Where my Pioneers had dug in to guard it.  He also had some kinda AT half tracks waiting to pounce on on the KT's side armor.  But I think Bryan forgot to move them a couple of times.

My kitty wasn't even damaging his stuarts believe it or not.  I couldn't roll a firepower test if my life depended on it.  But I think Bryan figured they wouldn't last like this forever.  So he began to pull them back behind a hill.  Knowing his objective was open, I "pretended" to move around the hill, towards his objective, to chase his Stuarts.  This left the bridge open, but I figured my Pioneers could hold the objective.  Boy was I wrong.

Forgetting that his Stuarts were so fast, he rushed across the bridge to assault my pioneers.  At first I was happy because we were closing in on the end of the game so I double moved my KT to his objective.  Meanwhile...his stuarts crushed my pioneers.  He assaulted the last team holding the objective, and just as I thought it was over something amazing happened.

Bryan had already 2 bailouts, and a few bogged down, but his last 3 charged in an assault and he rolled 3 1's on another bog check...all his stuarts bogged down, and Bryan gave the game to me with my KT sitting all alone at his objective.

Despite a 6 - 1 victory, this was a crazy stressful game.  All those T-34's he was getting a lot of dice.  I think on one attack I had to roll 12 dice.  If I had rolled two 1's, bye bye KT.

Game 3
Not much to say for this game.  I faced off against Nik and I got CRUSHED!
This was worst case scenario for my 501st.

Fearless Veteran American paratroopers dug in around objectives, where the onus was on me or I loose.
I just couldn't destroy him.  And he couldn't hurt me either.  except for one mistake I made.

There was so much cover that I doubled moved my Pioneers forward in my trucks.  What I forgot is that he had guys in ambush.  My pioneers were slaughtered except for one team.  Lucky for German mission tactics I was able to pull the one team back and keep him from being destroyed.

But in the end it didn't matter.  With almost no time left, I had to charge in my KT's.
They were absolutely decimated.  All 3 died.  But I would have lost 6 - 1 if I didn't do that anyway.


Game 4
This game I almost lost because of my own ignorance.  James was my next opponent.  He sat there quietly all day.  So I thought to myself "Perfect, this guy probably doesn't know how to play, I will crush him"

Boy was I wrong.  Once again I faced Fearless Veteran Americans.
He quickly wiped out my Pioneers.  Which I took all three flame throwers this time.  but they didn't even get a chance.

Once again, I couldn't dig out the Americans, but playing withdrawal he started to pull his units off the board.
And once again, a player leaves the final objective wide open.

On the last turn I double moved my close KT to the last objective, and knowing his units can't come with in 2" of me I positioned the KT so that he would have to go around me and wouldn't be able to get close enough to the objective.

The only option for him was to assault the last KT for the win.
Once again it would come down to dice and the last turn.

And...once again American special forces failed to motivate to attack a tank.

This was super fun.

Thank you to Chris, James, Nik, and Bryan.  My 3 wins could have easily went another way.

Despite my success, I probably won't ever take a KT army again.  It was way to stressful.
When loosing one tank means much.

Thank you one more time to Shawn.  I don't know if it would have been as successful with out you.
You are a credit to the hobby.  And not just for the crazy terrain you make.

This last picture is of his new smoke markers...They are fantastic as you can see.  But even better in person.
Here is Shawns new link to how to make these.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tournament Primer

So, one day before my first official FoW tournament and I'm still not done painting.  I'm so close.  I'll be done the 501st Schwere, no problem.

But to gear up, I had a practice game with Sylvain.  He said he would build an army as if he were going to a tournament.  I had to use some proxies for this, but that was ok.  I used Marder III's instead of Wespes.

As he started pulling his Soviets out, I quickly realized he put together the worst possible army the KT's could face.  An Infantry Battalion with the God of War, and Priority Sturmoviks.

Rolling for one of the 4 scenario's we will play in this tournament we came up with fighting withdrawal.
So, again worst case scenario for the KT's as he had 2 SU-152's held in ambush.

The first two turns quickly made my worst fears come true.  The Sturmoviks killed 2 of the KT's including the Company Commander, and my Pioneers stayed pinned for 5 of the 8 turns.  Not to mention my Wespe's couldn't range in if their life depended on it.

Luckily for me things turned around.  He started pulling companies off the board, he's planes started to miss, my pioneers became unpinned.  There was one scary moment on the last KT where Soviet flame throwers tried to destroy it.  But they failed their FP test. 

I was able to move in close enough to attempt an assault with my remaining Pioneers and set the last KT up to assault right after them.  It literally was going to come down to the last turn.

And on the last turn it all went my way.  The Wespe's finally ranged in, and although they didn't kill anything they pinned down the last platoon.  The Pioneers began their assault.

We went through 3 turns of Assault.  No one wanted to back off.  Luckily for me the Soviet Sappers rolled all 1's and 2's on every dice in every assault round.  The German Pioneers wiped out the Soviet Sappers.  The final KT that survived (the one my son bought me for Christmas) didn't need to Assault.

Loosing only one platoon the German 501st Schwere Panzer Company wins a major victory getting 5 Vp's and the Soviets getting 2 Vp's

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Here is Sylvain's version of the story.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Hate The 3 Foot Rule

Just going to make a quick post here because I haven't posted in a while.  I'm extremely busy trying to get ready for a Tournament.

I recently played a game, with my friend mark.  He was fielding a tank destruction company of mine.  I had 2 older painted 45mm guns, and 2 newer painted ones.

I was very happy with the way these new guns turned out compared to the old ones.  Until I saw them on the battlefield.

There is this painting rule that everyone talks about.  The 3 foot rule.  I guess the rule is that if you can't see it from 3 feet away then don't do it.  I know exactly what this means, but I still tried to put as much detail into things as i'm able to.

But now seeing these guns beside each other in a battle....THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE.  They looked exactly the same from 3 feet away.  Even though at close up they are incredible different in quality.  This is very disheartening with all the recent work I've put in.

I'm finding the biggest thing that stands out is the color of the grass on the base.

Oh well.  this won't stop me from trying to improve.  But maybe not in my mind I can speed up and not be as careful.

I am very close to have A LOT of new units painted.  So, I will make several posts soon.  I will also hopefully have some battle reports after my tournament this coming weekend.

On that note I am looking forward to meeting Shawn the Terrain Guy.  I've known him for a long time, as I've bought several things from him.  We have just never met in person.  I hope I actually get to play him.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Turret and Front Armor House Rules Part 3

Another issue that has come up that further makes me a proponent of the 90 degree arc, is a concealed tank where the front of the tank is hidden.

The rules state that if more then half the tank is hidden, but the main part is still visible the tank gets concealment.  So, basically if 50% to 90% of the tank is hidden the tank gets concealment. 

The issue now arises if its the front part of the tank is hidden.  By the current rules  HAS to shoot at the front armor.  Which is totally ridiculous.

Sorry for the juvenile picture, but the picture shows where Tank 1 has concealment form tank 2 but tank to can't see the front of the tank.  Because he is still in front of the 180 degree line he would still have to shoot at front armor.  Never mind like I've discussed before, that even if that building isn't there, you can still barley see the front of the tank.

Conversely, in this next picture you can see way more of the front of the tank, but yet now you would get to shoot at the side armor of the tank.  Forgetting that I don't like the 180 arc, but the current rules in this situation you shoot at the side armor and not the front even though you can see more of the front armor then the picture above.

With my 90 degree arc rules, this strange situation can never happen.  If you are straddling the front armor line like these 2 pictures, and there is a building in the way, you mostly likely won't even be able to shoot at the tank.  If you can it would clearly be a front armor, or side armor shot.  

I think I may have found why people aren't seeing this.  In forum posts on the FoW site it seems a lot of people are either still playing the old way where you have to turn your turret to shoot.  Or some misinterpretation where you can only turn your hull if you are firing a hull MG.  Otherwise the turret still has to turn.

You can't say one vehicle can turn if it doesn't fire its hull MG, but just because you want to force a turret to turn with a rule, say that another vehicle can't turn hits hull if it doesn't have or fire a hull MG.  That would just be silly.  The 90 degree arc gives a choice, and makes it worth while for a turret to turn.

I don't believe this was Phils intent with the rule change, anyway.  It wouldn't make any sense.  To keep things in line with things being simple, the hull and turret turn together (just like hull mounted) at the closest team.  I think maybe once people start playing this way and see they might as well Glue their turrets down...maybe this will catch on. 

The more situation I run into, and the more people talk about it, the more I think this is a must.  There was even one topic were guys were having trouble dealing with Panthers and Konigstigers.  Its just so hard to get behind that 180 line.  There is nothing in the game that can penetrate the front armor of a king tiger.  Sure, you could use planes or engineers to take them out.   But put in the 90 degree arc, and you force those big cats to play smart.  Its just to easy to keep everything in front of that 180 degree line.

And as you can see with front armor, it just makes no sense.  I know this game has never claimed to be 'realistic' and I'm OK with that.  but having a rule just because its simple doesn't make it right.  I think this is the one that that is hold this already GREAT game from turning into a Legendary game.

Part 3b
What makes this situation even worse, is if tank 1 is a gun team with a gun shield.  It makes no sense, but you would still have to make a fire power check for shooting at the gun shield.  Even though there is no way the gun shield could protect them from that angle, never mind also being behind the building.