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.