Game 4: Cauldron vs. Rudy Joubert
Rudy was running a Dan-Larson-inspired Panzer list out of Grey Wolf:
HQ 2 Panzer IVs
4 Panzer IVs
4 Panzer IVs
4 8-Rads (2 platoons of two vehicles each)
2 x Whirbelwind AA
As defender, Rudy chose to deploy his two Panzer IV platoons and his Panthers in Immediate Ambush.
I chose to deploy the mobile armoured assets in case of a bad deployment, leaving the infantry and Carriers to come on later depending on where my scattered deployment would make an attack most advantageous. So, CAR Shermans, Crocs and Achilles...I rolled 3 x 1s for random deployment and ended up with everything in the same corner.
|All in the same corner. Immediate Ambush Panthers being placed.
|The other side of the table.
Knowing I would have to force the position, I advanced with the Crocs and Achilles, the latter hitting nothing, the Crocs firing smoke to reduce return fire wherever possible.
|1st turn advance, hit nothing, Crocs fire smoke.
|Panther KO'd, the other 2 retired.
|Achilles dead, Panzer IVs under pressure, Crocs lumber on.
|Rifle platoon to keep the far side Panzers in place.
By this stage Rudy had brought on his AA and both 8-Rad platoons, though they would be of little help. The Whirbelwinds targeted the far side Rifle platoon which failed to dig-in for 4 turns. His far side Panzers then attempted to re-deploy but manage to keep 1-2 tanks bogged each turn.
|Aerial shot, annoying 8-Rads revealing GtG on the CAR Shermans.
As was inevitable, the last 2 Panzer IVs on the near objective were KO'd for the loss of a Sherman and the far platoon had to move to contest. This brought them into the open and the waiting Shermans and Crocs which proceeded to light them up. The following turn the 2iC arrived to contest for another turn before dying. The Rifle platoon was by this stage all around the objective with a Croc and a pair of Fireflies deployed to give Defensive Fire in case the last two Panzer IVs tried to assault.
|Advancing Panzer IVs in the open into a Sherman gun-line. Results predictable.
|The cauldron of war
|"Come and take it"
Rudy did not bother attempting to assault the near objective. On the far side, the Rifle platoon had lost 3 teams to shooting and he assaulted them with the Whirbelwinds looking for a platoon kill. They killed one team before the Rifles cleaned them up and that was the game. 5-2 to me
During this game the choir of some sort of African Church stated up in the hall next to us, our table being the closest to the door. They were loud: REALLY LOUD, and that went on for about an hour. Then the actual meeting began and what I *thought* was loud before was in fact relative quite compared to the deafening noise that followed. By the middle of the game my opponent and I were quite literally shouting at each other to explain what we were doing, who was shooting where, etc. I had a severe headache by the time it was over, which still did not excuse the "n00b" mistake I was about to make in Game 5 though it didn't help.
Game 5: Breakthrough vs. Mike Williams
Mike was playing a Soviet Forward Detachment list from Red Bear, something like:
HQ w/Battalion Komissar
8 x T-34/76s (CT)
2 Platoon Tank-rider Company
4 SU122s (CT)
|SU76i vehicles at the back supposed to be SU122s I take it.
The mission was Breakthrough, on this table.
I would have to defend, and I chose the quadrants with the river to deploy in, the objectives being in the corner with the buildings. I started with both Rifle platoons and the Achilles on-table. Unfortunately I only took one shot of this game during the first or second turn, walked around to take a few more of other games and then the camera battery died.
Mike put the Tank Riders and SU122s in Reserve. First turn he double the T-34s down the close edge of the table above, swinging up and pinning my Rifle Platoon in place on Turn 2. The KV-85s also doubled in the centre while the SU100s doubled wide to the far side of the table. This split attack should not have been a problem for me but for some reason I forgot my opponent should have been rolling Delayed Reserves, so only from Turn 3. By Turn 2 however he already had both reserve units on-table while I still had none, and at the time I did not think to question it until later.
The Achilles moved and took shots at the doubling KV-85s, scored 5 hits, 4 penetrations...3 failed Firepower and one kill saw the Soviet heavies get back in and KO two Achilles. Another two were lost when the SU122s came on table (too early, but what is done is done). The Rifle platoon alongside them took 6 MG/SMG hits the following turn and I failed all six saves, they ran as well. No good. The far side Rifle platoon could not move with 8 x T-34/76s nearly on top of them and started taking casualties due to main gun fire with BA64s lifting GtG. I realised at this point there was little I could do to prevent Mike from taking an objective the following turn.
The CAR Shermans came on from reserve on Turn 3 and managed to kill the SU100s with flank shots over 2 turns, but apart from that I had nothing close enough to contest after the last Rifle platoon also died. With that conceded 2-5 as I would be failing company morale the following turn in any case with both CinC and 2iC dead.
|Achilles engaging KV-85s, rather poorly
A very disappointing way to lose a game, but for some reason it never occurred to me that my opponent should have had Delayed Reserves. And if I don't remember, typically no one else does. Stupid n00b mistake really.
So, end of Day 2 I had another 5-2 win and a 2-5 loss. Here the Free-for-All win would factor in as most people played very cautiously in their first game and they were mostly "draws" with very low scores. With several new guys I think some of the more experienced players were cautious in their first game and did not want to risk starting off badly which ended up happening in any case. Overall VP totals scored was also surprisingly low with a lot of 4-3 games being recorded: going by previous results, this was quite unusual. With 4 wins this somehow allowed me to edged into 1st place, with Mike coming 2nd and Rudy 3rd. A bit unexpected to say the least, but I can't complain.
On the list: the MG Canadian Rifle Company list is very good: lots of elements I like though I could have done with some practice games before the competition. I need more practice to get the different elements working together better, though when facing armies with a lot of heavy armour the combination of AT15 Achilles and Fireflies combined with FA13 Crocodiles is a nice mix which presented some serious problems for my opponents. I probably did not get the most out of the Canadian Armoured Recce Shermans and their Cautious movement, too aggressive in some instances: too used to playing quick 7th Armoured Cromwells as Bullyboy alluded to on the FOW Forum. Still, the mix is a lot of fun and highly recommended.
Thanks for reading.