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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mid-War Tournament After Action Report!

So I took the winter tigers of 502 Schwere Panzer-Abteilung to the local tournament yesterday.  We were supposed to have eight to ten players, but only ended up with six because of various illnesses and last minute family emergencies.  Almost all of the players were from the old Oregon Flames of War (ORF) playtest group.  At 1500 points, I knew that my list would have to be handled carefully because I just didn't have the shots to handle a large force or a broad front.

My first game was against my buddy Ryan and he brought the blob of Soviet infantry covered by some KV's and Su-85's.  Yeah, I'm pretty much boned.  We were also playing dust up, so I had to nominate which platoons I left in delayed reserve first.  I elected to leave the Nebelwerfers and one Tiger in reserve.  In retrospect with the large infantry blobs, I should have had the Nebelwerfers on the table.  Given how lightly defended the objective was, Ryan elected to move one of his companies of infantry on the attack immediately.  The Germans put up a valiant fight, and had severely whittled down the Soviets, but two untimely failed saves against sappers on the Tigers doomed the effort and he managed to take the objective as time expired.  1-6 to Ryan.  If not for the untimely deaths of the Tigers this one would have ended up a 2-3 draw.

Next game was against a newer player blue on blue against Panzergrenadiers with some Marder support and priority Stukas.  The mission was fighting withdrawal.  He put one objective in the corner, so I went ahead and put my two objectives in the far corner roughly 10" apart.  After he'd placed, across a broad front with one squad of Panzergrenadiers, I overloaded the side with his objective.  I immediately moved up my Tigers and panzergrenadiers to get in close, losing one Tiger to Stuka attack.  I was eventually able to successfully assault and take the objective, but he managed to keep enough units close enough to contest for 3 turns as the forces whittled each other down. Again time was called, and he won because it was a defensive battle, so I ended up with a 2-5.  I think I could have pulled out a 4-3 on this one if we'd had 10-15 more minutes.

The last game was against my friend Steve in Breakthrough, again blue on blue against his Fallschirmjaeger supported by two Hornisse and an HS-129.  He elected to put everything on the table from the outset as he only had one motorized unit, and I left off one Tiger.  I hugged cover and got in close to keep the dang air attack aircraft off of me.  He began moving his infantry back to cover the objective, and my grenadiers followed.  One unit of his paras failed to dig in, and I was able to cut them up and break them with my grenadier platoon.  On the other side of the table, the Tigers knocked out the observer for the mortars and picked off one of the Hornisse in a game of "peek-a-boo."  The grenadiers then took out most of the enemy mortar platoon, but he was able to remove the last stand in good order denying me a potential point.  In the middle the Tigers took out another squad of the German paras.  Eventually my remaining Tiger entered the fray and I was able to collapse the pocket on the remaining paratroopers, though I ultimately lost the Grenadier platoon for a 5-2 victory.

My takeaways from the tournament.  First - it was a lot of fun, and I really don't get to actually play the game enough.  My goal for the next few months is to actually get out and play the game more. Second, everyone seemed to have a great time.  The sportsmanship was excellent across the board. On my list specifically, I knew it was pretty much a "best I could do" if I wanted to take a Tiger company at 1500 points.  Unfortunately I hadn't gotten a chance to actually play the list before the tournament, and there are a lot of mistakes I made in handling it that I wouldn't have made if I'd had a few dry runs.  I don't think I'd ever win a competitive tournament with this list, but I had a lot of fun running it.  My army did win best painted, so that more than made up for getting trounced in the early rounds! 

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