Following on from my first entry about Flamescon, this is the story of how my second day went!
Game 4: Surrounded against Paul Mounsey
This game is one of the new missions we played, essentially there is one comapny in the middle, and the other two companies are on the outer sides of them, making them surrounded on two flanks! Cool idea, and played like a pretty cool mission actually.
Paul was running his Commandos of death (trademark pending), which was 4 platoons of commandos, 2 sets of Naval Gunfire Support (he had two companies), Typhoons and a smattering of Mortars. The Guards naturally were attacking (being mechanised sometimes sucks hard), so there was nothing to it but to show these beret clad show ponies what real British soldiers look like! Well that was the intention.
His immediate ambush viciously claimed most of my Sherman platoon- having flamethrowers then hitting on a 2+ is pretty damn rude! Typhoons and Naval Gunfire attempted to wipe my M10s from the face of the earth, top armour 0 is just not good at all when AT 5 and 6 starts dropping on you!
The key moment in the game was when a full commando platoon with CiC, piats and The Lord Lovatt assaulted out of their positions to run off to kill one of my Guards platoons, only to not pin them and get beaten back by defensive fire! That meant that they were left cripplingly in the open, to get MG'd by Daimlers and then assaulted by my unscathed armoured platoon.
Meanwhile on the other flank, my shermans had finally run out of steam, but not before killing a platoon of commandos and gutting another, leaving me to finish that platoon off, forcing Paul to fail company morale, as I had killed all 3 of his commanders!
A vicious, vicious 4-3 win. Paul is a guy who takes ridiculous lists, simply for the reason that they are ridiculous. While I appreciate that its fair enough to do it, man do I ever not like to play them! They make me think too hard. Good guy to play, which makes it darn hard to begrudge him.
So, 4 wins from 4 games leading in to the last round- not a bad effort at all!
Game 5: Hold the Line against Andrew Oates
This mission marked the return of the old Hold the Line mission, which was the predecessor to No Retreat. Simple changes from NR are that the defender has delayed reserves, but he does also get 2 ambushes.
To be blunt, this game was unsatisfying.
Andrew had a British Rifle Company from Fortress Europe, with 2 platoons of infantry, some 6pdrs, some heavy mortars, carriers, 40mm bofors SP, Typhoons and 6 Churchill Crocodiles. So, being an infantry company, he was defending. The table itself had little terrain, what terrain there was; was based around large hills, covered by impassable cliffs. Which meant that there was exactly 2 routes towards an objective. He deployed 1 platoon of Crocodiles and 1 rifle platoon, with his 6 6pdrs and second croc platoon in ambush.
With no concealment, no night attack and no ability to go toe to toe with Crocodiles, this game boiled down to me having to go all out to try and press him hard enough that I might, might keep an objective.
To stand any chance, I really needed him to roll poorly. When crocodiles came in flamethrowing, I needed them to fail some hits, I needed the typhoons to not appear, I needed him to get no reserves. But, it was not to be. Andrew cruelly rolled average dice, which sunk me. His crocodiles flamethrowered my infantry when they got close, gutting each platoon as it got anywhere near his objective.
Shermans were annihilated by Typhoon strikes, and M10s decided to miss flank shots onto Crocodiles with their 17pdrs. Infantry became pinned and stayed pinned, 6 pdrs couldn't hit a barn door (9 shots, hitting on a 4+ for nothing over a 2....). Also his 3 morale tests he had to make to keep platoons in the game were successful, denying me a point.
The only highlight for me was when I attempted a super sneaky zoom with the Daimlers trying to capture the rear objective before reserves arrived there, only to be met by ambushing Crocodiles, who simply rolled forward from concealment and annihilated the top armour 0 vehicles. Thus did my best chance to win the game disappear.
In effect, all that could go wrong, did go wrong. It is a gamblers adage that you should never chase luck, and I got stuck chasing it in this game, I had to have it to stand a remote chance. It was unsatisfying, but good on my opponent, he took a list specific to win, and he beat me. I can't begrudge him for that, he was a nice guy to play, but the combination of his "gamey" list, an impassable terrained table and a brutal mission meant that the game itself just was not actually that fun, I don't enjoy sending troops into mindless slaughter.
So, 5 games played. I played one person I had played before, the other 4 were people I had not played before. I really enjoyed a couple of my games, I was really happy with the game I played against the Commandos- tactically I think I played it right. The game which was the most fun had to be against the Fallschrimjager, a wonderful guy to play against on a wonderful table, with plenty of cool stuff happening. HE was close to having a really, really cool list too!
With the exception of the last game, I enjoyed the game themselves. The second game I was annoyed at his list, but at no point did I feel as helpless in the situation as I did in that last game, there quite simply was no way I could see that I could knock out 6 crocodiles before they released their 30 dice of instant killing flamethower dice. Even at range, I can't kill them but they can kill me with impunity. So, sorry Andrew, I didn't enjoy our game much, but that was nothing to do with you, more the situation itself!
Daimlers were quite simply the funnest thing ever. Zooming around machinegunning, or trying to littlejohn things, or assaulting nebelwerfers, these guys were great. So great in fact that they will be back, and in greater numbers!
Cheers to BF for running it, and to all my opponents. Simply great to chat to all you guys over the weekend, was fantastic.
Next up? Who knows!