Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Bedecon 2012- Tigers, Panthers and Hornisse. What is a poor ISU to do?

So, last weekend was Bedecon, and it was time to bring forth the heavy assault guns last seen around a month ago. The quirk of the tournament was that every table had light snow in three games, and heavy snow in two games. The heavy snow proved to be a major adversary of mine, in fact I lost both games I played on the heavy snow! The other trick was that each army was given a free sniper team, with the best sniper receiving an award.
My sniper team for the weekend, a 6mm ISU-152 Game One was against Matt M, with Fallschrimjager in a Breakthrough
I can sum up how I won this game in 3 words. The Hornisse Missed. For all my clever tactics, putting Assault Guns into places to bunker bust PaK 36's (mean I know), and all the time spent trying to use T34s to assault Nebelwerfers, it all came down to the simple fact that one one turn, 3 Hornisse rolled 5 misses out of 6 shots, when hitting on a 4+ against Assault Guns. Had they hit, I would have lost one full platoon of Assault Guns, then wouldn't have been able to shoot them back, allowing them to do the same back to the other platoon in the next turn. But as it was, he missed. And we were at close range (the 4+ was for Concealment), and there were 4 ISU-152s within Volley Fire range. And they did not miss. "Bam and the Hornisse is gone"
The rest of the game became more of a case of me trying to whittle the FJ down, slowly grinding our way to the objective.
Result- 6:1 win to the Assault Guns! Game 2 was against Ben L, who was running SS Wiking with Panzerkanones in an Encounter
That first photo goes a long way to summing up how this game went. Ben was running a very good company, led by 5 Panthers. To compound my issues, the table was also Heavy Snow. So any clever and cunning ideas of mine to flank said Panthers were prevented by the fact that I could only move 8" with my T34s, and had to do a bog check to do it! I found it a frustrating game, because I really needed some luck to get me to achieve anything in this game, but Ben wasn't having a bar of that! He played his list really well, keeping Panthers at range to snipe at the ISU-152, which were unable to fire back. On the rare occasions that the IS-2 did actually hit, he obligingly rolled a save on his front armour.
This didn't help either With the luxury of rerolling skill checks to remount his bogged tanks provided by Panzer Kanone, he really did not suffer from the snow anywhere near as badly as I did, annihilating everything they came across more or less! The only ray of sunshine for me was my Sniper being able to kill 5 Nebelwerfers, AND survive the game!
We played the full time, and technically should have been a draw, but really I had squat on table, so gave him the game. It was hard to be excited after the game, I had to walk outside to get some air. I don't mind losing a game, that it ok. What I mind is not feeling like I had a chance, that is really frustrating! Sorry Ben if I was a sour person after our game. Result- 1:6 Loss, and well played by Ben! Game 3 was against Warren H, who was running Sturm in a No Retreat This No Retreat was interesting. Warren had a LOT of PaK 40s (7 I think), as well as big 15cm artillery guns. So, if luck could be on my side, I should be able to roll up his guns with my heavy assault guns, then push the Panzerfaust equipped Sturm off the table. That was the plan!
Warren did not deploy how I expected him to, at all. Well, he did in a way. Sturm on the forward objective, the 15cms behind, then the PaKs a long way back. This cost him in the end, because those PaKs were not able to influence the game any more, because of their range. It all started pretty well for me, by driving my Recce up a road and parking them next to a building filled with Observers, hopping out and assaulting them. To add insult to injury, the BA-64 then machinegunned a 15cm howitzer!
But, while the recce were off having fun, they weren't protecting my army from ambushes. Lo and behold, more Hornisse appeared in front of the army! But again, as before, the 2 Hornisse fired, and missed. And as before, that was that. ISU-152 with Volley Firing guns is not nice to be within 16" of. The CiC IS-2 was having a merry time shooting at whatever it felt like, except the return fire from PaK40s at long range kept bailing him out! (5 failed saves out of 6 rolls- saving on a 2+) But it was only a matter of time before I could roll up his guns, snipe his weak platoons and claim the objective, Result- 6:1 Win Day two started with a painting comp, which I got some positive feedback on my army- especially the sniper! Game 4 was against Sam P, with a Schwere Panzer Company in a Dust Up This game could have gone a LOT better for me. The main thing that would have helped?Rolling hits. With guns, on Tigers. That would have been REALLY handy. As it was, the Tigers had a pretty merry romp around the battlefield, bouncing those few ISU hits that came their way. One went down early to the IS-2 (a symbol of things to come?), but from then on, the IS-2 refused to do anything. Between bogging and missing, it stopped achieving in any way.
I had sent 4 ISU up the road to flank the tigers, going to push them in to close range to do nasty things to them. What happened was 4 tigers shot on the move, hitting on a 4, and hit 3 times. And I failed 3 saves. And the platoon died. And the last one ran away. So... That went well for me. My other platoon at this stage was engaged in a life or death struggle with trees, deciding that bogging was more of a battle than fighting Tigers.
The T-34 rolled up to add their weight of fire too- and missed. But they were near the objective, and were able to push forward and capture it, forcing a lone tiger to roll 2 bog checks to contest (which it passed). The T34s responded by obliterating it and the CiC tank with 85mm fire (6 hits from 6 shots), but the T34s had been stalled long enough for the infantry to capture one of his objectives. Why did the infantry capture it? Because the IS-2 was bogged in the snow.... Sigh. Who's stupid idea was heavy snow? People were blaming me, and they might have been right.... Result- 2:5 Loss Game 5 was against Daniel S with a Panzer Company in Fighting Withdrawl This game just went all kinds of wrong for Daniel. He did not realise the weight of fire my army could produce on Turn One, which meant his deployment was really not good for him. As it was, the T34s were able to kill his 3 Panzer IVs (New H&C is cool!), the ISU's rolled ominously on and my infantry hid in a wood. By Turn 2, his two Elefants had appeared, but in the wrong place. They were deployed to get good shots, but not deployed to contest objectives. Which meant the T34s and ISUs ignored them (as much as you can ignore a Long 88) and focused on the things which were on objectives, like Pumas and StuGs. The infantry kept sneaking their way up the board, making a tank assault on Pumas on turn 3, capturing the last remaining one (one had been hit by a T34, the other by an ISU-152), which left them on the objective uncontested. There is not much to say about this game, except for "that is not how I would have defended it!" Result- 6:1 Win So, after 5 games, the Assault Guns were on a respectable 21 points, which was enough to earn them 4th Equal. But, given I was equal with Ben L, he claimed 4th and pushed me into 5th (rightly so too!). My baby ISU had gained enough kills over the weekend (8!) to claim Best Allied Sniper.
This was Alex's sniper, many an email conversation went back and forth about our assault gun lists, so we both adopted the "tiny-tank" snipers
All in all, an interesting tournament. In all honesty, it was a whole lot harder than I expected it to be. Assault Guns were not meant to be a "good" list, they were meant to be fun. But some of those games were REALLY hard work, and by Sunday night, I was absolutely beat! So much for a relaxing weekend not having to think! I had a great time over the weekend, catching up with people and gaming, it was a well run weekend by Bede (as ever). It felt a bit more serious this time than last Bedecon, we will see if there is a Bedecon next year, just what it will run like! Oh, Conquest is in 2 weeks apparently, and this is my army...
Uh Oh.... CP


  1. Good reports Poochie- boom or bust, eh.

    Time to get painting by the loos of it- but you are always up for a challenge!

    I had a headache at the end of day 1- trying to force a result (or at least get some points) in game 2 and then trying desperately to get a point, any point in game 3 vs Bede really made my poor brain ache!

    See you in a couple of weeks- BTW there will be Ozzie, Ozzie Ozzie chants permitted at Conquest!


    1. Totally Boom or Bust- but that is my style really isn't it?

      I am not surprised you had a headache, you had two pretty tough games back to back! Bede is a tough customer, he knows how to defend with a lot of skill! Then you followed it up with another slow game. Tough draw.

      Will need to get my act together and paint, but it will be cool!

      Ozzie chants will come out when assaulting. Which I plan to be frequently :)

  2. DAK panzer grenadiers for me :)


    1. Nice! Looking forward to a list once you have made one!

  3. Great write up, sounds like a tough one.
    Those ISU's look cool too. Great paint job.

    What's that Aussie list?
    2 Inf Platoons with trucks
    MG Plt
    is my guess.

    1. Was tough, but all in all a good weekend!

      Auzzies are 3 infantry platoons, 25pdrs, 6pdrs, Mortars, Carriers and Stuarts.

      Auzzies didn't get Matildas until the Pacific campaign.

  4. Not enough infantry for Poochie Adam


  5. Nice Write up Pooch,

    Great result with the ISUs - its long been a list I have looked at for its coolness factor. I guess its a pity the fun factor can swing so much :-(

    Aussie Aussie Aussie - im sure you will pull your normal rediculous trick of painting a full army in two weeks!


    1. They were fun to make, to paint, and to have. But some games are just not fun sometimes, which is a pity when Ben was a really nice guy, just the game wasn't fun!

      Hopefully my usual trick will work this time!

    2. So I guess the game vs my Elefants is off the cards? :-)

      Seriously nice work - love the "sniper" :-)

    3. We haven't had a game in so long, I would be very keen to vs the Elefants!

      The sniper was my favourite part of the army!

  6. Thanks for the report well done. Love the snow camo effect on the assault guns.

  7. Hey Pooch - nice reports. I think the snow idea was a good one in theory, but there were certainly a fair few games that people walked away from thinking 'I could never have won that'. You were not the only one! However, you have to try these things once :)

    PS the ISUs were cool - they got my vote and come tied for second in the painted with Matt Martin's Fallschirmjager. You needed one more vote to tie for first!

    1. High praise on my painting Bede, thanks!

      Snow was what it was. I knew there was a possibility that there would be games like that 2nd one, but I just wanted to be able to do SOMETHING! You know me and my attention span when gaming!

  8. Nice reports. You got my vote for best painted as well. The snow camo had real depth to it, and for what's basically a green and white paint job they really "popped".
    Loved the "mini-me" sniper too :)



    1. Thanks Paul, I like your report too- was good to be able to see more photos of other armies/tables, well before your camera crapped out!

      Thanks for the painting praise, there were some great looking armies there so it means alot to have people single mine out!