So, the weekend marked the 10th Conquest run by Comics Compulsion and the Christchurch Cavaliers.
As previously mentioned, it was a 1600 point Mid War competition, based around the anniversary of the battle of El Alamein.
I was running an Australian Rifle company, based around what I knew about the 9th Australian Division from a memoir of a digger that I had read recently. Basically it was a lot of infantry, with mortars, 25pdrs, 6pdrs, Carriers and a detachment from the Australian Divisional Cavalry in Stuart light tanks.
So with the mass of speed painting done on the nights prior to the tournament, it was time to get started! Like Craig, I have neglected to take photos- I forgot!
Game 1 was against Chris W, who was running Pioneers with Marders. Lots of Marders.
The mission was No Retreat, and it was a night attack. Representing the first rush to claim high ground at the start of Alamein, the Australians sought to attack the German positions under the cover of night.
Being pioneers meant that there was a whole lot of Barbed wire on the table. A whole lot!
So with the left flank totally locked down by three lengths of barbed wire, I was forced to attack wholly up the right flank. Turn one, I advanced as silently as I could, not firing to keep my positions hidden.
The Germans however had no such compulsion, opening up with all of their firepower. A platoon of Carri appeared out of the darkness on the top of the nearby high point, opening up with their multiple machineguns. The pioneer infantry added to the fusillade, obliterating the First Platoon, causing the survivors to rout (fearless, yay)
With no other tactical choices, the australian advance continued, pushing towards the high ground on the hill. The enemy Italians were seen off by a combination of 6pdr Portee and 25pdr fire.
But it was the infantry who would have to win the day, they continued to push forward. But the Germans once again opened up with all of their machineguns, crippling 2nd platoon and it took the urgings of the Company Commander to get them to remain in position on the battlefield.
It was now the turn of the Germans to continue firing, the arrival of the Marders heralded a further annihilation of the next platoon of infantry as they advanced forward. The 6pdr portees were quickly annihilated, being eradicated by the 76.2mm cannon from the Marders.
The Australians continued to push forward, but with no anti-tank assets left, all that remained was to attempt to destroy the marders with 25pdrs indirect fire. One Marder was even destroyed by a 3" Mortar!
But that was all that the Australians could claim, the infantry were slowly wasted away, as were the support assets such as the Stuarts and Carriers. All in all, a very tough game. Chris decided to hit, with everything in Turn One and Two- I lost two full platoons of infantry when they should have had concealment from night. Coming back from that would simply be impossible.
A 5-2 Loss.
Game Two was against Jim, who was running a super cool Panzergrenadier company with Dianas!
Jim had to attack me in a Cauldron, so I deployed two platoons of auzzies, 25pdrs and the Portees in ambush. My plan? Use the Portees to harass any armour and hope that the Auzzies could hold on!
Jim foiled my plan of using Portees to kill tanks by not deploying any. So, simply I zipped my Portees out to begin machinegunning his mortars! But, with the new Mortar rules, the Germans were able to quickly eliminate no less than 3 of the Portees in short order, ruining their fun entirely. The remaining 6pdr deployed itself in a wadi and sat threatening any tanks which might come its way.
Jim pushed a big infantry attack through some rocky ground, under the covering fire of some infantry guns and mortars. The Auzzies held firm, using their 2pdr bombardments to destroy first the enemy AT guns, then proceeding to rain shells down onto the infantry.
But this was changed when the Australian reinforcements arrived, the Stuarts moved on and immediatly assaulted Jim's infantry reserve. With no AT guns to protect them, they were quickly forced down to half strength and forced out of their positions. The Stuarts continued to harass the infantry and support weapons, eventually able to destroy the mortars and infantry.
Jims infantry assault had stalled by bren gun fire, and once the enemy was pinned and under pressure, it was time for the Australians to counter charge with cold steel.
Jim threw a last attack to gain a point with an attack of 2 heavy armoured cars, but both were destroyed with Sticky Bombs.
A 6-1 Win to the Auzzies
Game Three was against Rob Shirley, in a Dust Up.
Rob was running his traditional German Grey panzers, with captured 25pdrs, Panzer IV longs, Panzer II's and all led by that chap Rettermeier.
The plan was simple attack hard and fast with 2 platoons of Australian Infantry, hope the 25pdrs could kill a couple of Panzers with indirect fire and hope that the 6pdr portees could kill the tanks to allow the infantry assault to continue.
How did it go?
Well. Very well. The infantry raced into the buildings, opening fire onto the enemy positions. But it was the 6pdr portees who placed themselves in such a way to have their shots onto the enemy tanks. Quickly the Panzers started to burn. But it was when the Infantry started to reach the tanks that the Panzers started being in trouble. All it took was a couple of sticky bombs to destroy Rettermeier, to destroy the Panzer IV platoon and once a couple of Panzer IIs had been knocked out by 25pdrs, it was a large infantry assault that destroyed the enemy panzers.
A flank attack by two Enemy panzers was quickly seen off by direct fire from 25pdrs, whereas the Auzzie flank attack cost the Germans dearly, destroying 25pdrs and preparing them for a last ditch infantry assault by the Australians. Another infantry assault went in on the 3 SP AA guns of the Germans, one having been killed by MG fire.
Once they were seen off, the Australians have total control over the battlefield. In fact, the Australians had both objectives, as well as Rob only having a single Observer stand left on the battlefield.
A 6-1 Win to the Australians.
So, day One had gone alright, two good wins, but one loss. The Allies had gained the momentum, and were pushing hard at the Germans ready for Day Two.
Game Four was against Dave D, in a Pincer.
With the initiative with the British, it was time for another attack. The mission was Pincer, with the Australians attacking at night.
This game was silly.
It started at night, with the Australians advancing under the cover of night with three platoons of infantry massed in the centre to attack the forward objective. Here was when the game could have been over quickly, Dave had 6 shots to hold back my infantry assaults, and had succeeded in not one, but 3 pins!
So with the infantry stalled, the Germans were able to smash the infantry with artillery, MG and tank fire. Here was Dave's first chance to win the game, two platoons of Australian infantry simply dissolved in the ensuing firefight and assault. But, Dave's infantry disappeared too. Which left the job of capturing the forward objectives to his Panzers.
While the infantry assault went on, the 6pdr portees positioned themselves to destroy the 2iC tank, while the Stuarts put a 37mm shot straight through the centre of Rettermeier's turret, destroying it.
The Universal Carrier platoon positioned themselves to assault the enemy 25pdrs, losing one of their number to defensive fire, but managing to destroy the two guns! They then moved to assault the staff team, killing it and breaking the platoon.
But the German reserves had arrived, the Panzers began to swarm over the Stuarts and Universal Carriers, destroying the Stuarts and leaving one carrier hiding from the combined firepower. A platoon of tanks attempting to push the Aussie infantry off the objective was seen off by 6pdr portees, 25pdrs and sticky bomb equipped infantry.
The game ended when Dave's last attack, a flanking mission by 3 Armoured Cars was seen off by defensive fire by Rifles, with their loss, his company broke.
A 4-3 win, which could have so easily been a 6-1 either way earlier on.
Onto Game Five, and there was only one person who I could be playing. Craig C, and it was the Australians attacking the Germans at night, in a Fighting Withdrawl.
My plan was to advance as fast as possible, closing the gap to Craig's position with as much haste as possible, to assault and destroy the enemy position before he could react.
It was a nice plan, but it didn't quite go to plan!
I managed to push forward with all haste, one platoon even riding carriers! But once they reached the German front line, Craig's ambush appeared, to defend his guns. Night held, which kept my infantry from being totally obliterated.
The 25pdrs began to find their range, pouring down punishing fire onto the head of the German position, destroying guns and infantry alike with their shells. With the enemy positions thinned out, it time for another infantry assault, which pushed the Germans off the objective and put it in the fragile Australian hands.
On the other flank, the Australian 6pdrs were under fire from Marders. But, with no loss to themselves they were able to hit and destroy 2 Marder, and bail another. The platoon then failed it's morale.
The German defense now hinged upon the Italian Assault Guns, who put themselves into the wadi to protect the objective. But once the 25pdrs found their range, the 6pdrs began their fire also, and finally an infantry assault by the 2 remaining Australian infantry teams was able to destroy the Italians utterly, leaving the Australians on the objective, and in charge of the game!
A 4-3 win, well fought and hard earned!
So, 5 games played, 4 wins, one loss. So after a bad start, the Australians were able to pull it back and even when attacking tanks, they were able to come out on top!
My points were enough for 3rd place, just the one point behind Craig!
Another enjoyable weekend gaming, it was fun to run Australians. Now I need to paint some 2 pdrs for them, so I can take them to Valleycon next year!