Sunday, April 14, 2013

Marsupial Garden - Huzzah Hobbies 1500 Point Tournament

On Saturday the 13th, I made it out to Huzzah Hobbies for the I-95 Market Garden tournament (lists only from Market Garden or Bridge by Bridge).  It was a 3-round, 1500 late war event.  Since I don't own any of the involved allies (I guess I could've faked a sub-competitive Sherman list), I ran Germans.

My list was a StuG Batterie (because they're awesome):

CiC in StuG
3 StuGs
3 StuHs
1 King Tiger
3-Team SS Recce Infantry
Full F/V Fallschirmjager w/ 1 Faust
Sporadic FW 190B

Not having a 2iC (and thus losing Kampfgruppe) was rough in the third game (Dust-Up), but otherwise the list fared pretty well.  Read on for a summary of each game (I'll just discuss highlights) and lots of photos!

Round one found my StuGs attacking John Sulek's gorgeous 82nd Airborne in the village of Mook.  The I-95 folks had these cool fluff pieces for each board. 

Here's the board.  I was attacking from the bottom right to the top left in Breakthrough.  The river basing was all "Polder" the washed-out fields found all around the area during the occupation.  This meant slow going and a bog check.  I placed the objectives in the river next to the grey bridge and in the far corner near the farm building on the left.  There was a rail bridge to the right, but it was clear that I would need to make a drive at that grey bridge quickly.

John's Paras:

Set-up from my corner.

Summary: Basically, John placed his artillery and a short para platoon to my left and his Shermans, full paras and 57s across the river.  I sent my FJ in a flanking attack..

My StuH's sped around his artillery's flank, ignoring his arriving recce jeeps and basically rolled up to the railway in the picture you see below.

StuH's and CiC contemplating their next move:

Meanwhile, my King Tiger advanced right at the Bridge and eventually claimed it, giving me the game.

My FW took out a Sherman:

King Tiger on the move:

Remnants of the StuGs and Leg Recce (in the forest)

John's AWESOME 57mm platoon:

StuGs and King Tiger:

The other funny moment was my FJ coming in, occupying the farmhouse and then assaulting a few para teams on the objective.  Pushing them off this would've likely given me the game much earlier.  3 teams made it through defensive fire, but of course I whiffed.  He then came back at me with a vengeance.  Thankfully I didn't break and went back into hiding in the farmhouse.  

The StuHs and King Tiger won this game, the former by chewing through his artillery and the latter by being nigh invulnerable without the artillery on the board.  John was a great opponent, and the result was a 5-2 win for me (lost the StuGs).

Round 2 was against Bob Everson (eventual champ) in Nijmegen.  This was fun, as I've actually been there.  The board was a rather built-up town with some polder and forests scattered throughout. 

Bob ran the Canadian Infantry list with Kangaroos (turret-less Sherman transports).  It's a pretty ridiculous list, as it plays as Infantry (i.e. I had to attack, in No Retreat), but he gets mechanized transports.  He had 2 Infantry platoons, 2 full Sherman platoons (i.e. 4 Fireflies) and a little carrier Recce platoon.  

I attacked from right to left based on this picture.  My plan was to advance quickly on the objective in the open field, hopefully avoid his Sherman ambush and leverage my armor or an infantry assault to take out his other Shermans before reserves really arrived.  

I committed my Recce to the tree line in the bottom right of the above photo, which in hindsight cost me dearly.  I advanced quickly into the row of houses facing the objective, (FJ hitching a ride on the StuGs and successfully stormtroopering into the houses), but on his turn two, it went south fast.  2 StuHs bogged in the tree line, my StuGs whiffed on his Shermans and the return fire was devastating.  His ambush from the trees at the end of the road in the next photo obliterated my StuHs (the survivor fled) and I lost 2 StuGs as well.

I still had a shot, but my King Tiger refused to hit anyone.  My FJ lined up a decent assault, but failed their tank terror.  My CiC stayed bogged for 3 turns in the tree line and his kangaroos and infantry showed up relatively quickly.  I almost got one Sherman platoon, but didn't, so a 6-1 for Bob.  In hindsight, I should've seen the obvious ambush spot and dedicated a FJ team to screen.  I also should've sent the KT up the middle instead of around the edge, as his flanks would've been protected by the buildings and given him prime LoS onto the objective.

Nevertheless, it was a fun game despite my lack of success, and it was good to get another game in against Bob after the match at Cold Wars (round 2 of that tournament) when the results were the opposite.  

Round 3 had me playing the other StuG Batterie in the tournament (we ended up with 4 more German players than allies, which is the exact opposite of the turnout everyone expected, so there were some Red on Red games).  His StuG Batterie had 2 King Tigers and 4 C/T 88s.  I don't think I got a shot of this board, but basically, there were hills and forests scattered around a long main diagonal road, with 2 houses at opposite ends.  This was really, in all senses, a mirror match, from the board, to the lists (almost) to the fact that our King Tigers both got Rapid Fire for our ace skills.

We played Dust-Up, which was comical.  The first 3 turns took about 10 minutes, as our King Tigers danced around at long range doing nothing.  My StuGs showed up, but I was overly scared of the 88s (long-range + Vet kept me rather safe).  This led to me not racing at them head on and instead trying to flank.  This put them in LoS of his Tigers and some decent rolling cost me my platoon.  His StuGs and StuHs flanked towards my objective through a forest but took their sweet time.  Meanwhile, my SS Recce and StuHs arrived and did what the StuGs should have: drive right at the 88s guarding his objectives behind a large hill that screened them from the rest of the fight.  Even at range, the StuHs made mincemeat of the trained guns, whose return fire did nothing (poor luck to my opponent).  His StuHs kept me from just racing mine onto the objectives, so I first sent up my SS Recce.  He killed them, but exposed his StuHs doing it, leading to this fun scene:

One turn later, my StuHs and King Tiger had taken them out.  It looked like I was going to win!

Meanwhile, his StuGs tried to take my CiC and a few FJ off my far objective.  I was able to fend off his assault, but instead of pursuing his last StuG (who made his platoon check) to the edge of the forest where I could ambush him and hopefully kill him, breaking his company, I stayed back in the forest.  My King Tiger then failed his Stormtrooper roll after waxing the StuHs.  His King Tiger obligingly pumped three shots into my side armor, killing a third platoon, and, with my StuHs on the objective, but with no CiC, I'd lost.  It was a very back and forth game, and turned out to be highly entertaining despite the sillyness of Dust-Up + 2x Armored Companies.  This left me with 9 points (5, 1, 3) and 15th or so place.  Shame I couldn't do any better, but that's the way it goes.  The Allies won a few more games overall, giving them the win.  

The event was great overall, the terrain was top-notch, and the host store was clean and well-stocked.  

His StuGs attack my objective:

FJ and my King Tiger guard the other objective:

The rest of the boards:

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