I’m a sucker for punishment.
So I had the opportunity to field my mostly painted American Armored Rifle Company for the Kelowna Flames of War Tournament coming up on April 20th.
I’ve been playing with target denial and number superiority tactics lately, both Brad and I have been going on a Trained kick which tends to lend itself well to that tactic.
It’s a pretty intimidating force to face, just because of the sheer numbers involved. That being said, it’s no “Fire and Forget” army by any stretch of the imagination. Troops die and quickly!
Howard met me on our Monday nights at the Sentry Box and we did some exercises with my Americans and his new Canadians. We figured we’d justify it that it was a training exercise before getting stationed across the channel.
We played No Retreat which is one of the scenarios that the Kelowna boys have chosen for the tournament. It is an unusual event because the Defensive Mission falls under the Armoured Reserves condition which means the defender will be limited with the number of fully armoured units that they can put down on the board initially and the other two missions are Mobile Battles. This means mechanized forces will definitely be challenged at this tournament. Because of this I’ve put together and am painting up the dismounted guns options for my Armored Rifle Platoons. If I do end up defending I want those .50 cals available in prepared positions!
Anyhow, so the list is definitely playing in a manner that I’m not used to yet! I’m used to playing Confident Veteran Germans, which means you are almost always outnumbered but your
troops are hard as nails and tough to dig out. NOT SO WITH TRAINED! Wow!
I’ve got 9 priests that tend to sit in backfield that can lay down a pizza box of fire or a double wide with rerolls. If I get lucky and get Time on Target that can be pretty nasty with rerolls to hit and my opponent rerolls armour saves. The other purpose is to move up and use their Heavy Breakthrough guns to dig out enemy troops. It’s also the reason I took 2 Cavalry Recon; so that I can help the priests get in and kill dug in troops.
That being said I didn’t really do that in this game. Mid game, I should have started leap-frogging the Priests to get into position to either bombard OR direct fire at buildings. It’s amazing that for a good portion of the middle game a single Sherman and 3 infantry were holding the centre line until reserves arrived. I should have pushed my advantage but didn’t manage to and by the time I’d managed to unpin my two ARPs on that side to push through the centre and help take the objective, Howard had a nice firing line set up with his M10s, Wasps and Rams.
I still have a lot to paint with no less than 17 more stands of infantry and 18 more vehicles. That’s not including the 9 Priests I finished last week! Ugh!
One of the things that I’ve really noticed about this size of army is that your off-table board is almost as important as what is happening on the game table. Keeping track of who was killed and what halftracks are available is a constant resource management and it’s definitely a wide departure from a more relaxed pace
found with Confident Veteran troops. Though my opponent might be taking his time with a higher trained force, I am constantly pushing minis around whether it’s in my turn or reorganizing dead pools and transports in his! That will take some getting used to and I have a definite worry about timing out during my rounds.
The one advantage that I see with this though is I tend to be a slower player. I attribute that to often times not committing or fully thinking out a strategy at the beginning of the game and then spend the rest trying to implement tactics for a strategy I don’t really know or understand. This leads to a lot of mental deliberation.
With this force there simply isn’t time for deliberation. You have to commit to a plan and move decisively with it if you have any hope of getting a full game in within the 2.5 hour limit. So I think this is going to make me sharper in the end. It’s a bit of a bitch to manage right now, but as I start to get familiarity with unit stats to the same degree as I have with Germans, I think that it’ll definitely speed up my game. I’m looking forward to the challenge!