Flames of War Nationals – Canada
After five grueling rounds and an amazing weekend the dust settled to see a fairly even spread of things across the West. Since everyone’s experience will undoubtedly be unique I thought I would give a bit of a report on my (Bradford’s) experience.
I thought I would do some highlights for each game rather than a full synopsis:
- Free for all – In my first game against Dana’s First Special forces my left flank was held hard by my undying Pak40 who through shell after shell into his Shermans, eventually winning out the dual and with the help of his two 7.5cm howitzer half tracks buddies claiming the entire platoon of four Shermans with only the loss of a single howitzer. Stars of that game for sure!
- Hasty Attack – Attacker – The second game was played against a very tough 2nd Infantry Division commanded by Daniel from Edmonton. This was my first (of hopefully many) games with Daniel and it was a joy. The game came right down to the last minutes as my Wesps drove forward to support my infantry on the flanking objective claiming his reserves who managed to show up on the right corner allowing me to claim the victory just barely. My speed and maneuverability certainly aided my advance in this game.
- Fighting Withdrawal – Defender – My third game was possibly the toughest game I played against Bryan’s 2nd American Armoured Infantry. He wonderfully pushed the flank, using his reconnaissance forces to push my ambush further from his main thrust and into the center forest with only a narrow lane of sight to his advance. However failure to kill an observer and the ambush having the same Pak40 and howitzer combo who shone so well in game 1 were back. The bombardment from the Hummels claimed only a single tank and 2 half tracks of the 2 recce, 6 half tracks and 2 tanks that they hit. However the trio of Pak40 and Howitzers took out three more half tracks. Crippling the infantry platoon to half strength. Things on the left flank were looking secured. Unfortunately after several rounds of minimal damage from both sides, Bryan’s Hellcats found their targets and obliterated the Wesps who had been holding the right flank with some small scout MG teams. This allowed his second infantry platoon to advance over the open field nearly un-opposed which forced the Hummels to perform a daring assault across the vineyard to take out a single infantry stand coming in and another in the assault before being killed off, save the staff team who withdrew next turn as my mandatory platoon withdrawal. However before this they caused just enough to force a moral check which made the American infantry ditch out and retreat leaving the almost captured objective safely in no ones hands. That trio of destruction (Pak40 and 2 7.5cm Howitzer HTs killed off the three remaining Hellcats and a Recce Greyhound to force a moral check which Bryan failed since his 2iC and CO were already gone. Closest game I have played in a long time and very fun.
- Counter Attack – Attacker – This game was Training exercise (blue on blue) number one against Bojan and his Finnish forces. My forces performed beautifully and despite Bojan having terrible dice he still caused me to barely take the objective in the final minutes of the game with my 2iC (nicknamed Commando but more on that in another post perhaps) Great opponent and a good game considering his poor luck. He faught hard considering his unfortunate dice betrayal.
- No Retread – Attacker (Game of 1st and 2nd overall and for the whole National Tournament)… – Glen Tarbet is my nemesis it would seem. I attacked with everything hard up the left flank behind the cover of the hills. I gave his Grenadiers force a thrashing despite original attempts by my artillery to bounce harmlessly off the tops of his King Tigers and Hetzers more than a dozen times. Finally the artillery hit home and wiped out the entire Hetzer platoon with a double bombardment on them from both the Wesp and Hummel Battery. However the very next turn my massive assault force waiting to push through the woods and into the field to secure the already contested objective remained pinned after dislodging the platoon from the woods. They then stayed pinned for another 3 full turns after this even though the CO had caught up to give them a reroll on fearless. That is 7 failed fearless checks to unpin in a row. The artillery continued to rain death upon the battered infantry in the field but never killed another man, despite the platoon contesting the objective being battered to below half strength. The half tracks and recce bikes managed to wipe out 2 more platoons.One more was a company check for Glens Grenadiers. However, the scouts dismounted from their bikes and laid into the small infantry gun platoon. They killed one on the way in, received two shots of defensive fire, and rolled two 2’s killing both, then rolling another 2 for the platoon moral making the final bike run like a scared girl. That recce bike platoon never survived more than 6 hits all tournament despite being a 3+ save and often gone to ground. kind of pathetic really. Might have to get them some armoured cars since they cannot dodge bullets worth a damn! To add insult to the injuries happening my Hummels fired dud shells at the King Tigers (1s for firepower) and with that the game came to close. Despite everything Glen would continue his undefeated streak by my forces.
- You may have noticed the “…” on the previous highlight against the game with Glen. Well we gave each other such a thrashing that we actually allowed Brandon and his Hungarian armoured forces who had a flawless game against my dad’s 4th American Armoured to snipe the victory of the tourney after nipping at the heals of the top leaders the whole tournament. He had a well deserved victory after hanging just off the radar until the final hurrah!
All in all an amazing tournament and I still managed to take the award for 2nd in my first Nationals. Missing the Best Overall by a mere 1.2 points. I was 1 point off a perfect sportsmanship which would have tied me with Glen, giving me the .2 overall score I needed to get that .2 to catch Glen. Guess I need to work on being that one point of a bad sport! Oops! I was only a mere 1.2 behind Brandon as well which meant I had only needed my dad to kill one of Brandon’s platoons or to have not had my scouts die in all but one of five games. Those guys need to learn to be sneaky! Or just hide from more than 5 shots, as I mentioned they usually died after 5 rolls and once in 6 even with fearless and a 3+ save.
Great time, a big thanks to everyone who came out. Especially Bryan for coming from Texas and Bruce for running the whole thing as the Battlefront Rep. Hope that this can be the first of many Canadian Nationals and that we can drum up less cancellations for the next one. Too bad so many people had to cancel last minute like that!
Well if you are still reading then I commend you and thanks for reading my long winded synopsis from my perspective!