The tournament was our first in a few months, and I was a little nervous trying Trained troops, which I haven't had much success with in the past. Generally I also end up pushing Trained units too hard, which leads to their inevitable demise.
My army was, admittedly, a cheesy list. American Trained Tanks have an enormous advantage over other nations: the Jumbo. My list was as follows -
HQ - 1iC Jumbo, no 2iC
4 Shermans - Jumbo, 2 x E8, M4A3
4 Shermans - Jumbo, 3 x M4A3 (late)
Although there aren't any artillery batteries for the AOP to take advantage of, it is still very useful for mitigating ambushes. Unfortunately, it never came into play during this tournament.
Before I get into the report I just want you to be aware that there are a ton of great pictures of the event that can be viewed by clicking here.
The first mission was Cauldron, and I would be facing one of the store's better players and his SS-Totenkopf Panzergrenadiers. Unfortunately for him his army was not suited toward defending in this mission, and Patton's re-roll for reserves gave me an enormous advantage as the attacker. His only anti-tank units were his 3 Panzer IV's and 2 8.8's, of which only the 88's were on the table at the beginning.
Stuarts don't care, Stuarts don't give a shit
Ultimately I was able to use the terrain to my advantage and pick off his AT assets one by one. My Stuarts were amazing in this game. They assaulted an entire infantry platoon and ran them off the table, and then in the next turn assaulted and ran off the 88's! There was simply nothing my opponent could do to counter my maneuverability. I broke his company but would have started my next turn holding an objective anyway. 6-1 to me.
Some action on another table
One of the shocking games of this round came on another table. One of our, ummm... more bellicose players had been playfully trash talking (we all trash talk) all morning about how he was going to roll us. And it looked like he was well on his way in Game 1, with his Brit infantry (supported by Crocs) attacking against a Hungarian artillery park. However his Brits were broken on turn 7 when he was below half and neither commander was on the table. Why was neither commander on the table? Because he was so focused on getting his Crocs into position that he forgot to bring on his reserves FOR 4 TURNS!!! His commanders were with the infantry platoons, which were in reserve, and thus his 3 platoons that started on the table were on their own. When two of them were destroyed, he lost. It was amazing...
Crocs and AVRE's vs. Hungarians in the desert... I'll let that sink in
Games two and three were played with a custom mission of my creation. Basically each player sets up objectives as they would in Encounter (each player places one in each deployment zone), but then the players use the Blind Deployment setup that the I-95 guys invented. Battle ends on or after Turn 6.
My game two was against the Hungarian player. Unfortunately I found out too late that his 6-pounder models were actually 7.5cm Pak40's...hmmmmm... Not having time to redirect my attack, and scared of being shredded by his artillery, we fought each other to a standstill. I killed two of his platoon, but he didn't get any of mine, for a 3-1 "draw" (there are no draws in FoW - counts as a loss). This game was a lesson in pulling mauled units off the line to preserve battle points. Both my Stuarts (another awesome game from them) and the Armored Mortars had been shredded, but I retreated to safe locations to preserve them.
If you don't kill all the Stuarts...
...then Stuarts gonna kill you!
Game 3 was against an American Airborne army, which was simply not prepared to deal with my force. The game really was a catastrophe for my opponent. My self-defense AA dice were hot! In the picture below you can see his air support with 3 planes swooping in on my tanks. I would get 5 self-defense AA shots; I hit three times and then passed all three firepower tests! His priority air only ever made it through once all game, and didn't do any damage.
I killed his TD security section in such a way as to prevent the TD's from deploying, and eventually ground the rest of his army into dust. The only thing that didn't go according to plan was that my TD's whiffed on all 8 of their shots (needing 4+), but it didn't even matter. 5-2 to me (I sacrificed the Stuarts in order to kill the TD's...a fair trade in my opinion).
At the end of the day this was enough to get me first place since nobody went 3-0. I really like this list, and I can see why Bill Wilcox runs it so much. The difference between my list and his is that he drops the TD's and Armored Mortars and adds two Priest batteries. Usually in our local meta there are more heavy tanks, hence why I wanted the TD's, but during this tournament the Priests would have been far more useful. I'll have to keep play-testing, but after I play a couple of games with my neglected KG Pieper.
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