I played in the 1900pt LW Flames of War tournament with my trusty 101st Airborne. After some no shows on the weekend there were 16 players left to battle it out over 5 games.
My list was from Nuts with the following setup:
2x Command Carbine team
2x Parachute Platoon
- Carbine command, 5x Rifle team, 3x Bazooka team, 60mm Mortar team
2x Tank Destroyer Platoon
- 4 Hellcats
Airborne Anti-tank Platoon
- 4x M1 57mm Gun
Airborne Divisional Recon Platoon
- 4x .50cal Recon Jeep
2x Glider Field Artillery Battery
- 3x M3 105mm Light Howitzer
The first game in the schedule was Free-For-All and I was paired up against one of our ETC team members who was wielding a Tiger Company from Italy with 6 Tiger's, 2 infantry platoons, 8-rads and some AA guns.
I deployed my artillery on the middle of the map blocked by the hill and put my 57mm guns on top to control the mid route. Both flanks held one Hellcat platoon and one infantry platoon.
My opponent got the first turn and immediately pushed on my left flank. This forced me to pop out my Hellcats early to try take out his exposed Tigers. After a nice lesson in hit distribution most of the hit's on the CO were transferred into the infantry platoon behind him leaving the Tiger only bailed and killing of quite a few infantry stands. Retribution was swift with the cats being wiped out fast.
I had started to move out on the right flank to put pressure on the objective there, but had to rush back left with the Hellcats there to protect what was left of the flank.
At this point I had already lost the game so started to attempt to kill of my opponents platoons to get some points. First in the firing line were the remnants of the infantry platoon that got dosed with the .50 cals from my Recon and finished off with artillery.
My Hellcats from the right flank had made it to the middle of the board, but were met by the Tigers that had now turned on a new opponent. What followed was abysmal shooting from both sides with one Tiger being bailed and one Hellcat being shot to pieces.
My infantry platoon went to take revenge on the recon only to miss their hits and be beaten back in return.
As some salvation my Hellcats finally found their mark taking out a Tiger and it's bailed out companion decided to leave the battlefield.
4-3 loss for me. I should have deployed the Hellcats close to each other. Now I wanted to play aggressive on the right flank, but my opponents fast movement to my left forced me to just start reacting to his play. Not a very good start, but nearly all other games ended 6-1 so I guess it could have been worse.
Next game was Hasty Attack and I played against a reserve player who had taken a 5-2 loss in the previous game and had brought along a minimalistic list to cut down on stuff needed to carry to the location. 5 King Tigers and some air support were going to have to attack me on a board that had some quite heavy terrain.
I deployed most of my force on the left with an infantry platoon and anti-tank spread out to defend the objective against all the King Tigers bearing down on them.
Seeing all the cats on the other side of the table I started moving my other infantry platoon that way to support while moving the Jeeps within striking distance of my objective.
With the hedgerows blocking line of sight the Tigers moved into the road trying to shoot my 57mm's, but didn't manage to kill anything. Air support showed up killing of a team, but achieving little else.
With his only option being assaulting me before my reinforcements started arriving he came over the hedgerow only to have one tank bog down, 1 bailed and 1 destroyed by defensive fire. I lost one team in the attack, but counter-attacked killing off 4 King Tigers out of 5. We decided to stop it there after about 20 minutes of play time.
6-1 win to me. The match up couldn't have been more favourable to me. Still the list had fared surprisingly well in the previous game with a 5-2 loss and it had been only a dice throw away from a victory for the King Tiger list.
The last game for day one was No Retreat and I had to play against a Finnish infantry company on terrain that had quite a bit of forest on one flank where the Finns could move easily. Luckily I got to defend and placed my artillery so it was hidden from sight. One infantry platoon went into defensive positions on the forest on my left flank while a Hellcat platoon stayed in Ambush. I placed one observer in the town with a view over most of the table and one in the forward forest on the left to prevent the Finns from doubling their movement there. I had placed my objective in front of the hill with my arty and my opponent placed the other in the forest on the left flank leaving the town mostly out of game.
The Finns started with a Pioneer and a Jääkäri platoon on my left flank and another Jääkäri platoon on my right.
Right in the beginning of the game I was able to get in two Time on Target bombardments in with one landing on the packed Pioneers and KV-1s and one landing on the Jääkäri platoon on the right. Nice start that thinned their lines fast.
At this point I forgot I had the one observer in the forward woods and he got killed by the Pioneers. Obviously my basing was close enough to the forest so that I didn't realize he was there until I had stopped my movement.
I got my first reserves and moved up a Hellcat platoons security section on my right flank into the village to slow any attack down with .50cals. At this point my AOP got shot down by a Stuka making it a bit harder to call in arty. I managed to cause more casualties to the Jääkäri platoon on the right which buggered off the table after failing a morale test.
A platoon of BA-10s had moved into town and effectively blocked my Hellcats from being able to move to support my left flank when needed. I brought in my recon jeeps to lift their GtG and blast them off with .50 cals and artillery. I destroyed two, but the platoon still stayed on the table. Meanwhile on the left flank the situation was building up with a Pioneer platoon and a Jääkäri platoon bearing down on my position with KV-1s ready to support.
I decided it was time to start destroying more platoons and popped out one Hellcat platoon to shoot down the escaping BA-10 and the other Finnish AT platoon. I destroyed the BA-10 and the AT guns, while managing to smoke out the other AT guns on my left flank.
I did however leave my cats in sight of the Finnish artillery observers who called in arty in my position bailing out two tanks. An AA gun added insult to injury by destroying one tank. Luckily I made my morale test and the platoon stayed on the table. After remounting the tanks the platoon moved into safety to deny my opponent any points.
At this point the situation was getting desperate for the Finns who moved in to attack my position with the Pioneers who were supported by fire from the KV's and the Jääkäri platoon. Still at this point I already had another infantry platoon coming up to support and the first one was firmly dug in. Defensive fire beat back the attacking Pioneers who failed a morale test and left the table. On my turn the other Hellcat platoon came in from Ambush and destroyed a KV-1.
In the last turn the final Jääkäri platoon made a futile effort to assault my position only to be shot up and beaten back. Next turn my opponent failed his company morale and it was all over.
This was a match up that I certainly didn't want to play against in the first place. FV infantry can be a pain to fight against with my list as I don't have too many stands and can't afford to lose many of them. My artillery performed well and I managed to pick off his platoons one at a time. At the same time I was able to deny his artillery any targets for most of the game and came out relatively unscathed. The Hellcats were also performing quite nicely. In the end a clear 6-1 win where I only lost one Hellcat, one Jeep, an artillery stand and one artillery command stand.
I ended the first day in second place which was quite a big surprise as this was my first Flames of War tournament. Next day didn't look so promising though as I was going to be facing a Soviet tank horde played by our ETC team captain. More to come later.