Battle on the Mississippi 2018.1

On behalf of the Screaming Eagles, we would like to invite Flames of War Players in the Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa or further(!) area for the  next edition of Battle on the Mississippi. This Flames of War Tournament will be held January 20th, 2018 at D6 Games in Rochester Minnesota. (http://www.d6gamesmn.com)  (3160 Wellner Dr. NE Ste. 200 Rochester Minnesota.)

Doors open at 10am and first round starts at 10:30am.

It is a 1625 point early-war tournament featuring 3 rounds using v4. Missions for the round will be randomly determined by the TO (Chuck Hiner). Battleplans will not be in use. Rounds will last 2.5 hours.

Attacker/Defender Determination: will be using the following method to calculate Attacker Defender-

Each Armored Unit will be worth 2pts.
Each Mech Unit will be worth 1pt
Each Infantry/Gun Unit will be worth 0pts.
Fog of War cards are NOT allowed

Tournament Scoring: Generalship, Draw match-ups, victory points than wins

Tiebreakers: In case of a tie all tiebreakers use the following order to determine a winner
1. Generalship
2. Number of wins (6-1, 5-2, 4-3)
3. Sporting
4. Strength of schedule
5. Favorite Opponent votes
6. Rock, scissors, paper (Best 2 out of 3)! Based on Victory Points earned. Winners of ties will be determined by number of wins, ties will be broken by the point value of the units destroyed.

If you have questions, by all means ask. Only able to assemble a partial list or don’t have the lead?  Please talk to us ahead of time we might be able to pull something together for you! We do encourage new players!

There is a $10 entry fee and a limit to a total of ~24 players.

There will be prizes. Please fill in the following form. If you have questions, feel free to email tom_gall@mac.com directly or give him a ring at 507-396-3641.

Players will need to send a copy of their army list no later than Jan 13th. We do prefer that players participate with painted lead but it’s not essential. Results will be reported to the national board of ranked players at wwpd.net.

Hope to see you there!

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Renegade Armada Tournament

Renegade a Twin Cities gaming Con was the weekend before Thanksgiving. Once again they held a couple of very fun Star Wars Armada tournaments. Saturday was the  standard 400 point 3 round tournament and Sunday was a small format tournament with a number of special rules. No Large ships, 200 points, no squadron limits and score a token if you hit a named squadron, are a named squadron and hit a ship, that kind of thing.

Ian Cross ran it, had a great set of prizes, more than the usual FFG prize kit which is always awesome. Between rounds raffles with encouragement to buy tickets as the proceeds were going to toys for tots.

This was my haul from the 400 point tournament, I ended up with 2nd place. I was hoping for the last round to be matched up with Nathan but at that point I didn’t quite have the tournament points for us to meet on the top table.

First round was almost a mirror match against Tae. Squadron build was different and he had 1 more Gazanti than I. I was player one.

In this one, terrain and flying turned out to be pretty important. The Gozanti being moved here ended up being a bit in the way and that kept his ISD at bay allowing me to focus fire down his Quasar and squadrons.

Here the scrum was fully engaged. It ended up being a 7-4.

Round two was a fun one where we were doing blockade run. Given my opponent was running JJ as his admiral those Raiders and Arq had the full ability to pick where they were going to dash to escape. No surprise we were playing Blockade.

I decided to do a sweep across the field. I figured the points were in the ISD so if I could bring that down I could probably make up for what would be a loss in tokens.

As you could expect his ships went for the far edge to slide through while my squadrons and ISD concentrated on his ISD, pew pew pew!

I did end up blowing away his ISD at the cost of several ships escaping. It ended being a narrow 6-5 victory. A somewhat surprising result, a fleet with lots of ships can definitely afford some losses with this one.

Finally for round 3 I was matched up against a Rebel. Seems like the Twin Cities meta is pretty Imperial heavy at the moment. George was running a fairly standard and very powerful squadron build with an AF, Yavaris, and the usual transports.

I decided to sort of turtle up and gear up for an alpha strike with my squadrons. We were playing Fighter Ambush which inspired me to not fling my squadrons forward as part of setup but instead stick back in activation range since I didn’t have a shuttle.

Wish I would have taken a few more pictures of this match in that it was all down to some hot dice as my squadrons went in for the alpha strike. I dropped 6 squadrons in on Ten nub, Wedge and Keyan with Howlrunning and Flight Controller boosts, rolling 6 dice sure can land damage quick.

My ISD went after his guppy and the poor thing didn’t last long. Likewise Yavaris took a bunch of flank fire and it went down.

I ended up with a 10-1.

On Day 2 for the small format I went with a hammer head rebel force. I wanted to play Imperial again but Ian joined me and was using a bunch of my aggressors which I needed. Since I couldn’t make my list work I dropped back to a collection of rebel rogues. 

In this match I ended up winning by essentially going for it and blowing away his raider.

The next two matches featured an interdictor and a kitted out VSD as the main ship. Both ended very badly for me. I ended fairly down in the standings tho Ian ended up taking 2nd.

Mighty fun time. Really appreciate the Renegade crew for including Armada with all the other games going on. From Warhammer to batman, to bolt action.

One of the batman tables… that kinda .. well … I wonder how that plays?!? 🙂

The other thing that Renegade had which was pure awesome was Star Ways Legion as a demo game you could walk up and play. It’s not released yet. It’s not the full rules. It’s not the full experience but it was at least enough to get a sense of what it’ll be like.

The table setup wasn’t exactly inspiring, it was kinda more table top paintball with some barriers to kinda hide behind and some Star Wars buildings.

It was a good demo of how the basics work. It had a hit/crit concept and a blocking concept in dice. Two actions per unit activation. Mostly you go, I go. No overwatch concept . Terrain cover modifiers or just interacting with terrain seemed to be unexplored in this early version of the rules.

None the less, it’s Star Wars and we’ll see what’s ahead. This is one I’m eagerly watching for.

 

 

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Runewars : Welcome the Uthuk tournament

On November 30th I ran a Thursday night special tournament at Fantasy Flight games, our “Uthuk Welcoming” tournament. Since the Uthuk were out the week prior I thought that perhaps some would want to play with their new toys.

Ermm as fate would have it, from those of us that attended (6), 2 of us just happened to have bought our Uthuk that very day and more or less decided to play with our existing armies instead of the Uthuk.

I happened to arrive at FFGC pretty early and assembled my Uthuk before the tournament. There are a few upgrade cards that really give some of the core units some flavor that just happened to be in the expansion boxes that aren’t out yet. So while with my two core boxes and command box I’d be able to field a 200 point list, it just seemed like it would be missing Uthuk charm so … next time!

Dave at FFGC let us all play for a Q4 tournament kit (least I think it’s q4, I always lose track of this stuff) Inspiration tokens, alt art Hawthorne and some current and new objectives and deployment cards. Some really great stuff to be playing for! Thanks again to Dave not only for kit but also for holding aside some space on a pretty busy day.

As I mentioned we had 6 in attendance. Eight has signed up and quite a number of regrets so all in all was pretty happy with our turnout. What was everyone playing? As the TO I had everyone fill out sheets so you can see the lists. Errors in transcription are mine.

Marc (200pts) Daqan

  • Rune Golems (2×1)
  • Heavy Crossbows (3×1)
    • Tempered Steel
    • Rank Discipline
  • Spearmen (3×2)
    • Cit Weapons Master
    • Eagle Banner
  • Heavy Crossbows (3×1)
    • Tempered Steel
    • Rank Discipline
  • Spearmen (3×2)
    • Cit Weapons Master
    • Eagle Banner

Dion (199pts) Waiqar

  • Reanimate Archers (2×1)
    • Combat Ingenuity
  • Carrion Lancers (2×2)
    • Master Crafted Weapons
    • Combat Ingenuity
  • Ankaur Maro
    • Fortuna’s Dice
    • Violent Forces
  • Death Knights (2×3)
    • Reaping Blade
    • Deathmist Banners
    • Column tactics

Brian (199pts) Daqan

  • Oathsworn Cav (2×2)
    • Tempered Steel
    • Raven Tabards
    • Rank Discipline
  • Rune Golem (1×1)
  • Rune Golem (1×1)
  • Rune Golem (1×1)
  • Deepwood Archers (2×2)
    • Tempered Steel
  • Hawthorne
  • Kari Wraithstalker
    • Fortuna’s Dice

Alex (200pts) Latari

  • Aymhelin Scions (1×1)
    • Fertile Soil
  • Aymhelin Scions (1×1)
    • Fertile Soil
  • Maegan
    • Malcorn
    • Arcane
  • Leonx Riders (1×3)
    • Column Tactics
  • Deepwood Archers (2×2)
    • Simult Orders
    • Wind Rune
    • Storm Sorceress
    • Verdant Sorceress
  • Deepwood Archers (2×2)
    • Simult Orders
    • Wind Rune
    • Storm Sorceress
    • Verdant Sorceress

Curt (200 pts) Waiqar

  • Ardus
    • Ancient Tech
  • Reanimates (3×3)
    • Maro
    • Front Line Carrion Lancer
    • Marching Drummer
    • Raven Standard Banner
    • Lingering Dead
  • Carrion Lancer
  • Carrion Lancer
  • Archers (3×2?)
    • Fire Rune
    • Combat Ingen
    • Raven Standard

Tom (197pts) Daqan

  • Hawthorne
    • Shield of Margath
    • Might of Daqan
  • Crossbows (3×1)
    • Tempered Steel
    • Rank Discipline
  • Rune Golems (2×2)
    • Visored Helms
  • Oathsworn Cav (3×2)
    • Dispatch Runner
    • Tempered Steel
    • Raven Tabards
    • Rank Discipline

Getting under way. It was a busy evening at FFGC. With the back room setup and saved for a company event we were out in the main room with all the other games. We had a number of “what game is that” as people would walk up and wonder what was going on. Sure helps to grow the game to be playing it so others can see it in action.

We had Escort for the objective and “Place the Explosives” for the deployment.

Dion and I matched up for the first found. We played escort. Hawthorn needed to get over approx to where the reanimate Archers were. My plan was to hopefully have Hawthorn get in behind the Golems and then run up the side, presuming of course that the death knights would cooperate.

You’ll notice I’m using some of the new Uthuk terrain, burning woods.

As fate would have it the Death Knights would press forward and take a panic since they charged not hitting any targets. On my left flank I decided to inspiration up presuming I’d have to be dealing with blight tokens.

The Deathknights and the Golems would dosey-do and even more fun the death knights would move into contact for my crossbowmen, taking another panic. Hawthorn would charge in into the flank, and get 2 more panic and with the 4 panic tokens get the morale result to turn them around and march backward 2.

I tried to charge with my Cav and Hawthorne was in the way to in some ways that helped save the cav from a charge from the Carrion Lancers.

I had the golems march out of the woods, just in time to take 4 blight tokens.

The Carrion march into my cav and at about that point I gave up on the idea that Hawthorn was going to make it across the table. The Death Knights would turn around and I’d charge Hawthorne into the flank of the Carrion Lancers.

Pretty much the end of the game. The Carrion Lances would be gone. The death knights nearly whipped out the crossbowmen but you can see they’d eliminated about 1/2 the unit. My golems didn’t really get anything accomplished. Poor rolls just didn’t take off enough archers that Maro couldn’t replace. A 7-4 (88 / 44) result

Round 1

  1. Dion vs Tom (44 – 88) 4-7
  2. Curt vs Brian (15 – 164) 2-9
  3. Alex vs Marc (140-161) 5-6

Round 2

Brian and I matched up. We had an Hammer and Anvil deployment with the new “Place the Explosives” Objective. It’s a really fun one where the two pieces of defensive terrain are  placed such that they are touching the players deployment area. A player needed to touch the defensive terrain with 1 of 2 nominated units, if they were able to do so, you gain a victory token which is worth 75 points.

Brian and I placed our terrain furthest from each other. With Hammer and Anvil I was able to place Brian’s goal off to the side of my deployment area, since I was in the 5 box while Brian was in the 3 so he didn’t have any ability to tuck too far back.

We had some interesting choices to make as far as how to split our forces. I put my cav and Hawthorne on my right flank to go after the objective and my other two units to defend.

I decided to go big in the first turn, thinking I could get way way in, if not touching the defensive terrain and thus score the objective token right away. Brian kicked out one of his golems and yeah, bumper cars ensued. With Brian’s cav on my flank things looked immediately dire. I pushed up my Crossbows in hopes that I could either put some bolts into the cav or take out Kari.

Rolling forward Brian made an error and forgot to do a charge, just running into my Cav. Hawthorne and my Cav finished off the one golem but the other Rammed into the flank of Hawthorne. Brian started to send over his Hawthorne which was one of the two nominated units to get to the goal. The other was a Golem that was directly across the way. Kari’s started to land her ranged attacks on the crossbowmen and with her Fortuna’s dice she was doing some pretty impressive damage.

Last picture of the game. With my initial gambit failing miserably the disaster was pretty complete with Brian fetching the victory token. My golems were able to catch his Hawthorne but poor rolls again didn’t land much in the way of damage.

Final Results:

  1. Brian 19 pts
  2. Dion 14 pts
  3. Alex 14 pts
  4. Tom 8 pts
  5. Marc 7 pts
  6. Curt 4 pts

Thanks to everyone for coming out. It was a great time. Will put something together in January.

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Battlegroup: 1940 France

For our 3rd game of Battlegroup on this past Thursday night at D6, I setup a historic action set in 1940 France that I pulled out of the Blitzkrieg book.

In this scenario the French were counter attacking the Germans who had taken a pause in their advance, having had the time to dig in.

It was just Chuck and I for this platoon sized game so it’d be a good test of just how much we could get accomplished now that we’re gotten familiar with the rules.

The nature of the game would be lots of French pushing forward attacking across the fields of France. That sure worked well in WWI…. but this time they have R35 tanks in support.

Here on the left flank a platoon gets ready to move forward. As the R35s start to get a view of the German lines, in the tree line and on the opposite of that field are a couple of PaK36s approx a platoon of infantry as well as an MG42.

The PaK36s were a bit of a concern as while they are smaller AT guns, the armor on the R35 isn’t exactly great.

On the right flank, another platoon of infantry pushing forward and some more R35s in support.

Behind the initial line of Germans, there was a second line of defense that once the German battle rating had degraded by 1/2 they would have to fall back to that line. More PaK36s and more infantry…

At the top of the game as the attacker rolling 2D6+5 for orders I managed for the first few turns to roll really really low so my advance would have to be very piecemeal. I figured I’d push up into cover as much as I could and us the tanks to go after the AT guns first and then the HMG which should then allow the infantry to successfully move forward.

As the scenario calls for the Germans get a Stuka strike on turn 1. Since I couldn’t get many orders off there were lots of ripe places to drop some bombs. We hit a first snag with the rules as with the Stuka it has MGs, it has large and small bombs. Question is, how much can you drop or attack with in one turn? We went ahead and just ruled that Chuck could drop all his small and large bombs.

The results were pretty nasty. My company command died. My truck and SA-25 AT gun blew up, I lost a squad of infantry, and  lots of stuff pinned down.

This then resulted in the first of a series of chit draws that were 3 aircraft chits in a row! And since my number orders for the first few turns were so depressingly low I was presented with some very hard choices of how to press my attack. (While having those 3 air chits were nice, I only make one air roll, a 5+ as I recall so while the opportunity was there, for multiple attacks, it wasn’t to be)

A few turns in with a little better, more average order roll I started to press my attack, trying to get infantry into place, with a couple of my HMGs, my observer for some off board 81mm mortars.

I used the tanks to continue to try and attack the PaKs trying either to our right destroy them or at least pin them. I generally was using the main gun on the R36s to try and HE the PaKs and use their machine guns to pin. As the R35 has a very light gun, lobbing shells at the PaKs really wasn’t accomplishing too much. Besides at the 20-30″ range band that wasn’t helping either, so the reality was I needed to get closer which wasn’t a great prospect given the open space and Chuck was in general making good use of opportunity fire.

Turning around to the German turn, Chuck brought down his 105s which pinned my mortar team. He also managed to brew up an R35 with a PaK.

Chuck started to adjust his second line of defense to the rail line. It was a raised line so reasonable cover but not exactly a trench either. There were more Germans in the houses on the left as well. Would that second defense line be needed?

You’ll note all the German guns and infantry going on overwatch. Draw those french in and then fire!

On the right flank, things were going very poorly. I tried to bring up the infantry, hop the fence and try to make a push for the German trenches. With 2 tanks in support and the small arms fire I tried to pin the Germans down while moving up under cover. I ended up taking fire all over the place and it took several turns to finally get the German HMG pinned and take out the PaK36 on this flank. The cost tho was such that effectively there would be no advancing on this side and enough chits draw that I was getting concerned about my battle rating.

Fate at least started to smile in that I was able to then get lots of orders, pin the germans on the left flank with artillery and other fire as well as taking out the PaK 36 on the left flank. If I could only keep the or take out the German HMG while keeping the German squads pinned we might just make it across the field. … might.

Over the top boys!

And the last picture in the series. The German HMG was taking out by the tanks but as I mentioned the assault forward on this the right flank was done. The withering fire by the integrated MGs and general rifle fire was a plenty adding in MG34 HMG fire where even crossing over the obscuring terrain wasn’t enough and the assault was pushed back. In some cases losses were so bad that going under 50%, and failing morale resulted in units evaporating.

Due to the losses I was within a couple of points of my battle rating. The early air raid and it’s effects to knock out several units entirely made a huge difference as well as not having the orders to get an effective advance going.

For the last turn I started my move forward on the left flank but it was obvious that the French would fall back and the game done. Chuck was only so far as being close to being forced to fall back to his second line of defense. By scenario rule once his BR fell to a certain point he’d have to fall back. If that had happened that perhaps would have resulted in some ability to exploit the chaos but it was not to be.

Should I have perhaps ignore one side to assault another side in force? That’s a good question.

The tanks while not having the greatest HE did at least make a reasonable showing. Closing range and concentrating shots for pinning fire I think was one of the major lessons to take away from the game.

The one question about how much the Stuka could drop was taken the fora and the answer seems to be you can either strafe, or drop one set of bombs but not both. Makes sense and would have blunted the early air attack a bit.

All in all, still very happy with the rules, we played approx 10 or so turns and get to a conclusive result. The rules just feel ‘right’, it does seem to have the back and forth dynamics of Flames of War but with overwatch and other flavor that Flames is definitely missing.

From the post game table talk we’re probably be going into some Battle of the Bulge scenarios once December rolls around. I’m a little light on American hardware so that’ll depend on help from the gang.

 

 

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Battlegroup : Second Playtest June 1944 Canadians vs Germans

We gathered at D6 on Sat for a somewhat impromptu game of Battlegroup. This is the second I’ve run so I think I’ll still call this a playtest for the time being, tho it’s starting to feel more like a regular set of rules I’ll be using.

With Bill coming over from LaCrosse, and Chuck, Sam, a little bit of Ian and we had a nice little group assembled. Chuck and Ian started on the German side and Bill and I took the allied side.

This was a platoon sized action which in Battlegroup terms means generally you’re rolling 2D6 for the number of orders you have. The Germans had roughly 3 platoons vs 3 and some attachments on the allied side.

Shortly after D-day on June 9th, near the Norrey-en-Bessin train station. The Germans were ordered to press their attack against some Canadian infantry forces to push them back. The Canadians are dug in having a 3 Rifle sections, a 50mm mortar, access to some off board 105s and a couple of 6 lbers. In addition a couple of troops of Shermans have moved into the area.

For the Germans and their force, they have 6 panthers and a couple of squads in 251/1s but nothing else. Worse as the day has started the Germans are finding they are under fire by some 17lber from very long range but they can’t quite seem to understand where the shells are coming from. Because of the confusion they only get 1D6+2 (because of 2 officers) orders per turn.

The Germans setup ready to roll forward. They didn’t have great orders rolls for the first couple of turns so going on overwatch they didn’t roll too far forward.

On the Canadian side they setup a battle line behind the stone fence as well as a squad on the train station.

One set of 2 Shermans and 1 Firefly are on table while the others are all over table in reserve.

Here come those Jerries. They’re a little under armed to take on those Panthers.

So the Canadian firefly pops out and takes out a Panther. Dropping artillery on the Panthers doesn’t have a lot of effect. The Germans are holding their infantry back while the Canadians are generally holding their fire as well. The Panthers make quick work of the Firefly. The off board 17lber isn’t accomplishing much.

The loss of a unit (the firefly) meant that the Canadians have to take a chit which is the mechanism for eating away at one side’s morale. The chits have both numbers and in some cases specials that might use. The first chit drawn, air attack!

We tried to have the plane come down and do a straffing run on the 251s. It didn’t quite work out, shots fired but not enough.

The infantry that was on the station made a quick move down the tracks to see if the Germans might ignore them. They didn’t. They lost a man and used the fall back rule. Basically if you take fire as infantry in the open, you can elect to take just one casualty (invalidate the rest) but then your opponent gets to move you up to 10″ away towards or into cover.

The Germans in turn move up with their half tracks. One takes a direct hit causing 3 casualties. The remainder jump out pinned. The other half track rolls up drops off it’s infantry as they jump into the house.

Then the Canadian reinforcements show up, 2 more Shermans and another firefly. The firefly takes out another Panther and the two Shermans try spray the house.

The Germans keep their cool however take a few casualties. Then with the Shermans in very short range, they pop out their Panzerfaust and take out the firefly and one of the Shermans with two very good shots.  The reminder of their fire with their MG42 and small arms they blaze away at the Canadian infantry. Unfortunately while that stone wall gives some cover, they suffer a number of causalities, drop under 50%, fail their morale and run.

Over on the Canadian right flank, the Panthers started to move into machine gun range and close the distance on the 6 lbers. Given the range the poor 6 lbers didn’t have much of a change on the front of a Panther.

With Battlegroup, they have approx ever 10″ bands that drop off the effectiveness of AP rounds over distance. The Canadian players were looking at about 10 on 2D6 to even dent the Panthers with their 6lbers.  Lots to be said for creating a set of rules which effectively recreates just how difficult dealing with the good German hardware actually was.

None the less, the Panthers ended up taking out both of the 6lbers. Just one of the guns managed to have an opportunity against the side of one of the Panthers. Alas those shots didn’t do anything.

Next the Panthers started to pick on the Shermans over in the woods and managed to take out the track on one of them. Like the 6lbers the 75 on a Sherman can’t do much against a Panther. At range they were looking for ~11s on 2D and closer that dropped to 10 on 2D6 to penetrate on a shot that hits.

So last turn of the game. We picked it up as the Canadians were pretty much down to a undefendable position. The 4 Panthers were closing in, the two fireflies lost and the Canadian infantry pretty chewed up. The off board 17lber didn’t do anything the entire game save for one hit. The Canadian artillery did manage to hit and pin some of the Germans at times.

It was a very close match however. In Battlegroup, both sides have a Battle Rating and are drawing chits for squad loss or tank loss or to unpin units. Go past that value and your force decides it has had enough to do for the day.

For both the Canadians and Germans they were both on that edge. One more chit and it’d spell doom.

It was interesting to watch the players not try and attempt to pin down the opponents using area fire. I think that’s a tactic that hopefully will be explored more in future games.

We played about 9-10 turns over the course of about 4 hours. For having to fumble through the books and charts and start things off explaining the basics, I think that’s a pretty good pace. With more people experienced in the rules I think the next game will go faster.

For me the dynamics of the game work pretty well. There are shooting, spotting etc modifiers I’d kinda like to see, OTOH the limitation of a D6 for observation as well as to hit I think keeps the modifiers back. More modifiers also means more time figuring them out so it slow things down. Would the results have been any different? I don’t think so and in which case I’m thinking I’m ok with the choices the designer of the game has made.

 

 

 

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