Stiggers and I struggle to juggle family and Flames but got together in the recent half-term for a game in his kitchen.
He left the points call to me and then, predictably, bitched about my decision – 1200 pts. Apparently, this restricted his artillery choices. Who knew?
I kinda hoped it would limit his Jumbo addiction.
I don’t fully recall how we decided on the scenario but, since we’re very much still learning the burning ropes, I think we were going for a K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach and lined up for Free For All.
And then he revealed his HQ and the two platoons he’d placed on the right of the table.
A total of twelve little Stuarts.
Exit three little halfies. Meh.
He also sent some Jeep-mounted observers off in the direction of the church. His observers are faithful observers of the Faith – they always head for the church.
In my go I revealed my Stugs, Mobel’s ‘n’ Nebs and sent the little driver-less, steering wheel-less Kubelwagen off to get a line of sight on things. I think my Stugs bagged one and bailed one. Note to self: take better notes. Actually, take notes – don’t rely on your memory and photos to string this together, fool. The Mobelwagens, originally deployed at the centre of the table, moved double-time to where the action was currently kicking off. I figured, if nothing else, they could hide and contest the objective while the heavies dealt with the lightweights.
Turn two and Stiggers shoved some of those little annoying tin cans down the road, forcing a reveal and swarming the remaining platoon I had hiding in close vicinity: a couple o’ Jagdpanthers. He also revealed a recce platoon of his own, off on the other side of the table.
My Nebs did what they always do – whiffed – and I was left, once again, wondering, and muttering about quite why I bother including them. Nebs! Hoah! What are they good for? Absolutely, nuttin’. I also revealed my final platoon; two more Jagdpanthers. Lovely. Swiftly monkey (double-time), I had them head off to the right side of the table. Yes, yes; leaving their rears exposed to those little armoured cars and their pea-shooters… D’oh!
Double meh, the Stuarts all scuttled down the railway line, safely hidden by factory and station, manoeuvring and looking for more opportunities to flank Stug, Mobel’ or Jagdpanther. Choices, choices….
There followed some Time on Target action which bailed a Jagdpanther while my Stugs did the do and whittled away at the horde, a little. Ultimately, though, there were Stuarts at the side door and Stuarts at the back door and that was, unavoidably, that. There was some failed stormtrooping and some successful stormtrooping but little was going to save this day.
And then the Tank Destroyers just drove quietly onto the other objective and secured the win, although, house rules mean nobody wins until turn four. Meh. It felt like a textbook take-down and my butt was properly kicked.
My takeaways? Make notes, obviously. Use my camera, not my smartphone. Beware tank destroyers pretending to be armoured cars and take no more bitching about stormtrooper moves. Think real hard about feeling obliged to include those pesky Nebs. Learn the strengths of the opposition. Oh, and maybe don’t rely so much on wunder tanks, even though they look sooo cool. I’ll doubtless ignore that last one.