I'm pumped and motivated - It's been a very solid start to this challenge indeed! 12 games in already and we are only at the end of January! So far so good... BUT... I have to say that I have had some real shocker performances at times it has to be said. To the point where I even felt the need to apologise to a couple of my opponents for not being able to offer a remotely decent contest oops! Playing late war British armour has proven quite a test for someone who has predominately played Finnish and German infantry until this point as well. Nevertheless I am not going to take the shameful errors to heart, the good times will come. 'Just gotta keep on swimming, just keep swimming'! (I have had to watch a lot of Disney lately in case you were wondering how Finding Nemo has made its way onto a Flames of War article!)
So below are my results for January. I have recorded as much useful information as I can about the games that I've played in. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I might be able to get some clues as to how I'm getting on and possibly where some of my strengths and weaknesses lie. Be that against a certain list, or a particular mission playing as the defender for example. The numbers in brackets next to people's names are their UK ranking at the time of playing, '(UR)' means unranked opponent.
The single tournament I attended in January was the Breakthrough Assault one dayer (organised by Ben) at the Entoyment shop in Poole. The event was early war themed (I am still playing German infantry for early war currently). My first game was against Toby in No Retreat and I was attacking against his Vichy French army. Both having infantry lists the defender was always going to have an advantage, but I still made some sloppy errors - aimlessly attacking with my panzer IIs without any support being a low point. Toby held his nerve and kept his infantry down until the right moment before opening up a big can of whoop ass on me! My poor Germans got quite the hammering, good game to Toby!
My first game at the Entoyment one dayer event in Poole
If my first game at Entoyment was a poor performance then my second game (against Robin's Strelkovy) was an absolute disaster! Why did I put my 88s in the front lines & in range of his mortars? Why did I move my panzers in range of 6x AT guns with close range volley fire?! An opponent like Mr Spence doesn't need gifts like these in order to beat me! Another 6-1 defeat.
My final game at Entoyment restored some pride for me at least. I played the Fez man himself - another great opponent, who would certainly punish any errors I made! Fez took his beloved German glider kompanie and was the attacker in our game of Counter Attack. Right from the start things went well for me. My 88s took out his AT guns, giving the Panzer IIs the freedom they'd been craving all day! In the end I was able to get my tanks near enough to the objective and Fez simply wasn't able to shove them off with his infantry in order to win the game and so I ended up taking the defender win, scrambling me to up mid table in the final standings.
The 88s, about to unleash hell onto the AT guns on the opposite hill
As for late war it has been a mixed bag for me. I played 4 games in the same afternoon against Marc's Panzers to the Meuse list. His spearhead, auto attack special rules were really hurting me, especially in mobile battles where my defending tank company could only field 2 platoons at the start (due to mobile reserves). Having played Marc quite a lot I'd definetely say that this is his best late war list. It certainly suits his aggresive style and I'm going to have to learn to nullify this aggression if I'm going to have any joy here. Saying that I did come close to winning our final game. I had him taking a company morale check at the end of turn 6). If he passed it he auto won the game (as he had his infantry uncontested on the objective for the start of turn ) or if he failed he lost...He passed. Doh!
I wrapped up the month in a really fun game against Tony who plays at my local gaming club. For once I stuck to my game plan throughout and things actually started to click with the Shermans finally! I've stopped trying to kill Stugs with Sherman tanks at long last and instead utilising the Fireflys predominately for the damage (& direct fire smoke from the Shermans) to isolate small sections of the opponents army and picking them off piece by piece. It worked well, let's hope that I can take some of these lessons learned into February as I'll be looking to take the British armour to Corrivalry and Breakthrough Assault III.
Thanks for reading
Matt (Papa Bear)