A few weeks ago myself, Cid and Alex represented Breakthrough Assault at the annual Campaign FoW National league. For those of you who don't know the National League is a yearly event with a round-robin league that has promotion and relegation between three divisions. Division One has some of the best players in the country and is always hotly contested. Our 2013 performance (we wasn't able to attend in 2014) meant that we were now in Division Two. Our aim was to get a spot in Division One for 2016...
My list was slightly different from the Art of War as the points value was only 1500pts. I basically dropped 4 Chi-Ro's for 2 Chi-Ha's.
|Cmd Sword team|
2iC Cmd Regimental Standard Sword team
|Cmd Sword team|
Light Mortar team
|Cmd Sword team|
Light Mortar team
|Cmd Sword team|
Type 41 75mm gun
Observer Rifle team
|Type 97 Chi-Ha|
Type 89 Chi-Ro
I played Tony in round one at the Art of War. On that occasion he was using British infantry from Hellfire and Back, this time he was using a Matilda company. As the mission was Counter Attack it has the mobile reserves special rules I decided to night attack.
Tony put a platoon of Matilda I's and Matilda II's on the board with a second platoon of Matilda II's and 18 Pounders in reserve. I quickly rushed my infantry forward with the tanks making their way towards the objective that wasn't in Tony's deployment zone. Tony then tried to move the Matilda I's forward from a wood, but bogged two of them. I made him pay for this by assaulting them on turn two and wiped out the platoon. After this I moved into a wood near the objective with both infantry platoons. My tanks kept trying to pick off his 2IC (as he was in a light tank) but also keeping themselves hidden from the Matilda II's. on turn four I moved some infantry to contest the objective to force
Tony to move forward. He failed to do any damage and then they dug in on turn five, forcing Tony to to move into assault range so that he could stop me from taking the objective. I then assaulted them and wiped them out and that was the game.
6-1 to me. Alex and Cid had less luck and both lost 4-3, Cid did get his opponent on company morale tests and Alex ran into a gun line, doing a good job killing 3 platoons. We ended up winning the round.
|The Japanese infantry rush forward.|
|My tanks move towards the far objective to split Tony's attention.|
|The destroyed Matilda I's, this is when I moved up to force Tony to move|
towards my infantry.
|My infantry charge and take out the Matildas and take the objective.|
Next up was a Japanese civil war. Tony and myself had slightly different lists as he had 3 platoons of infantry and I had 3 platoons of tanks. Neither of us wanted to attack as we both felt that would hurt us and it was better to have the infantry off the table. I "lost" the dice off and defended...
I deployed all of my tanks on the board and left the infantry and artillery off the table. Myself and Tony have never done Japanese on Japanese but figured it would be a blood bath as the infantry can't stop an assaulting infantry platoon.
I focused on Tony's tanks to try and get an advantage over him in that area. After a few turns of exchanging shots I killed all of his tanks but lost most of my tanks too in the process (3 of them thanks to two Human Bullets!). My infantry came on and all but killed a platoon of infantry. They then got counter attacked and I made a mistake by staying in the assault. This cost me a platoon of infantry and the game. I think I got the tactics right, but you can't stay in combat unless you have a big advantage when facing Japanese infantry. Still we had a very fun and quick game.
3-4 loss. Alex had a very good round and won 6-1 while Cid did the most against Jezz and go the 4-3 lose he went into the game trying to get.
|Thats a lot of infantry....|
Next up was Paul's Polish in surrounded. I (as you might have expected by now) auto attacked at night. This mission was bad for Paul and I was able to isolate Paul's army. I placed both objective within a wood so I could attack both in cover. He deployed a platoon of infantry on both objectives with artillery facing one way and AT guns facing the other way. His mobile units (tanks and tankettes) deployed in the middle.
I deployed a platoon of infantry on both sides of one objective and the rest of my force all on one side. I moved up and assaulted Paul's infantry and artillery on turn three reducing both platoons to be ineffective.
Paul tried to counter attack with his tanks and tankettes but my tanks drove off the tankettes and my infantry delayed the tanks long enough to take the game.
6-1 to me. Alex also won 6-1 and Cid broke his duck with a hard fought 4-3 victory.
|The end is near for Paul as I have infantry on the objective, infantry in the near|
wheat field and 9 tanks covering the infantry.
We ended day one in first place, having won all the match ups. But we knew the Brigantes were close behind and we also felt we could have had had a bigger lead. Still a fun days gaming.
So Sunday morning saw me face Jeremy and his Polish army. I again went with the night attack option. Jeremy had a train which made for a nice change of pace and marked my first time playing against a train.
I put both infantry platoons in reserve and moved all of my tanks up one flank. I moved over and after a few turns of shooting killed a platoon of AT guns. After this, my tanks focused on attacking a large infantry platoon. This was actually all a side show though, as the main battle was over the objectives. Jeremy had a platoon of cavalry and moved them 11 inches away from the table edge. My infantry platoon arrived and got charged by them. I got lucky and Jeremy only hit 4 times out of 7 attacks hitting on a 2+! I counter attacked and scored 7 hits, enough to take that platoon out. Jeremy then throw his tankettes at the same infantry platoon in a wood. The first wave did very little, I throw the Nikuhaku ins and they all blow themselves up but killed two tankettes and bailed two more. Great I thought, only one tank left, I should at least push him off and kill 4 tanks... but no.... Over 6 or 7 rounds of combat Jeremy passed ever single save, bogging/ motivation test and killed a base every turn wiping out the platoon.... Great!
My next turn the second infantry platoon came on and got revenge on the tankettes. My Tanks killed a platoon of infantry and artillery and Jeremy broke.
5-2 to me. Cid lost 2-5 and Alex lost 3-4 which meant we were in second place going into the last round, but only 3 points behind the leaders.
|My tanks head left.|
|Trying to hide the the train the tanks pick on gun teams and infantry slowly|
whittling them down.
|The infantry prepare to take the cavalry's charge!|
The last game was against Phil Parkers Div Cav. He had made the list to face Japanese with 11 platoons! Three of them artillery, two HMG's and the rest were armoured cars or carriers. I lost the dice off to see who the attacker was (I'm always happy to do this in dust up) and Phil put all of his mobile troops in reserve. I countered this by deploying two platoons of tanks and a platoon of infantry to sit on the objective.
I hunted Phil's reserves as they came on the table and over a silly number of fast turns I managed to kill all 6 of his reserve platoons, breaking his army. My reserves ended up digging in as quickly as they could and withstood a bombardment. They managed to hold on long enough to let me kill his reserves.
|My tanks move up to trap Phil's reserves.|
|The killing and the carnage begins!|
So the scores were added up and we missed out on promotion by one point! One point!! Still it was a great weekend of gaming and this is one of the most fun and engrossing events on the calendar. Because of the league format you get to chat to the other teams over the weekend and it creates a great friendly rivalry. We will be back next year to finally try and get over the hump.
Next year will be interesting as the Bournemouth Toy Boys (Robin, Kevin the "Silver Fox" and Paul) got relegated from Division One (oh the bragging rights if we had got promoted) and the Breakthrough Assault B team of Marc, Matt and Steve got promoted. With two teams made up of good mates Division Two it will be a great laugh if nothing else!
If you want to go to something a little different next year and something that will be great fun, look no further than Campaign. Grab two mates and come along, I highly recommend it.
|Missed out by a point....|