As this goes out to you it's three days until Art of War Too and the good news is I have finished the army! It took a bit of an effort mainly as I have also been painting up my Israelis, Cromwells and some Great War stuff you will see soon. I have also played quite a few games which I will detail here.
Not much to say about them really, they were quite fun to paint.
So my first game with the 3RTR was against Robin and the same list I faced in the last game of the Welsh Open. He was also auto attack so we rolled off to see who attacked, I ended up defending. As it was my 1750pts I choose to drop the 2 Chruchills to add an extra Crab, I did this as I have to deploy the Breaching Group and I didn't want two of my four platoons on the table to be from this platoon.
I then placed the four strong and two three strong Sherman platoons on the table with the four strong and one of the three strong in ambush. Robin infiltrated forward with 9 T-34/85s and the other platoon and the SU-100's moved up to. I lost no tanks on turn one. I then popped both ambushes and focused on one of the two platoons. I reduced them to two tanks (they passed their morale test) and smoked the other platoon with direct fire. In Robins turn he focused everything on one platoon and destroyed two tanks and bailed another, they passed their morale test and went to ground. In my second turn I focused on the untouched T-34/85 platoon and after killing three of them they broke. Robin passed all the remaining T-34's forward failed to kill anything and in my turn I broke him.
6-1 to me and a quick game, I won in less than an hour, on defense the Shermans are great against tanks. Direct fire smoke stopped Robin being able to do much to my Shermans and the Fireflies whittled him down nicely.
Game Two Vs Robins Guards Tankovy - Hold The Line
So with the first game being over so quickly we decided to play again. We swapped rolls and I
attacked Robin. I was worried what damage 18 T-34/85's would do when they don't need to move.
Robin choose to only use one ambush platoon as he was worried I would cover the objective with recce on turn one and win the game that way. I deployed to shoot at the platoon on the objective and moved my recce down the left flank were Robin had nothing deployed to force Robin to bunch up. My first turned shooting wasn't great and I only killed two tanks; Robin then deployed his ambush around the first platoon and returned fire. His shooting was also poor and this is when the game turn. I was able to wipe out the first platoon and smoke the second platoon. Robin moved up using a building as cover to focus on one platoon and was able to kill them all. I then moved to out flank him and he passed a morale test on turn 3 but on turn 4 he failed and with that he lost the game.
6-1 to me and another quick game, attacking was a little harder as Robin was GTG, but once he started shooting my firepower quickly overwhelmed him. I feel confident attacking or defending against Soviet Tanks, even the T-34/76 horde doesn't worry me too much as they have low at values and worse armour.
Game Three Vs Winner's FJ's - Pincer
You can read the rule report here as Winner did an AAR. 5-2 to Winner. I learnt a lot from this game. I made some poor choices moving my tanks too close to Winner's infantry and I should have left the Elefant alone as I was doing a good job smoking it out of the game. I did a few things well and killed most of Winner's artillery and AT guns quickly. Need to be carefully around infantry in the future.
Game Four Vs KP (The Silver Fox) Wittmann - Dust Up
Not going to lie this one got ugly.... I made a big mistake with my deployment and KP managed to kill my only firefly on the table on turn one! We had a game of cat and mouse but my set up cost me dearly and despite causing KP a few headaches (including Wittmann surviving a few penetrating hits!) I ended up losing 1-6.
We chatted about my deployment and list afterwards and KP picked me up (I was ready to thrown in the towel and just use British Infantry). The strength of the army is the Shermans and their firepower and I needed more on the table to start with, a useful lesson to learn in a practice game.
This army feels like a armoured gun line, akin to the MW Italians or Romanians. You put out sooooooo much firepower and sooooo much smoke. The direct fire smoke is your best friend and the core Shermans being Veteran is a real bonus as they are all but impossible to hit at long range where the direst fire smoke and semi indirect fire comes in handy. I have made a couple of changes to the lists and I have now swapped out the heavy mortars for 25pdrs and an AOP. I found the Heavy Mortars a little lacking as the amount of smoke the Shermans can put out means I found that more useful than the Heavy Mortars, but with the AOP I can get the smoke (or bombardment at a push) where I need it.
I learnt a lot from my two loses and I hope I can use the lessons to not make the same mistakes again. Some of them were basis mistakes and I'm a little annoyed I made them so they should be easy to avoid repeating. Failing that I might bride Tim and Steve so I can play Robin 5 rounds in a row!
Worst case it's a game of toy soldiers and lets just go and have some fun.
Thanks for reading