Monday, June 29, 2009

My 2009 Texas Team Tourney AAR

Mark Carter

Congratulations to all champs!

Well done to Rick for a great event which was a lot of fun. Also thanks to the guys for welcoming a newbie and being so encouraging. Even though I’ve only played since February everyone was friendly and those who played me were very patient and all took the time to give me pointers. A great experience.

After my last game against Mike Seningen, who had taken me apart in Norman "D" a month ago like a thanksgiving turkey, I hoped maybe I’d have a chance against a guy at the tournament. Right. By luck of the draw, my first game was against Gary Fortenberry. Gulp.

Nothing like jumping into the deep end, but let’s add some sharks for interest! Just kidding though, he is a great guy and was helpful showing me some ropes. I had the Americans in First Crack from AP4 and my first shot was for smoke – boxcars. That set the stage as Gary’s defenses took the offensive and chased me around. Later we figured we should have just been driving over bocage for points! Ha!

Then there was Bosq Barbeque against John Farris. A very long game because I was trying to work the crocs as the British, which I finally conceded after all my AFVs got blasted by his 88 and the 20mm guns and my last croc got his trailer stuck in a bunch of high bushes/trees. John was very patient running me through all the to hit tables and later showing me tips on how to improve my play. Being so discouraged from my smoke boxcars against Gary, I guess I just forgot about that tactic against John and so used no smoke trying to cover my advances. Oh well, I promise to remember that lesson.

My third game was with Gregg Parker, another nice guy from OKC. We played Why at Urp (SP111) and Gregg took the attacking Americans while my Germans had to hold a circle of buildings in the center of the map. Unfortunately for Gregg, his FT gacked on its first use and that it made it much easier for me to hold the middle cluster of buildings. It was a mad rush at the end, but I managed to get a few rolls my way and got my one and only win.

Fourth game was with Jeff DeBraal in Village of the Damned from AP3. I was the defending group of walking wounded Italians with a few German helpers against the Russian onslaught complete with tank in a snowy little village kept warm by two burning buildings. It was a close scenario (from my point of view at least), in which my highlight was I managed to kill his tank with streetfighting Italians. However Jeff was unstoppable and wiped me out. He was very helpful in discussing strategy and especially showing me the value of taking prisoners.

Fifth game was against Gregg Parker again and we played A Handful of Howdy, RPT13, to the great amusement of passers by. I took the attacking Americans trying to clear some hills and buildings of Germans. I resolved to use my lessons over the past few days and set up my mortar to place WP to cover my advancing infantry (John Farris would have been pleased to see I had been listening). But I rolled my depletion number! However the first shot taken in the game had WP and it got placed in a good spot. It wasn’t on top of one of his squads, but it hindered line of sight enough for my charge up to the first hill. I brought my guys around and all set to take my first batch of prisoners (on top of that one this time, Jeff!), but not to be - one of the SSRs was No Quarter was in effect. So once again some guys I’d managed to break got away and later rallied and threatened to grab a hill back at the end. I had a guy go Berserk and charge into his DMed guys but they routed away before CC, passed an interdiction roll and then made it into the woods – drat.

The play of the game was really Gregg’s rolling. I had the mortar pounding one of his positions and he kept passing his checks. Then I had my Berserk squad rush him – bloody spot on the road. Then I had a couple of squads maneuver for position drawing fire, and then three of four half squads and squads rush that position – he passed four straight FPF morale checks and killed them all in point blank fire.

We are convinced this string of skill was due to Gregg's little shrine set up to Po3a (Roza Shanina the Russian sniper – a beauty with 54 confirmed kills including 12 enemy snipers at the Battle of Vilnius, killed in 1945 at age 21. ).

During this time I had hoped to circle around behind his guys and force them forward into my set up with two MMGs, but in the end, my efforts to break that one position virtually destroyed my encircling troops. My MMG squads then had to make an attack across the open ground I had hoped to make him take, to no avail. In the end he simply ran back into the VC buildings and there was not enough turns left to chase him down. A very exiting little scenario and a lot of fun. There were three heat of battle results between the two of us, two berserks and one 6+1 leader. Great game, Gregg.

It was also a blast watching Chris and Bill slugging it out in Destroy All Monsters! Incredible, and they were obviously in ASL Nirvana.

I finished 1-2 in the Fri-Sun tourney, and 1-4 overall including the Thursday mini and had a great time meeting some fine folks. Thanks again everyone and once again, great job, Rick!

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