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Corrivalry 2016

I decided (very last minute) to give Corrivalry a go. This Flames of War event was set at 1420 points Late War this year. As I have one FoW army left then that is what I took. the Confident Trained British 11th Armoured Tank Company from Overlord. Lots of shermans, some infantry , a bit of recon and mortars for smoke and 1420 points was gone.

This event gives you two list variations, so I took one all-tank 6 platoon list (2 hq sherman V, 4 combat platoons each of 3 sherman V and one firefly; 1×3 recon stuarts;  1×2 hvy mortars) and one  7 platoon list swapping out one sherman tank platoon for  two full CT infantry platoons. The aim was to be out on the attack (but not auto-attack as i didn’t have the models anyway!) It’s not an ideal tournament list but you use what you have.

With the five game format played on tables where each table is assigned its own mission you get to play a range of scenery, opponents and strategies.

I was very nervous in the days before this event as I had not played Flames for a while and had been cramming the rules all week. I have NEVER taken part in a large torunament and was pretty terrifed of coming across players who thought I would be wasting their time.

Luckily, it all worked out.

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I got five friendly players and had a wail of a time. It certainly opened the eyes to what can happen and how to go about tackling sets of problems. Every game of Flames is completely different and I think this is one of the great strengths. Even the best players can have a bad set of games under the wrong circumstances.

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Note: I made a couple of quick objectives for the event. One is a V1 rocket on a base and the other is a piece of v1 launcher rail section (destroyed). These were quick and dirty builds with the limited stuff I had in my bitz box. Looks better than just an “allied” marker.

On Saturday, Game 1 was v Dave M’s New Zealand Rifles from “Road to Rome” in “Breakthrough”. From the start, this was going to be hard. From my starting quarter I could go left and face a mix of AT guns and Tank Destroyers (and behind them an artillery battery) or go across the table and take on  some recon and observer team i recall. I decided not to end the game too quickly abd went across for the easier kill. Except it wasn’t. I could not do any real damage to the defenders on the far hill (recon is fast and hard to hit) and only succeeded in giving the enemy time to consolidate on the objectives.

The table centre had a Maori Rifle platoon going from the photos (armed with sticky bombs…) and that just seemed to back off toward the objective when appoached. As expected as I tried to head over to the far objective the other defenders table quarter just turned and moved over as well – AT guns, artillery and TD’s all pointing my way….

As for reserves, I didn’t get a reserve platoon until turn 5 and then just tried to silence an AT gun on one side of the wood while trying to contest the objective on the other side. The return fire from everthing mentioned above was withering and I lost my newly arrived tank company. An unmitigated disaster of a first game for me. My opponent took full advantage of the need for me to break through a line and stopped me all the way. A 1-6 loss to me. It was down to me not getting to grips with a tricky set up. I guess I should have used recon and long range shooting at the AT guns to my left and left the hill on the other side alone until I got reserves and then “gone for it” all guns blazing.

Game 2 was v Robert M. with his German SS-Panzerbrigade Westfalen in “Hasy Attack”. The table was laid on a pre-printed cloth with a lot of fields and a large wood with a stream in it. The defender chose to take the table side with the long lines of hedges. On the other side, my table was divided by the large wood and kept my command apart. I put most of my tanks on the left in cover of some hedges and buildings and hoped to get my reserves quickly so I could hit the objective on that side of the board. It was in a wood and had infantry and some AT gun defenders, but with several tanks and some infantry I hoped to score some hits and then send in the troops.

No chance, first i lost two recon tanks on the far right which backfooted mr. After that I tried to go up the left flanks with just about everthing else barring a little pinning force.

I ended up playing footsie by chipping away at the defenders in the wood and gradually killed a platoon. My smoke mortars went for a bombardment at one point and killed a PAK40 and an infantry team. Impressive for a reroll hits situation.

Time ran out and the defender won. As he had 9 platoons, the lost one did not count. Frustrating table this one as the hedges, fields and woods really made the attackers job very hard to try and pull off. Not a good pre-printed table mat IMO.

Oh, and I kept being assailed by some Panzerfasut Trap teams…? Pesky little bleeders. As you can see in a photo below, even getting eight hits was not enough to guarantee a failed 3+ save…

Game 3 was v Dave A. and his US 9th Armored list from “Remagen” in “Hold the Line”.

I had not seen a Super Pershing before but I was to find out very quickly that a list with an SP, Jumbo and crocodile tanks plus recon is not a good match for Trained Shermans.

I took the wrong table-end and was bottled in a canyon with a US column bearing down on me from turn 1. By the end of Turn 2 I had lost my infantry mainly to flame tanks and my 2iC ripped apart and got my ambushing platoons either out of the way (of the SP) or smoked. The game ended in Turn 3 as I had nothing left to bring to contest the objective. 1-6 loss to me. It really seemd like a hopeless situation with Armour I couldn’t touch and no infantry that could do a thing in assault.

If I had a Fallschirmjager list with Panzerfausts then that would be a different thing…. as i was now very tired and pretty dispirited with a ‘Kobayashi Maru’ test of a game I was glad to finish off.

And so Saturday came to an end.

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On Sunday, the games settled down into what I think were Swiss style parings, so I found myself facing those lower down the leader board.

Game 4 was v Kevin S. and his mechanised 9 platoon Panzergrenadier Kampfgruppe (Vet Div) in “Pincer”. I have to say, the matching seemed to work a bit better. I took my ‘B’ list of 4 combat tank platoons and no infantry (I was worried there would be too much running up the table to take the objectives). Possibly a mistake but I had what I think was the best game of the weekend against Kevin’s Germans. I lost some tanks but killed three platoons (two tanks -two stuGs – two 251/9 cannons) and despite some heroic efforts such as my shermans assaulting a hillside with Trained AA guns on it I failed to break any more platoons.

I pushed some tanks up the right flank toward the hill with the AA guns (they were Trained and could only do AT5 damage) and behind them the Artillery battery. I almost lost one platoon to some tank fire and from being stupidly too close to the 2iC and a panzerschreck team.  My main attack should have been an all out on the nearest objective that  I placed. I sent the recon in but forgot two things – I forgot the recon move before the start of turn one (doh!) and later on instead of using Eyes and Ears to remove Gone to Ground on the dug in infantry on the nearest objective and instead I shot the recon tank MGs (double doh). Had i followed all this up with infantry as well as tanks I don’t think the platoon of 7 stands would have lasted. As it was I killed four teams and could not force a failed morale test. Silly of me to forget basic stuff.

We ran out of time and so the defender won, 3 points to me. Never mind – next time I would not forget…. maybe.

And finally, game 5 was v James S. and his Canadian Rifles in the fair fight “Encounter”. From the start, my task was a hard one as I found myself defending v an Auto-Attack force with a Breaching Group.

I put my tank platoons on the table and kept the Recon, mortars and infantry in reserve.

I tried to move up and left flank attack the defenders, but lost a platoon of tanks to withering fire from the centrally located AT guns and their late-war AT 11 shots. On the right flank I tried to take on the rifle platoon on the other objective as they had failed to dig in straight away. I just couldn’t do it. The Breaching group tanks and threat of AT guns stopped me dead in my tracks.

After that, James dug in his infantry and started getting his reserves. A platoon of veteran shermans and fireflies with Eyes and Ears was going to make my life miserable. All I did was move around trying to get in shots at the enemy tanks but to no real avail.

In the end, I could ony fall back and try and bring on my reserves to hold the objectives and hope I could take out a platoon or two of attackers. It never happened. My reserves came on in the wrong places (mortars in front of tanks, infantry on the far left bwhind a wood). James pursued me to the ends of the board and took out the mortar platoon that was ripe for the taking just as time was called.

As it was a fair fight and ended in a draw my two losses gave me a 1-3 loss.

Sadly, I forgot to take more than one picture, which came out very blurry… I guess i was more tired than I thought.

There the day ended barring the Awards….

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The end of a long weekend…

Overall I was lucky not to finish last. My only goal was not to get the wooden spoon, which I narrowly avoided by one point. I think that Trained tanks with front armour 6 just can’t cut the mustard.

Sending two platoons of Veteran tanks forward to clear the way along with recon seems to be a better option but even then, against tanks with front armour 12 or 13 there really was nothing in my list to stop it (no planes or artillery). You still need infantry to get in and assault though. I don’t think I got to that point in any of the games.

My next lists will be featuring some Air or artillery support and Veteran forces. I would say that a recon platoon, two tank platoons of some kind and at least one infantry platoon as well was pretty much the way to go to be able to face down a variety of threats.

I analysed the results and put the top 25 placings below (out of 84).

Name Player No. Rank Nation Co. Type Level List
47. Vinny Kirkland 47 1 USA Infantry CT 47. 80th Infantry Division Rifle Company
59. Fred Osio 59 2 USA Infantry CV 59. Assault Company (1st I.D.)
53. Lee McColl 53 3 German Tank CT 53. Panzer Ausbildungs Abteilung 500
34. Dave Gollop 34 4 British Infantry CV 34. Rifle Company (50th)
60. Mark Palin 60 5 British Infantry RV 60. Rifle Company (51st)
77. Paul Stovell 77 5 Soviet Mech FT 77. Gvardeyskiy Kazachiy Polk (RA)
19. Steve Charlton 19 7 USA Tank CT 19. Tank Company (7th Division)
15. Enrico Cappello 15 8 British Infantry RV 15. Rifle Company (51st)
62. Mike Parker 62 8 British Infantry CT 62. Rifle Company (Canadian)
10. Stefano Breviglieri 10 10 British Infantry RV 10. Rifle Company (51st)
18. Paul Chambers 18 11 USA Mech CT 18. Armored Rifle Company (6th A.D.)
85. Graham Willmott 85 12 USA Infantry CT 85. Rifle Company (99th I.D.)
55. Matt McVeigh 55 13 German Tank ? 55. Panzerkompanie
72. John Skelton 72 13 German Tank RV 72. Panzerkampfgruppe Von Benningsen
68. Andy Scott 68 15 British Infantry FV 68. Airlanding Company
9. Mathieu Booth 9 16 Soviet Mech CT 9. Motostrelkovy Batalon
31. Jez Evans 31 16 USA Infantry CT/CV 31. Rifle Company (2nd I.D.)
61. Jean-Michel Parant 61 16 Soviet Tank CT 61. Legkiy Samokhodno-Artillyeriyskiy Pk
64. Phil Powell 64 16 British Tank CT 64. Tank Squadron (Second)
67. Mick Rood 67 16 Soviet Tank FT 67. Tankovy Batalon (Guards)
58. Nobby 58 21 ? ? ? 58. Something secret
84. Bill Wilcox 84 21 USA Mech CT 84. Task Force A
73. Bill Smith 73 23 British Infantry FV 73. Commando
7. Martyn Bolton 7 24 German Tank RT 7. Schwere Panzerkompanie (510.)
83. Roger Whittam 83 24 German Tank RT 83. 512. Schwere Pzrjägerkompanie (2.)

It comes as no surprise really that 3 out of the top 10 lists were the British 51st infantry. Reluctant Veteran over Condident Trained seems to be the way at 1420 points along with Auto-Attack and Night Attack !

Corrivalry was held at the new Battlefield Hobbies store in Daventry, UK.

I was very impressed with the venue. It was clean, well furnished and stocked. It was warm  (which for the British weather at the time was good!) but not too hot.

Nobby and Hammy were friendly and welcoming, along with the other staff. Tea and Coffe were on tap for a small mug retainer. Tasty buffet food was provided both days and the prize support seemed well funded.

I really would like to thank all those who organised, served and took part in this event. I really enjoyed myself and have got the bug for Flames of War again (aaghh!) after a little sojourn of some 15 months.

Oh, and every gaming environ should have one of these… very thoughtful…

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AQMF – What a shame…

Sad to say that the last post of 2015 seems to be the demise of Alien Dungeon and their All Quiet on the Martian Front game.

I now have to question whether it is worthwhile continuing with the AQMF project at all. Something to chew on.

In the meantime, their is a fan forum and a facebook page to work with (and to get an idea of what has happened if you missed it).