Dublin is 53.3428° N latititude. This explains the daylight at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 27th.
Three Warheads travelled to the U.K. Games Expo in Birmingham to participate in the Flames of War tournament. Veterans of league and club play this was, nevertheless, their first Flames of War tournament. Would the lack of experience be their doom?
The trio arrived in Birmingham at 7:30 a.m. and made it to the venue an hour before the scheduled start of game one. This gave them time to wander around and check out the vendor stalls.
The tournament was held at the Clarendon Suites in Birmingham which is also an active Masonic Lodge. James "Hammy" Hamilton organized the tournament and it was a flawlessly run affair.
The tournament was 1500 points, Late War. Ulick brought a fortified Sturmkompanie. Brian took a Soviet Forward Detachment that was heavy in T34/85s and IS-2s. Baz took the Ryanair of Airborne troops: Glider Infantry with lots of artillery support.
The mission was "Dust Up" a so-called Fair Fight mission. Rather than following the Armor attacks Mechanized attacks Infantry sequence, Fair Fights require players to roll-off to determine the attacker. The victory conditions also require both players to attack into the enemy's deployment area. This is not a mission that suited Baz and Ulick. Baz scored a draw, 3-1 in his favor, against German SS with StuGs and Panther Warrior Barkmann. Ulick fended off his opponent for the draw but lost his reserves so the score went 1-3 against him. Brian, on the other hand, was able to start with 9 T34/85s and 3 IS-2s approximately 16" away from an objective and seized a win on Turn 4, 5-2.
The next mission was "Hold the Line" which is played the length of the table rather than across the width. The attacker starts with his entire force on the table and the defender must "Hold the Line" with half his forces until reserves arrive. However, the one boon for the defender is that this mission allows up to two defending platoons to be placed in ambush. This had drastic consequences for Brian. Ambushing Hornisse tank killers wiped out his precious IS-2s with one round of shooting. The remaining T-34/85s were able to mete out some punishment but the game went against him 3-4. Baz drew a short straw and faced an infantry list. He then "won" the roll-off which placed him in the roll of attacker. After a long game the referee called time at the end of Turn 4. The score went 2-5 against him in game that would have gone his way had it reached Turn 5. Ulick's fortified infantry was the bright spot for the Warheads in the second round. He faced a Soviet Light Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment. After six turns of shelling the Soviets were unable to dislodge his troops from the objective and Ulick earned a 6-1 victory. Pints were had and Brian contemplated the loss of his IS-2s.
If the second mission favored the defender the last mission gave the attacking player the chance to get stuck-in quickly. Typically, objective placement in this mission requires that the defender hold objectives on opposite ends of the table. A mobile force can quickly concentrate on one objective and go for an early win. This suited Brian's list. His Spetsnaz recon allowed 9 T-34/85s to infilitrate into enemy territory and lucky reserve rolls saw the IS-2s arrive on the first turn. 6-1 to the Forward Detachment. Baz and Ulick both defended. Neither of their opponents were able to bring enough to bear and the two earned wins, 5-2 and 6-1, respectively.
This wrapped up the tournament. In Battle Points Brian tied for 3rd, Ulick took 4th and Baz rounded out the top 5. However, Ulick won "Best Sport" and jumped Brian to take 3rd overall. Well done Warhead Ulick on a podium finish in your first Flames of War tournament.
The trio headed back to the airport and made it home by midnight. It was a long day but a great experience. For €57 return the three stalwart Warheads travelled to Birmingham. The U.K. has a steady stream of Flames of War tournaments so stay tuned for more tournament reports.
Labels: BristolScale7, Flames of War, Overseas Tournaments, Wargames, Warheads