ETC – The home nations


With the European Team championships almost upon us (basically the biggest FOW event in the world), we have a look at the four home nation teams as we ask each Captain to tell us a bit about them.

Wales – Captain Roger Whittam

My how fast 2017 ETC is upon us, especially for those of us still painting their armies and with next to no practise! The ETC is a team event, with only one team from each country allowed, and represents some of the hardest fought series of 6 games you will ever encounter.
Full details of the event can be found here.  Key to the success or failure of any team is down to the match ups and getting this right.
Here is a breakdown of the match ups between teams:

The players will be matched up using the following system:

  1. Team A puts up one of it’s 6 armies, Team B does the same.
  2. Team A puts up two armies against the one put up by Team B, Team B does the same.
  3. Team A chooses one of the two armies put up by Team B to be played against the army first put up by team A and determines one pair, Team B does the same.
  4. The armies that did not get chosen return to the team pool.
  5. Team A puts up one of it’s 4 remaining armies, Team B does the same.
  6. Team A puts up two armies against the one put up by Team B, Team B does the same.
  7. Team A chooses one of the two armies put up by Team B to be played against the army first put up by team A and determines one pair, Team B does the same.
  8. The army of Team A that did not get chosen by team B plays against the last army remaining in the pool of Team B. The army of Team B that did not get chosen by Team A plays against the last army remaining in the pool of Team A.
  9. The table for each pairing will be randomly drawn.

This year the event is the ever popular Late War and 1625pts and still Version 3 (and probably the last Hurrah! for v3 for many of us who have held off looking too much in depth into v4, so as not to corrupt our v3 knowledge).

There are restrictions on the exact composition of each team:

2 Infantry Companies
2 Mechanised Companies
2 Tank Companies

In each company type, the two armies may not be from the same nationality.  There are also two games per day and three hours of game time which, again, given the length of the games brings different forces into the mix; your nightmare treacle infantry horde may struggle hanging on for 3 hours when it will usually win in shorter games.

So what exactly does this mean? Well for a start you will often see forces that do not traditionally win standard open singles event being pivotal to a team. For example a Reluctant Trained JadgTiger Company may well struggle in an open event but within the structure of the team you can protect these forces to some degree from nightmare match ups and play to their strengths. Conversely other teams know what sorts of lists will be popular and can take this into account in their preparations so is a balancing act of finding six good forces that will work well together. They do not all have to be able to take on every conceivable force but you must have an answer to anything within the team.

Team spirit is also critical, you have at least a year to prepare, tailor and paint your armies and work on the composition of the team and the synergy of how those all work together to give you the best chance. There is no great prize for the event, you play for your country, and the opportunity to meet lots of fellow Flames of War gamers that you might not otherwise play against, and to forge new friendships, with Kudos for the winners, not for reward.

This will be the fourth year Team Wales has attended the event; in the first year we finished 10th overall, in our second year we finished 20th struggling with fire power rolls when the competition was early war but we did at least bring home a trophy for best painted at the event! 2016 we finished a respectable 8th and again came away with the best painted team trophy. Hopefully we will do better than that this year but being late war it can be a little unpredictable.

The composition of our team is as follows:

Infantry

Paul Frith – 2ID (Bulge) Confident Veterans:  Paul ‘Digger’ Frith is an accomplished player who loves filling the infantry slot.  While he normally favours a good Russian horde he is trying something different this year with 2ID.  Paul has a calm methodical nature and a poker like face that disguises his tactical genius.

Roger Whittam –51st Highland Division (Normandy) Reluctant Veterans:  The Captain of Team Wales.  Roger ‘Von’ Whittam can play pretty much anything and this year has go to one of his favourite infantry lists.  He is an aggressive attacker (on and off field :-)) and an expert at assaulting.  Also a brilliant painter and key cat herder of Team Wales.

Mechanized

John Hopwood – Soviet Motostrelkovy Confident Trained – John ‘Hoppy’ Hopwood is another UK tourne regular and side kick to Roger.  A fan of all things Russian he has surprisingly left his Cossacks at home and gone for a MotoStrelk this year.  Like a Honey Badger, John can pull victory back from certain death!

Matt Haywood – British Airborne Armoured Recce Squadron (Fearless Veteran) – Matt ‘Brushes’ Haywood is the expert painter of the team and fan of all quirky lists.  Many a time he will float an idea that we think is crazy only to see it decimate all before it.  This year he is running an airborne flying circus backed up with a some brass knuckle guns, tanks and artillery (and a literal brass knuckle so don’t argue with him!).

Tank

Tim Harris – German 512 Schwere Panzerjager Kompanie (2) Reluctant Trained Auto-defend – Tim ‘Bomber’ Harris is another painter extraordinaire who we hope will actually have painted his army in time for the event. Playing big cats he is a cunning opponent who has a funny knack of beating the odds.  Tim one half of the Mark and Tim comedy double act, he enjoys long walks on the beach and assembling tanks in dressing gowns while drinking gin and watching chick flicks.

Mark Goddard – British 2nd Tank Squadron (Churchills) Confident Trained Auto-attack – Mark ‘Moonboots’ Goddard’s primary role is to reduce the average age on Team Wales and ensure that we have to order some medium sized polo shirts.  Recently having become a father he has shocked his team by getting a  ‘pass’ away from the wife.  Mark is running a lot of artillery backed up by methodical (read slow) Churchills and hopes to still be married when he returns.  Mark hopes to finish his fly on the wall documentary of Tim Harris in time for the Canne Film Festival.  He also enjoys sitting in dressing gowns, drinking gin and assembling tanks while watching chick flicks.

The full list of the teams and what armies they are using can be found here

I am obviously not going to go into the synergy of the team before the event or our tactics and plans but we do hope to do a AAR for the Team as a whole.

I know that once we are done with this last v3 event it is full steam ahead with getting to grips with v4 for the next year!

England – Captain Jez Evan

Jez Evans: Team England Captain, Well known player of large infantry armies, so of course he’s using a tank army at the ETC. Jez has won nearly every competition in the UK and is usually somewhere near the top of the table. Jez likes to use Italians and US infantry but is currently using British tank. Jez’s armies tend to have quite a lot of artillery in them.

Steve Charlton, Steve likes combined arms armies and likes US and British Airborne armies, so obviously at the ETC he’s going to use German Tank.  Steve has also won almost every tournament in the UK. Steve like to use lots of smoke and subtlety in his attacks.

Paul Stovell, possibly the most underestimated player in the UK, Paul likes to use lighter armies and relies on manoeuvre. He is using a Recce German army at the ETC but has added a King tiger. Paul  is usually near the top of tournaments and has won a few too.

Graham Wilmott, Well known user of everything Russian. Lives somewhere on the big island right of the UK and works for something called the EU. Graham is of course using Russians at the ETC, lots of guns, lots of tanks and a few other blokes too. Graham has won a fair few tournaments so knows what he’s doing.

Lawrence Donahue  or CID as he’s called. Cid is happy to use whatever comes to hand and has used US tank, Russian tank and is using British Infantry  army at the ETC which he has quite a bit of experience with. Cid has won a number of tournaments and is usually near the top of the table.

Graham Klaka. Graham is the youngest and the new kid on the block. Graham has used US tank, German tank and is using US infantry at the ETC. Graham always does well at tournaments.

Mike Klaka. Team coach and helper, is often called Santa for his looks and of course Graham Klaka is his elf. Mike makes sure everything runs smoothly and does the draws and gets everything we need, taking the pressure off the rest of us.

Team England are looking forward to this years ETC, we are confident and pleased with our armies. Salamanca sounds great and of course we’ll go and see the battlefield.

Scotland – Captain Robin Spence

This is my second ETC. First was as Captain in Prague 2015. An interesting time was had by all. Bit of an eye opener. Finished above Wales which was pleasing. Ahead of England after the first day but slipped back. Scotland were in Athens in 2016 without me. I threw my dummy out of the pram after the second player withdrew. Hundreds of emails and a fair few phone calls came up blank so I withdrew hoping the guys that still wanted to go would get a place in other teams. Eventually Richard found replacements and Scotland attended without me.  Laurence was Captain and the team did well. This year Laurence was badgered and eventually poached by Team England. They had player withdrawals so decided to cherry pick. Not something I’m a fan of. IMO once you play for a country that should be it for good but I digress.

The original Scotland team was formed three years ago. Not many true Scots were interested but we had a legal team (an ETC team can have 2 non qualified members – Mark). Any Scots that wish to join up simply have to ask. We agreed at the start that the Captain would be voted for by the 6 players. Once the ETC is over the Captain automatically resigns. He can offer his services for the following year but needs to be voted in. We felt this much better than the  ETC official method of team captain for life unless he resigns.

So onto the players

Robin Spence (Captain)
English Mercenary with a Scottish grandparent. 2nd ETC And in a Tank slot – Red Army Tankovy. Designed as an all rounder. I’m one of those players that hate defending. I like to attack, force the issue. I try and overwhelm my opponents early. I’m a regular on the UK circuit.

Richard Hardy.

Founder member of Team Scotland, and along with Martyn, the only ever present. A regular on the English and Scottish tournament circuits. Although know amongst wargamers for his staunchly progressive Soviet sympathies Richard is once again taking a Western allied army to the ETC, just to prove he is nothing if not flexible, except when it comes to his no Axis armies stance. Basically Richard’s army is a US Armoured Rifle Company with a twist, the twist being that as the ETC is in Spain, the list Richard is using is based upon the 9th Company of the Regiment de Marche du Tchad, who were exiled Spanish Republican troops fighting in the French army. The list has a few tweaks on a standard US list (always attack, British bulldog, spearhead deployment, but no automatic rifles). Like all Armoured Rifle Companies it’s quite a swiss army knife style list with tank destroyers, artillery and recce to back up the large infantry platoons. Richard is the teams general purpose list, able to take on infantry, mech or tank to free up our more killer lists to get better match ups. Given the general purpose nature of the list it might be a struggle to repeat the 4 wins that he achieved in Athens. Richard is the team’s Quartermaster and provides dice, shirts, objectives and other stuff for the others.

Martyn Bolton.

English Mercenary. 3rd ETC. Mechanised slot – Known as much for his good looks as his tactical genius, Martyn is playing a Soviet light artillery formation in this years ETC. It contains a great mix of AT9 and AT7 guns that, no doubt, will give many opponents a pleasant surprise when they arrive at the table. This is his third year representing Scotland, and has a surprisingly good record at the event with some of the most unbalanced armies ever to grace the tabletop. More surprising is that Martyn is still married, as the event always falls on his wife birthday!

Stephen Hughes.

English Mercenary. 2nd ETC. Tank slot – Hungarian Assault Gun Co. Designed to take on infantry but can handle both mechanised and tank at a push as well. This is an army that I used a lot and loved. Steve has adapted it to his own style. Steve is a good friend of mine. Solid and, like me, likes to get stuck in. A hotelier/ night club owner so used to dealing with rowdy opponents.  Steve was thrown under the bus at the last ETC to get others good match ups but will be used with a lot more thought this time.

Greg Fyfe.

A real Scot. 2nd ETC. Infantry slot – US 2ID. Designed to take on opponent’s Tank or mechanised companies. To be honest I don’t know Greg, we have not yet met. I understand he did well in Athens. Greg is our least experienced player so is in a solid slot with a solid army. Also the youngest, by a llllllong way

Roddy Trimble.

A real Scot. 1st ETC Infantry slot – British Paras. Again designed to take on opponent’s tank or mechanised companies. Could also take on infantry companies. Night attack gives it an interesting edge. Roddy has been a regular on the UK circuit for years. A new but solid member of the team.

All our lists can be found here.

Team Northern Ireland

After missing Athens 2016, TNI FoW will be back in action at Salamanca. The green and white army will once again try to climb from the bottom of the leaderboard to the heady heights of mid-table mediocrity.

Captaining the team is Jonny “Jonny65” Fisher, a veteran of 8 ETCs. Originally a WFB and 40K player, by 2013 he had grown too old and grumpy for GW games, so he made the switch to FoW. He mainly plays infantry and tank armies, but this year finds himself in one of the awkward mechanised slots. After much deliberation, he has gone with US Task Force A from Overlord. It’s not a list that strikes fear in the heart of many armies, but it has a fighting chance against just about anything. While specialised lists can be very useful at the ETC, having some all-rounders makes the pairing process much easier. The main feature of this army is speed. 6 of the 8 platoons (and the HQ) get recon or spearhead moves, which combined with always attack, means it tends to get up in the enemy’s jock really feckin quickly.

Even older, and occasionally just as grumpy, is ETC veteran Matt “The Count” McVeigh. Despite the Brummie accent, Matt comes from good Norn Iron stock and will once again be representing his ancestral homeland at the ETC. Matt tends to favour the ‘interesting armies’ (like who else would take LRDG to the ETC?), but this year he’s been persuaded to go with a solid infantry list in the shape of US 80th ID from the Citizen Soldiers pdf. It’s a CT list, but the 105 and 155mm artillery rolls to hit as if they were veterans. This makes for a nice big army, with some pretty vicious artillery bombardments. The list does have some attacking options, but it’s happiest when it’s hunkered down shooting big holes in an attacking force.

At the other end of the age range, is child soldier Jordan “Chappers” Chapman. He has only played tournaments in NI before, so his opening ETC visit will be the first time he will be unleashed on the world stage. Jordan is prapper Norn Iron, with the accent and everything. It was a last-minute decision to run with a Herman Goring Panzerspahkompanie from Herman Goring Divisions on the Eastern Front, but it seems like a solid choice. It’s another all-rounder list, hard to shift, with good anti-tank capabilities.

Another ETC veteran is James “Capt Galenus” Owens returning for his 4th ETC. Again, he suffers with an English accent, but he’s a long-time resident of our wee country. James is one of the few who bravely crosses the water, to routinely play tournaments on the mainland. He will be armed with his favourite Airlanding Company from Market Garden for this year’s ETC. The Airlanding is solid list that can deal with a variety of enemies, though it does require a bit of protection in the pairings from certain armies.

Scott “Vapusa” Palmer will be appearing in his second ETC, determined to make more of mark than last time. On his previous visit he chose his army from a non-official briefing and was forced to change it last minute. Despite being born in Hong Kong, Scott is technically a native of Norn Iron. He is heavily involved in the tournament scene in NI, playing in and organising a large number of events. This time round he has gone with a Tankovy Batalon from Red Bear. It seems there will be a lot of Matilda IIs in Salamanca this year, and Scott is doing his bit by bringing 31 of the buggers. The ‘tilda swarm hopes to roll merrily over the men and guns of enemy infantry companies, and is backed up with some tank-killers and a Shturmovik in case the enemy unsportingly brings some tanks. The steel tide doesn’t flow over heavy tanks very well at all, so he’ll be trying hard to avoid those.

Hugo “Mad Cat” Carmona is the team’s mercenary player this year. This will be the Portuguese native’s second ETC, having played (alongside Jonny) as a merc for Team Canada last year. He takes his mercenary work very seriously, and has travelled to NI to play in a tournament. While here, he immersed himself in our culture, learned some of our dialect, and braved some NI food and drink. We are happy to recognise him as an honorary Nordie. Hugo will be playing a Canadian Independent Armoured Squadron from Overlord. The army has a nice mix of tanks and artillery, and puts out an impressive amount of firepower. The obligatory Breeching Group makes it always attack and it can bash its way through most types of enemy lists. And if all else fails, his cunning tactic of plying all his opponents with Portuguese wine can tip the balance in his favour.

Well that’s it for now.  Breakthrough Assault has 4 members going to the ETC in the Scottish, Welsh and Australian teams so look out for updates and AARs.  Stay tuned!

Category: ETCFlames of WarRamblingTournament

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2 comments

  1. “Matt Haywood – British Airborne Armoured Recce Squadron (Fearless Veteran)”

    Yes! Yes! What-A-Briefing! I love this one, that’s so great seeing someone taking it to ETC!

    Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn!

    Good luck friends! Defeat everyone, but France!

  2. Great meeting Paul and swapping shirts. I hope it fits you well. Your website is my go too for FOW information. Keep up the good work please.

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Article by: Mark Goddard