Reading Warfare 2013 – Early War Tournament AAR

Hello All

So I’m back from Warfare and my Soviet army has been bloodied and tested. The event was 1500pts with a 30 man Early War tournament and a 1750pts 26 man Mid War tournament being run side by side.

My well documented army for Reading. This time I remembered
to photograph the BT-7a’s

The event had 4 games on and was part of the Reading Warfare Annual Wargaming conversion. We had a slight delay as a few guys had trouble getting in because of a motorway closure, but myself and Alex wasted the time playing Small World on his Ipad (ask Alex about Were-Pixies!), but at 10am the draw was done I was set about facing my first opponent.

Game 1 – Roger – FT Japanese Infantry – Counter Attack

Roger is the same gentleman who Winner played at Oxford Pairs last month. His army was very large with four (yes four!) full infantry platoons, two platoons of HMG’s which all combat attached, two AT guns and some sort of mortar style infantry gun (sorry not that up on the Japanese equipment). Roger wanted to auto attack to make the most of the mobile battle rule but as my army is auto attacking tanks he was a little disappointed.

My deployment.
Rogers deployment
Comrade, I thought we we’re ment to be the horde!
Unreliable? Not this time! Double time it boys.
The slow march to the far objective begins.
Turn two and I almost have the objective.
Getting into position, I took a few pot shots but they did very little.
The Soviet Air Force is a big help and machine guns up some infantry that
are making there way to the far objective. Also your eyes don’t deceive
you that is a two plane assault wave! (see here why that was exciting for me!)
It’s all looking good here until my flamethrowers miss and then…
…Ambush! Between these guns and the human bullets my two forward
platoons come to a sticky end.
Not much left on the objective now, but time was running out….
Half of my flanking force cames back to keep the Japanese infantry busy.
Objective taken! 4-3 to me.

Overall a good game, those Human Bullets are lethal, and cost me a platoon. I probably shouldn’t have got so close but I wanted to put pressure on both objectives and figured that if the Flame tanks got close then they would need support. In the end this cost me two platoons I didn’t need to lose and so turned a 6-1 to a 4-3. Lesson learnt for next time.

Game 2 – Dave Gollop – Light Panzers – Surrounded

So next up was Dave Gollop, I was looking forward to playing as I had never played him before and thanks to Robin I had got to know Dave quite well at a few of the events we had gone too. Before the game we talked a little about the match up and both talked about how our armies bleed platoons. This was going to be a bloody match up. As I auto attack I had to attack..not sure that was a good thing in this game!

Dave’s Deployment
How many tanks did you get under that!
The flame tanks go artillery hunting
After getting batter for a turn my return fire has a massive effect!
The German Recon and 2IC play cat and mouse with the flame tanks
The casualty rate goes up! 
The flame tanks route the artillery, but the in turn routed 
My last platoon brakes and it’s game over…. 4-3 to Dave

I will be honest I never felt like I was going to win the game, I was mainly after platoon kills from very early on, with the open terrain I had nowhere to hid my tanks and so I was getting hit too easily to survive for long. I did make a massive mistake by deploying everything so close together, I probably should have spread out more and attack from both sides. Still fun game and I’m sure I’ll get a chance to get my revenge on Dave very soon!

(Dave’s army also has inspired me to collect Early War German Armour so I loved the way his army played)

Game 3 – Peter – Escadron De Combat – Dust Up

So day two and I (slightly hungover) found myself playing a nice gentleman called Peter, he was using French Armour with 10 Somua’s. I have never faces Somua’s before but I knew the Front Armour Four and AT Six was going to be tough. The one thing I had going for me was that it was dust up, so he would have to move and French Armour is just can bad on the move as my Armour is!

I set up to go for it on turn one.
Peter tries to set up a kill zone but also stay out of my guns range on turn one.
Peter got the first turn and move up, I left one platoon to cover while the
other two tried to out flank him.
The Planes get better and better, three this time! Shame the bomb bounced…
I have to move everything back once the French Reserves start to arrive
My two platoons would break leaving my objective open.
My Reserves are late to the party, I didn’t get any until turn 5.
I wide out everything on the  objective, but I failed to break his army on the
dice roll. 3-4 to Peter.

A good if slightly annoying game. Not because of Peter or myself, but because my reserve dice rolls were so bad and it meant I was fighting an up hill struggle for the whole game. Peter was fun to play against and I hope to face him again one day. The only thing I would change about my plan would have been to deploy all my T-26’s on my objectives and not to move out until the French reserve had turned up and had been delt with.

Game 4 – Dave Payne – Schutzenkompine – Cauldron

Final game was against Dave Payne. Like Dave Gollop he’s someone I have know for a while but have never played before. We got cauldron which really put me in a good position before we even started.

All of my tanks get to deploy in the same quarter!
Daves Deployment.
The Soviet Air Force dices down and takes out some AT Guns. 
The Flame Tanks start to take out the infantry on the objectives.
The German Reserves start to turn up.
I loose the flame tanks but only after they route the German Infantry.
The Panzer II’s take out a platoon of T-26’s.
My Reserves finally turn up and take out the German artillery and finally
the Panzer II’s ending the game 4-3 to me.

This turned out to be far more of a game than myself or Dave though it would be before we started. Dave jokingly said well done on your 6-1 as we meet at the table. I did think he had a point when my whole army started in the same table quarter. But my reserves turning up after Dave’s really helped keep his army in the game, his Anti Tank shooting didn’t as it did nothing until the Panzer II’s turned up.

Closing Thoughts

Well after four games that ended 4-3 I finished 15th out of 30. My biggest learning points from the weekend are that I need to spread out more, this army bleeds platoons the longer the game goes on so win quick or win badly.

My other thought about this army lends on from the thought of lightly armoured veteran tanks, the phase “Veterancy is our armour”. Well with Soviets in Early War “The enemy’s firepower is our armour!”. By this I mean you will get hit as your conscripts, you won’t pass many saves as it’s Armour 1, so you need to drive at the lowest Firepower rating in the other army. This has a bigger impact on your survivability than anything else! I also need to work on my movement the turn before the shooting begins, far too many times I wise I could move one or two tanks but has then they all count as moving it’s a massive disadvantage.

Back to the first goal of this army which was to get away from Veteran Infantry lists and do a fun attacking army, well mission achieved! I have had a blast with this army in the ten or so games I have played with it. I’m not sure if it will be a tournament favourite list for me as it bleeds too many platoons. But it’s fun and light to it will get used quite a lot!

The nicest surprise from the weekend was getting a nomination for best painted Axis! This was a surprise as this army was so quick to paint! I think of all the armies over the years I have spent lots of time painting and didn’t even get a nomination for best painted and then I bash this army out in a month or so and come second! That really was a highlight for me! Well Done to Dave Gollop’s amazing Light Panzers which deservedly beat me to the award.

The final bit I’d like to say is to thank Tim for running a great weekend and Steve & co how helped to run the event. I got to play four people I had never played before which is always nice and part of the reason I go to tournaments. I’ll be back next year for sure!

Photo Dump

Fez Man from the fez-man blog Fallschirmjager Army

Thanks for reading


Category: AAREarly WarFlames of WarSovietsTournament


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Article by: Mark Goddard