Scottish Nationals – Late-War V4 (19/08/17)

Today Mark reports on the Flames of War V4 Scottish Nationals


Version 4 tournaments

With Version 4 launching back in March, there has been a lot of online discussion over the tournament scene and how things might change in terms of the ‘meta’. For those of you who aren’t quite up to date on the lingo; meta is a term given to the lists and units players use that are the most effective based on their points, abilities and stats. It happens in every games system the world over, some things just work better than others. Naturally, I was intrigued to see how things would pan out up here as we organised out first V4 tournament, with support from Battlefront, and Common Ground Games.

 Comparisons to prior times

The Nationals in Scotland have been running on and off for the past decade or so, with the venue changing a few times, before the last organised tournament back in 2015, where Common Ground Games was selected as the ‘official’ venue for tournaments and events. This was largely due to the central location (approximately halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh), and the amazing gaming space.

Common Ground Games, awaiting players – no those aren’t the FoW tables…

Two years ago, we managed to organise a two-day event for a V3 Late-War tournament, which went extremely well. We had twelve players, myself included, attend and play through five missions resulting in a good time all round and what seemed to be a vibrant tournament scene which continued into 2016. But sadly, as with life, when it came to organise this year, we had numerous call-offs and players re-arranging their diaries. Combined with the calendar clash with the UK Team Yankee GT, it was not looking healthy. This was a slight worry, but finally we managed to organise six players for the Saturday and four for the Sunday to play through Late-War, and then Mid-War respectively.
It looks bad on paper, but then you look at 2015, remove myself from the running and realise we had one less player attend the weekend in total than we did then. The scene isn’t dead, it’s all a matter of getting people together. So, how did the weekend go? Read on to find out.

New Winning Conditions

The timing of Phil’s mission updates on the website could not have been better (or is that worse?), as we agreed prior to the event to play through the errata missions, instead of the ones in the book, and see if they made a difference to results. And I assure you, they did. The feedback from the event gathered afterwards showed that the majority of players thought that the updated winning conditions had a positive impact on their enjoyment of the tournament, and you can see that when we discuss the results, at the end of the article.

The players and their lists

As mentioned, we had six players and were hopeful of a good spread across the field. Unfortunately, the Allies seemed to be the best represented on the day, with five players electing to take Allied forces, and only one taking Germans. We saw all manner of army on Saturday, including the Armoured Train. I will also add here that out of all of our players, three of them were experienced tournament players, two had attended tournaments in the past in a casual way, and one was brand new to tournaments. I’ll leave it up to you all to work out who was who based on the standings at the end.

Player 1 – Brian Wilson – US 3rd Division Tank Company (Bridge at Remagen)

HQ Tank Company HQ

1x M4A3E2 Jumbo



Combat Tank Platoon

1x M4A3 (76mm), 3x M4A3 (Uparmored)



Tank Platoon

1x M4A3E2 (Jumbo), 1x M4A3 (76mm), 1x M4A1 Sherman



Weapons Sherman Assault Gun Platoon

4x M4A3 (105mm)



Light Tank Platoon

3x M5A1 Stuart



Divisional Support Mine Exploder Tank Platoon

2x Sherman Crocodile



Armored Rifle Platoon

HQ Section, LMG, 60mm Mortar,2 Rifle Squads, +2 .50cal AAMG



Brian’s army was very well painted, with plenty of character

Player 2 – Frank Keast – German Sicherungskompanie (Grey Wolf)

HQ Sicherungs HQ

2x SMG Command teams, 2x HMG teams



Combat Sicherungs Platoon

1x Rifle Command, 6x Rifle Teams



Sicherungs Platoon

1x Rifle Command, 6x Rifle Teams



Sicherungs Platoon

1x Rifle Command, 6x Rifle Teams



Weapons Sicherungs Anti-tank Gun Platoon

3x 3.7cm PaK36 gun teams



Support Sturmpanzer Platoon

4x Brummbär



Tank Hunter Platooon

2x Eleftant



Captured Armoured Train

Locomotive, 2x Heavy Artillery Cars, 2x Tank-Hunter Cars



Luftwaffe Heavy Anti-Tank Gun Platoon (Allied Platoon)

2x 8.8cm FlaK36 gun, extra crew



Air Support

Sporadic HS129B3



Franks Sicherungskompanie, with the impressive looking Armoured Train (hiding behind the buildings, another, better picture later)

Player 3 – Michael J. Byrne – US 9th Division Armored Rifle Company, Dismounted (Bridge at Remagen)

HQ Armored Rifle Company HQ

2x Carbine Team



Combat Armored Rifle Platoon (Dismounted)

1x Carbine Team, 5x Rifle Teams, 5x Bazooka Team, LMG, Mortar



Armored Rifle Platoon (Dismounted)

1x Carbine Team, 5x Rifle Teams, 5x Bazooka Team, LMG, Mortar





Armored Anti-Tank Platoon

2x 37mm Gun



Weapons Sherman Assault Gun Platoon

3x M4A3 (105mm)



Divisional Support Mine Exploder Tank Platoon

3x Sherman Crocodile



Heavy Tank Platoon

3x M26 Pershing



Ignore the slightly dark looking figures on the right, but admire those Sherman Crocs.

Player 4 – Phil Dalbeck – British 6th Guards Tank Squadron (Nachtjäger Digital)

HQ Guards Tank Squadron HQ

1x Churchill V CS



Combat Guards Tank Platoon

1x Churchill IV (Applique Armour), 2x Churchill VI (Applique Armour)



Guards Tank Platoon

1x Churchill IV (Applique Armour), 2x Churchill VI (Applique Armour)





Guards Tank Platoon

1x Churchill IV (Applique Armour), 2x Churchill VI (Applique Armour)



Weapons Guards Tank Recce Platoon

3x Stuart VI, +.50cal AAMG



Divisional Support Anti-Tank Platoon (SP), Royal Artillery

4x M10C 17pdr SP



I didn’t get a picture of Phil’s army on parade, but I suppose this line of Churchills will help you imagine it

Player 5 – Johnnie Walker – British (Canadian) Rifle Company (Market Garden)

HQ Canadian Rifle Company HQ

2x Command Rifle Teams



Combat Rifle Platoon (Canadian)

7x Rifle/MG teams, 1x PIAT team, 1x Light Mortar team



Rifle Platoon (Canadian)

7x Rifle/MG teams, 1x PIAT team, 1x Light Mortar team





Anti-Tank Platoon (Canadian)

4x OQF 6pdr Gun teams



Brigade Support Canadian Machine-gun Platoon (Canadian)

4x Vickers HMG teams



Divisional Support Canadian Armoured Recce Platoon

2x Sherman V, 2x Sherman VC Firefly



Canadian Armoured Recce Platoon

2x Sherman V, 2x Sherman VC Firefly



Johnnie is well known over on the ‘Flames of War Painting Group’ on Facebook, so naturally his army was gorgeous.

Player 6 – Greg Fyfe – Soviet Peredovoye Otryad [Forward Detachment] (Red Bear)

HQ Peredovoye Otryad HQ

2x Command Rifle Teams



Combat Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Company (Guards)

10x T-34/85 obr 1943



Tank Rider Company (Guards)

7x SMG teams, 1x Commissar Team





Tankovy Company

10x T-34 obr 1942



Anti-Aircraft Platoon

3x DShK Truck



Corps Support Guards Rocket Mortar Battalion

4 BM-13-16 Katyusha, with extra crew



Air Support

Priority IL-2M Tip 3M Shturmovik



Our man at the ETC Scotland team this year again, back using his old faithful: Soviets

Round One – Counterattack

This mission allowed players who had invested in Spearhead units to get a good use of them. With the mission map putting players across the table from each other, but leaving one half of the table open, there was plenty of opportunity to slip the Stuarts over and put something scary into position nearer the objectives.
The mission ‘Winning the Game’ had also been clarified, meaning that the attacker really has to push the objectives, but have the chance to keep in the game after turn six, if they manage to remain close by.

WINNING THE GAME: The Attacker wins if they start their turn on or after the sixth turn with a Tank, Infantry, or Gun team within 4”/10cm of an Objective, and end it with no Defending Tank, Infantry, or Gun teams within 4”/10cm of that Objective.
The Defender wins if they end a turn on or after the sixth turn with no Attacking Tank, Infantry, or Gun teams within 8”/20cm of the Objectives.

The 1st Draw

  • Phil’s Chruchills were drawn against Brian’s US Tanks,
  • Johnnie’s Canadian Rifles faced Michael’s US Armoured Rifles, and that left
  • Greg’s Forward Detachment to try to dislodge Frank’s Sicherungs, and the impressive looking Armoured Train.

The 1st Games

Given that many of our players on the day were new to tournaments, and almost all players unused to Version 4, I was mainly on hand to advise on rules queries, and thus not able to focus on the action on the table too much, but there were notable points in each game, which I’ll try to remember.

Johnnie’s Shermans advance at the start of the game, but trust me, they didn’t get far

Flamethrower Tank Teams are now very dependable Infantry killers. In the previous editions, those Confident Trained Crocodiles, or OT-34 platoons would roll up, fire their load and because of their 4+ skill rating, they’d maybe knock out a couple of teams before packing up and going home. Now, the two players who took Sherman Crocodiles found that they could get into position near infantry and dig one or two teams out of cover every turn despite Concealment and Gone to Ground; better value for money.

Greg’s T-34s take the field for the umpteenth time. Hoping to do better than they usually do

The change in the mission were meant to reduce the amount of Draws that players were reporting. So, did the changes work?

Round 1 results

  • 7 Phil BEAT Brian 2
  • 2 Johnnie DRAW Michael 1
  • 7 Greg BEAT Frank 2

I’d say there’s been a positive effect on this mission at least. From what I saw on the tables, players were pushing for objectives, trying to cover their own and ending up in tricky situations.

++LUNCH BREAK – Painting Competition++

The lunchbreak included a painting competition, which was judged by other patrons and staff of Common Ground Games, to ensure there was no favouritism towards any of the entrants. The results of this will be revealed at the end of the article. But as you can see from the pictures below, the entrants were all very skilled painters, and every entered unit was rated very highly by our judges.

Brian’s Armored Rifle platoon



Greg’s Guards Heavy Rocket Mortar Battery has appeared in almost every tournament we’ve had
Phil’s M10C 17pdr SP platoon are simple but effective
Runner up in the painting competition was Frank’s impressive Armoured Train. An absolute beauty

Round Two – Dust Up

This round saw the return of an old favourite mission of mine, and others too. As this one is a meeting engagement, it didn’t matter who was attacking or defending, you had to go for your opponent’s objective or risk a draw. This is the one where infantry companies tend to try to grind out a draw, or face defeat.
There’s no big change in the Winning the Game for Dust Up, just a clarification of the distances.

The 2nd Draw

  • Phil vs Greg
  • Frank vs Michael
  • Brian vs Johnnie

The 2nd Games

Brian’s Armored Rifle platoon sit on the objective, taking advantage of the transport rule by having his bazookas mounted to fire the .50cal MGs, until needed for anti-tank duties.

Wandering round the tables, I saw players attempting to outflank one another. I saw tanks burning in their hordes, especially those painted in Soviet Green. But most importantly, I saw players playing towards the mission and trying their best not to just sit back and accept a draw. This is the thing that prompted Phil into the re-writing the mission conditions, a direct response to the amount of draws that were seen at Grand Tournaments and Open competitions around the world.

Phil’s Stuarts were very useful for getting his lumbering Churchills into position using the spearhead rule.

So, how did this one turn out?

Round 2 Results

  • 8 Phil BEAT Greg 1
  • 7 Frank BEAT Michael 2
  • 8 Brian BEAT Johnnie 1

Round Three – Breakthrough

Breakthrough is a great mission that really gets players thinking. The attacker has to worry about getting through the line, but also has the backup of knowing their reserves are coming on behind the defender, but to remember that the defender’s reserves are also going to come in from a ‘pincer’ movement. A fun mission, which I saw a lot of action for on our tables.

The 3rd Draw

  • Michael vs Brian
  • Frank vs Phil
  • Greg vs Johnnie

The 3rd Games

Greg’s IL-2 didn’t make much of an appearance on the day. 290pts of not much action.

With my memory sketchy from the weekend, I can’t honestly remember if there were any major complaints about any of the missions played, but I did try my best to give reasonable responses, and if players were still unsure, no doubt the fantastic community on the Forums would be able to help.

Frank’s HS129 was far more effective, ripping its way through tanks when it appeared with the massive under-slung cannon

The 3rd Results

  • 8 Michael BEAT Brian 1
  • 7 Frank BEAT Phil 2
  • 8 Greg BEAT Johnnie 1

 Results and Prize-giving

With all of the games wrapped up, and only one draw on the cards from the day, it is fair to say that the games were very toughly fought, with every player giving their all, even when it looked certain that defeat was inevitable.

But now the important bit, who won and who went home with the Wooden Spoon?

Best General

1 Phil Dalbeck – 6th Guards Tank Squadron 17
2 Greg Fyfe – Peredovoye Otryad 16*
3 Frank Keast – Sicherungskompanie 16*
4= Michael Byrne – 9th US Armored Rifle Company (Dismounted) 11
4= Brian Wilson – 3rd US Tank Company 11
6 Johnnie Walker – Canadian Rifle Company 4

*Greg finishes ahead of Frank due to their head to head result going in Greg’s favour

Our happy winners with their plaques. All players also walked away with the 2017 tournament objective. (L-R: Johnnie, Frank, Phil, and Greg)

A slightly surprising winner, given that Phil is very new to Flames of War. He played two years ago, but had to cut his involvement short, and hasn’t had much game time since then, as he is a father to a young one, but he did well.

Best Painted

Of course, there was also the painting competition, which you’ve already seen the runners up, so here is the winner’s entry:

Johnnie’s Canadian Rifle Platoon won out in the end.

Both Frank and Johnnie are accomplished painters. Frank runs the ‘Panzer Schule’ painting service, has contributed a few article to this fine blog, and posts semi-regular videos, whilst Johnnie is an admin on the Flames of War Painting Group on Facebook.
In the end, Johnnie won in a tie-break with his Canadian Rifle Platoon and walked away with the plaque.

My unofficial award for ‘Most Intimidating’ was Frank’s Elefants, which went undamaged and inflicted countless casualties.

Summing Up

Congratulations to them all on their victories, close calls, and from all of them, their sporting play.

As a parting comment, I will commend every player who turned up to the event. The atmosphere was very relaxed, almost casual, despite it being a tournament.  There was not one moment where a player looked upset, hard done by, or completely lost, and for that I’d like to thank the experienced players for helping out their opponents; and the newer players for bringing themselves into the Flames of War tournament scene here in Scotland.

5 thoughts on “Scottish Nationals – Late-War V4 (19/08/17)

  1. Thanks for the report and photos. Seems like a fun competition played in good spirit. Nice to see a positive V4 report.

    1. Hi Lucas, there are players in: Glasgow, Dunfermline, Livingston and Stirling. There are a few players in Edinburgh too: Games Hub.
      Also, look for Flames of War Scotland on Facebook for updates.

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