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That was quite a long break. I’ve been travelling on business for the last several months (years it seems) and have finally had a chance to get back to enjoying a little hobby time.

I played in two Flames of War tournaments in the last few weeks, one on May 10th at ToyWiz in Nanuet, NY and a larger event at NJCon in Edison, NJ this weekend.

I played a thrown together Tankovy list at the ToyWiz event (deja vu from last year at NJCon). I finished mid-pack with a mix of 4-3 and 3-4 games. Fun games but with a very non-optimal list (playing Tankovy with only 5 T-34’s and 8 Stuarts) consisting of 5 platoons and limited air it was very hard to play for a win when attacking Germans. Too many Pak’s and not enough tanks.

Between the two tournaments I went on a painting spree with an eye towards trying out a Rota list at NJCon. I was able to finish everything on my table at the time (a Rota company in universal carriers, a bunch of plastic PSC mortars and an HMG stand or two, and a BF Su-122) as well as finishing up an additional Rota company in captured German halftracks (I used a Rota crew pack with Zvesda 251/1’s which came together pretty well), a motorcycle pack to use as the Rota command, a couple extras stands of SMG platoon leaders, and a Katyusha battery (the little ones). The Katy’s were another kitbash of Zvesda plastic vehicles with BF crews in lead.

I finished painting literally an hour before leaving my house for the convention, but it was worth the marathon. The list was a lot of fun to play and looks pretty neat.

At NJCon, I started out with a 5-2 win over a German infantry company. My opponent had absolutely NO luck with his dice and I passed every critical roll. Peyton had a bright spot or two on the last turn to pick off a platoon and earn a late point, but more or less the dice gave him no chance. First blood to the new Rota company! One observation – the first game was by far the most balanced terrain layout I played on at the show. There were places to shoot and places to hide and places to move, all of the different parts of our armies had something to do.

My second game was a losing effort against more Germans. As lucky as I was in the first game, I was unlucky in this one.  The game turned on a nine-platoon assault that failed to close when my opponent made two-for-two 1/6 rolls and I failed all armor saves. After the fact I realized that I was playing my assault carriers wrong (Russian transports can’t assault, not even the armored ones boo-hoo) but at the time we didn’t know that. 5-2 loss attributable to a lot of bad luck, a moderate helping of bad timing, and a little garden variety bad play. Notes on the layout – we played on opposite hillsides looking across a more-or-less wide open valley. No place to hide so I tried a frontal assault. Not that I need a lot of urging to choose the ‘CHARGE!’ option ;->

The final game was a very frustrating attack on more dug-in German infantry with some pretty nifty support options (Dianas, Italian tanks!, and captured 25lb-ers). The terrain was essentially a fish bowl with line of sight edge to edge and corner to corner. I compounded this by misreading the mission rules (oops) and assuming I could pressure my opponent into leaving his foxholes when in fact he had turns to wait for reserves (oops). I committed to a premature assault that saw me fail every infantry save (9 1’s or 2’s in a row) and lose an entire Rota company in one turn. The bad luck went into overdrive to turn a losing proposition into a 1-6 laugher that I had to concede in four turns. I quite literally didn’t make an infantry save in the game. Ugh.


At ToyWiz, I kind of relearned a lesson from NJCon last summer – playing a Tankovy list without a lot of tanks is not a great idea. The Rota list was a perfect match for how I like to play, until I realized that only the Germans (and equivs) can use the Mounted Assault rule. That shakes things up for me. I like vehicle MG’s and I like mobility, but having to dismount to assault bums me out.

The army passes the ‘looks cool’ test so will probably do for a while I just need to rethink the balance of armor, infantry, and support.

I picked up a copy of Desperate Measures at the show, and the Hero lists have shaken up my Late War ideas. It seems cool to me to have the opportunity to play the Soviets on equal-ish footing to the Germans. No Hen and Chicks – yes!!

I’m back on the road tomorrow for a long business trip (two weeks) but I will endeavor to put up some pics of the new models when I return. While I am travelling I will be playing in a late war tourney on the 15th. IS-2’s are incoming ;->


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