In February I took part in the Breakthrough Assault tournament in Bournemouth. This was my first ever Flames of War tournament and dispelled a lot of my fears about what the tournament scene is like. Full of like minded people all out to have some fun with toy soldiers and no-one taking it too seriously. Considering I never really played Flames of War competitively before I was rather surprised not to come last!
Chatting to the event organiser, Ben Davey, convinced me to enter in the upcoming The Art of War tournament in Nottingham. Apparently it would have just the same atmosphere. In for a penny, in for a pound and before I knew I'd paid my entry fee.
I now just had the small matter on deciding which army to take!
For the uninitiated "The Art of War" has a novel approach when it comes to list construction in order to encourage newer players like me to take part. It seems that in Late War tournaments that Infantry lists have been dominating the top of the league tables therefore the organisers have put list restrictions in place. Basically if you're one of the top 16 players in the UK then you must take a Tank army. Ranked between 17 and 32? Then it's a Mechanised army for you. One of the plebs? Then take whatever you want. Of course you can disregard all of this and just take a points penalty. It'll be interesting to see which of the top 16 players decide to take the points hit. Although it must be noted that at Breakthrough Assault that the top 2 players both had Tank lists.
With this is in mind, and being one of the tournament scene plebs, I decided on US Infantry as I already had most of the models. Luckily for me I met Matt at Breakthrough Assault and as we live fairly near each other we have been able to have some practice games.
Some lessons I learnt fairly early on playing against his Finnish supermen were:
· Take Veteran over Trained if possible. Being just that bit harder to hit often makes the difference between hitting you on a 7, and therefore impossible, or a 6.
· 8 platoons are better than 7. A lot of the missions played in tournaments often force you to put at least half of your force in reserve. Having 7 platoons means you can only deploy 3 at the start of the game which can force you to make some real difficult decisions.
· AOPs are the best 40 points you will ever spend in the game but you must watch how you use them otherwise anti-aircraft fire will just smash them to pieces.
So with some harsh lessons behind me (thanks Matt!) I have decided on my final army list and submitted it. Everything's painted apart from my AOP which I am still waiting in the post for, they did seem to be out of stock pretty much everywhere. In order to get some practice in Matt and I are heading to the Table Top Nation Late War tournament in a couple of weeks. Watch this space for an AAR.
Anyway enough waffling here's the list and the toys.