Sunday, 15 February 2015

Corrivalry 2015 - After Action Review

Corrivalry 2015 - After Action Review

I should confess straightaway that I didn’t take any pictures at the tournament, I know poor show!  However I hought I’d take a moment to run through the list I took and the games I had.

Corrivalry 2015 was a 1800 points Late War affair.  Interestingly it had the option of a 450 points swap out where you could modify your list by 450 points to create an A List and B List for games.  The provision was that you got to see the table, terrain and the mission and your know what type of company your opponent was fielding before you decided what list to use.

With that in mind I set out about creating a force that had both an anti-tank and and an anti-infantry list.  

I have always had a thing for fast aggressive German armour lists therefore I went for Panzers to the Meuse Panzer Lehr Tank Company.  Auto attacking, spear heading armour what’s not to like.

My A List focussed on killing tanks and as such had the Panzer IV/70(V) in it which I think is one of the best German tanks in the game.  The thinking was that it would prove useful in taking out the Soviet heavies and give me an option to deal with Jumbos or King Tigers.

My B List focussed on taking out infantry and swapped out the Panzer IV/(V)s which would be wasted on killing grunts and instead bought in some more Panzer IVs and another Puma patrol.  I love a Puma, with its Jeep movement and decent main gun it certainly isn’t a threat to be taken lightly.

Central to both lists were a core of Panzer IV platoons to assault infantry and deal with armour.  An Aufklarungs platoon to seize and hold objectives.  Their MG Panzerfaust teams could possibly come in handy to bounce both armour and infantry in assaults.

Nebelwerfers were there to provide smoke and cheap artillery and pin those annoying infantry blobs.  The Me262 Sturmvogel was going to be used for sniping enemy armour and pinning his artillery.

Well that was the plan anyway, turns out like most plans they don't quiet work out when confronted with the enemy!

Both the A and B lists assembled, Panzers Marsch!

Nebelwerfers, the must have have unit for German players.
Auflklarungs Platoon, 7 MG Panzerfaust teams of awesomeness.  I love the dink size of the SdKfz250/1s as well

Pazer IV/70s - point for point the best German tank in the game

Me261 Sturmvogel, I loved painting this model.  Spoiler alert - it did sod-all throughout the entire tournament

Panzer IVs, the workhorse of any German tank list.  The schurzen make assaulting infantry a realistic prospect and their main gun is still good enough to take out Shermans.

I made up the list and gave my regular opponent, Matt, a few games which no doubt filled me with some false optimism!  See here for his overview of the games.

My objective as ever was to either win two games or not go down 6-1.

Having never attended Corrivalry before I was quiet surprised by the venue, the Icon Innovation Centre in Daventry, it is a professional exhibition space and as such had everything you needed on site and most importantly was very clean and well lit.

As a bonus I also got name badge which made identifying other players so much easier.  Unlike other tournaments I had been to each table was already allocated with missions which meant that everybody was playing something different every game.

The draw was announced and off we went.

My first opponent was Rob, a really nice guy, who was playing in his first tournament.  I got a sudden sense of deja vu as I was in his position only a year ago.  Rob was fielding British Commandos which was a list that I had never faced before so I selected my anti-infantry list.  The mission was Breakthrough so therefore I was attacking.

Rob deployed as well as he could and put his Sherman’s in reserve.  We then went for it and he was quiet taken aback by the speed of the Spearhead move before the game started.  My turn came and went and I was sat on the objective by the end of the first turn.  Rob tried his best to move his infantry into position to force me off but in the end he didn't have the speed or the mass and ended up getting machine gunned to death.  He did take a platoon of Panzer IVs off me though and so I got a 5-2 win.

Round 2 took rather a while to be announced, over an hour, due to a glitch with the software they were using to allocate the match-ups.  In the end when we finally got started everybody was starting to feel a bit tired and cranky.  I ended up drawing Szymon who was fielding a Polish Parachute Company, yay more fearless veteran infantry!  

The mission was Counterattack and the table was an utter nightmare for my mobile force.  It had lots of cratered road and some real big woods which made moving round an utter nightmare, if anything there was too much terrain on the table to make it fun.

We slogged it out and went hammer and tongs at each other, it was avery tense game.  Szymon is obviously a very experienced player and it showed.  In the end I was sat on top of the objective having lost 4 out of 6 platoons and he was not contesting anymore.  The day was mine apart from the small matter of a company morale check.  I rolled my check and promptly failed it, turning a 4-3 win into a 6-1 loss.  Dammit!

Round 3 was announced little bit quicker than Round 2.  I drew Tony, who it turned out was local to me in London.  It was also Tony’s first tournament but he was a very experienced gamer in other systems.  Tony was running a Panzer Company therefore I opted to take my anti-tank list for the first time that day.  

The mission was Cauldron and as there was no deployment area for the attacker my spearhead move wasn’t an option.  We went at it and my main concern was his King Tiger which it took me about 4 turns to kill with a side shot from the Panzer IV70(V)s but not before it singlehandedly accounted for a Panzer IV platoon.  

His reserves took a while to arrive but when they did it turned into a knife fight in one of the wheat fields.  He broke my infantry platoon.  I took out his Company Commander and Company 2i/c and then focussed on breaking his company.  Eventually I forced a company morale check which he automatically failed therefore given me the win and a 4-3 victory, again a very tense game.

Saturday night saw the obligatory night out and beers and for once I woke up on the Sunday not feeling too bad.  My oppo, Matt, however was absolutely hanging!

We arrived and I got drawn against one of the organisers, Hammy, and his filthy dirty Battalion Pucasi.  Again I broke out my anti-infantry list and we went at it.  The mission was Pincer.  

The table again was very busy with lots of terrain, almost too much again.  I went straight for him on one flank and my assault with Panzer IVs was bounced by his massive 25 stand infantry blob, the fact that he jammy rolled their rating as Confident Veteran probably helped!  Then his T34 platoon turned up in ambush and that was pretty much it.  A combination of terrain and dug in gun platoons meant I now had no hope of seizing an objective let alone breaking him so I played for points and focussed my energy on his T34s.  I got them in the end but it cost me dear and the game timed out.  A 5-2 loss for me.

The final game was announced and I was nervously wondering who I’d draw to salvage some honour on the field.  The draw came and it was Fez.  Fez had some Reluctant Veteran US Armour from Bridge at Remagen and assessing that Jumbos were likely to be present I went with my anti-tank list.

The mission was No Retreat and the terrain was much more favourable to my spearheading.  We went at it very aggressively from the off and I focussed everything on seizing one of the objectives.  My Gepanzerte Aufklarungs Platoon went racing up to his dismounted Armoured Rifle Platoon, debased, and then died.  My Panzer IVs went in and managed to push them back and I was then on the objective.  His reserves rolled up and he tried everything he could to get me off it but in the end I held on and got a 4-3 win, phew.  It was my favourite game off the weekend and it showed with the complete friendliness we both treated the game.  I was so chuffed when Fez won Best Sport, thoroughly deserved.

Again I learnt lots and for the first time I won 3 out of 5 games, result.  Importantly though I placed above Matt and Fez which all counts towards our Breakthrough Assault podcast challenge.  Jersey James outdid all 3 of us however with a good solid performance.  In the end I placed 57 out 96 players and I felt ok with that.

All in all it was a good tournament and it was certainly good to go to the largest one in the UK.  Was it my favourite to date, no it wasn’t.  At times the tournament felt like too much hard work and I just wasn't feeling it.  Some minor admin niggles contributed to this however hats off to Hammy and Nobby for running it, it certainly looks like a thankless task and I doubt many could do better.  However overall I’m glad I went, it was good to play some new opponents and it certainly sharpened up my game.

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