Well, back from another weekend of cringing at the sound of mad howls,

of staring at strange people... but enough of talking about the



Had a good time in Sioux City this weekend. Go there mid-day on Friday,

and spent the afternoon in the room getting some work done. Then, after

a feast at Taco Bell, wandered down to the ASL room. I had brought

GMT's WWI game Paths of Glory with me, hoping for a game. I've only

played it a couple times, but just love the game, and so was hoping for

a willing opponent. Which I found in the person of Byron Lukowicz, a

fellow Twin Citian, as it turned out. He was nice enough to help me

with some of my fuzzy rules knowledge, and had an enjoyable game. In

the end I won when he missed something, and I ended up putting his

entire Western Front out of supply, thus eliminating them all. If there

ever a POG tourney at these MageCons, I'd have a hard time deciding

between that and ASL. It's a Great Game (pun intended.)


So, Saturday morning the fun began with about 15 players. Lee Conner

did another fine job running the tourney. Thanks Lee for all the work

you put in!


My first opponent was Garry Lehner (the eventual tourney champ, as it

turned out). First time I had played him was an enjoyable match at last

year's CASLO in Winnipeg. We ended up playing OA16 Surrender or Die.

It's a fun little scenario. I had the Germans. I think the tough part

for the German is that one wooden building way back on the German left

behind the woods. That's where I ultimately lost this scenario. On my

first turn, put one of my two tanks at a spot where I wanted it, it had

a good field of vision, was out of range of nasty bazookas, and had to

spend one extra MP to stop. So I'm thinking, chances are in my favor,

I'll risk the ESB roll. Well, this is me we're talking about, so of

course the tank

immobilizes, and it hurt not having that tank to run around for the

rest of the scenario. Garry did a good job of skulking, so didn't give

me too many shots. The game turned though when he rallied a DM'd squad,

his last one in the central village. If he hadn't rallied that, I

would've had the entire village under my control and could've focused

on my left flank. When that rallied, I had to spend troops to try and

remove that squad and its leader, and I got bogged down doing that. I

didn't have a lot of squad resources to begin with, so as a result of

that and Garry's good maneuvering, I was 0-1.


My second game I played SP95 Burn Ghurka Burn. I have said before I

love Schwerpunkt scenarios, so always like the chance to play them in

tournaments. I think they are almost always well-balanced. And this

lovely PTO scenario was no exception. I had the Gurkhas. The Japs, and

there were *tons* of them, come swarming up 3 level 2 hills, and must

kick the Gurkhas off the level 2 locations. I was in control for much

of the game, but some key morale checks/bad rolls broke all my troops

holding one of the hills. A Jap squad had gone berserk, survived a 10

-5 shot (did I mention bad rolls?) That berserkie caused no end of

problems on that hill where I lost my strong force, and was a deciding

factor in my loss.


I won't name my opponent, as I'm about to cast dispersions on his

maternal ancestry. A routine enough game, aside from a couple of

confident if not impatient rules assertions that turned out to be

wrong, but at one point I was looking up some rule, he rolled a 4,

which was my sniper number, he waited for a second or two with what I

know now was an eager look, I noted it but was still busy looking at

the rule, he rolled again, another 4, so I stopped looking at the book

and I said "ok, that's two sniper rolls for me". And he said "no, you

didn't say anything on the first roll!" Well. Fine, if that's the kind

of BS you think passes for sportsmanship, I got no time for you. Never

mind I believe by rule you're supposed to notify the opponent when

their sniper roll is made (one of those cases that's different from if

I miss it it's my bad). Fortunately such nonsense is rare in my tourney

games over the years so I continue on at 0-2.


For my third game, I sat down across from Lee Conner. I always enjoy my

games with him. We settled on WAR11 Penny Packets. Turned out to be a

long game. We played till about 2:30 am, were only half done, so ended

up finishing it up Sunday afternoon after my 4th round game. There is

an insane genius to the design of this scenario. I had the Germans. I

had 14 5-4-8 squads to hold off an ungodly number of American troops,

plus 4 of the worst nightmare from hell halftracks you ever saw. A

couple of them fired at the 24 column, and had a rate of 2 to boot.

Those meatchoppers absolutely kicked my tail the entire game. And

worse, the Germans have no AT weapons to speak of. Just one 'shreck and

the 'fausts, but no American player worth his salt is going to come

anywhere near those. And Lee is worth his salt. The Germans get one

Panter on turn 6, but it has to come in one specfied hex, and so he had

six turns to get down there and cover the hex, which he easily did. He

wisely set up bazookas on either side of that entry hex and waited. On

turn 6, I came on board and promptly got wasted. Argh.


Maybe I should have set up closer to the village victory locations, but

he got a Bombardment to start the game, so I set up out of the village

to avoid it, which I did. It didn't affect me at all, and even got a

fanatic squad and hero out of the deal. My plan was to keep his

infantry force which entered on turn 1 out of the game, which I did

effectively. I set up strong over there, and those American squads

weren't much of a factor, at least compared to everything else. I set

up strong up the middle, especially forward near that farm house

complex, as it was the closest route to cover where he set up. I wanted

to deny him that easy way into the village, and hoped to fall back into

the village ahead of him. Well, I did prevent him from entering the

village through that route, but Lee did such a great job of pinning me

down with his $@$%# mortars and those halftracks, I probably lost the

game there, because I got almost nothing back from those positions into

the village.


The other place I lost the game was on my left flank. I set up only one

squad and my big 81 mortar on the hill over there, to hold that route

into the village. I was hoping the ROF on the mortar added to its

firepower would help me there while I fell back into the village. As it

turned out, I didn't get rate a single time, and didn't get a single

hit with it before my crew broke under tough fire. He brought a whole

lot of troops up that flank, and without my mortar to stop them, they

poured into the village and got there ahead of me.


On my right flank, I was delaying his troops there, and fell back

before, all the way through those long woods. At least those halftracks

couldn't see me in there. Those troops turned out to be my last hope,

especially when my Panther went poof. I only had to take one building

back to win, and so I went for the building right next to the edge of

the woods. I fought my way there, and on my last turn had a few squads

over. I had to survive his defensive fire and have only one good order

non-pinned squad available to advance into the building. Well, he had

one big stack right next to me that survived withering fire, and not

only did his heavily armed 6-6-6 squads survive, his 9-1 leader turned

into a heroic 9-2 leader. Rats. They fired at me, and broke everything.

So, my last hope was two half squads there were already broke. Could

they come back on the MC? My first roll was a....2! There was hope!

Could I win on a miracle! No, the HOB roll only created a hero, it

didn't battle harden me, thush rallying the brokie. I might not have

survived his halftrack fire anyway, but it ended up being that close,

despite me getting kicked around the entire game. I think those

halftracks are too much for the Germans, especially since they can't do

anything about. The Panther should not be required to come on in one

specified hex, especially one that could so easily be in American hands

in 6 turns. My last hope was I was going to drive the tank into a

building, as I believe vehicles control locations they occupy, but

never got the chance.


Looking back, I should've brought the tank on in reverse motion with

the turren and VCA pointing in opposite directions, as that would've

give each bazooka a 50-50 chance of hitting me on the front, but alas,

didn't think of it. Still, as much as I was getting pummeled, I got

zero help from the mortar, got zero help from my Panther, the deadly

halftracks merely laughed at me from a distance, and yet it came down

to wire, so there must be some balance to it. I'd like to try it again

with a

slightly different set-up. So, was 0-3.


In round 4, played John Provan in WAR10 Line in the Sand. I had the

Americans. I think this is tough on the Germans. They have only 6

turns, and win immediately when there are no unbroken American MMCs in

the village. That's a tall order, since there are 10 well-armed 7-4-7

squads. John gave it a good try, but that was tough to pull off, and I

won, to end up a 1-3.


A fun time, and as always am looking forward to the next tourney I can

get to...