Thursday, January 20, 2011
Over the X-mas break, I managed to get one and only one game of FOW into the books. It's a myth that the holidays allow plenty of time for gaming. Wrong! Shopping, Family, more Shopping, Decorating, Cooking, and again Shopping are very large gremlins who feed on a gamer's spare time.
However, C and I got a game of Encounter. Or should I say I lined up my tanks and he mercilessly shot them to pieces.
Fair Warning: Numerous pics to follow....
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
It's been a rough few days at the household.
Monday, Big J, my dog was put down by the local vet. While pets are animals, they inevitably become part of the family and to lose one is just as painful. The loss is tempered that J isn't suffering any longer. Hip dysplasia took a toll on him and the last few weeks it was apparent he was in great pain. It'd be irresponsible and selfish on my part to extend his suffering because of my own emotions.
Big J was my first dog. I suffered with animal allergies all my life. Cat dander can do a real number on me. Somehow dog allergens bothered me less and less and my wife bought Big J as a birthday present for me.
What a dog he was. He loved football...
He was a fantastic guard dog. Our house is in an area infested with coyotes. Several smaller dogs have been snatched and taken by coyotes over the years. My neighbor told me to watch out for them. I laughed and pointed at Big J. I had no fear of walking Big J in the early mornings. We saw several coyotes and they all went the opposite direction when they saw him.
One evening he was up late. A coyote got too close to the fence and Big J took off after him. Lucky for the coyote I got to Big J before Big J got to the coyote.
After that the coyotes gave our end of the block a wide berth. That X-mas, Big J received several stocking stuffers from the neighbors.
Fed Ex Guy came by unannounced....
.....actually, the butcher loved Big J too and saved bones for him.
Big J was big and loud, but a very loving animal. He enjoyed leaning against a family member or just as content to climb onto a bed and falling asleep.
We had good times together.
So long, buddy and thanks for the memories.
Thanks readers for your patience. Regular posts about tanks, armored warfare, military history and modelling will return next time.
In case anybody asks, his breed was Komondor.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Stalin's Europe had the misfortune of being released one month before the D-Day compilation books. I judge the popularity of a book by the number of army lists posted on the FOW Forum. By the end of December, Turning Tide and Earth & Steel lists were definitely the most common, especially the Allied lists. Revised point totals gave new life to German lists that were stagnant in Monty's Meatgrinder (21.PD) and Villers Bocage (Pz Lehr).
In my own informal survey, I think Hungarian lists are the most popular choice in SE. The assault gun lists, affordable artillery and confident veteran infantry, 14+ Hetzers, and Hungarian Panthers and Tigers in the same force structure made any Hungarian fan very happy.
I believe I saw only 3 Lend Lease lists posted. Shturmovye seem to be getting the most love from Russian players - - and why not, it's a very flexible and cool list.
There are enough players at my LGS who can field 21+ T-34 and all the variants in between. As I explained about the 3rd Gv Mech Corps, I wanted something different and nobody was playing Soviet Shermans.
When SE came out, I was excited that I'd be able to field 76mm versions of the Emcha. I envisioned running 75mm and 76mm equipped Shermans in the same list, giving the option to field MW and two LW lists without buying numerous Shermans. Ooops! That's not the case in SE. Only 76mm armed Shermans allowed! Le Sigh.
Screw it. I decided to go ahead and field a SE Emcha force. How can I not?! Look at this tank. It's beautiful.
10 Emchas run 670 pts. 10 T-34/85 obr 1944 cost 635. Basically you're paying another 35pts for Protected Ammo. Otherwise the 75mm Emcha and T-34/85 obr 1944 have the same stat lines. It seems nobody is going to want to run them because of the squeeze it'll put on support options (thinking tournament play here).
Well now. Hello there Mr. Dmitriy Loza! At 80pts, he's one of the more expensive Warriors. Yet, he gets ROF 3 (2 on the move), can replace the Batallion Commander if (when he buys the farm), and he can infiltrate an armored or infantry company. Very nice and a good tactical gimmik that may be handy.
He also has a very nice looking tank.
The support boxes available to a Inomarochnikiy Tankovy Batalon appear to be standard. You do get the option of fielding IS-2's and ISU's or SU's together with your Emchas. This wasn't possible with the Hammer & Sickle list because it forced you to choose either IS-2's or ISU's (occupied the same support box).
A new model is available too. The SU-100. AT 16, ROF 1, FP 2+ and 40" range. Basically an area denial weapon. You'll never hit anything, but it'll die when you do. They'd do the same thing the SU-152 does in MW - give the opponent something to worry about and target.
What really sealed the deal was the Web Offer of the 46th Guards Tank Brigade from WI277. It's 18 Emchas, Loza, 3 SU-100's and 14 stands of Tank Riders. A pretty good deal and I promptly grabbed it. The items are now sitting on the workbench of Carlos T.
In the meantime, I'll proxy my 75mm Emchas and playtest the various options.
19 Tanks and Little Friends
9x M4 76mm, plus Loza
9x M4 76mm
3x Razvedki Platoons (plus a few 50-cals)
SU's and Cars
9x M4 76mm
8x M4 76mm
Squeezing in Combined Arms
7x M4 76mm, plus Loza
6x M4 76mm
3x Razvedki Platoons (plus 50-cals)
9x M4 76mm, plus Loza
9x M4 76mm
As you can see, there's several ways to run an SE Lend Lease list. I'd like to get the Combined Arms list to work because the Razvedki intrigue me, I get Loza and the SU-100's. Also, I've found it hard to hide or get all the guns of a large company pointed at the same time. Usually it's 5 or 6 tanks, with the others behind due to terrain and Hen & Chicks. Smaller companies of 6 or 7 (maybe 8) can maneuver more freely I think (and also echoed by others on the FOW Board).
19 Tanks and Little Friends is also an interesting choice. 19 AT 12 shots is very powerful. The AT 16 with its low percentage To Hit may not be needed at all. Plus the Razvedki can be disruptive behind the lines and so can the BA-64's working to lift GtG prior to a Razvedki assault.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the lists and SE in general.
Did it disappoint you?
What did you like about it?
What SE lists are you going to run in 2011?
What do you think about my Lend Lease lists?
As always, thanks for your support and visiting.