Thursday, December 27, 2012

WGC Vs. KMNB- The Dust Showdown

Well, here it is- my report on the super showdown of super showdowns.

Terrain was chosen by another gamer at the store. I am awful with names, so if you're reading this I apologize. There was a mix if all kinds of terrain, leading to a varied table. No advantage there.

First we exchanged army lists. This was my army:

Faction: Allies ( 299 / 300 )

--- Combat Platoon (142)
Upgrade: Additional Resources (10)
Command Section: "The Boss" Ranger Command Squad (25)
1st Section: "Grim Reapers" Heavy Ranger Attack Squad (30)
3rd Section: "Death Dealers" Ranger Weapon Squad (20)
+ M9-D Bazookas (1)
4th Section: "Death Dealers" Ranger Weapon Squad (20)
+ M9-D Bazookas (1)
Support: MCW M3-D "Cobra" (35)

--- Assault Platoon (157)
Upgrade: Air Drop (5)
Command Section: "Hell Boys" Ranger Attack Squad (25)
1st Section: "BBQ Squad" Assault Ranger Squad (21)
3rd Section: "The Gunners" Combat Ranger Squad [Upgrade] (20)
+ M9-D Bazookas (1)
Support: HAW M6-B "Fireball" (85)
Demitra's army was as follows:

Faction: Axis ( 300 / 300 )

---  Sturmgrenadiere Platoon (189)
Command Section: Kommandotrupp (25)
1st Section: Battle Grenadiers [Upgrade] (20)
2nd Section: Battle Grenadiers [Upgrade] (20)
3rd Section: Recon Grenadiers (17)
Support: MPW III-A "Wotan" [Upgrade] (55)
Support: MPW II-D "Lothar" (40)
Support: Sniper Grenadier Team (12)

---  Schwer Platoon (111)
Command Section: Heavy Kommandotrupp (35)
1st Section: Heavy Flak Grenadiers (26)
2nd Section: Heavy Flak Grenadiers (26)
Support: Beobachter Team (8)
    + Pinpoint Observation (4)
Support: Sniper Grenadier Team (12)

Lots of Grenadiers and my old nemesis the Wotan. It's a supreme tank killer, and I was fielding a supreme tank. This would be interesting. Due to the fits Fireballs had been giving Demitra, The perceived advantage went to the Allies. There really was very little advantage there.

Demitra and I rolled a die to determine which scenario table we would use. On a 1-3 we would use the tournament table, on a 4-6 we would use the standard mission table. with the cube of destiny coming up a 5, the standard table was chosen. We alternated placing scenario points, ending up with the following mission:

Key Positions, Advancing Lines, Off Target Shelling.

This meant the increased number of Axis units could shrug off my return fire, and my squads could easily be pinned down. The objective meant the Axis forces could sit tight in their deployment zone, while my shorter ranged fire would have to move into the teeth of his army where he could react en masse. In retrospect I should have spent both of my points on deployment, forcing Demitra to choose weather he wanted to advance his army or switch to a more advantageous objective. He would also have to decide weather defense or suppression would be a bigger boon to his forces. I'll learn the nuances of scenario generation in practice one day, for now however the advantage lay firmly in the Axis force's hands.

Terrain layout
Terrain was laid out in the usual manner, alternating placing pieces until we had this board. For some reason I thought we were playing a Force Collision mission, and therefore I set up the buildings I laid out at an angle. They should have been with their wide sides facing the long edges of the table in order to screen my advance, knowing the enemy firepower could easily tear me to shreds.

It should be noted that there was a LOT of terrain, to the point that we had trouble maintaining the required 4" gap between items. This should have been a massive advantage to the Allies, but my oopsie in placing the buildings opened up lots of fire lanes to the enemy forces, leading to a big advantage for the Axis. (See where this is going?)
Deployment led to Demitra's forces setting up on my right flank. I deployed more or less in the center, with my Grim Reapers left stranded to the right. Again, I don't know what I was thinking when I did this, only that I did, and it would return to haunt me later. I set up the Cobra in a manner that hopefully would allow it to outflank the Axis line, I planned to apply pressure to the left end of the Axis line and hopefully roll it up with the Fireball once I neutralized the Wotan with my five M9-D bazookas, more that capable of tearing the walker to shreds. I figured that with the off-target shelling I could at least suppress, if not destroy, the Axis forces with my Long Tom. The pounding my command section could rain down should have made the Axis forces hunker down in their DZ.

Forces ready, I chose the house my Cobra is deployed next to as my first objective, and the house directly forward it as my second. It turned out that Demitra (unsurprisingly for an Axis gunline) chose the rocky hill as well as the ruined building the artillery walker had deployed in in his deployment area. Honestly, I should have chosen the houses in my deployment zone as my objectives, sitting there aiming for a tie and breaking it by taking out some snipers with Long Tom strikes.
Turn one
Turn one saw me rolling one command, while Demitra generated two. Using my order I moved my BBQ squad up behind the forward objective house, ready to rush any Axis squad that got too close. The other was (unsurprisingly) used to call in a Long Tom strike targeting the Lothar. I wanted artillery superiority. Unsurprisingly I failed to ding the artillery walker, but the follow-up attack managed to kill a single sniper.

Demitra's response was to fire off a sniper shot into my Gunners, killing one and suppressing them, and snapping off a second sniper shot at my Grim Reapers, felling one and handing out more suppression.

During my unit phase I used the Medic skill on the Gunners, failing to return the fallen soldier, but removing the lone suppression on them and allowing them to advance.
Turn one Axis response.
The Axis line tiptoed forward and opened up into my troops. With them going second this allowed them to come just into range and start firing on my troops. The right hand sniper's spotter was returned to play through a use of the Medic skill.

3 died in my Death Dealers squad on my left, two more Gunners went down. I lost another Grim Reaper. At this point my entire right flank had suppression on it, and with Off Target Shelling in place, none of it would go away.

Turn two

The next turn I forgot to record how many orders were generated, but I was unable to radio in a Long Tom strike. The Cobra phased a single Flak Grenadier who had wandered out of cover and just a bit too close to my walker.

Both Flak Grenadiers opened up into my Death Dealers on the right flank, dropping one.

In came the Fireball on the left flank in Demitra's DZ. This was what I had meant to do on turn one, but I totally forgot. The Cobra fired its phaser into the Flak Grenadiers, killing one.

Demitra's Wotan pivoted in place to open fire on my Fireball. It missed with both lasers.His command section used its Medic ability twice on the Flak Grenadiers I had offed, and twice he succeeded in returning his troops to play.

It was at this point I was on tilt.

The final stare-down
It came down to the next turn The Axis line surged forward confident in victory, destroying the center of my line. the Wotan sustained attacked my Fireball, inflicting seven points of damage (three hits, two saves). The shot resulted in a hull breach. As Demitra began reading off the effects of the damage I stopped him after "it may not make any armor rolls" and called the game.
I had inflicted no casualties on the Axis line.
I had inflicted no damage on the Axis walkers.
I had done nothing.
It was a total rout, and honestly the most boring game of Dust I have ever played.
Oh, well. There's always the tournament, right?

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