Sunday, January 27, 2019

ValleyCon 2019 Review

ValleyCon this weekend was another excellent event, and a huge thanks goes to McBeth for organising it. I won three games and lost two, placing fourth overall. I won't go through a blow-by-blow account of the weekend, and I don't have any photos to share from it, but will just pick out a few key thoughts.

The weekend has established my faith in Mid War V4 as a good system. Up until now, MW has seemed incredibly bland, a way of biding time until the interesting lists come out with LW, but it surprised me how enjoyable it was. 85pts on a 6x4 was a bit denser than we’ve usually played, but it worked well. There was a wide range of armies represented, with the top three placings going to Armoured Rifles, Grants, and Honeys.

Using the Battle Plans mission selector was good. It added another layer of thinking about your opponent and what posture they would likely take, and what type of mission you wanted to face them in. It did limit the variety of missions played: I had two Bridgeheads, two No Retreats, and a Dust Up. One tweak might be having the TO specify which line to use. It should work well in a five-round tournament if you played lines 2-6 in a random order. 

The Rifle Company is a solid list. The fact that I won a few games, quite possibly my first FOW wins in over a year, speaks to how robust and forgiving it is.

The cards I took worked out well. Artillery Expert and Diversionary Tactics are gold. Bagpiper, Sticky Bombs, and transports for the 6pdrs all helped at different times.

As expected my Reserves decisions were challenging. In each game that I needed to, I put two Rifle Platoons in Reserve, leaving another 8pts to find. In the first couple of games that was the 6pdrs, relying on their transports to get them where they needed to be. In the second, I switched that to being the mortars and the carriers, as I really needed to have all of my guns on the table. My Ambush platoon was always the Bofors, which gave me flexibility for dealing with armoured cars.

I had one bad loss that should have been avoidable. Ending up attacking in Bridgehead, I remember thinking "I should Night Attack in this", but then immediately forgot to. I also forgot that I had two batteries with smoke, which would have also made life a whole lot easier.

It was disappointing that I didn't end up running into either Honeys or M14/41s, as that would have been an interesting test of the list.

One thing that would be interesting to see would be how to get Churchills into 85pts. At 33pts for three, it's a tough ask as it would require running a much smaller core formation. No one brought heavy tanks of any kind, and apart from the three players with M10s and Marders, no one was really geared up to deal with them.

I left my painting really late, with a couple of really late nights leading up to the event, but was pretty happy with how they turned out in the end. They are painted in the colours of 78th Division in the Italian campaign.
Next time: I have received a copy of Impetus 2nd Edition, so I'll have a look at the changes, and update any progress on painting my light cavalry. Since it took me a whole evening to paint my first horse, I'm not that optimistic...

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