DanCon 2017

Dan, also know as El Presidente of TCOW, runs an annual Flames of War event called “DanCon”. It’s basically a bunch of the TCOW club members and a few other folks playing several rounds of Flames of War over a long weekend with some crazy tournament rules. Update: The official TCOW blog post is online.

You build a 1000pt army list and get partnered with a random partner each game, from the same side (Axis if you’re Axis, Allies if you’re Allies). You play normal Flames rules, except if either partner leaves the table because of morale failure, or because they get wiped out – the whole side loses. There’s some nice prizes sponsored by Mighty Ape and Battle Kiwi this year.

It has been running for several years, but they typically play Late War lists, so I’ve never attended. Both because I don’t have a Flames Late War army in any decent standing, and because I generally prefer Flames Mid War as it feels more balanced to me. However 2017 DanCon was a MidWar tourney, and Dan was looking for numbers so twisted my arm.

I dusted off my old New Zealanders, who haven’t seen the light of day since Flames 2nd Edition and sped read the mini 3rd Edition rulebook. I took a cut down version of my normal list because that’s all I had figures for. Updating them for V3 only required pretending a Quad Gun Tractor was a Jeep for the Portee command:

British Rifle (Africa) (New Zealand)
Infantry Company, from North Africa, page 142

Compulsory Rifle Company HQ (Africa) (New Zealand) (p.143)
– CinC Rifle, 2iC Rifle (30 pts)

Compulsory Rifle Platoon (Africa) (New Zealand) (p.143)
– Command Rifle/MG, 4x Rifle/MG (115 pts)
– Light Mortar (20 pts)

Compulsory Rifle Platoon (Africa) (New Zealand) (p.143)
– Command Rifle/MG, 4x Rifle/MG (115 pts)
– Light Mortar (20 pts)

Compulsory Rifle Platoon (Africa) (New Zealand) (p.143)
– Command Rifle/MG, 4x Rifle/MG (115 pts)

Heavy Armoured Platoon (Africa) (p.133)
– Command Sherman, 2x Sherman (340 pts)

Light Armoured Platoon (Africa) (p.135)
– Command Honey, 2x Honey (140 pts)

Anti-tank Platoon, Royal Artillery (Africa) (New Zealand) (p.153)
– Command Rifle, Jeep, 2x 6 pdr portee (105 pts)

1000 Points, 6 Platoons

Over the course of the day we played three games:

Game 1:
Italian and German Armored vs NZ Rifle and British Paras
Counterattack (Defender)

Lots of armor rushing at bunch of NZers and British Paras trying to hold a few bridges. My partner fortunately knew what the heck they were doing and guided me with wise suggestions through the game (thanks Damian C), while I struggled to remember basic rules. Several rounds of Sherman reserves clashed with the German Panzers while the Paras largely dealt with Italian armor rushing at them from one end of the bridge. NZ infantry ran through a hail of bullets to contest the second objective. Portees ambushed from the bridge road as well, to prang up a bunch of Italian Semoventes and relieve the Paras somewhat. A quick game that left us with 20-30 minutes of free time.

Result: 6-1 win.

Game 2:
German Armored and Rifle vs NZ Rifle and British Armored
No Retreat (Defender)

Fortunately we ended up defender on this table, because I recall this scenario being a pig on attack. Allied generalship was a little wishy washy as I think we were both a little nervous on set up. Things were looking shaky from the outset as a bunch of Pak 40’s and Panzers caused havoc in the British armored ranks. Mid game was looking shaky as well because by then the dug-in veteran NZers had been repelled from one objective by equally ferocious Germans. Sporadic British air support from a Hurricane was largely ineffective and armored reserves took their time arriving, but that combined with another Portee ambush saw the German armor break just before we were out of time.

Result: 5-2 win.

Game 3:
German Armored and German Rifle vs NZ Rifle and Soviet Armored
Free for All (Defender)

Absolute mayhem down the right flank as a horde of Soviet tanks ground towards an objective through a narrow valley, with much flag waving and a terrible traffic jam. Fortunately there was no artillery around. On the left flank I got involved in a horrible drawn out long range duel between my three Shermans, two Stugs (with better armor, and better guns) and a Panzer IV. Thank goodness for the British ‘semi-indirect’ rule, and a lucky shot (and poor armor save) that resulted in one Stug falling. The Portees skulking around on the central road managed to kill a second Stug. Then it was largely a game of “hide your tanks from the Pak 40’s on the hills” while trying to pick off German armor that was distracted sorting out the burning T-34’s from those that were still mobile near the right objective. This game dragged on for 7 turns, and on our side was really two generals fighting two games until the final few turns where we applied enough pressure on the right side to break the German armor and win the game. It’s just as well the Germans broke, because the Russians were about to do the same in the next turn!

Result: 3-2 win.

Thanks largely to that great first game, and three wins overall with lucky scenarios, lucky partners that seemed to work well with my force, and just plain lucky dice – I somehow managed to secure the first place prize. Yeah I was as surprised as anybody. Picked up a sweet picture (the Paras on the bridge above), some nice loot from Battle Kiwi and a gift voucher from Mighty Ape. Alas the boss indoors doesn’t like Paras, so those gents will have to live in the garage!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *