Yes, all of the above is true - I've found a new FLGS: 'Darkstar Gaming' in Plymouth. It's fairly new, but open, friendly, and not too terribly inconvenient for me... which is a development!
To my particular joy, I broke my duck there with my pal Mattenbury: we played a friendly 750pt game to both try out a few ideas and increase our familiarisation with the 2nd Edition rules.
It was a blast!
Mattenbury very gallantly let me field a cheeky wee 'armoured platoon' - nothing too scary: a troop of Recce Carriers supported by two five-man squads, a Sniper team, a PIAT team (in a fourth Bren Carrier) and the obligatory Free Artillery Spotter. There was a 3-Ton Lorry to transport the Toms, of course, too. Oh, and a Cromwell CS:
|These pics came out well - I like the black background!|
For his part, Mattenbury brought his Commandos (I was expecting Americans, but they're not painted yet): a five-man command squad (such a great idea!), two five-man squads, two(!) Light Mortar teams, a 25pdr, a Sniper team, Arty Spotter and a Crusader AA:
|The Commandos were armed by squad: rifles or SMGs.|
We rolled for a mission and got 'Demolition', which is essentially capture-the-flag, but it's instant death after a unit is plomped on the enemy's base - no contestation.
Deployment in some missions of 2nd Ed has taken a clever turn: it's a little more time-consuming, but now you draw dice to deploy units. I liked this, although I didn't do it quite as well as I ought to:
|My deployment edge. Foolishly, I split up my Recce troop,|
and they couldn't benefit fully from their radios.
|Note the two objectives and the 25pdr's killing field (in red)|
|A close-up of Mattenbury's deployment: the 25pdr|
covers its arcs, and the objective is that round base
just this side of the hill. White die = my arty aim point.
Turn 1: The first turn was relatively quiet, as everyone was hidden. Artillery spotters on each side placed their aim points, and my sniper (to my great surprise) killed his. Having thus given away his position, my sniper was then instantly wiped out by a very lucky 25pdr shot. Bastard.
|End of a Veteran Light Mortar Team|
|Pins on the Bren Carrier from the sneaky Crusader (top-right)|
|The extent of my movement by the end of Turn 1. Note how foolishly |
close so many of my units are to his artillery aiming point (red die).
Turn 3: At last both of our artillery stonks arrived and did untold damage on...nothing. The only casualty of both was the 25pdr, which took a couple of pins. If either had arrived on turn 2, it could've been a very different story indeed. During this turn, a number of key things happened: (1) I finally started closing on the objective, suppressing the 25pdr with MG fire as I went to pin it out of usefulness; (2) I realised (he told me!) that Matt's intent was to drive his crusader up to my objective and claim it that way...bugger. I hadn't thought of that - I'd assumed he would just inch his Commandos closer then overwhelm me. I could've been gamey and used my carriers and troops as a screen, but I try not to roll like that. Instead, I tried to bring the fight to him!
|Shot 1 from the PIAT. A swing and a miss.|
|My 15/19 KRH Cromwell advances into the muzzle of the field gun...|
|...and the Comando HQ backtracks for morale support.|
|KA-BOOM! - I love this pic!|
The game was an absolute joy to play, despite the simplicity of the terrain (more will be a-comin' as I understand it, as BA takes off) and Mattenbury was - as he always is - a very pleasant and sporting opponent. In particular, it's grand to play someone who's chilled about things like taking the time to look rules up as we go.
|The movements of my various vehicles. Just experimenting.|
Cheers for reading,