Tournament report: Flames of War - the End of the Beginning

On Saturday the 26th of May de Purperen Draak and the Groninger Wargamers Guild co-organised our first Flames of War Mid War tournament.
We'd had Late War tournaments for years, but with the new MW revamp we felt it was time to get the community going for that, too.

Siebren's last desperate charge in round 1
 This would also be the first tournament at the store since it became the official distributor for the Netherlands.

Despite some cancellations we still had a total of eight local players who took part in this and we all had a great time. We also had a nice 4:4 split between Axis and Allies, with all players using lists (though not paintjobs) appropriate for the North African theater.
We allowed players to field lists from the old Eastern Front and North Africa books using the conversion rules if they had not yet been updated in the new releases; in the end, only one player decided to go with that option.
We also allowed some limited proxies (such as using a different kind of Sherman) to make it easier to put a list together.

The points limit was 72 and we used battle plans to determine which scenario to play.
We had 4 players picking attack, 2 picking maneuver and 2 picking defend.

The most appropriately desert-looking battlefield of the day; most of our terrain is more suited to Late War.
There were some serious “oooooh no” moments throughout the tournament, with various people's (most notably Phil’s) dice not working for the first two rounds, then in the third round Phil's made up for the whole day thanks to the blessing of Albert Martijn.

Phil's tanks on the charge
On the other end of the spectrum, Siebren managed to roll seven ones in a row in the final round.
This is a record for us and we are proud of his achievement here and we will make sure he never forgets this.........

The Allies were badly battered in this conflict; all Allied players lost in the first round and in the end the highest-ranked Allied player was 4th. We will do better next time, we promise.

Ronald's Shermans trying to repulse Phil's Grants
The final round was a really close finish with Albert Martijn, Gilles and Marko going for the overall win. Marko had a comfortable tournament points lead but was struggling against Gilles in the Breakthrough mission. Marko's Tiger managed to clear out Gilles's 10.5cm artillery battery in an assault, but not before they dealt terrible damage to the infantry trying to hold the line.
It came down to a final battle in the far corner of the table, but unfortunately Marko's ambush of 5cm PaKs could not do enough to stop both a platoon of Panzer IIIs and a platoon of infantry, and he lost 8-1 and ended up third overall with Gilles beating AM on their head-to-head result.

Interestingly, the top three were all German infantry lists, though with quite a few differences in that they actually contained.

The prize for best painted unit (the Monty objective) was won by Phil and his 17 pounder anti tank unit, with a unanimous decision by our independent judges:

 Final standings

1st: Gilles - Leichte Division Sch├╝tzen (North Africa) - 18 TP (win by head-to-head result)
2nd: AM - Afrika Rifle Company (Afrika Korps) - 18 TP
3rd: Marko - Afrika Rifle Company (Afrika Korps) - 17 TP
4th: Ronald - Stuart Tank Company (Fighting First) - 15 TP
5th: Phil - Grant Armoured Squadron (Armoured Fist) - 10 TP
5th: Ralf - Panzer III Company (Afrika Korps) - 10 TP
7th: Martijn - Grant Armoured Squadron (Armoured Fist) - 9 TP
8th: Siebren - Sherman Tank Company (Fighting First) - 5 TP

Report written by Phil and Marko; pictures by Phil.