Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gottacon Flames of War AAR

This weekend was the Gottacon gaming convention in sunny Victoria, BC, Canada. I attended to play in the Flames of War tournament. Gottacon is a fairly large and diverse convention that has grown out of a very small local event. I won’t talk about the full breadth of the convention here. I’ll share my games and experiences from the Flames of War tournament.

I attended Gottacon last year and really enjoyed it. This year it worked out that four of us from my area were able to go. Victoria is on Vancouver Island so we had to drive five hours and take a 1.5 hour ferry ride to get there. The Flames of War tournament was a 1750 Late War tournament restricted to 1944 lists. The companies were primarily made from the Italian compilations, Red Bear/Grey Wolf and the D-Day compilations. The tournament was supposed to be Red on Blue only with specific scenarios to link the games into a mini campaign. Unfortunately there were uneven numbers of players so I ended up playing on the Allied team with my German list.

For Gottacon, I painted up a Panzergrenadier company from Atlantik Wall. I am really slow at painting infantry. I really pushed hard and finished twelve infantry teams in the two weeks before the tournament. In the end I changed my list to only include 6 half-tracks as I ran out of time to paint the last 4 half-tracks.

Game 1: No Retreat
For game 1 I played Evan in No Retreat. As mentioned above, I got moved to the Allied team due to the lack of Allied players. Evan recently moved to our area but I haven’t played him yet. Evan was playing a tank company from Fortress Italy with 15 Panzer IVs. Evan threatened my objective early but my ambushing Panzer IVs managed to whittle down his Panzer IVs. I rounded up all of his company over the next few turns. He eventually failed company morale with only a few models remaining. The final score was 6-1 for me.

Game 2: Encounter
For my second game I player Roy in Encounter. Roy is a new player and a reader of this blog (so he obviously has great taste and character :-P). He was playing a tank company with a platoon of Panthers and the usual mix of Panzer IVs and artillery and panzergrenadiers. The table was split down the middle by a river. I initially pushed aggressively towards an objective defended by only the recce and ran my Panzer IVs away from the Panthers. His reserves all engulfed my Panzergrenadier’s as they reached the objective and over a few turns they completely decimated them. Fortunately half the platoon was back on my objective. On the other side my Panzer IVs eventually came on and double timed twice to get into his end. I eventually assaulted the guns off of the objective and survived the Panther fire in return to get a 6-1 victory.

Game 3: Counterattack
In the third game I played Sean from The Mini War Room. Sean and I have played various games together for five years or so. It was fun to play him again. Sean was playing a Fortress Italy Panzer company with lots of Panzer IVs, some Panzer IIIs, and some StuH42s. I deployed only my two panzergrenadier platoons as I wanted the half-tracks on the board (foolishly). He drove up and blazed away at me with the StuH42s and sent the Panzer IVs to take out my reserves. My reserves lost the battle with the flanking forces and my panzergrenadiers got shot off the objective and broke from the StuH42s. I bailed a lot of tanks but didn’t bail any platoons. The game finished with a 6-1 victory for Sean. You can read Sean's tournament report on his blog, The War Room.

Game 4: Cauldron
On day two I played Rich and his Tiger company. He had 5 Tigers, 5 Panzer IVs, and panzergrenadiers. His Tigers clumped together with scattered reserves and he got his Panzer IVs from reserve on turn 1. He jumped my Panzer IVs and quickly knocked them out. He then aggressively assaulted my Panzergrenadiers who fortunately stopped the assault with the tank hunter teams. It then turned into a grind with him trying to shoot me off the objective and me trying (unsuccessfully) to break his Panzer IV platoon with my own Panzer IVs. We played 17 turns with him unable to take out many Panzergrenadiers. On the last turn he destroyed 2 Panzer IVs and 2 Pumas with 4 shots. The game finished with a 4-3 victory for me.

Game 5: Fighting Withdrawal
My final game of the day was against Shane’s fortified grenadier company. This was Shane’s first tournament using a fortified list and he was having a tough time of it. He has to leave early and so I played aggressively to try and end the game in under two hours. I pushed everything except my Nebelwerfers up the middle of the board to assault two of his objectives at the same time. I avoided his heavy artillery and got infantry and tanks into his lines on turn 3. It was quickly over after that. The game finished with a 6-1 victory for me.

Gottacon was a lot of fun. It was cool to see the painting displays for other systems. It was nice to meet up with some people who have visited this blog and who recognized my models. The Flames of War tournament was good. It would have been nice to have a few more players and to have played Red on Blue (as we were short an Allied player). It was fun to play some games with panzergrenadiers after previously only playing with tanks. I like my list but I think I will add some Panthers or try to get the list up to 8 platoons for the next tournament.

Up next is Glen’s annual Kelowna Flames of War tournament in Kelowna, BC on April 8th. It is a one day, 3 game, 1900 point Late War tournament. I have some more painting to complete before then for my own company and for a friend’s. For myself, I need to paint a Panther platoon, 4 half-tracks, and some crew models.

I’ll post up in the next few weeks with some pictures of my panzergrenadiers and my painting progress. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Nice report Cameron! You army looks fantastic, really well done.

    FWIW I've played Lehr Mech since they came out and I tend to find 3-4 Panthers works well in the list, depending on points. They can give you an edge that allows your main assets (the infantry) to clean-up weakened tank platoons. They also attract lot of attention, which can be a good thing as it keep attention off the infantry and/or Pz IVs.


    1. Thanks. I'm definitely going to try out the panthers. I think they will be better when defending. I bad trouble with medium tanks and heavier at the tournament.

  2. Sounds like a great day of gaming. Where did you finish in the end?

    Your army looks fantastic on the table btw. Hard work has definitely paid off.

    1. I think I was the second allied general and 2nd most victory points overall. Glen, who I play regularly, finished with 4 6-1s and a 5-2!

  3. Nice pics, and even nicer looking army!

    We would have loved to have seen some of your FoW stuff in the painting competition. The minis in the cases got quite a bit of attention throughout the weekend, and it would have been great to show people just how amazing models in this scale really can look.

    1. Thanks Kelly. I brought a panther to enter but totally forgot to enter it on Saturday. Have you guys thought about adding a 15mm or historical category? I loved that ogryn that won first.

    2. Well, we're up to four categories at the moment: Single, Large, Group, and Open. The new one was Open, as someone had tried to enter some lovely green-stuff sculpted miniatures last year, but we couldn't figure out how that would work in a "Painting" competition. The answer was to create an Open category where people could enter all sorts of dioramas, terrain, sculpts, etc. Perhaps a small battlegroup in 15mm, or a diorama in that scale would do very well, but even the FoW units and singles have been impressing the judges and con-goers for the last few years.

    3. I can think of another venue where FoW stuff would be very well received, and that would be the IPMS events. There's a Fall Show in Burnaby, right next to Metrotown Mall, that is very well run, and very well attended. I was fortunate enough to attend in 2013, but that looks like the last year I'll be able to, as my in-laws have decided that the new family tradition will be to have Thanksgiving weekend across the border from here on.

      My coverage of the event:

      Their page:

    4. The diorama is a good idea. I'll use a different company for my games next year so I can enter some of my Germans.

  4. Smashing stuff - well done (and I suspect your painting could've done rather well in a 15mm competition - especially if marked for 'character')!

    1. Thanks drax. I think flames was the only 15 mm game there. I'm always reluctant to enter in open competitions as flames of war models look so drab next to fantasy and sci fi models with wings and lasers and things.

    2. Panzer IV+wings+lasers+things = win.


    3. Hahaha. Maybe I should paint some of the imperial guard ww2 inspired tanks. Or just add wings to a panzer IVs...


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