Rallypoint 2023 Flames of War Report

Rallypoint 2023 Flames of War Report

Nothing happens in New Zealand in the middle of October! Except for a National Election, an All Blacks World Cup Quarter-final, and Hamilton Immortals Rallypoint!

Rally Point Flames of War took place on the weekend of 14/15 October 2023 at the Cosmopolitan Club here in Hamilton. We wanted to engage players who don't usually attend tournaments. The feedback was a fun-based event rather than a competitive one. The tournament was a campaign based around the Battlefront Battle of the Bulge campaign cards. Games 1-4 would involve individual games and a play-off for best general, whilst those results would influence the pairings for the team game where more experienced players were paired with those less experienced to battle over larger tables.

We took it one step further and staggered the Army points limits for veteran players and those less experienced. A handicap system if you will. Those players with a podium finish in the last two years of gaming were limited to 80 points of Late War, whilst everyone else had an 85-point limit. In hindsight, we realised the point split needed to be greater, perhaps 80 vs 90 points. Coupled with that, commanders accumulated attributes during the weekend to use as they saw fit.

During registration, we noticed that experienced players were biased towards the Axis, posing a challenge in team balancing. To address this, we randomly awarded the Allies additional attributes from the campaign series packs, such as pre-game bombardments or extra flights of airpower. This added excitement and levelled (literally on one occasion) the playing field somewhat.

Game One – Surprise Attack (Breakthrough)

A decisive Axis victory, with 5 of 6 tables falling to the Axis.

Game Two - They must be Stopped

A specific mission from page 95 of the Bulge American book called Roadblock (this was an Axis attack mission) that many of our players had never played before and was a refreshing change. This mission saw the first of many random events dished out by the umpire, and a source of many chuckles as pre-game bombardments destroyed many perfect deployment plans. Despite this, the Axis hit their stride and won all 6 tables.

Game Three - Enemy Behind (Counter Attack)

A much closer affair with the Axis Generals, much more wary of those pesky umpire handouts.
By this stage, the games were much closer and the excitement rose accordingly with much laughter and some very close calls ultimately resulting in yet another and, this time extremely well-deserved Axis victory concluding Saturday’s playing activity. The play concluded with an adjournment to the bar for dinner and a review of the day's events.

Game Four - Through the Fog (Side Mission)

A delayed start due to the All Blacks quarter-final against Ireland. With a great result and the adrenaline still coursing through our veins, we commenced around 4, which in this case was a side mission designed to ensure Axis played Axis and Allies Played Allies to help determine the best general (Minor Prize) for the series. Again this mission was a surprise to the players and was selected from the BULGE book using the fog rules which created yet another twist. Seasoned players commented on how much fun the event was and the mystery surrounding each game added that extra interest to the series.

Game Five  - Bridgehead

This was the Team Event and a winner-take-all outcome regardless of the previous four rounds. The Allies were prepped, excited, and ready to have their final game against the Axis. But yet another twist was presented with tables being joined together creating 6 x 10’ x 4’ heavily terrain-ed tables. Teams were allocated time planning their moves with their opponents leaving the table for 5 minutes to allow discussion and an exchange of knowledge and tactics. This clearly rubbed off and the final round proved the most closely fought with several battles turning on a decisive last throw of the dice. However, the Axis secured a fifth and final victory.

Lessons Learnt:
  • The point differential between experienced players and those less so possibly needs to be a little bigger than what we proposed.
  • The umpire intervention and accumulated commander attributes kept experienced players on their toes.
  • The campaign theme and random scenarios were a crowd-pleaser as these are not often played. Old hands commented that this meant looking at scenarios in different ways and kept things fresh.
  • The less experienced players commented that they picked up a lot of rules, game dynamics and tactics whilst playing in the final team game, which enhanced their experience.
Congratulations to Stuart Johnson who walked away with the Best Sport award and a very handy Games Centre voucher. Glen Horsman was awarded Best General and lifted the Rallypoint 105mm shell casing. Furthermore, a big thank you must go to Kevin King, of the Club Committee for organizing the weekend.
Rallypoint 2023
Rallypoint 2023
Rallypoint 2023 Rallypoint 2023
Rallypoint 2023 Rallypoint 2023
Rallypoint 2023 Rallypoint 2023

Last Updated On Thursday, November 9, 2023