Operation Corona 2021 – Recap

Tournaments are back! After multiple delays, Operation Corona took place at the world-famous home of the Crazy Bitz Guy, the Toledo Game Room in Toledo, OH. The event had a great turnout with 14 players throwing down for three games. This particular tournament was run in a format I had not seen before:

– Game One: 750pts – Platoon 1
– Game Two: 750pts – Platoon 2
– Game Three: 1500pts – Platoons 1 and 2

Each player brought two separate 750pt Army Lists. For Game 1 we used our first Platoon (could not include Tanks) and in Game 2 we used Platoon 2 (no restrictions) with the final game combining both Platoons. Each Platoon had to be led by a different rank of Lt, Standard Reinforced Platoons only, no Tank Platoons were allowed and any Free Units were only added in Game 3.

This was a unique twist on the classic one-day, three-game tournament. I truly enjoyed writing my Army List for the event and it made me think about my force in different ways. Each of my platoons not only had to stand alone for a game but had to also be effective together, which made it a great exercise in List construction. If anything, I’d like to see this format leaned into further – really make that first game a ‘combat patrol’ style recon clash and follow it up with the second game as a standard battle and finally the third game bringing both elements together for a large battle. For Game 3, maybe only allow the ‘recon’ platoon to be deployed and the second platoon must all arrive via Reserves. Lots of interesting ways to go with this format.

The List

Let’s take a look at what I brought to the tournament. Keep in mind, Platoon 1 was used in Game One, Platoon 2 was used on Game Two and then both Platoons combined for Game Three.

German Standard Reinforced PlatoonPlatoon 1
Second Lt – Vet
x1 Buddy
78
Heer Veteran Grenadier Squad – Vet – 7 men
x2 LMG
x2 Panzerfausts
141
Heer Veteran Grenadier Squad – Vet – 7 men
x7 Assault Rifles
x3 Panzerfausts
141
MMG Team – Reg50
Med. Mortar Team – Reg
Spotter
60
SdKfz. 234/4 Heavy Armored Car – Reg180
SdKfz. 251/1 Hanomag – Reg89
Total739pts
German Standard Reinforced Platoon Platoon 2
First Lt – Vet90
Heer Veteran Grenadier Squad – Vet – 7 men
x2 LMG
x2 Panzerfausts
141
Heer Veteran Grenadier Squad – Vet – 7 men
x4 SMGs
x2 Panzerfausts
116
Medic – Vet30
Sniper Team – Vet65
Nebelwerfer 41 – Vet78
Motorcycle with MMG Sidecar – Reg40
StuH 42 – Reg190
Total750pts

Game One – Double Envelopment – Paul (US Engineers)

Always fun playing the winter Germans on a jungle table! Game One was against Paul and his US Engineers.  Our objective was to move our units off the opposite table edge (3pts for getting off the table, 2pts for ending in the opposite Deployment Zone and 1pt per kill).

Paul had two squads inside of Trucks and at the top of Turn 2 he zipped a loaded Truck off my table edge with a 24″ Run. And just like that, I was down 6-0. Paul was playing with extreme aggression and I needed to do something to hold the line. Luckily, with two of Paul’s units off the table, the Order Die count just got even (7-7). For the rest of Turn 2 and Turn 3, I held the line. Just minor movements and positioning to plug any gaps. And then, on Turn 4, with many of Paul’s units Pinned and stuck, I made my move.

I advanced across the board, everything pushed forward without stopping. I had Paul’s’ remaining units fixed and poured on the fire. The key is that I didn’t stop moving forward. If I was unable to destroy a unit, I just kept moving. I was able to get four units off the table (12pts) and killed four units (4pts). Paul was able to destroy one of my units bringing his total to 7pts.

This was a super tense game for the first half before it tipped towards my favor. The first half was on a knife edge and could have gone either way. Couldn’t have asked for a better first game back.

Result – Win

Game Two – Key Positions – Matt (British 8th Army)

This was a rough one for Matt and his Brits. We played an objective control mission, and I was worried right from the start that my two Infantry units would not be enough to take and hold the objectives from Matt’s four beefy squads of nine Regs – I was outnumbered almost 3:1! However, at the end of Turn 1, my StuH 42 got that hot 6 and hit one of his squads with a 3″ HE and eliminated all but two of the squad members. The following turn, the Neb struck a second squad with a 3″ HE and blew the whole squad off the table. At the end of Turn 3, my SMG squad arrived from Outflank and put three Panzerfausts into Matt’s quad-autocannon AA Truck, and blasted his Lt off the table with SMG fire. Even with the solid plays Matt made, it just wasn’t enough to cover the losses. When looking at the state of the game, Matt was down to only three Order Dice, with little hope left, Matt conceded the game at the top of Turn 5.

Matt is a champion. He didn’t get outplayed, the Chicago Dice were hot and I had a few lucky hits that completely swung the game my way and he couldn’t claw it back.

Result – Win

Game Three – No Man’s Land – Arthur (US Glider Troops)

Top Table for the final game, not a situation I am familiar with. Additionally, we were about to play a 1500pt game, a large game by any account! And this was after already playing two games – I was feeling the fatigue. That being said, the mission was simple, straight kill points. I’m not usually a fan of kill point games, all too often this mission drives players to turtle up and that results in a pretty boring game. But at this stage of the day I was happy to play a simple mission. Plus, neither Arthur nor I had any interest in playing it safe. Right from the beginning we both moved forward, trying to get into a better position to engage.

We traded long-range fire from our vehicles and support teams for a few turns before the bulk of our forces got within range. The small arms battle was furious in and around a large farmhouse that controlled the left flank. We both threw multiple squads at it, more than one bloody close combat took place and I was forced to retreat as his Outflankers tipped the advantage towards the US. For all six turns the intensity stayed high, there was not a moments respite. Deep in Turn 4, Arthur had a couple bad breaks on critical Order Tests and it brought his force to a halt, stuck in his back right corner. Seizing the opening, I pushed forward hard with two Infantry squads and the StuH 42 – aced his Sherman and laid waste to his infantry.

By this point, the battle had swung solidly in my direction and I was up by four in the Kill Points. Arthur made some fantastic tactical moves but his dice had gone cold. He simply couldn’t deal enough damage to remove my units. At the end of six nerve-wracking turns, I held onto my lead and the game ended 10-7 in Kills.

That was one hell of a game. Arthur is extremely skilled player and I truly thought he had me beat.

Result – Win

Results

After the insanity that was Game Three I was sitting on 3-0 for the day! Not bad for the first tournament in well over a year. After the dust stetted and scores were announcement I won Best Axis – thrilled with the result! There was not a Best Overall announcement, but Jeff (the TO) did mention the winner of Best Allied had edged me out by one Kill Point (Jeff used Kill Points for ties).

The Armies

I snapped a few photos of the forces I particularly liked during the Paint Judging. Sadly I didn’t catch the names of some of the players. In the top left, this Partisan army won Best Theme and you can see why! The civilian car with the added bullet damage was a great touch. I didn’t get a photo of the entire US force in the upper right but the MMG Jeeps / Trucks with the Marine crew really jumped out at me. And finally there was a gorgeous Comet tank with supporting British Airborne that I was really digging. Word around the room is that the Comet was a serious threat! I wasn’t familiar with its stats but like the Panther, it counts as Armor 10 in the front!

Final Thoughts

I was impressed with the event. You can’t argue with a 14-player turnout. Sadly we were running behind schedule but I’m sure that’s a result of all of us not having played for quite some time. The two 750pt games were my favorite part of the event. The 1,500pt game was a bit overwhelming. With a few tweaks the two small games plus one big game format really could be something special.

The Toledo Game Room is a fantastic space to play. Plenty of room plus dead space between the tables to keep your gear / dice / books / etc. That being said, we needed more terrain. As a TO, I know how hard it is to get tables together for a tournament. It’s a massive hassle. But these tables needed some work. The terrain we had was great, we just needed more. There were very long lines of sight and large amounts of wide open ground. Units could barely move without running through open terrain. This is the area of opportunity for next time.

I truly hope there is a next time! I spoke with many of the players and they traveled from all over to play – Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit. The desire to play in events has clearly not diminished during the lock-downs. I feel this was a great event to start the tournament season up again and I am excited to see where it goes from here.

2 thoughts on “Operation Corona 2021 – Recap

  1. Dear Chicago Dice Folk,
    Alex and I from Colorado sure do miss you folks (Andrew, Dexter, Paul, etc) ! I haven’t played Bolt Action since the last Adepticon 😦 . Being vaccinated now, are their any summer tournament you folks plan on going to? Maybe we can coordinate? Bug Eater?

    Also, what about the good book of Saga? Any bearded Chicago Dice folks interested?

    I hope everyone is well and it is good to see that tournaments are starting up again.

    – Neely

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neely!

      It’s been far too long. Hope you are doing well! As it turns out, yes! Dexter, Ben and I are making the trip to Bugeater in June. Paul is taking a hard look at it as well.

      I’ve been wanting to play Saga for years. I’ve got models already, but I need to get them painted. I’m thinking Adepticon 2022 will be the year I finally get into a Saga event.

      Great to hear for you brother!

      Like

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