Thursday. Well, what can I say. Got the 8.40 train out of Newcastle and a mere 6.5 hours later I was in Bournemouth. There were a good few people already in attendance and the Kiwi Hotel was it's usual excellent and welcoming self. Decided not to squeeze a game in first night as basically knackered afte a busy week.
Friday. Shaun Carter offered a guided tour round Bovington Tank Musuem. Two car loads of us made the trip and it was well worth it. Shaun knows his stuff and it was informative and I got lots of pictures of tanks :-) I'll try and post a few later.
I'd intended to playtest the Kohima module i nthe afternoon but delays in printing stuff meant it never really got started so ended up playing Derek Tocher at Village of the Damned from Mark P's Few Returned pack. It was my first game in while and Derek is one of the best UK players so I wasn't hopeful of a victory. I setup too spread out and the random blazes allowed a rapid advance. I didn't have a huge amount of luck with the dice but that really just meant I lost a turn or two earlier! A fun scenario and I would play it again.
Saturday. As the main tourney kicked off I played Tim at Church Knoll, a new scenario from the Kohima module. IJA on the HOB I and II half board 'knoll' with 5 pillboxes and Brits attacking with only one mortar and an ATR. A couple of smoke get placed by SSR at the start but as the IJA had setup back a little it only helped a little. As my troops ascended the hill and rossed the crest line the smoke cleared and the enemy opened fire. The INF gun scored a couple of criticals and as I attempted to lay smoke to cover the attack with my only mortar it broke on it's first shot and never repaired. It all went downhill from there. The scenario needs a little tweaking e.g. extra smoke but has the makings of a good one.
Later we played another Kohima scenario, Wakey, Wakey. I'd played this a Blackpool as the IJA and one so this time took the Brits. First turn is Night as the IJA enter and try to take out 3 Lees and support in laager. They made a rapid approach but I managed to get crew in two tank and they sat with support firing point blank into the assaulting Japanese. I had some good dice and when my reinforcements arrived it was evident the attack had run out of steam. Again, a little tweaking needed but that's what the playtesting was for!
The evening saw me sticking together the sections from the new Kohima HASL map to make up the Hospital Ridge and Tennis Court area. The map is shaping up nicely and I'll post a section here once I have the OK. Didn't get time to play on it but have the files at home now so will be printing it again to try soon.
Drank a wee bit too much on the night and had some good chats with various people - part of the attraction of the weekend. Bought the CH Total Axis pack, which looks interesting, and Uncommon Valor, which I've fancied for a while.
Sunday. The final round of the tourney took place and as I planned to get an earlier train I decided not to play but to have a little reorganise of my Game System markers. Hoping to put a core system together in Raaco with just German, Brit, Russian and Amis. As I'm also planning on setting up a big game at home it will give me the excuse to punch and clip my new BV3 and FKaC. Now if only Yanks will sell out so I can get some lovely new counters!
So, as ever, IF was a great weekend. Inspired to play more I met up with Neil, my regular (only) live oppo last night and we played LSSAH9 Forest Through the Trees. I took the SS moving up board 36 across mined roads/bridges facing dug in Russians in pillboxes and trenches. Never really got started. Couldn't clear the mines and every time I ran my 8ML and 9ML leaders through 6FP mines they pinned and broke and it all juts went very badly. 6 turns in and I wasn't even half way. Some great moments though and a good reminder of how fun ASL can be even when on the recieving end!
I'd like to see more AARs from IF attendees. It was a good turn out this year with a Texan and Aussie vying for furthest travelled. Looking forward to Blackpool where a serious playtest of Kohima is planned!