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					                               The Connecticut Game Club

                                            The Variant
                                                  The monthly newsletter of the CGC
                                                                                              Volume 1
November 2006
                                                                                              Number 1

     SCHEDULED                 Not

2 p.m.

Title: Rocket Man
Host: Matt Roos

Rules: Basic

Description: (Fill in with
your best William Shatner)
She…packed my bags last
                               Contributed by Tom Richardson
night… preflight…Zero
hour..nine a.m….And I'm
gonna be HIGH!!…As..           Actually, this may not be.
I’M A ROCK..ET MAN             Upper Deck Entertainment and Blizzard Entertainment have collaborated on
Rocket man Burnin' out his     what may be the easiest and most fun to play TCG on the market:
fuse..Up here…ALONE !

                               The World of Warcraft Trading Card Game
Each player picks randomly
from 30 ships and goes
                               The main mechanics are similar to most TCGs. Put resources out to pay for
ROCK hunting on or around
about 15 asteroids and blow    cards to play that protect you and can hurt your opponent. However, there
things up!!! (WOOOO-           are some interesting gameplay mechanics for WoW.
REAL GOOD !!!! )               You are represented by a hero who has different abilities and hit points from
Buy and sell ships and so on   other heroes. You can play ANY card in your hand as a resource (just play it
and so on and so on . . .      upside-down). You can out a QUEST card right side up as a resource, then
                               exhaust (or Tap) as a resource, or you can exhaust enough resources to
                               "complete" the quest (the reward is usually to draw 1 or more cards). There
~ 8 p.m.
                               are special loot cards and point cards that you can redeem for items that you
                               can use in the WoW computer game.
Title: 26th Hal Norman
Memorial Auction               There will be special "Raid" decks in the future (the first coming out later
Host: CGC                      this month) that will pit 2 or more players against a "boss" adversary.

Yes, it’s that time of year.      Aside from your hero, there are only 4 other types of cards:

                                        Abilities: of which there are some that any hero can use and some that only
Look through your closets,               specific classes of heroes can use and others that can only be used by a certain
basements, garages, and                  faction. (Factions are either Horde or Alliance, just like the MMORPG)
attics for any games or                 Allies: They protect your hero and can inflict damage to your opponents’ allies and
related material you wish to             heroes. Most are faction specific. There are a few that can be used by any faction.
sell, and bring it to the               Quests: To be used as resources or "completed" for special rewards.
auction.                                Equipment: Includes Weapons, Armor, Rings, Trinkets & items your hero uses.

There will NOT be a per item
                                  I have played the game at the Release Celebration held at Gaming etc… in
registration fee.                 Stratford, and have found it to be the simplest TCG I have ever played. It
                                  does not take a long time to learn how to play, and each match did not last
                                  longer than 45 minutes. (We were using just the 30 card pre-con decks
Tabs will be given out FREE
                                  plus any usable cards from 2 boosters). I would be more than happy to teach
of charge (limit 12).
                                  anyone how to play at the meeting (providing of course I'm not too busy
                                  setting up for the Auction)
The club will collect its usual
10% fee for items sold.

(NB: Hal isn't really dead, he
just departed for greener
pastures in California and
hasn't been heard from            TANKS
                                  Earn Their

                                  Contributed by Mark McLaughlin

                                  Flames of War After Action Reports: Although they
                                  took place at the Pittsfield Miniatures Club the
                                  following two FOW replays are included because
                                  CGC members participated.
                                  It was a classic confrontation. Two battalions of Guards Tanks versus two
                                  companies of Panzers. 5,000 points a side. Over one hundred armored
                                  vehicles in a pure tank battle (well, not PURE tank: there were self propelled
                                  guns and some recon cars around, but everything was under its own power –
                                  nothing towed, nothing walking). We agreed ahead of time that there would
                                  be no airpower.

                                  It was a meeting engagement in an area of low rolling hills with some light
                                  woods. Three of the hills were crowned with a ruined building each. One
                                  was dead center of the rectangle, and one each at basically two o'clock and
                                  eight o'clock. The goal was that, starting with the end of turn six (the
                                  Russians going last) whoever held two of the three objectives at the end of
                                  the Russian turn would win.

                                  Germans move on first, two platoons per company each turn. Russians move
                                  second, two companies per battalion each turn. Units had to come on the left
and right thirds of their side of the table, not in the middle.

My panzer company had a platoon of Mark IIs and a recon platoon of
armored cars, plus three small mixed platoons, each of a Mark IV and two
Mark IIIs…and I had a Ferdinand and some StuGs. I face James, who came
up from the CGC for the night. He had T-34s, KVs and SU-122s, plus a unit
of T-70 light tanks.

The other panzer company was led by a newcomer, a pal of Owen's named
Eric. It was his first time playing FOW, and he was very excited to play, as
he knows a lot about WW2. I gave him the company that was built around a
platoon of four panthers. His second platoon had a pair of Mark IVs and a
Mk III, and he had a platoon of MK II's plus a platoon of MK II – L scouts
and some StuGs. Opposite him was Dave with T-34s, KVs, SU-76s…and the
Russian hero tank driver Maria. (Hell of a command tank that one!)

I came in on our right and led with my StuGs and Ferdinand, and sat them on
a hill. James raced in toward the objective. On turn two I brought in two of
my mixed platoons. In the long range duel I knocked out a single T-34…but
then we started to mix it up. I moved slowly forward in the center. He tried
to flank me. Lots of T-34s died. He set up his SU-122s on a back hill on his
side for support, and sent his KVs to flank the center objective.

That was THE key move of the game...

At first the panthers performed miracles. Popping off Dave MacRae's tanks
left and right. Eric picked a nice hill for a firing position. Unfortunately, the
move by James' KVs gave the KVs flank shots into the Panthers – brewing
up two of the four. Dave with his superior numbers swamped Eric and got
another Panther...as well as the MK IVs and the Mk III.

But then Eric fought back hard and brilliantly, backpedaling and using his
remaining panther with great effect. Over the next three turns he wiped out
Dave's KVs, turned back his T-34s and killed Maria!

Eric then sent a flying column of Mk IIs (eight total between the regular and
recon platoons) in a mad dash for the Russian rear – and the objective there.
He took on the Su-76s and got one…but Dave had kept a T-34 company off
the board…and that together with the SU-76's doomed the little old Mk
IIs...but those MK IIs bought time for the remaining panther and StuGs to
blunt Dave's main force.

I sent one of my three mixed platoons to take on James' KVs in the center,
and to try and take pressure off Eric. I also tried a flank move with my MK
IIs and the armored cars. They ran into the T-70s...which are better tanks,
and proved it, to the detriment of the old Mark IIs. But my StuGs and main
battle tanks, plus the Ferdinand, took a massive toll of his T-34s and SU-
122s, and got the battalion commander and a couple of the KVs.

Then, with Dave and I each holding one objective, James took the one in the
center. Of all the turns to fail the storm trooper move, this was the one I
failed…so at the end of my move I had only two tanks within the 4" area of
the central objective…and they were Mk IIIs at that…and on the Russian
turn he poured everything on them, and they died…and with them gone I did
not have anything in the objective area to dispute control...and the Russians

We did 5000 points a side, 7 full turns, with four guys – one of whom had
never played before – and came to a conclusion, all in just over three hours.
And it was a great game, with lots and lots of dead armor on both sides.

                              STALINGRAD II --
                              The Panzers
                              Contributed by Mark McLaughlin

                                On Friday night we met again at Stalingrad.
                                This time it was the Russians on defense. A
                                Russian Strelkovy Battalion of 1800 points,
with a possible reinforcement of up to 600 points, was ordered to hold the
Tractor Factory, Lazur Chemical Plant and Krutoy Gully – headquarters for
the sector. The Battalion, all conscripts, included two under strength and one
weak infantry company, a tank-killer AT gun company, an under strength
machine-gun company, an AA company and artillery battalion, plus a well-
equipped headquarters company (with AT gun, AT rifle and AA sections).
The force had its full compliment of Commissars, with every company
having its own, plus a battalion Commissar – and special sniper Zaitsev (i.e.
the man Jude Law played in `Enemy at the Gates.')

Protecting the Tractor Factor was especially important, as on its assembly
line were the Battalion’s reinforcement – its Tankovy Company of 8 T-34s.
Each turn the Russians would roll a number of dice equal to the turn number.
For each 5 or 6 rolled, a T-34 would be available in the factory, up to the
maximum of 8 (600 points).

True to history – and the spirit of the game, the T-34 models were NOT
painted, but were just primed (the Russians actually sent T-34s off the
assembly line, out the door, with nothing more than an undercoat of paint,
often with mechanics who had built it as the crew --- average life expectancy
for such `crews' was literally measured in hours.

To attack this strong position, which included numerous ruined houses,
railroad embankments, wrecked train cars, rubble and many prepared gun
pits, the Germans had 3000 points – half in Fallschirmjaeger, half in Panzer.
The Germans also had total air superiority (and bought priority at that) as the
Red Air Force was not available for the battle.

The Germans were allowed to have their mortars and artillery in prepared
positions at the table edge. Everything else had to move on. Germans went
first. The Russian artillery battalion at first took a beating from the Luftwaffe
and the 105's that Joe Lotano bought to support the Panzers that he and Mike
Dono led. Matt Webster used his 81mm mortars to drop smoke to cover the
advance of his Fallschirmjaegers, led by Van Der Heydte himself, into the

As Matt advanced, Joe provided a base of fire in the center with one of his
Panzer companies, while Mike took the other Panzer companies, plus an AT
gun company and a pair of StuH self-propelled guns against the tractor
factor. At first all went well, until Dave popped up the tank killer company
out of ambush at the factory. Those, plus the arriving T-34s, took out Mike's
five Panzer Mark IIIs and Mark IVs. The StuHs, however, turned out to be
nigh invincible.

Mike drove on. One StuH ran into the Russian Headquarters’ Company's
mobile AA guns – and toasted two of the three truck mounted AA guns, then
turned into a building, where it killed some infantry. Unfortunately, it got
bogged down and was hit on four sides by AT rifles, AT guns and even a
76mm "crash-boom" gun from the arty batty that Dave MacRae rolled up to
finish it off. Still, at the end of turn six, one StuH was left, and as it was
within 4" of the Tractor Factory, the objective was by the rules "contested."

In the center, Joe's Panzers pounded then finally drove in on Phil Spera's
right-hand rifle company, the one holding the chemical plant. It was an
uneven contest, and the company finally broke and fled – only one of the
five panzers was out of action, thanks to the AA guns mounted on the roof
and sides of the plant. Joe was almost within the 4" range of contesting the
plant, but as he could not reach it, pulled back to the cover of the railroad
embankment (as three T-34s were approaching from the far end of the
chemical factory.) Although bereft of infantry, the plant remained firmly in
Russian control.

The real drama of the day, however, was in the Gully. Matt's advance under
cover of smoke, then heavy mortar fire and even aircraft on Phil's other rifle
company decimated the conscripts. But Phil, brave lad, counterattacked with
the bayonet. Although the Fallschirmjaegers are far better troops, hitting
their opponents in hand to hand on a 3 or better, vice 5 or 5 for the
conscripts, the conscripts kept on coming…and eventually drove the
Fallschirmjaegers back – and even killed Van Der Heydte himself! (A key
incident, because if Van Der Heydte had lived he could have rolled to try to
reform units of that platoon who were eliminated – but, being dead, he was
unable to resurrect the `nazi zombies' as the guys called them. Phil's attack
was a costly one however, as reduced to four of its 24 bases the conscript
company eventually collapsed and left the field.

That left the handful of remaining Fallschirmjaegers (5 bases) a clear shot to
the third of the three objectives – the command post at the edge of the gully
– nothing, that is, except crack sniper Zaitsev, who popped up in time to pop
the leading German base and pin the platoon. As turn six drew to a close, the
Germans were still a move shy of the command post which, since it began
Russian, remained Russian.

A very close victory for the Soviet Union. And a costly one. Of the 8 T-34s,
two were brewed. Three of the 8 guns of the 76mm battery were destroyed.
Two of the three AA trucks were knocked out. Although all of the AA and
AT guns survived, of the 90 bases of infantry (including AT rifles, HMG and
light mortar crews, officers, observers and Commissars), 56 were "in the
box" at the end of the game. Two of the three rifle companies had broken.

The Germans lost a Fallschirmjaeger platoon and two panzer platoons, and
of course had used up their airpower (well, they had one die left). A close,
close and fun battle! (I moderated and provided the beer, soda, pizza and a
ceremonial shot of vodka for one of the German commanders)

PS: We seem to have come up with a good ratio for the attacker- defender
when prepared positions etc are in play: 5-3-1. For every 5 points the
attacker gets, the defender gets 3 on the table and 1 as reinforcement. In the
last game we had the Germans bring half of their reinforcements on
automatically on turn 2, and roll for the rest on turn 4 (1 die turn 4, 2 on turn
5 etc – with them coming in on any 5 or 6.) I did this one a shade differently,
as I thought it added a unique flavor to the game – and made the tractor
factory all that more important, for if it fell to the Nazis that would have
been the end of the T-34s. As it was, all 8 did finally arrive, but three of
them never fired a shot.

Next Monday, we will be doing Russians versus Italians – the Russian attack
in December 1942 on the Italian 8th Army, which held the left flank of
Army Group South in the Stalingrad campaign. This one just might break the
Italian winning streak, as none of the wonderful toys the Italians are used to
having in Sicily, the Italian mainland or North Africa are available….still, as
the Bersaglieri war cry goes, Avanti Savoia!

How to contact us:

CGC website: http://www.ctgameclub.org/

CGC Yahoo Group http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/CTGameClub/

Officers Directory:
President: Andy Zartolas salotraz@aol.com
Vice-president: Ritch Flynn (203) 261-1480 ritchflynn2005@yahoo.com
Treasurer: Lou Cerreta (203) 268-7770 louweege@earthlink.net
Secretary: Tom Richardson (203)-552-5597
Miniature Dir.: Roland Fricke (203) 271-2275 CGC-minis-sched@cox.net
Webmaster: Phil Spera (860) 738-2391


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