Southend and Shoeburyness Wargaming Club (SSWG) held a two day, five game themed bolt action tournament on the 25th and 26th of January 2020. The tournament was team based with ten teams each of three players, battling it out to be crowned the 2020 Three Good Men champions. The event was possible following an expansion of the club which now has 18 6ft by 4ft tables available and allowed us to roll out our best WW2 scenery.
The star prize was the Three Good Men winners’ mugs and three WW2 cap badges.
Format and scoring
The formant was for the teams to be split into five Axis and five Allied forces who would play five rounds of games against the opposite side, meaning they’d play against every one of the opposition teams, in blue on red games.
Five points would be scored for a win, two for a draw and one for a loss (zero if a player conceded). An extra point could be scored by completing a secondary mission such as taking an additional objective or eliminating the opponent’s officer. The highest scoring player would win best general and the highest combined score for a team would win the overall tournament.
SSWG was lucky enough to host a wide range of teams not only from across the UK but also from Europe-
Representing the Axis were:
- East Coast Gaming from Lowestoft, known for their Seagull has landed event in September
- Team Deutschland including the German skipper from their national team
- Warlord sent three of their best to represent the company and support the event
- Birmingham Spitfires team included award winning painters and tourney organisers
- The good the bad and the ugly was a team of friends from across England (Portsmouth to Nottingham!)
Representing the Allies were:
- Southend “Cannon fodder” the home team and host
- Pegasus hobbies and gaming from Monmouth in South Wales
- Brogue squadron who drove over from Belgium Saturday morning!
- Colchester Crusaders also from the county of Essex
- Surrey Spartans, the most improved team of the tournament
The army lists
Army lists were constructed using 1000 point single reinforced platoon lists that were historically themed (the approach Alessio recommends for tournaments). A few theatre selectors were allowed but only after comping to ensure they weren’t unbalanced (so no Stalingrad lists or Indian’s in British Western European kit!). Players could also make changes that would not normally be allowed to a list if it increased historical theming (Rangers could take a second bazooka for example). This meant the tournament consisted of thirty lists, fifteen Axis and fifteen Allied which were well balanced and somewhat historical. Other restrictions such as limiting a force to a single MLRS (eg a Katyusha), two flame throwers and restricting mini maxing for points were in place. This did lead to some lists being adjusted ahead of the tournament but ensured the winners would be those with the best tactics (and luck) and not the best list builders.
When two teams were drawn against each other the team captains would pick tables and pair their players for the three games. Where the game was historically themed, such as a US Rangers at Normandy list vs a Late War Panzer Grenadiers list, there were Osprey book spot prizes for the winner.
A complete list of the armies present is below, which despite the restriction on theatre selectors produced a wide variety of lists.
The Good the bad and the Ugly
German-5th Gebirgsjager Gustav line 1944
Italian-132nd Ariete 2nd El Alamein 1942
German-Charlemagne SS Berlin 1945
Italian-132nd Ariete remnants Tunisia 1943
German/Hungarian-8th SS, 22nd regiment Siege of Budapest 1945
German-Das Reich Normandy 1944
East Coast Gaming
German-Panzer Lehr Bulge 1944
German-9th SS, Graebner Arnhem 1944
German- 2nd Pz, 304 grenadier regiment Bulge 1944
German-1st SS LSSDAH Spring awakening 1945
German-90th Leichte division Gazala 1942
German-1st SS LSSDAH Spring awakening 1945
German-90th Leichte division, 200th Inf regiment Gazala 1942
Italian-Pavia division El Alamein 1942
German-Sonderverband 288 Tobruk 1942
USA-5th Rangers, with 29th division support Normandy
British- 1st Parachute Division Arnhem- Ossterbeek pocket 1944
Russia- 81st Guards Kursk 1943
British- 47th Royal Marine Commando 5th troop The Scheldt 1944
Finns- 3rd Division Continuation war 1945
British- 3rd Infantry division, Normandy 1944
Pegasus games and hobbies
USA -Army winter war, 12th army group Bulge 1944
USA- 442nd Regiment Nissei, Monte Cassino 1944
British- 47th Commando, 8th Armoured Normandy Gold beach 1944
Poland- 10th Motorised Black Brigade Poland 1939
Belgium- Defence of Belgium 1940
Russia- 3rd Airborne Corps Kiev 1941
British- 6th Airborne Division Operation Varsity 1945
Russia- 262nd Rifle Division Vitebsk 1944, Bagration
USA- Big Red 1, 5th Ranger support Battle of Hurtgen forest 1944
Key match ups
After bacon and sausage rolls for breakfast round one (key positions) saw team Deutschland and Surrey Spartans both score a maximum of 18 points for the Axis and Allies respectively, steam rolling Southend and the Warlord team (who fielded two lists including veteran Tiger 2’s).
Lunch was followed by round 2 (using a house created mission) which saw Deutschland suffer their first loss in a Das Reich vs Poles match up, whilst Surrey slipped up scoring only one win with their 5th Rangers list beating Panzer grenadiers from the Bulge. The good, bad and ugly caught up and moved to second behind Deutschland with three wins against Southend.
Round 3 was no man’s land with bonus points if you killed a Tiger. Ten of the fifteen games ended in draws with players being careful not to let their team down. This included three draws for Deutschland which allowed the good the bad and the ugly to go one point ahead of them with wins from their Italian Ariete division list vs a Belgium army list.
At the end of day one several teams were just behind the leaders, including Pegasus with a good surge to fourth and Surrey in third. Sunday opened with a lot of sore heads after Saturday night’s pub crawl and round 4 (point defence) which saw five draws and seven wins for defending sides despite changes being made to try and assist the attacking force. It may be time to drop this mission from our tourney packs?
Birmingham were the highest scoring team with their defending North African DAK and Italian Pavia division both winning whilst their attacking Sonderverband force forcing a draw. However Deutschland managed 13 points with two wins (including an ex Fallschirmjager player beating an ex Red Devil who claims he was hampered by playing with Americans) and took top spot into the final round.
Surrey moved to second just five points off the top whilst the Good the bad and the ugly had a disastrous round scoring only five points. Round 5 was sectors, a mission that rarely produces draws and so there was still a chance for Deutschland to be caught.
This was certainly the case when their unbeaten 8th SS (cavalrymen who’d eaten their horses!) lost to Colchester’s Royal Marines. However the other two lists Das Reich and Ariete division delivered wins.
Surrey Spartans needed three bonus point wins and they delivered two of these but their Russian 81st Guards army lost to Birmingham’s 90th Leichte Afrika Korps.
And so Team Deutschland, having flown over from Dusseldorf on Friday and returning at 6pm that day, were champions with best general going to Jonny Curran from the Surrey Spartans, with four wins and a draw.
Surrey finished second, only five points behind with the good the bad and the ugly third.
Best themed award went to Stuart Willis with his Sonderverband list.
A selection of images from the tournament