Shifting Sands Photos!

Well, I've just got back from the USA where I got to play in the Shifting Sands 2013 Battle of the Bulge event, put on by the hardworking Arizona Desert Rats. It was a fantastic even and no doubt I'll have more to say about it in the near future.

But truth be told, I'm shattered, exhausted, and have a cold. So for now, here's some photos and my brief AAR copied from the event's thread on the BF forum. I'll have a more comprehensive report in the days coming, especially once I get back to work.

Oops. Sorta ran out of wire Captain!
Game 1: 
Vs: Mark Francis
Mission: No Retreat
Result: 1:6
FS Troops: None, but Mark had some Panthers

Notes: Mark's troops pressed toward the objective at good speed, revealing some pretty dire flaws in my defensive line. Still, my troops rallied and put up some resistence, getting close to at least breaking Mark's only platoon on the objective through firepower.

Unfortunately, he had the "Luck of the British" with that last platoon, rolling something like 15 consecutive infantry saves! Oh well, it was a good game and we still got a lot of turns in. I guess it was fate after our pre-Sands game result (5-2, US that time)!

These (Trained) guys survived an entire salvo of MG fire behind the gunshields by several Panthers, only to be gunned down to the man by .50cals from the front by captured Greyhounds!

Yikes! Terrain!
Game 2: 
Vs: Tim Knapp's CV Volksgreandiers
Mission: Fighting Withdrawal
Result: 6:1
FS Troops: 1x US Combat Engineer Platoon (heh)

Notes: I'll be honest and say I didn't think I ahd a chance on the table we were playing on. It was incredibly dense terrain-wise and there was no lines of sight greater than 6"/15cm, and virtually no where a team could sit unconcealed and in the open. So I chose the side of the table with the best open areas and hoped for the best. The HMGs in the engineer platoons were knocked out early, making me even more nervous as Tim's troops were virtually on top of the objective in turn 2. It was a massive furball fight, and somehow I managed to escape losing a platoon, but I was badly depleted. Still, the objective was mine and Tim's troops were unable to recapture it in time.

This game truly ranks as one of my favorite games of FoW of all time. Many thanks to Tim and his boys for traveling out from Los Angeles to play!

Engineers and Tigers dance to the death!
Game 3: 
Vs: Anthony Nagel's SS-KG Peiper King Tigers
Mission: Encounter
Result: 6:1
FS Troops: None

Notes: King Tigers! While I could theoretically take care of them, I only had bazookas, a towed TD platoon and some artillery that had, at best, a 1:6 chance of KO'ing one out via top armor. However, Anthony played the game cautiously and a few bold assaults by my infantry might have influenced this strategy, perhaps. It bought me enough time to finally KO a KT and a pile of Ostwinds with my 105s and TDs and press for an objective with an Engineer platoon. Once again I managed to avoid losing any platoons, so a 6:1 was the result.

If you look closely on the RR embankment,
you'll see the deed done by that heroic 57mm!

Game 4:
Vs: Anthony Pham's SS-KG Peiper (more King Tigers!)
Mission: Breakthrough
Result: 6:1

Notes: This was a hard-fought battle. I took some risks, such as some At The Double moving that miraculously paid off, despite five Pz IVs showing up to MG an Engineer platoon (I lost 5 teams out of ten). I was able to get all of my troops into position just as attack came in. I managed to destroy the attack in detail, while keeping some KTs occupied with 90mm and 57mm guns (one of the latter actually KO'd a King tiger, bypassing a facing turret with a single shot that went through and passed a FP check!) I lost my 105s, but with 10 platoons, I was able to absorb the loss and still grab 6VPs.

Tim had a wonderfully painted army.
He also plays Saga, so he's pretty cool.

Game 5: 
Vs: Tim Parker's CV Volksgrenadiers
Mission: Free For All
Result: 6:1
FS Troops: A US Combat Engineer Platoon (again!) Tim had a Volksgrenadier platoon as well.

Notes: A very bloody game which saw nearly half of my platoons below strength. My Morale rolls were great even if my Motivation rolls to assault were crap. I managed to contain Tim's attack on an objective (it looked pretty impossible at the start!), and then lash out and capture an objective myself on the opposite flank, however he had only a handful of command teams left at this point. It was a close game, despite the result, and Tim was an excellent opponent!

From a Firestorm perspective, It was great to be defending Stoumont-one of the villages defended by the 1111th Engineer group! 
In the end I surprised myself by winning Best General, which as a great result. I didn't think I had a shot after that first game, but those Engineers are pretty resilient. I want to thank Jon Halter and the rest of the Arizona guys for all of the hard work they put into the event. I was truly my pleasure to get to participate in such an excellent event. Thank you!

Shifting Sands 2013

Finally, if you have a moment, you should drop by Jon Halter's blog and have a look at the photos of the event he's been posting.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great photos. Looks like it was an amazing event. Good results for you as well. I am now following Jons blog so thanks for that as well.

    1. Thanks! Jon's blog is great. I love his X-Wing stuff too, and I might even have a crack at painting up Rogue Squadron.

    2. That was probably the highest concentration of winter tables ever; very cool. Top notch armies all around, too. Are more events like this being planned?

      I especially liked the V2 rocket objective with the checker board pattern in the photo on Jon's blog.

    3. The tables really made the event. The guys did an excellent job on them and they were really fun to play on, especially when we used the winter rules with them. Great time!

      I'd love to run a Market Garden one soon. I need to get with a few coworkers and hammer out a plan, but I'd really like to do a Firestorm event here.


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