Brixcon 2008 was on Saturday 7th June 2008, at Brixworth Village Hall in Northamptonshire
For 2008, the twist was that we had to provide three completely different armies. The opportunity to play with toys that are not usually allowed to religious fanatics was too good to resist. My 3 armies charted the dubious career of Captain Evil, King’s African Rifles, from his progression to Dictator and final slide into Charismatic Religious Supervillainry!
Edited highlights and thoughts: I painted the “12:1” logo on my tanks in 2008 as a piece of Ju-Ju, and a trophy from 2007’s lucky die rolling.
The Tradewinds Outdoor prize was for the small truck, technical, or small wheeled vehicle that had the most figures riding on it. Phil Steele was the worthy winner, crowding 21 figures into a long wheelbase Land Rover!
The helicopter was awesome (I took a Westland Wessex model) – not for its effect, as it pottered about on the baseline trying to raise enough speed to go and bully some enemy militia – but for its devastating morale effect on the enemy once it finally got up to speed. It single handedly held off two nasty professional tanks with new guns and soaked up an unrealistic amount of fire, stalling what could have been an awkward enemy flanking attack until it was too late to matter.
The towed gun could have been really good had I deployed it properly. As it was, I set it up in the open only to see it blown away after one shot. This nearly cost me the battle in the centre, but I was saved by tanks and my mortar.
The tank/infantry combination saved me as usual. For me, the value of tanks is that they can accompany infantry in to the objective to provide supporting fire in the critical pre-assault move. they usually have enough armour to survive anything smaller than another tank gun, and they add key morale negatives onto the enemy. I was confirmed in my prejudice that the newer guns can inflict a defensive mentality on the owner as he backs away in order to maintain his range advantage against advancing standard and older tank guns.
I was so used to playing with two regular units, that I forgot that I had a third one this time around and counted them as militia. Doh! They played as if they were regulars though, and passed all morale checks with flying colours.
The terrain was very open but with a pyramid in the centre of a huge built up area template. This forced a slow slog across the centre of the board which irritated both participating players. (Note to game board designers – terrain like this looks good, but it does not give a good game). I was attacking again, so I put no objectives in the built-up area. The defender sensibly avoided it too, so we played on a doughnut-shaped board with a sticky treacle centre.
My helicopter turned up late but made a satisfying nuisance of itself again.
Back with my religious army, so felt pretty comfortable for the final game. The pace of dice rolling on this game was slow, but it would be unfair to blame my opponent as it was the third battle of the day and we were playing on a diorama-quality board with rocky river and hills. This unfortunately resulted in quite a few “cocked dice” with subsequent re-rolls.
I’ had played on this terrain before as an attacker; it posed a difficult tactical challenge as the bridge was the only route for vehicles to cross the river. This more-or-less forces the attacker to place the objectives around the bridge or risk being forced to attack from the wrong side of the river. Paul Smith had made good use of it against me two years ago, but this year I had learned the lesson and squeezed a win out of my opponent.
One of my units turned up trumps when they gained an upgrade of 4 RPGs and proceeded to tear through a professional infantry unit in close assault. I was really impressed! I think it rather took the heart out of my opponent as he might reasonably have expected to win that battle. We had had some discussion on the RFCM group about the use of RPGs and when the +2 bonus should apply. All I can say is that they are very useful now, so I shall be using more of them.
Sadly, This proved to be my last-ever competitive game of AK47. Always leave ’em wanting more! I still play the odd game, but the heart was rather taken out of our gaming group when the rules were upgraded and took us three rather than two hours to play. It was a deal breaker for a midweek social evening game. However, it was an unexpected and very real pleasure to see Martin Goddard up in Wellingborough for my 60th birthday game.