Interview with Stefano “Patella” winner of the 2018 blitz tournament
Interview with Stefano “Patella” winner of the 2018 blitz tournament

by Stefano “Patella”
BLITZ tournament winner

I open with a big thank you to Luca Garlaschi and the Ammo Drop team for having set up this beautiful initiative (a day of play, dedicated to a game I love, in a beautiful model-making exhibition in Verona)! And at the wheel An equally great thanks to Giulio Cazzoli, stainless scenario maker, game host and solver of doubts “ready on call”!

Of course, a huge thank you also to the whole crew of the Italian Dust players! It’s only the second time I meet you, but every time you have fun like crazy! I am also happy to have met some of you that I had not met before, and to have hired weapons with many new (for me) players. I hope we will have other opportunities besides the next Modena Play!

I must say that given the large number of veteran players present at this tournament, I did not think I could reach this position … I am naturally happy
of the result, but given the competence of the other players, touched with the hand (and dice) during the games, I know that part of the result was also due to luck (which this time smiled at me). I expect a very tough fight at the next national tournament, which will be my first!

But let’s move on to the analysis of my troops. Here is the strength I deployed:

Block: Axis
Faction: Luftwaffe
• Platoon: Fallschirmjager platoon. The platoon allows airborne units to parachute at a minimum distance of one (instead of two) from targets
Cost: 74 points, +7 bonus points (invested in the hero Kurt)

And here are my units:

FSJ Battle squad
The basic unit of Axis para. Thanks to the combination of its 3 assault rifles, machine gun and Fligerfaust it is very effective against infantrymen and also has a good anti-aircraft fire, but it is useless against any armored vehicle of rank 3 or higher.

FSJ Anti-aircraft squad
Like the battle squad, but with one less MG and one more Fliegerfaust. Since Fligerfaust can save this, it allows you to place a lethal blow against aircraft or infantrymen, even if you have to reload later.

FSJ Tank-hunter squad (2x)
My favorite para unit. It costs 8 points, like the other two, but it combines a bazooka with the Fliegerfaust, and in addition it has two Panzefaust (which if used can be recovered with an ammo drop). Although in fact it can only hit one tank attack before it has to reload, the damage it can develop is considerable.

Expensive hero (12 points), but with two great advantages: enormous firepower against infantrymen and planes (improved assault rifle + Fliegerfaust), and the “infantry ace” ability, which can allow a third action. Especially useful the first round, when you get on the field and the first action is necessarily a nothing.

The indispensable! Its firepower is not remarkable, but it has the “quick recovery” ability that allows you not to “burn” the first action of an airdrop with a nothing. So where Galeazzo parachutes, it is certain that he will be able to act! In addition, he is an “officer”, although it is rare to be able to use his ability (he tends not to survive for long …), but sometimes it is possible and certainly does not hurt.

A quiet 7 point hero, the cheapest of the FSJs, which I got with bonus points. It is especially useful because it brings an infinite Panzerfaust, in which it is an expert.

Hero put as support, given that no parachute. Having flying fists that march 6, charge and damage the wagons seemed to me useful on my list, very anti-infantryman and anti-air. Then he has damage resilient, and as a player with SSU experience, I couldn’t help it!

Only block unit present. Given that in 50% of the scenarios of the Blitz tournament infantry was vital to achieving the objectives, it seemed useful to me to have a robust half-rank 5 capable of setting flames 2 squares apart. The “clearer”, if you want to call it that! 🙂

And here is also the match report.

Match 1 vs. Rosario Scammacca
We immediately started the day on the difficult: it was the hardest game for me. Rosario has deployed allies, especially the Marines, and his strength included the much feared and cheap demolition squad (which when you get underneath it takes you two units without batting an eyelid), a Bulldog driven by Crazy Jimmy, and the hatred of all players Allies: Sgt. Victory. I had a lucky opening and I immediately managed to remove the demolition squad from my expenses. But then, trying to keep my thirst for blood at bay which usually leads me to jump to the opponent’s throat right away, I misplaced my pieces and Rosario was smart and took advantage of the opportunity I left him , setting up the target house with Sgt. Victory at the door (as the saying goes: “a dead man is better at home than Sgt. Victory at the door”). I had to work hard and good to put the best of my fire on his barricaded units, and in the end I managed it thanks to a good dose of luck that allowed Goliath to bounce a lot of the fire immediately with its damage resilient and a unit of parà reduced to the light of surviving at home … Victory on the wool thread, with a very modest drop of destroyed army points. Rosario finished third in the tournament, and I have no trouble understanding why. If the dice had turned differently, I really think that the first or second position would have gone to him.

Match 2 vs. Giuseppe Scammacca
Well, after the game with Rosario, the match with his brother could not be missing! I was pleased because I hadn’t played with either of them yet. Giuseppe, however, had a great misfortune: he deployed a list of paratroopers allies (as from the last changes to Dust Enlist, which suppressed the old SSB faction). My match mate on Sunday, Gabriele Berruti, was expecting nothing but this variation, and in one of our friendlies he lined up a very similar list. We have seen that on small lists between allied paratroopers and paratroopers there is no competition, because the Axis puts out more fire volume and brings more hit points into its units (even if the allied phaser is a bad cat). Probably on larger lists the math changes, but the game in the tournament went just like our friendly: parà ally jumps in the face with parà axis, then parà axis jumps in the face with parà ally, and so on …. but while the allied units disappeared, those of the axis remained to control the square. As you can imagine, a game parà against parà is so bloody that it becomes a deathmatch. In fact, we both beautifully ignored the excavations that we should have investigated … I am convinced that with a different list, the game would have gone very differently, and I hope that Giuseppe and I will have the opportunity to confront each other again.

Match 3 vs. Giulio “Caz” Cazzoli
Finally a match against the legendary Caz! A little bit my heart cried though, because Giulio deploys SSU (in Chinese sauce, in this case) and I also play SSU as well as Axis. But war and war, and you don’t look at anyone. In this case, the goal was to bring as many units out of the game as possible. My units, however, would have yielded very few points if “saved”, so I preferred for an approach of brutal aggression (my thirst for repressed blood returned in the morning) even taking into account the not excellent mobility of the SSU forces. A couple of shots are good for me, pulling the PT-47 and Giulio’s command team from the table right away, and the Carrier with the Fakyeli inside shortly after … even if their shotguns and flamethrowers tear my team to pieces. Furthermore, his Type 47 with the extremely mangy Tesla practically nailed me two teams throughout the game. Fortunately, net of the airborne Fakyeli, the Chinese teams on foot did not have enough mobility and range to become dangerous, and so I got away with it. A prece for the poor Phoenix, barbarously killed in a ruin while she was alone on her own, and which unlike the vulgate has not risen from her ashes at all! Maybe because it was peeled instead of toasted …

Match 4 vs. Gabriele “Gabro” Berruti
Eh … the most feared match … the sound of the inevitable … With Gabro I try more or less once / twice a month in our weekend games. On the other hand, we had already tried this mission with lists similar to those played, so there was a bit of sense of deja vu at the start, and much more once the initiative shot was taken. I won and I chose to attack, just like in our test. Since the paratroopers are a bit disposable, I thought I would have had a good advantage with two re-entries. Like my previous opponents, Gabro also played Allies, with USMC infantry units, a Punisher led by the hated Dizzy, and the most hated anchor Sgt. Victory on the list. I know from experience that getting Victory off the table quickly is almost impossible, so I concentrated my efforts on the Punisher, who with a little effort went belly up. Gabro gave me a hard time with a USMC dog unit (when one says “Allied dogs”, he literally means it!). Aside from the initial blows I managed to inflict on him, Gabro got busy and swept the whole list, except for the Flammluther. The returned units had to be damned in the hunt for the Sergeant (fortunately already wounded before) who, for once, died! Great jubilation for the removal of the Axis’ worst enemy (heard all the way to the stand, because of my beautiful scream), and the game was won! If I hadn’t won the initiative, and if Victory hadn’t cracked (once again!) Things would have turned differently … but that’s how it went!

Final thoughts
I think this was the first edition of the Blitz (if not, Luca and Giulio correct me!). I hope it will repeat itself, as well as the “small” comparison occasions other than the Play, such as the Polvaron in which I participated in January and the Grief in which I have not yet taken part (but in which I am counting on doing it). Beyond victories and defeats (at Polvaron I took them sonorously) the nice thing is to see new lists, to try your own lists, and to play with people equally passionate, but with whom you cannot often meet.

More generally, I hope to see the community grow. I was pleased to get in touch with other players and have had the opportunity to discuss our common passion, in terms of rules, background, lists, artwork, future releases, etc. Nice to know that in addition to the very next occasion of the Play, we can now keep in touch also through the Ammo Drop forum! For me, who are anti-Facebook, there was a lot of lack of a more traditional platform.

It would be nice, in the not too distant future, to see the community grow a little bit even in this part of Italy (Piedmont), while for now I see that the bulk of the players are east of Milan. We hope that events like this will soon raise the numbers of our ranks!

Thanks again to everyone for a nice Saturday game. Tasty and tasty, and see you at Play!