Shifting Sands 2019 Event Report

Shifting Sands 2019

Shifting Sands 2019 Event Report
with Jon Halter

On one beautiful Weekend in Mesa AZ Shifting Shifting Sands 2019: Operation Market Garden was played out between two even groups of Axis and Allied players. Could the Allies do better than their historical counterparts or were they always destined to try to go a Bridge too far? 

Operation Market Garden was just the latest event in a long line of themed campaign/events hosted by the Arizona Desert Rats. In the past we’ve stormed the beaches of Normandy, fought in the cold of the Battle of the Bulge, Invaded Russia, and even had NATO take on the Warsaw Pact.   

The event saw gamers locally and from out of state gather for 2 days of Flames of War goodness. For this event we played with Version 4 rules and used the old and still excellent version 3 Market Garden books. The event was 5 rounds of Axis versus Allies on themed tables, including a Centerpiece table including Arnhem Bridge. Set up this table was 10 feet long

Shifting Sands 2019

Shifting Sands 2019

Most Shifting Sands events have some type of campaign and/or firestorm component and it has varied from hyper detailed and upscaled strategic maps to upgradable custom tank Aces skills. For this event supplies were the keys and all players played a version of a beanbag toss. Squaring off against their opponent to toss Bean bags, sewn by my wife, into a drop zone (Hula-hoop).

With a snack bar run by my daughters and lunch being delivered both days on location we kept everyone gaming, happy and fed. Depending on the round being played one or both players might receive a bonus, scenario effect or nothing. (A lot of players seemed to draw the “Extra berets supply crate”) Other bonus included auto passing one movement order, a free re-roll, or even getting an extra unit like a Sherman or StuG. 

Shifting Sands 2019

Shifting Sands 2019

The Campaign itself started out rather one-sided with the Germans badly beating the Allies in the first three rounds of the event. XXX Corps was finding the road to Arnhem slow going. The last two rounds saw the Allies surge but it was too little too late. Good play by the Allies saw them Snatch a German Major Victory from the Axis, giving them a minor Victory and a result pretty close to history!

One of the great advantages of the campaign-based event like this is the comradery that develops among the teams. It’s not a standard competitive tournament where it’s every man for himself, rather people get invested in everyone’s games, from the points leaders to those at the other end of the score card.  

Congratulations to Ira Gray and his Tiger II heavy list. He played well and crushed the Allies at every turn.

Top General: Ira Gray
Top Allied General: Art Mehler
Best Painted: Sean Young
Best Table: Jake Halter

Shifting Sands 2019

Putting on an event like Shifting Sands takes work from not just the tournament organizer but all of the members of the Arizona Desert Rats. I’d like to give a special thanks to all those who helped make Shifting Sands special this year. And a special Shout out to Battlefront for not only helping to promote Shifting Sands but also providing some great prize support. While we haven't finalized plans for next year, you can rest assured that Shifting Sands will be back and better than ever!
~Jon

Shifting Sands 2019

Shifting Sands 2019
Shifting Sands 2019 Shifting Sands 2019


Last Updated On Thursday, February 7, 2019 by Alexander at Battlefront