Summer Break – It’s a Wrap!

Well that was fast! Christmas and New Years Eve have been and gone, and its back to grinding, twerking or whatever the kids say these days (certainly not back to work!). Over my Summer break I met up with Sean & Scott for a couple of games at The Games Cube – both were very different! Sean & I played a a late December tribute, to the famous final offensive, the Battle of the Bulge. Scott wanted practice with his future 1750 Late War army, and I was more than happy to be road-kill for him (hardly a speed bump either…).

Below are a couple of pics – no AAR’s I’m afraid as I didn’t take enough photos!

Onto game one – both lists from Devil’s Charge – a great book with some competitive, fun and very interesting units. Sean was sporting his neat 150th Panzer Brigade with disguised Panthers, Skorzeny commandos and the ME262. I brought the US 2nd Infantry Division with captured 15cm arty, Jacksons, Calliopes and Chaffees (with the bare minimum of bazookas in the entire list!).

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Aerial Reconnaissance of the Ardennes

We rolled up No Retreat and with Sean being Always Attacks it was up for me to defend, picking the forested end of the board.

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I defended the forest-ed edge of the village, somewhere around Bastogne

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“Can’t understand why Jerry left these behind!”

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SS Panzerkompanie vs Tankovy

With a free Sunday up our sleeve(s), Manni & I met at The Games Cube for a late war battle. I was bringing a SS Panzerkompanie from Atlantik Wall, spearheaded by two HQ Panthers, a platoon of Panthers (with Ernst leading the platoon), Full Panzergrens with two fausts (led by Meyer), three SS Nebs and a pair of Pumas – don’t get much in 1750! As I don’t have any SS infantry painted… yet… Manni kindly lent me his American riflemen to ‘sub in’

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Beginnings of our village

Manni brought Desperate Measures Soviets – 10 T34/85s, A platoon of 5 T34s with 5 T34/85s, Spetz with a faust and five SU 100s! (Whole company was CT).

We rolled Fighting Withdrawal with my SS dice actually winning the role off to attack. Manni picked his long side and we were off!

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Thankfully the Games Cube has a stack of terrain, we’re using about a third of what was available

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Good job on the set up, Manni!

Onto deployment:

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Veteran Soviets? Nice little objective campers

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’85s guarding Manni’s left

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looks like a used car lot… Note the philosophical chap to the right

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‘baby’ platoon holding the middle

With the SU100s in ambush, and only the Spetz on Manni’s right flank, I set the halftracked Grens after the Spetz, to be supported by the nebs (guarding Ernie’s workshop)

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Half tracks good to go! Let’s see what this mounted assault is all about…

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Puma’s on the road to screen the Panthers and prevent that nasty SU 100 ambush

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CO Joins the ‘grens – and rolls Top Ace; I’ll take every shot counts thank you!

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Reece move down the road – Sod Off SU100s!

Turn One:

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CO Moves out to take a pot shot at the baby T34 platoon

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Panthers fan out, Pumas leading the way

Nebs fail to range in on anything and Every Shot Counts misses completely. Manni starts his turn by popping the SU 100s, and not where I expected them – I had assumed these would gun for the Panthers, but Manni brings them on to bring pain on my grenadiers…

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SU100 Ambush!

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85s movin’ on through the woods

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A couple throw tracks on their way in

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Baby platoon moving out

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SU100s light up the half tracks and I fail most of the saves – infantry down to half in one turn!

Turn Two:

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Wary of the T34/85s moving through the woods to the right, the Panthers keep their flank protected and gun for the baby platoon

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With no MGs, the Panzergrens decide to get stuck in – one kill, one bail first round…

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Boom! That’s more like it! Manni keeps the assault going, and Kurt’s 2+ kept me in it. I can’t bag the platoon, but the SU100 threat is over (or so I thought)

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Nothin’ like Commie Tanks Burnin’

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T34/85s make it through the woods

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While the baby platoon move out to crack side shots on the Panthers!

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2IC & Barkmann with his platoon, woefully exposed. This is gonna hurt…

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Spetz finish of Panzer Meyer. 1-0 on platoons for Manni!

Unbelievably, the baby T34s whiff all  of their shots – Manni managed five rolls of one in a shooting phase reminiscent of my old WFB days.

Turn Three:

Predictably, the Panthers (and the Pumas) return fire. This is my attempt at rolling firepower…

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First attempt, ‘cocked’, second attempt, ‘wtf’, third attempt BOOM!

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Special kind of rolling this…

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Unlike Manni, my Panthers are on target, gutting the baby platoon

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Ernst and his boys stormtrooper to bring their front armour up towards the 85s

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Spurred on by the slaughter of the baby T34s, the 85s move out to swarm the Panthers

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CO moves out to pop the 2IC!

Predictably, the CO misses the 2IC from point blank range (got to love Hen & Chicks and Veteran targets). The Panthers bounce the other T34/85 shots easily.

Turn Four:

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Pumas move out, objective hunting

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2IC shows the Soviet CO how its done

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Pumas stormtrooper move to the objective, while Barkmann & Co retreat to prevent ’85 side shots

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With the game in the balance, the T34/85s have everything to do at the start of Manni’s fourth turn

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Manni poised for action

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The T34/85s can’t get shots on the Pumas and the Panthers bounce whatever comes their way

Remember that sole surviving SU 100? My CO and the Soviet assault gun traded hits for a couple of turns, Manni missing me, and bouncing all of my shots. Until…

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Brewed Up! The SU100 grabs its prize

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Start of my fifth and the Pumas snatch victory 5-2 to the Germans!

This was probably just the second time either of us had won a game that wasn’t 4-3! Unusual for our games, I lost just the one Panther (still 20% of my armour, however), and aside from the beaten grenadiers, my platoons were all intact.

Still not 100% convinced the SU100 ambush was the most effective use of the cat-killers – killing three halftracks and four infantry stands and then to lose 80% of the platoon to said infantry, seems like a poor trade off.

While the recce did screen the Panthers, there were still plenty of buildings perfect for a ca-killer re-roll ambush – and I was in the open – bye-bye Barkmann & Co! The baby T-34 platoon could then leave the mid-field to support the Spetz, and I’d have been up the creek.

Enjoyable game, despite the heat. SS list was fun, but needs a second recce unit (and to be fair, it was only Manni’s rolling that kept the Panthers alive). Manni, as always, was an enjoyable opponent – onto our next battle!

MOAB AAR

It’s funny who you get to play in big tournaments. I’ve been to several events and have never played Ryan before (who was famous/infamous for running Otto’s Tiger 1e’s very successfully). Top bloke and I’m glad to finally get a game in with him. As it was, my round three draw was Dust Up and I’d be taking on Ryan’s new focus – Bridge by Bridge SS (KG Arnheim), looking something like this:

HQ with schrek
SS-Aufklärungs Platoon
85. Grenadiers with schrek
SS Heavy with 2 MG42s
2 Königstigers (for a whopping 690 points!)
3 StuH42s
2 SS PaK40’s
Sporadic FW 190F

Ouch – from the get-go I knew this list would be trouble for my light tanks. I started with the guns, infantry and one Chaffee platoon on the table, with me recon, TD’s and the other M24s coming on from reserve. Ryan left his StuHs, Aufklärungs and MG42s in reserve. Fortunately for my, the KTs only rolled clever hands. Unfortunately for me, with Pak40s, schreks and KTs blocking the way, I was unlikely to hit Ryan’s objectives early on.

Onto deployment:

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Ryan’s tough-nut-to-crack corner

Lucky for me the KTs bagged ‘clever hands’. Relief!

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Ryan had air – ARV doin’ its baby-sitting thing…

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PaK40s and Grenadiers. Plus the odd fasut/schrek. Looks like one safe objective to me!

Turn one

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KTs on the move

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The AOP ranges in, naturally I miss with the artillery.

Not much happens in turn one. Lots of hiding on my part – Ryan moves the KTs out aggressively..

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2IC takes a pop shot. Needing a roll of a one to save the tiger, Ryan, naturally obliges.

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In order (Red, Black, Red) – Hit, Save, Firepower!

At the end of turn two, killing one KT (and not dying in return) is the grand sum of our efforts thus far. Ryan starts turn three by bringing the StuHs on, right opposite objective held by the US Infantry…

 

 

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Trouble!

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The artillery had ranged in each time, but was yet to score a hit. The StuHs made them pay.

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The KT Commander protects its flanks from my likely tank destroyer arrival

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My first reserves – Chaffees move to outflank the KT…

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While I send the CO and original Chaffee platoon after the StuHs. Such a threat cannot be ignored for long.

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Ranged in, again. With two guns firing the outcome is predictable.

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The Chaffees to their best impression of whiffle-ball; hitting the StuHs once! Ryan bounced it with ease, and then turned their guns towards the hapless M24s. Predictable carnage

Ryan really blew the game open here – although I kept the platoon alive (one tank was hiding, I forgot to move it!, and it passed the platoon check).

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In response to Ryan’s domination on the left, I bring the TD’s on and go Tiger hunting

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Cav Recon on as well. These boys zip up the road to annoy harass Ryan’s infantry in a turn or two.

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Ryan’s KT moved to engage the flanking Chaffees, but copped an M10 round in return!

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The SS arrive an assault the infantry – one bogging on the way in, of course!

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Bounced! The Bazookas do their job. Forcing the assault back and nailing a few casualties in the process

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Artillery ranges in on a new, priority target – and bags a StuH!

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SS try their luck again – though pinned, the Bazookas do their job again!

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SS taking a beating

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Which leaves the job to the StuHs – who promptly annihilate my infantry. Game to Ryan!

To my right I had the Cav Recon, M10s and Chaffees desperately trying to clear the grenadiers – but I couldn’t get into assault range or bag the Panzerschrek. I did manage to kill the PaK40s, giving me a second platoon, and a 4-3 loss.

This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable games of the tournament. Ryan stated later that he probably should have assaulted with the StuHs, with their skirts and (relatively) better armour; can’t say I disagree, although I probably wouldn’t have assaulted at all, and just let those breakthrough guns do the talking! It was a great game to play – Ryan’s dice did most of the damage, either failing to save Chaffee shots, or bogging on the assaults – it certainly provided us with plenty of entertainment!

 

Devil’s in Action – Chaffees Game 1

First game out with the little Chaffees that could and I’m up against cheatnadian Canadians, run by Australia’s (current) No.1 Ranked Canadian player, Alex.

Alex ran a Rifle Company from Market Garden; two platoons with Kangaroo APCs, a mixed Carrier Platoon (Wasps/Universal Carriers), an Armoured Recce Platoon with one Firefly, 4 M10 17pdrs and 8 25pdr (trained) guns. Ouch. The 25pdrs, with rof 2, AT9 and turntables could pose a massive threat to my paper tanks.

I went with my MOAB Chaffees. I know some people don’t like playing blue vs blue, but at a Grand Tournament like MOAB it’s almost inevitable. This would be a good test to see how I could deal with Veteran opponents (and those with excellent special rules to boot).

Alex rolled Free For All and I won the roll for attacker, picking the heavier forest side to protect my light tanks.

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US left flank – rifles and captured guns

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US middle – Chaffees, Recon, TD’s. The other M24 platoon is on the far right guarding the wheat field objective

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Oh Canada… right flank, infantry, 25pdrs (Land Mattresses moonlighting in this game) and ‘real’ M10s.

Knowing the full potential of direct fire 25pdrs, Alex spread the artillery out between the two objectives. Meaning I’d need to hit the guns either way, to take the game.

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Canadian left flank

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Canada in the middle. Featuring Adam’s painted terrain

I left my right flank minimally defending on purpose; I was hoping to tempt Alex out of the forest with his firefly’s and mounted infantry to swarm my M24 platoon – who would in turn be supported by my other Chaffees and M10s. Alex didn’t take the bait (a rather expensive fishing trip!), so it was up to me to bring the game to him!

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M24s, recce and TD security move out behind the forested cover

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What a juicy target for the AOP to spot… the captured guns hit two M10s and bail one… not a great start for the artillery

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Recce keeping their eyes open

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Alex returned fire on my guns, ranging in and… missing. This would be a common theme

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After remounting his M10, Alex moves them up, wasting the M24 platoon command and bailing another…

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With Alex’s M10s in the open, I pop my TD ambush and waste the platoon. 3 kills, a double bail (Canada passes) and a failed platoon check. 1-0 at the second!

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Chaffees move up to tempt Alex..

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Carnage on turn 2!

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In my haste to find a good ambush location for the TD’s, I failed to account for a) range and b) Semi-indirect Fire. Alex ignores the wheat field Chaffees and brews up the M10s – three kills, one bail (sound familiar?). I pass the motivation check to stay around, but get blasted on Alex’s next turn

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‘Roos move out…

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Canadian recce disengages as I go for cheap kills

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With Alex ranged in on my guns, the AOP goes for the staff team, and a couple of Shermans…

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The staff team save (pinning the arty) and the two Shermans bounce the AT5 rounds… this would also be a recurring theme! The SMG infantry dismount and move up to the objective, while my Chaffees knock the wasps out.

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AOP switches to the infantry, bagging two stands

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Got too close! The chaffees whiff their shots at the infantry, and cop a couple of Firefly rounds in return

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Alex still ranged in…

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… and misses my two (non-dug in) guns

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I clear out the Recce and Wasps to go 3-1 up on platoons – looking to get Alex under, I move up to snipe the Firefly and the other Shermans at range. I kill two…

 

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… but Alex passes motivation… again. This firefly fights on to brew up my wheatfield Chaffees and ice the other platoon. 3-3 at the death!

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Arty update… Alex finally hits my two remaining guns, who fail their save and the platoon runs off, bringing me under half. I promptly fail my motivation, 4-3 Alex!

As with all of our games, Alex and I really gave each other a bloody nose. I failed to use my infantry in the game, and really need to get them into the mix. Chaffee speed was quite useful (expected) but their gun… proved better than expected. Having played most of my games with AT 14 or above, I was concerned at the comparatively weaker AT 10, but with stabilisers boosting the shot volume, the Chaffees had no problem picking up a few kills.

I’ll need to use the TD’s more successfully too – it was a waste just going after Alex’s M10s (especially when I could have ambushed them where they wouldn’t get seen) – but using these takes practice… exactly what this game was for!

Cube’d Moose – AAR Round 1 – 2nd Panzerkompanie vs Sicherungskompanie

So the Games Cube‘s 1250 Late War tournament was this weekend – and it was a great event. Disappointingly, only Mitch wore team ‘colours’ despite there being some five Northern Sydney Stormtroopers in action (for my excuse, I blame the designated washing person.. er.. who happens to be me too).

When the dust settled there was some great fun had – and even better, the Stormtroopers bagged 3rd (equal second), 4th, and equal 8th (twice!).

My own tournament started brightly and faded by day’s end. In the old days of GW events, if I won my first round this would be the end of the tournament for me. Sadly it looks like I’ve brought that ability across to WW2 gaming!

Game one – Dust Up – was against Ben of Penrith Panzer Angriff fame – Mitch also faced off against Ry from PPA in round one; was this a battle of the websites?

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Ben’s Deployment – I’m hiding in the railway building to the left

I’ve seen Ben at tournaments enough to know he’s a top player (and a top bloke too) – I knew this would be a tough game. My list is discussed here. Ben, however, went unorthdox and packed both Sturmtigers and Brums, some RSO Pak40s, Panhards and… a bucket of reluctant trained infantry. I’ve never seen a Sturmtiger in action before, and certainly never seen them taken to tournaments. Despite it’s detractors, this thing is a beast – decentish armour, and AT 6 1+ FP on top armour. Yikes.

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Did someone mention Sturmtigers?

Ben opted to keep his infantry guns, Panhards,  Brums and Sturmtigers in reserve, meaning three platoons of police, the Von General and the Pak40s would face up against my Volksgrens, nebs, recovery vehicle and command tanks, as I left both Panzer IV platoons in reserve – hoping they would show up and cause Ben some problems.

Onto the AAR!

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German deployment – nebs (command in the hut) holding the rear objective – IVs taking cover from the Pak40s

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While the Volksgrens cower in the railway building – 6 stands of infantry is all that Ben needs to get past to win the game

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Ben moves out – three security platoons on the move, well supported by Von Saucken for re-roll motivation and the mobile AT Guns

The first couple of turns were quick – Ben surged forward and took advantage of the buildings to cover his advance. Needing a good roll with the Pak40 tractors, Ben turned towards my CO and…

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In revenge, I called my ME 262 – who successfully pinned the northern security platoon. The nebs pinned another platoon, bagging a stand but Von Saucken kept them motivated and they pushed on. Realising Ben could have Bunker-busters on by his third turn, my infantry bailed out of the railway station and took some pot shots at the advancing infantry. Unfortunately for them, Ben ripped into the platoon – pinning them and popping two stands.

Von Saucken assaults, I miss with the Panzerfausts, he misses his attack and I fail to counter… I break off, holding the objective with millimeters. The only saving grace – no reserves for the police forces – maybe the SWAT teams got lost on their way…

My third turn and I do get reserves – a full unit of Panzer IVs driving toward the rear (and unguarded) objective.  Could my Volks grens hold on long enough for the Panzers to win the day?

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Game changing (saving?) unit. Never been so glad to have these on the table!

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Northern security platoons – despite the CO’s re-roll, neither platoon would unpin this game

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Von General goes for the win… and suffers a Panzerfaust to the grill

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Ben gets his first reserves… Assault Tanks and Recce!

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Panhard side shots… they couldn’t, could they?

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Sure can! (or maybe a Pak40 popped this Panzer IV)

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Pak40s before my second reserves engage them…

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Sturmtigers finally make an appearance

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Have to show these again – awesome models with a great paint job. Ben’s army looked fantastic (and was my vote for best painted)

At this point – with a mere two (I’d lost another couple to Brum-fire) volks stands left – things were looking bad. I’ve not killed a single platoon of Ben’s – time to get serious. Both Panzer IV platoons were on, with the second moving up to relieve the beleaguered infantry. The other platoon secured the objective and collectively the eight Panzers cracked 3 of the pesky RSO Pak40s. They failed their motivation but a bailed and pinned Von General held their nerve.

Ben started his fifth turn with no chance of pushing me off the objective (and no chance of forcing company morale, which I’d auto fail); it was down to platoon kills. The Nebs became the target of the Panhards, with the commander zipping down to assault the platoon commander, crushing him under its wheels and then… bogging on the way out of the building – and thus not getting to the Nebs themselves, who were too far away to break off.

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At least we’re holding an objective!

The Von Saucken led infantry then assaulted my remaining grenadiers – killing them and getting the precious platoon kill.

Phoah that was lucky – despite insanely good dice rolling by Ben, he was dead-set unlucky not to win that, and win it comfortably. The Panzer IV reserves won the day for me as the Volks grens bought the tankers enough time to secure the back field. A real close call.

This game was a nail bitter – even when the first IVs arrived from reserve I was already in big trouble – I could have saved myself earlier had I double timed them, but I didn’t fancy my chances with all of the Pak40s in action. Thanks Ben for a most enjoyable game – one of the funnest and intense I’ve played all year.

Panzers to the Moose! A 1250 Tournament Review

cartoon-moose-9The Games Cube’s 1250 Late War speed flames was on this weekend (details) and instead of bringing a super heavy tank list, which I assume others will take, I’ve gone for the German Sherman; taking the 2nd Panzerkompanie from Panzers to the Meuse!.

In pre-tournament testing, three things were clear – having at least two platoons on the table (three of the missions have delayed reserves) would be key to staying in the game. Mobility and avoiding getting hit would mitigate lighter armour and ensure I can contest objectives – let’s face it, only a Jagdtiger or King Tiger would avoid being annihilated when shot at by other heavies.

Mitch proved with his own testing that Veteran tanks (T34s and other Finnish tanks) were quite resilient; needing 4’s to hit them at close range, and almost impossible to hit if concealed or at long range. Moreover mobility to engage and contest objectives (and stay out of line of sight) would be game critical – no point in having a big gun if you can’t hit anything! Spearhead with the 2nd Panzerkompanie will assist with my mobility (if required).

With all this in mind…

2nd Pz

Panzer Goodness

 

With only ten 7.5cm KwK40 guns at hand (AT 11) – hitting the flanks of the big tanks or using my infantry to assault would be key to winning games – against Sean my tiny infantry platoon took out both the CO and 2IC King Tigers (Panzerfaust assaults hurt!).

Pre-tournament thoughts; I think I can do something with this list but most importantly, learn how to use lighter/medium armour tanks in Late War. Let’s see how it goes!

What I’m really worried about is heavy armour – bringing ‘medium’ tanks to an expected Latewar Big Catz event… this might get ugly!

Mid War GT – Panzergrenadier Kompanie vs Medium Tankovy Company (Guards) – No Retreat

So, my forces have been forced out of the city and are now desperately fighting for survival. Will the Panzergrenadiers escape, or will their fate be sealed like the 6th Army? On the outskirts of Stalingrad, my Panzergrenadiers were accosted by a Soviet Tankovy Company – the Guards baying for blood after the annihilation of Papa Stalin’s namesake.

Round two and I was paired against Craig and his Medium Tankovy, appropriately playing No Retreat. I would be trying to fend off a rather large platoon of T34s, some Stuarts, three KVs and some armoured cars.

I chose the village side, to hide my tanks/Pak 40s and give me good cover to spring an assault on any Soviet tanker too close to the houses. Shane dropped an objective on the crest of a hill, giving me the opportunity to hide beneath it and dig in under the objective. Both infantry platoons dropped on the objectives, with the Pak40s covering the centre – right of the battlefield (but totally blind on the left). I kept the Panthers behind the rear buildings, able to move and support either objective and keep their side armour out of harm’s way. With no real need for smoke, the Nebs, infantry guns, AAA and recce were consigned to reserve.

The Soviet’s deployed aggressively – KVs holding the middle of the battlefield, with everything else loading on my left – sensing this was the easier of the two objectives to approach.  Shane started by moving hard forward, T34s a turn away from the objective, KVs covering their flanks. A couple of shots were fired, but most units needed 6s or 7s, and noting found its mark.

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Left objective (burning wreck) about to be swarmed on turn 2!

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KVs move ‘up the guts’ of the battlefield

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Central defense. Three Panzerknackers and two Pak40s

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The Pak40s covering the forward and right approaches to the village

After the Soviet rush on my line in turn one, I sent my Panthers up to the wheat field to provide support for the grenadiers, who were keen to keep their heads down. As the Russian advance was, well… rushin’ my lines, I would only have one or two opportunities to call in my air support before the enemy would be too close. With confidence I called down a flight of three (!!) flying tanks, and targeted the lightly armoured Stuart. I’ve had experiences fighting Soviet tank forces before, and without a CO, the force can be immobilized (by sniping the platoon commanders) or broken quite easily (thanks to a small platoon count).

I managed to bail the Co (only) thanks to a poor firepower roll. The Panthers, having moved, could only get two shots off, but still bagged a couple of T34s. I stormtroopered back to cover, mindful of the KV threat to my right. The Paks fired their first and only shots of the game, bouncing harmlessly off the KV hull.

The Russians responded by surging their T34s forward (and remounting the CO) to assault the my objective – would this be a three turn massacre? The armoured cars showed up and went down the road, while the Stuarts maneuvered to be a second wave of destruction..

Admittedly I was feeling pretty confident, the grenadiers were veterans and had a panzerknacker in place. With no defensive fire it was onto the assault – one stand died in the initial tread-crush, while I countered and (unsurprisingly) bagged a T34 with the knacker. The Soviets countered, killing another team – where as I failed my motivation test to continue the fight, and was forced to break off, far from the objective.

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Soviets consolidate… in time for victory?

In middle of the park the KVs snuck around so the Paks couldn’t target them. A long range shot was fired at the Panthers but it posed no threat to the crew inside.

6For the last time in the game, I call for air and target the armoured cars – alas, I am let down again by firepower rolls, only managing to bail two of the cars.

The left flank is a crisis flank – my infantry fail to unpin from the assault and fail to dig in – tough corn/wheat that they’re standing in!

In order to keep the game alive, I edge one of the Panthers to within a track of the objective. Not wanting the T34’s impressive armament to blast through my side armour, the big cats target the nearby Russians, bagging three and forcing a Platoon check. The fearless guards…. fail!

Craig threw the CO in – afterall the Stuarts had a minute chance of cracking a Panther and the KVs were too far away… The commander threw the dice down for the re-roll and failed as well! The T34s and their light tank CO legged it – 1 platoon down!

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Corn field horror show

With the KVs hiding through forests, my central grenadiers left half their number in fox holes while the rest moved forward to ambush in the woods. I made sure to take the platoon commander (knacker), 2IC (knacker) and CO (knacker) with the expedition – confident of an assault…

Turn three and the armoured cars zipped down the road to pour fire into the grenadiers – five hits would (obviously) halt my progress, regardless of the platoon’s location. The KVs, with crystal ball in the command tank moved out from the woods and poured more fire into the Panthers, bailing one.

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Armoured cars or sheep dogs?

The stuarts whip around to the side of the wheat field, keen to pour fire into weak side-armoured Panthers (but failing to do so… ah Hen & Chicks).

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I get lucky and have reserves in turn 3 – I call in the infantry guns – hoping for a left flank scattered deployment to pop some of the light tanks with my AT 9 guns. Instead, I get them out of harms way, all the way to the right.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the Stuarts to the rear, I turn both Panthers towards the KVs and fire back, managing to bail one tank. Oh dear. The right grenadiers sit tight and try to dig in (failing) – didn’t anyone bring a shovel?

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The Stuarts fire back, but achieve nothing. The armoured cars move to the other side of the wheat field to machine gun my infantry to death and the KVs fail to do anything meaningful. I’m still contesting the objective (both, in fact) and the Panthers are living up to their rock hard reputation…

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Too slow to outflank – too weak to fight toe-to-toe

I get more reserves this turn – blimey – and call for the 8rads, figuring their 2cm guns can bail a Stuart or two and relieve pressure on the Panthers – they also show up on the right flank, and move flat out to the other side of the table.

Speaking of Panthers, they monster the KVs, killing two and bailing one – the Guards heavies pass their check to stick around however.

My wheat-field grenadiers unpin and dig in – what a turn this is! With the KVs stranded – I send out the central grenadier platoon, assault the bailed tank – capture it and consolidate back to cover; 2 – nil on platoons! The Panthers storm troop so they are contesting the objective and showing their front armour to the pesky light tanks. The armoured cars are just inside range of the infantry guns, but I fail to range in. A good turn for the Germans.

13

Unsurprisingly, the Stuarts take off to crack side shots at the Panthers in Craig’s turn. It seems every man and his dog with Stuarts gives this tactic a go – Manni was the first (and to his credit, bailed two of them!)

14

“Whiff”

Lucky for me the Stuarts whiff their shots – not even managing a bail!

15

The armoured cars do better though – bagging the grenadiers (forcing a motivation check – now its my turn to fail!), and bringing it 2-1 on platoons. If the Stuarts can hold out and bail both Panthers, the game will fall to the Russians…

Fifth turn and after being shell-shocked by the initial Russian onslaught, I’m right in this game. I get auto reserves, bringing on the Nebs – yep, on the right side. The 8rads have doubled twice and are within touching distance of the Soviet backfield (and unguarded) objective.

The Panthers take matters into their own hands – turning turrets to face off with the light Soviets and blowing them to pieces. Third platoon down & autofail morale! The Germans have escaped the envelopment, to fight another day…

Post Game Thoughts
Paying so many points for two Panthers is a big call – but they worth gold in this game – not only did they keep me from losing after the Soviets successfully pushed my off my objective – they bagged all three armoured platoons, winning the game single highhandedly.

Craig really didn’t do much wrong – the Panthers were a rock that would have been difficult to deal with regardless of Soviet opposition. If anything, perhaps the Stuarts should have assaulted while the T34s ran the flanks to shoot the Panthers in the side.

Aside from Panther glory, this game showed me just how effective bold/upfront aggression can be – this would be the first of two games where my opponent would get the jump on me (the other being Rhys who put me on the back foot and kept me there all game), and really dictate the terms of the engagement to me. While I expected this to a degree, the turn two rush really had me unprepared – it really did come down to the Panther’s deployment, able to support either objective quickly.

Mid War GT – Stalingrad! Panzergrenadier Kompanie vs Strelkovy Batalion – No Retreat

So it’s finally here, the Mid War GT! Despite not actually having a Mid War army of my own, or playing much in the way of MW period games – this will be my first Flames Grand Tournament! Mitch drove and we got there nice and early – we both had our armies unpacked and on transport trays in no time; we just had to wait for the draw and the other players to arrive..

Round One was drawn up and I had the pleasure of being pitched against John McGarry – one of the Canberra boys who drove up for the event. To say playing against John was enjoyable would be an understatement – this would be one of the best tournament games of my FoW career to date! Not only was John an exceptional good sport; he was a fun, entertaining player, with a fun, entertaining and beautiful army to kick arse with.

Stalina

Wehrmacht holding onto the last slice of German Stalingrad

We were allocated the Stalingrad table, a ruined city with not much in the way of plant life left… The board looked awesome (though dice rolling would be a hassle). Appropriately, John was running a Strelkovy Battalion and we were playing no retreat – this really felt like the desperate last battles of Army Group Centre!

So onto lists. Mine was the twice practiced Panzergrenadier Kompanie, which I was somewhat comfortable with, especially when I saw John’s force:

Company HQ with a battalion komissar, anti-aircraft platoon, sapper platoon & pioneer supply wagon, two insanely huge rifle platoons with a bunch of extras (Maksims, komissars, etc), a large heavy mortar section (6), 4 76mm guns, 2 57mm guns and limited Shturmoviks. Ouch. I wasn’t too worried/concerned looking at his AT assets, the Panthers could shrug most rounds off comfortably. It wasn’t until John started to deploy that I got a little worried – not only would this be my first experience against the ‘infantry horde’, but I’d also never come close to killing half that much infantry before!

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The two objectives – bottom left and top right

John won the roll off to determine who would be attacking, and I chose the somewhat heavier in terrain short edge to defend. With no mobile threats, equal air power and a truck (ed: several trucks) load of infantry to deal with, I opted with both grenadier platoons on the table, plus the nebs and infantry guns.

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Grenadier Platoon 1 – the closest to the enemy (and the furthest from support…)

I set up fairly defensively, as you could expect. Both grenadier platoons digging in and keeping their heads down on the objectives. Mindful of delayed reserves and my usual crap support rolls, I kept the infantry guns close to the forward grenadier platoon – able to direct fire if need be. The Nebs found themselves towards my rear, out of harms way (or so I thought). The plan was to continuously bombard the approaching Soviet hordes until reserves arrived, hopefully in time to pour AA, Panther & 8rad machine gun death into the giant Russian blobs.

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Stalin’s Heroes (up close)…

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… and the rest!

staling

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The artillery section, well guarded by the AA teams

Unsurprisingly, John deployed fairly aggressively, platoons bunched up to get as much on the ‘starting line’ as possible. The heavy mortars and artillery were well spaced, ensuring no more than one team would be under an air or artillery bombardment template – AA teams were positioned perfectly. It was probably during John’s deployment that the penny dropped – I was facing a very experienced player.

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The horde moves out

stalinm

Long march to victory

With no recce – it was onto the first turn. John elected to keep his air out of the sky for now, and moved forward fairly briskly. In hindsight I’m not sure why he didn’t move at the double, with almost all of my weapons out of range (and no penalty for moving at the double through an artillery bombardment), John could have brought the game to me much faster. His turn done, I called in the air support, but was shot down in the process by the AA guns (no where to hide!). The artillery however…

Both the Nebs and the infantry guns ranged in successfully, scoring several hits. John’s dice deserted him when four or five teams died from the bombardments – first blood to the invaders!

stalinj

Pinned Soviets!

Fearless troops with the CO attached for a re-roll – I was fairly confident John would unpin and continue his merry march towards my grenadiers. As it turned out, his dice again deserted him, with the platoon stuck fast.

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Having seen my HS 129 be ineffective (and accordingly see me have one less air support dice), John called in the Shturms,  who did their best to take out my artillery…

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The unpinned platoon marched forward into cover, while the stranded platoon failed to dig in – the dice just weren’t going John’s way.

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stalinr

Sneaky Soviets

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My unpinning was successful and both the infantry guns and rockets find the pinned platoon again – taking off a few more stands and keeping them pinned. John succeeds in unpinning these and again starts the long walk to my objectives.

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stalinv

stalinw

Didn’t you used to work here, Ivan?

In between moving his forces out, John ranged in on my Nebs, pinning them but failing to get a kill in the first couple of turns.

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Counter-battery fire

However with a staff team and a ranged in marker – it wasn’t long before the artillery found its mark, and I was down to one gun firing (with re-rolling successful hits!).

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These chaps didn’t see a whole lot of action…

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John’s guns go walk-about

By my fourth turn, the Soviets have reached gotten ‘danger close’ – an assault is now imminent. As usual I fluffed my first reserve roll, however I was successful getting my 8rads on – I needed to support grenadier platoon one as soon as possible, so went for the fast moving jeeps over the Panthers or AA half tracks. Unfortunately my plan was foiled with the rail line reducing movement to slow going.

stalint

Support at last!

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Not only was this overly optimistic, John smashed the dream by nailing one with his heavy mortars… that couldn’t happen to a Panther…

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Imminent assault Leutnant!

My fifth turn and I brought the Panthers on, with both Soviet infantry blobs in good positions to assault the forward line. John started his turn by blowing up a Panther and popping the other 8rad.

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The (relative) calm before the storm, with second platoon ready to support the first

My artillery had whittled down his main platoon to just fifteen (!!!) teams, however this would still provide quantity over quality and I’d need jus the 10 hits to pin them to prevent an assault. With 6 unpinned MG teams, plus countless SMG teams, I was confident…

stalinz1

9 defensive fire hits later…

Naturally I fell just short and the Soviets surged forward to assault the forward objective. Combat was brutal, but with the CO (and 2IC for that matter) in the mix, I was able to counter attack each round, and send the commies running. All bar one Russian team was destroyed – the non assaulting HMG that had been left behind. The platoon (what remained of it) passed its morale check – the gun team exempt from sole survivor tests. If only I could figure out a plan to deal with one infantry stand…

If that wasn’t bad enough, the second platoon slammed into the depleted grenadiers (now just four stands, including the CO & 2IC!). With substantially reduced defensive fire, and John’s dice finally passing armour saves, the brave Germans didn’t stand much of a chance. They did go down fighting however, but not enough to force the Russians back.

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Aftermath

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Heavily defended Soviet objective!

I tried desperately to move the AA half tracks into a position to shoot and then assault the Soviets, but John kindly pointed out unarmoured tank teams can’t launch an assault. With the infantry guns effectively ‘pinned’ (they couldn’t get close enough to the objective without getting within 2 inches of an enemy team) and the Panther half an inch from an assaulting position, the game was called.

I was pretty happy to go down 6-1 to the Soviets – had that darn HMG team failed his motivation, I wouldn’t have lost so badly. As I said at the start, this was just such a fun game; I only lost the grenadiers and the 8rads, so nothing terrible by any stretch. It was thematic, frantic and thoroughly enjoyable. Bring on Cancon, John!


Eastern Front Panzergrenadier Kompanie v Schwere Panzerkompanie

tiger on the march

With the Mid War GT just a week away, I’ve only had this weekend to finalise my list and get some practice in. Luckily, Justin was in the same boat so we organised a quick practice game at mine this afternoon. Justin was in two minds regarding what he should take – seven (or was that nine?) Panthers or 4 Tiger 1Es. He decided to run a Schwere Panzerkompanie, consisting of one HQ Tiger, three platoons of one Tiger and some AA half tracks (one armoured, the other not) to be 1625 on the nose. The GT won’t have a provision to avoid blue on blue games, so this was a good opportunity to deal with someone else’s pesky veteran Germans… This was a good practice list for me as it would hopefully prove how resilient my Panthers were and justify the inclusion of the Pak40s. It would also make my air, artillery and anti-air halftracks somewhat redundant – an interesting dynamic to start the battle!

Our table for today

Our European village to destroy for the day

With the GT having six games it was a simple roll of the dice – Encounter! – and we were set. I’d struggled with this the day before against Sean, trying to determine what to leave on or off the board. This time I opted for all infantry; both Grenadier platoons would start, as well as the Nebs and the Pak40s, meaning the infantry guns would come on from reserve, along with my Panthers, 8rads and AAA. Air support would be useless (as I found out in turn one) as the Tiger’s side armour was too thick.

Justin's left flank - hidden tiger crouching near the objective

Justin’s left flank – hidden tiger crouching near the objective

Central tiger

Central tiger

Justin kept the AA off the board, realising my air wouldn’t hurt him, and left a tiger in reserve too. He certainly had very few tanks! He deployed in thirds – one tiger in each section. The CO rolled for the Fatherland and Rapid Fire, the central tiger getting Rapid Fire and the one on the right getting Every Shot Counts! a handy combination of tiger ace skills. Justin was relieved to get such ‘good’ ace skills – as it would turn out Schnell! would have been more useful!

Right Flank Defence

Right Flank Defence

I deployed strong on the right flank – Pak40s in the woods sticking their barrels out like bayonets. I planted a grenadier platoon behind them on my objective. On the left I was very light on – just the Nebs holding the left objective in the field, with my other grenadier platoon centrally placed behind a forest – waiting to see where the tigers would assault.

aa6

Tiger spotted sir!

Justin won the roll off (naturally we both rolled 1s, with the +1 going to Justin who only had the two platoons to deploy!) and got the game on its way. With slow tanks, the first turn was a slog – all three tigers moved up, with the right and central tigers keen to stay out of sight of the Pak40s. Stormtrooper phase was uneventful – only one tank would pass and enjoy the extra movement, in what would be a fatally recurring theme!

CO Tiger on the move

CO Tiger on the move

I started turn one by calling in my air support – I was aware of the HS 129’s limitations against heavy tanks, however it was worth a shot, and soon enough the Tigers would be too close to my lines for a successful air attack. Everything except one platoon dig-in. I was keen to keep gone to ground, so the Nebs didn’t fire. I managed to get a flight of three flying tanks, easily hitting the CO tiger – but as expected the thick hide shrugged off the attack.

Tigers swarm the battlefield

Tigers swarm the battlefield

Justin starts his second turn with the tigers continuing their advance towards my lines. The CO tiger takes aim at my central grenadines (who hadn’t dug in) but doesn’t get a hit. The central tiger opens up and kills one stand, first blood to Justin!

Danger Close!

Danger Close!

Not wanting to face the CO tiger’s ROF 3 main gun, I smoke him with the nebs and manage to dig in my central grenadier platoon.

CO Tiger sneaking past my defenders

CO Tiger sneaking past my defenders

Turn three and naturally Justin scores reserves – another tiger rocks up! It arrives on my right flank and moves forward to join his fellow tiger. The rest of the tigers move forward to get more shots on my infantry, failing to hit.

Panther Time!

Panther Time!

I too get reserves at the start of my third, bringing the Panthers on the right flank – just in time to engage Justin’s reserves! Needing 5’s to score hits, the Panthers whiff rolling snake eyes. I fail their stormtrooper roll and brace for the ’88’ return fire – I’m now faced with prospect of having no tanks for the game! With the CO tiger manoeuvring around to contest my left objective, I send the grenadiers out of their foxholes towards the game changing threat. I was preparing for this eventuality – I just hope I can be in a position to feed one team a turn onto the objective to keep me in the game!

The big cat situation

The big cat situation

Justin scores reserves in the fourth as well, bringing on the AA halftracks who can support their CO. Justin’s entire army is now on the table and I’m stranded with just less than half of my force waiting in reserve. The AA halftracks pose a significant threat with their high rate of fire. Naturally they line up the approaching infantry, but can only kill one team. The CO opens up with five shots on the nebs, but fails to score a single hit! Got lucky there!

AA ready to decimate my infantry

AA ready to decimate my infantry

With two tigers able to engage my ridiculously expensive Panthers, I wait nervously for Justin to gather his dice and punish me for wasting my prized tanks. The first tiger opens up, scoring two hits, I equal both rolls and Justin fails to bail the tanks!  The other tiger gets one hit but I bounce it easily – what a relief! To make matters worse for Justin, all tanks bar the CO fail their stormtrooper tests. Justin now has two tigers in plain sight of my Panthers and one of my Pak40s.

Tigers exposed

Tigers exposed

I open my fourth by failing to get reserves – back to normal! The Pak with an open shot at the tiger fires away and misses. My Panthers sit still and miss most of their shots, getting one bailed result (I’m looking at you failed firepower rolls!). I’m pretty sure my luck can’t hold another turn, and expect my Panthers to be wrecks by the start of my fifth.

Here kitty...

Here kitty…

Critically, Justin fails to remount the tiger, even with a protected ammo re-roll; not a great start to his turn. The CO tiger continues to pour fire into the Nebs, where the platoon commander fails his armour save, only for Justin to roll a 2 on fire power! The AA halftracks have more luck however, bagging two more grenadiers, pinning the platoon and forcing a morale check – which I pass confidently. In the battle of nerf-guns, the tiger cracks off two shots, missing both with re-rolls – the right flank isn’t a dice friendly place!

Open grens

Grenadiers in the open…

Justin’s central tiger has been sitting happily machine gunning away my infantry, but is somewhat exposed to a potential charge through the forest from my Panzerknacker platoon command team and 2IC. To combat this undesirable occurrence, Justin passes a stormtrooper check and moves the four inches away… into a river! The tiger then bogs, again with re-rolls – becoming a sitting duck! 

Just like this, only less ducks... and more tiger

Just like this, only less ducks… and more tiger

Turn five and I get my 8rads on in the middle of the board, I move them up to the road and keep them out of sight of the hunting cats. Desperate to change my luck, I clump the Panthers together, moving one up close to put shots on the bailed tiger. On the left the infantry unpin…

8rads in action

8rads in action

The Panthers fire and open their account – 3 hits, one dead tiger! They then stormtrooper out of harm’s way.

River tiger - my favourite variety

River tiger – my favourite variety

With two separate panzerknacker teams, I move the 2IC into position and assault the bogged tiger (passing motivation – which it turns out, I didn’t need to do) and capturing the beast, bagging my second platoon! The 2IC consolidated back into the safety of the woods.

aa81

How I like my tigers – in flames!

Justin retreats the right flank tiger into the woods, this time not bogging on his way through, and parking firmly on the objective. The CO continues his rotten luck shooting the nebs – still no results. The AA fire at the remaining grenadier stands but do no hits.

Panthers close in for the win

Panthers close in for the win

I get automatic reserves and choose the infantry guns, hoping for a left flank deployment where they can snipe the AA halftracks and force a morale check. Unfortunately the chance cube gods send them into the middle where they’ll do noting for the rest of the game. I go ballsy and range the nebs in on the halftracks, but with two guns firing, I fail to hit. The Panthers, having gotten a taste of tiger, fail to hit the wooded big cat. Turn seven and Justin fires back at the Panthers, getting a hit but again failing firepower to bail me. The AA continue to do nothing, but the CO tiger steps up to the plate and kills the neb platoon command! I now have a fingernail on that objective with no relief units in sight, a well timed assault and it’s game over..

8rads on the objective

8rads on the objective

I begin my seventh by failing to range in with the infantry guns – great. The Panthers kill the last tiger and swarm the right objective – the 8rads speed down the road to contest the other objective.

With me holding both objectives and his company under half strength, Justin is keen to end it here – but I point out that the game won’t end until my next turn (assuming he passes company) – meaning he had a whole turn to force a platoon kill or two and go from a 6-1 thrashing to a 4-3… We forget about company morale and go hell for leather – the tiger CO moves to engage the nebs – bogging on the fence but wide-track-ing his way through it.

The AA halftracks move right up to the water edge waiting for their chance… The CO launches an assault, crushing a neb and forcing them to break off. One platoon down. The AA half tracks cross the river successfully and crush the grenadier platoon command, forcing a platoon check (which they fail) and bringing me down to six platoons.

Turn 8 ends the game, with me holding both objectives.

I was happy with this practice game – I was lucky however, for a couple of reasons:

* Junior’s CO should have assaulted a lot earlier – this was the biggest saving grace for me – my Paks and Panthers were on the wrong end of the board and with his AA halftracks in place, any attempted move by my grenadiers to secure the left flank would have been shot to pieces. It should have been an easy 6-1 to Justin, had the CO moved to assault.

* My lucky Panthers – whiffing their shots but shrugging off the 88 rounds. Justin really should have nailed these when he had the chance, and that would have freed up the right flank, allowing the tigers to combine and dominate the battlefield. The Pak40s… worth the points? Justin kept his distance and hugged terrain, limiting the usefulness and impact the right flank tigers had on the game. Disrupting the use of half a tiger company – I’d take that any game! All up, it was a fun, quick game.

Encounter (and any game that requires reserves) will be a challenge – I might have to keep the Panthers on the board from the start for future matches. Being on the defensive with this list is enjoyable, however, and I look forward to getting more out of my units at the GT!

Inter Club Challenge AAR Round 2

Game two was against Justin who was running the 442nd from Road to Rome, with his list including two bazookas with the HQ teams, two full rifle platoons, 81mm mortars (along with a weapons platoon mortar section), pioneers with bazookas, 57mm AT guns with… yup, more bazookas, a rifle recon platoon, four 105mm guns and four M10s to round out the army. I was running my Panzer Ausbildungs Verband (with Veteran)-1. The random roll brought up Hasty Attack and Justin chose the “village” side to defend. game 2.a The board had really good terrain for my army, with big forested areas covering my approaches. With one objective in the village and the other two towards the left of the board, I stacked heavily on the left flank, with only the 88’s on the right flank, covering the area with their massive anti guns perched on a hill. My hetzers, pioneers, recce and anti aircraft half tracks all started in reserve as Justin had no air support to worry about. Justin kept the TD’s in reserve along with the 57mm guns – which I thought at the time was a big call against a tank force like mine. He ambushed an infantry platoon on the left objective and spread out wide, thanks to my lack of (meaningful) artillery or air support.

game 2.d

Left flank objective. So many stands of infantry!

game 2.e

German deployment – all armour tied to the left flank

The game started rather nonchalantly with me moving up the left flank, bunching tight together to fit all of the hulls.!

game 2.f

Panzers on the move

game 2.g

Smoke!

Justin decides to smoke my approaching tank horde. With me needing 6’s to hit anything with the bunker busters, its a quiet first turn. Turn two and I’m almost in range – but due to the tight space, I’m confined to just a few shots (which do nothing). I am at this stage, worried about the 105s and my light hulls… Justin gets his reserves – tank destroyers! But they come on the wrong flank! Fortunately the jeeps can take advantage of the road through the village; they are still woefully out of position however.  Justin smokes my tanks again – I’m thankful as this will (hopefully) keep my tanks concealed; where as his infantry are already concealed and I don’t suffer further penalty!.

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Turn two and more smoke..

game 2.j

TD Security Section – these boys need to get into the game fast

Rather unfortunate for the TD’s, my hungry 88’s now had something to open up on. The chance cube deities were kind to me, however, allowing me to blow up two of the vehicles. I was actually hoping to force the M10s to pop there, being miles from my armour and unable to take advantage of the road.. On the left flank, the 105s direct fired on my artillery, leaving me with the command and staff teams only; who both promptly fail their enjoy the war rolls and desert the field of battle. The Brums, Panthers and command tanks open up on the guns and infantry crowding the objective and claim quite a few casualties. With the TD’s miles away, the left flank is starting to look ominous for Justin. I’d brought my recce and AAA up from reserve on the right of my armoured flank, to put some MG shots on the infantry platoons surrounding the middle and left objectives, while my Hetzers had come up the middle. Justin ambushed the tank destroyers and moved them forward to engage, but the range was too much for the 3inch guns. His artillery slammed into my recce, killing one and bailing the other. I responded by blowing up two M10s with the 88’s, still enjoying the ‘high’ ground on their little hill. Things had become desperate for Justin; starting the turn with no teams contesting the left objective, which my Panthers had parked near.  With his infantry double timing it over to the left objective (still out of range – just – to contest), I failed to do any meaningful damage thanks to their space marine 3+ saves. It was all down to his reserve roll – could the AT guns arrive on time? Justin obliged and got his 57mm AT guns on from reserve and completely blew the game open…

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Can the AT guns rescue the game?

game 2.q

The AT guns save the left flank!

The 57mm guns ripped open the side armour of my Panthers, and to make matters worse the bazooka teams assault, wiping out the Panthers and the 2IC and promptly securing the left flank. With my armoured thrust in tatters and another platoon down, it was time to take stock of the situation and find my own rabbit to remove from a nearby hat. Keen to bring the game back into German hands, I swing the Hetzers up the middle of the board and push for the central objective – Justin has left this rather exposed, with only two M10s holding the objective while the infantry moved out to protect the left flank.

game 2.k

Its not a party until the Hetzers are Hetzin’

To keep the infantry in place my Brums stay put and rain breakthrough shell death on the 105s. My CO Panther does the right thing and bogs crossing the forrest, while the Recce and AAA move forward to pin the infantry.

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HQ tank bogging in the woods? How original…

My pioneers had done nothing all game, however, I’d brought them forward to protect the 88’s from an unlikely assault. This nearly proved costly…

game 2.t

Recce!

Justin’s recce came on late in the day and sped forward towards the German soldiers. With both forces perviously close to breaking point, he decided to force the game and machine gunned them. I was fortunate to lose just the one stand.. My Hetzers surged towards the objective, nailing the M10s and bedding down for the inevitable counter attack.. Justin’s infantry and their bazookas ran towards the objective, desperate to assault and hold the game for another turn. It wasn’t to be however, despite bailing one Hetzer, the combined firepower of remote control MGs proved to be enough, not only pinning the platoon but forcing a morale check, which they failed, handing the game to the Germans, 4-3 and the end of the battle.

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Hetzer Victory!

Justin did well to claw this game back – had it not been for the M10s getting lost on their way to the party, my left flank assault would have taken a very different approach. The Brums were excellent in this game – shaking off AT rounds and 105 shells, and squashing their fair share of infantry and artillery alike. They really do struggle with one shot to score their points back, but the big guns are quite useful and more than a little intimidating. As much as Justin played well to get back into this game, I was also very lucky – not having any realistic threat from the M10s all game, and sneaking past the infantry blockade to steal the middle objective. I got punished for my overconfidence with the total annihilation of the left flank forces – I’ll need to be more mindful of reserve deployment in the future.

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