Wednesday, 2 July 2014

PANZERSCHREK XIV 2014



Well its July again and that means that there is another Flames of War tournament to attend in a couple of weeks, Panzerschrek XIV is a doubles 2000 point format with 1000 point allowed for each player with a 100 point split limit between team mates. This tournament is fast becoming one of the favorites for me, and as always I will be teaming up with my brother Andrew. Its fun teaming up with my brother as we have the same mind set for gaming and have similar playing styles, but with Andy having a little more aggressive style while I am slightly more defensive so we even it out nicely.

We will be using a Double Polish AK Infantry list this year, which will be something different for everyone to play against, and will be a fun army for us to use. Always ken on taking a radically different army to these events, last year we took the reluctant trained German Security police Sicherungs force with a captured armoured train and did rather well with it finishing 5th out of 20 teams, so more than chuffed with that performance.

First up - A brief History of the AK Home Army :
The Polish Armia Krajowa (AK) Home army was raised from the Warsaw resistance fighters, the uprising took place over August and September in 1944. The Poles planned the uprising to coincide with the advance of the Soviet Red Army into Poland's borders, so encouraged by the promises of Soviet support the Polish AK launched a daring resistance fight within the Warsaw capital, with the British pleading to the Soviets to aid the Poles, Stalin had other ideas and agendas and had ordered the Soviet forces to halt on the eastern (opposite) side of the river Vistula which is on the outskirts of the Capital.  This left the Polish AK force to fight utterly alone against a determined SS and Police forces. They fought heroically for 63 days, one of the longest battles of WW2 and also the single largest resistance movement over the course of the war. The battle ended with the surrender of the Polish Home Army, with Hitler then ordering that Warsaw be razed to the ground , some 85% of this once large city was destroyed.

The AK Poles captured two Armored half-tracks

The Polish Home army had stored provisions and even made their own weapons leading up to the resistance, with help from the British and USA in the form of airdrops, they had a mass of ammunition and rifles and gammon bombs available, they even captured a few German vehicles during the fighting, this included some 221 hal-tracks and armoured cars, a Hetzer and even some heavy tanks including a Tiger and a Panther tank

A captured Hetzer tank

A captured Panther tank
It was estimated that 16,000 of the Home army resistance fighters were killed, with another 6,000 badly wounded. The civilian loses were around 200,000 which were mostly from mass executions. The Germans lost around 8,000 with another 9,000 wounded. Despite their heroic sacrifice the Poles did not regain their independence in 1945.


Right now on to the Lists we plan on using and a summary of their rules.-

We both have 7 platoons each, which for a 1000 points is a lot, but considering its a mix of Fearless Conscripts and Fearless Trained its quite easy to achieve this number and we always perfer to run large armys as its more forgiving.

Our combined forces with Andy on the left and mine on the right.

The AK Poles had made a lot of their own weapons, with some not being all that reliable, so in gaming terms this means if you shoot any homemade weapon in the shooting phase, after resolving the shooting, roll a dice for each home made weapon fired, if you roll a one, you destroy your team - quite nasty but it makes them rather cheap and that's what we like, also its a random element of the game seldom seen so brings a bit of fun in to it.
The AK poles also treat all woods and rubble as cross country so can double in these areas , making this a very nice rule for our aggressive style of play.
You will notice they don't have a lot in the way of long range support bar a few Artillery guns and a few tanks but we will mostly rely on the close support of the infantry in conjunction with the rest of the limited AT assets.

Right O then, first up is Andrews list :



Andy has a Sniper attached to the HQ, which is always a  nice addition
His combat platoons is the compulsory Fearless conscript AK infantry platoon - with a total of 16 stands comprised of Riflemen, a Piat team and a home made Flame thrower team that has ROF 4 it is quite good.

The other two combat platoons are the Kedwy platoons, made up of 11 teams these SMG armed troops are Fearless Trained and have two Piat teams as well as a homemade Flame thrower team, they all carry Gammon bombs as well so will be quite capable of launching assaults against tanks to good effect.
He has a weapons platoon of 6 Home made 80mm Mortars , very good at direct firing .

The more mobile elements consist of a Captured Panther tank, its cheap as its only ROF 1 but we need a this to have a chance at killing tanks at range.  He also has a reconnaissance element in the way of 2 armored 221 MG cars. And to finish off the mobile but small platoon of mounted Kedwy in a half-track, they have a Piat team as well and should prove useful I feel.

Now on to my side of the Army,



First you will see I have taken the same combat choices as Andrew but with a slightly smaller AK infantry platoon which will be reserve most of time if required due to it being small and conscript status.  I have a weapons platoon of small Pak 36 AT guns, these are very much outdated for Late war, but with Stielgrante ammunition they can be rather useful at close range - keep them GTG and concealed and they will prove their worth in points. I then have a Street barricade , dont normally take these items but it looks great and can cover some of our troops adding some protection.

The mobile elements - I have a small Hetzer tank (love the wee Hetzer model) also have a small platoon of mounted Kedyw in a halftrack the same as Andrew (bragging rights over to see which one dies first)  ... and to finish things off a large platoon of 10.5cm Artillery guns. We plan on using these as direct fire guns for the most part.

So there you have it, a nice large joint companies of Polish resistance fighters.

Below is a photo display of our army unit by unit , Its all Andrews work - the models which he painted and based himself, with the exception of the small AK infantry platoon in my force, I have used my unarmed Soviet Sappers for this as we were short of one platoon of infantry but I think they look the part and Andrew didn't want to make and paint any more for this force.
I think Andrew has done a great job on the basing, it looks the part with the damaged buildings and propaganda posters about the place, also the water pipes and rubble is fantastic too.

Kedwy platoon

Kedwy platoon in rubble - my favorite platoon

Kedwy platoon

Andrews AK platoon
My unarmed Sappers acting as Polish AK
The small Pak36 guns

The Mortar platoon

The Panther and Hetzer

221 MG armoured cars

One of the Mounted Kedwy platoons in a captured halftrack

The large 10.5cm artillery platoon
The Street barricade with sniper team hiding on the left upper platform
Andy made it himeslf with the truck being able to be removed for gapping indication

Well thats all for now.
Thanks for reading - Mark



7 comments:

  1. I forgot to mention - you notice Andrew has painted arm bands on all the troops, this was necessary because the polish used a lot of captured German clothing and uniforms so they had to distinguish themselves to each other by doing this act.
    Cheers, Mark

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's quite an intimidating looking army! Damo used Andrew's Poles against my Shtraf in a game last year, and they can do some damage. The home-made mortars did self-destruct though! They are a fantastic looking force, great to see them in action. Hopefully we'll get to play at Panzerschreck, we'd better bring extra ammo for the MG's!! Cheers, Paul :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep they sure are. Once you get up and close to the enemy with them, they are quite deadly , all those SMG, Piat teams and flamethrowers come into their own, cheers

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh not not a captured Hetzer again well at least i don't have any king tigers for it to kill this time lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, still remember Andrew descibing that game where the little Hetzer sneaks around flank shot on your King Tiger - LOL !

      Delete
  5. Spectacular painting and basing! Win, lose or draw, Andrew's lads will shine on the tabletop.

    I also love your approach to the tournament. Bring an unusual list and have fun. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Monty, Unusual lists is fast becoming a trend for us at Panzershreck tournament, will pass your comments onto Andy - cheers

      Delete