Tuesday, 22 July 2014

PANZERSCHREK XIV AFTERMATH

The mighty AK polish force

Well back from another great Panzerschreck Flames of War tournament held last weekend by the Manuwatu Duelists Society in the lovely Palmerston North. Panzerschreck is a doubles event where each player has 1000 points each, as normal I had teamed up with my brother Andrew and this time around we both ran his Polish AK home army (which can be found from my earlier blog report here) We called ourselves "North and South" being Poles ......

Panzerschreck always gets a good bunch of players along and you usually have to get in fast with your registrations as it fills up fast. I think they have had doubles FOW events for the last 6 or 7 years and Andrew and myself have attended every one. Also some of the Battlefront staff usually travel down and play in the event as well, mostly with new army's which makes it popular as well.

The weekend went well, we headed up bright and early on the Saturday morning, leaving Upper Hutt about 6am arriving in Palmerston with time to go get some lunch/breakfast and then to the venue.
(Note: I forgot my camera so had to borrow some photos off of Paul to write this up - cheers)

FIRST GAME :
With a Hasty attack mission first up. Andy and I were up against Team "Grumpy old men" Ken Camel and Damien Reid. I have played Ken many times before now, but was first time meeting Damien so was good to play some one new. They were running a Schwere Panzerjager and HG PanzerPioneer, so 3 Elephants with air support, 2 platoons of Pioneers and 3 platoons of 88 guns.

Kens Army

Damiens Army
We were defending so of our 14 platoons, 7 deployed being mostly made up of the four FT Kedyw infantry with two on each side, the Pak36 guns on the left, the Artillery at the rear on the right and Andrews large AK infantry blob in the middle. Placed the Street barricade on the right, and on following this, Ken places his 4 minefields on the right side along line of hedge maze... I guess we are playing on the left then.

Playing on this table, some awful hedge maze we stay clear of opting to fight on the left upper town
Ken and Damien attack down the left with 2 Elephants, 88 in middle left and Pioneer infantry covering center placed objective on their side. Their reserves came on fast with the remaining Elephant and 88 guns and infantry quickly catching up to the lead elements attacking on the left. We pushed up with the left with our two Kedyw units and following many SMG dice and flame thrower teams, we assaulted Damiens CO Elephant, Kens 2IC and Co teams and killed them ! Ken responded by assaulting his Pioneer unit into our pinned Kedwy, but Andy got 6 hits in defensive fire from all 6 shots! and stop Ken's unit cold, Ken then rolled some simply awful saves, failing 4 of them ! and failing his platoon morale and ran. From there they got a platoon from us but we were firmly in control of the objectives with Kens Pioneer infantry platoons being taken care of.  So a 5 - 2 result to us ... not a bad start.

SECOND GAME : 
Was a No retreat mission against team "Beardy" Simon McBeth and Chris Otton. I have played Simon many times before being a local player and the head honcho of our playtesters group 'The Regiment'. Previous games against Simon in a tournament setting has usually gone my way mainly due to me being rather lucky in my games, so no doubt they were looking at evening up the score.
Simon and Chris were running a 7th Armoured and Parachute Rifle Company.  Simon had 2 platoons of infantry, Glider 105 artillery, some TD's and arm recon sections. Chris was running Shermans with Challenger tank, Air support, SP 17pdrs and some recon

This is the table we played on, ignore the troops shown (as I borrowed this photo)

We were playing in a built up town either side of a road and railway tracks so we picked the side with nice LOS and built up areas to deploy in with the usual Kedwy platoons and both AK deployed in buildings and tree lines with Artillery at the rear. A Kedwy was in ambush and the mobile stuff in reserve.
Simon and Chris deployed on the right side of the town and with thier AOP made it hard for ambush placement. With not much long range fire and our artillery not much cop, they got across the table in quick order and with out much loss. Their two platoons of infantry advanced with one coming into close with armour support and after two flamers and a messy assault we were both 1 platoon down each. On the right there tanks picked off our Pak guns and then along with a fresh Para unit assaulted our AK blocking unit and pushed them back. Our flamers also managed to kill some open top security sections which was fun. They managed to pick off our Panther and Hetzer tank in quick order but we managed to reduce the effectiveness of their infantry with SMG fire and some of their tanks due to Piat teams so they were unable to push us off the objective, so a nice 4-3 win to us.

THIRD GAME : 
Was a Free for All mission against  team "Normandy Pussycats" Mike Haycock and Chris Townley from Battlefront. Have played Mike a number of times with him being a regular tournament player of NZ and they have always been great close games and this one was going to be no exception ! This game proved to being the best game of the tournament for me.

Mikes Army

Chris Army
Mike was running an Ost front Grenadier force and Chris was running Schwere Panzerjager force. Chris had 3 Jagdtigers, 3 Nebs and 3 Flak 43 guns.  Mike had 2 platoons of RT infantry and one platoon of FV infantry with 122 artillery and 155 artillery, a pair of nests and 4 minefeilds ... ouch so much artillery - this was going to be a tough game I think especially with our conscript stuff having to dig in.
We place our barricade in the middle left, with team Pussycat placing their HMG and minefields on the left side also.... I feel its all going to come down the right again. We place most of our attacking units on the middle of the table (Andrew taking care of this side) while I took care of our defense on the right with Mike and Chris placing two infantry and 3 Jagdtigers there.
They advanced with woods and wheat fields as cover, as we advanced on the left through woods and farm buildings. Their artillery was quite nasty in the beginning as I tried to dig in, but no amount of digging in was going to save our gun teams against the breakthrough gun of the Jagdtigers. The weight of numbers was in our favor as the began picking us off on that side. The sniper managed to pin down their artillery and AA guns so was rather useful in this game. Andy advanced quite aggressively down the guts of the table and Mike and Chris having to switch targets with their artillery ranging in on this new threat, which ultimately saved us on the right. Andrew managed to swing down into their deployment zone and kill one platoon on the edge of the objectives but cost him with many casualties on the way.  I had managed to kill a Jagtiger with Piat and gammon bomb teams in assault. Mikes troops on the right managed to to wipe out most of the defenses after multiple and bloody assaults. This game was proving to be a blood bath as I was down to rolling my company morale test 3 times for this game and Andy was rolling for multiple last man standing tests as well and was almost testing company break test himself. The two and half hours flew past in a blur and we had to call the game being a 3 - 3 draw to us both.
I think we both pushed hard for the win and to take the objective but with so much going on and so many assaults and fair amount of shooting we just couldn't quite get there each - so was a good result


So with 2 wins and a good high point draw we were looking pretty good for the first day on 12 points. I think the top team was on 14 points so we were very much in the running but there was a small bunch of us on the 12 point mark so every thing to play for still. As always the Manuwatu Duelists Society put on a BBQ dinner for us, so beef burgers and sausages and salad, after this it was back to the hotel and meeting up with some follow gamers for a board games night which included playing Lords of the Waterdeep, Blokus and Citadels, ended up going to bed around 1am but was a fun night with much silly banter and good company.

Sunday morning
FOURTH GAME : 
Was a Fighting Withdrawal mission against team "Monte Cassino Hiking Club" Russell Briant and Joe Kelly. Russell is another member of the Regiment so have played many times before. Have also played Joe before but he doesn't go to many tournaments so it was good to catch up and play against.
Russell was running a Road to Rome Canadian Infantry with Joe running a Kompania Piechoty.

The hex terrain table, very nice table - we attacked from the close side up the guts into the woods yonder
So with a Infantry vs Infantry company's we roll a dice each to decide who has to attack, we were hoping to defend with the AK and rely on the sheer weight of number and small chaff platoons to withdrawal with to get us through. Joe rolls a 5 on the dice and Andy then rolls a 6 .... poo! we end up being the attacker. The table has a large wood in the center right and a large chateau building in the middle with low stone walls surround, with another large wood on left. They place infantry covering all three objectives with mortars in center, AT guns on left side with Shermans in center and UC's on right.
They also had priority planes which caused us some headaches.

We place most of the infantry on the right and middle with small mobile elements on extreme left. The Panther and Hetzer in middle. Two Kedwy are also on left side with mortars to apply pressure on all fronts. We double our infantry up the extreme left and mobile stuff double down extreme right, the rest advance into the middle right. Russell lifts his ambush with 17pdrs in chateau building and kills the Panther and Hetzer tanks. We respond by direct firing our mortars killing 3 of them, but with that they withdrawal this platoon in turn 3 having passed a skill check to do so. We also advance close to the objective while under fire from the Shermans and UC's but lose our flanking mobile recce teams to indirect sherman fire. The Flame throwers kill 2 UC's but once again they pass moral;e and withdrawal this platoon. We push hard into the center woods and down the left side but get beaten back in defensive fire. time quickly catches up with us and we have to call the game due to time. We lose 1-6 with a well executed win to Russell and Joe. If we got to defend the Fighting Withdrawal mission I feel the result may have been 4-3 the other way but sometimes its not to be.

FIFTH GAME : 
Was a breakthrough mission against team "Murica" Robert Torrence and Isacc Henderson.  We have played these two many times before, and enjoy playing them both as they are fast paced and very much a go for broke pair of players (much like ourselves) so this was going to be a tough match up as we had to defend against a pair of players with mass tanks and decent infantry.

Roberts US Para force
Issac was running a Texas US tank company with lots of trained Shermans while Robert chose a US Rifle company with 2 platoons of Stuarts in support. They placed their Stuarts in delayed reserve. We had to place our Hetzer and assault Kedwy platoons in reserve also.
The table had a fair amount of hedges and woods giving limited LOS which hindered us. We placed our Artillery behind the hedge (which was a mistake as we should of used it as direct fire against the weak armour of the tanks) also the both AK infantry as a blocking force while the 4 Kedwy units deploy to advance to cover objectives. The Panther was behind our barricade.
Issac and Robert deployed as we thought in a tight group facing against the artillery and large AK. They rushed our conscript infantry and quickly pushed them aside as Andy kept failing his morale checks to stay in the fight, the Kedwy dig in on the objectives each. Issacs tanks make short work of the Panther and the Paras clean up the artillery in quick succession. Our Hetzer and Sniper try to delay the onslaught but then their Stuarts arrive and really turn on the heat as they blast away at our center objective with all their tanks and infantry. We kept failing morale checks to stay in the fight so we couldn't get our Piat teams and gammon bombs to bear against the mass of tanks, and when we did they would good armour saves. So the game ended in 6 - 1 result against us with the Stuarts forcing us off the objective. Hats off to these guys they played fast and aggressive for a well deserved win.

So with the final placing we came in 9th place out of 18 teams, which was a good result for the AK poles especially considering we played all players in the top half of the table from 3rd place to 7th place, so we were well chuffed with that. Not bad for a bunch of conscript and trained troops.

Ist place went to team "may contain traces of Nuts" Bede Bailey and Paul Waetcher
2nd Place awarded to team "Da Momma's boys" Mike and Andrew Haught
3rd place went to Team "Grumpy old men" Ken Camel and Damien Reid
Bede also got Best painted with his Paras and Tank destroyer army, very well deserved. Looked great
Alex and Tom got best Sports
My brother Andrew got the Best army award which was decided by players votes. So he was rather pleased with that for his AK poles .

So another great weekend of gaming, and looking forward to next years, would love it to be an early war doubles event, but will be going no matter what is offered as this is one of the best tournaments in the NZ scene I reckon.
Until next time then - thanks for reading, Mark

3 comments:

  1. Great write up Mark. You and Andy did very well with the Poles. I remember a comment in a BF article about how "you would have to be crazy to take this list to a tournament" or words to that effect! I think you guys are the masters of this kind of army. I heard a rumour it's back to Mid War for next year. Cheers, Paul :-)

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    1. Thanks Paul, I remember reading that article , we just need to convert more mad people into taking crazy lists.
      Although Damo surprised me with taking the Reluctant Trained German Koche platoons of whackyness ... he said he enjoyed running them but trying unpinning was a problem.

      Good to see it going back to mid war next year.

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  2. Excellent report and photos Mark!

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