Scott and Bryan from up the Kapiti coast had asked Simon about a practice game for the upcoming Flames of war doubles tournament "PanzerSchreck", held in Palmerston North in July. Simon and I hastily gathered the minis for the lists that Simon had thrown together and the four of us assembled in my garage on a sunny Saturday afternoon.. something about wargaming seems to bring out the best in the weather... sigh.. :)
Scott and Bryan were running a combination of Panzer Gernadiers and a Panzer IV company. The Grenadiers had a couple of Brummbars which Bryan wanted to give a test run and arty in the form of a Nebelwurfer battery and a couple fo 75mm field guns whilst Scott had a couple of Stuh42s and a couple of 8 rads running around with his Panzers.
Simon was running some NZ commonwealth infantry with some US 105mm arty a troop of M10s and some universal carriers for recce whilst I had a British infantry company with some 6pdrs, 17 pdrs and a Sherman troop. It was going to be an interesting matchup!
we rolled up the scenario and ended up playing Counterattack. As Simon and I were a double infantry company, we were defending!
As the forces used at Panzerschreck are 2x1000pt companies, the games are played on an 8ft by 4ft table, this tends to stretch deployment zones out a bit but, as all deployment zones are measured from the centre of the table, you don't spend the first three turns moving to contact.
We placed the red objective in the bottom left of the shot whilst Scott and Bryan's objective can just be seen level with Simon's elbow..
A view form the 105mm park.
The Panzers and Grenadiers muster for the counter attack!
One of the British infantry platoons form up in the blasted orchard ready to make for the German objective.
The game started with Bryan sending a Grenadier platoon straight down the long table directly for our objective. these were supported by the Brummbars and the HQ section of mortars. to get at our objective, he had to work his way through first my other British infantry platoon, my 17 pdrs on the hill and a Kiwi platoon behind that! Meanwhile, Scott sent a PzIV platoon along the furthest short table edge to keep an eye out for our reserve platoons whilst everything else pushed through the centre of the table.
Bryan was able to roll up my infantry platoon by the fourth turn and push on quite handily for the flanks of my other infantry platoon in the orchard, after my 17pdrs were wiped out by Nebelwerfer and Stuh42 fire - heavy guns in the open are a big no-no people!
Scott's push through the ruined farmhouse started well with tank after tank passing bogging checks and generally driving like they thought it was a Fast and Furious movie! however, my 6pdrs were waiting by this time!
with some lucky Arty fire forcing the Company HQ to move into one of the nearest two tanks, the 6pdrs fired along the orchard wall, bailing them both out! With one tank destroyed and four bailed, this forced a platoon morale check which Scott failed.. twice!!! Chalk up one platoon and sir! With the tourney rules stating that if one company breaks, both break, Simon and I started picking on Scott's platoons to try to force it.
By the third turn, our recce platoon turned up and quickly doubled to behind the woods behind the Nebelwerfer battery. from here they proceeded to be a little intimidated by the 75mm field gun battery that came to help their big brothers and spent their time skulking behind the woods picking off arty observers with their MGs.
My shermans arrived the following turn and started a gun duel with thh watchful PzIV platoon, I remember losing a Sherman but I think I only managed to bail out a PzIII, sigh..
Simon's M10s appeared on our left flank and proceeded to knock on the doors of the Brummbars, forcefully... :)
Back to the centre of the table and Bryan's uber grenadier platoon had assaulted my 6pdr platoon, destroying two gun teams but were left straddling a hedgerow with only 4 sections remaining. At this point my infantry platoon moved out of their foxholes in the orchard and, with some supporting fire from the remaining 6pdrs and Simon's kiwi infantry platoon, saw off the remaining Grenadiers.
Time was finally called at the end of turn 6 with people having to go home,
all in all, a very good game that poked some holes in both lists. the main benefit was a lot of discussion around the finer points of the rules - Simon's knowledge being nothing short of encyclopedic - and Bryan being able to decide whether or not he wanted to invest in that second Brummbar model.
I also found that the British tended to give PIATs to those infantry who couldn't shoot straight anyway so it wasn't worth giving them a rifle...