Sunday, 4 August 2013

CTA 2013 - Mechanised Mayhem and Misadventure... Game 1 - Encounter - "Sharpen your 'Can' openers"

Well, after all the excitement, build up, list creating and practice game, the weekend of Wellington Warlords Call to Arms has been, and gone...

I went with a mechanised German force, as previously detailed;

Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie (Grey Wolf)
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie HQ
Add Panzershreck team 125
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon - 3 sections
Command Panzerfaust SMG team 230
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon - 3 sections
Command Panzerfaust SMG team 230
Schwere Panzer Platoon - Königstiger (Henschel) 690
Anti-tank Gun Platoon - 3 7.5cm PaK40 guns 155
Puma Panzerspäh Platoon - 3 Sd Kfz 234/2 (Puma) 150
Rocket Launcher Battery - 3 15cm NW41 105
Warrior Dietrich von Saucken 65

The 2 King Tigers were a huge points investment, but I had expected to see more lists being more tank heavy on the Allied side, taking advantage of the new Arsenal to come out of Market Garden... thus my mechanised force was more defensive in nature, expecting to be fending off Allied Armour...

I could not have been more wrong... there were very few Allied tanks lists, and against infantry my super heavy tank becomes an expensive pair of machine guns...

Here's a picture of my force from the beauty pageant:

I only took a starting dispositions photo of each of my games, as I really wanted to try and concentrate on the game play, so I apologize for the lack of pretty pictures....

Game 1

The first game, I got drawn against Russell Briant, with one of the few Allied Tank lists featuring a mass of Soviet armour. I had played Russell in last years event, both of us using very similar forces this time around, and had hung on tenaciously for a narrow margin win, back then,  so I think Russell may have been after a little payback this time around, in a gentlemanly fashion...

Russells Force was:

Gvardeyskyi Tankovy Batalon (Red Bear)
Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Batalon HQ - 1 T-34/85 obr 1943 with Cupola 85
Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Company - 10 T-34/85 obr 1943 with Cupola 645
Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Company - 5 T-34/85 obr 1943 with Cupola 400
Tank Killer Company - 4 SU-100 310
Assault Gun Company - 4 SU-122 (with tank escorts) 210
Spetsnaz Platoon (FV) - Cmd and 2 SMG teams in captured  Sd Kfz 251 half-tracks 100

The first mission was Encounter.

Being the attacker, Russell chose his side, and I got the other. Objectives went down with us both placing our own centrally to our rear areas, with the opponent placing theirs out towards the flanks. Mine went on the back side of a hill on Russell's right flank. The idea here being the possibility of a speedy thrust out there with fast moving reserves, should the chance arise. Russell placed his just out on the far side of the woods on my right.

Encounter vs Russell Briant (click pic for bigger view)

I deployed one GPG dismounted across my centre in a defensive line, hoping to get dug in and gone to ground as quick as possible. I knew Russell had some breakthrough guns that could dig me out, so these where my priority target, if they came into view. My PaKs were in the woods on right overlooking the objective there. Lastly my King Tigers surveyed the scene from behind the infantry. This left my Pumas, Nebs and last GPG in reserve.

With 5 platoons, Russell could only deploy two; one lot of 5 T34/85 heading towards the objective on my right, and the other of 10 T34/85s massing centrally.

The table was very terrain heavy with high hedges, woods and buildings, making any long range LOS out of the question. This didn't suit my game plan, but allowed Russell get close, relatively unmolested by the KTs. So Russell moved up, his platoon of 5 T34s continuing their movement towards the wood on my flank, whilst the platoon of 10 T34s skirted the other flank protected by the high hedges, looking to try and turn the KTs, I think, to try for a flank shot. I dug in the infantry and Paks and slightly adjusted the KTs...

I did manage a early lucky hit, and knocked out a T34 in the town, and it  wasn't until about a turn later Russell realized it was his CO that had just been destroyed!

This slight cat and mouse scenario continued for a little while on my left, between the 10 T34s and the 2 KTs, whilst Russell saw an opportunity and went hard out for an attack against my PaKs on my right... sadly Russells dice were not the best, and I managed to get some gun saves. The ensuing assault saw the T34s repulsed, leaving several flaming wrecks...

About this time Russells breakthrough guns showed up and moved forward , as my Pumas arrived opposite them, but lots of intervening terrain gave both sides cover.

To cut a long story short, the platoon of 10 T34s started getting sniped by the KTs, and moved back to centre of town for a bold thrust through the centre of my position looking for a point blank flank shot on my KTs. His breakthrough assault guns went for a bold assault across the hedges and into the woods after my PaKs, but some bogged, or were knocked out in defensive fire.

Russell's Tank Killers had also arrived but too far from the action. The Nebs and 2nd GPG arrived and entered the wood backing up the PaKs, though a couple of Nebs went down trying get into cover, Russell looking for an easy point by killing them off. But one survived, and made it into the cover of the woods.

A combination of  action now started to take its toll on Russell's last remaining main T34 platoon, seeing tanks going down to more PaKs fire who were now moving around in the woods, and KT fire. Even my infantry sensed blood, and started scampering about, moving Panzerschreks up for shots, and the infantry in the woods now looking to assault bailed out tanks...

Russell continued trying to get a point and if I recall correctly, finished off the Nebs, MG-ing them with his tanks, into the wood.

Eventually, at end of game, with 9 tanks destroyed out 10 for the T34s, and with his CO tank having been knocked out very early on to a KT shot into the town, and both the small T34 platoon and assault gun platoons destroyed, Russell need to pass a platoon morale test or break... He passed the roll! But the game was effectively over.

I had lost one platoon, and had taken out 2 of Russell's. This scored the game 3 - 2  to the Germans. Had Russell failed that last dice roll, it would have been a 5-2.

Russell played hard out after a cautious start, and I can't fault him in any way.

I was pleased with how I held on in the face of the tank attack, and was happy to come away with 19 enemy tanks destroyed and 3-2 score.


  1. Good to start the tournament for you there - the scattered reserves rule really plays havoc with you in this scenario. You would think that 10 T34s could get through against 2 x KT the fact they didnt shows you must have used the terrain extremely well.

    I quite like the hedgerow stuff makes it more cat and mouse like...

    1. Thanks John, I ended up backing away to my right tucking in against the wood, leaving only my front, fairly impervious armour, facing...

      It was certainly a tense game, and Russell never let up the pressure, penning me back into a rapidly shrinking perimeter, that never left much hope of me reaching an objective of my own, I could only hope to hang on and break him (or as it turned out rather, him break himself against me!) for a win... I came close, but no cigar...

  2. 19 tanks destroyed! That's an epic achievement! You were unlucky to only get three points out of that.

    1. I was rather tickled, and had visions of a stoic German defense somewhere on the eastern front, with blazing soviet tanks all round my perimeter... you could make a movie out of that! ;-)

  3. You guys really play some great looking/sounding WW2 games. Best, Dean

  4. Good stuff Scott. Hope you kept up the good work over the weekend