Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gaming At Panzerschreck 2015

Ready for a big day of gaming Phil and I were in the zone, ready for anything...

Round 1: Breakthrough vs the Stanton Brothers and pair of Sicherungs kompanies
We deployed in our corner, whilst a great big train drove by
The PaK40s and King Tiger worked it over, whilst Phil's artillery pinned down some infantry heading for the objective. On the left flank my Pumas skirmished with some infantry.
The King Tiger pursued the tank (passing its skill test to move) and destroyed everything but the far Tank Hunter car, leaving it stranded. My Pumas were jumped by StuGs and retreated to the safety of my PaK front.
Getting our first reserve of the game on turn 5, Phil pounced on a weakened infantry platoon, wiped it out and jumped on the objective. The train (as it was still functional) stopped enemy troops from contesting it.
Okay, this was a pretty weird game. We were heavily outnumbered and our reserves just did not want to come on. My Pumas pushed up, shot some infantry, took some hits and retreated. Phil spent most of the game with one unit of heavy mortars on the table. We were lucky to come away with a 4:3 win!

Round 2: Dust Up vs Joe and Cameron with US Tanks and Paras.
For some reason I didn't take a lot of photos in this game, but this was on of the few. Phil's halftracks working over the guys artillery, trying to knock a few off an reduce their effectiveness.
This was a fun game to watch - I say that as my force was pretty static in it whilst Phil, Joe and Cameron fought it out on the far end of the table. Phil pushed up and got punished by a combination of air support and artillery, getting off an assault but running out of steam against some pretty smart opponents. In the end we timed out and both ended up loosing 1:3 as we just could not finish anything. This would become the theme of the weekend.

Round 3: Fighting Withdrawal vs Ken and Damian. Damian stretched his Trained Tigers across the table, whilst Ken backed them up with is SS Panzergrens.
We rushed the near end of the table, ignoring casualties, over a bridge and into Ken's troops. Meanwhile our tanks and guns took potshots at the Tigers. I felt that we should have knocked out more but some great dice, some bad dice, and certainly some average dice made it slow going.
Phil's assualt ran out of steam (Reluctant Trained eh...) but my Pumas managed to get round the flank of Biemeyers Panzer platoon, chipping away at them before getting in behind the line of Tigers.
 Sadly that was all she wrote. Ken and Damian withdrew in good order leaving Phil and I with a single point to show for some pretty intense fighting - 2:5 loss.
Round 4: Free for All vs Mike (who lent me the Pumas) and Andre.
Mike and Andre deployed a massive Soviet gun line stretching the entire table, backed with rock hard infantry and SU assault guns.
Once again we pushed the flank, chipping away at the guns. My Tiger and PaKs also slowly killing the artillery. Yet again those the fragility of Phil's troops was exposed and the lack of "slug it out" ability of the Pumas did not help as Mike's company command T-70 killed off my CO in his Puma.
We put in a decent showing in this game, but Mike was rolling morale tests like a legend and whilst we had a mathematical chance of winning the game his dice kept the Soviets hanging in there. 3:4 loss. 

Round 5: Surrounded vs Paul and Ste with a wall of Soviet infantry and tanks.

Forced to attack the Soviets split their force and sent the bulk of the infantry and T-34s at the objective in the town, whilst a small unit of infantry and SU-100s forced us to keep the back objective secure.
Paul pushed up aggressively, pushing the Panzergrenadier halftracks out of the way and reducing the defensive firepower considerably. Within a couple of turns he would be low on numbers but so would we.
At the other end of the table the Pumas dashed back and wiped out the Soviet infantry before...
dancing around the flanks of the SUs.
This turned out to be a game of two halves. The fun and less stressful end with the Pumas and SUs, and the nail biting end with the rest of the infantry and Phil's force lurking in the streets of the town. Unfortunately for Ste and Paul there was so much firepower in such a small space we were able to wear them down and whilst Phil did not have a lot left it was enough. 4:3 win to us.  

In the end we found ourselves solidly in the bottom quartile of teams, so not a great performance on the scoreboard, but I did get to have a lot of fun running the Pumas around and whilst I still want to paint them army for myself I think it will take a back burner to some Cold War Gone Hot troops... and some Trollbloods of course!

Next up, I've got a few photos from our trip to the Waiouru Army Museum.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

On The Road To Panzerschreck 2015

Over the next few days I'll do a photo dump of my trip to Panzerschreck 2015. Spoiler alert... Phil and I didn't win. In fact we dropped well down the rankings. But we had some awesome games!

These photos aren't technically in order but who cares...
Always time to strike a pose; Phil, Mike, Wayne, Andrew, Mike, Victor and me
Waiouru in the far distance looking cold!
Keeping an eye out for black ice!
Snowball fight!
Fog rolling in... time to leave in case there are white walkers following!
Taupo Hobbies - about an hour north of the rest of the photos. Well worth a visit, lots of cool stuff to check out including some 1/144th scale F-4E Phantoms for my Israelis
Next time, I'll have some in game shots and highlights from the weekends gaming, and then a pile of photos from inside the Waiouru Army Museum. In the meantime, stay frosty.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Getting Excited About Panzerschreck 2015

About 12 months ago on the long drive from Palmerston North and Panzerschreck 2014 Phil and I started discussing a possible team up for this years event. It seemed like a match made in heaven, he claims to know the rules well and I bring a level of charm and sophistication…..

What is Panzerschreck?
For those of you that do not know, Panzerschreck is the oldest (and first) Flames Of War Tournament in the world. It is run by the Manawatu Duellists Society, including our own figure sculptor Evan. For the past few years it has been a teams event where you pick a friend (or rules writer in my case) and build a pair of 1000 point armies. You can trade up to 100 points to help with the list building. You also get to play your games on big 8’ x 4’ tables meaning that there is a lot of real estate to cover. Located in sunny but cold Palmerston North it is a quick 7 hour drive down south so the BF boys get together, hire a big van and declare a road trip!

What are we taking?
Phil already had a list lined up with what he wanted to play – an FHH Panzersturmkompanie from Blood, Guts, & Glory – so I started thinking (as we drove home) about what I could take, but by the time I dropped him off I had a basic idea. Phil had no recon, I wanted to paint Pumas… job done, list built!

Phil’s Component: FHH Panzersturmkompanie from Blood, Guts, & Glory (1090 points)
FHH Panzersturmkompanie HQ 60 points
FHH Panzersturm Platoon 190 points
FHH FlaK Platoon (6x Sd Kfz 251/21)  190 points
FHH Panzerjaeger Platoon (3x Panzer IV/70(V)) 305 points
FHH Mortar Platoon (with Stuka zu Fuss) 165 points
FHH Armoured Flame-thrower Platoon (2x Sd Kfz 251/16) 70 points
FHH Cannon Platoon (4x Sd Kfz 251/9) 110 points

Chris’s Component: Panzerspahkompanie from Atlantik Wall (910 points)
Panzerspahkompanie HQ (1x Sdkfz 234/2 Puma) 50 points
Puma Panzerspah Platoon (1x Panzerspah Patrol - 2 Puma) 100 points
Puma Panzerspah Platoon (1x Panzerspah Patrol - 2 Puma) 100 points
Puma Panzerspah Platoon (1x Panzerspah Patrol - 2 Puma) 100 points
Radio-control Tank Platoon (1x Konigstiger (Porshe)) 250 points
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Anti-tank Gun Platoon (3x 7.5cm PaK40) 155 points
Anti-tank Gun Platoon (3x 7.5cm PaK40) 155 points

With the lists largely settled on quite early you would have expect that I would have gotten straight into assembling and painting the key components quite early. Regular readers will know that I never assemble or paint anything early! As the months slipped by, we found ourselves a few months out with nothing started. Phil got stuck in and made up for lost time, I….. well let’s say I kept thinking about it!

As the last few weeks ticked by I started contemplating wholesale list changes till my previous team mate (Mike Haycock) offered the use of his Panzerspahkompanie. Normally I hate borrowing figures as it means I don’t get things painted (tournaments are a great incentive to finish off the odd unit or army) but this time I was exceptionally grateful as I knew I had no chance of finishing (or starting) the force.

What’s our plan?
Don’t really have one! I’ve never used Pumas (well not since a few games during the V2 rules playtesting) so I am going to learn on the job. Lurking, sneaking, and avoiding the enemy will be my top priority. The Tiger II with its host of special rules will find a nice hill to sit on and try to avoid moving, whilst the PaKs blaze away at enemy medium armour, and occasionally move up if necessary. Phil’s job is to take care of aircraft, infantry, medium tanks, guns, and anything else that the opposition has! Looks like we have a plan after all…

Post Match Entertainment
One of the biggest reasons for heading to Panzerschreck is the fun during the drive down and the gaming in the evening. Every year we make a brief stop in at the Waiouru Army Museum but this year we have decided to come back a day later (and avoid the 2am Monday morning arrival at home) and come back on Monday, and include a stop in and tour at the Museum. We are also going to take down BSG (Phil loves being a Cylon!) and a few other games to keep us entertained during the long cold evenings…

As you can tell I am pretty excited about the weekend away “with the lads”, pushing some toy soldiers around the table and generally having a bit of a laugh. All Phil and I need to do now is get a few wins to top it all off.