This was the second year that this event has been run and the Spiky boys where aiming to build on the success of last years event. 18 players came along for a day of fun and friendly Flames of War games, supported by copious cups of coffee, a buffet lunch and of course the BAR.

This year I chose to take a Panzer Kompanie along, comprising of

HQ – panzer III N and Panzer IV H

Platoon 1 – 3 Panzer III N’s

Platoon 2 – 3 StuG G

Platoon 3 – 3 Panzer II Luch

Platoon 4 – 3 Panzer II Luch 

 Last year almost everyone was playing with infantry companies so I was surprised to find a lot of other people had brought along Panzers this year, two players where even totting Panthers in there 1500points!

Three games were played during the day, each one a custom scenario so there where plenty of surprises lined up for everyone.  Here’s how my games panned out…….

Game 1 – Rearguard – v American Ranger Company

The attacker starts off table while the defender starts at the attackers end of the board and must get his troops off the opposite table edge to score points.

The Americans as the defenders deployed two platoons of Stuarts and a platoon of Shermans to cover there infantries retreat and waited with baited breath for the pursuing Germans to come into there sights.

Attacking platoons had to pass moral tests to enter the fray, in my first turn this resulted in only one platoon of Panzer II Luch tanks coming on table – they quickly attacked and assaulted an American infantry platoon, causing several casualties including the company command and pushing them back. In the Americans turn all the foot sloggers promptly started to ‘Truscott Trot’ up the table while his tanks surrounded and destroyed my Luch.

Turn two saw my Panzer III’s and Stugs come on but there shooting was fairly ineffectual, only taking out a Sherman. American return fire took down a  StuG while there infantry continue the Trot. It was already looking like it would be difficult, if not impossible for me to catch the rest of his army.

The Tank battle hotted up in Turn 3 as the german tank gunners suddenly remembered how to shoot and by the end of turn 4 all of the American tanks were burning; but they had done there jobs as the american infantry where now far to far away for the germans to reach, a few long range shots exploded amongst the rangers, thinning there numbers but no where near enough.

Result: 5 out of 8 American platoons escaped so it was a close victory to the U.S of A

Game 2 – Night Fight – v British Para’s

Free for all scenario except the first 6 turns are played at night with visibility starting at 4″ and increasing by 4″ each turn

The Para’s won first turn and promptly dug in on there objectives – bristling with Piats and Sticky Bombs they new the panzers would have trouble shifting them. I drove my Panzers into gun range and since the Para’s chose to keep there heads down the german gunners waited paitently for daytime and then started bombarding the british positions as soon as it was light enough.

casualties were slow but eventually enough of the British men lay dead in there foxholes that the Germans could assault there positions, Once daylight broke British Hurricane planes came to the Para’s rescue, with flights of three planes coming in for three consecutive turns. they disrupted the German attack and left a tank burning with each pass but it was only enough to forestall the Panzers attack.

When time was called the Germans where in a commanding position, I had taken control of an objective on my last turn and encircled the last of the Para’s. At the beginning of the next turn I would have won a convincing victory but that turn never came.

Result: Draw in the Germans favour.

Game 3 – Piggy in the Middle – v Russian Strelkovy

Game played along the table with a central objective and a vital objective at each end that’s worth bonus points. the winner would be the player in control of the most objectives at the end of the game.

In this game I faced a strelkovy horde on a heavily forested table with no clear lines of sight, victory would be a miracle!

The Russians had the first turn and immediately started advancing en-mass, the russian player kept his troops in big columns so that he could advance them though the forested areas, while keeping them out of sight. My panzers drove out to meet him, but the restricted paths through the forest meant a lot of my tanks had to take positions in the forest itself and very promptly started to bog down in the difficult terrain.

Before long the familiar sawing sound of MG42 machine guns started to break the peace but the russian infantry kept coming, it simply wasn’t possible to get enough tanks into position to stop the advancing infantry and they were soon swarming over my positions, destroying my bogged tanks and pushing the rest back until I was defending my Vital objective.

Luckily for me this time, the game ended before he could seize the last objective and in his rush to take it he had managed to leave a gap in his line, allowing one of my fast Luch tanks to sneak through and contest the central objective pushing the game result to a draw.

All in all an excellant  days gaming and an event I’ll be looking forward to returning to next year

– James