Childsplay 2008 – “Lets Hold Hands”
Childsplay 2008 – “Lets Hold Hands”
“Childsplay” is a Flames of War tournament held every May in Evesham. This year’s tournament was a Late War tournament.
For this tournament, players played in a pair. On Saturday we played three one-on-one games, and on Sunday we played pair vs pair. I was paired with James Funnel for this tournament; he took Panzers, I took Panzer Pioneers. My Panzer Pioneer Company had:
HQ with 2 Panzerfausts and a Panzerschreck team;
1st Panzer Pioneer Platoon with three squads and a panzerfaust;
2nd Panzer Pioneer Platoon with three squads and a panzerfaust;
Assault Gun platoon with 2 Brummbars;
Panzer Platoon with 3 Panthers;
AA platoon with 2 armoured 20mm AA gun half-tracks; and
Motorised Artillery Battery with 4 105mm guns.
1st Game – Hold the Line vs Roger Whittam (British Armoured)
Roger’s company, like all the British armour, was from “Villiers Bocage” and featured Reluctant Veteran armour in Cromwell Tanks. He had three platoons of Cromwell tanks, but as he was using the 8th Royal Irish Hussars list they didn’t have any Sherman Fireflys. He also had an Anti-tank platoon of 4 M10 17pdr guns, a scout platoon in Universal Carriers, one of which had a PIAT, and some Bofors guns. He also had Limited Typhoons!
This was on one of the ‘bocage’ tables, but as this would have made it very difficult for Roger’s armour we decided it would make a better game if we just counted them as hedges. This paid off as we had a cracking game as his armour smashed through the hedges, completely wrong-footing me by attacking the objective closest to my end of the table, which was lightly defended.
By the time my Brummbars and Panthers arrived Roger’s Cromwells were close enough to whip around my flanks, and a huge tank battle erupted. I managed to destroy his Anti-tank platoon, two of his armoured platoons, and got his last platoon down to just one tank, but it passed its ‘reluctant’ morale test. During the game Roger’s CinC made every ‘hero’ test, moving from a Cromwell to a M10, to a Universal Carrier and finally back to a Cromwell. Roger destroyed one Panzer Pioneer platoon, my Brummbars and my AA Halftracks. He took my artillery down to 3 bases (from 6) but the guns managed to beat off the attacking armoured platoon.
My other Panzer Pioneer platoon and Roger’s Bofors were too far away to intervene, and this focused the attention onto the fight for the objective. On my turn 12 my 2IC with a panzerfaust took out the second Universal Carrier, breaking the platoon, leaving only my 2IC and my last Panther facing the British CinC in a Cromwell and the last M10 tank-destroyer. (At this point I had also destroyed four out of six of Roger’s platoons, but we were so caught up in the action we didn’t notice!). On Roger’s Turn 13 I lost the last Panther, but if I could pass the company morale test I still had the 2iC with a Panzerfaust waiting to take out the last M10 and win the game. Roger and I held our breath but I rolled and failed the company morale test, for a 4-3 loss. This was the best, closest game I had for ages, and I also gave Roger my ‘favourite opponent’ vote – he was relaxed, friendly, and we had a real hoot.
2nd Game – Encounter vs Gavin Moorcroft (4th Special Service Brigade Commandos)
Commandos? Yes, there is a downloadable pdf file that lists this force. Gavin had a company with two Commando platoons and self-propelled artillery; and a second company of two commando platoons and naval gunfire support. This tiny five-platoon army deployed with only one commando platoon and the SP artillery on table, and as one objective was completely undefended I tried a tank-rush up the table. Gavin managed to get his platoon across, but it couldn’t dig in, and my Panthers moved up and machine-gunned the Commandos, taking them to below half strength. The platoon failed its test and the Company Commander joined it for the re-roll. If Gavin had lost the role I would probably have won the game but he made the morale roll. On his turn another Commando platoon turned up on the objective, and his Naval bombardment found its mark, destroying a Panther (naval bombardments are AT6 and 1+ firepower!)
At this point I could have pushed the remaining two Panthers through the hedge and assaulted the two remaining platoon, but 2 PIATS in defensive fire made me nervous, and the Panthers backed off (James rightly upbraided me later for cowardice – I should play tanks far more aggressively!)
3rd Game – Breakthrough vs Stuart Pring (British Rifles)
I deployed my 1st Panzer Pioneer platoon, with CinC and Panzershreck team in a large building, and also deployed my artillery and my Brummbars. On the first turn Stuart’s Crocodiles crossed the hedges to attack my infantry, and at this point I expected him to throw everything over the hedges at me – his four platoons would soon overwhelm my artillery and the Crocodiles would make short work of the Brummbars – then my single platoon would be assaulted and in Assault, numbers count. I thought I might not make the third turn!
However, the Crocodiles moved forwards unsupported, and after killing two guns the Crocodiles were destroyed by my artillery and Brummbars getting flank shots. At this the British infantry went to ground. On turn three I gently asked Stuart why he was making no move to defend the objectives, and it turned out he had no idea that my reserves came on near the objective – he though they simply joined the forces I already had. After I had explained the scenario, Stuart made every effort to get onto the objectives, but by the time his infantry had been joined by his scout platoon and self-propelled anti-tank platoon, I had Panzer Pioneers on the objective supported by Panthers, and Stuart’s mobile forces backed off to let the infantry contest the objective. Sadly for Stuart they just couldn’t get into range, and I held the objective on Turn 6. Although this was a six-one win, it felt a hollow victory, and I wished I had been the defender – at least it would have been easier to make a game of it after Stuart’s misconception had been realised.
Sunday – Game 4
Craig Galbraith (British Armoured) and JP Stubbings (British Parachute Armoured)
Parachute armoured? Yes, there is a pdf for this, and James and I ended up facing five Cromwell platoons, three with Firefly VCs, a parachute assault platoon, some mortars, a self-propelled artillery battery, a self-propelled Anti-tank platoon, an armoured car patrol and some light air-portable tanks. Oh, and some more of those damn rocket-firing Typhoons!
I started facing the British Armour, and deployed my 1st Panzer Pioneer platoon around one objective, with the Company HQ attached, my artillery in the middle and the Brummbars hanging around behind some buildings. James started facing the Parachute Armour, and James deployed his CinC in a Panzer IV, his Panther platoon and his Mobelwagons.
Our opponents massed three armoured platoons and their anti-tank platoon on their left, opposite James, and did a massive double-advance across the table towards James, hiding from James’ force behind a long ridge. At this point things looked grim – if the British had pushed on they might have overwhelmed James’ force with their sheer numbers, and taken out the Panthers with flank shots. However, the British delayed, and James managed to get his Brummbars across and whittle down the Cromwells. On turn 4 my Panthers arrived behind James and got into action on the first turn – this settled the matter, and the British made a desperate assault trying to take out the Panthers with flank shots. This failed, and afterwards the British tanks, scattered and outgunned, were picked off one-by-one. My Panthers also took out the British anti-tank platoon in one round of shooting!
Over on my side of the table was pretty quiet, partly because the Typhoons pinned down my artillery on the first turn and they just would not un-pin! The single British armoured platoon advanced and should have overwhelmed my Brummbars, especially as one Brumbar was bailed out and refused to get back in for three turns! However, some absolutely appalling dice rolling from Craig left my Brummbars unscathed, and they eventually finished off the four British tanks.
The British (well, Belgian actually) armoured car platoon and the British Techrarch (air-portable tanks) platoon arrived late and moved swiftly down the centre of the table. They then moved swiftly close to the objective I was defending, and machine gunned James’ Nebelwerfers. These must have been protected by a force-field, because the machine gun bullets simply missed or bounced off. The nebelwerfers were then assaulted, and they survived that too! Meanwhile, the armoured cars and light-tanks were suffering from anti-aircraft fire from my 20mm guns, machine gun fire from my Panzer Pioneers, and even Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust shots.
The game ended at this point when Craig lost three of his five platoons. Our opponents lost five platoons in total, whilst James and I remarkably lost none, although some of ours were down to half-strength.
Craig and JP were superb opponents, and it was a fun and enjoyable game, but once their initial charge had been held they were on the back foot.
Pos (of 36)
Our Team Score was 308, which was good enough for
Thanks to Chris for organising the tournament, and for everyone who made the tournament such fun.