Having put plenty of paint on my Flames of War Panthers, and various additional units, to assist them in their plans to foil the allies, I took them out for a spin. An initial 2,500pt game against James and his Yanks fell through (you could almost smell the American’s fear….) but the Russians, obviously to daft to know fear, stepped into the breach. An initially organised 2,500pt game against Pete spiralled up to 4,000pts a side when Red joined proceedings, and I provided and commanded all 4,000pts of Germans. This sadly meant I had to use some part painted models rather than an entirely painted army but I did get to use all my newly painted bits and a horde of stuff that rarely has an outing.
With such large forces we expanded the table to a 6ft depth with a 7.5ft width and deployed two objectives for each side in the enemy deployment zone in appropriately positioned spots (we made the scenario up in other words). We then rolled off with the winner setting up first and then going first. Pete won the roll, and the Russians went first.
A blow by blow account in black and white would be much too painful for Pete and Red, for whom the game finished in around an hour and a half with both Russian companies decimated. They were unfortunate in the location of two pieces of scenery; the first a handily placed hill which one of my Panther platoons used to play hide and seek to great effect. The second a built-up area, dominated by my Konigstiger, which blocked the Russian lines of sight as they were picked off from range. During a horror show for anyone East of Poland a special mention should go to Petes ISU-122’s who managed to move a sum total of 6” throughout the game thanks to some atrocious luck trying to get through a forest! Apart from that the Russians attacked German armour from the front, and their opportunities to hit back were too limited to make a difference.
|The battlefield from the German side, note the built up area and large central hill that enabled my Panthers to dominate the approaches.|
|Red's armour, including 5 IS-2's.|
|I was a big fan of Pete's paint job on the Russians, here were his captured Panthers.|
|The bogged down ISU-122's|
|A brave (foolish?) Stuart in the town.|
|One of Petes plans almost came to fruition, but the Panthers survived and the supporting Panzer IV's wiped out the Russian light tanks.|
|Pete's snow camouflage.|
With 8:15pm reached Pete withdrew and me and Red placed 2,000pts of troops on the same table, but swapping sides. This had the feeling of being closer, but still resulted in a German victory, if only because Red misjudged the position of some sneaky German 8-rad armoured cars. With the IS-2’s and T34/85’s playing out a long range duel with my Panthers the Sd Kfz 231’s sneaked into the town under heavy covering fire just before I would have been outflanked on both sides.
In truth I would have been happy being pounded from one end of the (lovely looking) battlefield and back just to see my newly painted troops take to the field. In fact I spent rather an unnecessarily long time just looking at them, until I saw Petes winter camouflage and was wowed by that instead. As it was I was very fortunate to play two quality opponents who didn’t let a horrible beating (and some appallingly bad, and good, dice rolls) put them out of humour, and my sense of guilt lasted only until around 5:30am the next morning.
|Second game, and my Panthers began it in the open while the Russians had the hill and town.|
|Russians creeping around the flanks but just too late.|