Nothing kills like bad decisions

November 1, 2008

On thursday night, Peter was hosting Jason M. from Far North Queensland and a longtime player (and playtester) of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist. Naturally, a game was going to be played. Jason and I agreed to lead a company of Germans in an Encounter scenario against two companies of Russians. The German forces were as follows:

  1. Platoon (4 vehicles) StuG III G
  2. Platoon (4) Marder III(h)
  3. Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers with early Panzerfausts, in 4 Steyr 1500A heavy cars
  4. Single Sd.Kfz 251/17 AA vehicle

The Russians had:

  • Company (5 vehicles) KV 1, 1942 edition
  • Company (7) T-34/76, 1941 edition with 2 platoons of Infantry with SMGs and a MG Platoon in GAZ-AAAs.

The year was 1943 and the objective was to take the small ridge on the big hill in the centre of the table. Here’s the table:

Adding in some weather effects, Gale force winds were rolled for, heading South East. Those two rolls for winds wiped out the possibility of Germans relying on smoke shells and smoke launchers!

TURN 1: Both armies advanced toward the objective, the Germans trying to get the Marders there first, as their guns would tear apart any Russian armour. Peter’s KV1 company was placed in a corner and could see the Steyr 1500As through a thin firing alley. Those that could let fly with direct area fire. The direction of travel for the Steyrs was my decision and already my tactics were looking poorly conceived. Miraculously, none of the Steyrs was hit.

TURN 2: Stupidly I decided to abandon my plan of directing the Steyrs and the 251/17 forward to cover one end of the hill, and instead turned them left toward the security of the nearby forest. I also decided to have the StuGs turn right and deal with the KVs, while Jason would best place the Marders forward. The KVs could still see the Steyrs and 251/17 and chose to keep firing at them, even though they could now also see Marders. Out came all the measuring tapes to judge ranges and lines-of-sight.

Peter rolled to hit. The results of his rolling technically ended the game there, as the direct area fire of the KVs blew up my Company HQ in their fleeing Steyr, even though the other vehicles were unscathed. For Jason’s benefit, this outcome was changed – another Steyr was destroyed instead. They passed their Morale check but the only way for them to be safe was to continue to retreat into the forest – a retreat without a Retreat from a failed Morale test. *Sigh*.

TURN 3:Jason’s tactical synapses were busily snatching back victory while my synapses floundered. With 6 pips to use for actions this turn, we could reposition all our armour as we wished. Still, the Russians destroyed the final infantry Steyr causing a further Morale check. Jason ‘tracked’ a KV and got it out of the game but lost a Marder in the process. The StuGs hit the KVs but didn’t penetrate the heavy front armour of the KVs.

TURN 4: The T-34s and the infantry had gained a toehold on the hill and now moved to secure the objective. Jason and I elected not to move our forces much and concentrate on knocking out the KVs. Fire was exchanged but to no effect.

TURN 5: It was now past midnight and effectively the end of the game, so Peter sent his Russians over the hill and a few around its side. My StuGs ‘tracked’ two KVs, one being a Platoon Commander. Jason’s Marder that had reached the objective was in trouble. Red infantry was almost on it and so they let rip. Now, the Marder III(h) had an open rear, so it’s crew only gets Soft cover versus infantry fire, the infantry also gaining +4 for shotting from behind. That Marder died and another two ended up Stunned for 5 turns. The last one, whom had been in support of the others, used direct area fire to kill four infantry bases – the other two infantry bases now surrendered to that Marder. The flanking T-34s and my flanking StuG had no real effect on each other. End of game – the Russian T-34’s held the objective and far outnumbered the Germans.

Only a five turn game? Many of the games I’ve played with Peter have gone to twelve, and most games should go for at least ten. On reflection, I should have kept pushing the Steyrs to their original destination. My decision, made during panic, to instead hide in the forest got a lot of men killed and prematurely ended the game. Nothing kills like bad decisions.

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4 Responses to “Nothing kills like bad decisions”

  1. Peter Stone said

    Great write up of the battle, and the photos are awesome too.

  2. Ned said

    Hi guys.
    Great Blog, fantastic models. Was amazed to see the old Panzerfaust still kicking around, with games involving the developer no less!!! I used to play the old 2nd Ed back in the ’90s, now after a decade out of the hobby, have just got my hands on the 4th Ed. Was wondering if the “Jason M” mentioned in this entry was still in FNQ, that is my location and I will be looking for someone for a game or two in the future!!!
    Cheers, love your work.

    • Eastern Funker said

      Thanks for your generous praise!
      I’ve passed along your details to Jason Montague via the only email address I have for him…hopefully he’ll get iun contact with you and you’ll be able to play some games up there in QLD!

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