First game for 2009

April 11, 2009

A fortnight back, Peter and I went to NWA for a game of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist. Here’s what happened:

First thing was to set up a map for an Encounter scenario. The map agreed upon was thus: map-for-march-2009

Just a road with some hills, copses, a burnt-out forest (impassible terrain for vehicles – see earlier posts for its construction) some thickets and good grassland. A roll of the dice resulted in there being No Wind for the duration of the game. I asked that we play lengthways, rather than the traditional widthways. Since I was fielding Jagdpanthers, Peter agreed to this…even so, there was some concern that it might take too many rounds before enough tanks were in effective range to decide the outcome of the game.

I was playing with 5345 Points Value (much higher than normal) – 4 Jagdpanthers, 6 Tiger Is, 4 StuGs – that comprised one ad-hoc company. Peter had three tank companies.

TURN ONE: The objective was to reach the exact centre of the board.

Peter reckons he’s stumped about deployment, but I’m not. Any plan is better than no plan! My Tigers will take the left flank, the Jagdpanthers the copse on the right flank, and the StuGs will hold the middle (but just hold it…they can’t expect to kill much).

The StuGs and Jagdpanthers advanced to or through woods, depending on their proximity to same  jagdpanthers-using-terrain-1. The Tigers stayed in the woods and opened fire on the IS-2s that appeared opposite them. There was one hit but it bounced off an IS-2 hull.

TURN TWO: I continued to cautiously move the StuGs and Jagdpanthers forward. Another Tiger scored a hit but to no effect. The Russians moved the bulk of their threatened IS-2s to hull-down positions while three returned fire, knocking out Tiger #22. death-of-a-tiger-2 I tested Morale – all OK.

TURN THREE: Now I aggressively pushed my StuGs and Jagdpanthers forward, trying to get them into optimum firing positions. stug-platoon-moving-to-position-2 The Tigers moved cautiously. A company of T-34-85s now made their presence known, emerging from behind a wood. The IS-2s hit a second Tiger, is2s-early-taking-apart-the-tigers destroying its main gun (the mighty 88mm). To protect his comrades, that Tiger laid down a smokescreen with his smoke launchers.

TURN FOUR: The Jagdpanthers finally reached their firing position, jagdpanthers-in-position-and-commencing-firing from where they could gain a little concealment and kill the ISU-152s opposite them. The StuGs knew they had to fire a smokescreen to block the LOS (line of sight) of the ISU-152s, so they swivelled and loaded smoke shells. The Tigers moved to a better position to try to deal with the superior IS-2s. An ISU-152 killed a StuG, but the remaining StuGs successfully laid down a smokescreen stugs-lay-a-smokescreen .

TURN FIVE: Battle was now truly joined. Both sides manouvered extensively, jockeying for position.

The ISU-152s and Jagdpanthers opened up on eachother, with one Jagdpanther lost for two knocked-out ISU-152s. A second Jagdpanther was tracked. isu152s-1 The Russian Morale Check was passed OK.

The StuG platoon command vehicle was immobilised. This was bad, but there was no need for me to test the whole platoon’s Morale, just that of the command vehicle itself.

TURN SIX: The Jagdpanthers swivelled to shoot up IS-2s and T-34-85s jagdpanthers-killing-isu152s. StuGs that could advance did so and the Tigers stayed obscured by trees while they advanced.

The Jagdpanthers then experienced a savage exchange – two more were lost, including the platoon command vehicle. I checked the survivors’ Morale – Shaken. I tested the whole Company – OK.

TURN SEVEN: With more IS-2s killed, the Tigers came back into the action. My lone Jagdpanther was Shaken – so he simply held his position and fired, since he was not being forced to flee or surrender. He killed a T-34-85 platoon command vehicle t34s-mid-war-taking-fire, and that platoon became Shaken. Trying to get revenge, the T-34-85s returned fire and hit the Jagdpanther, but to no effect.

The Stalins killed another Tiger, but I rolled a strong Morale check of 11 – Fine! I was still in the game!

TURN EIGHT: Where the T-34-85s failed in killing that lone operational Jagdpanther, the ISU-152s succeeded. russians-grinding-on-to-victory I tested my whole Company – a 9 – Fine. Then the IS-2s killed my Company Command Tiger – and that was the end of the game.

RESULTS Not only did the Russians put a lot of my vehicles out of action, they got closer to the objective than I did. I got to see the killing power of IS-2s, ISU-152s and Jagdpanthers in action…those Jagdpanthers are deadly, even at long range.

I was disappointed by my Tigers vs. those IS-2s…but this was a historical outcome, the Tiger was outclassed and outgunned by the IS-2, even the early IS-2s.

Tip for the game? Use my smokescreens earlier!

All photos are over at my Flickr account.

Even though it’s been spread over a week, it’s only taken about two hours to assemble a Jagdpanther. Now, the particular kit I’ve assembled is Revell kit #3152, “Jagdpanther & Deutsche Infantrie”. Although the box says that all the contents are 1:72 scale, the Jagdpanther is actually 1:76 scale. As Henk of Holland and On the Way! both state, many of these “Kombi-packs” of vehicles and soldiers contain 1:72 scale Revell soldiers but 1:76 scale Matchbox vehicles – kit #3152 being one of them.

I bought two of the Jagdpanther kombi-packs earlier this year and decided to buy two more, to make a platoon of four Jagdpanthers and also because I intend to use all the soldiers for a company of Panzergrenadiers. I decided to commence work on the Jagdpanthers now as a sort of flow-on from the most recent game of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist I played, so that rather than always playing early and mid War, Peter and I could play late War, when the Eastern Front reversed and moved back across Eastern Europe to Berlin.  I want to see those mighty tank destroyers up against some IS-2s.

Having undertaken my usual preparations of washing the sprues in hot water with some dishwashing liquid in it; thoroughly air-drying the sprues and finally undercoating them with Chaos Black, I began assembly and soon realised I was nearly done in only an hour. In fact, waiting for the glue to dry on the wheels was the longest part. Why?

Well, this kit has one-piece vinyl tracks. Yes, those old-fashioned, horrible soft vinyl tracks that harden and crack after a few years (less if left in the heat). Yes, they are too short to actually fit around the wheels of this kit (believe me, I tried). But if you can stand to put the vinyl tracks on and live with the gap by not trying to make the tracks into one loop (like I was forced to with Roden’s Opel Maultiers), then you get great track sag and quick assembly.

Anyway, it meant that last sunday I had to put all work on the first one on hold as I’d run out of Desert Yellow to begin working on it’s paint scheme!

It’s been a pleasant week, working on this kit. A lot of the detail is permanently fixed on the hull due to the mould, but it’s good detail and should paint up well. Tonight I was working through the Doug Chaltry track-painting technique. Tomorrow I commence work on more modular scenery (including working with another water product) and an AA vehicle!