I was back to the civilised scale this week, after my sojourn into big toys.
Sandy and I arranged a Panzer Grenadier game. As the name suggests, this is a WWII game. We play early war (39/40) because we don’t have enough mid or late war toys, yet.So I brought along my Poles and Sandy brought his Germans for Neil to command, while Sandy was ‘referee’. This would be the second time on a table for my Poles. Their first outing was a nightmare for me as Neil made short work of obliterating them.
Poland, September 1939
The scenario objectives were pretty simple, the Germans were attacking and needed to take 2 of the 3 villages for a victory, all 3 would be an overwhelming victory. The Poles just had to hold the villages.As the defenders, the Poles had a ‘hidden deployment’ which was marked on a map. As the attacker, Neil didn’t have this advantage and his deployment was visible. He did, however have reserves available to him.
The villages defended by the Poles
After winning the initiative in the first couple of turns, the Poles made the Germans move first, while they waited until the right moment to reveal themselves. That happened as the infantry crested the hill on their right flank and the left flank became visible to an anti-tank gun placed in the village on the Polish left. The infantry were unaffected, but the car towing a German gun was ‘cooked’.
First blood to the Poles
That’s when things started to look bleak for the Poles. The Germans brought on their ‘big tanks’, a PIV and 2 PIIIs. They also stormed the villages on the flanks, driving the defenders out of the right flank village completely, and out of half of the left flank village. The Poles attempted to call in an artillery barrage, which, if it had been successful, could have damaged or destroyed the German tanks. However, after calling for support, communication was lost with the guns and the barrage didn’t arrive. Neil, knowing I would try again, spread out the tanks so any later barrage would only land on 2 of them.
German armour advance down the road
The Germans then advanced to consolidate their gains, but a well timed counter attack from the displaced infantry, with support from the infantry that had been holding the centre village, retook the right flank buildings, throwing the Germans back. On the Polish left, however, things were not looking so good. The Germans debussed a platoon of elite panzer grenadiers and they joined a combined assault on the Polish anti-tank gun and the final stand of stubborn Polish infantry holding the village. Finally, the Germans brought on their final units, 2 more tank platoons consisting of 2 PIIs and a PI in each.
The Polish retake the village
Last German tanks
With time getting short, and one village taken, the Germans rushed their remaining 2 half-tracks across the field to retake the other flank village. The PIs and PIIs then advanced left and right in a classic pincer movement, while the PIIIs and PIV drove straight up the centre.
German panzers advance on their rightand their left
Although the Germans didn’t know it, I was fully aware that the middle village was completely undefended and there was nothing between it and the German infantry on their right flank. It was at this point that I brought the Polish tanks into the battle. 4 mighty 7TPs! (stop sniggering, they’re better than PIIs).
Polish armour enter the fray
Now, I wouldn’t say that the sight of these awesome machines panicked the Germans, but they did call in their air support pretty quickly after seeing them! However, the Luftwaffe must have loaded the Stuka with dummy bombs, as it did very little damage. The next turn, the Poles ‘cooked’ a PII.
It was agreed that, as time was running out, that the next turn would be the last. The Germans won the initiative and attempted an assault on the Polish right, to take the village (again). Unfortunately for them, half of their assaulting troops were suppressed and stopped on the way in and those that made it were unable to dislodge the Polish defenders. So, a victory for the Poles. Although, if the game had lasted a few turns longer, the Germans would have won.
This makes an unprecedented 5 wins in a row for me. My winning streak will surely end soon. Neil certainly hopes so, “French are coming out next week,” he is quoted as saying. By which, he means his new French army for late 17th century (Lace Wars). I don’t have the toys for this period (yet) but Sandy is providing some Imperialist Germans to beat up Louis XIV.
If you want to spend a pleasant evening recreating history, or you’re just a big kid that wants to play with toy soldiers, come along on Thursday evening to the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Club in Broughton Street, a welcome is guaranteed.
Thanks for reading,