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Game 1

Tigers in the Snow
Mike Haught's Panzerschreck VIII Ordeal

This year I decided to bring the new Schwere Panzerkompanie from River of Heroes, more commonly known as the King Tiger list. I should preface this with revealing that as a staunch Allied player, I have never played Germans in a tournament before, let alone heavy tanks. With that in mind I was put in command of one of German’s most expensive and elite fighting units in the game. So, who’s fault was that really?

Seriously though, I’ve been gearing up to put together a Gepanzerte Pionierkompanie but I knew I couldn’t get the whole force done in time for Panzerschrek so I painted a platoon as a support choice. I also had some King Tigers kicking around and who doesn’t want to paint up a batch of those? Finally, as Wirbelwind anti-aircraft tanks aren’t available yet, I went with armoured Quad half-tracks. So that was it: my list-noodling in a nutshell…

When I arrived at the tournament I carried my massive list in a small 7”x11” (18cm x 28cm) box. I couldn’t help but think I left something behind! The first draws were up and I was off to fight a Guards Tankovy…
I decided on a post-Ardennes scheme; taking place somewhere in mid-March 1945. I wanted to do a faded whitewash and then distress the vehicles to give them that look as though they’ve been in campaign for quite some time.

The List

Company Command Königstiger (Henschel)
 350 points
Command 2iC Königstiger (Henschel)   
 345 points
Combat Platoons
Schwere Panzer Platoon with 1x Königstiger (Henschel)  345 points
Schwere Panzer Platoon with 1x Königstiger (Henschel) 
 345 points
Weapons Platoon
Schwere Panzer Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon
    with 2x Armoured Sd Kfz (Quad 2cm)
 110 points
Support Platoon
Panzerpionier Platoon
    with 2x Squads and 5x Sd Kfz 251/7 half-tracks   
 250 points
 1745 points
My army

Game 1
Encounter vs. Gvardeyskiy Tankovy Batalon (Steve Chambers)

As 21 T-34/85 tanks lined up against me I thought that my King Tigers would have their hands full. Steve’s tanks moved down against one flank to overwhelm the two Tigers covering my right objective. The Tigers managed to find some targets and took down one of the Tankovy companies and wreak havoc on the second.
Meanwhile a Rota Razvedki platoon mounted in universal carriers arrived from Steve’s reserve and rushed down the left flank. My reserves, on the other hand, were busy not arriving.

The tank battle on the right continued and finally my pioneers arrived on the right to help deal with the half dozen T-34 tanks remaining. Their flame-thrower bailed one of them, but despite having a perfect setup with only a single T-34 able to defensive fire, the pioneers opted to not assault and instead weather a hail of fire from Steve’s tanks—which they miraculously survived intact.

 Game 1
Game 1

The Rota doubled down the left again just in time to encounter my Quads which arrived from reserve. The Quads shot up a pair of carriers and the infantry fell back. Several assaults ensued until the Rota were neutralised completely. However, danger lurked on the right flank.

The King Tigers became embroiled in a point blank struggle with the T-34/85s, losing one tank to enemy fire. Despite their best efforts reducing the second Tankovy to a single tank, the Tigers couldn’t shoot them off of the objective, which fell under Soviet control.

Game 2
Hasty Attack vs. SS-Panzergrenadierkompanie (Derek Body)

It was decided that my tank company needed some training after their last performance so I was assigned to pair off against a crack SS company. The table was dense on the right with hedges and mud behind which the greatest threat to my tigers lurked: 15cm artillery. I decided to deploy in the rough terrain in an attempt to knock out the guns as quickly as possible.

This plan was perhaps the worst one I had formed all weekend, other than ordering a New Zealand “hot dog” for dinner the night before. The overloaded King Tigers got stuck in WWI-style mud all game long and managed to move a grand total of perhaps 16” all together.

I then proceeded to make a second bad decision, one that even rivalled the “hot dog” choice. I ran my half-tracks at-the-double down the center of the board in a Graebner-style assault. Unfortunately, a pair of SS Tigers showed up right in front of them from reserve and devastated the platoon.

Game 2
In the end I managed to kill two 15cm guns, three stands of infantry and that’s about it before finally ending the game with a total loss. I experienced my worst casualty rate losing all the pioneers, one Quad half-track, and two King Tigers.
Game 3

Game 3
No Retreat vs. British Parachute Company (Mark ‘Mike’ Owen)

Mark and I sat down to a leisurely game, each of us having been pounded into the loser’s bracket. As I looked on in despair at the nine Fearless Veteran platoons that I would have to face as an attacker, I wrote off my chance at a win as slightly better than the likelihood of the second bite of the New Zealand “hot dog” actually tasting good.

Learning from the previous games, I bunched up my strike force as a single cohesive unit—using the Tigers and infantry together to accomplish the mission. I decided to attack up the right flank and try to tank shock to bounce the paras off the objective.

Game 3

I knew that there would be 17-pdr anti-tank guns somewhere, but I deployed the Tigers in such a way that hopefully the worst that could happen was the loss of two tanks. When the ambush stuck this is exactly what happened and I focused all firepower on the anti-tank guns and followed it up with a mounted assault.

The Pioneers were the stars of the game, cleaning out two para platoons, a pioneer platoon and the remains of the 17-pdrs. Keeping the Tigers close by helped them defend against counterassaults with a few of the heavy tanks getting re-roll misses for their Tiger Ace ability.

Game 3

Miraculously, the Tigers managed to keep the enemy off the objective and secure their first win for the tournament… Maybe I should have taken a second bit of the new Zealand “hot dog”?*

My last game doubled my total victory points for the tournament. My troops were gaining confidence in themselves and I was beginning to learn how to use the army a bit more effectively.

*Upon referring to Wayne, a native Kiwi, the answer to that question was unequivocally "no".
My army

Game 4
Fighting Withdrawl vs. Motostrelkovy (Josh Forrester)

Josh’s Motostrelkovy had the task to hold off my tanks while his forces withdrew. I deployed my force heavily in the center and made a dash for the middle objective. As they pounded the anti-tank guns defending the objective, the 2iC tank managed to take out an entire IS-2 tank company by himself. Meanwhile, T-34/85s appreared in ambush and gave the tigers a scare. I had to react to this threat and eliminate the Soviet tanks before I could proceed, losing a critical turn.

When the Soviet tanks were eliminated the Tigers refocused on the objective and pressed the attack home. However, Josh’s Motostrelkovy company moved to contest the objective making sure I would have to fight another turn. The Tigers then launched assaults to try and keep the infantry away from the objective. Once the Tigers had pinned down the enemy infantry, the pioneers crashed into the Soviets with another mounted assault. The Quads joined in as well closing ranks with the Tigers to prevent Motostrelkovy teams from slipping by to contest the objective.

At this point the Soviets were hammered to below half-strength and needed to make a company morale. Fortunately for my Tigers the enemy quit the field of battle, leaving the objective in German control. My company escaped any casualties as well, adding a much needed morale boost to troops, dice and player alike.
 Game 5

Game 5
Free-for-All vs. US Armoured Rifles (Mike Clement)

This last game seemed like it was over faster than it took to set up. Feeling perhaps a bit overly confident coming off my last two victories, I completely ignored my last two games and decided to spread my Tigers out again, just like I did in game two.


Mike deployed his infantry on both flanks and marched them forward using terrain. The veteran 2nd Armoured troops were impossible to find in the wheat fields and woods that they advanced through. Then they arrived on both objectives simultaneously.

My Tigers reacted as if they were the subjects of a surprise birthday party: shocked, awkward and wearing the wrong clothes. They were utterly unprepared for the task at hand. Eighty billion bazookas led the charge on each flank shooting and assaulting in a scene that, if real, must have looked like the 4th of July. The heavy tanks were clearly caught with their pants down and the zipper stuck in their socks.

Suddenly, it was all over. Mike superbly swept the battlefield knocking out a King Tiger and both Quads at the loss of two Shermans and a handful of infantry.

The Wrap Up

The tournament was great fun. Many thanks to all of my opponents and to Evan and Tom for organising the event. I’m definitely planning on finnishing the Pioneers into a full list with perhaps some King Tigers in support!  

- Mike Haught

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Last Updated On Thursday, July 23, 2009 by Blake at Battlefront