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Easter Weekend Clash

Easter Weekend Clash
With Alexander Nebesky

On a rainy Easter Monday in Orewa, Casey and I headed over to Pete’s for a good old-fashioned Mid-War throwdown.

It was the first time I’d taken any of my Mid-War models out to have a game, having previously only played Late-War with my Open Fire! Kit or using studio or playtesting armies.

Naturally, I was a little worried about my decidedly “good-enough” painting being scrutinised by Casey (a top level painter in his own right) and Pete (who has a whole bunch of beautiful miniatures right there to compare them to), but that’s not what we were there for. We were there to throw mighty steel war machines at one another and there could be only one winner.

We settled on some sort of Tunisian/Italian game on account of the fact that my two armies were Mid-War desert Italians from Avanti and Americans from Fighting First. It would be Casey against Pete and I, and the two of us would split an army- I’d take the Italians, and Pete would take the German support. Casey would run a US list.

At 150 points each we had a lot to work with, but we were also somewhat limited by my choice of models (supplemented by a few extra Shermans from Pete’s own collection).


 

Pete and Alex

Casey

Avanti Formations

Bersaglieri Rifle Company HQ- 1 pts

Rifle Platoon- 5 pts
Rifle Platoon- 5 pts
Rifle Platoon- 9 pts

Tank Company HQ- 2 pts

M14/41 Tank Platoon- 9 pts
M14/41 Tank Platoon- 9 pts
Semovente SP Battery- 20

100mm Howitzer Battery- 12 pts
L6/40 Light Tank Platoon- 5 pts
Assault Engineer Platoon- 15 pts

Ghost Panzers Support

Panzer III Tank Platoon- 25 pts

+ 2 long 5cm- 4 pts

Tiger Tank Platoon- 29 pts

Fighting First Formations

M4 Sherman Tank Company HQ- 16 pts

M4 Sherman Tank Platoon- 32 pts
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon- 32 pts
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon- 32 pts

M10 3-Inch Tank Destroyer Platoon- 16pts
M3 Stuart Tank Platoon- 6 pts
Armored Rifle Platoon- 15 pts

‘Lucky’ Command Card- 1 pt


 

With the armies laid out it was clear that Pete and I lacked a lot of AT, the lone Tiger (which I painted in the Italian air force paint from Tunisia) notwithstanding, so we needed to make use of our numbers to overcome Casey’s solid steel wall.

Easter Weekend Clash Easter Weekend Clash
The key thing to remember is that italian tanks are made of papier-mâché, so we needed to get them as close to the Shermans as we could, as quickly as we could on the right flank, while we charged our Bersaglieri into Casey’s left flank at an alarming rate of knots. The Tiger and Panzer IIIs would form a great big door stop in the centre of the table along with the Semoventes and try to cause as much damage as possible.
Easter Weekend Clash

That plan sounds good in hindsight, but what ensued was more of a haphazard, disorganised general shambling towards a wall of steadfast Sherman firing impressively accurate rounds straight into our brave Italian forces. Casey was outplaying us by far, but he lacked one key skill—he wasn’t rolling many successful firepower tests.

Easter Weekend Clash

Easter Weekend Clash
Each turn we drew closer and closer, though there were losses on the advance including a platoon of M14/41s biting the dust something terrible (but not before putting paid to Casey’s M10s) along with a platoon of L6/40s who turned tail and ran in the face of superior Sherman firepower.
Easter Weekend Clash Easter Weekend Clash

Eventually, Tiger and Panzer IIIs were able to score some destructive shots from the centre of the table, punching rounds through the side armour of a platoon of Shermans while the 100mm Howitzer shredded Casey’s Armoured Rifle Platoon. The Semoventes and remaining M14/41s managed remarkably to bail or destroy the Sherman HQ causing a formation rout and handing Pete and I the win.

I’m not going to pretend we deserved it, but in the end who’s counting the result? (I am).

Sometimes it just goes to show that sheer blundering and weight of numbers, coupled with the criminally bad luck of your opponent can yield a victory for the history books.

I look forward to a rematch, though I don’t fancy being on the receiving end of Casey’s beloved Das Reich.
~Alex


Last Updated On Thursday, May 2, 2019 by Luke at Battlefront