After an early start, game one was Dust Up. My opponents were relative newbies (a team-up side) using Welsh Guards tanks. I was a bit apprehensive as the terrain afforded no where to hide my Panthers. So I opted to deploy back and force them to close. Hopefully I could weather a moving-ROF volley and then let loose with my AT 14 guns to clear all major threats. Turned out it worked, wiping out all tanks deployed on the table in the first round of shooting.
They made a couple of critical errors that I exploited straight away to grab an objective very early in the game. After a quick 6-1, we decided to continue the game. My opponents were curious about exploring their list and trying out tactics as was I about my Panzer Brigade, so we worked through the rest of the turns. Had a good time, but I was under no illusion that this victory only meant a tough matchup next round!
Round 2 was Breakthrough vs. Andy's 4th Armored Division Medium Tank Company (a historical matchup). With a mix of 75 and 76mm Shermans and a full armored rifle platoon, it was tough going. I slammed my troops around the center village which was held by the armored rifles. My plan was to hit the objective ASAP and dig in like a tick with my infantry. Worked well until the arrival of Andy's tanks from reserve. I hoped to pull off the same trick as the game before, and it almost worked, but I failed all of my firepower tests and the next turn resulted in nearly all Panthers KO'd. End of game, 2-5.
Round 3 was Fighting Withdrawal against Rob's Elephant company. Rob deployed heavy on my left flank, and I lined up my entire force along the right. All that stood between my army and the objective was one Reluctant Trained 88 and a platoon of grenadiers. The rest of Rob's force was Slow Tanks (Elephants and Tigers), so reaction time would take a few turns to bring his firepower to bear.
It should have been easy. The 88 had to be dealt with otherwise it was going to be a problem in future turns, so the plan was to wipe out the 88 on the fly and then knock out the infantry, all within 2 turns. As it happened, I failed to pin down a Trained 88, went ahead and lost an entire armored infantry platoon in the process. I had to dedicate all of my panthers, enroute to hit the infantry, to KO the gun on the following turn, losing a 2 Panthers in the process (my CiC and 2iC).
The rest of my infantry snuck around the side of the infantry and did little but get nailed piece meal by a single Elephant. It was up to my Panthers to risk an assault, which they actually succeeded in doing and broke the Grenadiers. However, time was against me and the delays cost me that objective otherwise it would have been mine. So my only call at this point was to break my opponent's morale, and since I was sitting at 50% myself it was going to require some luck. However, Rob's heavy vehicles were now in range and I would have to endure a hell of a lot of incoming high anti-tank rounds. Miraculously, perhaps aided by the burning wrecks of my CiC and 2iC, I didn't lose any tanks, so I rammed them all forward in a screaming heap KOing all of Rob's Tigers. It was morale time for him, pass it and he wins by ending the game on turn 8, fail it and the game is mine....
He rolled a 5! Game, 3-4. Excellent and well earned result, easily the most exciting and nail-biting game I've had in a while!
So I ended the event with 11 VP and getting 4th out of 10 players, not bad for a first try at a tournament with a Panzer Brigade. I'll try them against sometime soon, I wager! Thanks to all of my opponents and thanks to Gav for running a fun little event!