Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bach update

Over the winter I've spent most of my weekends and holidays working on the bach. l've left the bulk of the work to the two very skilled builders who I have hired to do the build but have also been doing all I can to help out to cut down on costs.  I've been doing stuff such as taking all the rubbish to the dump, labouring for the brickie, picking up materials from the hardware stores in town, putting in the insulation, painting the ply and battens prior to the ply sheets going on etc. During my last holidays prior to heading up to Panzershrek I spent five days labouring and helping out on the build- the first two mornings we finally got a winter, -5 and -7 first thing in the morning. Unfortunately there was no insulation in at that stage so it was as cold inside as it was out! After a very, very mild winter up to that point it was a bit of a shock to the system!

The build has been a bit slower than I'd hoped but we were held up a couple of times and the guys have had other smaller projects now and then that they've done but we are finally reaching completion, hopefully the end of next week they'll be finished.  

About to start- as you can see is a small typical kiwi bach. It was pretty small at about 65m2 in floor area. I'd cleared most of the old deck prior to this shot.

The digger prepares the hillside for the build

Foundations are laid.

A few weeks later we finally see the addition starts to take shape. Upstairs will be a bedroom with a balcony, below is the new north & west facing lounge- so gets maximum sun.

A few from where the car parks- which ha always had the best views!

Last school holidays I spent a couple of says putting in all the insulation.

Last weekend it is finally starting to take shape. Eventually I intend to get rid of all the old cladding (which I hate) but need to see how the finances hold up- so far we are on track with the budget so might be able to do that too. If not it will be painted black to tie it in better with the new build.

I arrived down there yesterday to find that the walls had been gibbed and stopped and also that the stairs were finally in- no more clambering up a ladder to get to the upstairs.  So we are now on the home straight.

Below is a shot taken yesterday. The scaffolding finally came down this  week. The balustrade for the balcony was supposed to arrive on Friday. My wife headed up to CHCH to pick it up only to be rung up when up there by the company to say it had a scratch on it and was going to need to be re-powder coated over the weekend. It is now due tomorrow and I'll take it down after work.

Last weekend I gave the upper storey a second coat before the scaffolding came down.  I was hoping to stain the lower level today but the weather was a bit crappy so worked on the inside instead- prepping to paint next weekend. By the time I got down yesterday there wasn't time to take a load of rubbish to the dump (hence the pile of rubbish for me in the photo below).

 You may notice that the front is a completely different colour to the rest of it. My plan was always to stain it black but a couple of weeks ago the building inspector informed us that as the front is also a  bracing wall it can't be stained but must be painted and in a lighter colour to reduce the impact of UV light. To say I was a tad annoyed is an understatement but will come up with a solution to the problem. I've a couple of ideas in mind.

The above photos also shows my latest purchase. On Friday after work I headed up to Christchurch and picked up a hottub! I've wanted one for quite a while but they also seemed to be very, very expensive. A mate of mine however has recently had one made by a friend of his so I contacted the guy and he was willing to build another and at a very, very reasonable price.  As well as hand building the tubs he is also a sheet metal worker so built the heating unit as well. It is pretty simple woodfired and takes about 3-4 hours to heat up. Note the firebox/heater unit is just sitting in it and I need to install it next weekend once I've settled on a place for the tub. 

So a 3 hour drive south was in order yesterday with a rather large hottub on the trailer - the weather was a bit dodgy too- strong winds around Ashburton preceding a cold southerly blast which made the trip a tad interesting.

Anyway, this was the view from the balcony this morning after the southerly. The Kakanui ranges finally have a reasonable covering of snow.

So the finishing line is now in sight but I've still a few weekends of painting ahead.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Panzershrek Game 5

Game 5: Dust up vs Bede Bailey and Russell Briant

Going into the final round somehow Poochie and I had burgled our way to top of the standings along with Bede and Russell but very, very good players. In fact Poochie and I were hoping that we might not have to face them but as it turns out we did and that as both teams had a really good shot at winning the entire comp (not that that was a goal when we started) so it made for the perfect way to finish the weekend. Pity a complete brain fade by me on turn 1 by me almost turned an exciting, crazy, fun final game into a non-event but more of that shortly.

Bede and Russell ran a French Recon and British (vet) infantry force.
Bede ran something like:
·        1x Hotchkiss
·        5x Hotchkiss
·        3x Somuas (?)
·        4x Panhard Armoured cars
·        3x Panhard armoured cars
·        4x laffey portees

Bede’s French recon was voted the best painted army of the comp- you can see what, it was lovely!

It was well supported by a very solid infantry force of Russell’s:
·        2x Vet British infantry
·        4x Vet 25pdrs
·        4x Vet 25pdrs

For some reason at the start of the game I just couldn’t get my head around Dust Up and what we needed to do to win the game- a result of lack of playing- the objective placement really did my head in! In fact I had completely forgotten my standard tactics in that one till partway though the game and that really did almost cost us the game early on.

Turn 1: Poochie and I got the first turn so I advanced one panzer 3 out of the woods near the front objective to snipe a panhard armoured cars, then I planned to then stormtrooper the tank back into cover. However, at the last minute I also decided to add my commander to have a second crack- and so risk my only platoon on table unnecessarily! I had assumed the laffeys would have been out or range after moving but boy was I wrong! In fact I really hadn’t counted them in my plan at all and that was a HUGE mistake.  Then I failed to Stormtrooper back into cover and so was left with both tanks hanging out in the open on the road!

 Seeing the chance to win the game on turn 1 Bede and Russell pounced, suddenly my panzers were swarmed by panhards and laffeys which raced forward into range. Not only that but Russell man handled 2x 25 pdrs down the road towards the mk 3s which had no cover. As it turned out pure luck saved my bacon, I managed to bounce a 25 pdr hit (needing a 6) and the hit that did penetrate a panzer 3 only bailed it due to a poor firepower roll so I survived the shooting but I was absolutely gutted that I had almost cost Poochie a chance of a good game vs these guys by playing like a beginner and we really should have lost it then and there but am glad that we didn’t as the game grew into a really topsy-turvey pulsating nailbiter- but you can bet my tanks scurried back into the woods to lick their wounds after that debacle.

On turn 2 I decided to risk my company commander by popping him out too- I had foolishly double timed him on turn 1 to the second quarter, anticipating him helping Boris (the T34) to snipe the second 25 pdr gun line when Boris appeared from reserve, only to realise that was probably suicide (and finally remembering how I used to play Dust Up- win by intercepting/destroying the reserves as they come on table!)  so moving back to support my other tanks made much more sense! However, Russell had moved his 25 pdrs forward along the road so my commander was behind their gunshield. I saw a great opportunity to snipe a 25pdrs then stormtrooper out of trouble. A good plan but the execution was a little off. I hit the 25 pdrs twice but Russell made both his gun saves then (again) I failed to stormtrooper out of trouble leaving my commander in direct LoS of 2x 25 pdrs. BOOM! There goes my commander, which meant no company morale check rolls for me! YIKES!

By the end of turn 2 the panhards were contesting the objective so for the second game in a row I was tethered to remaining within 4” of an objective and trading blows with enemy armour- or in this  case Panhards.

Poochie sent his panzer threes through a woods and along the road to support my tanks and we managed to destroy two panhards but then just couldn’t finish off the last two. We either missed or they passed saves but luckily (for us) Bede failed to remount the bailed armoured cars, despite having a nearby company commander, and on turn 4 we finally destroyed the last armoured car. However, the French command tank had by now parked up in a wood within range of the objective so was also contesting the objective.

The laffeys and 25 pdrs work together to keep us under pressure and those sneaky opponents also made use of buildings and woods to mitigate vs our stukas. In fact in this game we got lots of stuka strikes but by sticking close to buildings and woods Bede and Russell were able to minimise this superiority and several flights failed to spot targets or were much less effective than we’d hoped.

By now the pressure was well and truly on for both teams. The amusing thing with this game as that for most of it both Bede and I, and Poochie too for that matter, were barely a dice roll or two away from losing a platoon and potentially the game too so all put ourselves under pressure. Both sides thought that had the other team pressed the advantage a wee bit more the game was theirs for the taking.

On about turn 4 Bede discussed going for the kill or pulling back to regroup and Russell counselled  regrouping and waiting for reinforcements. I was relieved he did as I still felt I was pinned to the ropes and taking body blow after body blow- only 2x tanks at that stage and no company commander if they had broken my (only) platoon by killing one more tank! But maybe the fact that Poochie’s force was slightly healthier than mine and nearby to offer support was a factor that helped sway them. Poochie was adding his fire vs the panhards and slowly gaining an advantage there but I did not feel at all confident that we (I) would/could weather another turn. But I think that is why this game was so great, we both had opportunities to win it (or lose it) but each felt the other side had the upper hand/advantage!  

I thought that decision to wait for reinforcements gave us a glimmer of hope- through I could see that rationale in trying to get more platoons on table to raise the platoon count/company morale test break point and reduce the risk of us breaking their French recon company. 

On turn 5 we finally we managed to finish off the panahard company and so claim a point! that sneaky French command tank is contesting the objective so my panzer III couldn't move too far or we'd lose the game.

The laffeys continued working their way round using the roads for mobility and the buildings to hide from the stukas.

Turn 6. The 25 pdrs range in on the two panzer 3s. That 25pdr has been manhandled so far along the road it may claim an objective!

And then there was one. I think my panzer fell victim to a 25 pdr shot but the last panzer III stayed on table. the panzer III and Boris who was rushing to the rescue then destroyed the laffey platoon which meant that Bede needed to pass a company morale test  which he calmly did.

Turn 7: My last panzer 3 is destroyed by a repeat bombardment  meaning that the French company commander is contesting the objective and we have no hope of contesting. This meant that Poochie and I had one turn of shooting vs the GTG Hotchkiss platoon (with 2 bailed tanks already) to break them and force a company morale test BEFORE we checked victory conditions and they won. A half chance was better than none so we went for it! Boris rolled 2 dice and…both missed. Poochie’s panzer IIIs rolled 9 dice needing 5s and… all missed. GAME to Bede and Russell (5-2 as the first platoon didn't count).

Sorry no photos of the epic last shots at the panhards :(

Wow, another  great game to finish on. Both sides had chances to win. As it was some outrageous dice rolling on my behalf kept us in it for a couple of turns when it should have been all over and we tried to ride this luck to victory, only to come up just short. 

Poochie thought they had 10 good chances to win we had about 5- I don’t think it was quite that high but the ratio was about right. For two turns in a row my dice suddenly ran hot and kept my force alive only by me rolling lots of 5+s for armour saves, any one failure here and it was all over for my force and the game as if at any time my panzer IIIs broke it left the French Recon command tank holding an uncontested objective. To tell the truth I was more than happy to keep rolling high but knew it was a game of Russian roulette and sooner or later my luck would run out but while it lasted it gave Poochie a great chance to break Bede’s recon company which he did his absolute best to do so it really did go down to the wire!

What can I say? Bede and Russell thoroughly deserved the win. They had the upper hand for most of the game but we too had a couple of chances to snatch victory which almost came off so can’t complain about that.

I’m just glad that the game lasted more than one turn as it would have really been an anticlimactic end to the weekend if my stupid mistake had cost us the game on turn 1. As it was it instead built into a really epic game. Bede too made a critical error that gave Poochie a sniff of victory vs his Hotchkiss platoon but Poochie was just unable to pass firepower tests to finish off bailed Hotchkis. Bede must have felt alarmed as for two turns in a row he failed to remount any of the bailed out tanks and so was unable to escape from Poochie’s tanks. We should have been able to hammer that advantage home but didn’t manage to.

Bede and Russell’s win ensured that they won the entire competition and Poochie and I were pipped into third place by Rob Sadler and his partner. Had Bede failed his company morale check then it would have been a 6-1 to Poochie and me and we’d have come out on top so you can’t really be disappointed by that.

Well done Bede and Russell it was an epic game and I hope that his report does it a modicum of justice. It really was a great game, played in a great spirit and you guys thoroughly deserved the win. I think you made an awesome (and somewhat formidable) pairing!  I look forward to meeting across the table at Panzershrek next year.

Bede and Russell claim first place. 

Me and Poochie accept prizes for 3rd. 
Poochie and I were rather surprised at how well e did, having written off our force ourselves before the weekend. As it turned out we played the teams that came 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th and had some really memorable matches.

Part of the reason that I decided to go to Panzershrek was the unexpected death of Nick Garden last year. It really hit home how important the gaming friendships I'd fostered playing Flames over the past decade or so are so I decided to try and get up north one per year to game with the Wellington guys (somehow most of the guys I enjoy gaming with have been sucked up into living in Wellington over the past few years- it seems that Wellington is some sort of vortex for South Island gamers!). Having not been to any comps/events over the past 2 1/2 years also decided not to go but in the end decided to and am glad I did.

I was adopted by the Wellington Regiment for the weekend and really enjoyed hanging out with them.
The Wellington Regiment muster
As a tripute to Nick the regiment had new T Shirts made and Bede's wife Katie made the Staghound design in his memory- he ran a staghound force very successfully. A minute's silence was also held to remember him as he was an important pillar of the gaming community and a Panzershrek regular.

 Final Comments
Finally, thanks to the Palmerston North organisers for running such a great event. It is the world’s oldest FoW event and can see why people come back year after year. I was really impressed with the spirit that all games were played in and there really had a good, low key let’s just have fun kind of vibe to the whole weekend. I had an awesome weekend which really has reinvigorated my desire to play Flames again.

Thanks to all our opponents. I had 5 very enjoyable games. Cheers to the Wellington guys too for their hospitality over the weekend and finally big cheers to Poochie. For a number of years we’ve not paired up so as to ensure we had balanced teams at Day of Days but I thought our gaming styles complemented each other really well and made for a great team. Neither or us gave our force a snow balls chance in hell of doing very well beforehand but somehow it all came together quite nicely and though we did get more than our share of luck at times we had a blast all weekend and hope our opponents did too.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Panzershrek- Game 4

Game 4: Pincer vs Japanese
A pretty successful day one saw Poochie and me surprising ourselves and being near the front of the pack and on Sunday morning faced another of our worst nightmare lists, Japanese. I’ve never played Japanese before but the guys said that they had a boat load of special rules and they weren’t wrong (night attacking tanks that re-roll misses while moving- and also the need to destroy every tank to break a platoon, or near enough- yikes!). Looking at the Japanese force on paper I wasn’t overly confident of our chances.

The Japanese force was played by Craig and his son Flynn who at the age of maybe 10 or 11 was by a by far the youngest player present and it was really cool to see him and his father enjoying the games together all weekend. Flynn stayed focused throughout the game we played, and from what I could tell the whole weekend too so it was really great to see such dedication at such a young age.

The Japanese had something like:
A tank company of 4 platoons of 4 tanks + command tanks
2x infantry platoons each with 3 niku (?) tank destroyer teams
2x 75mm (?) howitzers
2x 75mm (?) howitzers
2x 45mm AT guns

Being Japanese they auto attacked (and made it a night attack too) so Poochie and I deployed my panzers IIIs, supported by his command panzer III, covering the forward objective and his panzer IIs in ambush. The Japanese set up their two infantry platoons on the Japanese left flank and the tanks, supported by the artillery, in a rather intimidating mass near the centre-right. One hope I had was that the river would split their forces and give us a chance to do something.

A view of the infantry deployment.

Turn 1 the Japanese advanced under darkness and either were unable to see any targets to fire at or as we were veteran Germans we were concealed and gone to ground so impossible to hit.
By turn 2 I was more than a bit concerned about how close the tanks were advancing but really couldn’t afford to fire as the advancing guns combining with the tanks made it potential suicide! Poochie however relished in ambushing the far right infantry platoon with 30 dice of panzer II 2cm cannon and destroyed about 8 teams including the tank destroyer teams so that threat was neutralised (but still on table).

Turn 3 the Japanese again advanced under the cover of darkness. On our turn morning broke, Poochie managed to finish off the infantry platoon he had mauled first turn and start duking it out between his panzer IIs and a platoon of Japanese tanks that was helping the infantry. Again on my flank the pressure was on, my panzers backpedalling to cover the objective and avoid too much massed gun fire.

Turn 4+ the Game became very intense. Poochie Panzer IIs managed to destroy a couple of tank sin the platoon supporting the infantry forcing the others to hide, but he did also lose a couple of tanks to AT guns.

It wasn’t till turn 5 our reserves finally started to appear (Boris) so I had to risk double moving Boris (the T34) to try and support our now badly mauled panzers. 

Craig & Flynn organised their tanks to maximise firepower (an armoured wedge) and slowly whittled us down. Poochie’s commander died first and he was down to 2-3 working panzer IIs so all but broken and I was pinned to the near objective facing massed tanks but somehow we hung on, and on and on. One my turn I managed to bail 3 tanks and destroy one but that isn’t good enough vs Japanese they just get back in and carry on and don't need to pass morale checks to do so. 

[Sorry, no more pictures as the game the games was getting too intense and I forgot to take any]. 
By now I was down to two tanks (one from the platoon and the company commander!)  and then I started rolling some obscene saves and somehow managed to keep the game alive for an extra 2 turns while we tried to get a second point from the Japanese. Both tanks survived multiple hits and luckily for us the Japanese infantry failed 2 turns in a row to pass fearless tests to assault them off the front objective.

In the end our luck held and on turn 6 or 7 an outrageous round of shooting meant we were able to finish off two badly mauled platoons of Japanese tanks and Boris and Poochie’s newly arrived panzer 3s destroyed a third. The Japanese failed their fearless morale test and broke. 6-1 to us!

That was another hell of a game, we not only used our get out of jail card, we took the whole jail and flew it to South America! Poochie and I agree that Craig and Flynn made a couple of errors later in the game that possibly cost them but really the game was theirs and would have been 9 times out of 10 on those last 3 turns and it was only incredible armour save dice that kept us in the game. 

At the start we needed to whittle down those Japanese tanks but the return fire would have been horrendous so had to try to make the most of range and remained GTG to stay alive as long as possible so refusing to fire for two turns, then moving back further still in turn 3 was in the end I think one of the important decisions that kept us in it (just). 

 I felt bad for Craig and Flynn for somehow finding themselves losing 6-1 on a game that was too all intents and purposes theirs and in which we really only had 4-5 tanks (2 mk IIIs and 2-3 panzer 2s) for the last 2-3 turns and should have been dead several times over.

 Again it was an outstanding game and was awesome to see such a young player thoroughly enjoying himself, making tactically sound decisions, and having an obvious blast gaming with his dad. 

Panzershrek- Game 3

Game 3: Fighting Withdrawal vs Rob Shirley and Lance

In game three Poochie and I had one of those match ups you just don’t want to face on certain in missions- a double strelkovy blob run by Rob Shirely and Lance.

Each had
·        HQ with sappers and  a couple of AT rifles
·        1x 28 stand strelk coy & 1x 19 team strelkovy

They also had:
  • 12x 76mm AT/artillery
  • 6x45mm AT guns (in ambush)
  • 2x 45mm AT guns
  •  4x 76mm howitzers 

Rob and Lance deployed their infantry in linear lines, with attached pioneers and AT rifles scattered throughout the formations. Each company was about 1” behind the one in front which meant that when we attacked we’d be drawing in teams from 3-4 companies if we assaulted- and possibly some AT guns or artillery too. Not only that but the 76mm artillery battalion was deployed linearly across most of the front meaning we’d struggle to avoid those for most of the table!

Poochie and my plan? Plan, what plan? We really only had one chance, to try and bust open a hole somewhere and keep on killing teams. The one hope we had was to try and keep as close as possible to the Soviets to make it hard for teams to be withdrawn- under the strategic withdrawal rules if we had teams/tanks within 8” of the withdrawing platoon it would require a skills test to withdraw or would count as being destroyed. One thing that made out tanks job harder though was the fact that Rob and Lance 6x 45mm AT guns (AT 6 or 7, RoF 3) in ambush and we really couldn’t avoid them hitting our platoons as there was lots of terrain which offered good places to spring ambushes but equally would inhibit our movement and minimise our mobility advantage.

In the end Poochie and I decided to hit the far left end of the rather long line to try to avoid the larger 76mm artillery, lined up our tanks and went for it.   

The Soviets deploy: Our tanks in this photo are not yet positioned.

And from the other table edge.

Turn 1. Panzers marsch!

Turn 2: Poochie got a flight of 3 stukas arrive to blast/pin massed hordes of Soviets but Lance managed to scare them off with his Chaika.
Through good dose of luck Poochie’s two panzer platoons somehow survive the Soviet ambush- he loses a couple of panzer IIs and a panzer III but it could have been a lot worse!  Unfortunately the last 45mm AT gun decided to fire at my 8 rads which despite being concealed and gone to ground took 2 hits and I lost one vehicle- grrrr. I had hoped the next turn to sneak them though the Soviet lines and start harassing their smaller guns. 

Turn 3: Our return fire on turn 3 decimates the AT platoon.

 I’d sent Boris and my commander sneaking though the village knocking out single 76mm artillery pieces and using the buildings to block line of sight to other guns. It was working- kind of and I managed to get 2 or 3 guns as a result.  Rob and Lance however sent their infantry forward to occupy many of the buildings and then assaulted Boris- who having weathered the assault Boris broke off though the enemy companies and redeployed closer to the objective.

Turn 4: Poochie started clearing out the Soviet infantry- time to start mashing. We lined up as many of our tanks up as we could and threw in assaults at the Soviets before us and destroyed quite a few teams but not enough on any one company to force morale checks.

Eventually Poochies’s tanks luck ran out and he failed two armour saves vs assaulting infantry and lost two of them.

Having successfully launched another assault Boris broke through the Soviet lines and onto an objective- just to prove he can. Rob and Lances’ response? Swarm the objective with everything but the kitchen sink.

Luckily all the hits either missed or Boris managed to bounce but then I once again broke off to and ended even further behind the Soviet lines. 

Turn 5: The end is nigh! We were rapidly running out of time so threw all the assults we could in to try and break a company or two and ended up losing a few more tanks. Half wayu though the turn we ran out of time,
A tough game for us: We only got to half way through turn 5 but even so managed to “bounce” the Soviet lines by using the tanks don’t stop for anything rules during assaults instead of continuing to contest objectives, we just simply could not drive the enemy far enough back to prevent the objectives being contested.  We launched a lot of panzer assaults but our platoons weren’t big enough to make a serious dent in the Soviet numbers and there was always a pioneer or two about to cause us major concerns while the intermingled companies in assaults meant no one company was able to be too badly mauled with our assaults. 

The holding our tanks as close as possible to prevent strategic withdrawal of platoons really worked well though and gave us a couple more points as they were forced to pass skill tests to successfully withdraw and by the end of the game had taken 3 platoons off them so were happy with that. However we simply could not kill enough teams in any single company to force morale tests which didn’t help our cause and the way the defences were set up we were unable to concentrate on trying to break one battalion or the other- but had we got to turn 7 or so could have become really interesting as the Soviets were being forced to withdraw companies each turn.

In the end the game timed out half way though turn 5 but even so Rob and Lance were trying to keep the game moving and not mucking round with their turns and I appreciated that. 

A force like that was always going to be a challenge on that table for us but it was a good challenge and we gave it a good crack. We did manage to destroy three units (45mm AT guns,  and a couple of companies as they attempted to withdraw) to take a couple of points of them and also managed to bounce some units across their lines.  

Finally, my recon didn’t do much, was unable to keep the ambush away and perhaps should have been deployed on the far right end of the table just to stop the Soviets reinforcing the left as much as they were but it would have in all likelihood been swamped by massed infantry and  I had hoped might have created an anti-ambush bubble to protect our schwerpunkt. 

Good game though so at the end of the day we were sitting on two good wins and a close lose- not bad for a force which we thought we'd do well to get one win with. 


Monday, July 18, 2016

Panzershrek 2016- Part 2

Game two and Poochie and I drew Simon McBeth and Chris in a Hasty Attack. I'd not played Chris before but have had a couple of games vs Simon in the past and he is a very, very good player so knew we would be in for a very tough game vs these two.

Their list looked pretty formidable so we weren't very confident going into the game. I'm not 100% sure of their lists but they ran something like:

Div Cav

  • 2x Mk IVB
  • 3x Mk IVB 
  • 3x MK IVB
  • 3x carriers
  • 3x carriers
  • 4x 2pdr portees 

Free French Infantry Company

  • 2x Inf platoons
  • 4x 25 pdrs
  • 1x25 pdr & 2 2pdrs
  • 2x bofors guns
A view from our deployment- our panzer IIIs are on table everything else in reserve. 

Simon and Chris had a really nasty defence to crack. They had 25 pdrs, bofors and 2 infantry in a box with the 2 pounders dug in on a hill behind the infantry. Our stukas came in for the first two turns but were shot off by the bofors but then we managed to knock out a bofors and eventually get the platoon.

Germans advance! Poochie and I got lucky killing a bofors and kept trying to nibble away but the GTG 2 pdrs kept our panzer IIs at bay and made it difficult to get too close- the 25 pdrs didn't help either as we needed to avoid them. As you can see in the photo below we sent Boris forward to try to snipe gun teams.

Eventually the MkVIBs came on and shot up my 231s which were trying to creep closer to the 2 pdrs to lift GTG.

On the right flank the panzer IIs duked it out with the VIBs and in the end I had to send my panzers over too and ww managed to kill the annoying light tanks.

Having dealt with the MKVIBs the remaining panzer IIs went hunting bren carriers.

The carriers kept moving and hiding.

The game was truly epic. The game lasted 12 turns, our planes appeared in turns 1 and 2 and were never seen again! We really struggled to make inroads into the tight defensive box and changed our point of attack several times as we tried and tried to nibble away at the guns. In the end unlucky reserve rolls for Simon and Chris helped us and we finally broke the Div Cavalry with only 1-2 minutes before the game was due to end. It was a very tense chess like game which was utterly absorbing and could have gone either way, it really went down to the wire and was the kind of game that you don't mind if you won or lost as it was a great game played in a great spirit.

 In the end though we managed to sneak off with a 5-2 victory but would have been more than happy to have lost as we'd really give it our best shot nnd Simon and Chris had tenaciously hung in there and did all they could to win it themselves. A great game and a real highlight of the tournament for me.