The teams for the second battle were chosen randomly using a coin toss.
As is now becoming typical, the random selection resulted basically in the
same teams as before:
Will's SU100 would not participate in the battle because of a gun problem
discovered during lunch. Will would instead shoot some excellent battle video.
- Ed (Hetzer), Steve T (Cromwell), Chris (T34), Karl (Jagdtiger),
Steve E (Navarone), Marty (Flak88), Tom (UN), Sean (Goer), Joe (Fred Simms)
- Frank (Tiger), John (Comet), Paul (KV1), Rick (Leopard),
Steve E (Navarone), Marty (Flak88), Tom (UN), Sean (Goer)
As indicated above, four participants would be playing on both sides during
the battle. This came about because of the game scenario played which was
"Defend The Village". In this game, each side would take turns defending the
village by keeping at least one tank inside of the centerfield
circle for 30 minutes. Both fixed artillery pieces and both supply vehicles
would be assigned to the defending team. Furthermore, prior to the beginning
of each assault, the defending team was allowed to move the fixed artillery
and barricades to any location within the circle.
Cut Off Their Supplies
With four tanks attacking four tanks, two artillery pieces and two supply
vehicles, the attacking teams would have an uphill battle. Direct assaults
on the village were very difficult because of the fixed artillery and the central
location of village on the field. Both teams quickly realized the importance
of stopping the flow of ammo via the supply vehicles, but that wasn't an
easy task either. Attacking forces going behind the lines to stop the supply
vehicles would themselves be vulnerable to swarming attacks by the defending
In the first half, the Tiger placed itself between the opposing team
home base and the village to halt the supply vehicles. But, with two vehicles
going in opposite directions (Tom and Sean are sneaky drivers) ammo kept flowing.
Eventually, the Tiger was run off by counter-attacks from the defenders.
The speedy Cromwell tried a similar tactic in the second half, but again,
the defenders simply waited until it was out of ammo or was tied up by
defending tanks to make their runs. As the scores show, ammo would flow
freely for both defending groups throughout the battle.
Oh, So Close
Throughout the first half, the Knights attempted to keep their fire-power
concentrated and to try to lure the Gangster tanks out of the circle. This
proved to be remarkably easy as most operators preferred an active defense instead
of allowing the attackers to pick and choose their approaches. As the battle
progressed, the Knights would closely monitor the movement of all Gangster
tanks. When two or three were in home base for re-incarnation or repair, an
all out assault on the village would be attempted in order to kill the last
remaining tank. Such assaults would be high in casualties because of the fixed
artillery, but if the lone tank could be killed, then victory would result.
With only a few minutes left in the 30 minute half, a single Gangster tank
was left in the village and the Knights made one final push. With only
one minute left, that tank was destroyed and victory was only moments away.
The Knights only needed to hit each of the soldiers defending the fixed artillery,
which was normally not too difficult once the village was overrun. Unfortunately,
for this battle, the soldiers were well hidden behind the barricades and
were virtually impossible to hit. (In all future battles, all soldiers will need
to be placed "in the open" to allow them to be hit ... live and learn.)
A similiar situation arose in the second half, when the Knights were defending
and the Gangsters were attacking. Once again, because of improper asset
management, the Knights had only a single tank in the village and the Gangsters
launched a coordinated attack to bring the game to a finish. Unfortunately for
them, the Knights responded quickly from home base and repelled the attack.
By the end of each half, neither team was able to dislodge the other. This game
was a pretty tough challenge.
When the Knights were defending the village, their primary tactic was to
stay in the village and force the Gangsters to come and get them. At one
point, the Gangsters actually circled the village and were getting into firing
positions that made it difficult for the Knight tanks inside the village to
hide from every firing angle. With an occassional skirmish in the field, the
circle of death was never completed, so the Gangsters had to resort to a different
In an effort to dis-lodge the Knights, the Cromwell was sent on some high-speed
thrusts into the village, while the other Gangsters moved in from different
directions. After the first such rapid attack was repelled by some
frantic close-quarter driving, the Knights changed tactics as well. Specifically,
the fixed artillery were directed to adjust their guns to fire "inside" the village
instead of outside the village. That is, the guns would be trained on the
likely "corridors" to be taken by the Cromwell as it sped into the village.
The tanks would then move in such a way to halt the advance of the Cromwell and
force it back into a killing zone triangulated by artillery and tank fire.
No tanks were destroyed during the high-speed attacks, but the action
was unbelievably fast and furious.
It Takes A Village
Open field tank battles are fun, but close-quarter battles around obstacles
are truly a blast. This lesson was learned last year during the
when various tanks battled in a small wooded area
and again during
Operation Coxsackie Freedom
when battling around hay bales.
But, the small village created for this event (primarily by Steve Edwards)
truly drove the point home. Throughout all of the battles, the buildings
and barricades were used by both sides for strategic advantages. Whoever
occupied the village had a significant advantage, as long as they could keep
themselves supplied. Future battles will make use of more buildings and
barricades, including some outside the central village, to make the game
that much more exciting and to provide more opportunities for different
tactics and strategies.