The last battle is always a wild one because everyone throws caution to the
wind. After all, you'll have plenty of time to fix things after the
battle is over.
For the most part, the battle was fought on the outskirts of the battlefield,
concentrated around the forward bases. Any vehicle that attempted to go
in the middle of the battlefield had to be extremely careful, because shots
could be coming in from all directions. With only 3 tanks per side, definitive
"battle lines" could not be maintained for long, so the "front" moved
fluidly around the battlefield.
Throughout most of the battle John took up residence near his forward base.
From that position he was able to direct support fire into each of the home
base areas, as well as the center of the field.
The Panzer worked well the entire weekend, allowing him
to pursue various missions without too much concern for mechanical problems.
(Every battler always has some concern in the back of their mind about
breakdowns, especially on rough terrain.) It's short barrel did not prevent
it from firing at long range with good accuracy. The Panzer's hopper magazine
set-up also allows him to reload paintballs quickly as long as the CO2 bottle
doesn't need filling as well.
The Blue Team gave Steve's
T-34 the responsibility of hunting down the U.N. vehicle, which also meant that
he would be tangling with John's Panzer IV most of the time. Steve is
definitely not the guy you want in your sector of the world, because he's
like a bull-dog that just keeps coming at you. Sometimes he sits back and
just peppers you with volley after volley. Other times he runs full speed
into your area, causing everyone to scatter quickly as the close-in shots
start flying. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses, but you can be sure
that he'll be reloaded and/or reincarnated in a minute or so and right
back at you. The Panzer's recent drive system overhaul gave it the ability
to "dance" well with the T-34 and there was a lot of carnage on that side
of the field.
Paul's previous day problems with his tensioning system had apparently
been solved, but he was still having some problems with the tracks (perhaps
because his road wheels weren't fully completed yet). Accordingly,
Paul stayed close to his home base, basically in the middle of the field.
This actually proved to be a good advantage for the Red Team.
By spreading out their assets, the Red Team had pretty good coverage of the
battlefield, causing the Blue Team constant problems wherever they roamed.
On the other side of the field, Frank's Tiger was teamed with Brian's Panther
in an effort to keep their own forward base available and fully supplied.
Ken and Nathan did a good job of running supplies despite the constant
harrassment of the Hetzer and KV-1. In fact, Ken and Nathan ran so many
supplies that the home base actually had a shortage of paintballs and
containers at one point.
Brian was finally starting to get the hang of Will's Panther and was mixing
it up nicely with the other tanks. The rotate wasn't working properly,
so he was concentrating on steering for the best shot. This required constant
attention and movement, giving him a great lesson in tank combat. The
veteran battlers were impressed that Brian could even operate Will's tank,
let alone score some good shots, with no previous battle experience. When
his own Tiger is completed there is no doubt that he'll do even better.
In fact, Brian took photos and video of virtually every system in every
vehicle, so we know he'll be picking out the best approach for his vehicle.
Frank's Tiger roamed all over the field, chasing the support vehicle whenever
possible, but primarily keeping the KV-1 and Hetzer in check. On a number of
occassions he went head-to-head with each of them at close range, waiting
for support fire from his teammates. Unfortunately, the support fire
always seemed to come from John's Panzer IV (halfway across the battlefield),
requiring the Tiger to retreat to a safer position. At one point, Joe's
Hetzer attempted to back the Tiger into a muddy area, but eventually the Tiger
found a safe road for retreat.
Frank turned the tables on Joe a little later in the battle when both
were near the Blue Team forward base. After exchanging a few rounds hitting
each other on the frontal armor, Frank drove into the forward base, which
prevented Joe from shooting him. At that point, Joe simply drove past the
base, heading towards Brian's Panther which was deeper on the Blue Team
side of the field. Seeing this, Frank simply waited for Joe to pass by and
then he drove out of the base, following Joe's path. Once the Tiger was
clear of the base, it started firing at Joe, who was now caught in a
The Hetzer has definitely been improved since the last battle, without
any major problems or breakdowns during the weekend. The new elevate mechanism
provides Joe with better fire control, adding to the Hetzer's quickness
and mobility on the hard battlefield surface. (In a drag race after the
battle, the Hetzer beat the Panzer IV off the line and keep pulling away
down the strip.) With the increased speed and mobility of the Tri-Pact tanks,
Joe could no longer use the "J-turn" tactic from the previous event. If
he attempted such a move now, they would simply spin inside of him and
hit him in the side. In fact, Frank started using the J-turn against Joe,
once he realized that the Hetzer's non-rotate design was itself susceptible
to that move. Frank still needs a little more practice in that area, however,
because everytime he tried the move, he failed to get off a good shot
before the Hetzer was head-to-head again. (Any spectator would have thought
that the two vehicles were performing some sort of mating ritual as they
repeated the dance steps over and over ... that is, until some other tank
came along to upset the dance.)
After the battle had concluded, everyone agreed that they were too tired to
remember who shot whom, and how often, so it was decided that no score
would be recorded for the battle. Besides, everyone had fun, nothing
was seriously broken, the sun was coming out, and the war was over (for now).