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R/C Tank Combat

Operation Coxsackie Freedom

Battle #2

After the total domination of the Red Team in the first battle, it was evident that the teams needed to be re-shuffled. And, since the Tiger has never done well with Russian wing-men, it was decided that the second battle would pit the Germans (Tiger, Panzer IV and Hetzer) against the Russians (T-34, SU-100, and KV-1) in a classic WW-II match-up.

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Charlotte, with some help from her dad, would operate the M520 Goer, which was the only operational supply vehicle. Since only one supply vehicle existed, it was decided that the Supply Slave game would be played. That is, the supply vehicle would start in the middle of the field and it would become the slave of the first team that scored a hit. It would then haul supplies for that team until it was hit again by the other team, at which point it would switch sides.
In addition to the tanks, this battle would also see the use of two artillery pieces, a 155mm Howitzer operated by Billy and a Pak 40 operated by Amir, who arrived on the scene during the lunch break. The artillery would be loyal to whatever team currently owned the supply vehicle, providing both sides with an incentive to keep the supply vehicle well-protected. (Amir regretted not having his own T-34 running, but he quickly forgot his disappointment as he plastered everything that moved with the Pak 40!!!)

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To make the game interesting, the artillery would be considered "invincible". That is, they could not be shot at and could not be destroyed. (This was done in part to prevent 10 yr old Billy from getting hit, but also to see how effective such artillery could be.) They were positioned in the middle of the field next to some hay bales and were allowed to fire 10 rounds at a time, as long as they were re-supplied by the supply vehicle.

One In A Million
With the Russians on the Western Front and the Germans on the Eastern Front (ok, so we didn't think through the home base layout properly) the battle began with both teams moving quickly towards the Goer in the middle. The Hetzer's speed was an advantage, but the T-34 and SU-100 were both skilled at long range shots. And then, it happened. With the Goer facing towards the Hetzer and away from the Russians, shots were fired from both sides at the same time, with a large paint splot from the Hetzer appearing on the windshield of the Goer, just as the Russian team yelled out "we hit it". Frank called time and ran over to inspect the back of the Goer. Seeing no paint hit on the back and a large one on the front, he declared that the Germans owned the Goer and the battled continued. The Russians weren't happy, but the call was made and the game kept going.

After the battle, the full details were finally revealed when someone said that the Russian paintball hit the wire frame used to hold up the Goer's trailer canopy. From their vantage point, they could see the paint splatter, but it didn't leave any paint splot. Moreover, their hit happened at exactly the same time as that from the Hetzer, which further added to the confusion. Clearly, the fog of war is just as thick in the R/C combat world as in the real world.

Firepower Is A Good Thing
As soon as the Germans tagged the Goer, they moved quickly to push the Russians out of the center of the field. With the artillery in a strong position on the Southern Front, the Tiger and Hetzer moved to the wide open northern terrority. That would allow the Hetzer to use it's speed, while the Tiger prowled along the edge of the Forest. The Panzer IV would take up a central position, shooting from medium range at all of the Russians. The German offense accomplished two goals: keeping the Russians pinned into their half of the field (for the most part) and allowing the Goer to freely supply the artillery.

Of course, the T-34 can never be controlled for long and Steve wanted to show everyone that his lunch-time gun repairs were working. So, in the early part of the battle the T-34 took the battle to the speedy Hetzer. With some long-range gunnery assistance from Will's SU-100, Steve showed that his gun was working properly now, forcing the Hetzer to retreat to home base for re-incarnation twice. The T-34 then went on to score 2 hits on the Panzer IV and 2 more on the Tiger. Unfortunately, near the end of the battle, Steve's gun problems started to appear again, leaving the rest of the battle to Paul and Will.

Behind Enemy Lines
The lunch break saw a lot of gun repairs, with Steve and Frank trying to get their GTV-1s to fire reliably and Joe fixing a gun mount jarred by an accidental collision with the Tiger. All of them declared victory before the battle, but only the battle would prove them right. The Tiger's gun worked well in the beginning of the battle, but then started working erratically, firing only occassionally when the transmitter button was pressed. Nonetheless, Frank decided he would press the battle hard and hope that the gun would fire when he needed it.

Knowing that few tanks would attempt to drive in the really rough terrain in the Forest, the Tiger pushed steadily along the border of the Forest towards the Russian home base. That forced the Russians to start moving into that area as well, which in turn allowed the Hetzer and Panzer IV to move in even closer. The Tiger used the Forest as a safety zone, taking cover whenever it's gun failed. After jarring the gun in the rough terrain, it would usually start working again and the Tiger could come out to pester the Russians again.

Joe's Hetzer attacks Paul's KV-1 as it attempts to get the Tiger out of the woods behind the Russian home base. Trees and heavy brush definitely cause all battlers to change their tactics, which can sometimes swing the battle one way or the other. During such paintball exchanges, the camera crew was right on top of the situation, angling for the best shot, while the battlers did the same.

Defend The Homeland
Although the Germans clearly caused problems for the Russian home-front, the Russians were certainly capable of defending their homeland. In fact, Paul's KV-1 was having perhaps it's best battle. The distinctive rattle of the KV-1's attachment chain track was heard everywhere as it shuttled back and forth keeping the Germans at bay. The KV-1's gun was working quite nicely and Paul was starting to make his presence known. Tasked with keeping the Tiger in check, the KV-1 hugged the border of the Forest to protect itself from the Hetzer and Panzer IV, while keeping the Tiger at bay. With sometimes 2 or 3 tanks against it, the KV-1 was destroyed twice, but it also destroyed the Tiger twice, to keep everything in balance. In fact, after the Tiger made a run completely around the Russian home-base, the KV-1 took it head on and scored 4 hits for the total kill.

In stark contrast to the "in your face" tactics used by the T-34 and KV-1, Will's SU-100 played mainly a defensive role in the battle. Sitting just outside the Russian home-base it took medium range shots at any German vehicle that looked the other way. The strategy paid off, with the SU-100 participating in almost all of the German kills, while only be killed once itself.

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Bill Johns rolled his 1/5 scale Sherman onto the field to show off his great work. It rolled well over the rough terrain, showing that all-wood construction does have a place in combat modeling. After seeing the Sherman in operation, all of the battlers were looking forward to seeing Bill's completed Mark V.
After the battle, Will carts the SU-100 back to the tent area for repairs using Frank's custom low-rider "tank recovery vehicle" which has been designed to roll or carry any vehicle.

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After the battle, the camera crew wanted to make sure that they got all of the "good stuff" on film, so they simply asked the battlers to talk about what transpired. We may never see all of the interview on TV but it was lots of fun in person recounting the best events of the day. It was generally agreed (as determined by the laughter) that Paul's nickname for the day should be "Sherwin Williams" because of the vast amount of paint he collected early in the first battle.
Offical Scores for Coxsackie Battle #2
Team Asset Operator Hits
Germans T001 Frank Pittelli 8 2 0 0 0 0 2,000 500 0.200
  T010 Joe Sommer 9 14 0 0 0 0 2,250 3,500 0.609
  T012 John Pittelli 4 8 0 0 0 0 1,000 2,000 0.667
TOTAL 21 24 0 0 0 0 5,250 6,000 0.533
Russians T005 Steve Tyng 12 8 0 0 0 0 3,000 2,000 0.400
  T018 Paul Pittelli 8 7 0 0 0 0 2,000 1,750 0.467
  T026 Will Montgomery 4 6 0 0 0 0 1,000 1,500 0.600
TOTAL 24 21 0 0 0 0 6,000 5,250 0.467

Asset Type Net Points
T010 JgPz 38(t) Hetzer 1,250
T012 SdKfz 166 Brummbar 1,000
T026 SU-100 500
T018 KV-1 -250
T005 T-34-85 -1,000
T001 PzKpfw VI-I Tiger -1,500
Operator Net Points
Joe Sommer 1,250
John Pittelli 1,000
Will Montgomery 500
Paul Pittelli -250
Steve Tyng -1,000
Frank Pittelli -1,500

The battle was well fought and despite the fact that the Germans controlled the Goer and the artillery the entire time, the score was very close. Even though both sides destroyed six vehicles on the opposing team, since the Hetzer has a defensive rating of 3 it is only worth 750 points, which gave the Germans a close victory.