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R/C Tank Combat

Operation Coxsackie Freedom

Battle #3

After a hectic first day, the battlers went out for dinner at a local pizza parlor to replenish their bodies, discuss the day's events and generally just enjoy sitting down and relaxing. Feasting continued the next morning at breakfast where everyone was well advised to forego ordering a "bowl of oatmeal" (apparently in up-state New York, a "bowl" is just shy of a "trough" ... as Frank learned the previous morning). With full bellies and blue skies, everyone headed out to the battlefield again for the third and final battle of the weekend.

Brother, Can You Spare Some Pennies?

After preparing the vehicles for war, the host of the event, Bill Johns, gave a demonstration of metal casting outside the Antique Center. He started by filling the bottom half of a form with sand, packing it just right so that it wasn't too tight or too loose. Then, he covered the plastic part to be cast with some "magic powder" so that it would release properly from the sand. The set-up process was completed by placing the part in the mold, covering it completely with sand and digging some access ports to allow the molten metal to flow in and the air to flow out. While all of the setup was being done, a bowl (regular size) of pennies was heating over a hot-plate to the point of melting.

When all of the pennies had melted, Bill carefully poured the molten metal into the hole in the sand mold, while Billy, Frank and Will looked on at a safe distance.

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As the molten metal cools inside of the mold it contracts drawing more metal down the spout. In larger castings, they continue to apply heat to the spout so that it is the last part to cool, thereby ensuring that metal can flow into the part as needed.
After letting the casting cool for a few minutes, Bill broke apart the two-part mold and released the new metal part, which was still quite hot.

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The rough casting is displayed next to the original part. After a little trimming and filing, it will look great. Just a couple hundred more to go!!!

It's A Good Day For War
A new scenario was chosen for the 3rd battle called "Around The World". The game would consist of three teams, the Blue Team (consisting of Frank's Tiger, John's Panzer IV and Steve's T-34 operated by Amir), the Red Team (consisting of Will's SU-100, Joe's Hetzer and Paul's KV-1), and the Neutral Team (consisting of the Pak 40 and Howitzer operated by Steve and Billy). The game would begin with General Patton in the middle of the field, defended by the field-artillery place alongside hay bales on the southern side of the fields. Two other hay bales were placed approximately 30 feet away to the north, to form a "gate" between the two home bases. The goal of the game was to pick up the General, drive him around the opposing home base and back to your own home base. To make it more difficult, however, whenever the General was on-board a vehicle, that vehicle had to pass through the gate when running from one base to another. The field artillery were again considered invincible and neutral, firing at anything that moved into their firing range.

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It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad War
With a top end speed higher than any other vehicle, it was clear that the Hetzer would make a dash with the General on-board whenever possible. As such, the Blue Team decided to focus their efforts on securing the hay bales on the northern side of the gate. With those hay bales secured, they could generate a cross-fire with the artillery and keep the Red Team from picking up the General.

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Unfortunately for the Blue Team, Steve Tyng had different plans regarding the use of the field artillery. Basically, if anything moved within range of his guns, he relentlessly fired on it. Red Team, Blue Team, it didn't really matter. If you moved within 50 feet of the center of the field, the Pak 40 would rain down paintballs on you. In fact, it wasn't even safe to hide behind the hay bales, because Steve was scoring hits on the tips of barrels that stuck just a little too far out. Although not strictly allowed by the rules, Steve was sighting the gun by hand and firing and loading as fast as possible. (We wanted to see the maximum effectiveness of fixed, invincible artillery for future reference.)
More than a couple times, Frank's Tiger was pinned down by Steve's constant barrage while facing on-coming tanks from the Red Team. Fortunately, John and Amir would bail (or was it bale) him out a number of times, drawing fire from the artillery and keeping the Red Team at bay. Amir initially thought that Steve would be slow to shoot at his own tank, but Amir quickly learned that Steve will shoot his own father (and has already) if given the opportunity. Once that lesson was learned, Amir concentrated on steering clear of the "death zone" and started to enjoy operating the Russian killing machine.

Speed Kills
Joe's Hetzer did indeed have a speed advantage and after a couple false starts he picked up the General and raced towards the Blue Team home base. Plotting a large, sweeping course, he planned to simply out-run the Blue Team defenders and race home to glory. For the most part his plan worked well, with Frank in pursuit but unable to land the necessary hits. John's Panzer stayed more or less in the middle of the field and took aim at the Hetzer, landing at least one hit. But, the Blue Team was unable to destroy the Hetzer on their side of the field and Joe need only pass through the gate again to reach the safety of his own side of the field. Of course, Steve had different plans and when the Hetzer came within range, he unleashed a barrage of accurate paintballs, scoring two hits on the Hetzer to end the run. The General dismounted and stood in the middle of the field awaiting another attempted run.
The Hetzer threw a track at one point for some unknown reason, but was quickly repaired by Joe in the field.

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Student Body Right
Around the midway point of the battle, both sides were licking their wounds and trying to figure out how to get through the gate twice without being destroyed. Frank's Tiger was again hiding behind the hay bales in the middle of the field when he noticed that Steve needed to reload, leaving the General un-defended. He quickly snatched the General and started moving towards the Red Team home base. Fortunately, the SU-100 and Hetzer were being worked on or reloaded as well, leaving just the KV-1 to stop the end run. The Tiger pushed around the Red home base and stood toe-to-toe with the KV-1. The first vehicle to move would probably get hit, so both waited for re-inforcements. Blue Team members arrived first, covering the Tiger as it backed away from the KV-1. When it neared the hay bales the Tiger swung around to face Billy's Howitzer, which was throwing paintballs in all directions. Fortunately, Billy soon ran out of ammo and while he was reloading, the Blue Team made their move. The Panzer IV and T-34 formed a rolling wall, shielding the Tiger from the Pak 40's paintballs. The Pak 40 quickly killed both the Panzer and the T-34, but with only 10 paintballs in the magazine, it didn't have enough to finish the Tiger (not to mention the fact that the destroyed tanks were still sitting in front of the Pak 40). The Tiger raced through the gate and on to it's home base to complete the only run of the game.

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The Panzer IV makes it's way slowly towards the Forest, where the Tiger and KV-1 are once again skirmishing. John ran his tank hard during the whole battle and was paying the price as it slowed down near the end of the battle. (Perhaps he didn't charge the batteries overnight properly.)
The KV-1 shows some scars from the weekend of battling. The front of the turret was made from wood that couldn't quite hold up to the force of some paintballs shot at close range.

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Offical Scores for Coxsackie Battle #3
Team Asset Operator Hits
Blue T001 Frank Pittelli 8 4 1 0 0 0 2,000 2,000 0.500
  T005 Amir Tahvildaran 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 500 1.000
  T012 John Pittelli 12 5 0 0 0 0 3,000 1,250 0.294
TOTAL 20 11 1 0 0 0 5,000 3,750 0.429
Neutral FA001 Billy Johns 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 250 1.000
  FA002 Steve Tyng 0 24 0 0 0 0 0 6,000 1.000
TOTAL 0 25 0 0 0 0 0 6,250 1.000
Red T010 Joe Sommer 15 3 0 0 0 0 3,750 750 0.167
  T018 Paul Pittelli 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 1,500 1.000
  T026 Will Montgomery 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 500 1.000
TOTAL 15 11 0 0 0 0 3,750 2,750 0.423

Asset Type Net Points
FA002 PAK40/L46 75mm Anti-Tank Gun 6,000
T018 KV-1 1,500
T005 T-34-85 500
T026 SU-100 500
FA001 155mm Howitzer 250
T001 PzKpfw VI-I Tiger 0
T012 SdKfz 166 Brummbar -1,750
T010 JgPz 38(t) Hetzer -3,000
Operator Net Points
Steve Tyng 6,000
Paul Pittelli 1,500
Amir Tahvildaran 500
Will Montgomery 500
Billy Johns 250
Frank Pittelli 0
John Pittelli -1,750
Joe Sommer -3,000

The battle scores clearly reflected the rules of the game that required both teams to drive through the center of the field, which was well covered by invincible artillery pieces. Steve's relentless firing on all vehicles paid big dividends for the Neutral Team, beating the score of the other two teams. Interestingly, since the Hetzer had the best speed and was therefore constantly trying to move the General around the field, it was clearly the center of attention. It was killed five times during the battle, which were the only kills for the Red Team (either Will and Paul didn't participate much or they forgot to record their scores).

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Not all the excitement was on the battlefield. On the way home this car was spotted on fire by the side of the road, causing the backup seen in the rear-view mirror.