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R/C Tank Combat

Maryland Massacre

Battle #1

Battle #1 Summary

Industry experts predicted a mighty clash between the forces of the Maryland Attack Group (MAG) led by the Tyng/Tri-Pact coalition, and the Pennsylvania Urban Fighting Force (PUFF) led by Joe "Puff Daddy" Sommer. However, because of recent trade agreements between the organizations involving advanced electronics not available outside the mid-Atlantic, the hostilities were called off. (Actually, it was because Joe was the only member of PUFF with an operational tank!!)

So, the first battle was waged along national lines, with the Germans battling the Russians. The German forces included the Tiger-1, Panzer-IV, Hetzer, Panther and Goer (captured in Normandy). The Russian forces included the T-34, SU-100, KV-1, U.N. Armored Car and 155mm artillery. (Apparently, the U.N. had a pre-existing agreement with the Russians to help maintain their monopoly.)

The battle would be fought for 1 hour, with each vehicle allowed a maximum of two re-incarnations (3 total lives per vehicle). Appropriately, the German home base would be in the "West" and the Russian home base in the "East". The northern frontier consisted of some knee-high tall grasslands and the southern frontier was the pit area. A triangular bunker was constructed in the middle of the field on the north side serving as the Russian "forward base". A group of small trees in the middle of the field on the south side served as the German "forward base". Supply vehicles could bring ammo to the forward base to allow vehicles to reload there and they could also steal ammo from the other team's forward base.

Goer Don't Go
Early in the first battle, the Goer became the first kill for Will's new SU-100 which had just fired its first shot in battle. Apparently, Marty didn't hear the about the plan in which he "waited" until the route to the forward base was secure. To add to his woes, on the way back to home base, the Goer suffered a major breakdown which prevented Marty from attempting any more supply runs. Marty was forced to watch the remainder of the battle, although he did snap lots of photos.

A post-mortem on the Goer revealed that the wooden relays provided by Tyng Laboratories failed under heavy load (Marty was grinding hard through some thick grass). Tyng Labs has subsequently re-labeled their existing supply of relays as "For Canadian Export Only", adding a "Battle Tested" sticker along with a hefty price increase. Fortunately, Tri-Pact came prepared, bringing along the Tiger's prototype MAG speed control, which was installed in the Goer during the lunch break.

Mechanical Problems
Along with the Goer, the Panther and Hetzer were plagued by mechanical problems in the first battle that prevented them from participating fully. The Panther (which hasn't been worked on since last year) didn't have sufficient power to turn through the rough terrain and eventually stripped some gears. Having never battled on such a field with that vehicle, Shane didn't know how far he could push the envelope before it swallowed him.

The Hetzer also had problems, due primarily to a loss of battery power. Either the batteries themselves were bad (Joe bought them surplus last year) or they didn't get a full charge. In either case, the Hetzer started going slower and slower, and didn't have the power needed to turn properly. That kept Joe in a defensive position most of the time and he was killed three times in a relatively short period of time. Joe was able to shoot "Paul" (not Paul's vehicle) once during the battle while attacking the KV-1 which was anchoring the northern front for the Russians.

Young Blood
With lots of new systems on-board, the KV-1 was playing it safe in the first battle, "cowering behind the T-34 and SU-100 for the most part" (Paul's own words). Aside from Joe's hit on Paul's person, the KV-1 was only hit once by a long-range shot from John (his oldest brother) who specializes in long-distance delivery, although he was also chased by Frank (his older brother). Mechanically, the KV-1 only had one problem which resulted from the loss of a 10-cent nylon-nut that held the pivot bolt for the elevate system. Paul knew the nut was missing when the battle began, but didn't bother looking for it!!

After the battle, the CD determined that Paul improperly worked on the KV-1's gun outside of a base, thereby allowing his teammates to freely use the base. Paul was given a 500 point individual penalty for the infraction.

Panzer In The Arden
The second oldest tank in the hobby, John's Panzer IV had lots of new systems installed over the winter and it performed very well. Unfortunately, because of the other German problems, the Panzer found itself alone quite often. At one point, the Panzer had to hold off Will's SU-100 and Steve's T-34 (no easy chore) while the Tiger retreated to home base for re-loading and the Hetzer retreated to be re-incarnated.

The high-point of the battle came late in the battle, when the Panzer IV (the sole German survivor) came out of home base facing the T34, SU-100 and KV-1. With few options, the Panzer ran for the hills (literally), hiding in the "Arden Forest", which was a hilly group of trees behind the German home base on the western front. Upon seeing the Panzer leave home base, the KV-1 instinctively retreated towards the grasslands on the northern front, with General Steve yelling "get your ass up there" to the youngster. With that encouragement, the KV-1 approached the Panzer from one side, while the SU-100 pinned it down from another side. In the meantime, the T34 went up the hill, plowed a way through the thick foliage and broke through the trees about 5 feet directly behind the Panzer IV. The lone German was killed shortly thereafter. John didn't know it at the time, but his fellow German and brother Frank actually scouted the approach path for the T34 (not a glorious episode for any of the Pittelli boys, but a great battle story nonetheless).

Ammo 'R Us
The U.N. (aka Blattau Brothers) came to the battle with only one goal - to go totally belligerent on any supply vehicles attempting to bust their ammo carrying monopoly. To that end, the U.N. Support Vehicle was turned into an armored car and a 155mm artillery piece was leased from Tri-Pact for "peace-keeping purposes". Mike's armored car spent a lot of time on the edge of the grasslands, trying to stay out of range of the tanks, while lobbing paintballs at them when they weren't looking. Naturally, if you put a big white target anywhere on the battlefield, the Panzer will attempt to shoot at it (usually from a totally different zipcode area) and John landed one hit from a very long distance (over 70 feet). The Tiger's approach is totally opposite, preferring to get up close and personal when killing something. To that end, while the other Russians were re-loading, the Tiger ran straight at the U.N. AC, driving it into the deep grasslands. It did well at first, but then drove over a large clump of grass and got stuck. The Tiger plowed into the grasslands, drove up next to the U.N. AC and cancelled its charter. An ominous growl could be heard throughout the savanah as the Tiger declared the grass-lands to be its new home.

While Mike was rolling around in the AC, Nathan was attempting to use the 155mm artillery piece to pin down everything from a secured position close to the eastern front. Unfortunately, the bolt for the paintball marker broke after a couple of shots. A post-mortem revealled that the inexpensive marker used plastic parts for the bolt assembly and they broke. Nathan was forced to watch from the side-lines and help direct activities for his team.

Tyng The Barbarian
Steve Tyng dreams every night about a German/Russian battle and now it was real. After helping to establish the ill-fated artillery position, the T34 tore out across the middle of the field looking for prey. Having watched the Tiger plow into the tall grasslands to try to outflank the KV-1, the T34 ventured into the tall grass as well to try to outflank the Tiger. Steve soon realized that the heavy, thick grass didn't suit his "run-and-gun" style when the T34 and Tiger were only a few feet apart but couldn't hit each other because of the thick grass. With the Tiger grinding away trying to get a better firing solution, the T34 destroyed the Hetzer that was sitting outside the grasslands and then departed himself. The Tiger was able to get one hit on the T34 during the incident and another growl was heard from deep in the grasslands.

Out on the open field, the T34 kept the carnage high on the German side, destroying the Hetzer two more times all by himself, as well as one "full kill" on the Tiger and one half-kill on the Tiger. And, as reported above, the T34 finished off the Panzer in the Arden forest by blazing a trail through the trees.

After the battle, the CD determined that Steve improperly fixed the T34 while on the field by cocking his marker (he forgot to cock it in home base after re-loading CO2). Steve was given a 500 point individual penalty for the infraction.

Battle #1 Photos

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The Germans surge from their home base at the start of the war with the intention of securing key areas on the northern and southern boundaries. After a short while, however, all strategy went out the window as the Panther and Hetzer started experiencing mechanical problems (the Panther couldn't turn and the Hetzer was losing battery power very quickly). That left the Tiger and Panzer to defend themselves against the Russian forces, which were all working properly, except for the artillery piece (a plastic part in the bolt assembly broke).
The Russian forces advance out of their home base, with the T34 in the point position. In typical fashion, the T34 would drive straight down the field, engaging anything and everything along its path. Steve fires fast and often, causing lots of action in his wake. Will's SU-100 is a formidable weapons platform, allowing Will to sit back and shell vehicles as he pleases.

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The Germans spread out along the entire width of the battlefield in an attempt to keep the Russians from advancing. Frank takes his Tiger (shown in forground) to the southern frontier trying to work his way into a flanking position. Joe's Hetzer and John's Panzer (shown in the background) anchor themselves in the center of the field providing long-range cover fire.
The Tiger gets into the desired firing position, using a small pine tree for additional protection.

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Unfortunately, the SU-100 is on the other side of the pine tree, keeping the Tiger from moving one way or the other. Such face-offs are common when two individual tanks meet somewhere on the field, but they are usually short-lived as other tanks starting moving towards that location.
As clearly seen here, another stand-off between the Tiger and SU-100 won't last long once the T34 gets into position. At that point, the Tiger will need to retreat or force the issue in hopes of getting superior supporting fire from the advancing German forces. In this case, however, there were no supporting German forces (Shane and Joe were broke down, John was fighting for his own life) and the Tiger was on its own.

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A classic stand-off when two tank destroyers meet head-on. Without rotating turrets, the two need to either patiently wait for a high-angle side shot or attempt a J-turn attack to get on the side of the other tank before they can pivot and shoot. In this case, the SU-100's full-skid turning would probably win (the Hetzer only has half-skid turning).
When multiple tanks exist in the same area, face-offs become a very deadly game of chicken. Here, the Tiger and T34 hold each other in check at about 20 feet. Both battlers are simultaneously trying to keep their front armor facing the other, while trying to get a high-angle side-shot on the other vehicle. Steve is deadly accurate in this situation, so Frank is holding steady waiting for re-inforcement - with the Hetzer on the way. In the background, Mike's U.N. AC is lending support to Steve with some long-range shots.

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With the Panther and Hetzer out of the action, the Panzer and Tiger take up long-range defensive positions. John excels at long-range shooting and Frank's Tiger loves to romp in the tall grass.
Although the Russians have the Germans out-gunned, the KV-1 takes up a defensive position, ready to retreat whenever necessary. Paul has lots of new systems to test out and he's taking things slowly in the first battle.

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Steve says "let's get it on" and drives into close combat with the Panzer and the Hetzer. The Hetzer has lost a lot of battery power (either bad batteries or a bad overnight charge) and the T34 is closing in for the kill. The Panzer IV lends support, but the T34 is moving fast and furiously to the wounded Hetzer. If there's blood in the water, Steve is on it like a shark. In the backgground, Frank re-loads in home base.
Offical Scores for Maryland Massacre Battle #1
Team Asset Operator Hits
Germans T001 Frank Pittelli 12 3 0 0 0 0 3,000 750 0.200
  T010 Joe Sommer 9 0 0 0 0 0 2,250 0 0.000
  T012 John Pittelli 8 3 0 0 0 0 2,000 750 0.273
  T017 Shane 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
  SV005 Marty Hayes 1 0 0 0 0 0 250 0 0.000
TOTAL 30 6 0 0 0 0 7,500 1,500 0.167
Russians T005 Steve Tyng 4 22 0 0 0 0 1,000 5,500 0.846
  T018 Paul Pittelli 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 750 1.000
  T026 Will Montgomery 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1,250 1.000
  SV004 Mike Blattau 2 0 0 0 0 0 500 0 0.000
  FA001 Nathan Blattau 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
TOTAL 6 30 0 0 0 0 1,500 7,500 0.833

Asset Type Net Points
T005 T-34-85 4,500
T026 SU-100 1,250
T018 KV-1 750
FA001 155mm Howitzer 0
T017 PzKpfw V Panther 0
SV005 M520 Goer -250
SV004 U.N. Peacekeeper -500
T012 SdKfz 166 Brummbar -1,250
T010 JgPz 38(t) Hetzer -2,250
T001 PzKpfw VI-I Tiger -2,250
Operator Net Points
Steve Tyng 4,500
Will Montgomery 1,250
Paul Pittelli 750
Nathan Blattau 0
Shane 0
Marty Hayes -250
Mike Blattau -500
John Pittelli -1,250
Joe Sommer -2,250
Frank Pittelli -2,250

Wth only three lives per vehicle and a number of mechanical problems, the first battle wasn't very high scoring, but it was a clear victory for the Russians.