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R/C Tank Combat

Maryland Massacre

Battle #3

Battle #3 Summary

A new scenario was tried for Battle #3 which was a variant of Capture-the-Flag. In this case, two action figures, The General and The Harlot, would serve as the flags. The General would start in the position of one team, while The Harlot started with the other. The objective of the game was to take position of both figures and deliver them safely to the "motel" (the triangular groups of barricades in the middle of the field). The figures could ride on top or inside of any vehicle, but they could not ride on any vehicle entering Home Base, nor could they ride in the same vehicle as the other figure. If a vehicle was destroyed while carrying a figure or it wanted to enter Home Base, the figure had to be dropped immediately.

With the rules explained, the following sides were chosen randomly:

Blue Team: Tiger, SU-100, KV-1, Goer
Red Team: T34, Panzer IV, Hetzer
Throughout the battle, the T34 and Hetzer would be driven by various people including Steve's father Art, his nephew Shane and Joe's friend Kent. The General would start with the Red Team on the eastern front and The Harlot would start with the Blue Team on the western front.

The First Date
First dates are always a nervous time and it is no different in R/C tank combat. The Red team rolled out of their Home base with The General riding on the back of the Panzer IV. The Panzer would take up his normal long-range shelling position just outside the Red home base, making it difficult to capture the General.

On the other side of the field, The Harlot hopped a ride in the Goer, hoping for an extended and safe stay in the Arden Forest. The SU-100, Tiger and KV-1 took up positions in the middle of the field to guard The Harlot and approach the other side. It didn't take long, however, for Tyng's T34 to bully his way past the defenders and plunge into the forest in pursuit of the Goer. The SU-100 had gun problems and had to return to Home base, while the KV-1 had some some of breakdown near the motel. That left the Tiger to chase after the T34. With too much of a lead, the T34 quickly found and destroyed the Goer, grabbed the Harlot and head straight for the motel yelling "Bring the General". Even though the Tiger was chasing as fast as possible and shooting on the run, the Harlot made it to the motel in time to meet the General. True love ensued and the Red team won the first round.

Love Is Hard To Find
It was clear from the first date that the T34 was tough to stop one-on-one and that something had to be done to shake up the Red team. Therefore, the Blue team came up with a devious, but legal, plan to hide the Harlot. As in the first date, the Goer headed straight for the Arden, but this time the Harlot wasn't riding along. Instead, she was riding inside the turret of the Tiger, which took up a commanding position inside of the motel. From the motel, the Tiger could keep the Panzer and Hetzer pinned on their own side of the field and could run out to grab the General if the Panzer got killed or needed to reload. The KV-1 and SU-100 were then free to engage the Panzer and Hetzer to push the battle close to their home.

Initially, the T34 decided to attack the Tiger in the motel, but couldn't get into a good position to hit it because of the barricades. When the T34 tried rushing the motel, with fire support from the Panzer, the Tiger scored enough hits to send the T34 back for a re-incarnation. After that, the T34 decided to push into the Arden again and find the Goer, which he thought held the Harlot. Knowing that Steve would soon discover that the Goer was a decoy, Frank pulled the Tiger out of the motel and moved towards his home base so he could reload. Unseen by the Red team, he dropped the Harlot in the grass about 30 feet from the Blue home base. After reloading, he returned to the same spot just as the T34 came out of the woods, having killed the Goer. The Tiger sit directly over the Harlot and waited to engage the T34, but the T34 ignored the Tiger and pursued the KV-1 instead, probably thinking that its tall turret held the Harlot.

Feeling that the Harlot was safe in the grass, the Tiger went onto the Red team's side and sought out the General. After skirmishing with the Panzer IV, the Tiger eventually killed it and grabbed the General. With the Hetzer in pursuit, the Tiger drove toward the motel yelling "Marty bring the Harlot" (a phrase often associated with Marty). The Goer came out of the Arden and moved to the location of the Harlot, just as the Tiger arrived. The General was transferred to the Goer and the Tiger picked up the Harlot again. Both vehicles drove to the motel, true love ensued and the Blue team won the second round.

Fool Me Once, Shame On You
Knowing that the same deception wouldn't work twice, the 3rd date started with the Harlot once again heading into the Arden on the Goer. This time, however, Marty would hide the Harlot in the forest and drive around elsewhere to keep the Red team busy. The Red team, on the other hand, once again placed the General on the back of the Panzer, which kept close to home base. With the T34 and Hetzer operated by novices, the Blue team decided to take the battle deep into the Red zone.

Surprisingly, they didn't have to move far because the T34 (operated by Shane & Art) and the Hetzer (operated by Kent) were barreling towards the Blue team vehicles at full speed. With no fear and little experience, they engaged anything and everything, swiftly moving to and fro. At first, the blitz was serving in their favor as the Blue team scattered to protect themselves. But, eventually the more veteran battlers began to win back the advantage. At one point, after the Hetzer took on the Tiger single-handedly, the Tiger got in behind the Hetzer and chased in a complete circle around the field before killing it. Nonetheless, the rookies were scoring hits and all kinds of action was taking place on the field.

With the Hetzer and T34 either engaged or re-loading, the Tiger decided to attack the Panzer IV deep in the Red zone in order to grab the General. The Tiger scored some lucky shots, killed the Panzer, grabbed the General and headed for the motel. Marty recovered the Harlot from the forest and headed towards the motel with the Goer. Unfortunately, the Goer hit a large rut and couldn't free itself. By then, the Panzer had re-incarnated and was shelling the area from long-range. The SU-100 moved in to give assistance and just as the Harlot was transferred to the SU-100, the Goer was destroyed by a long-range shot from the Panzer. Soon after, the SU-100 pulled into the motel along with the Tiger, carrying their precious cargos. True love ensued and the Blue team won the third and deciding round.

A Rookie's First Thoughts
Kent was asked about his first thoughts when given the controls of the lethal killing machine known as the Hetzer. "It's a hell of a lot harder driving than watching", he said with a sigh of relief. "You've got too stay fairly close to the vehicle so that you can shoot straight, but then you have paintballs flying past you all the time". He thought that he would cleverly drive around and out-flank the other vehicles, but soon discovered that it is a lot harder to aim and hit anything than he originally thought. Finally, when asked about his tactic of standing toe-to-toe with the Tiger, he said that he was thinking the whole time "this is a pretty stupid move".

Battle #3 Photos

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The General catches a ride on the Panzer IV with a great view of the battlefield. The box in front of the General houses John's digital camera, which took the battle videos listed below. Although the camera case took a couple direct hits, the camera was well protected and the General was not harmed.
After hunting down and killing the Goer, the T34 grabs the Harlot and makes a dash to the motel to end the first date. Although the Tiger was in hot pursuit the whole time, it couldn't land enough shots on the speedy T34 to prevent the meeting.

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Paul Pittelli does a quick reload of the KV-1 while his teammates hold the line. Being able to easily gain access to the gun magazine is a big advantage during the battle, allowing battlers to perform Nascar-like pitstops in base.
The KV-1 keeps in the Hetzer alert in the foreground, while the Tiger and Panzer IV stand barrel-to-barrel in the background. The Tiger is just about to kill the Panzer and run away with the General, while the KV-1 keeps the Hetzer busy.

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Paul signals that he has two hits on the KV-1, as the Hetzer (operated by Kent) closes in. As always, the Panzer IV is shelling from a long way off, trying to finish the game for the KV-1. In the distance, Shane is operating the T34, in a not-so-dreaded mode. He didn't quite have the fire control figured out and was shooting high of everything.
After the battle the Tiger sports a new paint job, courtesy of the other team. Some of the battlers bring water to spray on the tank and then wipe off the paint with a towel, while others simply use an absorbant towel.

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Battle #3 Video

We didn't take many photos of the third battle (we didn't really want to violate the privacy of the General), but we did get some good battlefield video footage. John attached his camera to the top of the Panzer IV in a protective case built with a 1/4" lexan shield. The camera arrangement had been used on the test field, but never in a live battle. During an engagement with the Tiger, the camera case took a direct hit with a paintball. Although it prevented clear video from that point on, the camera itself was unharmed.

Its War
As war begins, the Red team charges out of their home base, with the video camera and the General riding on top of the Panzer IV. We see the Panzer move into a defensive position while the T34 and Hetzer proceed downfield. Then, the Panzer begins the long-range shelling of the Tiger which can be seen moving across the field towards the grasslands.

The Panzer IV makes its way towards the motel so that the General and the Harlot can meet. The Tiger attempts to foil the plan, but cannot stop the Red team from completing the mission.

Direct Hit
The camera case takes a direct paintball hit courtesy of the Tiger. Despite the goo, the camera keeps rolling, recording the sounds of the battle as the Panzer engages the opposition.

Tiger In The Fog
This isn't the clearest video clip, but it is an interesting view of a close-up battle. (Anyone who thinks they'll be using a wireless video camera to control their tank in battle should study this video closely.)

Offical Scores for Maryland Massacre Battle #3
Team Asset Operator Hits
Blue T001 Frank Pittelli 8 17 2 0 0 0 2,000 5,250 0.724
  T018 Paul Pittelli 12 7 0 0 0 0 3,000 1,750 0.368
  T026 Will Montgomery 8 10 1 0 0 0 2,000 3,000 0.600
  SV005 Marty Hayes 4 0 1 0 0 0 1,000 500 0.333
TOTAL 32 34 4 0 0 0 8,000 10,500 0.568
Red T005 Steve Tyng 8 11 1 0 0 0 2,000 3,250 0.619
  T010 Joe Sommer 6 6 0 0 0 0 1,500 1,500 0.500
  T010 Kent 12 1 0 0 0 0 3,000 250 0.077
  T012 John Pittelli 8 14 1 0 0 0 2,000 4,000 0.667
TOTAL 34 32 2 0 0 0 8,500 9,000 0.514

Asset Type Net Points
T001 PzKpfw VI-I Tiger 3,250
T012 SdKfz 166 Brummbar 2,000
T005 T-34-85 1,250
T026 SU-100 1,000
SV005 M520 Goer -500
T018 KV-1 -1,250
T010 JgPz 38(t) Hetzer -2,750
Operator Net Points
Frank Pittelli 3,250
John Pittelli 2,000
Steve Tyng 1,250
Will Montgomery 1,000
Joe Sommer 0
Marty Hayes -500
Paul Pittelli -1,250
Kent -2,750

A new scoring system was used in the third battle. Specifically, each team was given a "Kill Log" that was filled out during the battle. Whenever a vehicle was destroyed and re-incarnated at the home base, the battler was required to add an entry for their vehicle in the log and record who scored the hits. Such an approach yielded far more accurate scores at the end of the game (no longer relying on each battler's recollection of the hour-long battle) and made it easier to write the battle reports. Accordingly, that scoring system will be used for all future battles.

The battle scenario was a lot of fun, requiring battlers to be more attentive and communicate more with their teammates. The high scores reflect the fact that there was still plenty of action while the chess match was played out.