Wednesday, February 18, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 14


It's 1400, 1 Sept 1939, and since this morning's victory there have been several marches and counter-marches, with the German forces attempting to keep the Poles bottled up in the Kutno pocket.  Orders come in from 4th Panzer Division headquarters via the wireless: "Achtung, Panzer," the Poles are attempting a breakout, sending an armored spearhead south across the river and immediately turning west.  KG Klink finds itself on the northern flank of this rupture, and is ordered to send all armor he can muster to contain it.

LtCol Klink personally leads a mixed force of armored cars and Panzer II, III, and IVs to meet the enemy tanks head on.

The opposing forces.

The Germans, led by Col Klink, a Sdkfz 231 (Officer Cadet Distler), a Sdkfz 221 (Sgt Keck), two Pz Mk IVs (Officer Cadet Kleiber, Sgt Mangold), four Pz Mk IIIs (Company Commander 2nd Lt Loeb, Sgt Fahrmann, Sgt Grossman, and Sgt Friessler), and two Pz Mk IIs (Cpl Mayer, and Cpl Glucke).

The enemy force, with their CO, five medium tanks, two light tanks, one tankette, and two heavy armored cars.

Overview, north is up, Germans on the right (east), and Poles on the left (west).  A straight up tank brawl.  I hope it doesn't aggravate you too much, but I did something a little different with this game.  Usually I place a small puff of cotton to show where a gun or mortar fires, take my picture, then remove it.  For this game (for some reason) I decided to leave each puff on the board.  I kind of wanted a look at how many anti-tank shots it would take to have a tank fight.  So, by the end, there's a whole lot of cotton puffs on the board.

The German line, with armored cars at far left, Pz IIIs and IVs in the center, and Pz IIs on the right.

The Polish line, set up to basically mirror the German dispositions.

And it's a fight: the Germans start off, with Lt Loeb, Sgt Mangold, and Off Cad Kleiber's tanks rumbling forward and exchanging fire with enemy tanks at bottom left.  The Germans hit nothing, while Polish return fire slams into Kleiber's tank, immobilizing it and forcing the crew to bail.

A Polish medium tank pulls forward, halts, and fires at Sgt Fahrmann's Pz III (top right).  The shot misses, but Fahrmann's return fire causes the Polish tank to fall back (actually, move forward and left behind treeline at top center).    Another Polish medium tank moves up (bottom left) and fires on Sgt Mangold's tank (far right), which misses, as does Mangold's return fire.

Lt Loeb maneuvers his Pz III forward (center, at trees) and firs on the Polish medium (bottom center left), BOOM!  The enemy tank is knocked out.  Sgt Mangold advances his Pz IV (bottom right) and fires on another Polish medium (far left, yellow bead), pinning it.  Cpl Mayer pulls his Pz II up near Mangold's tank and fires on the enemy tankette (just right of trees at left, with white bead), immobilizing it, but the crew stays in the fight.

The Poles roll as scurry, so several tanks rally themselves, though one of the mediums is unable.  The Polish CO goes to him, and fails again, causing the tank to fall back!    All Polish vehicles in the north move up (center left), and the Germans react by advancing as well.

Lt Loeb again advances his Pz III (center right, just below trees), halts, and fires, and another enemy medium tank (bottom left, with white bead) is gone (immob, crew bailed).  Sgt Mangold's tank moves up and fires (bottom center), immobilizing another Polish medium tank (far left, just left of trees, white bead) and causing the crew to bail.  But there's bad news when Cpl Mayer brings his Pz II (furthest right in field) up to finish off the immobilized tankette (at left, just right of trees).  Mayer's Pz II halts and fires, but misses, and the enemy's return fire knocks out the Pz II.

The Poles roll a firefight, and the sharpshooting tankette (bottom left) starts it off by firing at Lt Loeb's vehicle (center, just below the trees), pinning it.  The last Polish medium tank (top left, behind trees with red bead) pulls out from the trees, halts, and fires at Sgt Fahrmann's Pz III (top right).  The enemy round goes wide, as does Fahrmann's, but the Pole is spooked enough to fall back behind the treeline.

The Polish light tanks advance and fire on the two Pz IIIs (at right, just above the wall).  Sgt Friessler's Pz III is immobilized, but the crew stays in the fight.  The Polish armored cars move up and fire on Off Cadet Distler's Sdkfz 231 (top right), getting a pin.

Then the Germans roll a firefight: Sgt Mangold's big, bad, Pz Mk IV fires on the immobilized enemy tankette (far left, with yellow bead and all those white puffs), but misses, and the enemy tankette returns fire, forcing Mangold's vehicle to fall back (bottom center, with red bead).  What the hell just happened.  Cpl Glucke's Pz II (far right) fires on the tankette, managing a pin.

In the north, the German Pz IIIs trade fire with the enemy light tanks and armored cars, with the only result being Sgt Farhmann's tank being driven back by fire (top right, with white bead).  Officer Cadet Distler's armored car fails to rally and falls back, joining Sgt Grossman's panzer...

The Polish CO finally manages to rally the last Polish medium tank, which promptly moves up (top left) and takes a flank shot on Lt Loeb's Pz III (bottom center, next to trees, with white bead), immobilizing it and causing the crew to bail.  Sgt Fahrmann's tank (top right) takes a shot, but only manages to force the enemy medium tank to fall back again...

One of the enemy light tanks tries to rally, but fails and the crew abandons the vehicle (far left, white bead).  The other (just below) engages Sgt Grossman's Pz III (top right) and they both miss...

Back in the south, Cpl Glucke moves his Pz II over to help Sgt Mangold's crew rally, which they do.  The young Sergeant then advances his vehicle, halts, and holes the damned tankette (far left), finally putting it out of the fight.

Sgt Mangold's tank (far right) then advances, halts, targets the backside of the remaining enemy medium tank (top left, red bead), and misses!

The CO moves over and tries to rally Sgt Friessler's tank, but only gets them up to a 'pin.'

The Poles roll a firefight, plus a random event of "Reinforcements," so they get two rifle squads with anti-tank rifles.

The Polish CO rallies the medium tank (top left), which pivots and fires on Sgt Mangold's Pz IV (bottom right), immobilizing it, though the crew stays.

The remaining enemy light tank (far left, in field) fires on Sgt Grossman's Pz III (just above house), pinning it, while the enemy armored cars trade fire with Sgt Keck's Sdkfz 221 (top right, above trees) to no effect.  In the top right corner, the CO rallies Sgt Friessler's Pz III, and Off Cad Distler rallied his armored car.  Sgt Fahrmann (bottom right) took a bad shot at one of the light tanks and missed.

Cpl Glucke moved his Pz II up once again to shield Sgt Mangold's Pz IV (bottom right), but Mangold's crew remained shaken up.  Glucke fired their 20mm gun at the Polish medium tank (top left) and missed.  Return fire knocked out Glucke's tank...

Sgt Friessler moved his Pz III over to Sgt Grossman's Pz III (far right), and Grossman's vehicle was able to rally.  Meanwhile, this drew fire from one of the armored cars, though it missed, and Friessler immediately targeted the last enemy light tank, immobilizing it and causing the crew to bail.

Colonel Klink had his driver step on the gas, moving from the northeast corner south towards Sgt Mangold's Pz IV.

The Poles rolled another firefight: the Polish medium tank (far left, behind trees) took a shot at Sgt Mangold's Pz IV (bottom right, in field, next to Cpl Glucke's burning Pz II), but missed.

One enemy armored car fired on Sgt Kleck's Sdkfz 221 (top right) missing, and Kleck made good use of his 20mm gun, shooting the enemy vehicle full of holes.  The other enemy armored car fired on Sgt Grossman's vehicle, causing it to fall back (far right, red bead), and Sgt Friessler's Pz III (above house) returned fire, missing.

Then the Germans rolled a firefight, plus a random event, "Low Ammo," which the die-roll saw applied to Sgt Keck's armored car (guess he used all his rounds holing that enemy armored car).  The CO rallied Sgt Mangold's Pz IV (far right, in field), which fired on the enemy medium tank, causing it to fall back (was at top center, behind trees, fell back to far left near house, with red bead, next to two reinforcement rifle squads).  That damn Polish medium tank is barely hanging on the table; I don't want him to fall back, I want a kill!  Sgt Fahrmann's Pz III (top right) fires and misses...

Sgt Friessler's Pz III (just above house in center) trades fire with the remaining armored car, everybody misses, while Sgt Grossman tries to rally but rolls another fall back (far right, red bead behind trees).

The Polish armored car moves forward (top left), looking to get at Sgt Keck's Sdkfz 221 (far right, blue bead to show low ammo).  Sgt Friessler (bottom center) snap fires their 37mm gun, missing, but then the enemy armored car misses Sgt Keck's vehicle too.  Nobody seems to be that great a shot here...

The Polish CO falls back to rally the enemy medium tank (far left, just above house), which then trades fire with Sgt Fahrmann's Pz III (top right), both miss...

But then Sgt Fahrmann advances his vehicle, halts (top right), and puts a 37mm armor-piercing round into the Polish medium tank (bottom left), immobilizing it and causing the crew to bail.

And Sgt Friessler fires on the last remaining enemy vehicle, causing it to flee the field of battle.  KG Klink has held their sector of line, helping to keep two Polish armies trapped in the Kutno pocket.

-2nd Lt Loeb (Acting Pz Co CO), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, 2 TK, WIA, Campaign.
-Cpl Glucke (V5, 3rd Pz Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA.
-Officer Cadet Kleiber (PC, 4th Pz Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, WIA, Campaign.
-Sgt Mangold (V2, 4th Pz Plt), 1 Tank Kill.
-Cpl Mayer, (V4, 2nd Pz Plt), 1 Tank Kill.
-Sgt Friessler (V2, 3rd Pz Plt), 2 Tank Kills.
-Sgt Fahrmann (Acting PC, 2nd Pz Plt), 1 Tk Kill.
-Sgt Keck (V2, Arm Rec Plt), 1 A/C Kill.
-Lost ~15 KIA/WIA. 1 Pz Mk II.
-Caused ~40 KIA/WIA, destroyed 7 tanks and 1 armored car.

More to follow.



  1. Tank battle! That warms my heart :-)
    One of the reasons I thought Company Commander would be a good idea is that I liked the scale of Crossfire but never felt I could get tank combat to work properly in that system.

    1. It worked like a champ, and the only thing I changed with the rules was my 'return fire' addendum (if you shoot at a tank that didn't guard/snap, and you don't at least pin them, they get to shoot back).

      I had a lot of fun, though I actually felt like I had too many vehicles on the table. In the future they'll be smaller forces, so more room to maneuver.


    2. yeah, return fire should keep things moving very nicely.
      I'll probably add that as an option next time I get to do an update of Company Commander.

      For some reason, it makes more sense to me for tanks than for infantry, maybe it's because we expect tank fire to be more decisive, while infantry spend a lot of time shooting without too much effect.

    3. Ah, you're on, I'd better check my e-mail!

      I think you're second paragraph sums up perfectly why it works, it just feels right.


  2. You know, it all my years of playing, I don't think I have ever played a pure tank on tank game. But reading your games was fun, and the cotton puffs did not detract from the pictures at all.

    1. Hey Shaun, good to see ya! I'd never played a pure tank fight either, but it was fun and I'll definitely be doing more in the future. Conceptually they will be part of larger battles; as an example, fight 1 is an infantry supported by assault guns, 2 is infantry supported by light tanks trying to flank the enemy line, then fight 3 is our tanks break through and enemy tanks in reserve launch to meet them.

      Lots of fun, I recommend it!


  3. I really enjoyed the write up and would not mind following a thread of more.

  4. Hi Phillip, welcome, and glad you liked the report. I've got two more to finish out the campaign in Poland, but then I'm moving on to France with this same group of guys.