Panzer Brigade "Finland" an AAR

Last week I got to play a game with my brother. He wanted to test out his army list for the forthcoming Flames Of War tournament at the BattleCry 2014 event. It's a 1575 Late-war event, and he is bringing his Finnish army. Unfortunately BattleCry interferes with my family schedule, so I can't attend the event this year. However, if you are in Auckland on 15/16 February, you should drop in and check it out. It's a great event with lots on for gamers young and old!

I haven't asked if Andrew is OK with releasing his list specifics, so with that in mind all I'll say is that he's rock'n a Finnish infantry company with lots of excellent PaK40s, artillery, and some looted tanks for a total of 9 or 10 platoons.

I left deciding what to take against him to fate and designed three 1575-point German lists (I'm on a panzer kick these days). On the day I rolled up a D3 and ended up with this list:

FHH Panzerkompanie (Reluctant Trained)Pts
FHH HQ 2x PzV260
FHH Panzer Platoon (3x Pz V)385
FHH Panzer Platoon (3x Pz V)385
FHH PzJager Platoon (3x Pz IV/70v)305
FHH Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon (2x Möbelwagen)75
FHH Panzergrenadier Platoon
(7x MG/faust teams, 4x Sd Kfz 251)

I gotta say I love playing Panzer Brigades. Every time a 1500-ish point event or game comes up, my thoughts instantly drift toward their Reluctant Trained goodness. They are so challenging and get some intense amount of firepower for dirt cheap. They aren't for everyone, but this guy loves 'em.

The mission was rolled up randomly as Hold the Line, so I knew this was going to be a particularly tough game for my RT troops. Still, Andrew's troops had to hold out for several turns against a focused attack. I felt I had a chance, albeit a narrow one!

The table and Andrew's deployment.
I deployed the Panzer IV/70s on my right flank to keep the pressure on a wide front. The Möbelwagens were in the center to guard against a Finnish redeployment and to offer a high rate-of-fire Firepower 4+  gun to either flank.

But the main attack was stacked to the left flank with the option to redeploy using the road.

The Panthers spread out to grab enough terrain as possible to prevent ambushes and minimize artillery casualties. The half-tracks speed up the road to the middle of the board to await a chance to assault.

Easily my MVP of the game was this Möbelwagen platoon. I wish I had all four! They managed to carve up a large Finnish platoon. I needed 6s to hit them, but with enough dice I managed to reduce their numbers significantly.

Andrew waited a few turns to spring his ambushes (2x platoons of PaK40s), so I sent the half-tracks in to challenge the infantry platoon on the left in support of the Panthers.

Rifle fire bails one half-track, but I'm still able to have a swing, but miss! The fearless troops quickly swamp another half-track and my reluctant troops bounce out for the loss of two half-tracks, and an MG team. The rest of the platoon escapes behind the hill to spend a few turns trying to rally.  

Not to waste time, the Panzer IV/70s push in and take a casualty in exchange for a couple of Finnish teams before bouncing out. 

Andrew pops both platoons from ambush against my Panthers to help bulk out his defense. He then proceeds to hit me a lot and I roll a lot of ones and twos! I end up losing the forward Panthers, but the ones at range are content sniping away at the paks from afar. The Panzergrenadiers side step to help the Panzer IV/70s

The objective is relatively open and I'm nearly there. I just need to move these last three Finnish teams!

I manage to pull the small platoon away from the objective and move my infantry up to contest the objective. Realising his mistake, Andrew launches a bold assault on my now pinned down panzergrenadiers. With 8 shots, I pin his assault, securing the objective for the moment! However, Finnish artillery knocks out my 2iC (the CiC is pictured above and met a grisly death a few turns before). 
I assaulted the small Finnish platoon with my Panzer IV/70s, hoping to knock them out before they could reach the objective they had wandered too far away from. However, I ended up getting swamped and losing an assault gun as a result, while the other broke off. Andrew's infantry moved forward to deliver a follow-up assault on his turn, but this proved unnecessary as the sole remaining Reluctant PzIV/70 failed its morale and ran away.

I was now in control of the objective and there was no way Andrew could get his troops to the objective in time. Victory was so close! Well, as it happened the small platoon that I had pulled away from the objective was in a good position to knock out my Möbelwagens, which he did handily, knocking me to under strength. With no CiC or 2iC to take my morale test, my company breaks!

An intense game that was so nearly mine, but I played my warrior teams haplessly and lost me the game. I rolled a die to see if I could have passed a Reluctant Morale Check, I rolled a six! I could'a been a contender!  What was nearly a 4-3 German victory became a 1-6 loss to Andrew's expertly handled Finns. Well played!

It was an excellent and action-packed game! Thanks to Andrew for hosting the game. I wish your Finns all the best of luck at BattleCry!


  1. Great battle report! So close too. I must say your army and terrain look stunning. I love reading a good battle report with nicely painted miniatures on a good looking battlefield. keep it up! :)

  2. Thanks for the AARs Mike, great balance of detail and your terrain...sooo good


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