Guest post by Anatoli from Anatoli's Game Room
My last game was played on the desert table - for some reason I always play my best on these.
Johan who was my final opponent had a German infantry platoon, the kind that my buddy Thomas often plays. Infantry backed up by a 6 gun mortar platoon, infantry platoons, PzII's, Panzerjäger I's (in ambush) and a battery of 105mm artillery. The scenario was "Fighting withdrawal" and my Polish army ended up being the attacker again. This time I placed my rails in a line towards the enemy deployment zone, I also placed 2 objectives near the railroad.
This time I was set on winning. The plan was to group my best stuff on the left flank and agressively push them up the enemy deployment. The train would spearhead the attack flanked by my tanks and cavalry going on the double. Both infantry platoons would move through the village in the center, mainly acting as distraction and tie up whatever units that started pulling towards my main attack. The AT gun platoon was positioned overlooking the hills and the right flank which held a platoon of Panzer II's.
I knew the enemy had Panzerjäger I's in ambush, but between them and the 105mm guns there would be little to stop a wave of pissed of Polish troops. During my first turn, tanks and cavalry moved at double speed - accepting the double hits just in order to cover more ground. The train arrived and bombed the enemy positions but did not inflict much damage. Cavalry came under enemy artillery bombardment but only lost a single team, the Poles advancing up the village took minor casualties from enemy mortars but nothing that slowed them down. The enemy popped their Panzerjäger ambush and blew up 3 Polish tanks and bailed both artillery cars on the train.
The Poles pushed on, train drove at full speed towards the German lines, cavalry galloping like mad to the left and the two remaining Polish tanks taking covering the train from the right. Between the train and Polish tanks managed to destroy all but 1 Panzerjäger, which was bailed out. The enemy infantry was also strafed with machinegun fire and additional artillery guns fired at the enemy 105mm positions. At turn 2 my train was already parked near the objectives, waiting for the rest of the army to catch up and dig up the entrenched German infantry guarding the objective.
The Polish cavalry had made sure to ride within the minimum bombardment range of the artillery so the artillery guns had to fire at them point blank and fire point blank at the train. The light artillery car was blown up and the cavalry lost another stand the flank had momentum despite the supporting infantry coming under constant mortar bombardment in the town.
During turn 3 the train moved as far as it could, to the table edge, and started destroying enemy artillery team point blank while strafing the enemy infantry with MG fire. Polish cavalry attacked the cut off Germans but were stopped in their tracks by defensive fire - somehow they avoided any losses. The German infantry guarding the objective proved to be well dug in and kept their heads low. The German Panzer II's had begun their drive towards the left flank to support the infantry, the German 105mm gun remnants fled the table leaving the German 2iC left alone to be killed by the Polish cavalry in their next assault.
Turn 4 had reduced the first Polish infantry platoon by mortar fire to just a couple of stands but they pushed on and started firing at the German infantry dug in on the nearby hill - managing to score several Firepower 6+ tests to kill. In a final assault the Poles launched their cavalry around the burning wreck of the Light artillery car which resultet in a brutal fight where both sides kept counter assaulting until the cavalry was killed and the Germans so blooded that the platoon remnants fled the field. The Germans infantry tried to salvage the situation by launching an attack at the Poles in the town and ran into the Polish 1'st platoon which lost all teams except for the platoon commander - repulsing the German attack and then fleeing.
The battle was won shortly after as the Poles seized the unguarded left flank objective.
The battle ended 4-3 to the Poles who had lost the cavalry and one infantry platoon. In this battle I saw glimpses of the potential of mixing cavalry units and the train in a combined assault. Cavalry is overall a damn good unit, especially the Polish cavalry that kills on 2+ during the first assault step. However, the train is simply too expensive and fragile to be worth 530 points even at reduced length and size. If anything this last battle really made me look forward to expanding my Polish army with a cavalry company and a 10th motorized company - the best troops in the Polish army roster.
I hope that at least my opponents had some fun facing the Polish armored train, which was the main reason for me to include it in the first place. The tournament was fun, and I think everyone was happy. Just like our last tournament the atmosphere was friendly and no one was being a dick. There were also no arguments about v.3 rules as far as I know.