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Horrible luck strikes again! (and again and again and again and...)

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This post is in part a place to release my anger at this incident, and part to ask if anything like this was ever experienced by anyone else... what follows is a story of endless fields of burning Allied tanks who never stood a chance for no apparent reason.

So Im playing this opponent whom Ive met at my wargaming club. He's an interesting fellow, since he only plays all armor battles and insists on being the Axis every single time. The first few games we played were pretty much butchery. My poor sod 76mm Jumbos would bounce shell after shell after useless shell off of the thick steel of his KT's. He also enjoyed taking terrain which is wide and open, so any manuevering is out of the question, and the battle reduces to "whos tank can last longer at long ranges". We all know who wins these things with no trees and flat as a panacake battle fields.

However, deciding that I can at least best this guy on fair ground, I managed to pursuade him into a combined forces battle over a town, with moderate trees and medium hills. However, despite countless mistakes made by my opponent, what seemed to be a force field of impenetrable luck sorrounded every single one of his actions, leaving my forces in shreds.

For example: The force selection was randomized for more "fun" (really to stop him from having a butt load of KT's about the place), and playing as the Allies, I had a bunch of HT's, Stuarts, and a single M-18.

He had around 6 veteran stugs.

So the battle commences. We both reach the town, and I capture the flags first. Now comes the fun part. Despite major mess-ups which would cost another player victory, my opponent survived every single one of my attempts to encircle him with my quick-moving tanks.

On my left flank, my M-18 was about to speed over a hill top and ambush 2 Stugs turned 180 degrees facing away from me (read - fatal mistake). Almost up to the crest, going on a "Hunt" order, my M-18 bogs and immobilizes in clear open ground. The Stugs escape, and my one really powerful tank is rendered useless.

To further destroy these two annoying Stugs, I send one of my Stuart to encricle them using buildings for cover. My opponent, seeing my movement, send a single Stug across a clearing to intercept my Stuart. The Stuart rushes past the stug, stops about 30 metres to the side and behind it, and fires off 2 ROUNDS FROM 30 METRES missing both, before the Stug finishes slooooooooooowly turning, sloooooooooowly aiming, and quickly brewing up my Stuart.

On my other flank, with yet another encircling movement, one of my fast moving Stuarts is picked off by a slowly turning Stug. My opponent makes the often fatal mistake of moving 2 tanks down a crowded alleyway, and my hidden bazooka fires off a shot. Guess what? The building sets alight. Big surprise.

Incidents like these totally and completely incapacitated all my armor and nearly crushed my infantry. My opponent got a Minor victory, simply because his luck finally broke for one tiny bit. In a heating fire fight between 2 of his platoons in a building and some scattered remains of my own 2 platoons (mine being Regs, his Vets), one of his squads fired a Panzerfaust and set the building aflame. His men rushed out into my guns.

Now, thinking to myself "what a bloody damn horrible streak of bad luck I had", I challenge my opponent to another game. He accepts, and we play an all armor again on a small map, me as the Allies (again and forever it seems). Now, I specifically requested that the date for the QB should be as late as possible, so I could have some heavies of my own. This proved almost useless. Again, through what seemd like the wildest streaks of luck or stupidity, I only managed to destroy a single tank. His tanks, outnumbered as they are by my own, and no matter what sort of encriclment tactics I attempt to use, get destroyed mercylessly.

No matter if I gang up on one of his tanks, no matter the range or the experience level, it just seems that his tanks are as close to indestructible as one is liable to get in a realistic wargame.

Now, as of a few hours ago, I quit the TCP/IP game in frustration. I thought I needed time to rethink what Im doing wrong. I haven't been able to come up with much, so here is this long rant of a post.

Am I a bad sport and a sore loser?

I guess I sort of am.

Am I just extremely unlucky?

Either that or Im extremely stupid.

Am I extremely stupid?

I dont think so, since I am doing pretty well in all my other PBEM's and consider myself a pretty fair tank-fighter.

So...what gives? What do I do with this opponent of mine? Im just looking for some answers and probobly a few flames from some of the purists around here. Go ahead and fire, I probobly deserve it.

Sorry for the lenght of this post and the inevitable spelling errors I am too lazy to check for.


"...Every position, every meter of Soviet soil must be defended to the last drop of blood..."

- Segment from Order 227 "Not a step back"

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Well, since in our current PBeM game, you managed to alight ALL my vehicles except one halftrack within a 3 turn period, I'd say you are not a poor player! wink.gif

(I don't consider myself a poor player...)

Blame the German armor. He He.

Speaking from someone who ALWAYS plays Allies (by choice), I have witnessed my own forces shredded by German armor time and again. Luckily, I am a decent Infantry player, and manage to pull victories out with my soldiers.

I've managed to somehow drop Tigers with grenades, etc...

Perhaps you need to support your tanks with more infantry?

Just a friendly suggestion from one of your opponents (who you pretty much stomp on.)

Also, I have noticed your stunning lack of artillery attacks in both games we have played. Perhaps your opponent needs a gigantic shelling?

I'll gladly play you in a tank battle (I'll be Allies, natch) once we finish our current battle. (Which I must say is probably one of the bloodiest I've ever seen.)


"The truth was that the Germans were losing faster than the Allies could win." - A Bridge Too Far

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Heh-heh, thanks for the support, fellers!

Unfortunately for myself, Ive tried most of your suggestions. Arty is something that I did not indeed try, but slow deploy speeds of artillery fire against tanks is something which hinders performance.

Infantry? Dont stand a chance. Why? My opponent blows up every building in a town even if there are no men in it, exactly for this reason. What is left is a barren "no man's land".

I tried the Super Pershing in the last game I mentioned. It costs about the same as the KT, but his KT knocked out my Pershing with its first shot. The Pershing, it appears, has a 20 mm difference in armor (the KT has something like 180, while the Super Pershing 160).

Tis' a crazy battle...I gotta find a way though, or I'll never live it down! Can't ignore the guy forever, you know...or can I? Hmm... wink.gif


"...Every position, every meter of Soviet soil must be defended to the last drop of blood..."

- Segment from Order 227 "Not a step back"

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...what seemed to be a force field of impenetrable luck sorrounded every single one of his actions, leaving my forces in shreds.

I saw that movie. Don't worry, in the end the good guys triumph as these death machines crash into buildings and fields, all the operators dead from strange microbic attacks.

Which reminds me, that's another good film for our list. The category will be Sci-fi War Flicks:

War of the Worlds

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What about the GUNS you so effectively destroyed my last armored force with?

Can you use the same tactic on him?

Use what you know against him.

It's the advantage of replaying the same opponent numerous times.

So far we know he uses KT's, fights in open spaces, and blows up all buildings in a town.

Also, minimize your "bad luck" situations as much as possible.

You should know your opponent by now, and that's a huge advantage.

(Write me and let me know who this opponent is! I think I have an idea of who it is...)

KT's - Use the best anti-tank items available to you. Try sticking some bazooka men on jeeps and manuevering them in for a shot. Perhaps pay the price for an Airstrike?

Open Spaces - Use Arty spotters to cover those open spaces. If he sits on one, let him have it. Also use smoke and artillery to split his forces, and break up his plans. (Attack the enemy plans!)

Buildings - Play in a hilly area. Play defensively, and let HIM come to you. Let him walk his KT's into your ambushes. (Below hills, etc.) I KNOW you know how to lay ambushes!

Write me! It's now my mission to help you win one!!! (Not that I'm really good... I just like a challenge... after all, I play Allies by choice don't I?) smile.gif


"The truth was that the Germans were losing faster than the Allies could win." - A Bridge Too Far

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It seems as long as he calls the shots regarding forces and terrain, that he'll pick both to his advantage.

All I can think to do is to use artillery to lay down some smoke,get in close on his flanks and overwhelm him with numbers.

As far as his luck-there's no counter tactic for luck.

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Guest Big Time Software

I agree. Time for you to pick the scenario options smile.gif Anybody who fears commanding a force not of his choosing is not very good in my opinion. I for one almost always let the other player pick everything. I like surprises and variety. It presents more challenges.

I have no idea why he got all those tanks the first time and you got only light armor. I shouldn't suggest that the other player did something underhanded, but I am scratching my head about this. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no way to prove the person setting up the game is doing so honestly.

One thing that you should not count on is racing like mad to close distance and score a killing shot. Very, very risky. Bogging down was a really huge honest to God streak of bad luck though. I had something like that happen once, and it sucked.

A Pershing is a match for a Panther or Tiger, but it comes up a bit short against a King Tiger.


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allies have some good luck


my story: a sherman goes against 50mm gunned armored car puma. he spots it, aims...puma nails him with first shot while rolling backwards and buttoned...hits my front turrent, kills my tank just as it rolled up to take on some inf in the forest. (not that i was gonna win anyway)


"They had their chance- they have not lead!" - GW Bush

"They had mechanical pencils- they have not...lead?" - Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

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I often play as Germans, but will take the Allies side, especially in mirror games. The big thing Allies have over Germans is artillery and fighter bombers. Numerous times a cursed plane has arrived to blow up my prize piece of armour. And the Allies have artillery in spades.

If it's a meeting engagement, and the weather is clear, buy a fighter bomber. Lay down smoke and move bazookas supported by infantry up and into cover. While the smoke is up, move your armour out into ambush positions, or just plain view. When the smoke clears, hopefully your bazookas will be in killing range and your armour will have clear shots. If your armour is not strong enough to go head to head, use the smoke to hide flanking moves.

The only other thing that comes to mind is patience. You may be making mistakes because you are particularly anxious to kill his units. Reverse slope ambushes are deadly. But you have to be patient. :^)

Good luck!


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One of the things to note, is that no Allied tank is a match for a Panther at long range -the longer the better for the Panther.

Another thing to note is that a Stuart is no match for a German medium tank -in 1944 Stuarts should be used only for recon, or possibly pinging against enemy armored cars and infantry.

Finally, in general German tanks had superior optics and often more experienced crews, so in tank to tank battles, the Germans usually have the edge.

Moving tanks fire less accurately than stationary tanks, so don't go to him, let him come to you and try to hit him while he's moving. Put your tanks behind some infantry with AT guns, in positions where thy can get a flank shot if possible (insist on having some trees, using the argument that there is no steppe in Western Europe...); if he sends infantry in front, remember that German infantry have the edge over Allied over long range but the opposite is true at close range, so back up your infantry with artillery and/or keep them hidden until the German infantry is in range, then ambush them.

Your opponent is forcing you to fight in ahistorical circumstances over ahistorical terrain that favor his OOB. And he's psyching you out. It is time to turn the tables.

Bottom line: in an armor-only equal-points battle over flat unforested terrain, German tanks have a significant advantage.

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One will stall his KT offensive: deep mud. They sink like stones and bog left and right. If he wants to avoid booggings, he will stick to paved roads. Make them deathtraps. Also, you should be able to get three shermans for every KT. Bum rush his sorry ass. KTs have very slow turrets, and if you ping 'em enough you get gun hits and immobilizations.



Before battle, my digital soldiers turn to me and say,

Ave, Caesar! Morituri te salutamus.

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Her is something...

Don't buy a bunch of tanks.

Buy this...



LOTS of AT-Guns.

Lots of AT-Infantry.

And a few tanks that you keep hidden.

Now.. Turn 1 - Bomb him back into the stone age with arty. And hope for your airpower.

Turn 1 and onward - Wait in ambush everywhere with you AT-Guns and Bazookas. Make dure you have a few infantry units around to protect the AT guns.

AMBUSH...wash, rinse, and repeat.


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You can't beat vet 17lb'ers

Those things hidden in forrests rock my world.

Force him to engage both if he wants to live. ie. have the guns cover each other if possible.

Hate fight-bombers myself, but they are fun to use.

If you can afford it, buy naval guns, ahaha, those things rock my world.

Everyone else has good advice.

Try using WASPS vs. tanks? (Not sure if it works tha well), they are cheap tho.

Good luck!


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Another suggestion. Don't play when you're frustrated. This doesn't usually come into play for me in a turn-based game but it definitely effects me when I'm playing a more action-oriented game like Counterstrike. I can be leading 14 kills to 8 and then be suddenly killed eight times in a row by the same person because the first couple times I can't believe he got off a perfect shot or that I died while about to blast him in the back. Then it's game over for the night as I rage and rage and rage. One time I wouldn't stop playing until I had evened my score in an unfair map (CTs, on Estate). I ended up finally doing it 32-31 after two hours of screaming and cursing.



To download my scenarios: go to


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I read in another thread that any Allied tanks using Tungsten rounds usually improves the odds against the germany armor. give this a shot and let us know. I have yet to try this but I am certainly looking forward to seeing this in action.

The advice to using smoke is always good. Another shot in the dark is mixing Smoke and HE arty rounds in his areas. blind him and frag him. Possibly putting a few SP Arty pieces on the board to provide additional smoke options.

Sharpshooters to harass his tank crews.

Engineers possibly??

Good Luck

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Couple of questions:

1) When fighting your tanks, in what size unit do you use/deploy them? (i.e. Section (2tanks), platoon (5), company (17) etc...)

2) Is the battlefield so flat that you cannot setup in hidden areas?

3) When he fights his tanks (KT's) does he pull them all up at once? Or does he pull them up one by one?

4) Does he use KT's exclusively? Meaning, NO other types of tanks or support vehicles?

5) Does he use Arty at all?

6) Does he buy any supporting Infantry? (in the tank battles I mean)

7) Finally, what are the dimensions of the battlefield? What shape is it? (Square, rectangle, etc) If it is anything other than a square, where are the setup zones? (along the long side or the short side)


One shot...One Kill

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I just can't understand why you'd want to play with some one who:

1) Insists on playing only one side

2) Is at best extremely reluctant to play with maps and forces not of his choosing

3) Employs thoroughly gamey tactics

Now, I admit, I'm not the best player in the world (ok, I probably suck smile.gif) but I do like playing more historical-type battles, with realistic force levels and types. Most of all, though, I love playing both sides, because of the interesting challenges. I can understand having a preference (German tanks look cooler, let's be honest!) but IMHO half the fun of CM is in seeing how well you'll do with what you're dealt. Nothing is as satisfying as pulling out a win when you're facing Panthers and all you have are bazookas and an M8....

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Wow, thanks for all the input and friendly suggestions, fellers! This stuff is really great, and I hope to get my opponent on similar ground as soon as possible.

To answer some questions posed:

Iron Duke,

1) We usually play smallish battles (1500-2000) so I never get a chance for gigantic collections of tanks. I attempt to use the Lowski/tophat tactics so skillfully deployed by some, so my tanks are usually popping out from behind ridges and trees in groups of two.

2) It was for the first few battles, but now I get some tree cover! Yippie!

3) He usually keeps all his tanks in one large group, with a pair or two on each flank. He likes to manuever his KT alone once in a while, though.

4) No, he usually has a single KT, a Tiger or a JagdTiger, and many PZ4's, Hetzers, Stugs, etc.

5) In our latest game he bought what seems to be a volley of 250mm rockets. The things fell all over the map, but inflicted almost no damage other then panicking one of my hidden inf. squads and inflicting a single casualty on a tank crew.

6) He usually buys one platoon of Infantry. He rellyes on his tanks to first destroy my armor and then systematically blow up every single building in a town (VL's are usually in towns) looking for my troops which he inevitably finds.

7) The battlefield is usually a square or a rectangle, with deploy zones always opposite each other.

Hope that helps you help me, heh-heh smile.gif

Again, thanks for all the great advice submitted by everyone.



"...Every position, every meter of Soviet soil must be defended to the last drop of blood..."

- Segment from Order 227 "Not a step back"

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>1) We usually play smallish battles (1500-2000) so I never get a chance for gigantic collections of tanks. I attempt to use the Lowski/tophat tactics so skillfully deployed by some, so my tanks are usually popping out from behind ridges and trees in groups of two.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is very much a part of your problem. Live by this: All or None. When a Company commander gives the "Fire at will order...or Tophat!" This means the whole company Tophats/fires at the same time. The reason being is simple...safety in numbers and local superiority. When you pull 2 of your tanks "out" of cover hoping to kill a Tiger Royal you are asking for trouble. When the time is right to engage the beast, do it with your whole force at one time.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>He usually keeps all his tanks in one large group, with a pair or two on each flank. He likes to maneuver his KT alone once in a while, though<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is bad for you...he does what you should be doing, however, there is such a thing as keeping your tanks too close together. Based on a 2000 point game, I bought 2 Regular Tiger Royals, 7 Pz IV's, and 6 Hetzers (38t). Though a formidable force, it has major weaknesses.

First its strength: Numbers...he is beating you the way I want you to beat him...with numbers of tanks. He can field 15 tanks + a Platoon of grunts in this battle. Bad for you.

Weakness: Arty. The suspension system of the Pnz IV's are vulnerable to 155mm Artillery and especially the Hetzers. I have seen 155's immobilize Hetzers from 30 to 40 yards away! Use this to your advantage; if be bunches up his armor...hit it with arty. Secondly, do not underestimate the power of smoke. Buy 1 81mm spotter purely for smoke reasons. Smoke is a combat multiplier, it can blind a target, mask a move, but more importantly, it can gain you local superiority by sectioning off manageable bites of his Armor force. Another nice feature of smoke is that it can persuade tanks to maneuver out of their hull down positions because they are blinded by it. Whenever you can make your enemy maneuver against his will, you have an advantage.

Another weakness is the turretless Hetzer. Turretless tanks, though potent from the front, are extremely weak from the sides and if immobilized, are practically useless if not pointing in the correct direction when they became so. Even if they happen to be facing the right direction, their field of fire is rarely more than 15 deg. to either side...and maybe less.

The other obvious weakness is the lack of AAA. Buy yourself a Fighter Bomber. Just the thought of a "Jabo" overhead may cause your opponent to make some mistakes, and make him worry more about his precious Tigers than you!

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>No, he usually has a single KT, a Tiger or a JagdTiger, and many PZ4's, Hetzers, Stugs, etc.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

He is beating you with numbers here. With 2000 points he can muster two tanks shy of a whole Company! That's 15 tanks...quite the force.

As you have seen, Jumbo's, Pershings, etc...do not stand up to his KT's. They get penetrated and die, so don't influence your purchases with that thought. Think more along the lines of...how can I maximize my firepower, meaning numbers. The answer? Hellcats and Jacksons. With 2000 points you can have 13 Hellcats, 1 155mm Arty Spotter, 1 81mm Arty spotter, 4 TRP's, 1 Bazooka team and 1 plt of Grunts. And seeing how Jacksons only cost 1 more point each, roughly the same number can be had with them. I don't know about you, but I would put my money on a Hellcat over a Pnz IV or Hetzer any day of the week. With this TD force you would have a firepower advantage, even with his KT/JadKT's. (Especially now that Allied tanks/TD's are finally firing their damned Tungsten rounds! Yeah!) smile.gif

I guess you would have to weigh the choice of Jacksons vs Hellcats...personally I would go with the Cats. T-rounds and 55mph are a great combination wink.gif

So, you end up with 2 and 1/2 platoons of TD's...not bad. But how will you use them? Certainly NOT by inching them forward 2 at a time! Keep them hidden until you are ready to press the attack and then...All for One and One for All! But before this...

The importance of TRP's is sometimes lost on PBEMr's...a GREEN 155mm Arty spotter can drop rounds on a TRP in 42 seconds! (If he has a line of sight to it. If not then more like 1.30 min...but waaay better than 4 to 5 min without los)

A Regular 155mm Spotter should have no problems killing/immobilizing tanks with the aid of TRP's.

81mm spotters are fast no matter what! 1 min without TRP and like 25 seconds with one! Awesome for covering a move, buttoning up TC's, or gaining local superiority.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>7) The battlefield is usually a square or a rectangle, with deploy zones always opposite each other.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> If I where you, I would insist on a square map as large as you can get it. The more room you have to maneuver the better for you, also, try and attack in the morning/dusk to that engagement ranges are no more than 1200 to 1400 meters. This gives your 76 APC rounds a much better chance against Panthers and the like. Tungsten works miracles at this range!

So, I cannot tell you how to fight. I am no authority, I am simply telling you what I have learned from other men. Just remember, fight as one unit...not as small groups of individual tanks. Always keep each tank "gun distance" from each other, meaning, each tank MUST be able to support his brother when the shooting starts. Lay into the enemy...hit him with all you've got! Better to die quick than a slow lingering death! Choose the time of your attack, don't force it. Use your Arty to disrupt his formations and break up his Armor, save your smoke for when you need it...use your smoke to gain local superiority...isolate his main tanks with it and hit him with ALL your guys. Instead of setting up your tanks in a long row "sideways", setup in depth. This allows you to have a very high density of tanks in the smallest space possible while maintaining adequate distances in-between for Artillery protection.

Finally, Wait. Wait. Wait some more...make him squirm, make him maneuver around looking for you. Wait. Choose your time, do not force it. Don't go looking for Death, for He finds us all soon enough.


One shot...One Kill

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Guest Big Time Software

Good words of advice above. Since the Allies have nothing that can match a KT, and even have a hard time besting a Panther or a Tiger, don't blow your points on the expensive stuff. Heck... when I play the Germans I almost never buy the big stuff for the same reason...


I would rather have 8 PzIVs than 3 Kts and a Hetzer (or however the points come out to be). Unless, of course, I know that I am going to have a big wide open field to play with! And that is the second part of your problem with this guy...


Fair is fair! If he picks the conditions for the first game, you get to pick them for the second game. If he doesn't agree... never, ever, in a thousand years play him again. At least that is my philosophy smile.gif I do not want to spend my time stroking someone else's fragile gamer ego. A real life commander "plays" with what he gets, when he gets it, and where. A player that wishes to purposefully avoid such challenges really isn't worthy of much respect. Like a guy saying he can beat Rubix Cube every time, only to find out that he twisted the sides at 45 degree angles and applied a screwdriver (bring back memories anybody? biggrin.gif).


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