Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 23rd:
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"The Bastards Will Kill The Lot Of Us"
Desert Rats #27
(Attacker) Germany vs Britain (Defender)
New Zealand (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 15th Panzer Division
New Zealand 22nd Infantry Battalion
New Zealand 2nd Divisional Cavalry
New Zealand 5th Brigade HQ

Overall balance chart for DeRa027
Side 1 5
Draw 0
Side 2 0
Overall Rating, 5 votes
Scenario Rank: 403 of 609
Parent Game Desert Rats
Historicity Historical
Date 1941-11-27
Start Time 09:30
Turn Count 30
Visibility Day
Counters 52
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 3
Maps 1: DR4
Layout Dimensions 88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
Play Bounty 110
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 5
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Covering Action
Kill Them All
Rear Guard
Rural Assault
Off-board Artillery
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Desert Rats maps + counters

In the confusion of the Crusader battles, the headquarters of 5th New Zealand Brigade had been behind what its staff thought was the front line. When the two German Panzer divisions swung behind the Allied forces, the rear echelon suddenly faced a determined tank attack. Thinking they faced a small blocking force, the Germans almost bypassed the detachment, but decided it could not be left astride one of the area's few roads.


The New Zealanders fought with great determination, but could not stop the waves of armour from overrunning their positions. The gunners and infantrymen attempted to fight to the last man, but when the tanks broke into the main position, the brigade staff ordered them to surrender. Learning of this abortive heroism, the Italian officers that took charge of the prisoners later released the rank and file as a nod to their bravery - but shipped all the officers to Italy.

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Portees: Trucks with mounted Anti-Tank guns, Anti-Aircraft weapons, or artillery. Stack as combat units. Move like trucks, but fire like guns. Do not limber or unlimber. Have the truck's -1 armor value. Truck and gun are treated as a single unit, and do not transport other units. (SB)

Display Order of Battle

Britain Order of Battle
Germany Order of Battle
  • Motorized
  • Towed
New Zealand Order of Battle
New Zealand Army
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized

Display Errata (3)

3 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 486

The Pz IVe appearing in the original Panzer Grenadier game had an Anti tank value of 4-7. As of Afrika Korps (2002), continuing onward through the 3rd and 4th edition games, the anti tank value has been 4-4.

(plloyd1010 on 2016 Jul 25)
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (1)

A heroic stand but the lot settles for surrender
Author Brett Nicholson
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2013-08-28
Language English
Scenario DeRa027

Despite the overwhelming odds against them, the Kiwis were very close to winning this one and well would have if it weren't for the HQ unit surrendering.

The N.Z. deployment forbids the placing of units in the hill areas but are allowed to start off dug-in or taking cover at the airfield. The victory conditions for the Germans are to either destroy or force the HQ unit to surrender and take less than 10 step losses. The N.Z. player can win as long as the HQ unit is intact and even if it is destroyed or captured they win if they inflict 10 step losses before that happens. The scenario ends immediately if or when the HQ unit is dispatched one way or the other.

At 09:30/turn 1, the Germans send out their motorcycle units first to spot for OBA and N.Z. opportunity fire disrupts one MTC unit and demoralizes the other but the German LT remains in good order and spots for OBA, disrupting the N.Z. 40mm AA gun. The rest of the mobile German units move and unload while the panzers sit at a safe range but close enough to provide direct fire and A.T. fire support.

At 10:00/turn 3, N.Z. defending forces continue to harass the MTC units and one flees from demoralization to the hills before it can dismount with the LT riding off with them. At this point PzIIIGs are able to easily wipe out 2 steps of MkVIb tanks that are dug-in from a range of 6 hexes away.

At 10:15/turn 4, the kiwis inflict the first German INF step loss with well aimed direct fire. Then at 10:30/turn 5, a random event results in misunderstood orders for the Germans and a platoon of PzIIIGs takes a road to the East edge of the map.

At 11:00/turn 5, the N.Z. 2-pdr portree' unit braves up and eliminates one of the German carriers but is itself eliminated moments later. Germany has now taken 2 step losses.

At 11:30/turn 7, German panzers blow a hole in the Kiwi defenses eliminating more of the MKVIb tank-like things and the HQ unit is exposed. Then at 11:45/turn 8, the last dug-in MkVIb is eliminated leaving two hexes vacant by the HQ. The Kiwis fill in those holes with foot units but now are spread out with only one unit per hex guarding the HQ.

At 12:00/turn 8, another random event occurs with a German sniper eliminating the N.Z. Captain. By 12:45/turn 14, things are looking very grim for the Kiwis with only their 18-pdr left to defend against the panzers and furthermore, the N.Z. Colonel, demoralized, flees the defenses leaving only a Lieutenant left to lead units. PzIVEs also eliminate a whole platoon of Kiwi HMGS with massive direct firepower.

At 13:15/turn 16, a demoralized HMG units flees the rearguard leaving the HQ exposed again without any units left to spread out and patch the breach. At 13:30/turn 17, the Germans feel confident enough to advance all foot units to the defenses and begin assaults. This is when the Kiwis luck begins to change and are able to eliminate 3 steps of German INF with opportunity fire, leaving other units disrupted and demoralized but the Germans still have enough good order units left to make two assaults. However, at 13:45/turn 18, German friendly fire renders one of the assault battlegroups incapable though the other assault is able to eliminate a N.Z. INF step, forcing the other step to abandon the hex, but the German units are left demoralized from return fire afterwards. However, German units are now adjacent to the HQ unit which is now disrupted. At 14:00/turn 19, Another assault goes awry against the 18-pdr after it recovers back to good order from being demoralized and is able to still be a threat to German armor from within the assault hex. Just when all seems lost the Kiwis are putting up fierce resistance.

At 14:15/turn 20, a random event gives New Zealand new orders and now they only have to eliminate 8 German steps instead of 10 to claim a victory if they are able to do this before their HQ gives in. At this point the Germans have already taken 6 step losses so it seems possible that N.Z. can win after all.

However, at 14:30/turn 21, the N.Z. 18-pdr is finally eliminated and the panzers roll up quickly; conducting an assault with 3 PzIIIGs on one helpless, dug-in INF unit while the rest are adjacent to the HQ. N.Z. opportunity fire is futile as it bounces off German armor.

At 14:45/turn 22, the game ends with sudden death as the HQ unit surrenders immediately in the face of the panzers next to it. The German win this one but at a much heavier price than I imagined they would. In the end, almost all of the remaining German foot units had fled back to the hills in order to hopefully rally and the panzers made the difference. Things could of turned out differently if the HQ did not surrender right away and tried to inch away with it's movement of 1! The Kiwis only needed to inflict 2 more step losses to win it.

From my own experience with this one I have to rate it a 4 out of 5. It was even fun losing with the Commonwealth. The Germans were given a good run and it became very frustrating up until the 18-pdr was knocked out. For a weapon unit with a defense rating of 1, the 18-pdr held out for quite awhile and even caused a failed German morale check twice in an assault.

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