Wednesday, 17 January 2018

623 - Bolt Action Germans Join Battle Again

Hullo, All.

Another bat-rep, but for the first time with a proper force of my German troops, as Real Life (TM) has actually conspired to allow me to get a bit more painting finalised of late.

I had the pleasure of playing Guy again, but we fancied a scenario. Unable to pen an original one to my satisfaction, we used one from the D-Day to Germany supplement: [insert name here!] in which the Allies have to clear Germans from their defensible 24" deep deployment zone. 

Here's what I brought along:
Veteran 2Lt;
9 Heer Grenadier Veterans w. LMG and 2xPF;
9 Heer Grenadier Veterans w. LMG and 2xPF;
9 Assault Pioneer Vets w. flamethrower, LMG and 2xPF;
Veteran sniper team;
Veteran Panzerschreck team;
Veteran Medium mortar w. spotter;
Veteran Nebelwerfer;
Regular Sd.Kfz.251/10;
2x Regular Sd.Kfz.251/1;
Regular Panzer IV Ausf. H.
Time to werf some Nebel.
I can't begin to do justice to the force that Guy put together, but it was pleasingly characterful: two platoons, one of which was carrier-borne, supported variously by a 2" mortar, a PIAT, a 6pdr, a 25pdr, a Firefly and - for the first time I've ever seen one - a Wasp flamethrower vehicle.
This is MOST of them. The Brits
had almost twice as many dice...
This force was very mobile, although I tried to use my two free minefields to funnel them away from my flanks.

Luckily for me, I had ample cover in which to deploy upto half my troops 'hidden'. 

Unluckily for me, the Allies had a guaranteed (and fairly effective) preliminary bombardment AND I COMPLETELY FORGOT THAT HE COULD RUN HIS VEHICLES IN ON TURN 1.


I took some pins and lost a Nebelwerfer crewman to the preliminary bombardment, but turn 1 was okay, overall. Guy's troops were mostly just charging forward in carriers, and I'm pleased to note that my Nebelwerfer put some pins on a handful of them and killed his artillery FOO and one of his Lts. Guy had refused my right flank, but this had forced his units into close proximity: perfect Nebelwerfer fodder.

Inevitably, his nasty-ass Wasp got close enough by turn two to flame-grill my left-most veteran squad, but after that, things started to balance out. He couldn't get rid of that squad for the rest of the battle: they hung on to quite literally the last man, despite being the target for much of the enemy's shooting and - later - assault. 
My heroic left-hand squad.
The middle squad: happily they
managed to cut down an advancing
squad, wiping them out.
...and the right flank. In the
foreground is my sniper.
After turn 2, I started clawing back a little, as the vets on my left set such a great example. 
Setting a great example.
Here you can see the left-hand vets
surviving yet again as the closing Brits
fail their order test. Yay!
To the right of the picture is my
Panzerschreck team. Pretty, but they
failed to do anything other than deter.

The Pz.IV arrived with the 251/10 and they started to make their presence felt; the Nebelwerfer didn't do anything else useful for the rest of the game, but it was a good deterrent, and the pins that its turn 1 barrage had left on the Humber armoured car was enough to negate its usefulness from then on too.
It's all getting a bit hairy here on
my left flank. Wasp is in foreground.
To my amusement, later on one of
the Bren Carriers fails its order test
and promptly reverses into one of
my A-T minefields!

On my right, my sniper finally got his act together, killing both the PIAT team and a 25pdr crewman, and, with the British attack faltering, I started to chew through the carriers and dismounted small sections too, although the 2" mortar and the Firefly were both thorns in my side. 

By turn three, the far more experienced Guy had been computing his chances of winning VP within the scenario, and it turned out that he was going to really struggle! As usual, I'd completely failed to acknowledge or even fully read how the VP worked in the mission, but essentially I got points for each unit I killed and double for each unit remaining in my deployment zone. The attackers needed either to kill way more of me or get their units into (or through) my deployment. Luckily, he had tons of units available for this; unluckily, I had few units for Guy to easily kill off and all I really had to do was stay put and take it. Which I did.
A last-ditch charge. I would've lost
a team or two to them, but they would not have lived long .

Guy pointed out how stacked the odds were against him, bit to his credit continued for the enjoyment and story. Even me lackadaisicallly running out my Panzer for a giggle (straight into the deadly Firefly fire) didn't do enough to address the imbalance: we declared on 16-3, with the defenders carrying a clear victory. 

Kudos to Guy for a fun (albeit for him very tricky) game, and much respect to the two best units, for my money at least: the redoubtable 2" mortar and my left-hand squad of veterans. 

Thanks for reading; more soon, with luck!

- D.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

622 - Bolt Action 6pdr Medium AT Gun

Hullo All,

Just another quick-pic post: painted a couple of years ago, actually, but I never gave it its own post - my 6pdr:
It's mounted on a (rather too thick) circular 80mm acrylic base that a friend kindly cut for me at work, and it's not quite as GREEN! as it looks, I promise...
(Note the gun and trails detach for storage)

Well, until next time then,

- Drax

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

621 - More Bolt Action Games (part 2)

Yup. Here's the second of my most recent games.
 Game 2: 1500pts.

This time I was up against Steve and his Germans in a 1500pt 'meeting engagement'. To make it more interesting, we'd absolutely covered the board in LoS-blocking scatter terrain, and to Steve's credit he agreed with me that the 'Tiger Fear' rule is unnecessary and easily forgotten BS. 

Sadly for me, he DID still field a Tiger I and a Panzer IV (H)... but I had two Cromwells, my Staghound, a 6pdr and a PIAT team, so I wasn't hugely worried.
...the rest of Steve's toys.
Sorry for the crappy pic.
My lot, in two platoons.

...and that was apparently my first mistake! On turn 1, everything trundled on; with his first two dice of turn 2, Steve's two big cats annihilated both of my Cromwells. Lucky bastard.
My two tanks really didn't get
much further than this, sadly!

Didn't take very many pics with this game (I was too busy fretting and frantically thinking-up a 'plan B', I expect) but basically I invested a couple of ruins on my right, and scooted the bulk of my force round on the far left, spearheaded by my faithful Staghound and the plucky 3 Section, with the RAF Regiment boys in support.

My artillery FOO was rubbish: his super-helpful bombardment didn't arrive until bloomin' turn FIVE, but at least when it did it neutralised the sniper and Tiger a bit, with some pins. Glad I wasn't relying on him to smoke-out the Tiger...

My 2" and 3" mortars, on the other hand, were great - they did exactly what they were supposed to do, by pinning units and forcing them to choose to go 'down'. Hooray!

The Staghound did its thing pretty well, but it was very unlucky against the side and rear armour of his Pz IV - even at zero range! Luckily for me, by this point, Steve seemed bafflingly unable to penetrate the Staghound, so it really just became a silly slap fight.

How did I deal with the Tiger? Well, the lorry-borne PIAT managed to hit its side armour, but failed to pen, and it took revenge by plowing into (through) the ruin holding 1 Sect. They were very lucky to escape with only one casualty, and assaulted it (twice, actually) - pinning it and jamming its turret. After that, a lacklustre 6pdr hit and the belated artillery strike, it was no longer combat effective, so I could at least stop worrying about it.
I must say, my lorries did
Sterling work as usual...

On my right, the only remaining threats now were a soon-to-be blinded medium mortar and a vicious assault-rifle-wielding Fallschirmjäger squad, but the left flank by the end of the game was completely mine...apart from the Pz IV... So we called it a draw.
Endgame. You can see the cluster
of Brits around the Pz IV, top-right.

After my disastrous start, I was really quite happy with a draw, but most importantly, it was a smashing game!

Steve was a really fun and gung-ho opponent, and I look forward to facing off against his Germans again before too long...!


- D.