Sunday, 23 October 2016

577 - Bolt Action Tourney Aftermath: Part 1

Well now.

750 Points // Early War (upto Dec '41) // Four Rounds // 4'x4' Tables // Axis Vs Allies // Birmingham, October 2016
Back row L-R: 3 Sect, Humber II, 2 Sect, Lorry, 1 Sect,
Front L-R: Crusader I, 2Lt, 3" Mortar, Sniper, Boys AT, 25pdr.
This was the second friendly 'UK Gathering' tournament hosted by the excellent - this time in conjunction with the equally excellent 'Combined Operations' podcast.

The day was - without a doubt - brilliant, and we all had an absolute blast. My Sikhs acquitted themselves very well (army list coming in Part 3) and I even got a couple of little bits to bring home with me!

Round 1: 

I faced Ash and his Japanese infantry in one of those games where you have to get into the enemy's 6" deployment zone and keep them out of yours. 
Round 1. My table edge is on the right.

My view. On my left flank, my 25pdr and the 3"Mortar spotter.
They fought the good fight.
...and my right flank. Here we have the yin to the left flank's yang:
3" Mortar co-located with the 25pdr spotter. A useful tactic.
The Japanese start to advance.
Ash apologised for them only being base-coated.
I was happy with my plan and it worked a treat - I bimbled off down my right flank as he attacked my left. Despite the Japanese being a swifter force by far, I was actually doing alright! I anchored the middle and whittled his squads down with some withering fire...I should have won...but two things worked against me:
1) I was unlucky on a couple of key rolls, and
2) I failed to accurately read all of the victory conditions. 
Actually, we both did. At the end of a cracking game, we thought it was a draw with him killing one more unit than me. We were wrong. Turns out Ash had won quite handsomely, although the working-out escapes me now. 
Holding the centre ground; holding the enemy at bay.
Fair enough: it was, after all, a smashing game and Ash was a top, top opponent. In the spirit of the friendly TTB tourney, we helped each other out and played a fairly open and utterly agreeable match.
The last shot of my subaltern - in the doorway - before he caught it.
Thanks, Ash.

Round 2: 

Now I faced Ian and his Finns. Finnish infantry in defence. Ouch.
Finns. Dug in. In defence. *shiver*
Luckily, I had a fairly mobile force with two armoured vehicles. And a plan.
My brave boys advance up the left flank. Cautiously at first...

This was a mission from the book, similar to Round 1 - only this time I was the 'attacker' and I had to get units off his table edge for 3VP each. It was a turkey shoot. 
My Humber II played the ace card by trolling onto the board turn 1 and killing his sneaky sniper outright with four 6s in a row. Sweet! 
Otherwise - with the exception of my cowardly sniper who took pins before spending the next four turns trying to hide or run away - my tactics went totally to plan. It helped that he only had just one unit - an AT rifle - that could threaten my vehicles, and his only vehicle was some twin-MG tank, that was - luckily - late arriving.
Sme stuff happened on the right flank too, but...meh.
I used the good ol' refused flank tactic, but it was made far juicier by the fact that the flank I decided to race down also had a river separating it from the rest of the board - with just one pinned down squad to guard it, I was able to run five units off whilst barely breaking a sweat.
A river runs through it.
Ian was an absolutely sterling opponent - phlegmatic in the face of misfortune. It really didn't hep him that my AT rifle and 25pdr on 'ambush' let fly at his tank as soon as it eventually arrived; nor did it help in any way that his commanding officer - desperately needed to boost some morale - spent five whole turns comfortably drinking schnapps back in the rear echelon before bothering to arrive.

A very comfortable win for me.

Tune in next time for Rounds 3 and 4 and the results!


- Drax.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

576 - Test Game with the Sikh Desert Rats Vs US - 750pts


It's a busy morning here and I'm tired, but last Friday night I was able to get a game in with my newly completed Sikhs. Details and lots more will follow before too long (I have my friendly tournament next weekend!) but here are a few pics, at least, from the game (still v1 rules, because the tourney is):
It was a cracking game, but I'll save a write-up for another time...!


- Drax.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

575 - Desert Rats 25pdr


Another unit finished, and now I've very nearly finished the Sikh Desert Rats contingent that I'll be taking to the ' UK Gathering II' in just under 2 weeks' time! Yay!

That said, I wasn't hugely impressed by this mini. Take a glance at these late-night mobile pics...!
 (Above) collapsed view, showing the removable loader crewman and my 'storage solution'. The wheels are pinned to the turntable. The pointing guy is the 'spotter', seeing as how Warlord insists upon the 25pdr needing only three crew...

Whilst it was fairly good value - gun, limber and four crew for just £10 +p&p from West Wind Miniatures - the crew models are not much cop. Bad molding lines, blobby hands and faces and slightly weird poses did not really impress me, although the gun itself is pretty decent in its simplicity.

Interestingly, although a bit of research pointed toward the carriage getting narrower as the war progressed, this carriage+gun combined is significantly smaller than the late-war 25pdr mini that Warlord Games makes... although in turn, this is actually quite good, as the Perry Miniatures Sikhs I have are more slightly built than the Warlord Brits. 

Overall, it is done; it is finished. At least a lack of detail means a quick paint job, eh?!

Almost there...

- Drax.