Saturday, 10 December 2016

582 - More Germans are Coming. Verdammt!


I did say there were more Germans, didn't I?

Here they are (with only a couple of teeny-tiny tanks to come - I promise) - and all labelled up for your convenience:

Without going into the detailed whys and wherefores of everything, I managed to secure the following - very cheaply - in order to put together those models above:

  • The Germans from two of the new 'Band of Brothers' starter sets (24 men; 2 halftracks)
  • Twenty already-based Heer infantry (20)
  • The 'Blitzkrieg' German infantry set (30 men)
  • One 'Blitzkrieg' and one Heer medium mortar (2 mortars)
  • One Panzer IV H (you've got to have a tank, right?)
Medium Mortar and MMG teams. There's a thin, rigid plastic
disc stuck beneath the holes, but it's see-through!
At first, I felt a bit frustrated at the slightly odd mix, but this was mollified as I really quite fancied taking some Luftwaffe Field Division as inexperienced troops for a change, and they often still wore jackboots and some more obsolete uniform...but then I got the new army book and bafflingly - inexplicably - the Luftwaffe squads are not allowed to take LMGs! Yup: despite the info-box covering the variety of different LMGs the Luftwaffe troops were issued, they cannot take LMGs. Go figure.
The Medic (behind the officer, bottom-left) has a converted med bag.
Sooooo, instead I made the call that my jackbooted troops would play the dual role of either second-line garrison troops in Normandy, suddenly deployed to help plug a gap or - if needed - a smattering of early war troops for early war scraps. There are still disadvantages to this, mind: namely that (a) they have early-war-style gascloaks in a prominent chest pouch - rather anachronistic after '41, and (b) the only 'inexperienced'-rated troops in the Normandy selectors are...wait for it...Luftwaffe Field Division...who can't technically take their LMGs. 


All of this means that I now have a sprawling German force, totalling about 2000pts (and a little more yet to come) which can be deployed either as one single, rag-tag German force comprising three platoons, or separately as early-, mid- or late-war!

As for the models themselves and their basing? Well, I shall talk about those, I post.

Right now though, I'm a-noddin' off at my keyboard, so

Goodnight for now...

- Drax.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

581 - The Germans are Coming!

Er... Yeah.

This happened.

And there's more, my friends, where that came from.

Significantly more.

- Herr Drax

Friday, 25 November 2016

580 - Bolt Action 2nd Edition Last!

Hullo, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I managed to get a quick game in last Friday - another against the very sporting Pete, and his second introductory game to Bolt Action. This was also our first attempt with the excellent second edition ruleset. I probably won't discuss the rules on this platform, as many others have done that to death already, but suffice it to say that I approve.

The game against Pete was great fun, mostly because of the following factors:
  • He's a great opponent and happy to play an open, collaborative game;
  • The table looked great! (see above)
  • The game was extremely close - far more so than we anticipated;
  • There were some wonderfully cinematic moments (more on that below) and
  • I had to face my very own lads of the 11th Armoured Division!
Facing my own troops came about because Pete was borrowing some Germans, and having swiftly sketched up a Veteran German list for them (we played 850pts) I was keen to show an open hand, so we rolled to see who'd get to play which.

This turned out well for me in the end, because I've started some of my own Germans at last...but that's another story for another post...

ANYWAY. We rolled up the new 'table quarters' mission - whatever it's called - and had an absolute blast!
My table quarter was top-left in the picture above.
Pete's was bottom right, but we chose the non-central
stream as the divide, with a bridge and a ford.

In terms of forces, They were - broadly - as follows:

2Lt, 3 Sections (one with only 8 men), 3" Mortar, Sniper, Arty FOO, PIAT, Staghound and Cromwell CS. All Regular apart from the Cromwell, which was Inexperienced.
Pete's set-up. Nice and bunched up.
Pity my only template was a medium mortar!
1Lt, 1 Squad with ARs and 1 LMG, 1 Squad with rifles and 2 LMGs, Sniper, Medium Mortar and a  PaK40. All Veteran apart from the Mortar and PaK40.
The two German Squads (rifles actually in the house)
The ford is to the left - annoyingly it was difficult going. Rightly so.
Turns 1-2

Essentially, the British infantry advanced into the top corner with some success but got gunned down on the road (assault rifles and LMGs are nasty). The Pak40 threatened the road but got taken out by the second indirect shot from the Cromwell and the Germans made a slow move toward the ford, supported by their sniper and mortar (which took out the British mortar!). The Panzerschreck and PIAT teams headed toward each other.
Deployment and movement. 
British movement begins. Slow and steady. And fraught.
Turns 3-4

Now the Staghound came into its own, moving up to head the Germans off at the pass (the ford): its ten shots were brutal, but the Veterans only lost one. 5+ is hard to kill! They got their own back by managing to assault and pin the Staghound and pinned it a little more thereafter.

The Cromwell moved in to assist, now the PaK40 was no more, but a wonderfully lucky shot from the Panzerschreck caught it in the side armour and blew it sky-high. As the infantry on both sides were whittled down, the two officers got stuck in, with the Brits killing two grenadiers, but getting wiped out themselves.

At the other end of the table, the delayed artillery strike was moved toward the German mortar and they were unlucky enough to catch a heavy howitzer round...which they all promptly survived on a roll of three ones! Tee-hee! Glad I didn't bother going down.
I had to leave at 21.00, so we called it a hard-fought draw. The Germans were definitely gaining control (despite a 'FUBAR' roll) and despite losses still outclassed the Toms...but they would have struggled with the Staghound, and the Panzerschreck would've taken another two turns to get anywhere near engaging it.
The shot-up Germans fight through to consolidate after pinning
the Staghound.
The Pnazerschreck team braves the 'threat' of PIAT rounds
from the surviving British AT man, by the yellow die.
(The reverse angle)
Endgame. Note the German HQ, to the right of the Staghound.
Note also the lack of British officer, recently KIA. 
After four turns we'd fought to a surprising draw, but every step of the game was really good fun - and Bolt Action's second edition really is fantastic!

Cheers to Peter and David - here's to next time, eh?!

- Drax.