Wednesday, 18 January 2017

584 - More Bolt Action Gaming No.1

Happy New Year!

Been a while - partly because accessing blogger on my new work laptop is trickier, and partly because...well, I've actually been gaming rather than just blogging about it!

Here's game one - against a newbie, helping him to prepare for Mattenbury's start-up escalation league at my new FLGS 'Dark Star'. He's a seasoned gamer, so Bolt Action came easily to him, and he gave me a run for my money.

I bought along my Desert Sikhs, knowing that he had a nascent Late-War German Veteran force. It was close, but I just pipped it in the end. Still, he enjoyed it enough to come back for more!

Pics follow...
Those plucky Desert 'Brits' again...
...and ze Germans.

Deployment, my left flank
Deployment
My Humber moves up and gets blatted by the Sdk.Fz 251/10. Damn,
The Germans advance on my left whilst I storm up the right and
fight through. Luckily, some defensive fire turned up just in time
to halt the advancing foe. Phew!
In the centre, my Crusader just embarrasses itself by getting
beaten up by a 251/10-cum-Stummel-cum-Panzerfaust combo.
It weathers it all, but is immobilised and can't hit for toffee.
THESE CHAPS, on the other hand, were just BRILLIANT!
Having shot up the right flank in a lorry, they dismounted, shot-up
 then assaulteda sniper team, THEN assaulted and destroyed his
Stummel, and THEN did the same to his 251/10.
Then they stopped for a brew. 
In the end, it was bravely fought, but the marauding Sikh
1 Section swung it my way.  


Now, let's see if I can cue up a couple more of these whilst I've got a lazy evening of babysitting ahead of me...


Cheers, All!

- D.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

583 - New FLGS and a 750pt Bolt Action Game!

Hullo!

Yes, all of the above is true - I've found a new FLGS: 'Darkstar Gaming' in Plymouth. It's fairly new, but open, friendly, and not too terribly inconvenient for me... which is a development!

To my particular joy, I broke my duck there with my pal Mattenbury: we played a friendly 750pt game to both try out a few ideas and increase our familiarisation with the 2nd Edition rules.

It was a blast!

Forces:

Mattenbury very gallantly let me field a cheeky wee 'armoured platoon' - nothing too scary: a troop of Recce Carriers supported by two five-man squads, a Sniper team, a PIAT team (in a fourth Bren Carrier) and the obligatory Free Artillery Spotter. There was a 3-Ton Lorry to transport the Toms, of course, too. Oh, and a Cromwell CS:
My babies!
These pics came out well - I like the black background!

For his part, Mattenbury brought his Commandos (I was expecting Americans, but they're not painted yet): a five-man command squad (such a great idea!), two five-man squads, two(!) Light Mortar teams, a 25pdr, a Sniper team, Arty Spotter and a Crusader AA:
The Commandos were armed by squad: rifles or SMGs.
Set Up:

We rolled for a mission and got 'Demolition', which is essentially capture-the-flag, but it's instant death after a unit is plomped on the enemy's base - no contestation. 

Deployment in some missions of 2nd Ed has taken a clever turn: it's a little more time-consuming, but now you draw dice to deploy units. I liked this, although I didn't do it quite as well as I ought to:
My deployment edge. Foolishly, I split up my Recce troop,
and they couldn't benefit fully from their radios.
Mattenbury did a better job with what he had, I must say, setting up his 25pdr exactly where he should have - commanding the centre ground utterly, and managing very cleverly to give his Crusader AA far more flexibility than I thought it'd have.
Note the two objectives and the 25pdr's killing field (in red)
A close-up of Mattenbury's deployment: the 25pdr
covers its arcs, and the objective is that round base
just this side of the hill. White die = my arty aim point.
The Game:

Turn 1: The first turn was relatively quiet, as everyone was hidden. Artillery spotters on each side placed their aim points, and my sniper (to my great surprise) killed his. Having thus given away his position, my sniper was then instantly wiped out by a very lucky 25pdr shot. Bastard.
End of a Veteran Light Mortar Team
On my right, the Bren Carrier (carrying my PIAT) sallied forth and gunned down a light mortar team before his Crusader AA did some sneaky reversing and then let fly in revenge. Pins. My vehicles and troops on the left edged forward for pot-shots, but it wasn't until the turn's end that I realised flank I'd moved everyone on the left closer to his artillery aiming point! BUGGER.
Pins on the Bren Carrier from the sneaky Crusader (top-right)
The extent of my movement by the end of Turn 1. Note how foolishly
close so many of my units are to his artillery aiming point (red die).
Turn 2: This turn was a bit of a dud, really - both artillery rounds failed to materialise and we traded some ineffectual long-range shots. Mattenbury was being cautious because he was - quite frankly - out-gunned, and I was being way too cautious because I was unnecessarily afraid of both the artillery strike which had now moved to the centre ground and his 25pdr...which could easily kill a recce carrier but which, frankly, would struggle against the Cromwell. The only thing of note, really, was the blasted Crusader penetrating my Bren Carrier (the PIAT-mobile) and fluffing its damage, to give both it and the PIAt a bunch more pins. Boo.

Turn 3: At last both of our artillery stonks arrived and did untold damage on...nothing. The only casualty of both was the 25pdr, which took a couple of pins. If either had arrived on turn 2, it could've been a very different story indeed. During this turn, a number of key things happened: (1) I finally started closing on the objective, suppressing the 25pdr with MG fire as I went to pin it out of usefulness; (2) I realised (he told me!) that Matt's intent was to drive his crusader up to my objective and claim it that way...bugger. I hadn't thought of that - I'd assumed he would just inch his Commandos closer then overwhelm me. I could've been gamey and used my carriers and troops as a screen, but I try not to roll like that. Instead, I tried to bring the fight to him!
Shot 1 from the PIAT. A swing and a miss.
(3) With this in mind, my 6-pinned Bren Carrier rallied (2nd Ed 'Rally' is soooooo much better!) and disgorged its PIAT-toting passenger, who predictably missed a long-range shot at the Crusader; (4) Mattenbury's central squad of Commandos started their new game of ineffectually charging one of my recce carriers just to get a consolidation move out of it. I started thinning their ranks with some withering Bren and rifle fire, but they're tricky buggers to kill!
My 15/19 KRH Cromwell advances into the muzzle of the field gun...
...and the Comando HQ backtracks for morale support.
Turn 4: Mattenbury's Commandos on my right flank burst out of their building to unleash short-range SMG-themed death on my poor regular PIAT team...and completely fluffed it! They killed his loader, but he was made of sterner stuff, and after steadying his unruly Heath-Robinson contraption, sent a shaped charge right squack into the flank of the AA Crusader. Kaboom!
KA-BOOM! - I love this pic!
With this, the Commandos knew they were doomed. They fought on bravely, but as the Cromwell of Destiny rumbled onto the Objective of Sealed Fate, they knew it was game over...and indeed it was!
In Summation:

The game was an absolute joy to play, despite the simplicity of the terrain (more will be a-comin' as I understand it, as BA takes off) and Mattenbury was - as he always is - a very pleasant and sporting opponent. In particular, it's grand to play someone who's chilled about things like taking the time to look rules up as we go.

The movements of my various vehicles. Just experimenting.
Until next time, then,

Cheers for reading,

- D.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

582 - More Germans are Coming. Verdammt!

Oops!

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. 

*sigh*

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 suspect...next post.

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

Goodnight for now...

- Drax.