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.


  1. That always happens when the sheikhs invade Finland.

  2. A great set of pictures, your Sikhs look fantastic on the table!

    1. Cheers, Scipio! Utterly bleached out by the cheap camera and flash, but they looked nice and cohesive in real life!


  3. Two very lovely looking games. A "draw" and a win are a good start!

    750 points of Sikhs with all those tough units.... That'd be a rough army to play against.

    1. Yup, a good start and two great games!

      There were quite a lot of them, but they were still quite squishy, regular Toms: I certainly wouldn't have described them as 'tough'.

      Cheers, mate.

    2. I thought the Indian units got to switch out the free FAO british rule for the Soviet "Re-roll" failed morale?

    3. Yes (and the other British special rules, of course, for any readers unfamiliar) - you're quite right: they do... just between us, over the course of the day, I didn't actually need to use it!


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