Friday, 13 April 2018

641 - Kirton Games: Bolt Action Gaming Day!

I had a fun time last weekend at Kirton Games in Crediton [link here], run by the entirely splendid Rob (once known round these parts as Col. Gravis), and there's quite a bit to report! I'll do the job in tow parts, as it happens: firstly the games; after that I'll cover the venue itself, because it's all kinds of awesome. 
But first the games.

I got three games in (partially because there weren't too many of the regulars who could make the day, sadly) and - joy of joys! - I got to use all three of my main forces! here's the brief overview...and interestingly, the first two were even live-streamed!
The big-ass live-stream monitor

Game 1: Oliver's US Vs my Late-War Heer (1200 pts)

Four objectives and a hard-fought battle. This was a real thrill from start to finish, and Oliver was an absolute gent to play against!
A lovely board, courtesy of Kirton!
Like all the best Bolt Action games, fortune kept swinging from one of us to t'other: a brave opening gambit from the US Rangers found them storming a house, right into the deadly weaponry of my assault engineers who'd just nipped in first. Ouch. Still, his artillery spotter righted this by blasting the house to smithereens with HE. Double ouch!
Ouch and double-ouch.
My regulars on the right just cannot hold back the US veterans.
Elsewhere, my Hanomags had fun dotting around a gunning at things, and once both of the bazooka gunners had been neutralised they had the run of the table...but it was too little too late. The second US airstrike had caused me problems (and blown up another of my units in another house!) and my right flank had all but collapsed in the face of the Veteran Americans. 
The sniper has to jump in on the right flank - not ideal.
In the end, the game went to a cinematic draw, with two objectives apiece and two contested. The joke was on me, because had I but thought for a split-second I could've contested a third...still, it was close. Oliver had more men still standing, but he'd lost a lot, whereas I still had three fighting halftracks with nothing that could touch them and roads to zoom around on.
A bloody good game, and all the better thanks to my worthy opponent - his combat engineers were hands-down the best unit on the table!
Oliver's Air Observer observes the US Engineers engineering the demise
of my own Assault Engineers. Very cool moment.
Game 2: Rob's LW Germans Vs my British 4KSLI (1000 pts)

We only had time for a quick game, sadly, but I like games at this size, and Rob's always a gracious opponent - in this case with a very pretty German force. 
My plucky Brits did very well for themselves in this game, and I'm almost sorry to say that after a strong start by the Germans (their SdKfz.222 blew up my lorry and the PIAT team in it, the bastards!), pretty much all else went my way!
Dead truck and PIAT. Note German armour on the hills, left.
Time for revenge, eh?
My artillery strike arrived on time, and pinned the hell out of everything, and my Cromwell CS blew up the house with Rob's biggest unit inside, whilst my infantry kept the Marder pinned out of usefulness and my faithful Staghound scooted round the back of his lines to destroy transports and vehicles alike.
The Staghound does its thing...
...with extreme prejudice.
We called it when the clock ran out, but the field was decidedly the British. Poor Rob had had a rough time of it, but again, he was gracious in defeat and it was a thoroughly enjoyable game: cheers, Rob!
Game 3: Kenny's Japanese Vs my Sikhs (800 pts)

We had an hour to kill at the end of the day, so I got the chance to roll out my Desert Sikhs to fight Kenny's Japanese...and I don't remember the last time I had so funny a game, as Kenny's avowed sole tactic was to charge blindly at my lines, and the danger of this was compounded by the fact that I was defending some solid buildings as he crossed the open ground.
Deployment. The terrain was kept from the previous game.
Some very clear lines of fire. Time for 'FIRE' and 'AMBUSH' orders, methinks!
The Japanese cause was made more forlorn yet by the fact that whilst Kenny's preliminary bombardment merely shook my lines a little, mine destroyed two of his units outright (his air observer and medic) - leaving him with only six order dice and me with even more chance of cutting him down.
Which I did. 
In droves. 
Whatever they are. 
True to his word, Kenny's brave veteran Japanese charged my lines - all except the MMG, which was too pinned to be of any use before it was mortared and 25pdr'd into oblivion. Literally only one man reached my troops, and he managed to kill just one Indian soldier before meeting his ancestors. Brutal - absolutely brutal - but a real laugh.

Thank you, Kenny: keep fighting the good fight, and here's to you discovering the joy of tactical finesse, eh?

Next post, then, will be about Kirton Games itself. What a place!


- Drax.


  1. Good to see that Col. Gravis' business is still thriving!

    1. Going from strength to strength: it's smashing!

  2. Great looking games, lovely buildings, figures...and beach!

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, I really need to play a proper 'beach landing' game one day...

  3. I'm having Kirton Games relocated to Banbury for my own convenience.

    1. Do so: you wouldn't regret it!

      (Although I suspect that Mrs. Zzzzzz would rue it somewhat!)

  4. Three games in a day and no tournament in sight. Love it.

    Enjoyed reading this Chris, cheers.

    1. It's how I like to roll, mate.

      'Events', not 'competitions' for me...!



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