I'm still visiting my hometown of Portsmouth fairly regularly to help out my dad, and for the second time I was very pleased to be able to get in a game of Bolt Action - once more at the excellent 'A Fistful of Dice', and this time against a new opponent: the thoroughly pleasant and personable Ed.
Here are some snaps of Ed's beautiful (and fluffy!) Fallschirmjäger force:
|Medium mortar, light howitzer and Panzerschreck|
|Roll call: In addition to his HQ+1, Ed brought along five FSJ|
squads, med mortar, light howitzer, Panzerschreck and, of
course, the StuG
|Roll call: It's my normal lorried platoon - 2Lt, 2" mortar, PIAT,|
sniper, 3 sections, 3 lorries, Arty FOOa Cromwell and Staghound.
|(Taken not so much for illustrative purposes, but to remind me)|
Rather pleasingly, the German force was all all deployed in the woodblock in the middle, which looked suitably appropriate - the near side in this (and most) pics is mine.
|My sniper is in the ruin, bottom-left|
I was uncharacteristically lucky with my preliminary bombardment: one of the FSJ units took a casualty and all mostly took two pins, and then my Brits started to flood on - anticipating that the FSJ would have to shake off their pins, I was able to drive two of the lorries in and disgorge straight into a firing line.
|The white die above the howitzer is the FOO's aim point.|
|"3 Section - de-bus!"|
|"2 Section - de-bus!" - the OC is at this end.|
|The FSJ are starting to get worried...|
|Turn 2 and the Brits assault into the woodline,|
but they just cannot reach the German Officer...
|...and someone - maybe the German officer -|
guns down 2 Sect to the point where they break.
|At this point, two of the FSJ squads swarm onto my table edge...|
|...capturing one lorry despite its attempt to move away.|
Yup. On turn 3 - despite the inconvenience of my troops being stupidly nearby, the air was rent by the whistle of incoming 25pdr rounds. It was not too bad...right upto the point whereby the German officer copped a big explosion right on his head. His runner was killed and he himself - being pinned to distraction - failed his test and fled the field. Technically this made the game an automatic draw, which was a shame, as - having secured my table edge and killed off 2 and 3 Sections - Ed's officer had a good chance of surviving.
Naturally, at this point we agreed to continue anyway, but I must admit that I took it less seriously now. For example, rather than take on the StuG, my PIAT team assaulted their Panzerschrecky counterparts for a giggle...and lost, and my 2" mortar did much the same to his late-arriving medium mortar team. They also lost.
At some point, the last of the original three FSJ squads was assaulted to death by 1 Section:
Shortly after this (turn four?), in the middle, my Staghound was immobilised by a Panzerfaust before being swiftly avenged by 1 Section...
...and the hapless Cromwell - after being missed I think three separate times by the bumbling Panzerschreck team - finally got brewed up by the StuG.
This kinda sucked, but it certainly looked cool!
...and then we called time. It's a shame it went to a draw: Ed played well and could've won (the sniper - who was my backstop - shot well all game but killed nothing), but it was certainly fun and there were some lovely cinematic moments!
Most valuable units? - Probably my 1 Section and the StuG.
New things learnt? - (1) pins on spotters don't affect the morale of the mortar, and (2) the 'Tough as Boots' rule really is useful for my Brits.
So there you go.
Another game, another ace new opponent, and a lovely looking force of FSJ. Thanks, Ed!