Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BA- Fallschrimjager vs US Airborne

So we've all seen Band of Brothers as Easy Company clear Carentan of fallscrimjager. Both Kent and I had our new armies ready for action, so could my new US Airborne force repeat the feats of Easy Company? What say the troops were lead by Capt Soble rather than Lt Winters?

We rolled up Maximum Attrition so both would be trying to secure the town and destroy as many opposing units as possible.

I was running:
Vet 1st lt
2x para sections with LMGs
1x pathfidner section with BAR
1x Vet inf section (tough fighters)
1x 60mm mortar
1x sniper
1x bazooka
1x 57mm AT gun
1x M16

Kent ran
Vet FJ
2x large FJ sections (LMG, 3-4 SMGs)
1x SS section (3-4 assault rifles + LMG)
1x MMG
1x med mortar
1x 222 AC
1x stug

I had one of my typical cunning plans and left my pathfinders, veterans and M16 (which I've nicknamed the Grim Reaper) flanking, the rest were tasked with securing the town.

Turn 1: The paras advance on the edge of the town. All seems quiet enough

My second section advances to a treeline.
 Meanwhile the FJ too are infiltrating the town.
 And crossing the fields on the edge of town
 Here come the SS.
 The 222 advances to the bridge in the centre of the town.
 Paras sneaking through the buildings, using the stone walls as cover. So far so good :)
 End of turn 1 the stug appears.
 Turn 2, the Germans reach the river edge- we ruled it was crossable.
 Another FJ section advances along the street heading towards the bridge.
 Turn 3: The FJ have crossed the river. I have a para section in the building.
 I've lost my 57mm AT gun and bazooka so decide to launch my flank attack, the M16 supporting my "attack". The stug decides to ignore this threat and continue shooting at the paras in the village.
 Turn 4- we mean business damn it!
 Grim Reaper lets rip down the steet, killing a couple of men but the armoured car decides to get involved...
 The 20mm cannon shells ripping through the "Armour" on Grim Reaper- there goes my "tank." So now I've lost my last "AT" option.
 The pathfinders continue to advance.
 The German MMG redeploys.
 Fallschrimjager assault my troops in the building.
 Kent scores 8 hits vs my 3. Another section bites the dust.
 My other para section races over to assist.
 But the Germans act first and let rip with automatic weapons.

Resulting in this:
 Captain Soble seeing any hope of promotion slipping way charges in SMG firing but is cut down in the hand to hand fighting.
 So now I am down to a sniper and the flanking troops- 7 dead units and I've destroyed....NOTHING!
 Yet another SMG/assault rifle squad charges in and slaughters more Americans- or would have if we hadn't remembered they were pinned so needed to pass an order test. With this test they rolled a double 6 for their order and...
...ended up assaulting an empty field instead. My sniper had just killed the German commanding officer right beside this section so maybe that had had an affect on the troops.
 The remaining assault rifle armed SS doing their impression of the gunfight at the OK Coral.

So there we have it, with my last dice I finished off the NCO with my sniper so grabbed a consolidation point but lost 7 units in the process!

A hiding is the only way to describe it. One again Kent concentrated his forces, he was expecting one of my "cunning flank move" plans so went up the middle with everything he had and so one of my sections fought all three of his and the reuslt wasn't pretty.

A good fun game though, the combination of SMGs and assault rifles was nasty- Kent used them well racing forward to get up close and personal and once more his big platoons took a lot of stopping.

Time for a reconsider. Maybe some US airpower would help to keep the tanks and armoured car at bay...

Monday is South Canterbury anniversary day which is a public holiday and we are planning a rematch, a few tweaks will be needed if I am to have a chance to stem the German advance.


Monday, September 15, 2014

BA Gurkhas

During our big battle at TAGCON I realised I needed some more variety in my 14th Army Force to differentiate my troop types so decided to order some Warlord Gurkhas for more variety. Gurkhas in Bolt Action are one of those completely over the top forces that makes me scratch my head and wonder what the hell were they thinking when they pointed them up.

Now don't get me wrong, I've read a more than a few accounts of the Gurkhas in action in Burma and I think that vs the Japanese their fearsome reputation and martial prowess was more than justified. However, the rules in Bolt Action are, in my not so humble opinion, completely out of whack. For 14 pts per figure you get:

  • Veteran troops
  • Tough fighter (doubles dice in assaults)
  • Not so bad I hear you say until you add their other special rule,  Scary Blighters- which halves the enemies combat dice in close combat!

Couple that with the British National characteristic of Blood Curdling charge, which prevents opponents from reacting to an assault by shooting means you have combat monsters that are pretty unstoppable, all for the same price as commandos or paras! Indeed they are a whole pt more expensive per model than standard regular veteran infantry that don't get either of those special rules. Hmm.

They are so over the top that I would be embarassed to run them vs my regular opponent Kent. Indeed we self regulate our forces to run things which we think will give us both a fun game rather than surprise each other with "ha, gotcha" units- that's just not the way we want to play or why we wargame. So I usually run commandos to represent Gurkhas- the Gurkhas were experts at patrolling in the jungle so the Behind Enemies lines to my mind is just as relevant a special rule for them.

Anyway, tonight I painted up the first section of the excellent Warlord Games Gurkhas. Sizewise they fit pretty well with the Assault Group which aren't bad figures, just some of the sculpts are a bit wooden. The fact that many of these sculpts are wearing helmets will make them much easier to pick out on the table than the rest of the force which are mainly Assault Group figures.

The pictures don't really do them justice but I'm happy with how they turned out.
 There is one (SMG armed) Assault Group miniature to act as the NCO.

Also, the other night I finally got round to base up and paint the walls that I purchased from Debris of War last year. They are really, really good sculpts and at some point I'll buy some more. 

Major Lumley,  the commander of the Gurkhas force. 

And an image of the real Major Lumley, father of Joanna, after the battle of Moguang in June-July 1944 where two VCs were won by the Gurkhas.

Finally, having sold off my ACW figures I've treated myself to a few vehicles for my forces:

  • Wittman's tiger & a panther G for my Germans
  • An SU 76- my favourite Soviet vehicle for the Ruskies
  • An M10 for my American Paras


Friday, September 12, 2014


Ah yes, that time has come. Time to sell off some armies I rarely use. Mentioned I was thinking of getting rid of my Confederates to Kent and he told me he plans on selling his Union and sticking to Napoleonic's, so that convinced me it was time to start.

At at some point I'll need to build up another Napoleonic army, the Prussians are the only army that appeals at present but Stephen at the club already has Prussians.

Anyway here are the rebels I'm ditching.

I as tempted to chuck them on ebay but couldn't be arsed with the hassle of international postage so have put them on trademe.

I aim to get rid of a few 28mm ancients armies too eventually.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bolt Action...somewhere in Russia

Kent and I popped down to the club for a game of Bolt Action with Mark and Jacob. Jacob is a young guy who hasrecently painted up a Soviet army so we each put together a 600pt force.

I ran
Officer & NCO (reg)
2x 8 man Siberian squads (reg)
1x 8 man inexperienced squad (we decided 12 man was too much at 600pts)
1x JS 2

Jacob ran
Some veteran engineers with body armour and flamethrower
1x reg 8 man squad
1x T34/76
1x MMG
1x mortar

Kent had some veteran Germans
Vet HQ
2x 9-10 man squads
1x mortar
1x stug

Mark had
1x Vet HQ
2x Vet squads
1x mortar
1x Stuh

We rolled up Hold Until Relieved with the Germans defending. My Soviets started on table, Jacob's came on from reserve.

My inexperienced squads is by the wall, the Siberians in the cornfields.

 Germans hold the objective
 Turn 1 the Stuh and supporting infantry arrive on table and make a mess of the inexperienced squad.

My JS and and supporting infantry arrive.
 The Siberians scout round a wood.
 The stug and stuh both on table.
 Jacob;s T34 and supporting infantry on our right flank.
 Kent taking a few selfies :)
 Kent ambushes my infantry, killing 6 men!
 In the centre my other siberian platoon are also pinned down by the two holding the building. The JS 2 misses the infantry (again).
 More German reinforcements.
 Infantry advance towards the village, covered by the stug. A stug shell glances off the front armour of the JS 2.
 The Stuh and T34 square off.
 Who's ya daddy? JS 2 vs stug. And the winner is... Nbody, we'll call it a draw although the JS 2 managed to immobilsie the stug (I tried to ignore it as much as I could but kept missing the infantry so took a pot shot at the stug eventually).
 Tony did an outstanding job on the Perry shack.
 Suddenly my pinned Siberian squad was down to two men.
 The Stuh races over o the right flank where the Soviet poineers hsve destroyed another squad
 The Germans launch a counter attack vs the sole survivor of my other Siberian squad (he was the sole survivor of an assault that killed one of the defending squads).
 Another view of the little house on the steppe.
 Things not looking good for the Soviets.

The Germans held us off, we did't coordinate our attack very well. Jacob did well though, destroying most of Mark's force but the JS 2 wasn't such a good use of points at 600 pts. However, it looked cool and at the end of the day, that's what it is all about:)

The 600 pt command idea worked well. We had 2 dice bags, one ofr each pair so two players went at once (rolling off to see who acted first if both sides wanted to shoot at each other) and kept the game moving.

Stephen  did a great job on the Debris of War walls, they look great. I really msut finish my own ones off.