Sunday, March 30, 2014

Worst days gaming...ever :(

 Popped down to Dunedin today for some Bolt Action vs the Dunedin & Invercargill guys and unfortunately had my worst EVER wargame!

 Dunedin is a good 2- 2 1/2hr + drive (220km or thereabouts) but luckily Kakanui is a about half way so popped down to the new bach and did some work yesterday- and got some tenants for our old bach and also managed a surf after tea.  

Got up this morning, went for a surf for an hour or so then headed to Dunedin. Got there to find that the 750 pts I’d been told we were playing was only 600pts. Okay no problem but 600 pts isn’t much to play with- and I’d probably not have bothered at that point total, but hey. I’m here so I dumped my Stuart and MMG and my Kiwis were good to go (even managed to paint a carrier for them on Friday night)

2nd Kiwi Div infantry platoon
2nd Lt
2x reg squads with LMG
1x commando squad with LMG (my Maori section)
1x 3” mortar
Free observer
1x recce carrier  

I got to play Bill who was running:
1st Lt
1x 9-10 man squad
1x 6 man squad

We rolled up Envelopment and I got to attack so my aim was to get as many units off the far table edge as possible. With his 5 units as going to struggle to cover a 6x4 table

Turn 1: Bill was unhappy that I got a peremptory bombardment (which put  pins on the 10 man squad sniper & his officer).

Turn 2: Bill shot one of my NCOs with his sniper so I used my sniper to shoot at his but wasn’t allowed as LoS was contested- I reckoned could see the sniper Bill said I couldn’t (leet is slide). Okay I’ll shoot your officer then. Sorry you can’t target officers. [raised eye brows] Really?  The officer was behind a section (and I’m not sure if you can shoot through a unit to target a visible team behind) so let it fly. Instead I took out a LMG. I then fired my mortar at his sniper hitting with a 6! Bill was unhappy as he thought my mortar (standing on the top of a little hill) was supposed to be behind the hill and out of LoS- stating he’d have targeted my mortar had he known he was in the open- how much more in the open can you get standing on top of a hill? Okay maybe a case of diff LoS interpretations.

Sniper takes aim at my NCO
 I was starting to get a tad annoyed now. Bill was then unhappy about the British special rules, especially when he found out my observer was free and so went on a and on about it and how unfair it was.  

 Another gamer came over and we discussed free Soviet sections, extra US airstrikes etc. His response. Those aren’t fair. If they carry on like this I’m not going to play BA anymore. I also pointed out that the free units probably had  more of an impact at low points totals (such as 600) as they made up a larger percent (pointswise equivalents) than in larger points totals.

I was starting to get more and more frustrated and enjoying this experience less and less.
A iwi section advances- on the right.

 As the game progressed we had a few more LoS issues then a big discussion/ disagreement on how my carrier had to come on from reserve- direction of travel when it came on and if it could turn or not- just so happened I would have driven on behind his stug and had a crack with my ATR). Instead I drove behind it towards the far table edge rather than continue to argue it.
The carriers drives past the stug.
 I also decided to use my free bombardment and targetted his Lt as the point of aim as both the sniper and 10 man squad were also nearby. This created more whining about the British artillery rules  and how unfair they are.

Getting more annoyed and any chance of enjoying the game was well and truly being sucked out of it.

Nice terrain!
Same turn his small platoon light up one of my sections 4 men in the open 4 men behind a wall led to a discussion about majority in cover or not- he ruled not. (heck how about a +1 rather than a +2 as Kent and I would likely have worked out as a compromise).
Thesmall section advance to shoot at my infantry.
 Turn 4. I’ve got the carrier in his end zone a section of infantry that could run and do the same. My “Maori” section & other section facing a heavily pinned 10 man squad  and aobut to assault. 2 turns previously I had fired at them in hard cover next turn he said only 3 of my men could shoot that the rest of my men couldn’t see anyone to hit due to the cover blocking LoS. So I rolled for 3 teams.
So my men in the distance can't see these guys? Really?
Turn 5: His 10 man squad blundered and ran back 12” into wood. Actually they moved 6” back and then 3” into the woods (some sort of 1/2 move in terrain thing as opposed to the actual rules!).

So my die came out my “Maori section” advanced to the “apparently LoS blocking” terrain in the photo above to shoot at the retreating pinned platoon. No you can’t fire over that (really?). Well in that case "I’ll move them here (to the open ground in front of the other section and the stone wall) and shoot form there instead". No you can’t you’ve moved them already.

At that point I said fine you win. Shook hands and told him to fuck off. I have never had a less enjoyable game in any system in my life and I have NEVER before quit half way though a game. I drove 200+ kms for this? Hell, the surf was fun in the morning. I’m not wasting another moment of my Sunday. I thanked Sheady for organsing the day and Andrew picked up my army and headed back to Kakanui.

Luckily the surf was a still very clean so surfed for an hour or so caught 3-4 great waves and ended the day much better. Waste of petrol though.

Finally got home to find that my staghound had arrived and will now be ready for Wednesday’s game!.

Final Comments
Now, I don’t want people to comment he’s a dick you are right as this is my perspective. Bill obviously saw the game very differently and was playing it very differently to how I would have/usually do. Each to their own. Sorry Bill. I know you are a nice guy but personally I have no interest in ever playing you again and thin I'm probably going to pass on Southcon later in the year. Life’s too short.



  1. I always enjoy reading your blog Craig!! ;)
    Next time drive north :D

  2. Craig

    As you say 'life's too short'. These are plastic soldiers we are pushing around the table. This is why I usually avoid tournaments. Th exception for me is HotT.. you have to be seriously 'anal' to get worked up about it, it's all just damned good fun.

    I stopped playing in the DBA tournaments because, even though there are some great guys playing (you are your Timaru gamers are excellent!), there were also those I won't be playing again.
    Personal choice.. it's a wonderful thing.
    Kind regards

  3. Wow that's no fun reminds me of why I don't go to Hamilton anymore

  4. Just one of those games unfortunately. Bill's not anal just sees things differently to me and probably only playing the way they do there, it just frustrated and hell out of me. Surf was good though so not a totally wasted day :)

    @ Andy, I think we will have to organise a BA game up there before too long incorporating Martin, Adam etc.

    @ Robin. I now what you mean. Like HoTt played in the "right spirit (preferably with a beer or two) DBA is a heck of a lot of fun and we've had more than a few laughs, but it can be taken a tad seriously by some gamers and is easily manipulated to become "geometry wars"- but it doesn't have to be played that way.


  5. I would not enjoy this sort of thing either. With the demo games it's just FUN!

  6. Sounds ghastly! You have my sympathy.

  7. What a bad game experience. It's a shame we come across folks like that every now and then.

  8. Maybe an invite to play Impetus at Southcon with myself, Richard, Nick and other like minded individuals is what you need Craig. would love to see you here

  9. BA is quite a simple system that could be interpreted a number of ways ( the risk when writing a simple system I guess) however that is usually overcome through good sportsmanship. it doesn't sound like Bill was playing to have a game but playing to win which is never a good game. We have a few at our club and I won't play them ( except one of them who is a good mate, the arguments tend to be good spirited :-))
    After reading your blog for a while it does sound like you're regular opponents play in the right spirit at least and your games tell a story!