Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bolt Action- Burma

Tonight Kent poped round fo rth last game of the year another Bolt action bash set in Burma in 1944
I took:
3x regular rifle sections
1x Gurkhas (vets)- using commando rules as the Gurkha ones are OTT
1x Vickers MMG
1x Sniper
1x Stuart

Kent ran:
2x rifle sections
1x jungle fighters (vets)
juu MMG
light mortar
Chi ha tank.

We decided to go with Point Defence. Kent decided to defend and put everything on table (& hidden) except for his Chi ha. I put my Gurkhas and a section flanking to the right and the Stuart to the left. My preliminary bombardment pinned a few sections but did no lasting damage.

Turn 1- I weigh my left flank.
 The Japanese commander decides to make his HQ in a ruin in the jungle.
 Turn 2, my infantry takes cover and awaits developments in the form of some artillery support.
 Some long range rifle fire pins one section.
 The HMG also advances.
 I manage to hit the veteran jungle fighters with some very lucky dice rolls, killing 4!
 The HMG takes a loss from the British sniper.
 The Japanese defenders hold their ground.
 Having pinned the jungle fighters a section charges and manages to kill them all in hand to hand fighting.
 The regular infantry from the far objective launch a desperate counter attack, killing the British riflemen but there are not enough Japanese left to hold.
 The Chi ha finally makes its appearance on turn 4, on my right flank.
 And them my flanking force appears, whittling down the Japanese rifle platoon defending the ruin. 
 I get the roll of the dice on turn 6 and charge in with the Gurkhas, slaughtering the final infantry, leaving the commander and NCO to hold the objective...briefly 
 By now the Japanese are down to the howitzer and tank so slink off, leaving our donkey objective behind.
 The final assault destroyed the last Japanese infantry section.
A major victory to the British. It turned into a very one-sided game. My dice were insane the first 2-3 turns and managed to inflict some serious damage for very little loss- Kent had a knack tonight of rolling 1 less than needed to hit all night where as I hit again and again and again.

As usual a fun, relaxing game where the main goal was to chill out and roll some dice. Great game Kent, sorry about the dice rolling, it was extremely one sided.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Now that's what I call service!

NZ post, like a lot of gov't departments gets more than its fair share of flak but I'd just like to share a beyond the call of duty story.

We decided last year to move from the country to town with all the sports the kids play as well as our own work and hobbies (gaming, sports practices etc) we were racking up 500-600km per week. My wife was planning to give up work and retrain as a midwife (3 years of fulltime study) and with Hana about to go to high school it made sense to move into town to reduce expenses.

In the country we were on rural delivery which means our postie delivered using a 4wd and he had a run of a couple of hundred kms each day. Over the years we got to know our postie quite well as he andan  important part of the community.

It's been a year and a half now since we moved and I was just sitting out enjoying the sun on the first day of my holidays when who should rock up at the gate but our old postie. He had just finished his run and had a Christmas card from my wife's elderly aunt in Wales. Rather than return it to sender as would usually happen, at the end of his run he went out of his way to deliver it to us in town! I doubt that kind of service would have happened in a larger city but it's things like that which make living in smaller town or community so special.

Thanks Ken, very much appreciated


Thursday, December 12, 2013

FoW Day of Days Playtest: Cauldron

Nigel and I vs Brad and Kent. Each player ran an 1100pt company.

2x M4 Shermans
4x M4 Shermans
4x 76mm Shermans
4x recon teams (including bazooka)

2x reduced strength armoured rifles platoons
2x (attached) 57mm AT guns
4x hellcats (CT)
3x priests + observer Sherman.

 Kent took his Panzer Lehr mechanised infantry:
HQ + 2x tank hunters
2x full armoured PG platoons
2x 88s
3x werfers

Brad ran a Lehr panzer company
2x Panzer IVs
4x panzer IVs
3x panthers

We played surrounded to test the closing of the gap- the German reserves representing the forces escaping the pocket to safety. As with all our doubles games we played on a 6x5 table and added an extra objective to defend.

We played that each side deployed one company the second company came on as reserves (or delayed reserves). As it was closing the gap the Americans got to attack.  

 And from the German perspective.
 The panzerwerfers knock out a priest on turn 1.
 The observer Sherman double timed and fell victim to a tank hunter team on turn 2.
 Turn 2- a platoon of shermans and the company HQ arrive. The 'shrek team nearest managed to survive for the enxt 3-4 turns thanks to some incredible rolls for saves from Kent.
 The Panzer grenadiers defend the forest.
 The securiity section is noced out on turn 3 forcing the hellcats to deploy.
 No sign of any German armour but now all the American armour is on table- vs 2x 88s.
 On the right side of the board the other panzer grenadiers hold their positions.
 Now with the US armour on table I mount up some of my infantry and advance.
 The 88s and werfers have been knocked out and there is little between our armour and the objectives.
 The infantry advance continues.
 At last the Panzers arrive and take potshots at the trained hellcat, killing one and bailing the other.
 To distract the panthers I sacrifice the hellcats. I bog one and manage to fail my firepower test, only bailing a panther.
 But at the other en of the table things are looking grim for Kent.
 The infantry, scared of the firepower of the US half tracks remain dug in- which suits me fine.
 Having delat with the US covering force the panzers advance. Will they be in time?
 Raus! Raus! The panzers roll forward to assist, can they keep the pocket open?
 Some good shooting sees another Sherman brewed up by the panzer IVs.
 Kent launches a last ditch attack. He bails three Shermans with shreks but alas the combined firepower of the half tracks and remaining Sherman pins the assault, handing the win to the Americans.

Result: Victory to the US. The Germans were stretched quite thin and the US reserves were able to exploit the gaps in the line. I'm not sure if the third objective is a good idea in this one, it might have made it a tad hard to defend but Kent and Brad didn't think it was unfair so we will see. We'll try it again with only 2 objectives soon. 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Long time, no post :(

 It’s been a while  since I posted, just lost motivation in gaming of late. The only gaming I’ve done in the past month was a game of Spartacus with the guys, which was lots of fun. The kids have got surfing sussed been down at the bach every weekend for the past month and they are having a ball. Summer hols start Friday for me so will get plenty more weeks down at Kakanui to hang out and surf. 

Finn catching a wave last weekend.
  However, Day of Days 2014 draws ever closer so thought it was time we started some playtesting. We’ve a local guy keen to get into FoW and take part so he needs to learn the rules so thought we’d better get some play test games underway. Of the 5 of us locals taking part 4 are playing Germans, in 3 teams so we will need to do a bit of jigging as to who gets to playtest the Germans- I refuse to ever play blue vs bue games, it’s just wrong. End of!

At Day of Days I’m going to be joining Cal in a running a US force. I “force” each team to have two different company types (2 out of the 3 of inf/mech/armoured) so as to keep things interesting and prevent uber boring, ultra defensive infantry forces (and try to to ensure everyone is semi-mobile and so reduce the risk of time out losses). Each team is only allowed 2x Div/Corps support choices as well to encourage weapons platoons. So at 1100pts you don’t get a lot of bang for your buck.

 Cal has always been the best tank player in the South Island, he’s a tad rusty these days, but I hope he can remember how to use tanks fairly quickly. So he will run our armoured force and  I will support him with either Armoured Rifles or Armoured Recon. I’ve been waiting for a month for my last couple of Greyhounds to arrive to be able to run the recon so tomorrow night will run some armoured rifles instead. I had hoped my M4 mortar carriers would have arrived too so have swapped those for a pair of 57mm AT guns- which can combat attach. So I’ll be running

2x reduced strength armoured rifles platoons
2x (attached) 57mm AT guns
4x hellcats (CT)
3x priests + observer Sherman.

Nigel is going to run Cal’s force:
2x M4 Shermans
4x M4 Shermans
4x 76mm Shermans
4x recon teams (including bazooka)

It won’t be a competitive game, more teaching Brad the basics and giving advice on tactics as we run though the game with him. I’m looking forward to it though, doubles games are always lots of fun.

So last night I found all my US and looked at what I need to do, most of the tanks need repainted (I did the half tracks base coats last night) and lots of bits and pieces need tidying up so I think I’ll be busy over the next few weeks getting everything ready.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Teaching the kids to surf

I first started surfing back in the early 1990s but gave up about  1995 when  I got into white water kayaking instead. When the kids came along I no longer had the spare time for kayaking either so for the past decade or so have mainly been using my playboat for surf-kayaking and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been on a river in the past few years.
Looking south from Kakanui towards Moeraki
 Over the past 3-4 summers the kids have been doing plenty of boogie boarding at Kakanui and for the past year or so Finn has been asking me to get him a surfboard. At the end of last summer one of my soccer mates gave Finn one of his old boards so he has been very keen to get started. Finn gave it a go the last time we were at Kakanui but wasn’t too successful (he quickly realised it is harder than it looks) and wanted some help. I'd been thinking about getting back into surfing so while we were in Blenheim for his soccer tournament I caught up with a mate who I’d given my old surfboard and arranged to get it back. I picked up the board when I was in CHCH for Conquest but one look at it I realised I’d be struggling to use a short board these days so last week I bought myself a 7’ 9” mini-mal - short enough to be able to control pretty easily, long enough to be able stand up on without too many issues and have “loaned” my short board to Hana to learn on.  

Kakanui- not a bad spot really!
  I took the kids out both yesterday and today and they had a blast. Both were able to get onto their knees and it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be standing. It took me awhile but I managed to catch a few waves. By the end of today Hana had, very briefly, managed to stand a couple of times.  They’ve bruised knees, arms and legs from being hit by the boards but both are rearing to go again next weekend. Tonight they spent their time watching how to surf vids on Youtube to get a few more tips. I’m not sure if they will stick with it, at this stage it looks like they might. They spent about 6 hours in the water over 2 days (not bad since they only have spring suits and the water is a “tropical” 14 degrees celcius!) and were both absolutely buzzing once we’d finished. Surfing is a great sport, so I hope they get bitten by the surfing bug and stick with it. There are a hell of a lot worse things they could be doing.
Alas, this isn't me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bolt Action

Kent, Dave and Nigel came round last night for a game of Bolt Action. Kent’s been really busy lately so it was great to see him again. Neither Dave or Nigel had played BA before but were seen to give it a go and I must say it played really, really well.

We had 80tp each, and the game was set in Malaya in 1942 (so I could sue my Perry Desert rates)

Nigel and I ran a British Rifle force:
Observer (free)
4x sections with LMGs
1x Vickers MMG
1x 3” mortar
1x Recce Carrier
1x 6pdr

Kent and Dave ran the Japanese:
2x sections with LMGs
1x jungle fighters section + LMG
1x MMG
1x ni mortar
1x 37mm AT gun
1x Chi Ha tank

To keep things simple we played Maximum Attrition. Nigel and I put two sections and our carrier into reserve.

The British advance begins. 3" mortar and 6pdr are deployed to defend the flank while a squad advances in the centre. 
 Japanese jungle fighters advance on the Japanese left. 
 Another section advances on the right as well.
 The British section advances to the far side of the trees.  
 The section is hammered by MMGs, the Chi H and rifle fire and are destroyed in hand to hand combat. First blood to the Japanese.
 Having assaulted the destroyed the infantry section the jungle fighters slink back into the jungle.
 On the far right the Japanese advance continues to advance.
 British reserves arrive and the Japanese infantry are destroyed.
More Japanese infantry hide in the centre of the board.
 The invincible Japanese tank.
 In the last turn we'd both destroyed 5 units so the British lieutenant and NCO charge the Ni mortar in a vain quest for death or glory.
 The Jungle fighters charge and destroy the 2 pdr for the Japanese to win 6-5
 A great game, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Luck swung one way then another but the game went down to wire. I am looking forward to the next one.