Thursday, April 23, 2015

BA Germans vs US Paras- Breakout

Last night Nigel, Kent and Dale popped round for a game of Bolt Action. I've been trying to get Dale involved for a good 18 months now as he is/was one of our FoW stalwarts. Dale joined Kent and Nigel and I commanded the Italian Front Germans.

I'd made a few tweaks to my German sit, hopefully to give it a bit more omph:

Reg 1st Lieutenant+NCO
8x Reg infantry (SMG, LMG)
7x Vet Infantry (SMG, 2x LMGs)
7x Vet infantry (5x SMGs)
8x Pioneers (5x sMGS, flamethrower)
1x Reg 120mm mortar and spotter
1x 233 heavy AC
1x Pioneer hanomag with panzerbusche
1x hanomag 251/1c
1x Stuh

Kent had also finally got round to updating his list, taking most of his supports as regular to get a couple of squads of tough fighters. He had approximately:

Vet 1st Lieutenant + NCO
1x medic
11x Vet tough fighting paras (BAR, anti-tank grenades)
11x Vet tough fighing paras (BAR, anti tank grenades)
11x Vet Paras (3 SMGs, LMG)
1x Reg 81mm mortar and observer
1x Vet bazooka team
1x 57mm AT gun
1x M8 Greyhound AC
1x75mm Sherman

We enjoyed the Breakout mission last time so played it again. As with the last game we introduced a break test once a force was had lsot half its starting units. The test is taken at the rating of the highest ranking officer with the following penalties:
-1 per two units destroyed
-1 if officer killed

This has the result of stopping games dragging on and adds another element of tension to the game later on, it worked really, really well,

Turn 1, the Sherman arrives to support the American advance.

 And for the Germans the Stuh advances.

End of term 1 we charged the 251/c loaded with the SMG armed panzer grenadiers and platoon commander. The greyhound then appeared and blew the 251 and lieutenant to smithereens.

The infantry squad leaps out of the blazing vehicle and hits the dirt.

The regular grenadiers advance to the ruined farm.

A view through the woods.

Turn 2. The 251 armed with the panzerpusche advances and fires on the Sherman...

And knocks it out!

The 233 advances in the centre.

A hit from the 57mm AT gun in the far distance fails to penerate the Stuh.

Infantry andvance down a narrow lane. In the distance the 251 has just survived a round of assaults from the paras.

Paras charge the pioneers and massacre them.

The other two German sections fal back to defend the wall backyard.

Lots of crazy assaults occcurred and both sides took casualties.

The Americans came out on top, just.

And another assault goes in. This one was epic. It started with 13 US dice vs 7 German.

Two rounds of tied resuts (2-2 then 1-1) but finally the Germans prevailed.

The 233 also advanced to get involved.

The regular panzer grenadiers form a skirmish line, and destroy the 57mm gun with small arms fire!

Then in the last turn charge the last squad of paras- but are cut down.

And so it ends.

Result: 8-6 to Kent with neither side in the enemy deployment zone. A cracker of a game. The break test rules worked well. Nigel and I managed to keep the game alive for 3 turns by rolling 6 or less on two dice to keep our force in the game.

The 120mm mortar was underwhelming, falling to the new unit curse- being destroyed in turn 2 by the American mortar scoring a direct hit. However, the pak 38 managed to kill 4 teams by good use of the ambush rules. Nigel and I made use of our armoured mobility with the half tracks to try to keep the Americans off balance and to a degre, at least after our first rash charge, it worked. The assaults were, as usual, brutal in turn 4 and 5 but it was a very close game.

A thoroughly enjoyably night of dice rolling and chilling out, even if it does bring my losing streak to 8 games!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gallipoli Diorarma- first peeks

First peek at the Gallipoli diaorama being put together by Peter Jacksosn which myslf and a larg number of other NZ wargamers had a hand in painting figures for: Gallipoli display

Can't wait to see the final product revealed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

BA German Reinforcements

I've done a bit of reflection on my German army and its woeful undeperformance and have decided a few reinforcements were needed. They turned up from Warlord games today.

 First up a 120mm mortar. Doing 2d6 damage it should keep those US paras moving. I must say I am really, really impressed by the figures and model. Great sculpts

I've also decided that the 37mm AA just wasn't cutting it in a psudo anti-tank role so am adding a pak 38 to the force instead. It's role? Keep the Sherman or other medium tanks honest. Again I am really impressed by these models from Warlord Games, minimal flash and great details. Again I highly recommend them.

Adding the Stuh into the mix as well and I am hoping that they extra firepower of the 120mm mortar and the Stuh will give the Americans some troubles and things to worry about. We will see how that pans out nxt week. Tomorrow night and I've a Soviet 120mm mortar and crew to paint up.


Monday, April 13, 2015

BA- Artizan & Crusader Russians

Last night and tonight I have been busy painting up my latest Russian reinforcements, a mixture of Artizan Designs and Crusader miniatures. The two manufacturers figures mix well and make for a good variety for the force- I much prefer metals to plastics, though the oneWarlord plastic has been mixed in with the SMG squad.

1x LMG Squad (11 men, incl SMG and LMG)
1x Siberian Squad (10 mn incl SMG and LMG)
1x SMG/ tank rider Squad (10 men)

The LMG Squad

SMG/ tank rider squad

The Siberians

Th force assembled.

For recognition purposes the LMG teams are on square bass and each squad has a couple of bases of the new Warlord 40mm round bases (as always simply to move less figures).

I really like the figures, they paint up easily, have great detail and are really well proportioned. I was going to mix the helmeted and fur hat figures up for a more rag tag/ veteran appearance to the squads but decided that the fur hatted figures would be more easily identified as Siberians if in individual units.

I need to add an inexperienced squad and will get another LMG and Siberian squad as well.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bolt Action Tank Riders

Last weekend's game has inspired me to get working on my Soviets again. In fact I'm going to do another 3-4 squads using Crusader and Artizan Design metals- I still aren't really a fan of plastics, the Warlord ones are quite nice but I still prefer to use metals whenever I can.

My aim is to theme my force on a  LW Motostrelkoy. The thought being it will represent an exploitation force from one of the Mechanised Corps during 1944 (I always try to build my forces round a theme or campaign). So with that in mind am aiming for:

2 LMG squads of 10-12 troops
1 SMG tank rider squad
1 Med Mortar
1 MMG (though most likely to be dropped to add poitns elsewhere)
1 Zis 3
1 JS 2 or SU 122
1 M3 Scout car (Recce)
1 M3 Half track

Later on I'll add a truck or two too (for big games). I can do it all except for the M3A1 Scout Car, half track and SU 122. I really love the look of the new Warlord Games M3 Scout car, it is a fantastic looking model so any excuse to get one and convert up some Russian crew. I have ordered the M3 half track, SU 122 and M3 Scout car.

Yesterday, I decided to make a few tank riders for on the back of "Papa Joe" (as I've nicknamed my JS 2 which is named after the most benevolent ruler of Mother Russia- and don't let the commissars hear you say otherwise!). I think they turned out pretty good.

Hmm, the photos really picks up the lines on the helmets, not anywhere near as evident on the figures themselves but they may get a slight improvement.

Just a quick block paint and wash- which did the trick.

They also work on the T34- but need to do another set of riders for this one.



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bolt Action AAR: Breakout

Tonight Kent popped round for a game  of Bolt Action. We decided to try one of the new missions on WWPD website, Breakout. I ran my Germans, Kent his usual US Paras.

Craig's German Panzer Grenadiers:

  • Reg 1st Lt
  • 2x 7 man Vet squads (SMG, LMG)
  • 1x 9 man pioneer squad (with flamethrower, 3x SMGs)
  • 1x 7 man Vt squad (SMG, 2x LMGs) 
  • 1x Med mortar with spotter
  • 1x reg panzershrek
  • 1x 251/9 stummelwerfer
  • 1x 233 armoured car
  • 1x 251/9
  • 1x 251/1
  • 1x Nebelwerfer observer (free) 

Kent 's US Paras (approximately):

  • Vet 1st Lt
  • 3x Vet tough fighter para units (11-12 men)
  • 1x Vet med mortar + spotter
  • 1x Vet sniper
  • 1x Vet bazooka
  • 1x Vet 57mm 
  • 1x Sherman
  • 1x M8 Greyhound armoured car

So going into this game I was quietly confident I had a lot more units that Kent so hopefully I could coordinate them to overwhelm his paras. With Breakout the aim is to both get units into the opponents deployment zone (1 pt each) and also 1 pt per unit destroyed, Both players can start with 3 non vehicle units on table.  I deployed my 2 LMG squad, mortar and 37mm AA. Kent deployed an infantry platoon, mortar and sniper team.

Turn 1, my squad with 2x LMGs is about to enter the building.

Paras advance through the woods.

Two panzer grenadier squads advance to support the 37mm AA and secure my right flank.

 Panzer grenadiers occupy the treeline and go onto ambush.

The Sherman and greyhound advance up the road towards the all important crossroads.

On my right flank the 251/10 (with commander) advances onto the hill.

On the left the 251/1 (with pioneers and panzersrek on board) noses round the buildings.

Turn 2- the 57mm AT fires at the 251/1 but luckily for me misses.

 The 233 advances into wall enclosure round the house, while my infantry occupy the upstairs.

The Sherman puts a pin on the 251/10 while the 251/9 remains out of sight.

Paras advance through the woods towards the destroyed farmhouse.

The Sherman fires on the 251/10 and knocks it out- destroying it and my commander!

I advance my infantry across the open ground towards the crossroads but the Greyhound catches them and kills two men.

And here is my critical mistake! Rather than putting my infantry in the building on ambush I advanced my pioneers (I thought I had already put the guys in the building on ambush, doh!). Kent's response? He charges the paras out of the woods and destroys my pioneers!

The paras then melt back into the woods.

 The Greyhound now commands the ridgeline overlooking the crossroads, continuing to hammer my infantry (who refuse to move).

The 251/1 is also pinned by the paras. Next turn the bazooka destroys it and its nebelwerfer observer! Scratch two more points

With the 251/10 destroyed the Sherman advances.

The Greyhound commands the crossroads.

The paras's return to the wall and massacre my regular panzershrek team! Another point lost.

Turn 5, the tide has well and truly turned. I have now lost 7 units but manage to stay on the board (we've introduced a FoW style break test if 1/2 or more units are lost- a morale test at the commanders rating, at a -1 per two units lost). Smelling blood the paras have finally emerged out of the woods, my ambushing units did minimal damage (the Aa gun missed!) and then both my 37mm and infantry squad were about to becomes seriously pinned....

thanks in no small part to the Sherman.

Oh oh.

Finally a break, my infantry that had been pinned by the greyhound, manage to immobilise the Greyhound with a very lucky roll of 6s.

The Sherman knocks out the 251/9

On the left flank the 233 advances to try to get into the US deployment zone but is just short.

And so the game ended. So how did I fare? Badly. My mortar knocked out the 57mm AT gun and that was it, for the loss of 8 units! Another down trou! 8-1 to Kent! Yikes!

Kent played well, pouncing on my mistakes. He timed, and supported, his attacks well and really did all he needed to do for victory. We both enjoyed the mission and I made two critical errors- one lost me the pioneers, the other was neither of use realised that it was only a half move in reverse so my 251/10 didn't manage to, as I'd intended, reverse out of line of sight of the Sherman. The units on board the half tracks were also killed for 2 easy points when their rides were destroyed. Splitting up my mechaised units to put pressure on both flanks proved a bad mistake too, I should have concentrated most of my vehicles on one flank and refused the flank on the other.

So, not quite the result I had imagined. I was happy enough with the force, might drop the 251/9 to bring back the stuh (also losing the regular panzershrek to do so) next time to add some proper armour but the core will remain the same and am sure that the next game with bring my Italian Front Germans their first victory!