Sunday, July 26, 2015

Preparing for this week's game- Free French

Kent and I are planning for another game of Bolt Action this week. Time to put my Germans aside for a while and try something different, my Free French.

I did a wee bit of rebasing today. I wanted the force to look more of a hodge podge of uniforms to represent troops that had fought their way through Tunisia, Italy and possibly into Europe. So I've mixed up my second Goumier squad with one of my US infantry in great coats ones so the units have a nice mix of US helmets and equipment, as well as British and French (Adrian helmets) equipment. There are a couple of great scenes in the movie Days of Glory where the troops are being addressed by officers and they are wearing a variety of US, British and French uniforms, that is the kind of look I'm trying to get.

A couple of shots of Days of Glory- the final battle is a bit Saving Private Ryanish but an otherwise enjoyable film, which highlights the issues (such as institutional racism) faced by native troops in the French army during WWII and afterwards.

Goumiers in Italy- djellabah being worn under US webbing. Note the British and US helmets.

I'll use my one unit of djellabah wearing Goumiers as tough fighting mountain troops (vets). The whole tough fighter thing is well and truly overdone in Bolt Action so I'm going to limit myself to a ratio of 1 in 4 infantry squads. I've tried and tried to make regular troops work for me but slowly but surely my troops have been finding themselves upgraded to Vets as they are more survivable vs small  arms fire and in assaults.

And the finished product: 2 Squads of Free French veterans.

I simply run them using US lists/rules and use the French LMGs as BARs.

Looking forward to the game.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

BA: German infantry rebased

Tonight I decided to rebase the last few double stands of German infantry. I've decided only team weapons like LMGs, panzershreks and snipers will be double based.

The rebased stands. All the figures except one are Artizan miniatures, the other is a Black Tree D-esigns.

And the entire squads- each are 8-9 men strong, including 1-2 LMG teams and 2 or 3 SMGs

Now they are all ready for a game next week vs Kent.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BA: Italian Front Germans vs US Paras

After some more reflection I decided I needed more boots on the ground so dropped the MMG and the 251/1 for more infantry.

I’ve struggled with 2x squads regular infantry vs Kent’s big US para mobs (he runs units of about 11 men) so decided to go with 4 squads of vets instead:
·         2x 9 man Vet squads (2x LMGs, 2x SMGs)
·         1x 8 man Vet squad (1x LMG, 3x SMGs)
·         1x Vet Pioneer squad (3x SMGs, flamethrower)- these guys travel in the 251/7 with the panzerbusche.

The other supports as per my last post (kettenkrad, 37mm AA, Stuh, 233 armoured car, 251/7)

How would they fare? Only time would tell…

Kent ran his typical para list:
Vet HQ, 3x large vet squads (2x tough fighting vets), 57mm AT gun (reg), Sherman, Greyhound armoured car, bazooka, 81mm mortar, sniper and medic.

We rolled up Hold Until relieved and Kent defended. He placed a large (tough fighting) infantry squad and the mortar on table, the rest as his first wave. 

The objective.- a ruined building at the crossroads.

120mm mortar is in position.

My infantry started surrounding the objective.

Turn 1, the 233 armoured car and 251/7 with pioneers on board advance.

A squad of paras arrives on Kent's left flank (these are tough fighters).

The sniper scans for targets.

The 57mm AT gun arrives on table.

A zoom shot from the same position.

The stug also arrives.

I tried unsuccessfully to hit the paras with everyrhing I could but failed to do any damage.

 Towards the end of turn 1 the Sherman arrives and misses the stug with its first shot. The only casualty of note in turn 1 was my 120mm mortar spotter sniped with an armour piercing shot from the greyhound armoured car.

Turn 2: Infantry move into the forest to screen the Sherman's flank.

The 37mm AA sets up and aims at the US ant tank gun.

Meanwhile my infantry approach the crossroads.

An aerial view from the US lines- everything under control.

Turn 2- my cunning plan. My pioneers debuss and race down the road to the objective- the flamethrower misses (rolled a 1) then ran out of fuel!
Start of turn 3, unperturbed the pioneers charge. Only to realise the paras are tough fighters and lose the assault 6-3! First blood to the Americans.

Then in the woods the other tough fighters charge- having put 3 pins on my panzer grenadiers the paras easily rout them.

On the other flank my infantry move out of the ruined building towards the objective- only to be caught by devastating enfilade from the paras in the nearby woods. Soon the pins rack up and this squad is all but neutralized.

The paras clearing my infantry in the scrub.

The greyhound manages to kill the 37mm with 2 well aimed shots- but by then the US AT gun has also been knocked out.

Start of turn 5: The 251/7 has advanced at the end of the previous turn and advances towards the Sherman, Kent's bazooka is in the foreground fires at the halftrack but misses.

The 233 fires on the infantry on our far right flank as they try to outflank us

A squad advances in open order towards the crossroads.

Unfortunately for the second game in a row the 233 is hit by an 81mm mortar shell and knocked out!

Not to be outdone the panzerbusche knocks out the Sherman for the second game in a row.

Turn 6. Both my remaining infantry suads have 5 or 6 pins on them, the paras still hold the objective but in turn 5 my mortar finally landed a hit and killed 4 teams, leaving 2 men to occupy the objective.

Last turn, the paras in the woods knock out the immobilised half track.

At the end of turn 6 my commander and NCO charge out to contest the objective The paras in the building have finally succumbed to the 120mm mortar but Kent managed to reoccupy the objective with his platoon commander. I could have simply stood outside the objective and contested for a draw but where was the fun in that? My commander charged, lost the NCO but killed the American commander and claimed a.... draw

The objective was still contested by Kent's other squad and the mortar team but it was a much closer game, we both lost 5 units and were contesting the objective, so the closest to win for my Germans yet. 

Overall I enjoyed the balance of this force. Having all my infantry as Vets really helped them to survive vs Kent's massed firepower. Once again Kent gave me a lesson in how to maximise firepower to neutralise a unit, doing so two turns in a row to all but eliminate my last two infantry squads. I was a bit unlucky that my flamethrower failed so miserably after I had hatched such a cunning plan to get it into position but that is life. It was a good game and both of us had good opportunities to win it.

We are hoping for another game next week. 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back into it

Well it's been a while but am finally getting back into some gaming. Got a tad busy with things in the real world and lost interest in gaming. Made a few attempts to get myself motivated with limited success. I did manage to complete a couple of small projects but have a few others that have been started but are still only half finished as I made attempts to get back into the swing of things.  So  I guess I've had a self imposed break from gaming.

I hoped to get a game two weeks back vs Kent but unfortunately he was ill so we are hoping to start again this Wednesday evening and hopefully that will kickstart me back into gear and get some of the projects I've started finished.

So this week Kent and I are going to have a 1200 point game of Bolt Action, and will try our the BA.Net season 2 rules- which look quite interesting. I'll be using my Germans once again vs his large US para squads and maybe this time my Germans will break their duck. Win or lose, I'm just looking forward to catching up, rolling a few dice and having a fun, relaxing game.

Today I got my Germans ready for action and made a table for us to game on (well, its been sitting unused since our last game- I just changed things round a bit).

One of the last things I assembled and painted was an SDKFZ 251/7, pioneer half track. A very nice kit from Warlord games which comes complete with a panzerbuchse 20mm AT gun.
I'll be running a variation of my standard armoured panzer grenadiers:

  • Reg 1st Lieutenant + NCO
  • 2x Vet panzer grenadier squads (NCO + SMG, 2x LMGs, 1x SMG, 3x rifles)
  • 1x Vet pioneer squads (SMG, 3x SMGs, flamethrower, 3x rifles)
  • 1x Reg MMG
  • 1x Reg 120mm mortar + observer
  • 1x 37mm AA
  • 1x 231 Armoured Car
  • 1x Stuh
  • 1x Kettengrad 
  • 1x 251/1
  • 1x 251/7 with panzerbuche

A bit light on infantry and was a bit unsure whether to take the pak 38 or 37mm AA but thought I'd try the new AA rules out under BA.Net 2. They have given MMGs rate  of fire of 6 (7 with Hitler's buzz saw) so I'm hoping that that will make up for the lack of a 4th infantry squad, but no doubt by the end of the game I'll be wishing for more boots on the ground.

Anyway, enough ramblings. I'm looking forward to getting a game in at last. All going well there will be a battle report later in the week.