Sunday, November 26, 2017

BA: Waffen SS Squad

Waffen SS are one of those units I don't usually do, I've no interest in collecting, or running a Waffen SS force for Bolt Action, or any other game for that matter. Personal preference and all that. I'm happy to run Wehrmacht or Fallschrimjager forces but don't usually collect
SS units. I don't mind facing these forces across the table, and Kent often runs SS troops, but jsut prefer not to run them myself.

Nigel too has fallen for the allure of late war pea-dot camo to add a little variety to his generic Late War Germans.  He purchased these troops at last a year ago and asked me to paint them for him,. I was happy to oblige then they sat, and sat, and sat,. Finally with my departure to Tarawa rapidly approaching thought I'd better get my arse into gear and get them done for him, or it will be another 15 months or more before he gets to game with them. Nigel is incapable of painting his own figures and so has to rely on a group of painters to do his various armies for him, and he likes to collect a lot of varied stuff- he is the king of Kickstarters! Alas it does mean that he is often waiting for his stuff to get painted as a result. I am happy to report that his SS troops will be joining the ranks of his completed forces this Tuesday.

I must admit I was pretty impressed by the Warlord Games Waffen SS sculpts, they have a great range of poses, are well animated and details figures. I consider them one of their better ranges. However, the pack Nigel got included mainly forage caps not helmets which was a little off but I found a couple of helmeted heads lyin around and added those.

Nigel can now field a squad with a variety of weapons:
LMG team, 2x SMGs, 2x assault rifles and 2x panzerfausts.

He also has a panzershrek team, sniper team and flamethrower team for more specialised support options.

 I'm sure he'll enjoy using them.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

BA: Late War Germans

My friend Nigel is unable to paint his figures and over a year ago now he bought some Germans for Bolt Action and asked me if I wouldn't mind painting them for him. I've been a tad remiss (understatement of the week) in getting on to these figures for him but had absolutely no interest in painting for a long, long time. I can only paint figures/periods that I am interested in doing myself so don't usually paint for other people. If I'm not inspired for a project/era then it simply won't happen.  Nigel is a bit of an exception as he is incapable of painting his own figures, but even so I needed to wait till the motivation struck me to get back into WWII painting/gaming before I could get on with them for him.

The figures are from Warlord Games, their Late War Veteran Grenadiers with assault rifles and the Waffen SS panzershrek and flamethrower teams. It is about half the order I have to paint for him, I've a Waffen SS squad and sniper to go. I must admit I didn't really like the figures that much, they are a bit of a pain to paint compared to Artizan Designs figures- I find that the chunky Artizan style has great detail which is easily picked up with a brush and so really, really easy to paint. I'm not sure why but I find Warlord Games ranges often have less pronounced details and their sculpting often a bit rougher compared to Artizan so find them a bit of a chore in comparison. That being said I really do like the poses of the LW Waffen SS squad and though I don't usually do SS units myself am tempted to pick up a squad of these guys.

LW Veterans with Assault Rifles

Waffen SS Flamethrower and Panzershrek teams


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


For quite a while I'd been meaning to add a section of Fallschrimjager to my Italian Front German force. I have finally gotten round to it and have recently purchased some of the lovely Artizan Fallschrimjager and decided to make an entire platoons worth:
2x squads each with 2 LMGs
1x assault squad (FJ assault rifles + LMG)
2x MMGs
1x Mortar +observer
1x sniper

In the past week I've painted up the first two squads and the 81mm mortar team. 

Like all Artizan minis they have great detail and are easy to paint. Like the rest of my late war forces they are painted and based up for the Italian Front Campaign with a mixture of tropical and regular uniforms and helmets. 

Can't wait to get them on the table.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

BA: 1200pts Kiwi Armour vs Germans

Three games in three weeks! Talk about a change in gaming.

Last night got to have another game at the club vs Ken and his newly completed German infantry force. He is a bit light on squads so everything was veteran. He had a major, 2x large pioneer squads, a mortar, pak 38, flame thrower, panzershrek and a panzer IV.

I ran my Kiwis force- I'd completed 2x shermans this week to turn them into a tank platoon: 3x Shermans, 6 pdr, carrier, mortar, MMG, veteran infantry section + free observer.

We rolled up Manhunt and Ken got to defend. My objective to destroy his HQ in a close assault.

Germans started with half units on table defending the centre of the board. The pak 38 covering my likely lines of advance from the safety of a wood.

Turn 1 the Kiwis advance- MMG, mortar, observer, 6 pr + carrier,the rest of my force was in reserve. Most of my units advance on the left flank. 

My bombardment did minimal damage, just pinned a few units

 Start of turn 2, my carrier manoeuvres to deploy the 6 pdr. In this mission the reserves can come on from ANY table edge. The German flame thrower turns up and fries the 6 pdr!

Then the panzershrek appears and destroys the carrier too!

Later in the turn a Sherman appears and kills the panzershrek.

Then a panzer IV turns up behind the Sherman but misses with its shot! This is getting silly already!

Meanwhile on the other flank my MMG team is trying its best to advance towards a farmhouse but it takes hits from the German pioneers on the objective and the pioneers that have just moved on table. The MMG really should have died here but Ken fluffed his rolls to destroy (needing 4s) 2 turns in a row so somehow it hang in there far longer than it should have.

Turn 4: My mortar team fires smoke at the panzer IV but misidentified their target apparently, making and the shell land in front of my Sherman instead. Luckily for me the panzer IV missed again (needing a 3!) and the Sherman turned its turret and knocked out the panzer with its first shot.

In the centre my other two shermans advance against the pak 38, which scored a couple of hits but failed to penetrate the shermans, then the pak was pretty much pinned out for the game- though the nesarby major did come in handy when it came to giving the gun crew orders, they just had too many pins to be effective when shooting.

The MMG with 2 dead crew still hangs in there- until assualted by the pioneers.

A sherman turns its main gun on the pioneers but misses.

Tank vs pak gun dual.

Turn 6. Pioneers assault the Sherman but fail to dstory it and then retreat.

My infantry squad having finally destroyed the flamethrower run towards the objective. My observer (just out of sight) calls down a bombardment and manages to score a direct hit on the German HQ (the objective) killing everyone except that commander- which very nearly ended the game then and there in a draw! Oops.

Turn 7: Whoever got the first die had the game- my infantry were in assault range of the HQ, the pioneers could assault my infantry. Ken pulled the first die and it was green, my assault went in and won the game!

A great game, lots of laughs and played in a  positive, relaxed, casual manner. I felt bad about having some many vehicles- Kent and I typically take an armoured car, pak and tank in infantry forces, and maybe a shrek. But Ken didn't mind. Next time though, I'd g a bit more infantry heavy force. That being said though slightly better penetration, and to hit rolls, fro the pak and panzer IV could have knocked out at least 2 of my tanks and changed the game so it wasn't all one way traffic.

The mission played well, as pretty chaotic but a lot of fun. I am enjoying version 2, much better than version 1 of the rules, has toned down many of the dodgy in things I didn't like (tough fighter etc) and seems to be much better balanced. The mission could have benefited from the defenders being dug in and also the rules still do need a FoW style break test for if you lose more than half your teams/squads- but both are easily house ruled fixes.

Meanwhile Kent used my panzer IV platoon vs Jacob's Russian hordes and found out the hard way how hard it is to deal with a JS 2 with a panzer IV. Seemed like they had a good game which resulted in a draw.

The JS 2 dominates the centre of the table.

Panzer IVs advance, covered by a pak 38.

A Soviet infantry squad advances.

One panzer IV is knocked out by a JS 2- in the end through Kent managed to destroy the JS 2 which he was stoked about.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Some Bolt Action Vehicles

The game last week inspired me to get some painting down (at last!). I had a few models base coated (panzer IV, 222 armoured car and hanomag) that belonged to my friend Nigel and that I'd been meaning to paint for him. I am happy to report that they are now done

I'd previously done a Puma armoured car and Stug for him and gave them an ambush scheme so decided to do the same for his new vehicles. 

And for myself I bought my self a platoon of Warlord Games Panzer IVs and have painted them up this week.

 And their support, a 233 armoured car and two half tracks.

 On Wednesday down at the club Ken and I had a game using the new Panzer IVs vs Jacob's Germans. i was trying out a new camera and the pictures were a tad blurry.

Jacob ran 16 units, including 5x SU 76s. Ken and I attacked with our panzer force and pretty much tore the Russian to pieces. The problem with lots of units is many of them were small an easy victory points. In the end Ken and I won 14-4. Even though it ended up a bit one sided it was still a good, fun game and I am really enjoying the tweaks made in 2E, they seem to have fixed many of the more glaring issues with the system. 

A panzer IV takes out an SU 76 on turn 1. Hmmm, that SU looking very similar to a turret-less Sherman, young Jacob using several of these as stand ins. I'm not really a fan of this type of gaming and are a firm believer if you haven't got it, don't field it and field what you do have. It may upset the odd person out there but life's too short and for me I don't enjoy massed subbing of units, and don't do it myself. We all get different things out of the hobby but for me the aesthetics of the game are a big part of my enjoyment and that comes down to using appropriate, and painted, kit.

 A sniper team lurks in the belltower.

Panzer grenadiers debuss to tackle a house thought to be hiding a Soviet tank hunter team.

A Katushla caused a few problems early on,the Zis 3 was kept in ambush for much of the game.

The panzer IVs advance, our objective to reach the far eide of the table.

The 233 armoured car offers some indirect support, taking out the sniper (eventually)

 Towards the end of the game Soviet reserves swarm forward. Our panzer grenadiers have occupied the house to the left of the road, having successfully ejected the soviet tank hunters.