sunnuntai 12. helmikuuta 2017

Bolt Action - Surrounded

Some Bolt Action after a while. New second edition rulebook brought some new nice rules and straightened some old one's better. But there's also set of new interesting scenarios in the book. And finally we had a chance to test one which looked good after I read it. The scenario Surrounded puts one team in the middle of the table in defense when other is attacker. In that sense quite typical set up. But the difference is very free deployment of attacker and reserves, which can enter what ever table edge they choose. Only limitation is that you can't use same edge right after your opponent. So no wily backstabbing action allowed, which is nice in terms of game play.

And the game itself was once again German Panzergrenadiers attacking in the bombed out village where handful of airborne were defending waiting reinforcements to help them. Mini Bastogne in some sense. So after airborne troopers had found good defensive positions among ruined housed in a village by the river Germans started their attack. At first German recon half track moved along the road, spotted US troops and opened fire with automatic cannon. Right after that squad of panzergrenadiers followed half track and moved swiftly towards now spotted enemy. And when Americans were mostly still hiding Germans continued their push and brought in Panther tank to support the attack.

The Americans wee still quite passive and only waited and let Germans come closer. And that's what they did. Second grenadier squad ran along the road to give support the leading unit and third squad went around church to seek good flanking positions around church corner. And finally arty FO and sniper found good positions on top of the hill. Everything seemed going well for the Germans.

Then the American opened up and poured massive infantry fire on FO who died with his assistants. And after that the flanking German squad was flanked itself by US infantry who popped from unexpected direction. US infantry opened fire and after two turns of firing all but one grenadier were down. Then US armor joined the fight and heavily sand backed Sherman 76 drove in and tried to hit Panther and hit but no penetration.

After that the Germans were in good position to launch concentrated assault in their right flank. The officer ordered two squads move in and open fire on nearest ruins and airborne within. Unfortunately US troops were set up in ambush and got to fire first. Then Germans went squads went in one by one and fired all they had on the airborne, but good hard cover of ruins saved many troopers. So first wave was ineffective. The Panther rolled towards the ruins of village and instead of dueling with Sherman it used machine guns to support advancing grenadiers and quite successfully. Close range fire from Panthers MMG's brought down many brave troopers. Americans tried to fire anther with Sherman and with bazooka but they either missed their mark or couldn't penetrate the quality armor of German tank.

The started the final phase of the fight. German grenadiers move close to airborne on ruins and withered the ruins with their automatic weapons and gradually got foothold in the village. Then there was much close range fire fights going for some turns. Very murderous for both sides. And when the infantry was having it's ruin by ruin fire fight Sherman managed to kill Panther with accurate shot. And after that US troops consolidated into better positions and remaining grenadiers didi the same and the fight was over. After some consideration in ended a draw, maybe slightly in favor of defender.

Ruined village by the river. Only the church was left intact.
Ruined centre of the village.
US airborne digging in.
US truck unloaded.
Squad of grenadiers flanking.
Very cautious Sherman challenging Panther.
Germans squads move in.
Ordered by the officer.
US surprised Germans and killed them outright.
Big cat on prowl.
Sherman waiting for a clear shot.
Panther moving boldly to support infantry attack.
Grenadiers attacking US positions.
US reinforcement moving in.
Densely packed ruins.
Recon half track moving around to find clear shot. 
Some nice dice rolling.
After Panther was knocked out US troops are moving more freely.
Last man standing from German engineers.
Capt. Winters giving orders.
German officer preparing for the last push.
Nice game and really fun scenario to play. With it's free deployment could never know where the enemy might be coming, very chaotic and fun way to play.

tiistai 3. tammikuuta 2017

My year 2016 in miniature

It's once again time look at past year 2016 in terms on my beloved painting, modeling and gaming hobby. And maybe look forward into year 2017, what is to be come from there.

Last year has been quite buys and productive year. I've been painting a lot and have started few new eras of war gaming. Also have participated the usual local conventions with some nice demo/participation games. And one of the highlights of last year was once again trip to Hamburg Tactica.

The only thing I noticed is I've been lazy with my blog. There's not that many articles or battle reports published as previous years, and the reason is that I haven't had that many games last year. I have painted more and tinkered with all those nice models. Maybe I'm becoming more choosy in terms of games I want to spend my time.

Painting

As I said before, there has been fair amount of painting in year 2016. I have continued to build my ever growing collection of WWII miniatures for Bolt Action. During last year I started and completed British and German desert armies with good choice of support weapons. It was nice to paint loads of sand brown vehicles and those iconic adversaries in desert war, DAK and Desert rats.

And when we talk about iconic units I added also small but very powerful team of LRDG jeeps and lorries in my collection. More on these nice  models here.

Unfortunately I haven't had chance to field them but once, but where their firepower scary. Report of that desert incident can be found here. 

Desert wasn't the only new WWII project during last year since I also started Imperial Japanese army for pacific and kit bashed some US infantry for Pacific to fight along the Marines in island hopping. With these US reinforcements I also acquired some Higgins boats to ferry troops on shore. I'm planning to re-run the Tarawa mini campaign once again this year and now with proper equipment and enough troops. I kinda like Pacific theater.

Year 2016 also saw start of not one but two new war gaming periods and massive army building with that. First one was when I agreed to join in AWI starter army deal with my club mate and volunteered buy and paint Continental rebels. This was very intensive painting project when I painted some 130 + Continental miniatures on period of one month. I didn't painted anything else as you might guess. Sounds tedious, but was really quite interesting experiment of how much one can produce on certain period of time.

And if that wasn't enough I went in a another massive painting venture after summer. Some club mates started talking about ECW and TYW project and I was in. So from August I've been painting ECW parliament army for coming ECW campaign which is to start on early 2017 with Edgehill fight. Somehow ECW miniatures have been most joyful to paint. They are full of character and actually quite colorful too. Even the amount of painted ECW figures has been quite substantial I haven't reached the same numbers with that project than in AWI, maybe the year is taking it's toll.

Addition to these main painting projects, i tinkered little this and that, building mainly terrain
piecesand objectives. And yes had two very productive and good table projects with my club mate Kalle. First one was desert table which is featured in many of my Bolt Action AAR's in my blog. The second one was build of modular river table with interchangeable center piece. After having had some mishaps with water effect we realized one of the greatest tables so far.

The whole idea of concentrating on terrain and tables was brought home from last years Hamburger Tactica, where we decided our focus for the year to be a good quality terrain.

Wargames

If I've been quite busy on painting and building, gaming has been little bit slower. Not that many
games a month, maybe only one or two maximum, but that seems OK. Some years ago I decided to go for quality that quantity in gaming. Bolt Action has been on to my list in gaming as in previous years, its' just so good game and interesting theme. In Bolt Action I have had roughly a game in a month which is quite enough. With new V2 rulebook it saw some more gaming activities during autumn. In Bolt we have had traditional gaming days and demonstrations in our Club and in some conventions.

Black Powder was once again activated when we started the AWI gaming after summer holidays. We
started loose campaign and started playing games from Warlords Rebellion campaign book. we started with the first fight and went on until the size of the games exceeded our supply of miniatures. Now the campaign is on hold until more troops will be painted. The Rebellion book is very good campaign book and the scenarios give nice and relaxed games. I really have enjoyed playing them. We also had a participation game of AWI in local gaming convention Ropecon, where our new armies were on display and the game was introduced for interested. We had fun and people had fun, it was all fun.

And them at late last year we had our first ECW fight just to field new troops and take first tasters of the new period. We gathered figures from four gamers and had fairly nice looking fight where Parliament troops met the kings men on the field. The table was bit cramped but the provided quite intense game. And it was true eye candy with all those large blogs of units and flags flying. This we will go back in year 2017 big time with ECW campaign and then TYW battles.

For this I will definitely paint way more figures too since I really enjoy the look and feel of these men with feathers in their hats.

And yes, and one of my oldest gaming involvement continued also last year. Traditional WH 40K games during summer had some 40K games in the Club and then just before Christmas great day with my special War Head friends. Our Civil war inhouse tournament is new classic. Intense day of friendly but unforgiving gaming for bragging rights.

My hobby year saw also traditional weekend in Hamburger Tactica with friends. Tradition that will repeated also this year of 2017. Our Club also participated in PoroCon gaming convention in Helsinki. I promising new gaming con that combines nice all sorts of table top games. This also will be on my schedule for next spring.

Plans, plans... 

My painting plans are quite clear. More Bolt Action armies aiming to have them all! And then the previously mentioned ECW/TYW painting project. And then some more AWI Continentals. And off course something I haven't even noticed yet, but will most likely to venture in...

I have some plans and ideas of some Bolt Action events for next year. Maybe the first will be re-run of Tarawa campaign from two years back. Three game mini campaign of three fighting days in Tarawa. Now with reviewed scenario  rules.

Then on June Normandy D-Day mega game. Game set up I spotted in one of the British gaming blogs which I would like to repeat in some way. It will be D-Day landing on four joined tables spanning from airborne landing until first wave fights itself through the defenses. Involving some six players having the same game. This will test Bolt Actions limits, but would be great fun.

And maybe the year 2017 sees Napoleonic 1813 campaign start in the Club. Which I'll be participating.

and maybe something more...

keskiviikko 23. marraskuuta 2016

Bolt Action - Desert raiders

Back to desert with some heavily armed trucks! My club mate had some nice Italian trucks painted and asked me for a game of Bolt in the Desert. I naturally agreed since this was an opportunity for me to field LRDG team I haven't had chance to play yet. So we agreed a game and went back to Beda Fomm, since it is very mobile scenario and all Italian troops are in the trucks. So I gathered blocking force from my 8th army footsloggers and flanking force from LRDG veterans. Italians had four trucks full of infantry, a command team and a tank.

The fight started by Italians driving through the pass into he open where they were immediately fired by British blocking force behind the roadblock. First truck was set in flames and troops bailed out. More trucks speeded along the road and Italian traffic jam was gradually forming. This was the moment when LRDG flanking force hit and heavily armed jeeps and a Chevrolet truck knocked out another Italian truck. Just after that veteran infantry speeded in dismounted and eliminated Italian squads one by one by firing and in close combat. This was retaliated by Italian tank which rumbled in and gunned down helpless SAS troopers. One jeep with heavy machine gun was trying to pin the ending in flames itself. Fast strike and bold assault just in the middle of Italian convoy caused such confusion that rest of the fight was fought on the mouth of the pass. There British fire power was decisive and almost all Italian infantry lost. Only lonely tank was left but it withdraw or surrendered in the end.

The scene, empty desert road through the pass.
AT rifle waiting in ambush.
Desert rats arranging roadblock ambush. 
First Italian truck speed in.
The more followed by the officer.
After first truck got hit Italian troops dismount and prepare to fight.
On truck out and Italian HQ is checking the plans.
LRDG strikes - Tally Ho!
Veteran desert raiders join the fight with murderous effect.
Heavily armed jeeps flanking Italians. 
Italian troops pushing forward by the burning trucks.
More Desert Rats join the fight,
Remaining desert raiders push forward selling their lives dearly.
One jeep knocked out.
In the end only Italian tank was remaining on the road.
Strong British blocking force is holding it's ground.
The day went for the British. The heroes of the fight were SAS troops that took out two full infantry squads boldly attacking straight into the enemy. They were gunned down but they really swung the fight and stole initiative from the Italians. And off course those scary LRDG vehicles bristling with machine guns pouring insane amounts of fire. On Italian side the tank was the man of the match.

Nice game in good company, good stuff!