Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Re-match

Well... it had to happen at some point.

One day I would roll terribly and Rob would roll hardly anything but 6's. He's been long overdue for it.

And that kinda gives you an idea of how today went....

After last week, Rob was keen for a re-match, so I got my German's out again to face his Japanese.

My force was exactly the same, but Rob had adjusted his list to fit in a medium tank (proxied by the T-34/85) and a tankette (proxied by the Staghound). I think a number of Japanese/Russian tanks are being bought by someone tomorrow.... :)

Having looked through some Bolt Actions sites... we had found a couple of different missions, so decided to try one of those. Frontal Assault was the mission chosen and I would be the attacker.

As per last week, Mark set-up a table for us:

Paul also joined us today to have a look at Bolt Action, so I quickly roped him into playing on the German side to let him try out the game.... but I had an ulterior motive :)

I deployed where I felt I could best use cover to move up and grab the objectives as the Japanese medium tank had the main road pretty well covered. One German infantry unit was able to deploy within striking distance of an objective.

So then the game commenced.... things looked ominous from the start as Japanese order die after order die were pulled out of the container giving them the initiative. This meant Rob was able to get his forces up ready to blunt my assault.

Then the Jap tank drove across the road as it was trying to hunt down my mortar team.... and in doing so exposed its side armour to my Puma!

A great place for Paul to roll some dice I thought. I hand a die over to him. Give it a go I say.... and he misses! :)

Rob then passes order test after order test to bring on his reserves, but brings them onto the flank opposite to where all the objectives are....!?

I get Paul to try and bring on some of our reserves.... he rolls an 11, we try for another unit... he rolls an 11. I take the dice of him and roll for a third unit.... I roll an 11! Things are not going well....

The Jap medium tank starts chasing the Puma until Rob remembers the recce rule, so goes for the StuH42 instead and gets a pin. The Puma misses again.... Paul and I finally pass a reserve roll and on comes the German infantry gun.

We discuss a great location on where to bring it on and deploy it in perfect position to cover two of the objectives. Alas.... both of us completely forgot about a Japanese sniper hidden nearby... 

The gun team just finish setting themselves up when one of the crew catch a flash out of the corner of their eye, but before they can yell "sniper".... the teams loader is dead. The rest of the team leg it! (In Bolt Action, if the team loader/firer is killed then the whole team is considered destroyed. Snipers pick who dies....)

And things continue to get worse...

Guess who gets the first order die.... the Japanese do. Luckily recce units can disengage from assaults as well as shooting :)

We're still in this game though. My Veteran's had performed an outflanking move again. So they come on and enter the Chateau where the Jap sniper is hiding. Next turn.... we think. Next turn.

But Rob just counters our move with this....

The flamethrower. I forgot the flamethrower was still in reserve. One German gets toasted. The rest run (and who can blame them!).

It's all pretty much downhill from here.... the Japanese advance. We try and push forward with one infantry squad, but they just get pinned on the road. At least our sniper arrives and deals to the Japanese sniper. The German commander finally arrives and he kills one of the Japanese suicide bombers. Rob then pulls out 6 after 6 to kill both the German commander and assistant.

The Japanese continue to advance... the first assault goes in... and we lose another unit.

The Japanese tank advances past the pinned down German infantry determined to deal to the German armoured units... the second Japanese unit makes it into assault...

... destroying another German unit.

Finally, as we start the final turn (before we concede)..... the German order die is the first to be pulled out of the bag! First time all game I think... And there's only one thing to do.

The Puma shoots and scores! The Japanese tank is in flames.

The game ends here. A pretty convincing win for the Japanese. Rob's dice rolling was faultless!

Leutnant Paul finds himself summoned back to HQ. After a defeat like this, someone must be accountable and before he knows it, its off to the Eastern front!! :)

The mission set-up was a bit different with the diagonal deployment zones, but I think I just needed to be more aggressive. With the short number of turns, I think you just need to go for it in this game. I also think my deployment was probably poor. I suspect I would have been better off deploying both infantry units into a position where they could support each other (and get support from the StuH... which missed all game). 

We still had a bit of time left, so in between some general gaming chit-chat, Rob and I tried out a small game of Chain of Command to see what the rules were like.

All I can say is.... they are very different to Bolt Action (which we already knew). It's only a first run through, but the rules do look more complex and a lot more unit management will be required with the game breaking units down from squads into teams. Much more focused on the force leaders (which I think is a good thing). It'll be interesting to try out a full game. A lot more reading is required first though.... :)

Maybe next week. It's now beer o'clock. And soon.... very soon... I'll be watching this:

I didn't get a chance to see the worldwide release at the movies last weekend, so will be watching it on TV tonight. Have avoided spoilers all week and I'm looking forward to it!!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Sunny Sunday

A fantastic day today here in Auckland. Even a little bit warmer too....

Gaming wise, it was the usual suspects less Phil. So Rob and I rolled out a game of Bolt Action with Mark being our official "order die puller from the cup" guy :)

We rolled up "Maximum Attrition" as the mission and Mark set-up a table for us.

Mark... what are you looking at?
German's vs. Japanese in a French village :) I had originally planned to run my Brit Para's against Rob's Japs, but for some reason I thought he was starting to organise his Russian list, but alas... I was mistaken he was just using his T-34 to represent a Japanese tank. As I'd already pulled up my German list, I  just stuck with that.

My force was the same as last week. I'm quite liking the build and its seems to be a good all round effective force.

Rob's was something like this....

Vet. Lt.
3 Vet. infantry squads (1 rather large one....)
Vet. MMG
Vet. pop gun (infantry gun with weak shells)
Vet. sniper team
Japanese tank (disguised as a T-34/85... the Jap one was armed with a light howitzer)
Inexp. suicide bomber
Vet. suicide bomber (how do you get to have a Vet. suicide bomber!?)
Vet. flamethrower team

There was no mucking around either.... Rob put everything into first wave and I put everything into first wave as well but the mortar spotter (reserve) and I decided to try a flanking march with the Vet. infantry.

The forces start to arrive and not much happens...

Target priority #1!!
German advance - turn 1
Japanese advance - turn 1

My Puma moves up to have a crack at the Japanese tank whilst the StuH42 goes after the Jap pop gun. Both miss. Japanese return fire is also ineffective. Infantry units on both sides continue to position themselves. I'm scared of getting too close as I want to avoid getting into close combat!

As such... I end up concentrating the bulk of my forces on the left flank effectively refusing the right one. Only 1 infantry squad and the mortar team are keeping an eye on the right flank. The infantry squad get into the woods to make use of the hard cover. The game is still pretty quiet at this point.

The only real damage is that my sniper team has knocked out the Jap flamethrower (also a priority target!).

Turn 3 sees my flank march arrive (I'd chosen the left side of the table) further concentrating my forces. Rob's 2 larger infantry platoons move up through the forest to make use of the protection of the trees...

But... then we realise the error of this. He won't be able to run through the forests (rough ground) and make it across to my units... he'd have to spend a turn in the open first.

Still, the Japanese yell "Banzai" and start moving out...

Only to have my Vet. infantry unit move out from behind the forest to blaze away with smg's. A few Jap's survive and they charge in the following turn, but completely miss. My Vet's just wipe them away with smg fire.

The slightly larger Jap unit sees this happen and decides it may be better to hide in the woods..... rather than face a large number of German guns...

Meanwhile.... on the right flank... my infantry unit there is holding up a number of Japanese units, but it is being punished though. A lucky roll for morale ensures they hang around for a little longer...

Suddenly things go awry!! The Japanese pop gun gets a direct hit on my infantry squad. So much so that they FUBAR when activating! Luckily... they just panic and run. Which of course puts them out on the road.... in the open.... in front of an active Japanese tank...

Another "Banzai" scream fills the air as a suicide bomber charges out towards the StuH42.... and my Puma stays pinned (having been pinned by the pop gun earlier). Very annoying. There is a tank to kill.

It's a bit of hard work, but I do finally kill off the suicide bomber but it takes the orders from 2 units to do so (and off course I was a little bit lucky to get those 2 orders before Rob got any....).

Then disaster again. The pop gun again. It hits my Lt. and his assistant.... killing the assistant and forcing a morale check... 

The photo is blurry as I was so distraught at having rolled another double 6 for a morale check. Still at least this time it just meant my Lt. ran away.

A sole survivor sticks it out....

The mortar had the loader taken out by a sniper earlier on which takes out the whole team. 

Then another suicide bomber makes it through....

And I soon learn why he is a veteran suicide bomber! See if you can guess how many units had to activate and shoot him before he actually died!?!

First the Vet infantry squad. They have 4 smg's. Lot's of hits. No wounds....

Okay... I'm a little worried.

The Puma manages to activate... hits. No wounds.

I'm starting to get very worried.

My sniper... he'll do the job. He hits! I roll a 1 to wound....

I'm getting desperate now.

My infantry gun fires over open sights..... when the dust settles the crew peek over the gun shield... the suicide bomber is no more!

Things are still in the balance somewhat. Japanese units are moving freely on the right flank now. Their tank is still active and moves up to fire at point blank range. The pop gun and MMG are still being a nuisance, but the game is almost over. A couple of good rolls one way or the other could change the picture.... we'd need another turn though...

I rolled a 4, so we moved into turn 7. I get the first order and my vet infantry get into position to try out their panzerfausts....

And that effectively ended the game. 7 - 4 to me on victory points. Having a couple of units go Down to negate shooting for a number of turns made them ineffective, but stopped them from being destroyed. Had the dice gone a little better in Rob's favour, then the game would have been much closer. Getting stuck in the forest didn't help either. My 8 man squads would not have enjoyed close combat.....

Should be some more Bolt Action next weekend, but we're also looking to try out the Chain of Command rule set to see how that compares.

Gaming wise we left it there, but as it was such a nice day (Spring is almost here!!).... I decided to pop into Ardmore on the way home to have a play with the camera in the evening light. It's been a little while since I last did this and figured it would be a good way to end the day. Not much of interest was flying though, but got a couple of okay pics...

The Tiger Moth was practicing a few take offs and landings....

Harvard 53 took off late in the day and just disappeared...


Quite a few choppers coming and going....

Some bird life. Thought it made a nice silhouette....

And a boring old Cessna, but I thought the photo looked really good in the soft evening light.