Monday, 11 August 2014

It's Official!

This is the longest we have stuck with playing a single game over an extended period in ages! :)

I reckon that's a pretty good sign that we are really enjoying Bolt Action and it is definitely good. Like all games, it has its quirks and slightly odd rules, but overall its pretty good. It's also a period of history that I have a great deal of interest in.

I was a little late to gaming this week and a little slow.... Saturday night had been a farewell dinner for my Personal Trainer. It involved an evening of beer, curry, whiskey, more beer, more curry, more whiskey :) Top notch evening.

When I arrived, Mark and Phil were already underway with a 1000pt game. British Infantry vs. USMC. I believe the mission was Point Defense. Mark was the defender.

I snapped a few pics during the game. They'd decided to have no buildings for a change and set-up more off a wooded area for the battle. The USMC was having a tough time from the get go with advancing into the British guns. Casualties were heavy.

Mark's commander charges forward SMG's blazing
Things are going pretty well for Mark. The game is under control and in the bag. The USMC are losing units and struggling to make any headway.

The British start a general advance to push the USMC back and mop up any survivors. But, catastrophe strikes! The FAO's bombardment arrives, but the British artillery rounds start falling short... landing on the British units!! (Mark rolled a 1 for his bombardment handing it over to Phil....).

The British centre now pinned under their own bombardment
The USMC can sense they have been given a chance and push forward. The game hangs in the balance now with British units struggling to rally (Mark's commander had died charging forward earlier). 

With what units can rally, the Brit's scramble and try to take out the most advanced USMC units, but the USMC commander makes it to an objective. The British Staghound and Cromwell make short work of the units advancing on the other objectives as the game draws to a close. 

And it ends as a draw. It was very nearly a defeat that was snatched from the jaws of victory by a single die roll.... Rolling that one was a bitter blow for Mark as he had the game totally under control, but with some hard work and tough decisions... he was able to bring it back to at least a draw. 

I think this game really highlighted the need for HQ units to be able to interact and support friendly units better. No matter how hard Mark tried, once units had 3 or more pins on them, he just couldn't pass the order check to rally them. Leaving them with a down order just seems pointless as each pin they lost was just being replaced from taking more fire. Certainly keeping his Commander alive would have helped, but in most cases the +1 support would have done little to help rally the troops.

My suggestion... allow the HQ unit to use there order die to instruct a pinned unit (with no current order die) and within 6 inches to act (both units then place an order die next to them showing the order that was carried out). Only actions would be rally, fire or run (away from the enemy only). Probably needs a whole lot more thought though.... 

By this point it was getting a little late in the day (and I was full from the leftover curry I had for lunch :) ), so Phil and I rocked out a small 500pt game. German Infantry now facing the USMC. To make things easy we just choose to play maximum attrition.

I fielded (all regular);

Second Lt. + assistant
10 Man Squad (2 smg, 1 lmg)
9 Man Squad (1 smg, 1 lmg)
Medium Mortar + spotter
Light Howitzer
Medium MG
Sniper Team

If I recall correctly, Phil had:

First Lt. + assistant
2 Squads (2 bar)... I can't remember how big the units were
Medium MG
Engineer Squad (flamethrower)

The German's support weapons take up position whilst one of the infantry squads advances forward....

Only for the infantry squad to find themselves in view of the USMC F.A.C... who happily targets them for an air strike. 

Knowing that every unit within 12 inches will pinned by the air strike, I just keep advancing the infantry towards the USMC units. Between them, the MMG and mortar, they start making short work of the USMC units nearby. Somehow... the US air strike fails to materialise for a couple of turns and the return fire hardly scratches my infantry unit (even at short range and in the open).

By now this is all that is left on the table...

I've taken no losses. Phil has his Commander, F.A.C, Engineer squad and 1 sole survivor from an infantry squad. Then the air strike arrives.... and all it does is pin my infantry squad (look for the blue die) and the US Engineer squad. A couple of turns of concentrated fire later....

Now even less USMC troops are left.... just the F.A.C and the US Lieutenant's assistant (the German sniper having spotted and killed the US Lt.)  They want revenge though and the second air strike is called in to at least try and do some damage to the German units.... 

The US F.A.C catches the unmistakable growl of a Pratt & Whitney engine as the air strike comes in... he hears the whistling as the Corsair dives, but to his horror... he realises his error! He's given the wrong co-ordinates! (Phil rolled a 1 handing over the air strike to me....) 

The US air strike targets and destroys the US F.A.C. Game over. All USMC units destroyed. No German units lost.

On review, I think Phil tied up too many points in a 2nd Lt. and the F.A.C. I think he would have been better off with more boots on the ground utilising the US special rules for no penalty when moving and shooting. The extra firepower would have made things tough for me.

Finally, we've been a little inspired by this... Wargame Bloggers Quarterly. We'd like to aim for trying to submit an article at some point, but we need to do a whole heap more painting and terrain work first! :)

As it was, Mark had gotten out his Western stuff and set-up a little scene. I really needed my tripod, but took a couple of photos anyway. Decided they'd look best in black & white...

Until next week. Happy gaming :)