Sunday, 24 May 2015

Germany Reigns Supreme

Sunday today and a full turn out since Rob had resolved his flat battery issue from last weekend (don't ask about power outages though....) :-)

On arrival, Rob and Mark had already started a game with Rob trying out a small Russian force against Mark's Brit's.

I'm not sure of the end result, but there was a lot of moaning about the ineffectiveness of inexperienced troops! I'm sure Rob will blog about the game.

Phil had been patiently waiting for my arrival, so he was keen to get a game going. Now, Mark has his sights set on attending MOAB this year, so he was keen for us to try out the BA season 2 rules that can be found on the WWPD network site (it's in this download section).

5pt LMG's... higher rof MMG's... restrictions on flamethrowers.. who was I to argue!? :-)

So after some minor list tweaking to my standard 1000pt list, this is what I would be running:

Reg. Second Lt. + 1 team mate
Reg. 8 man squad (2x smg, 1x lmg)
Reg. 8 man squad (1x smg, 1x lmg)
Reg. 9 man squad (1x smg)
Vet. 6 man squad (5x smg, 3x panzerfaust)
Reg. medium mortar + spotter
Reg. light howitzer
Reg. medium machine gun
Reg. sniper team
Reg. Puma
Reg. StuH 42

Phil was running his USMC and I have no idea what it consisted off other than 13 units, a large majority of which were small 2 or 3 man teams. I think he had 3 infantry squads and 1 engineer squad. He also had a forward air observer... :-( Oh and he had a Stuart.

Anyway, we decided to play a mission (something we don't do often enough) and "Envelopment" was rolled up. I got to pick and chose to be defender. It seemed the more sensible option based on the terrain and forces present. That put Phil in a bit of a predicament having only infantry and no transports to get across the table....

I deployed on the near side and started to set-up. As I completed Phil advised that 5 of his units were going to try for an outflanking maneuver! 5!? Why did I suddenly feel very worried....

Then it was time for the preliminary bombardment. Which did arrive and annoyingly put 2 pins on pretty much all of my deployed units.

It got even more annoying when I tried to active units in turn 1....

Still... with so many units trying to outflank and only support units deployed, Phil was unable to capitalise on my forces ability to do very little. Not a lot happens in the first couple of turns. Perhaps the only event of note is that my StuH 42 arrives and is immediately targeted for an air strike.

My Puma and the Stuart spend a couple of turns playing cat & mouse...

Before the StuH 42 catches the Stuart in the rear and rather large shell makes a rather large mess.

By now it is turn 4 and the outflanking forces are starting to arrive. The Engineers first...

Right in front of one of my squads. Phil smiles. Points out his flamethrower team, counts up the rest of his dice and remind me about point blank range.

Here's the results of his shooting....

1 pin marker :-) The season 2 rules mean flamethrowers have to roll to hit. Phil rolled a 1. They still have to roll to check fuel even if they miss. Phil rolled another 1. The flamethrower had just fizzled out. Unfortunately for him he failed to convert any of his hits from the rest of the unit into casualties.

I honestly thought that unit was toast, so I was amazed to see it survive pretty much untouched!

Retribution on the Engineers was swift.

I was still worried though. More outflanking units were due to arrive and I just didn't have enough forces on the flanks to stop them..... particularly when Phil just had a couple of units arrive and advance straight of my table edge (the delay to them arriving meant they could deploy further on with enough movement to exit the table).

But. There was a but. My forces were taking a toll of what was deployed and the units that had arrived on the flanks. I'd got enough across to stem the tide. As we entered turn 6, Phil only had a couple of units left. 3 had made it off my table edge. The rest had been destroyed.

Remember that air strike, well it finally turned up in turn 6.

And Phil rolled a 1 giving me control. The air strike and my sniper finished off the remaining USMC units (only time my sniper did something all game!).

End result 20 vp to 11. A very decisive win for Germany in the end with the USMC force decimated.

Putting such a large number of units into the outflanking maneuver was certainly interesting and had me worried, but they effectively came on piecemeal. I suspect Phil would have been better off deploying more of them as first wave and trying to capitalise on the first couple of turns where I was at a disadvantage. Numbers and marching fire may have made more of a difference there, but as Phil pointed out, he was on foot. There weren't enough turns to run/walk across the table. I suspect this game was won on the choice of attacker/defender.

From there it was onto game 2. The Russian horde!

Rob worked out a 1000pt list and bulked out his numbers with a few Japanese models. IIRC the list was something like...

Lt. + 1 team mate
2x Inexp. rifle squads
2x Reg. rifle squads
1x Reg. medium MG
2x Reg. anti-tank rifles
1x Reg. sniper team
1x Truck

....and an ISU-122. Crap. That thing is huge. I wasn't even sure I could scratch it.

We rolled up a mission. "Maximum Attrition". I looked at the ISU-122 again and sighed.

The game started and we both advanced cautiously. Except for some Russian nutters in a truck...

A lucky rifle shot got a pin on them, but it didn't even slow them...

The ISU-122 arrived with the inevitable result....


I toyed with the idea of trying to get my Veteran's over to it to see what their panzerfausts could do, but the truck sitting next them was just too tempting....

It all boiled down to this though. My Puma had a chance. A slim chance, but it could hurt the ISU-122. 

I rolled to hit.

A 6! A promising start.

But now it was the important roll. I really needed another 6.

I got a 5. Still, that was a glancing hit! 

-3 on the damage table for glancing hits. Really!? 

I rolled.


I'd hit the fuel tanks. The ISU was on fire! It was too scary for the crew, they scarpered (failed morale check) meaning the ISU was destroyed. I nearly kissed my Puma :-)

That pretty much ended the game for Rob and Russian's as he struggled to hit my units and I was able to get the pins mounting up on his units. Still it was hard work actually trying to destroy them.

But at the end of turn 6, there were only a few Russian's left, so Rob called it there.

7 - 2 to Germany.

A pretty good day :-)

As for the season 2 rules. I can't say I noticed a big impact. We don't use AT guns or a lot of transports, so most of the rules changes don't effect us. The only point where it really did was the to hit roll for the flamethrower. Under the normal rules, my unit would have been toast, but I can see why there is a desire to reduce the effectiveness of flamethrowers. No complaints from my side on this one.

I need to remember the one about fixed weapons being able to rotate and fire at a -1. I missed a chance to fire my light howitzer in the first game when it rotated.

We'll continue to give them a go over the next few weeks. Maybe I should add in my Pak 40 to give it a go.

We'll see :-)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Germany vs. USMC & Britain!

Sunday has finally rolled round and after a few days of being under the weather, I was glad to get out of the house since the body was feeling somewhat more alive.

Bolt Action was the game of choice, so on arrival Mark and I set-up a larger table to allow a couple of games to get underway.

Phil soon joined us and we waited patiently for Rob until we heard that a "flat battery" meant he wasn't going to make it.

Suddenly I found myself under instructions to organise a 2000pt list of Germany's finest to face 2000pts of combined British & USMC forces.

So, that meant basically fielding everything that I have split over 2 platoons....

2x 2nd Lt
4x 10 Man infantry squads
Light artillery gun
Medium mortar
Heavy mortar
Medium MG
Sniper team
Panzershreck team
2x Truck
Sd Kfz 251/1
Panzer IV H
StuH 42
Sd Kfz 222
Sd Kfz 234/2 "Puma"

All rated as Regular except for the sniper team who were Veteran and the Kubelwagon/Trucks who were Inexperienced.

Mark's Brits were all Veteran and I think consisted of...

4x 10 Man infantry squads
Artillery Obs Team
Sniper Team

Phil had loads of stuff in his 14 order dice force of USMC. I have no idea what, but it was all regular and all infantry/infantry weapons teams.

This wasn't looking good.... I think I was going to need more infantry....

Anyway. The table:

My deployment area was on the right hand side of the picture. With facing such a large force, I decided I'd be best to concentrate on one part of the table rather than spreading thin and being picked off piecemeal.

To that end, I started deploying some units around the Chateau as a blocking force (infantry team, MMG, nebelwerfer, sniper team, StuH 42). The idea was that they would hold against anyone trying to cross the river. The only unit deployed on the other side of the river was my Sd Kfz 222. A unit that generally does well through being an annoyance.

At which it started doing straight away.... the 222 advanced onto the table and opened fire with it's 20mm canon at the USMC sniper team. A string of 6's meant the sniper was killed and the spotter fled! A good start.

The rest of my forces were deploying into the village area to try and either capture the buildings (the Allies didn't have much HE) or utilise my preponderance of HE weapons to knock off any enemy units sheltering inside (if they got there first).

Now I also had some transports. I've never used transports, so decided to give them a go...

With grenadiers and an Officer using them to advance quickly.

My medic manned the MG on the 251... this was going to be my dirty trick... :-)

Now that everything was on the table, the game really got underway.

British infantry advancing at the double...

Only for some hastily ordered rounds to be lobbed at them by my heavy mortar. Luckily (for me anyway) they found their mark and obliterated the infantry unit.

My infantry head straight for the key buildings on the left flank as my Panzer moves up towards the crossroads...

The race to reach the buildings was now on... who would get there first!?

Me :-)

Things were still looking good and I had Mark & Phil worried.

Until Mark placed this...

The ranging point for Mark's artillery obs.

Ah crap. I could lose a lot here.

Not that it really mattered. Anywhere he placed it meant it was going to hurt. All I could hope for was a roll of 1.



My Panzer is the first to be destroyed quickly followed by 2 of the buildings where one of my observers is squished in the rubble. The Puma, 251, panzershreck team and an infantry squad all take a number of pins. Still, there is one bright spot.... Mark's sniper also gets pinned.

But it's about to get worse.... Mark decides to see how good Veteran infantry squads are in assault...

The fighting would be simultaneous, but Mark only needs 4's... I need 5's. The first squad he sends in wins their assault, so a second is sent in to assault my squad in the next building. I loose again, meaning my 2 squads are wiped out. Mark has lost 50% of his unit strength in both squads due to the assault , but not that it matters.

From here it pretty much just goes downhill as I can't stem the tide. My mortar units and nebelwerfer prove their worth (especially against the USMC units), but the units pinned by the artillery barrage spend the rest of the game trying to unpin, but just can't keep up with the number of pins being added each turn and the noose tightens. I'm suddenly very restricted on options.

What I do have left just can't put out enough pins to slow the Allies down. Weight of return fire just whittles down my forces across the entire line.

"See all that stuff over there... I blew it up"
I get one last chance for a bit of revenge as a USMC squad moves out into the middle of the crossroads..

Um... hello...

And they are vapourised by a large HE shell.

There ends the game.

I'm honestly not sure there is much I could have done differently. My plan seemed reasonable and it did mean a decent chunk of Phil's army had no real impact on the game being on the far side of the river.

Perhaps I was a little gung ho in racing up to the buildings, but I knew I'd be hard to dislodge if I got there. I wasn't expecting to be assaulted though, so fair play to Mark. That was probably the key turning point and good use of the veteran status.

I don't think I'll rush out and upgrade everything to Vet's though :-) ,but I have bought that very nice looking new boxed set of PzGren models that Warlord has just released...

I do wonder if more infantry squads and less support weapons is the way to go?

The transports were interesting and I can see the benefits, definitely some units I'm keen to try out further.

Otherwise, it was a bit of karma I guess from last week I guess. I really hate being on the receiving end of those artillery barrages.

All good fun though.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.