Saturday, 17 February 2018

628 - Germans Vs US - Bolt Action 1000pts

Recently, I got to play my new friend Ben again, but this time it was a quieter affair - just one-on-one against his beautifully painted US force.

These Americans hadn't had many outings before, and Ben is still exploring how best they work, but between us we brought some well-matched forces for the most part, so I was really looking forward to the game. 
Some of the US forces, pre-deployment

We rolled 'Demolition' (in other words, Capture the Flag) which seemed fine. I had the advantage of a transport and a lot more anti-tank, but Ben had the very useful advantage of numbers, with four squads (including some very hardy Rangers) and the triple MMG option. Ouch!

With some slightly GrimDark chapels pressed into use as objectives [Note to self: make some German objective markers!], we set to work.

I was very unlucky with the dice draws for deployment, but turns one and two went okay for me, with a first-round mortar strike on one of the MMG teams and the first US airstrike rolling a '1' and targeting the Rangers instead... my Nebelwerfer did quite well too, dishing out a few pins and a few deaths despite its limited lines of sight.
Pins caused by my Nebbie
Pz.IV edges forward. Apparently
this cover was not effective enough!

After this, though - and in that way which makes Bolt Action such a brilliantly fun game - the tide Swindon far more towards Ben's favour. My sniper killed his air observer... only for me to realise that he'd not taken an order test for his pins. Cue FUBAR - although luckily he went 'down' rather than being able to shoot any friendlies.

On my left flank in this stage of the game, his bloomin' Sherman bumbled on from reserve and put pins on my Panzer IV with a lucky shot. Meanwhile, both my left- and right-hand squads were getting whittled down by mortars and musketry and were too pinned to get out of the way effectively. Gah!

Still, in turn 3 my outflanking Hanomag arrived -thank goodness - and with it I was able to start to threaten Ben's turn four, the Panzer had put some hurt back into the Sherman and my outflanking squad - not even realising that it had vulnerable flanks - finished it off with a super-short-range Panzerfaust. Kaboom! 
Outflanking 1) Hanomag arrives
and hoses troops with MG42 fire.

Outflanking 2) Next turn, troops
de-bus and wipe out both the
Sherman and the mortar crew
behind the (Gothic) objective. Then
Hanomag advances and handbrake-
turns into position to lay down more fire.

At the same time, the same squad dealt out a deadly hail of short-range lead to annihilate the medium mortar team that Ben had so brilliantly positioned, thereby - at one fell swoop - wiping out two high-priority targets AND claiming the objective. Or ''demolishing' it, I suppose. I had the entire left flank, now, and there was nothing Ben could do to stop them.
The Pz.IV closes in...
...and shreds the remaining GIs...

Leaving the entire flank and the
objective in German hands (Hans?)

...Except I'd forgotten about the new threat to MY base: sure, I had units next to Ben's objective, but I'd completely forgotten to protect it more readily, as in this mission, the proximity of friendly troops doesn't count as ''contesting'. Bugger. 
THIS is how inexcusably close
Ben's troops came to drawing.
Note my officer looking the wrong way!

We measured the last-ditch sprint of Ben's brave reserve troops - who'd run across the board, I now realised, virtually unopposed - and they were mercifully short by about an inch (they had to end the turn ''touching" the objective). Whew! If I'd simply just moved my officer around to the other side of the objective, his very presence would've kept them further away, and they wouldn't have been able to see him to charge him...but no. I left it wide open, and only sheer, vicious luck let me off with the win.

So...was it a win? Well, technically, yes it was, and I hadn't even lost a single unit...but morally? - having left my own flank so horribly vulnerable, there's no way I could claim that as a victory, so we agreed to call it a moral draw!
The butcher's bill.
No German dice, at least...

This was Bolt Action at its best: cinematic, touch-and-go and full of pivotal dice rolls. We had a great time and I was very pleased with how it all went. Big shout out to Ben for being a fun and generous opponent!


- Drax.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

627 - 4-Ground Buildings in 15mm and 28mm

Hullo, All,

This is not a review, per se, but I recently got the chance to put together some 4-Ground stuff for a friend, and I just thought I'd share its prettiness.

The kits are incredibly well designed and flawlessly cut in every case: just an absolute joy to experience!

I'll let the photos do the talking, really, but this is what it boils down to: (1) the kits are absolutely brilliant; (2) some of the instructions could be a tiny bit clearer. That is all.

15mm Buildings:
These buildings both have two terraced
premises with three floors each (incl.
the attic), all of which can take troops.


...and then the other lovely building...
Rather impressively, this kit (but
not t'other) comes with posters
and signage in German and French.

15mm Fences and Walls (~1.5m of each):
These are gorgeous.
Fragile, yet surprisingly sturdy.
These are really solid...and even
have chunks which can be removed!

28mm 'Chicago Way' Shotgun House:

This was astonishingly good fun to put together...and a lot bigger than I had anticipated.
I had the M3 Lee nearby. For scale.
This kit has five or six different
colours, and goes together like
a dream.
'Shotgun Houses' were notable
for their all in-line doorways.

Even Mrs Drax appreciated this model - I reckon it was her Chicago South-Side heritage.

So there you go. Just brilliant.

- Drax.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

626 - Battlegroup - Attempt 2


Rolled out the ol' 15mm goodness again a fortnight ago, and gave Battlegroup another go with Guy.

We used the same same forces as before, but this time I had the advantage of having found/purchased and briefly even read the rules.
My lot. A platoon plus of 4KSLI.

The German end of the board.
Points for spotting the downed
Auster AOP objective!

It was a lot more successful. It was still slowed down by lots of cross-referencing of rules and stats, but it was fun and it looked pretty. After some initial bad luck, the British air support and 25pdrs managed to win it on points before we ran out of time.
The objective near my end.
2 Shermans Vs 3 Pz.IVs? Pah!

Next time, we'll be even MORE prepared!


- Drax