Saturday, June 16, 2018

Game Night at Adler Hobby

I had a great game night yesterday at Adler Hobby.  I played in a great Bolt Action Game with Russ Vickery.

The game was 1250 points pitting a late war French force against strong German force from the Hermann Goering Panzer Division.

We used the Demolition Scenario from the Main BA rule book.  Russ played the French and I played the Germans.  We each had our objectives set in hard cover terrain within 4" of our respective table edges.

The French Army is a force that I have been working on for awhile.  This is a late-war army which can be found in the Battle of Bulge theatre book.  The army has two regular infantry squads, a Veteran 1LT, a veteran Goumier squad, a veteran Brigade de Choc (para-commando types), a veteran Jeep with MMG, a regular bazooka team, a veteran Sniper team, a veteran MMG team, a regular Light Howitzer and a 3/4-ton Dodge truck as a tow vehicle and capped off with a regular M4 Sherman.  Overall command is a veteran Captain.  I use US Infantry for the French regulars and the Bazooka team.  I have Goumiers from Artizan Designs, and I use the new plastic American Airborne to represent the 1er Regiment de Chassuers Parachutiste (1 RCP) for the Brigade de Choc squad.  The artillerist are the American 75mm Pack Howitzer with US Crew.  The Jeep is a Rubicon model with Old Glory crew painted as the paratroopers.

On the German side I use Old Glory (Westwind) for the majority of my forces.  I have two squads of regular grenadiers, a veteran Kubelwagon with MMG, a veteran Marder III, an regular Sdkfz 251/1 half-track, two veteran MMG teams, a regular Medium Mortar, a veteran 20mm light anti-aircraft gun, a veteran Pioneer squad with Flamethrower and LMG teams, a veteran Sniper team, and a regular Goliath Team. Command is provided by a veteran Oberluentnant (1LT) and veteran Hauptmann (CPT) The pioneers and Goliath team are primarily Warlord plastics with a couple of metal figures in the mix.  The 20mm AA gun is a kit from Ace Models with crew from the extensive Victory Force line of WW2 figures.

We were playing the Demolition scenario and that makes you try to both take the offensive and capture the enemy HQ while defending your own HQ.  We both placed our HQ well back and set up our forces to protect.

Here is the game table.  Russ set up on the left and I set up on the right table edge.  Russ' HQ was behind the hard cover ruins at the middle left.  I set up my HQ in the ruins behind the destroyed building middle right of the picture.  The Sherman would move down the road in the middle of the picture with impunity thanks to my terrible dice rolling!

Russ played an excellent game and with the luck of the dice got to place his Sherman last during deployment so he could see where my Marder set up.  He of course placed the Sherman on the opposite side of the table. on the road in the middle of the table photo above.  The Sherman would move with impunity down the road due to terrible dice rolling (one of the German grenadiers was heard to exclaim, "Herr Hauptmann, there is something wrong with our anti-tank weapons today!").
In succession, the Goliath team, the Marder and two Panzerfausts either were destroyed by fire or missed the Sherman - or both!  He basically drove the Sherman down the road and right up to my HQ.  Totally fearless, totally crazy and TOTALLY EFFECTIVE!

Meanwhile the Kubelwagen was making an end run on the other flank aided by fire support from the Pioneer squad and the Hauptmann command squad.   Destroying any Frenchman who got in the way, the Kubelwagon managed to get to the objective and with the German commander covering the flank from those who would cause harm - we managed to secure the draw.

Overall the game was vicious from the start and included very effective flamethrower shots, close combat that went very well for the French as the attacked, but also went very poorly for them as the HG Grenadiers gave as much as the got.  Russ did a great job pounding away with the howitzer almost causing one of my grenadier squads to break and run for it.  The combat also included some very effective longer range shots from my AA gun on a dominating hill.  Neither one of our sniper teams could hit anything.  The German MMG teams chewed up several of his units before they could get within range to threaten my HQ.

One of the regular Grenadier squads from the HG Panzer Division!

The Marder overmatching the German defenses.  The Sherman would come down the left side of the picture and although I did get turned towards hime and fired off a round, it bounced and he killed me as soon as he got the chance!

The German pioneer squad and Kubelwagon.  They would play a key role in capturing the German HQ.

One of my Grenadier squads holds off the French Goumier squad in close combat.  My guys ended up winning and routing the Goumiers as they couldn't kill any Germans!  Only killed one of them, but that was all I needed.
The German pioneers take on another French Squad after destroying the French Marquis squad.  Note the flamethrower in the lead!  This is the first time that I have use a flamethrower in a BA game.

The Sherman makes quick work of the half-track, the mortar squad and he starts to take on the  LT.

A grenadier squad also gets between the Sherman and my HQ.

Doesn't make a bit of a difference!  I passed my morale test, but that only means that we get out of the way and he reaches the objective!

On the other side of the table, my Kubelwagon captures the French HQ!  The game is a draw!

Another view of my guys on the objective.  Kubelwagon and the Hauptmann squad.

Overall I have to say that this was a super fun game!  There were great dice rolls on both sides - a terrible dice rolls on both sides!  We had a very good Chinese Food dinner at half-time.  The company and social interaction was excellent!  Best night of gaming I have had in a long time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bolt Action Gaming So Far This Year

I know I have been off the blog for the past several months but there have been big changes in my personal life and the annual challenges of a new fiscal year.  But now waters are calmer and I have been spending some time at the gaming table.  We have been involved in an Escalation League at our local Hobby Shop - Alder Hobby's Gaming Cafe.  We are only at the first level of the league but we are having a ton of fun!

My French force fighting against the hated Boche somewhere in France, 1944.  The recon jeep in the middle of the photo tried to secure the objective but ended up dying.  I ended up losing this game in a near run thing.

Another view of the battle.  One of my squads advances on the Germans but cannot overcome the firepower. 

So far I'm having a good time in the league.  I am looking forward to moving to the 1000 point level as both of my lists have some pretty interesting additions with the extra points!  Plus I found a really interesting option that I had not known about that is going to throw an interesting curveball for my opponents moving forward.

New Buildings in the Collection

I have added some relly nice buildings from Cresent Root to the collections. They are very detailed, nicely painted and best of all they come all assembled. Out of the box and they are ready to put on the table!  As I get older, I am willing to pay the little extra to have things ready for gaming!

Here are some photos of the buildings as I unwrapped them.

Here are all of the buildings that I bought in this order.  It will make a very nice small town.  One and two story buildings and even a couple of destroyed buildings.

A small compound with house and workshop.  The gate even open and close.

The two-story buildings are really nice.  One of them has an attached outbuilding.

The two-story buildings can be fitted with a  destroyed top story.  The destroyed buildings can be used individually or can be used to replace building(s) in the compound shown above.

I highly recommend any of the Cresent Root line of buildings.  Some might consider them pricey, however, you really get great buildings for the price.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Last Game of 2017

For the final game of 2017 I hosted a replay of my Lundy's Lane, War of 1812, game for the guys in our wargame club.  I have hosted this game several times in the past and I don't think the game has ever failed to be interesting and challenging in many ways.

Here are a few photos of the action.  Sorry that I didn't capture all of the action, but these give a flavor of the game as it played out.

General Scott's Brigade moves to their left in an attempt to turn the British/Canadian right flank.  Unfortunately, they run smack dab into the Glengarry Light Infantry.  This gallant unit fends off attack after attack and once reinforced by some particularly ornery 1st Unincorporated Militia "Bridgade".  The combination of elite light infantry and not so elite Canadian farmers would give Scott's boys (commanded ably, but not in typical extreme "mojoness" by Bob O.) all they could handle.  Scott's failure to breakthrough quickly stopped the American plan of attack in its tracks.

The British center on the hill.  The very large wooden cross is standing in for the normal headstones that I have for my cemetery.  Many thanks to Hobby Lobby for carrying a large assortment of wooden things and superglue - and for opening a store in Tilton, NH which is on the way to game night!

An incident during the battle. Lt Smythe, leading the Light Coy of the 8th Foot in an all out attack on Ripley's Brigade of American Regulars.  Smythe took command of the company when CPT Campbell was wounded.  The lieutenant mistook LTC Morrison's inquiry on the identity of the Americans for an order to charge.  Smythe gallantly led his company forward (with many of his non commissioned officers questioning just want in hell he was doing) in a show of dash and daring rarely seen in the Canadian theatre of operations.  In the end the attack was repulsed, but the Americans did suffer three casualties from soldiers laughing so hard they pulled a muscle!

The British solidify their position at Johnson's Tavern.  This is another view of Smythe's Charge.  As you can see, if Smythe had waited just a few more minutes, he would have been supported by at least two regiments of foot!  At the bottom left of the photo you can see the division commander, General Riall look on in disbelief at the brave action of Smythe and his brave (but baffled) company.

Once Smythe had been disposed of, the Americans began to assault the British hilltop position.  They did make some headway, but the hill remained in British hands for a fairly decisive British win.  At the left in this photo you can make out the American Commander, General Jacob Brown urging Brigadier Ripley to move forward and attack the British position.

Scott's Brigade finally reaches the center and right flank of the British position.  He puts in a spirited assault, but his brigade is largely spent and he cannot gain the heights before he is forced back.  Note that he did manage to assault the guns by the cemetery.  He even took the position in a rare feat of charging guns to the front.

All in all, this was a very fun game.  The Smythe incident has to go down as one of the funniest moments during a game all year - maybe even for the past several years.

My thanks to all who played in the game.  We had a great time, even though there was flooded hallway to negotiate and a limited time to set up given the fire alarm situation!  Special thanks to Michael B. who set up beautiful Medieval game, then agreed to play in my game when the turnout was low.  He did a smashing job as one of the British commanders and ended up a winner!  Typical club gaming!

What a great way to end the year - amongst friends and yucking it up around the gaming table on a Friday night!  I hope that 2018 holds just as many good times.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Hobby Activity in Review

Here is the list of stuff that I managed to accomplish over the past year.  Not a bad year.

Figures Painted
Figures - 54
Vehicles/Guns - 
Other Game Pieces - 2

Figures - 10
Vehicles/Guns - 3

Games Played
Bolt Action - 9
Napoleon's Rules of War - 3
Volley & Bayonet - 1
Iron Cross - 1
Chosen Men - 1

28mm Figures Rebased - 196
20mm Vehicles Rebased or Built - 6
20mm Figures Rebased - 20

Friday, November 24, 2017

Pub Battles - Antietam

I recently had a chance to play a new game (for me) at my friend Gordon's hobby shop - Adler Hobby.  The game is "Pub Battles, Antietam" by Command Post Games.  This is a unique board game system with a canvas map - no grids, no areas to control movement.  You use a couple of movement and range sticks to determine how far you move and shoot.

The play pieces (see photos below) are wooden blocks with stick-on labels with unit type and command designations.  The unit types include infantry, cavalry, artillery, supply and commanders.  The units represent infantry and cavalry divisions.  Artillery reserve "divisions" are also represented as are supply trains.  The artillery provides fire support to attacking units and the supply trains help rally units.

The game has a historical limit of deployment, but players get to chose the actual location of each unit.  Each Corps on the board has a command token which is put into a bag and drawn out one at a time.  When the token is drawn, all of the divisions in the Corps moves and fights.  When a division loses a round of combat, it is turned on its side to represent that it is reduced in strength.  If it loses another round of combat before it has a chance to rally, the division is destroyed and removed from play.

In this game the Union are in the role of attacker and the Confederates are in strong defensive positions.  The Union has a very large numerical superiority but the Confederates have interior lines and can move troops quickly to meet the Union attacks.

Here are some photos that we took during the game:

Defending on my left, I start a strong push on my right.

The first attacks are met with strong resistance.  The units with designations turned up have been defeated for the first time.  If they lose another round of battle before they can rally, they will be destroyed.

The attacks on the right start to make headway.  Also, I made a successful attack on the sunken road in the center of the Confederate line!  It was a huge surprise to me and really put the pressure on the Rebels!

The end of the battle.  I have cleared Sharpsburg and there are only a couple of depleted Confederate divisions between my forces and the Rebel lines of communication.  We deemed it a significant Union victory.

During the game that I played I was the Union commander.  I was able to use the superiority in numbers to overwhelm the Confederates on their left, my right and fight my way into and through Sharpsburg.  I even forced the crossing at Burnside's Bridge!

Overall, this is a really interesting game system.  There are now several battles available including Brandywine (American Revolution), Marengo (Napoleon in Italy), Little Bighorn (American West) and now Antietam.  The games are a bit pricey for a board game as far as I am concerned, but they are simple and fun to play.  Overall, I would encourage you to give them a try if you have a chance to play.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Rebasing New 28mm Figures

If you look at my Hobby Activities you might notice that I have added quite a few figures to the "28mm figures rebased" section.  That is because I recently purchased 48 painted cavalry figures and 24 painted infantry figures as well as 8 painted artillery figures and two guns and two painted mounted officers.  These figures have substantially increased my French Napoleonic forces.

The cavalry figures are four 12-man regiments of the Imperial Guard Cavalry.  I have taken pictures of one of the regiments, the Empress' Dragoons.  I also have the 1st (Polish) Cheveaux Legere Lancers, the 2nd (Dutch) Cheveaux Legere Lancers, and the Chasseurs a Cheval de la Garde.

Here are some photos of the Dragoons:

The regiment in line.

The regimental commander and trumpeter on the left and the color bearer and escort on the right.  All I have left to do is get a proper regimental standard for the Eagle and get it mounted on the color bearer.

A close-up of a couple of Dragoons.

The bases include an area painted with metallic paint.  Unit markers for each squadron is mounted on sheet magnets and cut out.  The unit makers include identification as well as training level (in this case Elite) and special capabilities (in this case Shock Cavalry).  These designations are part of the rules set we use at our club - Napoleon's Rules of War.
I have been looking forward to collecting these units for many years now.  My specifics in Napoleonic gaming has always been with the cavalry and the Guard Cavalry represents the best of the best of French horse during this time period.  I am glad that I was able to finally find them painted and ready to base.  I am looking forward to their first time on the battlefield!

I will post photos of the rest of the new troops when I return home from the Thanksgiving holiday time with our daughter and son.