Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bolt Action Campaign Started!

Last week I had a chance to play in the first round of the Adler Hobby WWII Campaign.  This campaign is being played with forces from the new Western Desert campaign book.  We are using the Road to Victory campaign system with variable units.  You can find a copy of the system book here.

In this campaign I am using my French forces (Foreign Legion, Senegalese, and vehicles) as the new Western Desert campaign book has formalized these forces.  I have also started painting figures from the new British 8th Army box.  These will be troops from the North African Infantry units in the 1st Free French Brigade.  I am using these figures with British helmets, French Adrian helmets and wool comforter caps for headgear in this unit.  I only took a couple of photos during the game, but here they are:

The Foreign Legion squad seizes a building!  They were taxied into combat aboard the Laffly truck in the photo.

A Senegalese squad also seizes a building.  Just so happens to be the same building complex the DAK commander was occupying.  It ended up being a very bad day for the DAK commander!

The Senegalese squad and a North African squad push the attack around the building complex that made up a major part of the terrain on our board.


In this system you build two squads of regular infantry of no more than 110 points each.  These are commanded by a regular 2LT with two soldiers.  The French also get a light howitzer as their national based unit.  This is your base force for the campaign.  In addition to the base force, you roll on tables to determine two additional units to add to your force.

For this round I had the two squads of infantry; the command element; a 75mm gun and spotter; an inexperienced infantry squad of Senegalese Tirallieurs; and a veteran infantry squad of Foreign Legionnaires.  I also rolled for two transports/tows which I used to carry the FFL and to tow the howitzer.

The first game went pretty well for my troops.  I ended up with a close victory against a well commanded DAK army run by my friend Patrick.  After the game we rolled to determine the results of the units damaged or destroyed during the game and to find out what two new units would be added to our force.  I ended up permanently losing one of my transports.  I also improved the morale of my officer to Veteran and one of my regular base infantry squads to Veteran.  Then I added a second Veteran infantry squad.  The best roll, however, was when I added an SPAA vehicle to my force!  I will now have a quad HMG on a truck added to the army!  Should be interesting to see how effective this unit is against infantry.

I am going to use the Rubicon Russian Quad HMG on a truck mount.  I know they are Maxim HMG's on the Rubicon model and the French used the naval mount from their ships on trucks in the desert, but I am going to bend history a little bit.  I will provide photos as soon as the models are built and painted.

I will provide another game report as soon as I can get back to the campaign.  Vive la France!


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Link to a Recent Game Battle Report

As I told you in my previous post, I had a great time gaming with Ed M. using his excellent Not Brother Against Brother Napoleonic rule set. Here is a report from his perspective. Ed tells the story much better than I ever could!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Game or Two of ‘Not Brother Against Brother’

This weekend I played two games of ‘Not Brother Against Brother’ with my friend, Ed M.  The first game was a practice affair with Ed's excellent Prussian and French figures.  The second game we used my British, French and new Spanish Guerrilla figures.  I have not completed basing of the French Foot Dragoons or the Spanish, but we used them anyways because we wanted to try out some new troop qualification stats in the game.

We used Ed's Napoleonic adaptation of the very fun Brother Against Brother rules system.  He has really tweaked the base rules to give it more of a period feel and to also clean up what we find to be some inconsistencies within the rules themselves.  These two games gave us reasonable results with no game situations running outside of what could be 'expected'.

The results of the games were both a draw, but we were playing more to test new rules than to really try and gain a clear cut 'victory'.

Here are some photos of the first game:





And some pics of the second game featuring the new troops:






All in all it was a great couple of games.  I am looking forward to playing some additional games with my Napoleonic troops in the near future.  I also am looking forward to maybe tweaking the rules for my War of 1812 collection.


Monday, July 16, 2018

Home at Last!

The trek to and from HISTORICON has ended and we must return to the real world!  We had a very good visit to the Gettysburg Battlefield on Sunday.  We did three presentations - I did Buford's fight on the 1st Day; Ralph G. lead a discussion of Sickles' decision making process in occupying the Peach Orchard and Wheat field position; and Byron C. provided insights into the Confederate/Union artillery fight before and during Picketts' Charge on July 3rd.

All in all the trip was excellent and I am looking forward to doing it again in the future!

Here is a photo of the five guys who were my partners in crime (ok, no crime - just fun!) during the trip.  We made the obligatory stop on Little Round Top and visited the 20th Maine monument as I do every time I go to Gettysburg.




Sunday, July 15, 2018

HISTORICON 2018

Friends from he Northern Conspiracy and I have been enjoying a trip to HISTORICON for the past few days.  Whe started with a side trip to West Point where I filled them in on a few facts and we enjoyed touring Trophy Point and checking out all of the ordinance that is located there.  It was the first time to the Academy for all of these guys and they really seemed to enjoy themselves.

The next day we all traveled the rest of the way to Lancaster and secured our rooms at the Host Resort.  The Resort is undergoing major renovations.  The rooms we got have already been renovated
and I must say they are very nice.

Games are on the up or down scale.  But as these photos show, there are some really nice ones:








I played in two games over the weekend.  The first was a War of 1812 skirmish game using the rules, "Redcoats and Blue Jackets".  I played the role of a Canadian Militia Officer as our force tried to prevent some Americans from re-supplying General Hull around Detroit.  We won the game in just about the exact historical way the British and Canadians defeated the Americans.  Here are a couple of pics of the game in progress:

The Americans move their wagons along a track through the swamps around Detroit.

The British and Indian Allies block the Americans' path.  My force is the one on the left with the red 'reload' marker.


The Native Americans close asset the wagons while the British and Canadians provide fire support. 

The Native Americans finish off the Americans and the game goes to the Brits!

I have never played the rules before but I really enjoyed them.  It is always easier to play when the author of the rules is the game master!

I also played in a WWII game set in the Western Desert using the rules set 'Fireball Forward!'  The scenario was called "The Witches Cauldron," and was set around the battle of Trobruk as the German armor tries to escape through the British field artillery line after failing to take the port.

Here are some photos:




Again, I had never played the rules before, but I really enjoyed them.  The game master and all of the other players at the table were excellent gamers and very friendly.  I played on the British side commanding a small force of A-10 Cruisers.  I managed to roll my usual very poor dice, but at the end of the game I made the final kill with a two-pounder into the back of a Pzkw III.

I have to say that manners of the gamers was excellent in both of the games that I played in.  I was very pleased about that as it can be a crap shoot during such a large convention and I have had some really bad experiences in the past.

Overall, I have to say that it was an excellent convention.  I am looking forward to our battlefield excursion on the way home as we visit Gettysburg.

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 ARMIES
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.

THE BATTLE
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.