Saturday, October 29, 2016

Another Bolt Action Game

I had a chance to play a Bolt Action at Adler's Gaming Cafe last night.  It was a great time with Walt and I taking on Gordon and his Fascist Italian Hordes.  Set in a very European looking part of Tunisia, the roughly 1500 point game pitted Walt's excellent British Paras and my French Foreign Legion forces against a very stout Italian Army.  As Walt observed during the game, "what a game - all kinds of weird vehicles, cavalry and sixteen different nationalities!"  I could not have said it better!

We rolled for the scenario and came up with "Top Secret"  First time playing it for both Walt and myself.  Gordon provided a really nicely painted British pilot as the objective marker and we lined up the troops for a game of Capture the Flag a la World War Two!

The game went back and forth with my usual crappy dice rolling continuing from the very start (What is it about my mojo when playing against Gordon?).  But after a couple of hiccups I managed to get on track.

I have some photos below of the game.  Basically, my Veteran Legion Cavalry from the 1er Regiment Etranger de Cavalrie (1st REC) went out fast and secured the pilot.  Gordon had trouble getting squads on the board at the beginning of the game failing to get his Camel-mounted Squad (yes, camels in the pine forests of Tunisia!) and his Cavalry Squad on the table for a turn or two.  As the Italians drank their cappuccinos, I got to the pilot and it looked like a quick Allied victory.  Then the Italian artillery came alive and 1st REC was reduced to three figures with 4 pin markers!

The middle part of the game saw me move my inexperienced Senegalese Tirallieurs up to support 1st REC while dodging artillery shells, a Bersaglieri squad, and Gordon's second version of his dreaded flamethrower tank!  A couple of lucky moves where Gordon missed with the flamethrower (thank you BA version 2!) and the objective was handed off from the cavalry to the Senegalese.  The race was on.  Walt assisted greatly by killing Gordon's Semovente with his PIAT team, claiming that it was the first time that they had ever killed anything!

The game came down to the last order dice of the last turn with Gordon frantically trying to put a couple of pins on my Tirallieurs running off the board with the aforementioned British Pilot.  Fortunately all of his rolls were whiffs!  Walt stepped in to cover my retreat by putting a squad of Paras between the Senegalese and Gordon's dismounted camel jockeys and the game was a squeaker of an Allied victory.

Here are the pics:

1st REC makes a dash for the downed British pilot hiding in the woods!

Other French troops move up in support of the cavalry in the Forest of Death.  Note the Anti-tank gun dead on the  road on the right

One Italian Artillery shot, many dead French Cavalrymen!  The Senegalese move up to try to  help.  The Semovente is at the top right and the Italian crazy Camel Corps is at the top center moving in to push the French off the objective.  In an action reminiscent of Camerone the Foreign Legion cavalry defended the Forest of Death to literally the last man and got the pilot to the Senegalese.

Another view of the Forest of Death.  Note the Historique pin marker in the center with the Free French emblem.  I really like these markers.

Walt's Paras move up to put pressure on the Italians so they can't bring as much firepower to bear on my hapless French in the trees.  The brave PIAT team is just visible at the top left of the photo preparing to take out the Semovente.

Camels in a pine forest?  Where are they all coming from?  The dead marker in the bottom left was my artillery observer killed by a massive volley from the Bersaglieri just out of the photo to the left.

Objective hand-off!  Note burning Semovente in the upper right - thank you PIAT team!

My French Armored Car sacrifices itself to try and block the Flamethrower Tank and effect the Senegalese squad's escape with the prize.  Walt's Paras also try to get themselves between the Senegalese and their Italian pursuers.

Gordon's desperate attempts to stop my fleeing Tiralleiurs.  The Flamethrower misses, the Cavalry Squad and Bersalieri chase from the left.  It is a swirling melee!

Last turn and we have made it!  Flight Lieutenant Bromhead-Smythe is saved!  But he will suffer greatly in the coming years after seeing all of the carnage that his French allies and British brothers in arms had to endure so that he could be rescued!
A great looking table, nice miniatures all around and a really fun game!  Thank you so much to Gordon and Walt for a great time.  Can't wait for the next game!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Volley Bayonet & Glory Wing Scale

Had a chance to play a game with my friend Ed using his new revisions to Volley, Bayonet & Glory.  We played two infantry brigades and one cavalry brigade per side.  The game plays very realistically and I think it is the best rules set that I have ever played for Brigade/Division Napoleonic's.

The table was 6 feet wide and 4 feet deep.  This was set up as a Spain scenario so there was only minimal terrain.  We were basically fighting over a small town with a well at a crossroads in the center of the table.

I moved forward very aggressively and ended up beating Ed to the village center.  I garrisoned the built up area with a stand of infantry and supported it with the rest of one battalion.  There was another battalion on the flank.  On his part of turn two Ed counter-attacked my forces in the village and ended up knocking me out of the built up area.  He occupied the village with his own infantry stand and he would stay there for the rest of the game.  I launched at least four separate counter-attacks of my own, but to no avail.

On turn four Ed had me seriously on the run.  He had conducted some really effective cavalry attacks using the Brunswick Hussars and it looked like my right flank was about to give in.  Just when all looked bleak, one of the Polish battalions decided it was time for the Brunswickers to head home and destroyed one of the Hussar squadrons.  Combined with the threat of charges from the Provisional Dragoon Regiment, Ed started to consolidate his gains on the flank rather then pressing home further attacks.

After turn five we faced each others lines and decided that there would be no further decisive attacks and called the game a minor victory for Ed.  He held the village, but couldn't finish me off.  I had been totally unable to move him off the crossroads.

Here are a photos that I took at the start of the game.

The battle lines face off across the table.  The French are in the foreground and the British/Allies in the back ground.  The village and crossroads that were the focal point of the battle are in the center of the photo.

The first (and only successful) French assault on the village.  I have pushed the British out of the built up area and garrisoned the town with my troops.  Looks like a pretty strong position.  But Ed needed only one turn to counter-attack and throw me out of the town.

Here are the results of Ed's counter-attack.  The 41st Foot has occupied the built-up area and there they would stay for the remainder of the game.

The brightest incident for the French was the charge of this squadron of the provisional dragoon regiment.  In a solo charge against the Swiss Regiment de Mueron (unstoppable until that point) the dragoons sent the Swiss packing!  This one action allowed the French and Polish units behind them to reorganize and stabilize what had been a very confused situation up to that point.

The Swiss at the end of their retreat from the dragoons (top center).  British artillery has reinforced the 41st Foot in the village.  The Brunswick Lieb battalion is on the right in a position to protect the Swiss and support the rear of the artillery.

Overall, this was a great game and I can't wait to play the rules set again soon!