Thursday, September 21, 2017

Game Night - Napoleon's Rules of War

Played a game of Napoleon's Rules of War at game night last Friday.  We were playing a practice game for the upcoming Game Day scenario.  It has been a while since I last played NRW so this was a great chance for me to get reacquainted.  As we played the game I began to recall why I like the system so much!  Simple to play, but gives a very realistic result if you play using authentic Napoleonic tactics.

Here are a few pics of the evening's festivities:

The Prussian commanders begin their deployment. From left to right, Pete, Byron, Bob and Mike.  They did an excellent job throughout the evening.  I think they will be formidable foes come Game Day next month!

The French commanders likewise prepare their troops for the battle.  From Left to Right; Rob, Ralph, Earl and Charlie.  It is always nice to have the author on your team!

Prussian National Cavalry lead the attack on the French left flank.  When I first looked, these looked like Dragoons.  Fortunately for our side, that was not the case.  These light cavalry were all Earl could handle as Pete put in a really effective combined arms attack.  Ed has done a great job painting, basing and marking all of these units. I really like the unit tabs Ed has developed as it makes it very easy to track units and use the game play sheets.

Earl's French infantry defend the left flank under heavy attack from Pete's troops.  I didn't take too many pics as I was very involved getting back into the rules.  This picture also shows the unit ID tags that Ed has developed.  Rings on the units represent hits and as a unit gains these hits it begins to 'waver' which affects its combat effectiveness.  As additional hits are accumulated, the unit routs off the board.  A very effective way to limit book-keeping.

The Prussian players in disbelief as Earl rolls lights out and the French left holds firm.  At the end of Turn 1 the French players had the same look on their faces.

Overall the game went very well.  Ed was trying out some slight rules modifications like an additional bonus when defending in line.  Ended up not being such a slight modification and the game really swung on a couple of battles that would have gone the other way if the modification hadn't been made.  I'm thinking that Ed might put it back to the original version for game day.

During game day I will make sure to take more photos of the troops in addition to the players.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Finally Back On-line - Chosen Men Game Report

Well, it has been a long time away, but I am finally back!  I have had a great summer doing some traveling and having many visitors at the house.  It has been a good time, and now as fall is on the horizon and the trees start to change from green to various tones of yellow and red, I am returning to the hobby table.

Last night I traveled to Manchester and tried out the new (for us) Chosen Men rules from Osprey Publishing with my friend Gordon.  We did a pretty simple scenario using my War of 1812 figures.  Gordon played the British and I handled the Americans.

The British had two infantry squads, a Major Commanding Officer and a single Spy (horse mounted). As the Americans, I had a Major Commander, two infantry squads and a half/squad of Riflemen.

Gordon set up a great looking table.  Because we were both playing our first game of CM we took it very slow and basically read through the rules as we played the game.

Here is a couple of photos of the game as we came together at the end of Turn 1.

Americans on the right and British/Canadians on the left.  The Americans defended the wall very effectively and  we used the 'Feint' strategy to make the British Light Infantry squad to break cover and charge.  They ended up being short of the Americans during the charge and were out in the open to be fired on.  Gordon decided to try and shoot it out with the Americans and even with his great rolling, the wall provided enough cover to leave the Americans in possession of the wall at the end of the game.

I did not take any other photos as we were spending so much time reviewing rules and concentrating on the game itself.

The rules themselves are pretty interesting.  We each had four units and that seemed to be about right for what a new player can handle within an evening game for fun.  We played about three and a half hours of actual game time.  We played through five turns during the game and by the end of the game I think I had a pretty good sense of how to play.

The game mechanics are interesting with an alternating of units moving through its actions then an opponent's unit getting to play and back and forth until all units have moved.  That is one turn.

Infantry fire combat is a bit cumbersome with three die rolls, hits-saves-kills.  It could probably be reduced to two rolls if modifiers were inserted at one or two levels, but if you are doing a beer & pretzels type of fun game have fun rolling your hearts out!

The other thing we learned is that cavalry is particularly effective against exposed infantry.  On two occasions Gordon killed several infantrymen with a single mounted figure (including all of the half squad of riflemen).  Infantry needs to be in the correct formation and needs to be under strong leadership to be effective against cavalry to their front.  We think that the Hold and Fire order is one of the potentially effective ways for infantry to confront cavalry.  Once contact is made by charging cavalry, they will be devastating on an infantry squad.  Of course, Gordon was rolling lights out, so that may have been part of the outcome.  Sometimes you can't fight General Dice!

We also noticed that as casualties increase the morale checks come more and more often. Gordon faced this with his Light Infantry in front of the wall.  He passed several checks but as the unit took additional casualties, he had to take more checks and he finally broke.

I like the rules.  I hope to have a slightly larger game sometime soon.  I hope the second game goes as well as this first attempt.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Big Anzio Bolt Action Game

Yesterday, I had an opportunity to participate in a 10-player Bolt Action Game at Adler Hobby.  We we playing a stylized Anzio scenario with five Allied players defending the beachhead against an attack from five Axis players.  Gordon set the scenario in the historical context of the start of the German offensive of Operation Fischfang. This would mean tired Allied units facing strong German units including armor and heavy artillery.  The saving grace for the Allies would be strong artillery units on the beach and a preparatory bombardment called in by a British Forward Observer.  Many of the Allied units would begin the game dug-in giving them the 'Down' modifier while still allowing them to shoot.  The plethora of flamethrower (both vehicle and man pack) in the Axis army would negate most of the benefits of the foxholes, but it would help against other weapons.  Each army was a 750 point base with available extra points/units from the campaign capped at 1000 points.

Here is the excellent beach side of the board set-up by Gordon at Adler Hobby:

The Allies are on the left and the Germans would advance from the right.  The next photo shows the Axis portion of the board.  Each Allied unit began the game with one pin marker to represent the hard fighting they had already done prior to the start of the German offensive.

The Axis side of the board including their initially deployment units.

The Germans would push very hard on both flanks and straight down the road in the center of the photo above.  My forces (Fench CEF) along with a British force would face the center and the German halftracks on the right of the photo above.

The British/French flank of the battlefield with the initial deployment of Axis players.

Bold first and second turn moves by Axis forces (flame tanks) in the center.  The tanks would include riders who as Veterans wearing body armor, would stand around the brown building for almost the entire game.  They caused some significant damage.

British and French forces on the Allied Right Flank.  The German halftracks on the right of the photo would get nearly to the water's edge, destroying many allied units on the way.  But the British troops would give good amount of themselves as would the French in front of them.

The battle proceeded through the first six turns and the Allies were hard pressed with only a few squads and one Sherman tank left on the beach.  The Axis forces were closing in for the kill!

Then the miraculous happened.  All of the Axis units within range of Allied troops on the beach fired during Turn 7.  It came down to one German command squad firing at the remnants of the last French squad.  Only one rifle was left to shoot and the die was cast.  IT CAME UP A "1"!!!  The French survived!  It was just barely an Allied victory!

The two remaining infantrymen from an Algerian Tirailleurs squad who, along with a lone American Sherman tank would secure the beachhead for the Allies. 
This was one of the best games I have played in for a long time.  My hat is off to my Allied co-players and all of our Axis opponents.

At the end of the game Gordon had some really cool awards and raffle prizes.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Huzzah! Game a Success

My game at Huzzah! on Friday night went pretty well.  I had six players and all seemed really engaged and interested in the scenario.  At the end of the game the Freedom Fighters (FF) had outgunned the French/Moan government troops and secured the crashed aircraft.  The dice gods were definitely against the French and government troops during the game as the Freedom Fighters had activation dice drawn consecutively on several occasions.  The FF players took advantage of the fortunes of war and took pretty aggressive actions which resulted in the destruction of government vehicles and several infantry squads.

Here are some photos of the action:

The Moan armored cars seize the crossroads on Turn 1.  They would not move again in the six move game!  

The Moan troops, from the 22nd Airborne Commando Battalion and the 63rd Mechanized Regiment move up to support the armored cars.  

Kitty Hawk down!  The aircraft crashed right near the crossroads.The armored cars had already been destroyed.  The Freedom Fighters have a squad along the wall of the building at the top right, a motorcycle rider at the bottom right and a squad in the building at the tail of the aircraft.  They also have the government troops in the building a the bottom of the photo under fire from several different units.  The French would try to close in from the top of the photo, but they would not be able to extricate the Moan troops from the kill zones.

The French troops coming to the rescue!  Well, at least they are trying.

The Freedom Fighters mass for the attack!

A close-up of some infantry of the Democratic Republic of Moa.

By the end of the battle, the Freedom Fighters had not only secured Kitty Hawk, they had destroyed eight of the allied units and killed or wounded several French soldiers.  The political fallout for the French government may be so severe as to cause the withdrawal of French regulars from the DRM.  What will happen as the Freedom Fighters continue their push south further into Moa?  Stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Getting Ready for Huzzah! Game

Well,  the bags and game supplies are packed and I am ready to head out tomorrow afternoon for Portland and some time at Huzzah!  I am putting on a scenario using my modern 20mm Bolt Action figures at the convention.

My scenario is from the 2016 additional scenario pack and is called "Kitty Hawk Down!"  I have put on the scenario a couple of times, but using Bolt Action version 1.  I have made all of the appropriate changes for version 2 and we will have to see if the Modern rules play as well as they did in the earlier games.  This is the same scenario that I hosted at the club game night back in January.  During that game, the victory conditions were not met until the last couple of dice of the last turn.  To me that is a sign of a pretty balanced scenario!

If everything goes well I am going to use the results of this game as the start of a mini campaign set in the fictional African country - The Democratic Republic of Moa (DRM).

Watch this site for an update by the end of the weekend!  The player slots are full and I hope that all of the players have a really good time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Vacation Time Work on the German Bolt Action Army

I have been on a week long vacation and I have had an opportunity to work on my German forces for Bolt Action.  I am still working on platoons and supports for a Herman Goering Division unit.  This particular unit requires that each of the infantry units be mechanized or motorized.  Consequently, I have built a couple of Sdkfz 251's to transport my Panzer-grenadiers.  Also, the HG army in Bolt Action can have multiple Anti-aircraft units.  So, I have added a Flak 38 20mm AA gun.

During vacation, I built all three models and got them base coated with Dark Yellow spray paint.  Here are the results of the work so far:

I have base coated the models in Warlord Dark Yellow spray paint.  I really like the color which is not as dark as it appears in this photo.  I think it will be easy to add some details and have the models ready for the table pretty quickly.

I'll post additional photos when i have them done.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

First Italian Campaign BA Game

Had a chance to travel to Aldernest Cafe and play a the first Bolt Action game in the Italian Campaign that store owner Gordon is hosting.  I had a really great time playing with Eric as our Romanian (Eric) and FFL (mine) Armies squared off.  We rolled for the scenario and got "Envelopment".  Eric ended up being the defender and I took on the role of attacker.  Eric's army is really well painted and he has done an amazing job of converting a range of figures into a really excellent army.

Here are some pictures of my forces in the game as it progressed:

A French Foreign Legion Infantry Squad advance on the enemy!

Fire Support being provided by the 62nd African Artillery Regiment.  Note the spotter in the upper floor balcony.  The gun provided very effective fire support for the infantry, taking out a Romanian Light Howitzer.

French Stuart and Medium MG advancing in the center of the French position.

A French Infantry squad passing a burning Romanian R-35 Light Tank,  The Renault survived three turns of shots from Bazookas, Stuart main gun shots and even a close assault by the before mentioned infantry squad armed with anti-tank grenades!

The Stuart prepares to cross the open area of a rail road ben.  Most of the game there was a Romanian AT gun on the rail line at the top of the photo in Ambush.  A very good position, but once it was given up and the gun moved, it opened up the middle of the board.

The game was pretty one-sided.  The dice gods really favored me and I was able to destroy several units including an infantry squad, a tank and two guns.  I was also able to get two of my squads off board or within a foot of his side of the board.

As a part of the campaign I was able to gather another useful terrain piece which will allow me to add 30 more points to my army in each game.  Overall it was a very good result for the Allies.

Eric is new to Bolt Action and I haven't played in a while.  But we muddled through the rules and we both learned things.  For me, I think that I will need to have two different available army lists so I can play one as the attacker and the other as the defender.  This game could have gone very badly if there were enemy units in slightly different positions or if the dice had gone just a little bit his way.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Snowstorm Equals More Bolt Action Stuff

Well, a pretty good snow storm today led me to spend the day on Bolt Action painting and construction.  I managed to get 16 more Germans painted and based.  I am waiting for the glue to dry and then I will finish them with wash.  Four of the figures that I painted were for a 75mm AT gun crew.  tomorrow I will get to work on the base and the final painting of the gun.  Pics will be forthcoming soon.

I also got some work done on some some objective markers for the upcoming Italian Bolt Action Campaign at Adler Hobbies.  Here are some photos with captions of the objectives I got done today.  There are two more markers on the workbench right now.  I will save any explanation of those until I have photos.
Two objective markers - a fuel dump and an engineer equipment supply point.  Both of the objectives are covered by camouflage netting.

Close up of the Engineer Equipment - obviously there are some mines included in the stash!  The supplies include a couple of rolls of concertina wire.

The fuel dump would have been important to Germans in the later years of the war.  Not sure of the markings, but if I recall correctly POL is Class III of supplies in the US military.  The marker shows a 'III' so I thought it was a good addition.
 Overall this was a very productive day!  Combined with the acquisition of the Corgi die cast 1:50 scale vehicles this has been a great Bolt Action Week!  I will have more pics in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Big Addition to the German Bolt Action Army

My friend AJ told me about some auctions on eBay for 1/50 scale vehicles from Corgi for my Bolt Action army.  I ordered a couple of vehicles as the prices were just great.  The first one arrived in the mail today.  It is even better than I had hoped.  The 1/50 scale is really great with 28mm figures.

The model itself is good.  This is a Sdkfz 7 artillery tractor with a Quad 20mm gun. It is a die cast model with working tracks and front wheels while the gun rotates completely and elevates and depresses.  Details are nice with a good paint job.

Here are some photos of the models with some of my Germans for size comparison.

The gun, vehicle and some of my figures for comparison.

From another angle.

The paint job is adequate for the wargame table.  The truck is very large.  In the German Army book for Bolt Action  this vehicle can carry up to 12 men.  It can also tow everything up to an 88mm Heavy AT gun.

This view shows the gun at max elevation.

Another advantage is that the vehicle can be an SP gun, albeit in a pretty weakly armored  vehicle.
I think this vehicle is perfect for my Hermann Goering army. I have a couple of more models on the way.  Can't wait to show you all pics of them, because they are going to go with the army just as well!  Where have these been all this time!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

German Bolt Action Army - First Units Finished (Almost)

Well, it has taken quite awhile, but I have finally finished the first units of my German Bolt Action/Iron Cross army!  Here are a few pictures.

One of the Iron Cross infantry squads with a Panzerfaust in the foreground. 

The Panzerschreck Team

2nd Iron Cross squad including an LMG team.

A squad leader in tropical uniform.

Medium Machine Gun team.  I still have some work to do on this one including getting a small magnet for the loader.

Herr Hauptmann!  A company command team including the Captain, an aide reading a map and a radio operator for calling in the Armor reserves!

A platoon command stand including a Lieutenant and two runners.
Obviously I still have to flock bases and one final coat of flat sealer.  This is a good start for the army.  Now I have to get another BA squad (two squads for Iron Cross) and some vehicles/guns done and I will be ready for a game.  Probably not for the upcoming Italian Campaign, but by the middle of the year they will be ready!  Hope you like them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

German Bolt Action Army WIP - Part 3

Well,  we have had house guests for the past two weeks and it is a particularly busy time at work so there is not much to report on the painting front.  Here are a couple of pics of work on my Germans for Bolt Action.

I know if doesn't look like there is much change, but I have been able to get all of the uniforms blocked in.  After I took these photos, I got the weapons complete, canteens base coated and the start of the camp patterns on selected figures.  I am doing my own interpretation of "Pea Dot Camo" in beige, dark brown and dark green.  I will take some photos when I have them completed.  Weather is not looking very good for this evening, so I should be able to get some painting done!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Adler Hobby Gaming Cafe - New Location

Went to Manchester this afternoon and visited the new location of Adler Hobby.  It was great to see all of the work that Gordon has done at the new store!  He has all the inventory out and the game tables set up.  As always, I can find something that my armies, "need" and that was true again today.  Here I am at checkout - the FIRST OFFICIAL CUSTOMER AT THE NEW LOCATION!

Yes, that is a Flak-38 which will be added to my Hermann Goering German army for Bolt Action and for Iron Cross!

Great job Gordon getting the new digs set up!  Can't wait to get these Germans painted and bring them in for a game or two.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The German Army WIP - Pt 2

The work on my German Bolt Action/Iron Cross figures is continuing on.  I have pretty much keep to my one hour per day minimum.  I have cleaned up all of the figures and gotten the first infantry squad, MMG, Panzerschreck Team, 2LT team and Senior Officer team ready for painting and primed.  I also have been able to get all flesh base and steel helmets painted.  I even got more uniform painting completed on the Senior Command team.

I also assembled my Sdkfz 234/1 armored car.  But as I was putting the kit together I noticed that the two turret covers were missing from the package!  This would make the kit look really incomplete.  A simple email to Warlord Games, however, and I have the covers enroute at no cost!  I even asked about buying some French tank crew heads and they included a few heads in with the cover at no cost as an apology for my inconvenience with the turret covers!  True customer service.

These are a couple of pics of the painting.  The photos are really dark, but they give you the idea of what I have been able to accomplish:

The primed figures and work so far. You can see the forlorn 234/1 in the background awaiting the turret covers so it can get primer and a proper paint job!

Here is the Senior Command team.  The officer is in a blue Luftwaffe uniform with a German field grey overcoat.  The other two figures sport blue Luftwaffe uniforms.

The MMG team with the 2LT Command team in the background.

I think I am going to really like this army.  I can mix Luftwaffe blue uniforms with Afrika Korps tan/sand uniforms and even get in some camouflage components with both types of uniforms!  I like the mix and match way that the Germans did uniforms.  Adds variety when you are painting and it looks really interesting on the game table.  Sicily/Italy seems to the place where all of the different permutations of uniforms came together.  Not just for the Germans either.  The British had not only their European temperate uniforms in Brown, they also had the temperate uniforms in shorts and they had most of their desert uniforms.  Just a really interesting mix.  Makes painting fun!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Iron Cross Game

I had a chance to play in a game of Iron Cross WWII hosted by my friend AJ. It was a very large game intended to introduce members of our club to the rules. I had a great time serving as the German CIC trying to defend a radar station from attacking British troops. Here is a photo of the of the amazing radar station that AJ made from scratch:

I didn't take many pictures of the game but AJ has a great write-up on his blog HERE.   I did take a couple of other pictures of the forces that I commanded during the game.  AJ has some really great armies for his 28mm skirmish games.  Right now we are playing Bolt Action and Iron Cross rules sets for our skirmish gaming.

An Infantry Squad and supporting 12cm Mortar Team.

My command team and Sdkfz 250/1 transport.  I moved into this position on turn 2 of the game and remained there trying not to get wiped out for the rest of the game!
The Allies really handed us our butts in this game.  I am looking forward to the next try at the rules so I can get some of my wargame honor back!

Starting My German 28mm Skirmish Army!

I don't usually do a Work In Progress (WIP) here on my blog, but I am starting my German Army for 28mm Skirmish Gaming and I want to chronicle the progress as I go.  I also want to put a little bit on pressure on myself to get the force painted so I can use it on the gaming table!.

Here is a photo showing the organization of the force:

The first part of this force is the infantry and some supports.  On the left are two Pak 40, 75mm AT Guns.  The crews are above them.  In the center of picture are three squads each of nine men.  Each squad includes a LMG team of two men.  To the right of the infantry is a Panzerschreck team of three men.  Above the Panzerschreck team is the command team of three men.  Behind the infantry squads is a Medium Machine Gun team.  To the right of the MMG are two sets of command figures which will be my Lieutenants in Bolt Action.  Behind the infantry is a 75mm Infantry gun and crew on the left and a Sdkfz 234/1 armored car on the right.

This will be a good force to start with I think.  Once I get these models painted, I have additional armor and some more supports to follow-up.

So, what will they be painted as?  Well, I want to have a force that is usable in Italy to fight my French forces from the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC) around Monte Cassino or against the Americans/British in the Anzio area.

I have settled on the Hermann Goering Panzer Division.  This is a very interesting unit because it was a Luftwaffe formation - but is made up of some pretty hard fighting formations, lead by good combat veterans.  This means it can be a regular or veteran unit in Bolt Action.  Also, because of the Field Marshal's intervention, the HG Panzer Division had good equipment.

Uniforms will be a very interesting mix of Luftwaffe blues, tropical tans and yellows and regular and SS camouflage!  Should be a lot of fun to paint.

Ok, I want to commit to at least one hour of work on the force each night - more if I can get the time. Should be a few weeks at the really slow pace of my painting.  Can it be done by the end of March?  We will have to see how it goes!  Wish me luck!