Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Bridge too close

That was the moniker my pal Aaron put on our first game of Warlord Games "Bolt Action", last evening at our 80th Club meeting since we moved our semi monthly club night to my basement back in 2009.  While I have tons of miniatures my mother in fit of early senility sold all my old 70's Airfix plastic models I had that were my first miniatures. (although back them they were just my expensive "Army Men"). in a garage sale while I was away at college. Thankfully she never got around to selling my fantasy miniatures or I probably wouldn't be writing this.  Anyway I think I've seen the film "a Bridge to far" probably 25 times over the years..its my favorite WW2 film and why I started playing Flames of Wa,r I went with British Airborne and when I want to get some 28mm ones a few years ago, I went with Warlord's Red Devils box.

When I got my 28mm Red Devils there wasnt really a game to support them, there were some other WW2 skirmish games out there but I never got around to it. Now that WG has me hooked with their quality rules sets, and great lines of figures. The jump to BA was inevitable.

Aaron and I have recently accumulated our 1000 point armies, my British and his Panzer Grenadiers. so we were chomping at the bit to play. A bunch of other guys I know are into the game and we are trying to get some the other boys at club night to get on-board. We had great fun last night  and I'll leave you with Aarons write up on our forum about last nights game

"John's Paratroopers faced off against my Panzergrenadiers as I tried to wrestle an derelict but strategically important bridge away from the allies in our first Bolt Action game!

The objective of the game was a bridge in the very center of the table, nestled in the in the middle of a village. The Brit platoon's first squad had captured the bridge and was desperately waiting for the rest of the platoon to link up with them before the German armored infantry could launch their assault and force them off of the bridge.

We did a small game (550 points) to familiarize ourselves with BA's rules.

John's first squad held the bridge while a sniper team hung out in a small building nearby. His second squad, Vickers MMG team, some HQ support (Medic and Forward Artillery Observer), and his 1st Lt. were coming in to reinforce the pathfinder unit. A recon jeep also supported the British attack on the far right flank.

The Germans approached the bridge through the village, darting in and out of cover. The platoon's 2nd Lt lead 2 Panzergrenadier squads with LMG teams through the center of the village in an attempt to boot the small British unit off of the bridge!

The German plan ran into a major snag when a jumpy machine gunner mistook the Lieutenant and his escorts as an ambushing paratrooper unit! After seeing his NCOs cut down before him, the Lt. decided to flee the field to fight another day! If you have played Hail Caesar you are probably familiar with 'fumbled' orders. BA has a similar mechanic that can, rarely, result in friendly fire incidents. "Das ist nicht zer gut!"

British Paratrooper reinforcements began to show up in force, advancing through the village while the squad holding the bridge exchanged fire with one of the Panzergren squads across the river. Some light casualties were suffered by the limeys, but that didn't mar the Englanders fighting spirit! The sniper in the building was able to claim some kills against the Germans approaching the bridge as well.

Eventually all of the forces of the belligerent forces made their way to the battlefield. The Paratrooper recon jeep splashed across a shallow spot in the river and attacked the flank of the Germans positioned in the village with twin vickers MMGs! A SdKfz 251 Halftrack rumbled up the road while spitting fire at the Brits hiding in cover on the opposite side of the bridge. The 2nd platoon of Paras made their way around the opposite flank of the village attempting a pincer move with the Jeep, laying down suppressive fire all the way. The Germans deployed a Granatwerfer 42 heavy mortar which quickly eliminated the British squad holding the bridge!

The halftrack's attack on the bridge foundered initially while the flank attacks began to take their toll on the Germans hidden amongst the buildings south of the river. Panzergrens opposite of the British left flank stormed out of their cover to face the paras advancing up the bank of the river. The British Platoon leader valiantly rallied his nearby comrades, and assaulted the Halftrack which was forcing it's way across the bridge, only to be scattered by it's occupant's counter attack (we did this part wrong - John should have won the combat - "Oppzee Doopzee, Herr Humphrey. Mein bad!").

Assaults aimed at kicking the enemy off of the bridge by each force were running out of steam! Short range firefights began to whittle down each opposing platoon, and at the end of the game the bridge was not clearly controlled by either side. The game was a draw!

There was some interesting ebb and flow in this game, especially in terms of which side was able to gain the initiative over the other. In the end each side dug in and waited for reinforcements to arrive to renew their assault! We played about half of another game with the exact same forces, and scenario, only with the attacker/defender roles reversed. It was initially more bloody and we each seemed to lead our troops with a bit more direction. The only thing stopping us from finishing game #2 was the fact that cars were going to start to get towed at midnight!

So there you go we are retooling for an actual 1000 point game next week, I really like the game flow, love the orders system and well as the individual mechanics...I felt the rule balance "just right" in the  not too light, not to heavy rules department (where HC can get a little overwhelming)

While I work on my Brits, think about some Germans to oppose them. I have soft spot of course for my own countries troops. In a bit of personal history, My mother's father, was CPL Lawrie Montgomery who served under Mark Clark in the US 5th Army in WW2 , He was in both the North African Campaigns and Operation Avalanche from Salerno to Rome, wounded by a landmine post Rome and that was the end of the war for him, but he lived until the ripe old age of 86 passing away in 1999. He was awarded a Silver Star, Two Bronze Stars and at the one Purple Heart that I know of, why or what for I don't know because he would never talk about the war much, saying things like "War is hell"," It's best forgotten" , Clearly we don't forget -for good reason Pop.


Danisnotatree said...

Thanks for the battle report. There has been a steady flow of positive comments on Bolt Action after a few more reserved ones. I like skirmash 28mm and have struggled to get into Flames of War due to my unfamiliarity with the rules. Look forward to some pictures coming though in time.


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