Friday, November 22, 2013

Bolt Action - After Action Report GB vs GER

German Panzer Grenadiers (aaron)
1st Lt.    2 Troops, Veteran
Artillery Foward Artillery Observer    Veteran
Infantry Section (7) Panzergrenadier    1LMG, 3x SMG, Panzerfaust    Veteran
Infantry Section (7)7 Panzergrenadier    1LMG, Reg, 2x SMG
Infantry Section (7) 7 Panzergrenadier    1LMG, Reg, 1x Assault Rifle, 1x SMG
120mm Mortar   w/ Spotter   Veteran
MG42   Machine Gun Team Regular
SdFzk 222 Armored Car    Regular
Panzer IVh  Tank  Regular

1000 points -9 Orders

British Paratroopers , Red Devils ( John)   
all Veterans
1st Lt, +2 Troops
Paratroop Section (6) , LMG, SMG   
Paratroop Section (6) , LMG, SMG
Commando Section (6)  6x SMG ATG
Forward Observer
Vickers MMG
Medium Mortar w/ Spotter
Sniper Team
PIAT anti tank team
Humber Mark IV armored Car
6 pnd'r Anti Tank Gun
Transport Jeep with MMG

 1000 points -13 Orders

Scenario: Point Defense

So my Red Devils got another go at Aaron's Panzer Grens on Tuesday evening, we choose the Point Defense scenario which is one we have not played before. Aaron won the roll off, and choose to attack. leaving my Paratroops to defend. The board was set up as a small village on the hill with some surrounding buildings stretching across the table.

In Point Defense, the defender has three objective that need to be protected, I am also allowed to have several units in reserve. Aaron, as the Attacker must capture two objectives to win the game. I placed two of the objectives on my left, near the village and one objective on the right side near my farthest table edge.  I choose to keep my vehicles in reserve and my commandos ( who would use their "Behind enemy lines" ability later in the match), this was the first time I used a Commando section so I was curious to see how they would perform.

The rest of my army was deployed as follows:

I placed  2 Paratroop squads. my HQ section with  my1st Lt and 2 men  , 1 6pdr AT gun around objective 1.

The Mortar , PIAT team , Vickers HMG , Sniper Team, Mortar Spotter and Forward Observer were all around the large building on the hill close enough to cover both objectives.

Aaron deployed the majority his force across from the village leaving only a single 7 man squad and forward observer across from objective one..he had his heavy mortar with a MG 42 for cover in the center of his deployment zone, 

I had went first on Turn One and had my units on the right advance toward hard cover  and aarons single squad , the rest of my troops on the left were hidden or set into ambush mode,..lastly I had my FO call in some bombarments from afar...this was a particular pain the rear for Aaron as I rolled  "delay" an got to recenter my target point up to 12 inches from my intital target- I moved it right to where his troops would he advancing.

With  the threat of  heavy artillery bombardment right in his face...Aaron advance was bit shooken up -trying to advance but keep his troops apart from a potential disaster of a lucky artillery strike. He managed to maneuver and advance his scout car up toward my objective on my left flank. 

Turn Two- I make a reserve order roll and my Humber scout car comes on the board right where objective 3 is and proceeds to blow the turret right off Aarons 222 scout car...mortars , artillery and my sniper soon start hitting  put a whole bunch of pin markers all over Aarons units.

Turn Three- things get grim when my commandos and Jeep with MMG come on the board further putting causalities on the Germans. The artillery threat has forced he Panzer IV out of position and Aaron is shelling the building with my Sniper in it to little avail. On the Right side of the board my troops are advancing on Aaron's loan squad.and his forward observer. Fire is exchanges, the german take some pin markers, nothing major, my Sniper kills one German soldier.  Aaron then decides to have his FO call in artillery stike on his own position! in an epic bit of martyrdom , He  hopes to wipe a bunch of my men  but in the end takes as much as he gives..

Turn Four My farthest right squad over runs his FO and capture on building  but My whole HQ is wipoed out by aarons ambushing squad I has forgotten about, My two remaining squads, standfast both prepping for shoot -then assault- two squad attack..

Back in the village things get a litte better for the Germans  who have taken many casualties and pins, after my sniper kills his Lt..., Aaron decides he's had enough sniping he's be zeroing in with the 120mm Mortar for 3 turns now and finally scores. the heavy mortar basically levels the big building on the table, killing my sniper team and Mortar spotter. my FO survives the pile of rubble.
 My jeep and Humber are shooting at his Panzer IV and his squads and keep the pins and  kills coming

Aarons rallies a squad and rushes the clearing at the top of the hill to assault my PIAT team in preparation for his Tank to advance. The Panzer IV is pinning down my Commandos with co axial MMG fire , BUT The German assault team forgoets my Vickers MMG is close by AND in ambush and lets loose killing two of the squad. The assault advance happens but Aaron trolls terribly and loses to my PIAT team in assault and the remaining squad is wiped out.

Turn Five. My Commandos with the tough fighters rule all armed with SMGs and Anti Tank grenades- assault Aarons tank and blow it hell up . The successful vehicle assault being a nice ending to the entire left flank advance, the right flank s position is also looking grim being heavily outnumber and my AT gun can start shelling anything on the left or center of his board. Facing heavy losses the surviving Germans retreat, to fight another day.

This game played out with a great narrative- which is one of things I love about Bolt Action. Both our commanders KIA, artillery and mortars everywhere and  the troops carried on until victorious or forced to retreat. Aaron was knocked off his game by the turn 1 FO bombardment (we did not use preparatory bombardment in this scenario) which ended up screwing up his advance, my fast vehicles in reserve coming on strong further halted his advance where he needed a quick foothold to push on from and it wasnt there. My Commando squad with 12 dice for shooting and 18 in assault just added fuel to fire...The simultaneous push from the right really bound the Germans up. The secret to defense in this scenario was for the British to Attack!  This was definitely the most lopsided victory of our games so far, but I am sure the Germans will be back with a vengeance.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crash and Burn

It turns out I wont be making it to Bilbo's Birthday Bash this year. The event, which starts tomorrow at 8am,  had fate working against me almost out of the gate post Adepticon and it never let up no matter how hard I fought back.  It's drag since I havent missed a local LotR event since 2009, and I was one of the last two guys who had the opportunity have said they played in all 5 of these tournaments. That honor will now fall to my Team Tourney partner, Chris. There can only be one, buddy.!

Overall it was combination of starting way too late on what I wanted to do with the FUBAD (freaking unbelievable big ass displays)  theme several of us were going for. Then life just got in way for the rest. I was on schedule even thou abit rushed until just last week when an ass kicking case of food poisoning knocked me out of the hobby game all last weekend making completion seem nigh impossible, still in my mind I calculated the sleepless hours needed to finish and there was a path!.  In the end , a last minute hiccup with child care issues for my daughters over the weekend had me saying "WTF am I doing here?" that sealed the deal for me and on Tuesday I delivered the news to our Tournament Organizer, Brent.

My mounted Witch King here is about 90% done...he was going to show up as is but since he's missing the big dance I'm putting hours more blending on him till all those color transitions are nice and smooth

Moving to dual Good and Evil armies at 750 points was quite a challenge for anyone, especially anyone with passing interest in the game since the release of the Hobbit material.  Despite my numerous fully painted armies 750 was big bump over past tourament standards and with new warband rules. I had new heroes that had to painted in both foot and mounted profiles and then the killer (FUBAD style) display which is where things went awry.

Per its registration page and what I am hearing about drops this will be the smallest field since probably the tournaments first year. A full circle closure you could say, as this will be more than likely be the swan song for BBB. Despite a brief resurgence around the release of the Hobbit, the game has suffered a steady decline overall since, I attribute this to a bunch of things, mainly
Games Workshop and its insanity and bad choices., But the crazy amount of great new miniatures games in the last couple years has had a strong hand in the fading of its diehard fanbase.  That one , two punch , combined with games overall age has put the "The Hobbit" *cough* Strategy Battle Game on the bottom of the pile when it comes to popularity.  While I'll still paint my sizable collection, when it comes to tournaments, games like Bolt Action are doing a great job of seducing all us Lord of the Rings old timers.

Whether the game becomes a one a year get together as a novelty Team event at Adepticon or sails off on the last ship to Valinor is up in the air right now. I'll be playing in the Adepticon TT this year .(especially since I missed this and I'll be right there anyway to setup and run LotHS) . but still I wish I was there this weekend. Well, I will be, but as a spectator. I told some of the guys I stop by Sunday afternoon around lunch to say hello.

Check out my pal Jeremy's awesome work over at Chef of War, he was literally cooking with gas on this project all year and knocked it out of park with his well timed Dol Guldur setup, my money is on him for all the year 5 hobby awards!..


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