Sunday, June 29, 2014

Point Defense and Operation Sting

Our makeshift Bolt Action setup. that one day, sooner than later will give our figures the setting they deserve

Currently my hobbytime is on the backburner but that doesnt mean I havent found time to get some games in. Aaron and I got together for our semi regular Bolt Action meetup I believe our third since Adepticon. Since Adepticon we've both tweaked our German and British lists and added more firepower making a better use of our points. He's added at Stug III and more infantry to his list. I've added a Stuart M5 in place of my Static 6pd AT gun and also added a Flamethrower team.

Aaron's reserve squad that ambushes my commandos from off the table.

The mission was Point Defense. I was playing my British Recon and Paratroop forces and we were the attackers on a German force held up in the town , the thee objectives were left, right and center on Aarons board edge. As usual the games are always close. Despite my putting alot of pins on Aaron's forces with game starting preparatory bombardment (where the British have the best game rule) I took heavy casualties on my left flank losing a squad and my Flamethrower team early. I managed to edge my guy ups and keep them engaged, pressure on. We were both being really careful with our vehicles each having on in the end mine won me the game, however vehicle and AT where pretty boring in the game all we did was put a bunch of pins on vehicles as despite alot of hits neither of us could make a penetration roll to save our lives. ( the best illustration of which is when Aaron rolled a friendly fire FUBAR with his Puma against his Stug III I thought it was toast with the direct hit and added PEN + 1 for the side hit but he rolled a "1" )  I had numerous "1's or 2's" on my PEN rolls after scoring juicy hits with my Vehicles.

I did have a couple of boons thoughout the game, one my Sniper usually does pretty well and he certainly softened up squads and caused some down orders in the guys in buildings and the kept Aarons guys on defensive as I assaulted. My Mortar runs hot or cold, today it was smoking hot
I kept rolling 6's to hit even after I was zero'd in and needed a "2" on the one building that was directly in front of the center objective and covering the access to the objective my right flank. After my Mortar pounded a German squad into oblivion and I hammered that smaller building across the road from the field with Mortars putting so many pins on them they were ineffective by turn 6. .I had my Stuart grab the center objective while my Humber AC covered its rear. a lone squad of Vet Paratroopers grab the objective on the far side of the bridge, losing two men to desperate German fire but still strong enough to capture the objective and win the match.

My Humber covering the rear of my Stuart M5 from the Puma AC, lots of fire exchanged but no vehicles knocked out on either side.
Tactically, the game was very touch and go until the last turn, (one of the reasons I like this game alot) my Commandos that are always my best infantry proved totally ineffective. Aaron wise to my turn 4 outflanking strategy, where they normally raise hell with pinned vehicles and softened up infantry, now had an extra squad in reserve in his new list exactly for countering these guys..I had overlooked this in the moment and unwisely brought them in early in turn 4. where they hid behind a building hoping to ambush either the Stug or the Puma (ideally) with there Anti Tank Grenades.

However the next die that game out of the bag was Aarons his reserve squad came totally in short range of my Commandos and opened up, a reserve ambush if you will, I lost 3 of my 8 guys and took 3 pins, by the next time they got to go, they failed their order check went Down and got wiped out in an open ground assault,  Thats how you deal with Pesky commandos in your backfield.

Anyway great game, Kudos to Aaron for always being an awesome opponent. This game and I am sure others over the next few months are in Preparation for Operation Sting which is going to be a great Bolt Action tournament here in Chicagoland in October. Operation Sting, and please note the pun here- is run by the guys who ran Bilbos Birthday Bash which was the areas great LotR tournament from 2009-2013..although I missed the final 2013 event, I look forward to getting back with gang for this years event as now a Bolt Action event, just as  Phoenix's AZ "Gathering in the Desert" morphed into Bolt Action as the LotR scene faded there so it goes here. It seems both games have a strong cross pollination of players.

The only other game I have played since April, besides Bolt Action is SAGA...which I am also really liking alot as fantastic tactical game with lots of uses for other setting and seems to scale well to get a faster Historical fix then Hail Caesar can offer..while I still really like Hail Caesar..playing Saga with smaller forces will really help get my figures painted for Hail Caesar. While I of course have way too many figures on the paint bench...right now Bolt Action and Saga are getting my attention. I do have a few odds and ends I working on with my kids as well. Once work slows down. should be able to get a good hobby project going later this summer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

May 2014, I blinked and I missed it.

Ok wow, its June already, I had some hobby plans in May but they went up in smoke pretty quick with this wretched thing called work. I have been pretty busy of late and most I can say for my hobby efforts is the hobby fund is growing due to ebay sales and working like a madman.

What did I accomplish in May, Well SAGA seems to be the new game of the moment, fresh off my favorite TV show of the moment History Channels "Vikings' SAGA was bound to get it due from me and the gang. We had great night experimenting with rules and quickly found the game scales up quite well to larger engagement, and even other eras. Rich's gigantic Crusades era armies has plenty of players if he wants to break it down to SAGA sized warbands for Tomahawks upcoming Crusades book. I think some of guys are playing tomorrow night even, as I prepare to head off to North Carolina for a week on Wednesday.  I've been polishing up my languishing Viking /Saxon horde
into a respectable 6 pt SAGA warband. I hope to get into finishing some paint on it this summer
as we get some games in and Im looking forward to the next meet up that I host mid month.

In other game news Bolt Action is still fresh in my mind, our local fall tournament that was once
Bilbos Birthday Bash for Lord of the Rings has morphed into a Bolt Action event as GW strangled the life out of the game and it left on the side of road along with many decade old players. Most LotR guys I know here locally are now playing BA  and while well all still play the game, the thrill is certainly gone event wise with little to look forward to as far as anything new.  I look forward to some type of organized theme event as that is where that games shines maybe I'll even run that Five Armies game I was talking about 3 years ago

When it comes to current head to head play Bolt Action seems much more palpable despite some of its shortcomings its still a very fun game. I recently retooled my British list after getting schooled at the Adepticon tournament. not sinking so many points  (unecessarily I'll add) into all Veterans gave me a surprising amount of extra points and I was able to a Stuart M51A light tank to my force..I did actually build prime and base coat it this month as well.. so the month wasnt a total wash, just looking forward to getting it on the table and trying it out. Post my east coast expedition my Freelance work will slowdown a bit and  I'll get back in the swing of things..looking for forward to fun and productive summer!.


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