Sunday, 19 January 2014

Half a Bolt Action Game

Played a couple of very enjoyable games of Bolt Action recently with Phil down at the club.

The first game we played, we used 800 points, I used my massively outnumbered Germans against Phils' US troops. (Which was interesting for me anyway, as I hadn't played against these movers and shooters before.)
We decided to pick a scenario randomly and rolled for the 'Top Secret' mission. Neither of us had played this before and it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable see-saw of a game, with the US grabbing a victory in the last turn. No pictures sadly.

Last week we scheduled a re-match and I grabbed a couple of pics on my phone. Same points and pretty much the same forces. This time we rolled for 'Envelopment'. I chose to attack, figuring that the numbers of troops I had available would make things difficult if I defended and Phil chose to attack across a wide front. For the same reason, I decided to launch my attack all down the left hand side, using the cover that the hedgerows provided. 

View from the German Left
Things didn't start too well for me as I threw a 1 straight away, meaning that the potentially damaging Preparatory Bombardment failed to appear. Never mind, we must attack anyway!

As it turned out, those hedgerows slowed me down where I really should have focussed on getting across the table as quickly as possible. Phil moved quickly to re-position his defenders, which opened up a new route for me too, but I was unable to capitalise on this too much as my Heer got bogged down under persistent fire from the defending US. (Pins mounting, despite not many causalties)

Heer get pinned in the lane

I was worried about an impending US airstrike, but true to form, the Yank pilots unloaded their full ordnance on the woods where many of the US footsloggers were massed. I'm sad to say that I took some pleasure in watching the PIN markers build up here.

We reached a point of balance now. If Phil pressed a counter attack, my infantry were in for a rough time of it. On the other hand, I had an opportunity to make a dash across on the right where he had left the door open. 

The table from the German Right

We'll never know what happened next. On the way to the club my car starting making some terrible noises and we cut the game short at this point so I could leave early, in case of any pending roadside abandonment. A real shame as this was shaping up to be a great game.

I'm afraid I didn't make a note of Phil's organisation, but the Germans were:
(798 points and all Regular except where noted)

  • 2nd Ltnt with two men. (1 SMG, 1 Assault rifle)
  • Artillery FOO +1 man
  • Heer Grenadier Squad (10 men with 1 LMG and 2 Assault rifles) with Hanomag
  • Heer Grenadier Squad (10 men with 1 LMG and 2 SMGs)
  • Veteran Grenadier squad (9 men with 1 LMG and 2 SMGs)
  • MMG team
  • Medium mortar team
By the way, the 'mat' is an old green blanket that has been knocking about for at least 30 years. In the summer I hung it on the washing line and attacked it with a couple of spray cans. Quite pleased with it, although I might do some more spraying when the weather picks up.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year game

Right, well happy New Year to my three 'followers' ! And anyone else who happens across this site.. I'm hoping to get much more gaming in next year and looking forward to new projects and plans. (Not least the Victrix Republican Roman release).

Our planned family board game afternoon didn't happen today, and the weather rather put me off a trip to Newark to visit the annual Toy Fair (giant swap meet). So, I thought I'd get some toys out on the dining table and have a little solo game.

I've kind of read through Dux Bellorum a couple of times, and worked through a few moves, but haven't really got the game into my head yet, so I thought I'd give that a go.

I played a straight-forward battle without any special rules to confuse myself with.. two 32 point armies, Romano British and Saxon, faced each other across the fields.

(These are all 28mm, mostly Gripping Beast, units based on 120mm frontage, so could have done with a bigger table perhaps)

I have to say that I'm not really any closer to getting my head around the rules. There are some great ideas in the book, such as the use of Leadership Points, but I do find the layout very confusing and spent a lot of time flicking through the pages, trying to clarify things. The multiple combats seem straight forward enough on paper, but I did find myself 'fudging' the odd combat here and there to keep the game moving.

I reckon I may have to play this against a real life person to properly understand it. 

Anyway, the game bogged down in a very Dark Ages toe to toe scrum, the Saxons eventually pulling off a minor victory.