Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bolt Action: 2000 pts Tank War

Steve's US v. Jim's Panzers
We added an extra 750 pts to 1250 Tank War lists lists we were considering for the upcoming comp to fight a battle on a 10'x6' table with rolling farmland terrain.   We used the standard Tank War Scenario with 5 objectives on a 5-die pattern.
The action was all about the central objective with no effort by either side to contest any of the other 4 objectives.  The US had airpower - a rarity for us.  It may be an experiment unlikely to be repeated as the first airstrike attacked their own side & was sent packing by friendly fire, & the second airstrike never came at all.  The US had early success, popping the Panther with their first shot at it & their jumbo Shermans' armour keeping off the Panzer's fire.   But the farm yards & orchards gave the panzergrenadiers cover to get up close & one jumbo was brewed by a faust & another by a schreck and quite suddenly the tide turned.  By the end of turn 6 the US were out of armour & when another big pussy arrived on the battlefield the US conceded.
Large BA games can have problems.  Too many units can make the game drag a bit & a larger table can upset the balance in some scenarios or make it difficult to get a result.  It is not so much of a problem with Tank Wars.  Our 2000 pts armies only had no more than 15 dice & some of those were transports of little consequence plus tank combats are usually more quickly resolved so the game zipped along.  The large table certainly enhances the Tank War version of the game.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunday Bolt Action at the End Game Cafe

Steve's US v. Jim's Panzers
Steve tried out his US option for Tank Wars.  There were 3 objectives - one at the road junction & one 6" from the table edges on the diagonal road.  The Germans grabbed the centre objective with infantry & some survived to the end to keep it.  On the left a US M10 & armoured car took out the MkII & Panzerwerfer to take that objective off the Germans.  On the right 3 Hetzers destroyed 3 Shermans & an anti-tank gun & had one Hetzer left to take that objective to win 2 objectives to 1.
John's Germans v. Rusty's US
 On another table John & Rusty played Chain of Command.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Battle of Dogger Bank 1916

Continuing our holiday from Hail Whoever by digging out another game we haven't played for some years: Dreadnoughts- our house rules for sea battles ca 1905-1942.  Tonight we fought Dogger Bank 1916.
The German fleet in the foreground has 3 Battlecruisers & the Armoured Cruiser Blucher with a screen of DDs & Light Cruisers in front.  The first British squadron of 3 Battlecruisers, DDs & CLs is coming on the LHS.  The lead cruisers have just seen each other.  Another Britsih squadron of 2 Batlecruisers, DDs & CLs is expected soon.
The second British squadron has come on in the far corner.  The German squadron has turned back to take the Brits on.  The light ships are skirmishing between the big boys.
The 4 German capital ships try to take on 3 British ships while the other Brits are still coming up. 
The German DD's sip around the British screen & fire torpedoes (the blue counters are a mix of torpedoes & decoys).  The British Battlecruisers turn away & the only loss to the torps is a light cruiser.   The neat German line is firing to good effect on the now disorganaised British.  The Tiger is  reduced to half speed & the Princess Royal has to turn away badly damaged in the main caused by the old Blucher, left unmolested at the back of the fleet as the Brits concentrate on the 3 more dangerous ships  
But the Germans success was short lived.  The 2nd British squadron arrived in time to save the 1st squadron & in one turn of bad German shooting v. good British shooting turned the battle around.  The New Zealand caused critical damage on the Moltke & the Lion did likewise to the Derflinger.   The Germans were fortunate to have no speed damage, turned away laying smoke & were able to escape with no capital ships lost.

The Brits also lost no capital ships, but also had 2 severely damaged. Both sides lost a lot of DDs & CLs.  Victory will depend on whether you read the German or the British newspapers.  

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Bolt Action at The End Game Cafe

Steve's Panzers v. Jim's Tankovy
I tried out a Tankovy list I might use in the upcoming Tank Wars comp if there are too many Germans against Steve's Panzers.
The dice decreed only 1 objective in this Tank War scenario so we put it right in the centre.  The Soviets rushed their infantry forward & grabbed the objective on turn 1.  They placed their armour on the right intending to overwhelm the German left, then move up in support of the infantry on the objective.  The plan unravelled when Steve snuck a Panzershreck through the woods on the Soviet right flank.  The Scheker proceeded to dodge the mg fire of the inexperienced soviet tankies as he moved through their formation leaving a trail of burning tanks.
The schreker lost his loader, but carried on to single handed pop 3T34's & an ISU-122.   With the pressure taken off them by the heroic schrecker, the MkIII's had a free hand to mow down the Soviet infantry around the objective & take it to win the game in turn 6.  So the Soviet tanks were hopeless without infantry support while the Soviet infantry were hopeless without tank support ???  Have I discovered the Achilles heel of inexperienced troops, or was Steve just lucky?

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Napoleonic Naval

After over a year's break we dusted off the men o' war for some Napoleonic Naval action using our house rules.
Three French squadrons of 3 ships each v. 2 British squadrons of 4 ships each.  The wind is blowing down the table away from the camera so both fleets are close hauled on opposite tacks.

The two lead squadrons maintain their courses & slowly close.  Steve has sailed the rear French squadron across the tail of the British fleet.  Nick has turned the rear British squadron to engage them. 
The battle has split into two separate actions.  In the foreground Mike's neat line of 4 ships is engaging a rabble of 6 French ships.  In the background Nick is going straight for Steve's squadron.
The battle of the rearguards was a brutal affair with 2 French & 3 British ships breaking off with critical damage before Nick's last ship grappled & boarded the last French ship and took it. 
The battle at the front of the fleets became a confused affair with both sides having a ship forced to strike its colours, but the better seamanship of the British allowed them to hold their own despite the odds of 6 to 4 against them.  The French managed to regain their struck ship & the fleets broke off with most ships badly damaged & both sides with a prize.  A count of VPs gave the British a marginal victory.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekend Bolt Action

On Saturday night Dave came round & took on my Panzergrenadiers with his British Commandos in a Meeting Engagement.
The battle stared badly for the Bits when my Panzerwerfer & Puma took out all the British anti-tank assets (Sherman, 6pdr, anti-tank rifle) & his HQ in the first two turns.  Already four units up it was easy for the Germans to counter the British counterattacks. 

On Sunday afternoon we had two games going at the End Game Cafe. Steve's beautiful Panzers did for Matt's Brits in a Tank War while Matt's US had a big win over Josh's Japanese in a Sectors scenario.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Our Modder Fokker WWI air wargame is best played with 6 players.  Tonight we had six coming, so we dusted off the old planes.  Jim, Mark & Steve flew for the Kaiser, Mike, Mitch & Nick flew for the King.

Game 1: Early War
The Germans flew 2 Fokker III's & an Albatros II. The Brits had 3 DH2's.
A dogfight with 3 a side is a scary place.  The players below are concentrating hard, plotting their move for the next turn on their magnetic consoles before we do simultaneous movement & shooting.
It's been a long time since we did early war & were soon reminded why.  The planes are not very manouvreable & apart from the Albatros II only have 1 machine gun.  So the game is slower & less decisive than later periods.  Jim's Albatros copped engine damage with Mike's first shot at it which limited his speed & climb so much he never got to fire another shot.  The Germans never recovered from this.  Eventually with the damage level getting dangerous, the Albatros fled the field & his comrades had little option but to follow.  So no kills, but a British victory.

Game 2: Late War
This time 3 Fokker DVII fought 3 Camels
The difference made by the better speed, manoeuvreability & firepower of the late war planes was very obvious.  The game went much quicker & the damage quickly accumulated in the whirling dogfight. 
Mitch's Camel was badly damaged by Mark & Steve & it tried to head for home with Fokkers on its tail.  It dived away from Mark & Steve, but Jim cut in & finished it off.  Then Jim & Steve combined to shoot down Mike's Camel.  Nick's undamaged Camel had to fight his way past the 3 Fokkers to get away.  He shot down Jim's already damaged Fokker then dived for the British lines with 2 Fokkers on his tail.  Damage mounted, but no critical hits & he got away. 

It was a fun night ending in a win for each side.

Monday, July 24, 2017

More Bolt Action at the Cafe

After Friday's battle where a rules error is probably all that saved me from defeat against a Soviet horde, & having Chris's troops on hand, I thought I should try commanding one myself.

Jim's Soviets v. Steve's Panzers
This was a 5 objective battle so it all revolved around the central objective at T junction.  The Germans sent their panzer grenadiers to take it while supporting them with long range tank fire.  The Inexperienced Soviet armour needs luck to hit, but some early luck gave them a numerical advantage that German quality couldn't overcome.

Jim's Soviets v. Frankie's Germans
The ISU122 taking out the Panther in a lucky shot on turn 1 gave the Soviets an advantage that soon escalated to a such destruction of the whole German force that we decided to have another game.

Jim's Soviets v. Frankie's Germans #2
Yet again some hot shooting got the Soviets on top early, but there were only 3 objectives this time & the Germans had a Panther on one of them (behind the house on the right) & a Puma on the other (on the bridge).  
The Soviet infantry drove the Puma off the bridge & a T34 finished it off.  The Soviets then sat on 2 of 3 objectives but Frankie saw that he still had chance of victory by charging up the road with his Panther.    The Soviets had set up T34 ambushes to meet this threat, but one T34 fell back after being hit by panzerfausts (the grenadiers then fell back to their Hanomag) & the Panther ran the gauntlet, survived the ambush, killed a T34 & took the objective on turn 7.   But the dice decreed there would be a turn 8 & the Soviets got first command dice & with it the valiant Panther was set on fire & abandoned, so the Soviets scrambled to a lucky win.

The Soviet's won all 3 games today, but it has to be admitted that they had plenty of luck on their side.  A lucky shot or two early in the game can make a big difference in tank war against a smaller better quality force & the Soviets got that every time.  But the last game showed that in BA it's never over until it's over.