Sunday, June 29, 2014

Back to Bolt Action

No pics this week as my phone is dead and its replacement won't be here until Tuesday.  I suppose I could've taken a separate camera, but I've already got enough stuff to carry around.  So, this will be a text only BatRep.  Deal with it.

I played a game of Bolt Action today - the first since the Gathering tourney back in Feb.  My Americans consisted of four veteran 8-man infantry squads, command, a sniper team, AFFO, an M4 Sherman, and an M8 Greyhound which mysteriously looked a lot like a Chaffee.  Anyway, I was playing Al and his Japanese.  This is this first time I've played Al in any game, and he is a fine gentleman and a fun opponent.  His force consisted of 3 squads of infantry, an AT rifle ream, mortar team, light howitzer, command, a MMG, and a light tank.  He had ten dice so he must've had one more unit, but I can't remember what it was.

We played the demolition scenario.  He covered his objective with loads of infantry and a machine gun.  His Japanese being fanatic veterans, with banzai charge, inside buildings made me realize I would be playing for a draw before the first die was pulled.

Through some pretty fancy dice pulling, the Japanese had the initiative for most of the game.  Their right stayed put, firmly in place around their objective while their left advanced towards the objective in the American zone.  The Japanese reserves were hesitant - one squad of infantry never arrived.  After the advance on the Japanese left was slowed - mainly due to an outstanding Thunderbolt run - (you can never really stop Japanese while they're still on the board), their center advanced and were able to occupy a building close to the American objective.  The Americans all started towards the center of their zone, knowing it would take several assaults to finish off the fanatic Japanese.  The Chi-whatever-variant-it-was tank moved into action and was able to take out the Greyhound around this stage.

On turn five the Americans were still waiting for their second air strike, which again failed to materialize.  A lucky shot from the Sherman managed to kill most of the Japanese threatening the objective.  At this point it was obvious there was no way the Americans could destroy the Japanese objective, and time was too short for another Japanese unit to advance far enough to contest the American objective.  After a well-fought action, both sides agreed to a ceasefire.  Draw.

Thanks to Al for a really fun game and to everyone who showed up to play (we had 6!).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today's Flames of War

So I was fortunate today and was able to get in two games.  I was determined to use my full mechanised company for the first time in order to get some much-needed experience in running combined arms.  My first game was against Tom.  I don't have any pictures of that one (I was too busy being drubbed to remember to take pics) so just a brief summary to follow:

The scenario was Breakthrough and Tom's German infantry company was defending.  They had 3 platoons of infantry supported by Panthers, AT guns, and artillery.  My British mech company consisted of 2 platoons of infantry, 2 Cromwell/Challenger platoons, a platoon of Achilles, and artillery.  1 each of the Cromwell and infantry plts. were held in delayed reserve.  The first few turns saw the Cromwells push their way to the center of the battle destroying the AT guns and 1 Panther along the way.  At this point, however, their losses reduced their effectiveness to zero.  Infantry had been guarding the armour's flank and after the tanks had outpaced them, made a brave but ill-fated assault to clear out enemy infantry behind the advance.  The German infantry then had only open terrain between themselves and the British artillery, but were destroyed in their attempt to overrun the position.

The British infantry finally arrived on the field within striking distance of the objective.  Unfortunately, this was now held by German infantry in a strong position with another platoon on the way.  The British teams did little better than hold their own until the eventual arrival of the remaining Cromwells.  The German Panthers had by now made their way to this part of the battlefield.  The British assault ground to a halt and they were forced to withdraw, leaving the field in Jerry's possession.

The next action saw the same British company (after a refit) facing German Fallshirmjaeger and yes, more Panthers.  This time Robert and I drew the Pincer scenario.  One objective was held by British infantry, a platoon of Cromwells were positioned in a wood with a good field of fire, and a second platoon of Cromwells were in another section of woods in ambush.

Panthers led the assault moving across the field in three prongs.  The center group was engaged by the first armoured platoon and the southern prong drove right into the ambush laid by the second platoon.  This group of Panthers were closely supported by the FJ.  Several Panthers were knocked out or bailed at this point.  The tanks traded shots and maneuvered towards the central objective.  More tanks were destroyed on each side.

British infantry arrived on the field and were able to challenge the FJ, relieving some pressure from the beleaguered British armour.  While not strong enough to stop the FJ, the British rifles and Brens were able to slow the German advance towards the objective, relieve the tanks, and eventually work themselves into position to contest the objective.

The 2nd British infantry platoon, which had been dug in around the other objective up to this point, moved up in support of the 1st platoon.

As the fighting raged on, the German Panthers destroyed all of the remaining British tanks.  Fortuitously, the timing of the pincer was well-executed.  A platoon of Achilles TDs arrived from the north and quickly destroyed several Panthers.

Sextons arrived from the south shortly thereafter and finished off what remained of the formidable German armor.

 At this point the remaining FJ had suffered too much attrition to be able to move onto an objective.

A close, well-fought game with a lot of carnage on both sides.  Thanks to Tom and Robert for a great day of gaming.