British Paras v Soviet Guards – 750pts – Key Positions

I finally was able to organise a game of Bolt Action last Wednesday, my first in over 12 months and my first in 2nd Edition. This write up has also been slightly delayed due to a lack of internet.

Forces

Soviet (Me) – All regular except the free rifle squad

1st Lieutenant and one staff

Guards squad, eight men with LMG

Guards squad, seven men with LMB

Guards squad, eight men all with SMGs

Rifle squad (free)

Zis-3 Divisional Gun

ISU-152

 

British (Andrew) – All veteran

1st Lieutenant and one staff (SMGs)

Para squad, ten men with LMG and some SMGs

Para squad, ten men with LMG and some SMGs

Light mortar team

Medium mortar team

6pdr AT gun

Tetrarch light tank (The Little Tank that Could)

Battlefield and Mission

The mission rolled was Key Positions. A total of seven objectives were rolled, with me placing the first one.

They were placed as follows: both ridges, the church, the barn, the wooded hill, the centre most house, and on the painted road leading off the short table edge (so the one near the wooded hill and village).

05 - Down the road.jpg

Order of Battle

I won the roll off to choose a side, and took the one with the wheat fields and wooded hill on the basis that four objectives were closer to that side (although further away from the table edge than the three on the other side). The first turn involved moving all out forces on. It was a stack of red dice to begin with, but I ended with the last dice which was Very Good.

I ran the eight man Guards squad on the right flank; seven man towards the barn; rifle squad straight up the middle and into the wheat field; SMG Guards squad up in between the seven man Guards squad and the rifle squad; HQ behind the rifle squad; and Zis3 behind the SMG squad.

In response, Andrew moved the 6pdr on his right/my left flank (in the village, with sights down the road); Tetrarch behind the house near the road heading off the long side, HQ behind the centre most house, medium mortar in the centre, first para squad behind the trees near the ridge on his side, second paras just to his right of the ridge, and light mortar on the left.

The ISU-152 was the last unit to trundle onto the field, rolling on via the road and lining up a shot on the second para squad. I rolled a six to hit, hitting four but only killing three, and then rolled six pins! Glory to the ISU-152!

Turn two and the paras got the jump. The second para squad went first, passing their order test (being stubborn, the pins weren’t an issue for them taking morale tests) and running out of sight of the ISU-152 behind the ridge. The first para squad then went down, as the medium mortar attempted to range in on my rifle squad, but failed. I ran my seven man Guards squad into the barn before the light mortar moved up but still drew range just short of my Guards on my right. Said guards were up next and ran into the church.

In the centre, I ran my rifle squad and SMG Guards straight forward, the Zis3 trundling up behind them. The 6pdr took a shot at the barn, but missed (we didn’t realise this shot shouldn’t have incurred hard cover negatives, can’t remember what the roll was, so it may have still missed – it wasn’t high). The British HQ moved into the centre house, but were just out of range on the rifle squad. The Tetrarch, however, did not have such issues and moved up and put heat on the rifle squad, killing two. They rolled for Green and I rolled a one! This resulting in an extra three pins!

10 - Soviets advance in fields

My HQ moved up through the field they were in before the ISU-152 was again the last to make a move, trundling up and setting its sights on the medium mortar. And I rolled a six to hit again. I was only able to kill two of the mortar crew, but I again rolled six pins!

Turn three and the paras again got the jump. The medium mortar tried once more to range in on the rifle squad, but failed, while the Tetrarch shifted up and sprayed the SMG squad with MMG fire, scoring only one hit and failing to kill! The British HQ went into ambush, anticipating a move from the SMG Guards. Next I opened fire from the church on the light mortar squad, taking it out. First blood to the Soviets! I then advanced my Guards squad out the barn and shot at the 6pdr, killing one man. The first para squad ran to Andrew’s left flank, fleeing the terror of the ISU-152, before I successfully rallied the rifle squad! A total of three pins were removed (one for the successful order test, and two from the rally).

My SMG Guards went in on the British HQ, who opened fire with their SMGs. They scored three hits and no kills! Andrew’s dice were sorely against him. I shot back with my SMGs, killing the Lieutenant’s staffer. Next up was the Zis3 and on examination, the Tetrarch had mot moved quite enough to get out of its arc and in short order it was reduced to the Little Tank that Couldn’t when my shot hit, and very thoroughly blew it up.

16 - Little Tank that Couldn't

17 - Zis3 Sights

At some point the 6pdr fired on the Guards who’d left the barn, hitting, killing two, and scoring an additional two pins.

19 - 6pdr

The last two dice and the second para squad was first to move. They shifted up and sprayed the church will bullets, but with all their pins (now down to four), they couldn’t land a hit. And finally, the ISU-152. It shifted up, pivoted to face the second para squad. Once again, I hit with a six. Five paras were caught in the blast but three ones meant I only killed two. Then came the pin roll. Six. The second para squad were set to 10 pins, which broke them and the squad fled.

At this point that meant the ISU-152 had rolled a six to hit each time it fired, had only killed 7/12 infantry struck, but inflicted maximum pins each time. The British paras were suitably terrified.

Turn four and things were Not Good for the British. I scored the first dice this time and moved by SMG Guards right up to the centre house and poured on the lead on the British lieutenant, but failed to kill him. I then move my Guards near the barn. They passed their order test and shifted closer to the objective, shooting at the 6pdr ineffectually along the way. The medium mortar again tried to range the rifle squad (who I kept down), but failed.

The British lieutenant was again unable to kill a Guard, while the 6pdr continued to actually do things, blowing apart another two Guards on the left and again adding two extra pins. I put my Guards in the church on ambush, and my HQ down, but kept pulling red dice. The Zis3 fired over the down rifle squad at the centre house, but missed (again, a mistake). The ISU-152 was next, shifted up, fired at the repositioned para squad. Another six to hit, half the squad blown apart, and another six pins. Finally the remaining para squad ran back towards the centre.

23 - ISU 152

Turn five and the game was all but over. I tried to move the Guards on my left, but they decided staying down was a better idea. The ISU-152 trundled up, fired at the mortar, five to hit, and finally ended its existence. The rifle squad ran towards the barn, giving the Zis3 at the centre house, hitting, and finally killing the British lieutenant.

The battle being over, Andrew sent the paras into a suicide charge on the SMG squad. Four of them were shot before they made it in, before the last failed to kill a man and was beaten down. Finally the 6pdr took a long shot on the exposed ISU-152 and missed. I spent the rest of my dice shifting units around to secure objectives.

At the start of turn six, we declared the battle over. A very decisive victory to the Soviets.

Aftermath

Andrew rued not putting the Tetrarch in reserve. He needed it to move on after knowing where the ISU-152 was to knock it out. He also noted he should have run more, and smaller infantry squads (for example, he could have run two seven man squads and one six man para squad). The dice were very much in my favour though. The ISU-152 rolled 6, 6, 6, 6, 5 on its rolls to hit, killing 12/17 targets, and applying 24 pins (noting that it didn’t need to roll for pins when it killed the medium mortar).

This being my first game of 2nd Edition (I don’t even own the book yet), and Andrew also being fairly new, we certainly made some mistakes (particularly, as noted, firing HE at buildings), but we had a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs. He’s away soon, but when he’s back, expect to see more Bolt Action after-action reports, and some SAGA to boot!

 

Something Different – American Civil War Union Infantry

You might recall a mate and I went halves on Perry Miniature’s Battle in a Box American Civil War deal.

Union Infantry

Having done so much Guild Ball stuff recently, I decided I’d finally get around to basing my first unit of Union American Civil War infantry. I painted them up about September or October last year, and they’ve just been sitting on my desk waiting for me to finishing basing them.

01 - Union Inf

So I finally did.

02 - Union inf2

There’s not really much to say about them. The flag was grabbed off the net and doubled up for folding purposes. I printed two pages of 8 a page, so I should be set for Union flags for ever.

03 - Union inf 3

I’ll have to motivate myself to get the rest done at some point. I’m annoyed that I lost one of my cannons though – crew is all there, but the gun (which I know I assembled because it was infuriating) has gone AWOL.

I might see about doing some other random things to break up the deluge of Guild Ball – like finally finishing my ISU-152. I’m hoping for a game of Bolt Action sometime next month too. And maybe SAGA. It’d be awesome if I could get both in. I really need more historical fans round my area…

 

British V Deutsche Afrika Korp – Engagement

The Easter long weekend and my mate Tom was keen to catch up, so what better time to (finally) play some more Flames of War?

Mission and Table

I rolled up engagement for the mission. Tom won the roll off and was the attacker. Objectives were placed more or less opposite each other. My side (the one with the two ridges) had one behind the rough terrain on my left flank, and the other just behind the ridge in the centre. Tom has one just over the hill and the other I placed near the road on the other side of the field.

Forces

We just ran with everything we had (only my force fits an organisation chart).

German:

HQ with two Panzer III Ls

Two Panzer platoons – 1st with two Panzer IV F2s, two Panzer III Ls and a Panzer III N, 2nd with one Panzer IV F2, two Panzer III Ls and one Panzer III N

Heavy anti-aircraft battery with two Flak 88s with extra crew (so rate of fire 3)

Priority air support from Ju87G Stukas

 

British

HQ and two heavy armoured platoons with three shermans a piece

Light armour platoon with three honey stuarts

Kingforce armour platoon with three Churchill IIIs – this platoon wasn’t actually part of the force organisation chart, but we were doing a fun “use everything” battle, so it came under the company’s command

Sporadic air support from Hurricane IIICs

 

Order of Battle

I deployed my Flak 88s on the objective on my left flank and my second Panzer platoon behind the ridge in the centre. Tom positioned a platoon of Shermans in the centre of the field and the Churchills on the road.

19 - British Advance

I had first turn and did a big fat load of nothing. Meeting Engagement meant I couldn’t call in air support. Reserves were on delay. I didn’t want to sneak my Panzers out yet, and I made the call that the Flak 88s couldn’t fire (everything for me was supposed to count as having moved, Flak 88s are immobile. So I considered they’d been towed on and set up). Tom similarly did little, moving up his Shermans and Churchills. The Shermans opened fire on the Flak 88s, but were in effective.

Turn 2 and I kept my Panzers still again. My Stukas came in and wrecked two Churchills, while my Flak 88s bust open a single Sherman. Tom’s turn and the lone Churchill stuck around and moved up. The Shermans returned fire on the Flak 88s, but again were ineffective.

Turn 3 and there were no reserves to be seen. With two of the Churchills dead and the third showing me side armour, I moved out my Panzers. The Flak 88s wrecked the remaining two Shermans, but my Panzers couldn’t penetrate the Churchill’s armour. Toms turn and his Churchill turned to take on my Panzers, and his Hurricanes showed up to strafe my Flaks. The Hurricanes managed to take out a Flak, but the Churchill’s shots were ineffective.

Turn 4 and I still had no reserves. My Stukas came in again as I moved my Panzers up. The Churchill took a hit from the Stukas, but somehow wasn’t knocked out. The Churchill failed to remount, and the Hurricanes didn’t show up either.

Turn 5 and finally my first Panzer platoon showed up, driving in on the centre of the field. My Stukas were back as my Panzers continued their advance. Once more I just couldn’t crack the Churchill. British reinforcements also arrived in the form of two Sherman platoons (including the HQ). They came in from the corner opposite the Flak 88 though, which was not ideal. The Churchill remounted and decided to advance, opening fire and scoring one kill on the second Panzer platoon. Unfortunately the Shermans were out of range.

Turn 6 and my Panzers made it onto the objective, if I started next turn with them on it I’d end the battle. My final lot of reserves, the command platoon, showed up in the centre of the field. Meanwhile, my Stukas again tried to knock out the last Churchill but failed. The second Panzer platoon moved up to engage it but were likewise ineffective. Meanwhile my Flak bailed a single Sherman. The Sherman failed to remount while the others moved up. Unfortunately for me the Honey Stuarts not only showed up, but arrived right in front of my Panzers. The Hurricanes also came back for another strafe. The dice were not in Tom’s favour though and by the end of the shooting phase, only a single Panzer from the first platoon was destroyed.

Turn 7 and I turned everything in the centre towards the Shermans on the left. My Stukas were back, this time on the Shermans. When the guns stopped firing, one of the Sherman platoons and the Honey Stuarts were all smoking wrecks. The battle was all but over, but Tom shifted up his Shermans (the bailed one remounted) anyway. The Shermans failed to do anything, but the Churchill took out two more Panzers and the last Panzer from the first platoon quit the field.

 

Turn 8 and my second platoon was on the far right objective uncontested. Victory to Germany! It was a good battle, though the dice were definitely in my favour. Tom was a big fan of snake eyes, and he really could have used one of the Sherman platoons on the other flank.

Next Time

I’ve a game of Bolt Action, and hopefully some SAGA too, teed up for next Saturday. In addition, Thursday night is Guild Ball. Finally, I finished Kraken yesterday and Veteran Siren today. Unfortunately Sakana’s blister was baseless, so I’ll need to solve that problem before I can do any work on him.

Happy wargaming!

SAGA – Welsh Hearthguard and Warlord

I finally prepped my 4pt Welsh force for SAGA last week and got stuck in to painting them.

Hearthguard and Warlord

So far I’ve finished the four hearthguard and the warlord.

01-hearthguard-and-warlord

I was a bit sceptical when I was painting them, but I’m happy with the final result. It’s amazing the impact a wash has on a miniature. I quite like the Gripping Beast models and they weren’t too hard to prep. I remember affixing the spears for my Anglo-Danes was a lot more fiddly than the Welsh were. I went with Desert Yellow (Army Painter) for the undercoat, just like I used for my Anglo-Danes (and use for my Soviets too).

 

The fun thing about SAGA is that you can do a bit of a mixture of colours given the time period. It does mean painting takes a little longer though because you can’t get a production line going. I really like the whorl shield designs, the cross ones are pretty basic. I copied the shield design for the warlord from the Gripping Beast images, but left out the dragons because I hand paint my designs and there is no way in hell I can paint a tiny dragon!

Next up I’ll ge the 16 warriors done, then the 12 levy. I’d like to get them all done by Christmas, which should be very doable. I’d be even happier if I could get them all done before I go on leave (16 December is my last day for the year), but given how busy I am at the moment I don’t think that will be achievable.

Next Time

Probably some thoughts o Guild Ball pitch ideas. Alternatively some happy snaps of the miniatures I’ve painted for D&D this year. Until then, happy wargaming.