Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tank Wars! 1500 pt game of IJA vs Germans!

Last night was game night.. and after a long absence on here ( which will be explained soon! ) I have been able to get an article up. And it is a quick battle report for Bolt Action! Still madly addicted to this game, even if my Japanese forces are feared and despised throughout the club at the moment.

The Germans brought in the biggest guns he could spare... or at least all the tanks he could muster as well..
- Tiger I - Command upgrade
- Panzer IV Ausf H,J
- StuG III Ausf G, H
- Panther Ausf A, G
- SdKfz 231 Heavy Armored Car (8-rad)
- 88mm Pak 43
- SdKfz 7 Half Track

A small elite force of brutal weaponry and armor to roll up against the Japanese indeed! But only 7 order dice.. it was quite funny to see that when I showed my list to him..

Platoon 1
- Shi Ki Command Tank w/ Radio Network
- 3x Chi Ha
- Flamethrower Unit
- 3x Suicide Anti-tank units
- Type 4 Heavy Howitzer
- Type 98 Ro-Ke Prime Mover

Platoon 2
- Type 2 Ke-To Light Tank w/ Command Upgrade
- 2x Chi-nu
- Flamethrower Unit
- 3x Suicide Anti-tank units
- Type 94 /Type 1 37mm Anti Tank Gun
- General Purpose Truck

I came in with 19 order dice to the fight.. not a good start for him, but many of my vehicles were not strong enough to do any real damage to his beasts. So it would be an interesting match up here between us here though.

We did not play the Tank Wars scenario though, and instead played Annihilation. Basically.. kill them all.. let there be war and take no prisoners!

End of First Turn.. My opponent was still smiling, but it was only the first turn.. but he had already lost his StuG, and his Panzer was immobilized. Meanwhile I only lost a Chi-Ha on my left flank.

We could already see that although I don't have heavy guns, the sheer number of them is enough to do some serious damage.. especially since I can outshoot him and he doesn't have enough guns..

And he picked the wrong side to deploy on as well....

Turn 2.. My Shi-Ki gets blown up, and my truck goes with it in this turn. But his StuG goes boom due to a fire, and too many pins. His tow also went boom thanks to some serious firing from the left flank. Those 2 Chi Ha, and the Light AT gun were doing some serious damage to his Flak and tow.

Kamikazes were beginning to creep forward at this point as I was outnumbering him by quite a bit with regards to Order dice, and his face at the end of turn 2 it was beginning to look desperate.

Turn 3.. I lose a Kamikaze model near the Armored car. But his Tiger I gets a pot shot from my Shi Ki from his flank. Open and exposed flanks are really terrible in this game when there are some more powerful guns on the tables.. even if it is only a +4 normal... adding a +1 for flank, and then great rolling ( 6s... )..

What was bad at this point however was that his dice were being pulled quickly as well. And I ended up with the above image worth of orders to take care of before the turn finished... adding more pins to the Flak 88, and beginning to move the tanks and kamikazes closer and into position.

Turn 4.. not much for him to be doing, but moving back further and further.. Failing to kill the kamikazes in front of the Panther, and the AC moving away more and more. His Flak was able to roll a great double 1 here, but failed to hit in the end.

So I just began to add more pins to everything and again just set up more to take out his last units.

Turn 5.. The Flak 88 gets pinned out of the game at this point, the Panther takes a AT explosive up close thanks to the special delivery notice I brought it to him with. And his AC recce'd backwards again into the corner..

Basically at this point it was over, and on turn 6 I charged him once more with the Kamikaze unit and took him out.

Things we learned at this time was that if you outnumbered your opponent in Tank Wars you can be a bit more static. If you are outnumbered then you need to move more, and take as much cover as possible. And do not expose your flanks! Also focusing on smaller gunned tanks early on is not a good thing either.

Suicide AT units are deadly, even if they are not close enough to do much. They can still make the opponent rethink his plans and play more defensively than they need to be.

I think it could have gone a completely different way though had we switched sides, and had he kept his tanks closer together. And keeping that Armor 10 in front to reduce my chances of doing Pen hits. That and focusing on the bigger enemy tanks, but then you would still have the infantry units with bombs running at you.

I want to play more of these games.. and see how it goes.. but in the meantime I need to find opponents that want to face off against the Japanese horde as well ;) A new army is going to have to be built at some point I do believe... :)

Now to get back to posting here and showing off some great things that I have acquired recently! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Road to Monte!

Well the end of the Miniature conventions is upon us.. the last show of the year.. above is a photo from last years award ceremony.

Unlike last year though, this one will have some changes, at least for me!

Last year I went with the English crew in a mega bus, and camped out with the Germans in a villa. True backpacker style, and proper for a painting event! I also brought a ton of models with me due to all the classes that I had attended in that year, and having so much finished!

This year.. no group travel, and minimal models taken!


Well, seems Mrs Lee was quite jealous last year of my travel to Italy without her, so this year we are expanding the trip into a proper holiday between the 2 of us. Exploring parts of Tuscany before and after the show. As such it will reduce the crowded housing and cars that I used last year ( though was awesome to be with so many people ).

As for models, well, this year was quite poor for myself to get things painted up. Although I took 10 to Hussar recently ( report to come! ), it was mostly older pieces from last year. For Monte I will only bring 2 pieces with me. Brom the Dwarf bust, and a quick paint up of Mr Lee Beaver figure..

Honestly I think this will be better for me as my expectations were met last year, and this time I go for the community, and the time spent alone with the Mrs :) More to relax and enjoy, and sight see. Less pressure.. which is nice for me this year :)

So you can expect a lot of photos, just like normal, upon my return. And a bit report of the show again, along with some side trips with the Mrs also.

If your going to be there.. come say hi! I will have some Beaver Figures with me for sale, or to bargin with for beers ;)

Enjoy the week, weekend, and early next week then! And see you all upon my return!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bolt Action Massacre Report...

Yeah.. this is not a normal battle report.. this is more of a recounting of when some Japanese forces headed to the mainline to wipe up some Russians. But I need to back up a bit first to give some context to the game...

So there is a Bolt Action tournament coming up in our county soon. I was to attend, but due to conflicting times with Hussar, I had to step down from it. Though there are a couple guys from the club here that are still going. One such person is trying to understand how well his new force of Russians would do in it. So with them all painted up, and ready, he wanted to take them out and field test them.

This is where I come in. After his pleas for some others to play against him, I finally spoke up saying that I could do one. He did ask for a tournament experience to play against his force. I therefore felt a bit more obliged to take a bit harder than normal list. We did have some restrictions to go along with it of course, and they were:

  • 1000 pts
  • no more than 15 order dice
  • generic reinforced platoon only
  • no flame tanks
And to try something different, we ran the Tank War scenario which is basically a capture and hold scenario. 

For his Russians, his list looked like this:
  • Senior Lieutenant w/trooper ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • Commissar w Trooper ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • 8 man NKVD Squad ( reg )
  • 8 man NKVD Squad ( reg )
  • 12 man Free Rifle Unit ( inexp )
  • T-35 Tank ( reg )
  • 3x Truck ( reg )
Already I see problems as he was setting up and explaining to me the list. It has no range in it aside from the major tank there. Which we were not playing the scenario based, so it would not start with 1 pin marker.. so it would be a bit scary there. 

I think he assumed I would bring the Japanese horde with me, however due to the restrictions though I cannot do that. So my list looked more like this.. 

  • 2nd Lieutenant ( reg )
  • Kempetai Officer ( inexp )
  • 3x 13 man Militia Units ( inexp )
  • 2x 15 man Bamboo Units ( inexp )
  • Type 4 Heavy Howitzer ( reg )
  • Type 98 Primer Mover ( inexp )
  • 3x General Truck w/ MMG ( inexp )
  • Type 92 Tankette ( reg )
  • Type 97 Chi-ha ( reg )
As you can see.. a bit more armor and mobility here than I might normally have. With the Militia units inside the trucks, even though in the tournament rules empty transports can still fire mounted guns. 

So this was the table set up, and pre game set up. Everything was to come in as the first wave for us as well. And the objectives were the big white template there in the fields, and the other is in the 2 story house shown in the distance. Table sides were just picked with who unloaded their stuff on what side and thankfully the rolls corresponded with those sides :) 

Not many casualties on the first turn, but my longer reach with my guns were able to out-shoot him ( having so many MMGs and HMGs did help here ). His T-35 also stayed off the table, with everything else coming on. Most sitting up behind the house. 

My trucks were doing some nice damage to his trucks in at least pinning them down a bit, and the troops within. His unit to the far right was his only green unit, but instead of getting upgraded, took an additional 6 pins, and killed themselves via too many pins vs morale ( they took several shots from various MMGs :) ). T-35 still did not show up her, but I think it was probably needed much sooner than it was looking to be arriving. The tanks up on the hill did a good job at pounding out some serious hurt to everyone within sight as well. 

Although I was quite static, I could do because of the longer reach there. 

At this point there were not a lot of dead yet, but they were just the start. 

Turn three sees many of the Russian trucks getting popped. Troops being left stranded, and alone. And the Japanese noose slowly closing in. Still no T-35 though. 

Problem for the Russians here was not that I had only taken 1 casualty so far, or that they had lost 3 dice so far. It was more that everything was within 6 inch charge range thanks to trucks going boom, and troops being off-loaded into the open. 

Turn 4 sees the T-35 come in as an outflank manuveour. I honestly cannot say that I saw that coming, but I was really not too concerned. But then again, he should have seen the triple combo of charges to his units. In which I took no casualties, and were wiping out the full units on the charge! Supported by all the MMGs on the table this was just obscene. 

His T-35 did take out 3 of the bamboo warriors who were guarding the objective, but they then charged the tank. Did no damage, but they were still at 12 man strength. Next turn there would be potential. 

And my Heavy Howitzer was also now aimed at his tank as well :) 

No Photos after this turn though as I then got to pull the first 3 dice. Just barely failed to do anything with the bamboo boys in close combat, but the Heavy Howitzer made short work of the tank. At this point it was pretty useless to continue on as I had complete control of the board, and basically nothing was going to be happening from the Russians. 

This has to be the most unbalance result I have ever seen in a game in a long time. And it was one where I had brought a kind of normal list that one might see in a tournament ( though am happy to be corrected on that if I am wrong! ). 

We talked about the game afterwards, and discussed where he could have improved his chances here. One big one was to bring the tank on sooner. Considering that it was 270 pts, and only came on in turn 4, that is a complete waste of points. Two, was to combine and support his units better. Especially since they are inexperienced troops, and are not mad killing machines that he would like them to be. Three, be more aggressive with his inexperienced troops as well. With 3 trucks full of them, he should have been looking to get them closer to me and in a single blob. Supporting each other as they jump out of the trucks. He could have taken the objective closer to me with them, and the tank supporting, while the foot sloggers went after the building. 

Many lessons learned for him, and I fear that he will not do well at the tournament. On the other hand, I think I have figured out a better way of using my Japanese within smaller point values, and just became that more deadly :) Looking forward to seeing how my campaign game goes on the 27th now. Got a nice idea on how to tackle the envelope scenario, but from a defender and attacker point of view!

Ah well.. now to try to put words to my experience of Spiel and SMC now!
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