Bolt Action ACW Rules

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Battle of Oak Ridge

Yesterday me and Matt finally got our diaries together and I drove over to Penrith for a day's gaming in the dungeon. I was spectacularly hungover but looking forward to an epic day. Matt always puts on a brilliant game and this one used most of our combined ACW forces to refight the battle of Oak Ridge on the 1st day of Gettysburg. I was about as epic as battles get.

The Union were to the South and East defending Oak Ridge and the smelly rebel scum were to the North. I was the Union by the simple fact that I was too short to reach the middle and move the Rebels. The battle was a Black Powder scenario so for the 1st time we had different sized units. We used our Bolt Action mash up and therefore small units were very fragile. Once a brigade was below 1/2 actual strength it had to roll at the start of the turn and pass a morale test or the whole brigade legged it.

The battlefield from the South, told you it was going to be epic

My centre, couple of brigades

Bit more of my centre

My right flank. Only 1 brigade and very exposed as they are closest to the rebels

Some Rebel scum

and some more

Here they come

This looks very scary. My line is already taking damage and there are 2 brigades coming right at me

To the South I have a flanking brigade and starts to move forward

My reinforcements arrive at the south and start to dash forward. I have to roll up Matt's flank before he smashes my right. Only an entire division to kill

Back in the centre getting hairy

One of Matt's reinforcing brigades arrives

We use a random event dice and the unit I have occupying a farm find a stash of bourbon and take 6 pins. i'm never getting these back into action again

Here comes my left flank. Go get 'em boys

Crap. Matt's 2nd reinforcing brigade arrives. I'm never going to hang on

Still they come in in the centre. I can't move to reinforce my flank without getting cut in half

Getting to to position to the South. I'm going to have him in a cross fire. Get him marmalized

The drunk unit inthe farm get another random dice activation and have to charge the nearest enemy

Which they win, Dutch courage and general lack to feeling a spatial awareness will have helped

However my right flank is under pressure

Here we go. THe Left flank is in position and ready to unleash hell

Still they come in the centre

Hand to hand around the farm. Need to win this and roll them up

1 unit running and fighting the next

Need to be quick

We continue to press

But it's too late. Baxters brigade has routed and left a very small brigade against 2 brigades. Time to bug out.
A victory to the Rebels, not decisive but a victory. I have no centre left to rescue the right flank and whilst I'm confident I'm going to roll up from the south, Matt is about to lose a brigade, there are still too many men to get though and i will have nothing left to rescue.
God that was brilliant. The rules continue to work well, the melee rules need a little work but not much and using brigade activation can be very confusing - need markers for that.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

7 years War Austrians

End of an undergraduate year is properly mental, so I've been very busy. I've done very little since the Utah beach battle. The VBCW battle didn't happen, too many clashing diaries but James and I did play a really great couple of games of Necromunder to test out the rules. I have a Palantine type set of figures, rules for them not out yet, so they doubled as Esher. I won the 1st battle and then we swapped the board round and James won the second. We will play this again. No photos though, no charge in phone.
Other news, last Christmas I painted my aged parents (don't tell them that) a couple of figures. My dad always said he was in the Bengal Lancers when we were little - don't think he's ever been on a horse. So he got a Bengal lancer. My mum is a fan of greek mythology so she got Talos. She has now asked for more of these for next Christmas so i've taken advantage of a Foundry sale and bought Gorgons, Cyclopses, Hydra, Cerberus and a Chimera. They will keep me busy and the Chimera looks impossible to paint.
You can tell it's been a while since my last post, I'm rambling on.
I have started a 10mm 7YW project and have finished the Brunswick army, typically they fought on the wrong front as the plan is for Austrians vs Prussians. Still what can you do. So I've started the Austrians. I'm building all the units for the Battle of Lobositz to give me a good force. This was the 1st major battle of the war (about 35K men for the Austrians and 28K for the Prussians). These will mainly be Pendraken but i picked up loads of Austrians at Partizan and have finished some of them

The figures are Old Glory Grand Scale but don't occupy as much physical space as Pendraken so the units look smaller, the cavalry are in 2 pieces, which is annoying as they never fit right, they come in pack sizes that don't match the basing plan and they are more expensive than Pendraken. Other than that they are fine.
I have a couple of Grenzer regiments to paint and then I've bought a load of Pendraken artillery and grenadiers to add to the force which only leaves me 30 packs to buy to finish the army.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

The Battle of James' New house

James, of MadTinHatter fame is moving into a new build house on the site of the old J Hill and Sons company ( it was F Hills but my typing was off). This was a furniture factory and during the 1930s dabbled in aircraft manufacture, the Hillson Praga Monoplane

As James has never played a VBCW it seems an ideal opportunity to break him in. The joy of VBCW is you get to fight imaginary stuff like this.
I needed a factory model and a e-bay (BanksJohnEdward store) and I was sorted. The mdf models from him are basic and very very cheap. It arrived promptly but was incomplete and a quick email exchange later and not only were the missing parts supplied but I recieved an entire building. Some cutting of board and I had 3 factory buildings and a massive factory. Quick spray paint and a raid of the internet for images of advertising signs and I was sorted.

This will do nicely for the main battle. The story will be that the fascist forces of Lord Percy have ventured South in his attempt to refound the Kingdom of Northumbria. The workers of Hills have banded together with the local Fire brigade to prevent Percy from capturing this important aircraft factory and have sent for reinforcements from the Post Office Workers Union. Can they hold out until the Posties arrive. Find out in out next thrilling installment (actually probably the one after next as I have some 10mm Austrians to paint)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

D-Day 1944 - Utah Beach

Today we refought the landings and para drops that were D-Day. We were recreating the American landings at Utah beach and the paratroop objectives of clearing the 2 causeways, disabling the guns at Brecourt Manor, securing the glider landing zone and capturing St Marie du Mont.
The table was 17ft by 6ft  and massive. We had a big turn out. Dave and James were the Germans and ran the game, almost all of the terrain and troops were theirs, much of the german forces were mine and others provided bits as needed. Angus, Stig and John were the beach landing forces. Scotty was in charge of air and naval bombardments. We had 2 newbies, David and Paul are old hands from that far away country of Scotland and friends of James and Stig. David and me were the paras - I had Easy Company (that Easy Company) and David had Fox Company, both from 506th Infantry regiment. Paul was photographer in chief.

Beach with Normandy (and Dave) in the distance

Obviously the para drops came first. Dave had a nifty plan

The swearing at the end is me as my forces land in a flooded field

I threw well and pretty much landed on the LZ

In a tight group just behind the exit to Causeway 1. The flooded fields between the beach and the countryside claimed 4 squads

Even my glider support landed on spot

View towards the beach. St Marie du Mont is on the right, Brecourt Manor to the left and the causeway exit is the cluster of houses on the left closer to the beach than Brecourt manor. I'm between Brecourt and the Causeway exit.
Fox Company were due to land in the bottom right behind St Marie due Mont

Generally they did

Although some did overshoot and hit the town. The German command truck was a very early casualty

Fox got the 81mm mortar support - well they landed in a tree and lost their command so took a while to position
While Fox were capturing the the glider LZ and trying to get close to the town, the Germans were dug in, heavily armed and deadly, Easy Company started to make their way to the objectives. 1st up Brecourt Manor.

4x105mm dug in field guns with infantry support. Top centre Easy II command and an infantry stand had landed right on the edge of the position

So I attacked immediately and captured the 1st gun. The tiddly winks are objectives and when collected trigger random events and can be used to call air and naval support or to gather up stragglers.

I bring up support from the LZ to attack and support my commander

I attack again and capture the next gun but lose the infantry section. My other support took out the infantry support got mauled. Another section makes it into the position.  

I capture the last 2 guns and the remaining germans bug out. The command stand too 3 of the guns and was suitably heroic. Medal of honour winner for sure, but more of him later.
In the centre of the table was a 88 emplacement. Some of the scattered sections including Easy CO and some of Fox attacked it 

2x88 and an MG42. These caused a lot of casualties as they repulsed 3 attacked

In the end we used smoke and attacked and captured it. This gave us a new angle of fire on St marie du Mont
The top of Causeway 1 was heavily defended by an infantry platoon, 2 MG42s, 3.7mm Flak and a Pak40. 
I advanced from the LZ and started to move the enemy

I've taken the building to the right but the incoming fire is brutal and it will take the whole game to capture the position.
The top of causeway 2 was even worse we had no troops anywhere near it

We had captured Brecourt manor, the glider LZ, and an 88 emplacement. We were attacking causeway 1 but were nowhere on causeway 2 and getting butchered in the trying to get close to the town.

The German beach defences

Scotty unleashes a naval and air assault and blasts the shit out of the defences

here comes the invasion

A lot of it

The infantry get to and cross the sea wall. Fire from navy, airforce and DD tanks on the beach has destroyed the defences and casualties are fairly light. To be explained later

2nd wave

into the trenches

All the tanks in the world have arrived

Charging through the defences

However the engineers are very late and they have to blow the sea wall before the tanks can advance off the beach. Cue traffic jam

Meanwhile we are getting nowhere is St marie du Mont. David is shelling the town and attacking but neither him nor me can make saves. Time for drastic action

We call in a naval bombardment and start to level the town. This give David the opportunity to enter from the right and we have a corner.

Just when you though all was going well

A company of MarderIIIs enter in my LZ

and a company of repurposed Char Bis enter the glider LZ

Luckily all my anti tank troops are still in the LZ and i brew up 1 and bail another

Bazooka action takes out the Char bis' and the crews leg it

The Marders remount and advance but I butcher them. Excellent.
The infantry are advancing from the beach

A airstrike on the top of causeway 2

and the infantry with tank support are attacking it

the paras can relax, we have done our job. What's that noise

Loads more germans arrive in my LZ. All i have to face them are the heroes of Brecourt, who have moved back to safety to a rest

And now we have stugs and infantry. The beach guys had better hurry up.

Airstrikes on the Stugs

Luckily the beach units have made it to the end of the causeways and we have linked up. The Germans have been beaten. We knew that the beach had been easy as when Angus' men reach me and cleared out the last of the Germans we had to explain the melee rules to him. Easy life.

As for the Germans who attacked the LZ they were beaten off by the hero of Brecourt, pretty much on his own. Can you get 2 medals of honour for the same battle.
Update. I've been checking the commanders of Easy company and the heroic command stand was commander of No2 platoon - Lt Winters. Genuinely a case of history repeating itself

This was a truly brilliant battle. We play some really good and vast games but this was better than all previous one. Dave and James ran if perfectly, it was difficult, detailed and heroic.