The first two day Bolt Action tournament in Melbourne for a long while ran as part of Conquest over Easter. It was ace and a genuine pleasure to roll dice with gaming friends once again. Some I hadn’t seen since last Easter (or before)! Winners and pictures of the fabulous tables and armies can be found on FaceBook. Search for Cast Dice page for heaps of photos. Bravo to Leigh and Brad for a terrific weekend.
As you might have expected, running an army for the very first time in an actual tournament was a steep learning curve. Partisans don’t get quite as many toys as many other armies, so you need to consider how co-ordinate your units to achieve mission objectives.
I played five of the six games, lost two and had draws in the other three. All but one was a close affair, but in the end I couldn’t do enough to pull out a victory. Very historic, I guess. Without support from regular troops, Partisans rarely fared well in a stand-up fight.
Brad used this beautiful Nationalist Chinese as a gumby army. We played a mission called Nuts!, where there are 5 objectives: one in the centre and one in each table-quarter. Up to half your army can start on the board.
I gave Brad trouble early on, but they just kept coming and in the end contested or held all the objectives.I placed my bombs poorly and spread my army too thin to support each other. Lesson: make a plan and focus on the mission.
Ben and I fought to a draw in turn 6. A 50% chance of a seventh turn didn’t occur, which would almost certainly have been a victory to the Soviets.
Half of my army spent most of the game heavily pinned and down, ceding the initiative to Ben on one flank. But while I couldn’t shoot, dug-in troops are also hard to shift.
Lesson: don’t be afraid to go down or take a rally order to keep unit in the game.
Elizabeth and I fought each other to a draw in one of two missions unveiled on the weekend. In Punch Through there are 4 objectives deployed in a cross 12″ from the table centre. Each player can move one objective up to 6″ (possible the same one). Every one starts off the table, with at least half your army arriving in the first wave.
The British kept on coming but neither of us could keep enough units together to secure an objective by the end of the game.
Lesson: use the bombs to control a fire lane or protect a flank; don’t just spread them out.
The only Axis power I faced on the weekend was Johnathon’s late war German list. The mission was No Man’s Land, straight from the rule book. His veterans were rock hard and steadily took a tally on my grab bag of inexperienced units, leading to my second loss in the tournament.
Lesson: use your army special rules or you just leave points off the table.
Supply Drop was the other new mission on the weekend, and one I think will become a favourite. It is a variation of the classic Kittyhawk Down (itself inspired by Thunderhawk Down from Australian 40K circles). No objectives start on the board. On turn four, three objectives drop from the sky. They land in a straight line through the middle of the board, with the angle of the line and the distance apart randomly determined.
I played long-time buddy Consto, who had a marvelous looking veteran US force (a mix of rangers and paratroopers, plus a Sherman).
The objectives landed near perfect for me, taking pressure off my units as the paratroopers made a dash for their own baseline, leaving me in control of my own. A cannier player might have sequenced their final turn orders differently to grab a win. In the end it was another tight draw. Highlight was an IED taking out a veteran paratroop squad trying to dig me out of the centre of the board.
Lesson: Air Support can be random, including having it make a bomb run on your own units. But so sweet when it works.
I have completed an M4 Sherman to support my yet to be finished US. The 1:72 kit is from Italeri, one of their World of Tanks range. Some hobbyists may find the detail a little light, but I found the model easy to build and easy to paint. Major pluses in my ledger.
I know that Georgians fought with distinction in Normandy and beyond, as part of the 30th infantry division, ably supported by Sherman tanks. However, I do wonder if any camp fire discussion turned to the M4’s namesake?
Beyond reading your lovely blogs, I have managed a little hobby recently.
I’ve made a little progress on some world war two vehicles – not enough to bother with photos just yet. But I have finished a walker for my US Konflikt ’47, a Coyote light walker.
I haven’t looked at the unit profile yet, I picked it up because I liked the look of the model. This is typical of how I design a force: pick the models I like; pick a model because it matches a theme; receive a model randomly as a prize or gift; and in last place is choosing something for its profile.
I’ve been adding to my 28mm US, getting some additional vehicles done because nothing says US Army more than lots of materiel. I think I’ll add some more weathering, but they are coming along OK. They even had a spin around the table and I’m pretty happy with how they performed. On a side note, inexperienced Shermans are actually just a little bit rubbish. Although, leaving the top hatch open and using the pintle-mount was fun; throwing out 15 MMG shots, even at -1 to hit for being inexperienced, was a rare treat.
I’m near completion on a half-track for my US, because you can’t expect the poor bloody infantry to walk all the way to Berlin. The near term goal is to have a 1200 point list ready for a Bolt Action tournament in August, and this is a useful step towards that. Ultimately, this will be part of Konflikt 47 list that includes a jump-walker and jump-troops.
The model is a plastic half track from Warlord Games. I think it has turned out OK. I have gone for a little less weathering and aimed to reflect a dusty summer over more muddy months.
This baby can count as my entry to Azazel‘s Jewel in July blog challenge.
Last post I mentioned I was working on some US infantry from Crusader Miniatures. Well, I’ve managed to complete them and in what is record time for me. The box had 24 dudes, and included several models with sub-machine guns, two officers and two with BAR. So enough for three smaller squads or two larger depending on what is needed.
I still need to get my photography fixed up. I’ve been using my phone, but I am not as happy with the results. Back to the SLR, I guess, even though it is a bit more fiddling to upload the photos. I think my main problem is lighting, but the SLR seems more forgiving of the less than perfect light and focus combination required.
The models on the other hand, I am pleased with.
An added bonus is that these 2 or 3 squads, depending on how their counted, also mean I’ve completed the June It challenge. Yay me!
Next up is back to the Germans, I’m a tank short of a list I submitted for a tournament this weekend. But after that, I think it will be onto the some support options for the US.
Over there, over there Send the word, send the word over there That the Yanks are coming The Yanks are coming The drums rum-tumming Everywhere So prepare, say a prayer Send the word, send the word to beware We’ll be over, we’re coming over And we won’t come back till it’s over Over there
I’m not sure if it’s derogatory to refer to US citizens as yanks, but these are the lyrics from the 1942 classic Yankee Doodle Dandy, so I’m guessing it’s OK in the context.
Clearing my desk of the fallschirmjager has made room to start on some US infantry from Crusader Miniatures. I have had these in the cupboard from before Bolt Action was released, so it is high-time they got a chance to get some paint on. Still to be based but I’m pretty happy with the result. Here is a sample of the first 20 odd.
Next up will be to add a couple of 30 cal machine guns, a mortar and a bazooka team. Together with a few vehicles, including the walker I’ve nearly finished, and I will have a small force versatile enough for a reinforced or armoured platoon for both Bolt Action and Konflikt 47.
Mudskipper, Medium Jump Walker
Huzzah! (Or whatever it is that Americans yell when they’re happy.)
I always enjoy visiting Eureka Miniatures, there is always something new to have a look at, often just before it appears on the web. Nic has a lovely way of getting you to walk away with more than you meant to when you walked in. The team create some lovely, quirky and characterful miniatures. A nice example is the Pulpitations range by the crazy talent of Kosta Heristandis. I picked up a unit of the Rocketeers back in August last year:
Some of the rocketeers prior to clean-up; there isn’t a lot to do, some minimal flash and mould lines
Other projects were in the queue, so they joined the rest of my US army in the cupboard:
Eventually these guys will get to invade Italy
So, with a vague idea that I won’t buy anything new until I paint the stuff I have – hah, like we all know how well that works! – I did make a start on the Rocketeers:
In part I used it as an opportunity to test some green colours for the US. (Or is that green color, when you do the USA?) I bought a selection of women with caps and helmets. All of the figures come with either.
They are nearly done, the bases mostly, but I think the US need to come forward in the queue so I can have an excuse to get these girls on the table. K-47 has jump troops, so I think they will work nicely to add a touch of weird science to what I intend to be mostly a Bolt Action force:
Just noticed googles and some other bits and pieces still to do. So, nearly there, but not quite
Catch you around the battle fields of 1947 one day.