Wargames Table chum Dave has recently bought himself a new gaming table from TSS. Now the boards are initially aimed at hosting a Great War demo game for Dave's Zero Hour rule set, hence the trench line. However some of the figures and scenery for that are still in the pipeline, so we decided that the best thing to do was to give it a run out with a quick game of Bolt Action. Dave led my Paras whilst I had Panzergrenadiers.
The trenches will have added duck-boards, revetting, etc to go with the sand bags. The latter were just resin pieces that I picked up at a show a few years back. For now they were just placed on the lip of the trench; Dave will incorporate them when he customises the boards.
When I picked up the boards I had a natter to chap at TSS and he's working on a range of boards built using the slightly more durable styrofoam material. I would just like to say that the boards have a lovely flocked finish and were a pleasure to play on - even the sound of the dice rolling on them was good! Didn't actually help my dice rolling ability though, as you will see if you read on ... !?
Turn 2 and both Dave and I are pushing troops forward towards and around the château. Yes, that is a Churchill!
On the other flank the Paras hold the hedge line backed up with a 3" mortar. A squad of veteran grenadiers advance along the trench line, whilst a German sniper in the farmhouse keeps the Paras heads down.
I bring on my Panzer IV to deal with the Churchill (pre-game, both Dave and I agreed to try out a tank). The gunner took careful aim and scored a direct hit on the British tank! However, I scored just one pip less than needed to penetrate the armour and shot ricocheted harmlessly away.
Following that exchange Dave yelled "left stick, left stick!" and the Churchill bull-dozed it's way through the grounds of the château - so much for the tank duel! ;o)
BOOM!!!!! Dave's forward observer successfully calls in the artillery before the Germans have any chance to move away from the target. Rolling a 6 for the range meant that the blast covered an area 24" in diameter - ouch! None of the units received any direct hits but then he rolled well for the effects of pinning. The Platoon CO, the Kubelwagen, the Panzershreck team, a Grenadier squad and the MMG - a third of my force - were now badly pinned and crawling about looking for cover.
Back on my right flank I was feeling that at least part of the battlefield was looking better for the Germans. The veteran squad in the trenches moved up and (with some help from the sniper) continued to chip away at the Para section behind the hedgerow. But the veteran grenadiers behind them clearly had other priorities - with just one pin marker I needed 9 or less to activate them but up came a double six... FUBAR! A subsequent roll of 4 meant that they had panicked so they just turned and fled a full 12" back to my baseline ... Grrr!
Amazingly, I managed to activate the kubelwagen so it sped towards the Paras to give them a good blast of machine gun fire. But alas the aim of the crew was less than stellar. Next dice was German too so I tried to activate the badly pinned Grenadier squad ... another FUBAR! This time followed by a 1 which means Friendly Fire ... oh dear. Dave choose the kubelwagen as their target. My terrible rolling continued as the squad failed to inflict any damage.
With his blood clearly 'up', Dave pushed a small section of Paras along the trench line and assaulted the Veteran Grenadier rifles. No closing fire was allowed as the Paras had the blood-curdling charge special rule. Amazingly, the Paras did little damage whilst the Grenadiers fought back hard and wiped out the Paras!!
By now the Panzer IV was parked outside the château gates forlornly looking for something to shoot at... when up pop Dave's PIAT team. Right here we go I thought ... but despite being at almost point blank range the Paras botched the shot AND the tank had still to be activated. Next dice was German. Bwah-ha-ha-hah. The turret clanked around and BOOM!!! Just a smoking crater in place of the brave Paras.
With time pressing on and nearing the end of the game it was clear that the Paras had the upper hand. We played turn six and then stopped rather than roll for turn seven. Well done to Dave. Here you can see the Paras consolidating their grip on the château.
All in all a great fun game played with good humour on lovely terrain against a splendid opponent.