Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bolt Action After-Action

After spending the whole winter painting miniatures, it would have been rather foolish of me not to try and get in some games as the weather warms up.

To that end, I've been networking with some folks via my local Meetup group. The local Malifaux fan base is growing, and I hope to get in a gameday in May with as many people as I can gather. This past Saturday, however, I had an opportunity to meet with another gamer who boasts an extensive collection of WW2 miniatures, which he uses for Bolt Action.

I've read through the BA rulebook, but this was to be my first game. My opponent, Steve, was also a bit rusty on the rules, having not played in nearly a year. In a welcome change from my usual role, Steve offered to host at his studio, and laid out a fantastic 5x5 table with plenty of nice terrain and lovely figures. I was also delighted to learn that he shares my interest in early-war Eastern Front, and we did a simple Meeting scenario between two 1,000-point forces of Russians and Germans.

Somewhere in the late summer of '41, then...

An army blanket served suprisingly well for the table cover.

Initial units moving onto the board: an SdKfz halftrack with Panzergrenadier passengers, and a BA-6 armored car.
 The game got off to a great start for the Russians when I was able to race my BA-6 up the road and nail the German halftrack with my 45mm gun. The 'track was set ablaze and the SS men within bailed out.

The beast appears!
 Steve graciously offered me the choice of which force to play, and I had to go with the Reds in large part because the list included one of those great early-war Soviet tanks, the multi-turreted T-28. In 1/56th scale, this thing is delightfully massive. Nevertheless, I fully expected it to get taken out due to its thin armor.

Sure enough...
 Once Steve got his Panzer III on the table, it was all over for my humble T-28. It did manage to put some hurt on the SS Panzergrenadiers, who had moved up behind a stone wall, before that happened, though - the T-28 boasts a turret-mounted howitzer, just the thing for Hitler's running dogs. And more hurt still lay in store for them...

The Red Tide
 Being familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of Soviet tactical doctrine, I elected to simply push my three infantry squads in waves up the center of the table. No finesse here, no sir! Steve was hampered by some really bad dice rolling that kept most of his forces off the table as I was advancing. That SS squad was really the only thing standing against my advance.

But not for long.
 Exacerbating Steve's bad dice luck, my die were on fire, and I took out the battered SS squad with a truly phenomenal run of dice rolls from my mortar team. The center was wide open!

To add insult to injury, as Steve moved his Panzer III up the table I was able to snipe it from long range with my 45mm anti-tank gun concealed in a distant orchard.
 The game ended after six turns, as prescribed by the scenario, with a Russian victory. In the end, a unit of regular German army troops had moved up and established a rearguard behind a line of hedges, decimating a squad of green Russian recruits who were charging forward singing patriotic songs, but it was all for naught. A squad of NKVD was flanking their position around the flaming halftrack, and the Germans were left to slip back to their lines and await the inevitable Soviet onslaught...


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"People's Choice" Voting Is Live!

Although I think most people sign on for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge in order to motivate themselves to paint lots and lots of minis, there is a prize component to it as well. One of those prizes, appropriately called the "People's Choice" award, is open to everyone for voting.

If you enjoyed any of my own entries in the Challenge, I'd appreciate a vote. You can vote for any of the entries I posted, or even just a single figure...or my entire body of work! Head on over to the blog to cast the vote, and while you're there, take a look at all the other fantastic entries and maybe cast a vote or two for some of your other favorites as well.
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