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Monday 29 February 2016

Back To The Back Of Beyond

It has been quite awhile since the collection was used in anger, the Soviets do however get used in our occasional forays into Rhanzlistan, here and here. The collection was dusted off for a photo shoot for the Nov2015 #337  issue of WI but has not surfaced since, so an outing was certainly due, rather than using our usual go to set "Setting The East Ablaze" we thought we would give Bolt Action a run out.
The Soviet Force consisted of the following
Two squads of ten infantry with rifles, inexperienced
One squad of ten "elite" infantry nine with rifles, one with a Lewis gun, regular
One squad of  ten riflemen with rifles, veteran
Two Maxim machine gun teams, regular
One field gun, light howitzer, regular
One cavalry troop of ten men with carbines, regular
Officer commanding, Comrade General Byklisski and two aides, all mounted.
The Chinese Warlord Force consisted of the following
Two squads of ten infantry with rifles, inexperienced
One squad of White Russian mercenaries, ten men with rifles, regular
One squad of "Dare to Die" soldiers, six with pistols and four with SMG's, regular tough fighters
One medium machine gun team, regular
One field gun, light howitzer, regular
One medium Mortar and spotter, regular
One cavalry troop of ten men with carbines, regular
Officer commanding, Li Ping, mounted and two advisers on foot.
We played three turns before stopping for lunch, up to then honours were fairly even, although the Soviets were in a better position to continue the struggle, the Chinese gad hemmed themselves in somewhat.
In a bold move the Soviets had advanced and positioned themselves on the hill, seen in the top right of the above picture. Turn four really needed to see the Chinese getting some order dice out first to make the Soviets suffer for their audacious move. Lady luck shines on the Chinese! or does she? first five order dice out are Chinese ones! The net result? one pin on the cavalry, I ask you, there is no justice in the Back Of Beyond it seems. All the Chinese could do now was await the Soviet retaliation, the game was a foregone conclusion after that, we did not need to throw to see if there would be an extra turn. The pictures below will illustrate the debacle.
The Red Horde Advance

Riflemen Cover The Wooded Flank

The Chinese Await The Red Horde

Soviet Cavalry Boldly Take The High Ground

Overview Of The Field Of Battle After Turn Four

Li Ping Discusses His Position With His Advisers

Turn Six, Where Have They All Gone

Li Ping Knows Where He Is Going, And Its Not Forward, It May Not Be Looking Over His Shoulder That Is Making His Neck Hurt In Due Course One Feels

Another splendid few hours of gaming before going back to the paint table, speaking of which, I have the following for myself in progress at the moment
Four foot figures for my post Roman Britain project
Four cavalry figures for my First Carlist War project, the horses are done
Eight early World War One Germans for the joint project with Dave
A captured  MkIV for my late war Germans.
Next weeks game is over at GHQ, a AWI game using Black Powder rules I think.


Tuesday 16 February 2016

Batalla Por La Fabrica 1936

Dave duly popped over for our Spanish Civil war game, has I mentioned in the previous post we used Bolt Action rules with some of the suggested modification from Jim Hale. The game would be an encounter with both forces advancing on the local foundry early in the uprising (?).

The Nationalist force comprised of a section (Grupo) of Requettes, led by a Sergeant (Sargento), the section comprised of three squads (Patrullas) each comprised of a Corporal (Cabo) and five Requettes armed with rifles. On turn three they would be joined by a Foreign Legion Rifle Grenadier Section (Peloton) led by a Sergeant (Sargento), the section comprised of a Light Machine gun squad (Escuadra de Fusil-ametraladora) a Corporal (Cabo) and four men serving a single LMG (in this case a Chauchat) and two Rifle Grenadier Squads (Escuadras de Fusileros Granadros) each with a Corporal (Cabo) and five men.

The Republican force comprised of an under strength section of three squads of Anarchist milicianos each of ten men armed with rifles, these three squads were led by an elected leader (Delgado) it is assumed for game purposes that each squad would have its own Delgado too. On turn three they would get the support of an armoured truck (Tiznaos) with a turret mounted LMG.

 Republican squads could be and were up to twenty men, in Bolt Action a unit needs to test its morale when receiving 50% or more casualties from shooting from one source, this makes the 10 to 20 Republican squads very robust while the small Nationalist fire teams become very vulnerable indeed. To off set this Jim suggests that squads who are within 4" or 8" if there is line of sight can take a shooting casualty from another squad within the section in any turn. Jim also suggests that the the morale check threshold be changed to 25% so instead of three casualties on a five to eight men squad, now only two casualties are required (which I think balances the above movement of figures between squads out too) for ten figure squads it is changed from five figures to three, this means that any twenty men squad now only as to lose five figures rather than the very unlikely ten.
   The armoured truck is rated as unreliable with the following rules

  • Every time the vehicle moves roll a D6. A roll of "1" (or 1 or 2 if it is making a run move) indicates that it has stalled or otherwise been halted temporarily.
  • If the roll is failed again on the next turn, the vehicle breaks down completely and may not move for the rest of the game.
Jim also suggests the following for improvised armoured trucks

  • The damage value of 7+ becomes 7+(Soft)
  • Rifle calibre weapons: rifles as well as light and medium machine guns do gain the same +1 modifier when shooting at these vehicles and still need a modified roll of 7 to cause damage.
  • Rifles (but not machine guns) require a successful "Exceptional Damage" roll in addition to their "To Hit" roll, in order to cause damage.
  • Rifle calibre weapons of all types do not gain any other modifiers to cause damage to the vehicle or crew. Effectively this limits their effect to "Superficial Damage" only, with the normal -3 modifier applied to the "Damage Roll"
Jim also has rules for Peoples Militia which I will not go into here, it is becoming a ramble has it is ;-)
Here then is how it played out

 Turn One - Nationalists
The Carlist Militia squads head for the high ground on the left, the foundry in the centre and the olive grove on the right, immediately negating the benefit of being able to switch men in the case of high casualties!

Turn One - Republicans
One squad is sent to the left to engage any troops sent out through the olive grove, meanwhile the other two squads head towards the foundry and high ground.
Turn Two - This mainly consisted of manoeuvring into position by sides

Turn Three - La Legion and the Republican Tiznaos arrive, seeing an opportunity the Republican squad, just in picture lower left make an headlong charge into the Legion squad, a bold move intending to cause havoc in the Nationalist rear, they were no match for the hardened men of La Legion and were despatch in short order (atrocious dice luck for Dave just one casualty achieved from ten dice)
  Turn Four - The Republican squad at the olive grove get the better of their Carlist counterparts, who disintegrated (punishment for me not keeping them within 4" of their comrades) However Dave was not really able to exploit this, going through the olive grove would take to long and the open gap between that and the foundry was covered by a Legion squad. Over on the Nationalist left, rifle fire stunned the crew of the armoured truck and inflicted many pins on the supporting infantry making them virtually ineffective.
Turns Five and Six we played out but there was no way that the Republicans could win, like Dave's dice luck in the close combat his firing dice on his right was just as bad.
It was difficult to tell if Jim's modifications work well from this game, though it certainly helped being able to effect the armoured truck with no heavy weapons. I kept my Legion squads in the right proximity to support any losses from fire but as Dave's dice rolls were so poor I did not need to switch figures, but it would have kept my Carlists in the olive grove in the game at least another turn I think, so they get the thumbs up from me.
An enjoyable game for us both, despite the dice gods deserting Dave en-mass. It did reiterate the fact that I need to paint more Spanish Civil war figures!


Saturday 13 February 2016

Espana Revista

With the recent receipt of the new Painting War guide, Spanish Civil War by Ruben Torregrosa and another inspiring report of his latest Spanish Civil war outing from Srivs I decided that I would finish off the seven Empress figures that have been staring at me on the painting board for months. I followed some of the recipes in the guide, I just happened to have one of the figures painted in the guide, a Foreign Legion officer, as I do not need another Legion officer I have painted him up as per the guide, a Nationalist Provisional Lieutenant, the shirt is a little different as I do not have the particular colour required.
This figure I have painted up so that he can serve in either side, quite liked the idea of the unpainted helmet..
The rest are all Legion figures, I think I mixed the green a little too green, but I like it so they will not be redone, new uniforms perhaps?
Due to a change in domestic arrangements Dave has kindly agreed to come over to OHQ for next weeks game, it has to be a Spanish Civil War game really. We will be using Bolt Action rules as I do not have enough figure painted to play Chain of Command properly, why do Spanish platoons have to be so bloody large? We will use the adaptations suggested by  Arlequin (Jim Hale), I don't think these are on the new blog, I will try and contact Jim and see if it is OK to detail these when I do the battle report after the game.

Hasta La Vista.

Monday 8 February 2016

Rawnsville Bridge

It is with regret that I must report that my men after their recent success in breaking the British battle line rather let the regiment and themselves  down by getting intoxicated on looted spirits. To give them a chance to redeem some honour I have volunteered the platoon to assault the British defending the important bridge at Rawnsville. It will not be an easy task, due to delays in our advance the Tommies are sure to be ready for us.

Now here is a thing, our patrols report no British in the houses our side of the bridge! I cannot believe our luck, the British commander is either incompetent or the whole army is total disarray at our sweeping advance. I immediately send forward as many sections that are ready, I must admit this good fortune has taken us by surprise a little. I waste no time with a grand flanking manoeuvre, instead we head straight for the bridge so that Tommy has no time to react.
 I do however send a section to our left to ascertain if the pillbox across the river is occupied, they do not draw any fire, it is strange the Tommies deployed a Vickers machine gun during our last encounter which seemed to fire rarely, I am not sure if it is badly trained men or poor equipment.
I send a section over the bridge with covering fire from our Maxim now in the building and able to fire, further support is given by the section on the left, whilst our flammenwerfer team get ready to cross the bridge and deal with the pillbox should it be necessary.
 Their ranks depleted by an earlier mortar barrage the remaining Tommies prepare to give our brave troopers a warm welcome.
Our brave men are repelled by the weight of fire, the Tommies have woke up! now we have a fight. I have to bolster a sections morale the section fleeing through them has rattled them, a few words soon have them steady, meanwhile their anger fired by seeing their comrades cut down the flammenwerfer team storm the bridge, the Tommies take fright at our weapon, but another section appears and takes down our heroic men, fire now also comes from the pillbox, whilst I commend the brave action of the flammenwerfer team I feel they will be sorely missed if we cannot dislodge the Tommies.
Little do we know that our continuing fire from the support weapons and sections is taking its toll on the Tommies and in particular their NCOs, their fire slackens and we soon see them retreating! The bridge in our hands!
Leutnant Johan Weiss, OC, Sturm Abteilung Koch

Another sharp action using the Chain of Command Great War variant, this concludes our series of linked games, time permitting we will start a mini campaign in due course.

Now I have noticed that the blog has been inundated with khaki and grey of late so here is a bit of colour, some Seven Years War in America figures done to put some bread on the table.

More Seven Years War action will take place over at GHQ next week, this time using Sam Mustafa's Maurice rules.