Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Flying Solo

Real life reared its ugly head on Monday and curtailed the planned Great War game, however as I had already set up the table it seemed rude not to play a game. We had already decided to use Bolt Action rules, we had both had long weekends so wanted something we were quite familiar with, not having played Through The Mud And The Blood for a while. Either rules would work solo, but I decided to stick with Bolt Action, although I enjoy games with them I still feel they lack something, not being constrained by time I could sit back and digest the game more playing solo .
I randomised where along the base line the German units would enter, the stormtroop sections and teams would enter first with the follow up troops entering on turn two, again their entry points being randomised. In hindsight I should also have, for the storm units anyway, randomised how far the units would start in from the baseline rather than the edge, starting at the edge gave the German forces a lot to do.
The Germans had a preliminary bombardment. this put pins on all the British units, however these effects were partly negated by the the first four order dice out being British, rallying is so much easier in second edition, to easy I think, this enabled them to rally all the pins on four units before the Germans moved on from the base line. There was no firing in the first turn, in turn two the British came out with the first two dice, firing on the approaching Germans but not doing to much damage at the range fired at, in turn three the Germans only managed one hit, but it did knock out one of the Lewis guns. Elation was short lived the British SOS bombardment arrived, smack bang in the middle of the advancing German units, this really stooped the German attack in its tracks causing maximum pins on all the units in the blast radius.
In turn four the German flamethrower team managed to avoid the carnage and make it to the British wire, only to find the wire uncut, so had to seek refuge in the nearby building. Here they were subsequently close assaulted by the British bombing team, the British had seven dice causing no hits, it was looking good, but no the Germans caused none either, next round was two - one to the British, goodbye flammenwerfer.
Due to the pins inflicted by the SOS stonk there was little German advance in turn five, by turn six they had only made it half way to the British line, there was a turn seven, which I played out although after turn five it was obvious the attack had stalled, so a win for the British and Dave in absentia.
I have been on and off tinkering with a Bolt Action, Battlegroup, CoC up for our Spanish Civil War games, I hope to try these out next Monday if Dave is willing. Based on my observations of the solo game I may well try them out for the Great War too.
More pics of the action below.............................................
The German Advance

About To Be Halted By The British Barrage

The British Bombers Give The Flammenwerfer Team Short Shrift

The Extent Of The German Advance

The Confident  British Advance To The Wire To Give Fire

The Whippet Out Of Fuel Provides Covering Fire

The British Relatively Safe In The Ruins Pour It In


  1. Great looking game, splendid pictures Phil, love the 'Confident British Advance'...

    1. Thank you Phil.

      The Brits are certainly on a roll, next game the advance into the green fields beyond Will commence.

  2. Nice looking game. Is your ruined building a 4 ground ? As for rules the eternal question. Although I have limited experience of the others I am still a fan of version one bolt action. The more I discuss this the more I feel I am defending the position as so many people don't like them, this has led me to thinking more about whay I like them. I think for out VBCW and Sealion games the number one decider is it isn't about the rules, we just need something to give a competitive and balanced game creating an element of random impact but a rule set that has enough flavour of the period. I like the fact that the modifiers once you have them in your head can be added up on the go without reference to the book. Also so many elements like the pinning feel right to me Infantry running across the open get shot at what they do is hit the deck and it takes more to get them moving. I don't even mind the very decisive combat, after all this is not sword fighting they are throwing grenades and submachine guns, it is brutal and quick, but when you know that you don't charge in unless you are confident. Finally though I think there is something quite tactile and engaging but remarkably simple about the dice system, which creates another level of randomness and I find the drawing of the dice very engaging in itself. Would be really interested to here your views of CoC as I have played once and it felt more complex ?

    1. Yes Matt, all 4Ground, the rubble piles are from Charlie Foxtrot, I also have one their buildings to assemble, rather nice they are too.
      Don't get me wrong I like BA, for most of the reasons you mention too, I suppose I just want to utilise the bits I like from various sets.
      CoC isn't really any more complex than BA, but it does give a different experience, I think it great for the intended period, but I think it gives to much control for the Great War, from what I have read it is a lot more chaotic.

    2. Matt, Oh good - I am glad it is not just me. The challenge for an infantry officer is keeping the men going in a sensible direction in the attack, I liked the idea that not all sections would co operate if they took a beating, it was a good incentive for proper planning and tactics and reasonable tables so you got there fastest with the mostest.

  3. Great looking game lovely figures as always.
    Best Iain

  4. Thank you Iain.
    More to come all being well.

  5. I won without even being there? Well, that will take some topping this year! As ever though, a wonderful looking game with the best WWI toys I've seen anywhere!

  6. You see there is no end to your talents ;~)

  7. Great looking table and figs as always!

  8. Great report, I might do some solo myself to play more.

    1. Thank you George. My last solo game must have been at least 20 years ago, maybe longer. I really enjoyed the game, it was great watching the game unfold and having more time for tactical decisions, although that probably isn't "realistic"