Saturday, 12 November 2016
Skirmish in Italy
I have always wanted to play some battles in the Italian campaign for WW2. Challenging terrain, cool scenario ideas, Canadian troop presence and not a big focus on tanks. I had fun putting together a couple of Italian style buildings. They were a fun to do and I stole the design from photos found on another blog. These building had a drywall mud layer added to the walls which I textured using a sponge before the plaster dried. The roof was made out of corrugated cardboard sheets found at my local craft store in the scrapbooking section. Both houses have a removable roof and the large house has a removable second floor.
I also bought some nice Birch trees from the same craft store for 50% off. I added a washer to the base for stability and voila.
A stand of Birch trees
I decided to put my game cloth over the hills and built some hills from soft foam with lots of altitude to accommodate the larger 28mm scale of my planned game.
Hills ready for battle
Now to set the table for battle. I have been preparing my troops and terrain for several weeks to give Bolt Action a try. In keeping with the Italian theme, I set the table to resemble a small village set in the Italian hills. Bolt Action is a game that lends itself well to a narrative style of play. This scenario had a defecting high ranking Italian officer trying to meet with Allied troops to give sensitive information over. The local German garrison got wind of the meeting and dispatched troops to capture the defector.
Table set up
The American contingent consisted of the following troops:
1st Lieutenant + NCO
5x10 man squads of regular infantry with 1 SMG and 1 BAR
The German contingent consisted of the following troops:
1st Lieutenant + NCO
2x 10 man squads of regular infantry with 2 SMGs, 1 LMG and loader, 2 Panzerfausts
2x10 man squads of veteran Fallschirmjager with 2 SMGs, 1 LMG and loader, 2 Panzerfausts
1 sniper team
1 medium mortar team with spotter
1 MMG team
2 armored half tracks
I had help with photography for this battle from my opponent Martin.
The first turn saw both forces march onto the table. The American half track gunned down an infantry unit in the open with it's HMG causing a casualty and a pin. The Americans tried to keep in cover of the hill while the Germans occupied the large building. The lone figure in front off the house is the defecting officer.
The Americans decided to let the Germans try to snatch the defector and then counter attack them while they were exposed. A unit of Fallschirmjager dismounted from their half track and successfully grabbed the defector, shooting up an American infantry squad for good measure. The Americans behind the hill advanced and shot up the Fallschirmjager , reducing it to 4 models. A third American squad assaulted the remnants of the Fallschirmjager unit but were wiped out in the attempt.
German regulars occupy a house
Fallschirmjager survive the counterattack and and head for home
German regulars in support + sniper team
2nd Fallschirmjager unit cover the retreat
Half tracks exchange fire
American view down Main St
Americans kill a half track in assault
The remaining Fallschirmjager headed for friendly lines with their captive. The Americans tried to pursue but were repulsed by German units waiting in ambush covering the retreat. The American sniper had some success in forcing the German unit in the big casa to keep it's head down and away from open windows. The American mortar manage to drop a shell into this same building, killing the German commander and mortar spotter. The German MMG managed to take out the American HMG.
Bolt Action played well although we spent a bit of time flipping through the rulebook as neither of us had played the rules, We both enjoyed the 28mm scale and thought it looked great. The random unit activation allowed for some strategy and decision making. The rules for shooting, movement are straight forward especially around infantry, Building combat, indirect fire and vehicle rules required the most time with my nose in the rulebook.
Thanks for a fun game Martin!
Next up will either be Napoleonics with the group and or a solo game of ACW.