Monday, July 13, 2015

Bolt Action Tank War

I like the Bolt Action rules for WWII and I like tanks so when Warlord came out with their Bolt Action Tank War.....well, you know the rest. I couldn't afford to do it in 28mm scale but I do have some 15mm armor so, for no investment, Pete and I tried a game. Pete claims I am inspired to blog mostly when I win and not so much on other occasions. I say it's just a coincidence.

 Pete commanded the Germans and fielded 1 platoon of Tigers, 1 of PzkwIV, 1 of StugIII and one of Marders (a kind of hillbilly tank destroyer). My Americans consisted of 4 platoons of Shermans and 1 of M10 Tank Destroyers. I also had a Forward Air Observer detachment in a half track. All platoons on both sides consisted of 3 vehicles.
          American air power helps to offset the superior German tanks  We used random die rolls to determine the order we set out our various units. Those rolls went badly for the Germans who mostly set up first. Pete placed his PzkwIVs on his right (east of the village), Tigers and Marders in the center and Stugs on his left. His plan was to quickly move the PzkwIV unit into the center to support his main attack with the Tigers. Pete has a deep and abiding love of Tiger tanks. I piled 2 units of Shermans on the PzkwIVs before they could get to the center and, using Happy Dice, got them all. In the center the Tigers took a toll of the Shermans but were stopped by a combination of defensive fire from my ground forces and air strikes. The poor Marders were pushed forward to try to keep the attack going but their light armor was not much help against the American guns. As he was running out of options, the German commander withdrew.

The game played easier than a typical Bolt Action infantry game because it was vehicles only. It was a good size encounter played out in a few hours. The Bolt Action Tank War book is interesting to read, but really didn't add much to the basic rules. If you want to save some $ you could certainly play the game without it. We will run this scenario again at the upcoming JeffCon, the Historicon of the North.

War of the Roses accidental army

I hadn't planned on gaming the War of the Roses but Mike, driven by greed for the new Perry Miniatures figures for the period, dragged me into it. As luck would have it, I already had a large number of longbows from fantasy gaming and a reasonable number of Old Glory dismounted men at arms that I picked up at a convention on impulse. Supported by a generous toy donation from Mike and a few purchases I am now the proud owner of a small army of the period.
Lord Percy, his vassals Foxham and Baskerville and their retainers
The rules we use are Fantasy Warriors, which really work well for small scale medieval warfare. The scale is 1 figure = 1 man and the individually mounted figures are grouped into units. I use movement trays for mine, Mike goes Old School. In my army most of the units have 28 men. I have 3 companies of veteran Men at Arms (dismounted for battle as they did in that period), 5 companies of trained bowmen, and a half company of levy billmen. Along for the ride are a dozen border reivers, light horsemen used for scouting etc and a pair of cannons that are a menace to friend and foe.