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Britcon Report 
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First Sergeant
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:42 pm
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Location: Wallia Marchie
Now complete right up to the very last two orders of the last turn, which I've kept separate at the very end in a separate spoiler.

The pictures aren't much I'm afraid (though they do tend to improve somewhat erratically as things go on, the last game has some half-decent ones), but they should at least give some idea of terrain and manoeuverings. Just imagine you're observing through a thick haze.


Preamble - Britcon is brilliant!
First off, I had an utterly fantastic time thanks to some of the best opponents I've played against in any system. Rules queries (and there were a few, either to do with specific terrain restrictions or parts of the rules seldom encountered by one or both players) were always settled by amicable agreement. Ed, Edward, Geoff, John and Tony, many thanks to you all. But I should also mention the Bolt Action organiser, Gary, who put a hell of a lot of effort into setting up the tables and who stood down from the competition when an unfortunate Saturday morning drop-out resulted in odd numbers, and who kept us all going and was always ready to lend encouragement and to check everyone was happy; the overall Britcon organiser, Tim, runs corporate events for a living, and you can tell that straight away. He and his background staff made Britcon not only run with a laid back yet scarily efficient smoothness but were also remarkably kind to me with unstinting hospitality that was frankly (wonderfully) overwhelming. Britcon impressed me hugely and I think it's a convention where Bolt Action should thrive. Lastly but importantly, Warlord and 4ground were generous with prize support and it was great to see the Warlord stand right by our tables. Dave from Warlord even listened to my little rules rants with good-humoured toleration, and indicated we may see an anniversary adjustment to certain units (not limited to the usual suspects and I'll give you a slightly cryptic clue as to one possible weapon adjustment: I had a little chuckle about it).

So I said in the other thread that I'd be fearlessly honest, and I intend to be. But if ever I seem to be critical of organisation, let me restate that this was a brilliant and really well run tournament. My preference may have been for some things to be a bit different but that doesn't mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy what was served up.


The format was as follows:
Friday evening - two games with random missions at 750 points. You had the option to take one of these results as a replacement for one of your main tournament results. I found this a bit confusing in its final implementation (I'm rather easily bewildered) and, to be honest, a little unsatisfactory as a concept (although it did not as far as I'm aware actually impact on the overall result). While myself I'd rather have played one 1000 point game, a great thing about two 750s was it gave me the chance to suss out the armies and playstyles of two opponents. I played against an Italian force of mixed paratroops supported by a flamethrower armoured car in Maximum Attrition and a German infantry force that had a noticeable lack of AT in Envelopment.

Saturday - four games. 1000 points Envelopment versus British Regulars with Sherman and armoured car, 1000 points versus British Paras, 1000 point Point Defence against a Soviet regular infantry horde and a 750 point Hold Until Relieved against British Regulars with an armoured car.

Sunday - two games. 750 Point Top Secret against Soviet infantry and a 1000 point Demolition against Italian Paras and Regulars with a light tank and armoured car. Here, with two games rather than the originally planned three, I would in principle have preferred two 1000 point games. However, as shall be seen, in the end it made small odds.

All my games were against Allied nations, which was pleasing, bar the informal Friday games and the final match. This had underlined my already well-established preference for tournaments to be Axis vs Allied.


My two forces were:
1000 Points:
Veteran 1st Lt, 1 Veteran: smg, assault rifle
8 Veterans: 8 x assault rifles
7 Veterans: 7 x assault rifles
6 Veterans: 4 x smg, flamethrower, rifle
5 Veterans: 3 x smg, flamethrower, rifle
Veteran ATR Team
Regular Truck
Regular Truck
Regular Heavy Field Car
Regular 8-RAD
Regular Flammpanzer III

750 Points:
Veteran 1st Lt, 1 Veteran: smg, assault rifle
6 Veterans: 6 x assault rifles
6 Veterans: 6 x assault rifles
5 Veterans: 3 x smg, flamethrower, rifle
5 Veterans: 3 x smg, flamethrower, rifle
Regular Truck
Regular Heavy Field Car
Regular Flammpanzer III


Friday Game A
A 750 point training exercise in which UberGruber's SS-Westland were matched against Ed's Wermacht Regulars. Ed's force was based around several large squads each with LMGs. I think one may have had a panzerfaust. As Ed said upon seeing my Flammpanzer III parked menacingly off-table, 'I wasn't expecting anyone to bring a big tank in a 750 point game.'

The scenario was Envelopment and was played on this table:

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I stuck my offier and two Pioneer squads in the truck, an assault rifle squad in the field car and another assault rifle squad hoofed it. As is my invariable plan in Envelopment, the force did not actually envelop, rather, led by its armour, it charged up one flank, all coming on in the first wave.

Ed defended the hedgerows pluckily but his big squads had little chance against the Flammpanzer and his relative lack of mobility made it hard for him to concentrate his force (having had to spread out a bit to start. The result was a crushing victory for the SS and a vindication of blitzkrieg tactics. Ed had the satisfaction of at least getting some kills in and he remained cheerful in the face of considerable adversity, always making his little machine-gun noises when his units activated to fire and encouring his men in their hopeless task in solid comic-book German. At least this game wouldn't count against his overall score! Ed made some remark along the lines of having seeming to have brought a plastic spoon to a knife fight!

NB von Rundstedt ordered all photographic evidence of this mission to be destroyed lest it adversly impact on the morale of the non-motorised German infantry (ie all the pictures came out blurry). this is a shame as Ed's force was nattily turned out in Vallejo German Army, which is a colour I don't actually recall having seen Germans painted in in the flesh (or plastic) before but was rather strikingly effective.

Lop-sided game but it got us rolling dice.


Friday Game B
The scenario was Maximum Attrition and played on the least aesthetic (but most cunningly laid out) table. I don't have a good picture of this table empty but there were lots of isolated houses with openings tending to face the way you didn't want and some soft cover fencing two low hills on one flank and a couple of woods.

At this point I should mention that woods functioned as reducing line of sight to 2". All in all I'd prefer not to do that as almost all the terrain problems that cropped up were to do with people misunderstanding how the precise ruling had been formed. You could see 2" into a wood from outside. You could see 2" through a wood if you were inside it. But if you were outside a wood and half an inch of wood obscured your view of a target on the other side of that narrow stretch, vision was blocked. Now lots of people like area terrain and in fairness it did add a twist to the game. But none of the problems that did occur would have done so with TLOS. Woods as areas is in my view not an unqualified good thing (though certainly there are advantages as well as disadvantages).

I was facing John's Italians who at 750 point had SMG veterans, an annoying recce flamethrower armoured car thing (which was ultra-tiny and not open-topped and was dual directional I think) and other stuff that I have forgotten. My tank ran out of ammo early and his armoured car did not and the ned result after some rather mediocre playing from myself and some good moves on John's part meant he won a convincing victory.

NB Himmler ordered that all photographic evidence of this encounter be destroyed lest SS motorised forces become demoralised.

Good game and like the last, it highlighted the real impact a cheap vehicle flamethrower can have if the enemy has no effective AT (my infantry flamethrowers were too short-ranged and I didn't take my ATR at 750).

So, except to say that due to Britcon's curious 'swap out your worst score for your best pick-up game score' rule I could now look forward to dismissing one loss in the real tournament, enough of the prancing preliminary games! Onto the real ones. And this time with pictures!


Saturday Game One
So this is where the story really starts.

Just after 0900 and I've been drawn against Gary's British Regulars. They have a Sherman, a 25-pdr with spotter, a Bren carrier, a PIAT team, what I think was a Humber IV armoured car, a MMG team, medium mortar with spotter, Fwd Obs and 4 rifle sections. Their special rule was Rapid Fire.

The mission was Envelopment and the table looked like this:

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My plan was pretty simple. Bash up the roads, debussing the troops at or over the halfway mark on turn one or turn two as necessary to sweep his squads out the way and letting the tank and armoured car take any early fire. While he had only medium and light AT, he had 4 AT weapons and obviously the mortar capable of sticking Pins on armour. The Sherman worried me a bit with its medium gun. But while I've found that outflanking can quite often lead to problems for the attacker in Envelopment (which I know is kind of against what people tend to think), the straightforward 'all on turn one and charge' has worked well for me in previous games (in fact so much so that I've yet to lose an Envelopment mission where all my infantry are truck-mounted). So a tried and trusted plan albeit against an opponent who has good potential to neutralise my main asset.

So here was Gary's set up looking from my right to left. Apologies for the blurred images. NB no further pictures were forthcoming as Oberscharfuhrer Jaeger (who had the camera) was too busy either hiding from a Sherman or sprinting forward.

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Gary won the dice-off and elected to defend, which given his lack of transport was probably the best choice, although if he'd attacked, outflanked all his infantry squads - two each side - and started his vehicles, mortar and gun and PIAT (in the bren carrier with his officer), I think he could have made a good fist of attacking too given defending isn't really my list's forte. But it suited him to defend and me to attack and so the start was pleasing for both of us.

No bombardment came in, which was unfortunate in a way, but the British not starting with Pins definitely made the game more interesting!

After we'd drawn about two Orders dice, Edward's opponent announced he was unable to play and so Gary generously stood aside and Edward took over Gary's force (and then played it throughout the tournament). Unfortunately, unlike the succeeding games, I didn't take many photos and those I did take were pretty terrible. In essence, I bashed up both roads with armoured car, tank and heavy field car with pioneers up the left road and everything else in the two trucks up the right.

The armoured car was immobilised early on but although pummeling it with mortar fire, Ed failed to Pin it to death before the game's end. because of how I brought on my tank, his 25 pdr had to turn to bear (and could only shoot indirect via spotter and the tank did terrible execution amongst Edwar's infantry despite running out of ammo and surviving a penetrating PIAT shot. The Sherman caused my infantry all sorts of problems but was partly distracted by firing at my tank and eventually a pioneer squad exposed themselves on the open road to get a rear flamethrower shot that took it out.

With my squads pressing forward firing assault rifles and the tank advancing pumping out MG shots, Ed concentrated on eliminating weak targets and knocked out a couple of trucks. I managed to race the field car off-table and eventually got an assault rifle squad my tank off too. Another assault squad ended in Edward's deployment zone and as I'd eliminated a few of his units, that was enough to get the win although six of my units ended up destroyed, which gave a narrower margin than I'd have liked.

The road set-up both helped and hindered me but the woods and bocage gave good cover for Edward's men and made it hard to run forward (fortunately I was able to assault with one squad to get more than an Advance move up the table). I made a mistake with my armoured car's first move, advancing instead of running it, and ditto my tank. The amount of AT facing me made me act more cautiously than I should have done and that actually resulted in my armoured car getting immobilised.

A good game and I thought Edward played well with an unfamiliar army which had been set up by someone else against a force which I really like for attacking missions.

So a solid start for me. I felt a bit sorry for poor old Gary not getting a game in but Edward was a super opponent (and ended up winning the 'Sportsman' award for the whole Britcon event).


Saturday Game Two
Next up was Geoff with his British paras. Geoff was my kind of lunatic as, like me, he had named every figure in his force. However, unlike me, he had gone one step further and painted the names on the bases! And his paras were nice figures too.

Geoff had what was basically an infantry force featuring large squads armed with smgs but they were supported by one of the pesky British armoured cars, and it was my personal favourite, an AEC Mk III: an annoying recce vehicle with decent armour, closed topped and a dual-purpose medium AT/light HE gun. He also had a medic (cheap orders dice which was useful for such an elite force), a sniper, light mortar and 5 Inexperienced French resistance in an Inexperienced truck (a nice way of justifying cheap units that wouldn't otherwise fit into the para theme).

The mission was maximum attrition and I fancied my chances so long as I could keep my tank alive, not lose too many trucks and, importantly, not get into a close-range fight with the paras. On the downside their Stubborn rule meant I was almost always going to have to kill them. I decided to pick on the weak units if possible and hope my combo of ATR and 8-RAD would frustrate his AEC.

The board, as I mentioned earlier was a rather unfriendly one with lots of isolated buildings that had few exits facing the centre or opposing side of the table and so were better used as line of sight blockers and hard cover via partial concealment.

Geoff won the roll for table sides and picked the one without roads touching the edge, which I thought perhaps a mistake as it would have given me less freedom to manoeuvre early game if he'd picked mine. Against that was he had a much better positioned (more central) wood on the side he picked and probably it was easier for him to predict where I'd come on.

My overall plan was to send my tank up my left flank using buildings for cover but zoom my armoured car up the road to provide some cover for a truck or two. Essentially a kind of pincer movement. This was probably a mistake.

We both brought everything on in our first wave.

Here's the game in snapshot pictoral form:

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Essentially I brought my stuff on according to plan while Geoff brought his paras on into cover as much as possible. The French resistance fighters in their truck scooted out away to his right and I think they were bait to divert my tank. However I had a pioneer squad in a Field Car supporting the tank and they made pretty short shrift of the communists/gangsters and snaffled me some easy victory points.

However, after a cautious first turn, Geoff moved his AEC to a central postion and it caused me no end of grief until it was immobilised by a lucky ATR shot (Iron Cross for Rottenfuhrer van Rompu) and eventually destroyed by my rampaging Flammpanzer III.

While everything went pretty well on my left, where the Flammpanzer was, my right wasn't so rosy and I cam under severe pressure despite the squads there inflicting some fairly serious casualties (but not destroying any squads).

The Stubborn rule was invaluable to the paras as otherwise they would have had squads rout from half-casualties. But having it allowed them to hang on for a considerable time with the issue in some doubt.

However my tank's persistent refusal to run out of fuel until almost the very end was probably the decisive factor, coupled with a misinterpretation of the woods rule (boring thing to do with how units drew line of sight within a wood, we resolved it very quickly by amicable agreement and sorted out the truth after the game) that initially was very bad for me but in subsequent turns was entirely in my favour. Basically one of my squads was assaulted when I thought it was 'invisible' to the assaulting unit but after vengeance was extracted the same ruling worked in my favour.

In the end I won by a fairly healthy margin but the game was very bloody indeed (more so than most Maximum Attrition in my experience) and Geoff played his Paras with considerable skill.

Two games and two wins.


Saturday Game Three
This was Point Defence, the scenario I think my force is weakest at either attacking or defending due to the low number of infantry units and models.

I was drawn against tony's Soviet horde that comprised something like: officer, 2 Veteran SMG squads, 2 Regular LMG squads, the free rubbish rifle squad (all squads were at maximum strength), an ATR team, a medium mortar, a HMG, a MMG, a flamethrower team and a Zis-3 divisional gun.

Tony elected to defend, which suited us both (or at least was my 'least worst' alternative) and wisely he deployed only half his units keeping the rest in reserve, safe from preliminary bombardment.

The three objectives were: in a house on my right flank covered by a MMG and a LMG squad; in a central wood covered by the ATR team and the rubbish riflemen and on my left flank in a field covered by the divisional gun and a LMG team.

The bombardment was pleasingly effective, killing a man in the HMG team and putting 2 Pins on almost everything.

I now made a series of unaccountable and strange decisions entirely contrary to my normal doctrine.

I put both flamethrower squads in reserve to outflank on my right, despite my generally strong feeling against doing this. I split the rest of the force into two prongs, each taking one of the roads, and I focused on the two flank objectives rather than the central and one flank. I should in fact have advanced homongenously on my left and aimed for the central and my left flank objective.

However with Tony well-pinned and fluffing almost all his Rally orders on turn one (except, significantly for the HMG and the LMG squad in the house), things looked fairly rosy early doors.

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As you can see, my force was now pretty solidly mid-table though goodness only knows why I didn't Run the tanks and armoured car.

So now Tony committed some of his reserves (again he fluffed some rolls). And what i should have done here is leapt smartly back into the trucks and scooted along the road so he'd have to run to try and catch up, gaining me probably a turn's grace. But I didn't . . .

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on the left I advanced and did some autocannoning and burning.

At this point I should note that the Zis gun failed every Orders test (rally attempts) until turn 5 when the gunners finally woke up.

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Lots of action on my right and I hurt a SMG squad badly (not badly enough) but lost an assault rifle squad to flaming death. this forced me to bring on my flamethrower squads for support in a rather disadvantageous position lest his flamethrower team run amuck. Had my teams been present from the get go then I think I'd have been better placed. But that's what you get for going against your gut instincts. And Tony was playing really well, making good use of Ambush against my outflankers and advancing his SMGs in the open fearlessly in order to whittle me down. He knew he could easily go 2 or even 3-1 in infantry losses and still win.

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The situation was becoming desperate and while my armoured car shot up his LMG squad with impunity at point blank range, the Flammpanzer headed over to help save my right, pausing on the way to obliterate his Rifle squad, before trashing his remaining SMG squad quite nicely.

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But my infantry had taken horrendous casualties from small arms fire and were down to only a couple of men each.

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End of turn five and it looked like this:

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Tony still controlled all three objectives but I was poised to grab the middle one with my ATR team, whch he could do nothing about. The one on my left was beyond my control, so everything hinged on the house.

My flammpanzer would barbeque the LMG squad and my three remaining pioneers (but two flamethrowers . . .) might be able to dispose of his officer. All would depend on the order dice draw. Tony could destroy my remaining infantry leaving me unable to claim or contest the building objective, or I might wipe out his squad and officer and claim it myself unchallenged. or we might contest it and draw overall. It was bloody tense.

And then time was called.

Tony, in a magnificent gesture although he had won convincingly at this point, said as far as he was concerned the game should be a draw as it hadn't played to its end and a draw was the most likely result. I disagreed but he was pretty insistent. However Ed intervened from the neighbouring table and said, quite rightly, that the result should go down as a win for Tony, And in my view he'd played well enough to win whereas I'd made all sorts of errors and deserved to lose. My only regret is that we couldn't finish what was the most exciting game so far.


Saturday Game Four
A 750-pointer. Hold Until Relieved. Probably my favourite scenario in terms of overall satisfying feeling and one that I'm fairly content with as either attacker or defender.

Due to the sound thrashing inflicted on me in round three, I was via the inner mysteries of the Swiss system (I presume it was that anyway) I was drawn against Edward again. He had an armoured car, a truck-mounted autocannon, a 25-pdr, a medium mortar, a MMG, forward observer team, officer team and either three or four squads of rifles. He had the Rapid Fire special rule too.

Edward won the deployment roll (I didn't win any in aany of the eight games) and opted to attack, which I think was a sound choice as with three flamethrowers in my force his Regulars wouldn't stand much chance in buildings and it was an urban board with two four-storey terraced houses on his side of the middle where squads would need to be placed.

The objective was the centre of the table so I deployed on the first (ie not the ground floor) and second floors of the right hand house. Edward deployed in a rough crescent around the houses, using ruins for cover and proceeded to batter me for two turns with rifle shots, mortar and MG fire, with armoured car, autocannon and 25-pdr joining in on turn two when they arrived together with the offboard artillery strike. My squads took some casualties and many Pins but kept Down. And all my reserves came in on turn two which put Edward right up against it as my trucks screamed up the board to disgorge the officer and pioneer teams to the left of the buildings and my tank rolled down my right towards the mass of Edward's force.

With tricky lines of sight and hard cover abounding the table was tailor-made for flamethrowers to make a clean sweep and Edward's units were hit hard: all his squads and his armoured car succumbing, although my tank did run out of ammo.

But Edward focused doggedly on trashing the house with HE fire and by the time my officer squad made it into the house, he'd eliminated one squad entirely and the other had about 6 Pins. However things looked bleak for him by the end of turn 5 when he had only his MMG and officers left with my pioneers threatening. The win was beyond him now, though he bravely went for the draw:

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His officer team is just behind the wall directly ahead of my tank. His MMG team has moved into the road to the right of the officer team and his observer team is about to remove my field car. Note that my officer team is actually on the ground floor of the building and I have a heavily Pinned rifle squad on the third floor. The only other thing Edward had left was the autocannon truck which is out of shot to the right. My pioneers are to the left of his officer as you look at the building.

All depended on the orders dice draw.

First out was brown. Ed charges the MG team into the house! 3 Regulars with one attack each against two veterans with two attacks each. He gets kill-kill-miss. I get kill-kill-miss-miss. He wins! So now my flamethrower has to destroy the MG team, which it does. My second pioneer squad destroys his officer. Can the tank kill his observers in the open?

No!

Edward gets the draw!

This turned out a much better game than it looked like being by turn four, mainly due to Edward's dogged refusal to give up in a hopeless situation. He thoroughly deserved the tie.


Sunday Game Five
So with 2 wins, a draw and a loss, I was about upper-mid table by my rough calculations but nobody was unbeaten and anyway you could use the dodgy 'swap my worst score' rule to swap in a win from the preliminary games. In effect I was 3-1-0 (NB we go W-D-L on the right side of the Atlantic . . .) not 2-1-1. Mind you, everyone could do that and so i'm not sure it made much odds. Anyway, I knew I had to win both of Sunday's games. As it happens those games were Demolition and Top Secret and with my very mobile force I was extremely confident of winning Top Secret against any army present and i though I'd probably be quiet well set up for Demolition too.

As it turns out the draw threw me up against Tony's Soviets in the first game which was, for reasons unclear to me as we had a huge break afterwards, only 750 points (this made no odds in the end, the result would have been the same at 1000 points).

The table was the same as in the previous game (the city board) and when Tony opted for the side that Edward had held (meaning the objective was on my side of the two buildings) I was even more confident. In fact so confident, and mindful of his generous offer of a draw in our previous match, I offered to shift the objective to one or other of the central buildings (ie more to his side). He declined and again we were told to play by the rule, which was fair enough.

Short and sweet, this. While Tony's horde lumbered in comical Soviet peasant style on from his side, my Dutch and Flems swept on in their transports, debussed and grabbed the objective on turn one.

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Turn two the unit with the objective made a dash for their truck, taking one hit on the way from rifle and LMG fire, although I'd previously screened them with a field car to stop them being caught in the open by the inevitable Ambush, and next Orders dice they sped off the board in the truck.

A win but a tremendously unsatisfying game. I felt doubly bad as Tony and I had had such a good game previously. But he took it well and the very long break that followed allowed everyone to have a good chat about rules, lists and all kinds of stuff. i must say my feeling is that Top Secret in its current form is the worst of all the games. Simply having three markers, only one of which is 'real' would add something to the mission and cut down a little bit on too-easy victories. Alternatively only allowing units on foot to enter on turn one would make things more challenging for the truck-borne.


Sunday Game Six

It now turned out that after winning Top Secret, I'd sneaked into second place, a point behind John in first place and a couple of points ahead of third. There wasn't much in things and as John and myself had to play each other, if we drew, we both might be pipped for first.

So this game was Demolition at 1000 points and on my least favourite table (which was actually a really good table because it was very unfriendly towards both players.

John had Italians (I'd played him in one of the Friday preliminaries, you'll recall, and his recce flamethrower car had given me a torrid time of it). However he didn't have it in his 1000 point list. he had two large SMG squads of veterans, two large regular squads, an armoured car, a light tank with triple MGs, light mortar, ATR, officer and possibly something else.

He chose the side without the roads which let him deploy his objective in woods far from a flank. I had a choice of deploying mine in woods (so he'd not have line of sight to it) and ambushing him as he came in as the woods were perilously close to my flank, or of placing mine centrally in a kind of fenced area but central and safe from flanking.

I plumped for the woods as I thought he might castle up more if I went central and his tank could overrun its way into the fenced area more easily than it could the woods (where I could lurk with my flamethrowers on ambush). Afterwards John said that's pretty much what he'd have done. It was a risk allowing him to outflank but I'd calculated timings quite nicely and there was plenty of time to get his objective and back to reinforce my own before he could come in turn four or five to threaten it. No bother.

So I put two assault squads in the woods along with a pioneer squad, all more than 2" inside and so would remain hidden until Ambush was triggered. Everything else went into reserve except tank and armoured car which started on the roads, the former near my squads, the latter way back in my right hand corner.

John had deployed his regulars deep in the woods with his officer and his mortar and ATR hidden on the edges of the woods. His veterans and his tank were outflanking, his armoured car coming on from reserve.

This time I had a strong plan, a good position and I'd enticed John to split his force against a mobile foe on a board with excellent roads. What could go wrong?

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Well turn one not much happened (only the Italians in the woods are 'on table', the other stuff to their right is in reserve still). A lot of 'downing' of reserves, 'ambushing' those hidden and I raced my 231 right up the table to reveal his ATR and mortar and then raced it straight back again out of range to avoid his AT shot. However my tank moved up and was fired on by John's mortar. He rolled a six. one Pin. No big deal, right?

Wrong. Turn two my tank failed its orders test. Then all my reserves failed to enter. I brought my armoured car up and fired a bit but an entire turn had effectively been wasted. Now the luxury of time I had enjoyed had disappeared. The plan would still work but everything needed to come on and function next turn. John brought his armoured car on and put anothe rPin on the tank, and the mortar and ATR added another two. 4 Pins on a Regular vehicle! Gah!

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Turn three and my officer to the rescue. He leapt out his truck and told the tank commander in no uncertain terms to stop faffing about and get on with it. Panzer advance! One dead ATR team. Meanwhile my armoured car shot at his and forced it to withdraw, recce-ing away in its own turn (before the tank moved up. With my tank poised for a move forward to the objective, John had no choice but to move his squads up, preparing to assault. One went after the 'downed' armoured car but failed its orders test and was roasted. the other bravely charged the tank but failed to do penetrate. My pioneer squad then moved up in support of the tank and roasted them. The way was clear to the objective! But could I hold onto mine?

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The pioneers had two advances to reach the objective and it looked like it might just be a shade too far so the tank (with officer to buck its ideas up about passing orders tests) had to give it a go. but that meant it would be unavailable to help back at my objective. Nothing for it but to make sure and it duly rolled into the woods and destroyed the objective. The only reinforcement I could spare for my objective was my ATR team who leapt into the field car and were whizzed to the edge of the woods.

So I'd either won or would draw.

But on my objective things were happening!

Turn four John brought on his two squads and his tank. Could I hold out? Two assault rifle squads and a pioneer squad versus two SMG squads and a light tank . . .

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My ATR moved up and put a Pin on his tank. My flamethrower ambushed his squad as it advanced in the wood and whoosh!

Here I made a mistake. I moved an assault rifle squad up to fire on the remaining SMG squad to inflict a Pin and at least make them pass an Orders test before destroying my Pioneers, but I should have kept them on Ambush.

Because MG fire from the tank caused enough casualties to enforce a morale check and they failed!

John now brought on his last squad:

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And his bloody armoured car popped over the hill too. At least it couldn't enter the wood.

Everything now came down to orders dice sequence.

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My pioneers flamed the recently arrived squad but it didn't flee.

His intact (more or less) SMG squad charged the pioneers and wiped them out.

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His tank came forward ready for a tank assault onto the objective if necessary!

But my ATR team knocked it out! Iron Cross First Class for Rottenfuhrer von Rompu!

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My assault rifles now had to charge and hope to destroy the SMG squad facing them (and then hope they could consolidate far enough to block the squad with 3 Pins just in case they passed their orders test.

The whole game, the whole competition now came down to this one assault:

14 hits needing 5+ to kill. The enemy had 8 figures.

The maths was in my favour (I should kill about 5 of his men leaving him 6 attacks, which should kill about 2 of mine).

But what happened?


Game 6 Last Rolls of the Dice
My boys charged in.

3 kills. Gah! But with him having with ten attacks I should be okay. A win or tie is still likely.

John rolls his ten dice needing 5+ on each.

4 kills!

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He wins the assault and his consolidation move will take him onto the objective.

Draw!

A really super game this one and a fitting end. However we now had to wait to see if a draw would be enough to keep John top and me in second or if we'd be leap-frogged by Tony who was in third.


Results
Tony didn't win. fortunately we'd all won at least one of our Friday night games so the 'swapping out' of a low Saturday or Sunday score for a Friday win (which is something I confess I didn't like but is a staple of other Britcon games) didn't make a difference to the overall result. Even better, six games eliminated the need for any separation based on 'victory points' or 'casualty points' or attrition, which was nice and I think had we played the planned 7 games the lack of need for a tiebreak would have been even more certain. That said there was only a hairsbreadth between the first three places, so it was pretty close all in all.

1 - John
2 - Me
3 - Tony

We all got prizes courtesy of Warlord and Ed, who brought up the rear, got a 4ground building as a (very nice) consolation prize. We also had the satisfaction of seeing a Bolt Action player, Edward, struggle away with the 5' steel sword that is Britcon's Overall Best Sportsman's prize.

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Themed Selectors:

Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Last edited by UberGruber on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:30 pm, edited 29 times in total.



Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:03 pm
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Looking Forward to it :D

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Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:24 pm
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So far, so awesome. Can't wait for more info.


Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:57 am
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First (preliminary) game report up.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:32 am
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Yay! Assault Rifles, Flamers and VFTs! :roll:


Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:51 am
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And all historically researched too!

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:58 am
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Ill see what other pictures my dad has on his camera when he gets home from work and what I have got on mine.

Good weekend though shame I didn't get to play due to people dropping out, but should be fun year table plans already being drawn up for next year.


Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:41 am
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Friday night's games and the first of Saturday's now complete in the OP.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:05 pm
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So far so good. Glad to see someone else talking about how great wheeled, soft-skinned, transports are.


Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:45 pm
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I think I was the only person with a soft transport and I'm certain I was the only player who could fit all his infantry into transports.

EDIT: Geoff had an Inexperienced Truck, which I remembered as I was writing up his game.

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Themed Selectors:

Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Last edited by UberGruber on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:05 pm
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It's insane, right?

I mean, I get it. Trucks fall firmly onto the snooze-worthy side of the awesome scale when compared with things like tanks and armored cars, so of course no one is going to buy a truck with their first ever vehicle purchase. Now, though, that people are expanding their collections, it's time to fork over the cash for your first truck, people. Trust us!


Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:39 pm
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It's the ability to get halfway (or further roads permitting) up the board on turn of entry that does it. I find sometimes they also escape enemy attention when empty and can then be used as line of sight blockers /cover (a bit of a cheap tactic mind) or can be handy for a unit to leap into and then whizz away somewhere else.

As this was essentially the first national BA tournament most of us had been to (I don't think any of the players at Britcon had been to Rushden), the fact that the full gamut of scenarios would have to be played didn't necessarily impact on people's list-building quite as much as it might have.

And as you say, trucks aren't really very sexy. They're just really useful.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:49 pm
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Oh, who just ordered more trucks for ze Chermans and zee Americanas? Me baby!

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:58 pm
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First two of Saturday's game up. The second has some pictures of in-game events (on the whole I got better at taking pictures as the games went on although blurriness was always an issue).

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:00 pm
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Saturday game three now complete with increased picture count (though apologies for the lack of focus in some).

And Saturday game four now on too.

And Sunday game five.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:28 pm
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Great reporting. At first I was irritated with the photos, but every picture seems to have an empty plastic cup in it somewhere, so I figure those pictures are as good as a shaky boozer like UG could manage.

Welcome to The BAR.

So - how about the crazy data for mining?


Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:52 pm
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As regards the pictures, they are pretty poor. but you have to bear in mind that over about 15 years of pretty intensive mountaineering and climbing I managed to get about 20 pictures of half-decent quality. I'm just not much of a photographer . . .)

I'm afraid I don't have the lists, I'll see if the organisers still have them for data purposes. to be honest this was more a personal experience than an overview which I think the organisers would be better placed to give (as to be honest I wasn't paying much attention to what precisely went on elsewhere. In fact I have only a vague idea of who beat who round to round).

However there was a noticeable lack of HE larger than light howitzer or medium mortar and there were a fair few maximum strength squads packed with SMGs. most of the forces seemed to bear more resemblance to those of the earliest US tournament than the latter day ones.

I've not finished writing up the last battle yet but some things did seem to be almost universally felt:

vehicle flamethrowers are silly
infantry flamethrowers are actually more or less okay
LMGs need a boost
armoured transports are way too expensive for what they offer
trucks are a good thing (I think almost everyone who didn't have one was thinking about getting one soon).
the terrain was about right density-wise, but having a 'city board' wasn't great for a tournament and it might be better to have two halves of a town straddling two boards with the other two board halves more open.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:08 pm
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Thanks for sharing this Uber.

For that matter, a big thank you to everyone that enriches our hobby experience by sharing THIER experiences with US!!!

/salute

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Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:26 pm
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Nice Reports. The last one left me wanting more. Can't wait to see what happens.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:48 pm
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Okay, last game is up. There is a better cliffhanger than before. . . it was a classic game (in my humble opinion anyway) coming down to literally the last two orders of the game and hinging on the outcome of a close-range assault

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:45 pm
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Great work, UG! The BAR salutes you!

What about Tony and Ed? Are they BARbarians, or just lucky?


Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:23 pm
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All attendees got a £5 (rumoured to perhaps increase next year but don't quote me on that as a certainty) voucher good for any purchase above £20 on any stall at the show, so no-one went away empty handed. I don't have the full results list (my brain was pretty fried by Sunday afternoon and I was too distracted by game-chat and watching the Saga competition to think of getting it. i'll try and get hold of everyone's lists and the final results this week and add them to the thread.

Indeed some folk went away burdened with trucks and tanks enough to keep them occupied for quite a while.

One thing that came out of a conversation with Geoff in our very long Sunday lunchbreak was how closely we agreed on what needs adjusting in Bolt Action and it was great to get fresh ideas on how that might be achieved.

With a good few attendees vowing to bring vehicle flamethrowers next time (and Ed has a plan for a German list with two 251/16s I think), I think I'll need to be bringing a LRDG force. Time for a big spend. . . and maybe making a desert table to somehow drag along.

In fact I hope to have the LRDG ready for Cardiff in November.

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Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:40 pm
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UberGruber wrote:
All attendees got a £5 (rumoured to perhaps increase next year but don't quote me on that as a certainty) voucher good for any purchase above £20 on any stall at the show, so no-one went away empty handed. I don't have the full results list (my brain was pretty fried by Sunday afternoon and I was too distracted by game-chat and watching the Saga competition to think of getting it. i'll try and get hold of everyone's lists and the final results this week and add them to the thread.

Indeed some folk went away burdened with trucks and tanks enough to keep them occupied for quite a while.

One thing that came out of a conversation with Geoff in our very long Sunday lunchbreak was how closely we agreed on what needs adjusting in Bolt Action and it was great to get fresh ideas on how that might be achieved.

With a good few attendees vowing to bring vehicle flamethrowers next time (and Ed has a plan for a German list with two 251/16s I think), I think I'll need to be bringing a LRDG force. Time for a big spend. . . and maybe making a desert table to somehow drag along.

In fact I hope to have the LRDG ready for Cardiff in November.


We are already making both desert, jungle and snow tables for next year as well as planning next year's themed tables.

I do have all the list on email if you want me to send them over to you?


Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:34 pm
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All Britcon results are on our Facebook page

Technically it was a voucher for £5 off any £10 spend this year, and provided we get similar or better numbers next year I'm hoping to be able to repeat it, as well as maybe even bring the entry price down too. All depends on the venue quote for the Uni next year really.

If the cost becomes a de-facto £40 as a result, that starts getting a lot closer to the £25-odd for 4 games in 2 days events benchmark as well, but with some impressive terrain and the extra angle of 6-9 games!

Tim

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Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:56 pm
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Thanks for the solid coverage!


Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:01 pm
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