Monday, 22 September 2014

AfterBolt2 After Action Report

Welcome back to the hovel of madness fellow readers.

Wow, what can i say about the last few weeks.
In a blind panic i had to paint the best part of half my Bolt Action British Airborne army in just over a week.
Tears, tantrums, purity sealing frosty frustrations and a testors dullcote miracle. All this and more, built up to a crescendo as i took on my first ever adventure into the tournament scene.

On Sunday i ventured off to Aftermath Gaming Clubs second annual Bolt Action tournament. With a 1000pts of British Airborne i joined forces with other allied commanders to square off against the nefarious forces of the Axis powers.
Nerves jangled, going into the day i had a massive 2 games of Bolt Action under my belt and my expectations were low.

Registration complete, i waited nervously for my 1st game.

Table 10 vs Godfrey and his Germans in the Demolition mission. For those not familiar with BA. Both players have 50% of their forces on the table and 50% off table. Both armies nominate a 'base' that the opposing player has to capture.
Looking across the table my heart dropped. A flampanzer tank faced me and i knew how ill prepared my 12th Para force was to face off against armour.
Both sides gingerly probed across the battlefield over turn 1 with very little fire, though an opening salvo for my medium mortar team, put a German mortar to the sword.
Spying a large wood over the horizon, my Forward observer contacted base for artillery support and waited.
As turn 2 began, shells whizzed overhead, but where would they fall (anyone familiar with my FOO exploits knew that my own troops would be cowering in fear). But not this time, the artillery fell bang on target, knocking out a German gun in the woods and splintering trees. Alas the infantry that had been hiding up until then, cleared out of the woods just in time to escape.

As the turn progressed, both sides gained reinforcements and manoeuvred to better exploit any openings. The flampazer began its reign of terror immolating my flamethrower team in an example of 'my guns bigger than yours. Then its machine gun claimed the life of a mortar man.

Turn 3 and a slow paced game got urgent as i misheard the call of '45 minutes remaining' and thought they said 15 minutes.....
The flampanzer continued its reign of terror as it immolated half an infantry squad protecting my base. My Howitzer failed to do anything and a speculative mortar shot sailed off into the distance. My back against the wall, fearing time running out and chances. I threw my 2 recce jeeps at the enemy objective. Multiple Panzerfausts later and only 1 remained and only because he slammed the jeep into revers. Foiled.
Turn 4 got under way and a call of 30 minutes was made...hang on...what. Noooooo. My mistake realised. I knew i was battling to survive my first tournament game.
One of my medium mortars came to the rescue though as it landed a round square onto the flampanzer and immobilised it. The gun could still reek havoc but it would never get to roll onto my base.
A German puma rolled in from outflank on my right flank. But was summarily stunned into submission, when a squad of brave Paras charged into combat with it!. A speculative shot then put the enemy commander to the sword as the game ground to a close.
A draw the result as i took 6vp and my opponent 5.

Game 2 saw me move up to table 3 and face Darren's German armoured force Point Defence. An army i felt was more than deserving of the title 'Best Painted'. But like the game that was about to unfold, Darren's luck evaded him.
I took the defence roll and dug in as his force threw themselves at me.
Turn 1 saw a spot prize awarded to me in the form of a Sarissa Spot light as my voice boomed out Fuuuuubar. What fubar you may flamethrower team who in their blind panic at an earlier artillery bombardment, decided my commander was German and proceeded to roast him alive, not content with their achievement they then ran out of fuel and left the battlefield to many a allied cat call.
The rest of the game went my way though and dice came up trumps for the Paras as they put squad after squad to death and managed to avoid the attentions of German mortar fire and a Stuug tank. The final insult being mt sniper picking out Darren's officer with a cross board shot.
Final VP was 11-1.

Game 3 came about and i found myself at the dizzying heights of table 1 vying for the chance to be a tournament only my 5th game of Bolt Action.
My opponent was Dave's Japanese hoard, with the Tourney Organiser gently pointing out my newbishness in a plea for mercy, battle commenced in the 'Maximum Attrition' (straight up kill each other fight) mission.
What ever pleas had been made fell on deaf ears as not only did Dave continue his horrendous Japanese assault, but my luck dragon that had been flying so well, vanished. 1s to hit and double 6s and high rolls for leadership plagued me and by turn 3 i knew i was out of the game and vying not to be tabled.
With vengeance in their hearts my Recce jeeps claimed the life of Dave's commander and as turn 6 came to a close the only survive British troops were the crew of a loan mortar, facing off against an almost entire Japanese army. But my small aim was achieved and i failed to be tabled.
Final vp 1-11.

As everyone cleared away we gathered for the prizes and results.
Last years winner suffered a horrendous fall from grace picking up the wooden spoon or as it was called 'rubber bullet' as he was awarded literally a clip of rubber bullets.
Various other prizes went around for the people who went from highest to lowest after game 1 and vice versa.

Then the hobbyist award was announced. Based on Painting, presentation and fluff. I fully expected Darrens Germans to take the prize and was utterly shocked when my name was called. To be honest even now i feel a tad guilty as i felt his army outshone mine.
I am still in shock now.

The rankings were next up with a replica Victoria cross going to the top allied general and a replica iron cross to the top axis commander.
I cant remember the name of the top allied commander (sorry fuzzy brained i am). But i came in 3rd for the Allies. Dave and his Japanese went on to take the top prizes for winner, axis commander, casualties caused.

So at the end of the day after all was said and done, a pretty good day. Losing out only to the eventual champion, taking home best hobbyist and having some good honest fun games.

Of course to round of the rambling wreck of a expect pics and who am i to refuse. Incommmmming!

Prize hall , yaaaaar he be ma booty.

Darren's stunning Germans who i felt should have won Best Painted

and now for my stuff.

My display board for the day..that involved countless abusive words when trying to get the foliage on the trees!

My full army on display

2nd Lieutenant

Sniper Team

Forward Observer team

Flame Thrower team

Para Section 1

Para Section 2

Para Section 3

Para Section 4

Para Medium Mortar 1

Para Medium Mortar 2

75mm Howitzer

and finally my pair of Recce Jeeps

So there we go folks, something i haven't fielded in many years. A fully painted army!!!

Oh and for anyone not yet bored.
Here's the fluff i presented with my army.

Battle of Bréville
The battle of Bréville took place in the days following d-day. Fought between June 7th and June 12th 1944, It pitched elements of the 6th Airborne division, 1st Commando battalion, 12 Battalion of The Devonshire Regiment, 12th Independent battalion and the 13th/18th Royal Hussars.
The force you are facing is comprised elements of the 12th Parachute Battalion from the night of June 12th 1944, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Johnson. These men would lead the final assault to clear the German presence from Bréville.
On 6 June 1944, the 6th Airborne Division landed in Normandy to secure the left flank of the British landing zone. The division's objectives were to capture intact the Caen canal bridge, the Orne river bridge, destroy the Merville gun battery and the bridges crossing the River Dives.
The division's two parachute brigades, landing in the early hours of 6 June, were scattered across the countryside during the parachute drop. They did,however carry out all of their objectives.
The 6th Airborne Division, now with the commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade under command, had to defend the Orne bridgehead. This was not an easy task as it had to face elements of the 21st Panzer Division from the south and the 346th and 711th Infantry Divisions from the east.
The airborne division's brigades prepared to hold the positions they had captured, with the 5th Parachute Brigade, as the division's depth formation, dug into the east of the River Orne bridge.The 6th Airlanding Brigade was in the south between Longueval and Hérouvillette.
The two remaining brigades dug in along a ridge of high ground that, if lost, offered the Germans a position to look down on the British landing zone. The 1st Special Service Brigade was in the north on a line from Hauger to Le Plein. In between the commandos and the airlanding brigade was the 3rd Parachute Brigade.
Their defensive line, however, was incomplete, as the small village of Bréville-les-Monts, between the commandos and the 3rd Parachute Brigade, was held by the Germans. Located on the ridge line it gave the Germans a view into Ranville, at the heart of the British position, the two captured bridges and in the distance Sword beach.
The battle for Bréville
Between June 7th and 10th, The allied forces had to fend off numerous attacks from the German forces in and around Bréville. As the Germans gathered strength in the village of Bréville, it became apparent that the allied forces would need to take the village to secure the line.
Elements of the British 1st Corps were ordered to reinforce the 6th Airborne division. This included the 51st Highland Infantry division and the 5th Battalion Black watch, who were ordered to prepare for an assault on Bréville.
June 11th.
At 04:30 on June 11th, supported by artillery fire, the 5th Battalion of the Black Watch launched their attack. Crossing the 250 metres of open ground towards Bréville would cost the Black Watch 200 men and see their attack fail.
June 12th.
General Gale realised that to relieve the pressure on the allied lines he had to take the village as soon as possible. The only forces left at his disposal were 12th Para, D company the Devonshire regiment, 13/18th Royal Hussars Tank regiment and 3 field artillery regiments with 25pdr guns.
Hoping to catch the Germans off balance after the previous assault. The attack was launched at 22.00.
What happened next of course will be decided by the games you are about to play.
But for historical accuracy, 12 Para lost 126 men, leaving its 3 rifle companies with just 35 men between them. By the end of the battle every officer, warrant officer and sergeant major had been killed.
The Germans however, would not attempt to break through 6th Airborne's lines again.