Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Hey! Whatsa Matter You?

I think a good number of you will get the title and remember the awful pidgen Italian song, why am I steering towards Italy, because last night I fought them. Both Rob and I were at a loose end so as I mentioned before he asked for an introduction to Bolt Action, which, considering I have only ever had about three proper games was a brave thing to do.

We pretended the French terrain was Sicily in 1943. I was unsure what Rob would bring as he seems to have a lot of what he likes and he likes WWII Italians, I took three understrength platoons in order to field a six pounder anti-tank gun towed by a Universal Carrier, I was sure he would have some kind of tank and I imagined Italian tanks would be cheaper than Allied or German. I also went for a mortar with spotter, an MMG and my trusty armoured car, I thought that lot would cover all bases. The Italians also had three squads, a sniper, a light mortar, an MMG and a tank, but a little one carrying only two machine guns, oh and a 47mm anti-tank gun, I could have had so much more without that six pounder.

Simple attrition game again as I am making objectives at the moment and I will not play with something I don't have or is unpainted, that's just me. Off we went and Rob put down what I thought was a machine gun team, I moved my gun with tow on table and immediately a shell came hurtling down the road, thankfully it missed. I had planned to make the centre of the table a killing ground for Italian vehicles but there really were none and so I made a big mistake putting the anti-tank gun in the front line. I did manage to get my MMG and spotter in a nearby house and Rob did the same with his sniper and MMG, however he moved an infantry squad up and ruined the LOS for the MMG.

A tank of sorts.
6 pdr about to set up far too close to the enemy.

The little tankette decided things were too dangerous for it and it hid behind a building, however it was enough of a threat to stop me flanking and I sent the squad to the centre instead, here I had begun to pour some pain on the enemy at the fence while they looked forlornly at the building behind them and no doubt wished themselves inside. On the other flank I took a pounding and got a squad wiped out as they went to ground instead of running for cover. My mortar seemed to be no danger to the sniper at all as shot after shot missed, as did the fire coming from my armoured car, at this point the sniper was after my gun crew and I limbered up and fled for the rear, followed by 47mm shells which must have been provided by the same company which supplied my mortar ammo. At a safe distance I unlimbered and set up in defense. Meanwhile I had to pull my MMG team out of harms way and they too ran to the rear, my armoured car also made a tactical re-deployment to get to the right flank, once again the Italian gun missed.

Hit the deck lads.
I did eventually manage to kill off the Italian squad opposite me in the centre and just as we entered the last move the mortar switched to a new target and landed a devastating barrage on one of Rob's squads making for the spotters house. Rob was also rewarded and his up until now useless gun managed to hit a squad, kill some men and have it fail morale and disperse. This desperate fling of the die gave Rob a slight advantage in units killed but on reading the rules just now not enough to gain a victory, but he can brag a killing more of me than I did of him.

A very unveteran, veteran crew.

The game went very well and I have learned a lot of the rules and mechanisms now, so the groundwork is complete for the arrival of version two in about four or five weeks. My mortar and Rob's anti-tank gun were abysmal all game until the last turn when both hit spectacularly, however, during most of the fight my die rolling was dreadful with ones and twos arriving with monotonous regularity. I really need to consign my blue dice to the same bucket as my yellow ones. My one big mistake in this game was not to use the range of the six pounder, why I put it up on the front line is beyond me, I did manage to save it but only just.

Elsewhere we had the monthly meet of the D&D campaigners, two boardgames and a very nice looking Sharpe Practice 2 game.

Sharpe Practice 2
 When getting my army ready for the game I could not find my artillery spotter, I was certain I had one, I could even remember the radio having a waterproof cover of some kind, but the team were nowhere to be seen, so I ordered another one from Warlord along with a British flamethrower. Last night as I put the terrain down, guess who were sitting on their backsides inside one of the buildings, the bloody spotter and his mate! Ah well, the mortar will get a new, improved spotter and my HQ will get a radio op, it's an ill wind.....


  1. Another good game there :o)
    Some good questions (with useful answers) posted on FB too.

    1. FB is at least good for wargaming, you can get an answer within minutes, especially good if you are in game!