Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wizards of Oz

I didn't get my Bolt Action game last night as Julian couldn't get away, which was a shame as I was looking forward to being the 'goodies' for a change with my British against his Italians. Instead I joined a game of Battlegroup involving Australians and Germans on Crete, I went for the Aussies, and led a company against some dug in Fallschirmjager in a nearby village, I took the left flank.

As I was getting ready I could not find my trusty tape measure which caused me some consternation, I have had that battered old thing since starting serious wargaming and, although not heartbroken, I am upset I cannot find it, I intend to scour the house and cars again this morning before giving it up for lost.

Anyway I digress, as well as my company I had a battered old Matilda which the Aussies had put together from old scrap metal seemingly, but this didn't do me any good at all as it broke down on entering the battlefield and the crew abandoned it. There wasn't a lot of Germans on my side of the table and I decided just to go hell for leather at them and overwhelm them. Despite several units getting pinned on the way in I got enough up to destroy the Germans and claim two objective points.

For the rest of the game I gave covering fire to Ian who was cautiously advancing on my right and managed to help out a little by pinning troops behind a barricade and lobbing the odd mortar shell into the village. After a while his attack began to gain momentum and we managed to destroy the German forward forces and pin many in the village. Just before what would become an all out attack the buzzer went for time, the Aussies claimed a victory.

How did the game play, well I think if the Germans had put more men in their forward defences they would have held us rather than putting their machine guns in the village as we had some pretty open ground to cover, which you cannot do unless you have overwhelming forces or armour, and we were left with one tank. Artillery was introduced in this game and it, and the fact we had to look up quite a few rules in the book, slowed things down a bit. I argued for the fact that having actually worked a radio net for artillery support, and being good at it, I should have got a +1 when calling for a stonk, but this fell on deaf ears.

On a side note, when I did the training for Naval Gunfire Support at the commando school in Poole we were taught on 'Raikes Range'. This was a huge building with a fabric net suspended about six feet off the floor which was marked in a grid, the fabric had towns, villages, artillery positions, tank parks, airfields etc. in 6mm scale or something akin to it, a massive diorama in other words. We stood in a little control room at the back with binoculars, we would pick a target, then wait, a little puff of smoke would appear, a machine under the net was moved around on the grid and puffed smoke up to register a shell dropping. Once on target of course we 'fired for effect', I loved it. And if you think that is cool, the Fleetwork Trainer moved little coloured ships around on a cinema screen while we manouvred them sitting in a copy of a ships bridge!


  1. Now that is wargaming.
    How are you finding Battlegroup rules?

    1. I am more than happy to play them, my first two games were a lot faster than last nights, we got bogged down with looking things up. I wouldn't yet buy the rules or switch to 20mm, but we will see how things go at the club, as I said I would like to get a NW Europe game in.

  2. Sounds like you are inching towards liking the rules George?

    1. The rules are fine David, I just cannot justify starting a whole new scale etc. because I always jump in with two feet, without having a retired wargame fanatic like me as an opponent.