February 28, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'Mortar Team'

With the weekend approaching and wanting to get some games in against my son, I decided to paint a small unit for him last night so I know it would be done in time.  In his list of models, he has a 'Mortar Team'.  I knew I was going to be able to get this unit done last night for tabletop quality.

With having to do some other errands this weekend, not sure how much progress I'll be making on the US Army.  I'd like to get another Infantry squad done, and I am still waiting for the metal pieces for the Sherman tank from Warlord Games so I can finish that model.  Hopefully those pieces will arrive today or tomorrow and I can get the tank painted up.

United States: Mortar Team
United States: Mortar Team
United States: Mortar Team
Painting Points: 3

February 27, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'Command'

You cannot have a 'Reinforced Platoon' without a Command in Bolt Action, so the next group of guys for the US Army were the Command models.  1 Captain, 1 Lieutenant and 2 Soldiers with SMG's to accompany them.  The US Army Command package also came with a Medic, but we'll get to him some other day.

United States: Captain/Lieutenant and 2 SMG's

United States: Captain/Lieutenant and 2 SMG's
Painting Points: 4

February 26, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'Regular Infantry Squad 2'

Just like Squad 1 that was completed last week, Squad 2 is an exact copy (actually 3 & 4 will eventually be the same also).  My son and I built each squad to be 12 men; 1 NCO w/SMG, 2 BAR's, and 9 Riflemen.  He usually plays the squads as late war infantry with 11 men, and by building it to be 12 men, he can remove one of the BAR's and also play them as a 11 men early war squad.

With 'Gathering in the Desert' now in the books, it was time to get back too painting.  I based and primed the squad on Monday night and once the primer was dry started the painting.  Last night I finished them up along with their bases.

United States: Regular Infantry Squad 02
United States: Regular Infantry Squad 02
Now it's time to move onto some Command models so he can have a fully painted 600 point force, then we will continue on to 1000 points.

Painting Points: 12

February 24, 2014

Gathering in the Desert 2014: Recap

Gathering in the Desert February 22nd-23rd, 2014

This past weekend was Gathering in the Desert 2014 and it was hosted at Imperial Outpost Games.  GitD originally started back in 2008 as a 'Lord of the Rings' tournament with the final LotR event taking place in 2012.  Tim K the organizer of the 2014 GitD was taking a new approach this year with 'Bolt Action'.  I have not helped/attended GitD since 2010 (nor any large event since 2010) so when I found out GitD will be played with 'Bolt Action' this year, that got me back into gaming last month and the start of my Soviet Union army.  So with only 2 games under my command, my son and I were heading into the tournament.  My plan was to use GitD to play 5 games, have fun, learn the rules better and to meet up with some old friends.

With GitD 2014 being the inaugural year for Bolt Action, there were 14 players that had signed up for the event,  7 Axis and 7 Allies with 4 of the players coming from my old hometown Chicago.  Tim's plan was for each Round that it would be Axis vs Allies.  I was obviously playing my Soviet army, and my son (since his US army is not done yet) was playing one of Tim's German armies.

When we arrived Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, the store was all set up, tables ready to go, and the battles to begin at 10:00 AM.  There was going to be 3 games played on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday.

As I entered IOG with all the tables setup.
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4
Table 5
Table 6
Table 7
All the tables looked amazing and I want to thank everyone that was involved making the terrain.  I will be 'stealing' a lot of the ideas from the tables for my own 'garage table' so my son and I can game.

Onto to the battle reports, I wont go into too much detail, just some quick highlights.


Game 1
Scenario: Recon
Objective: Exit the opposing sides table edge.
Special Rule: Night Fight
Armies: Soviet Union vs Germany (Kyle T)

In Game 1 were playing with the special rule add-on for night fighting.  This made it very difficult for anyone too anything to shoot, which I knew was going to cost me.  One other thing that hurt me in this game was not taking advantage of the 'outflank' rule for 'reserves'.  Since I was still learning the game I did not want to get too involved with the advanced rule, but since the objective of this game was to get more models off the opposing sides edge than your enemy, 'outflank' would have been very beneficial.  Early on in this game a German Fallschirmjager unit with 4 Panzerfausts shot at my T-34/85 tank and easily destroyed it (that was going to hurt).  With the night fighting rules it was very hard to kill units.  The Germans were able to open a hole on my right side of the table and at the end of the game managed to get 2 models off the table.  The Soviets lost the game 2 models to 0.

Game 1
Game 1: Soviet T-34/85 destroyed.
Game 2
Scenario: Maximum Attrition
Objective: Destroy the enemy.
Armies: Soviet Union vs Germany (Robert B)

This past weekend I had two awesome games that I have ever played in my life and this was one of them.  Not because I squeaked out a victory (ok, that may be a small part), but my opponent Robert was just a very fun opponent to play against and helped me to understand the rules even more.  In this battle you scored 1 victory point for each enemy unit killed and you had to score 2 or more victory points than your opponent to win.

This game was tight the whole way.  I jumped out with a quick kill when my T-34/85 tank destroyed the German Wirbelwind tank, but from then on the game was basically a draw till the end.  The unit that one the game for me was my 'free rifle squad', these guys were able to take a Flamethrower team giving the Soviets a narrow win.

Game 2: T-34/85 destroying the German Wirbelwind.
Game 2: Soviet riflemen wading through the river.
Game 3
Scenario: Take and Hold
Objective: Control more objectives than the enemy.
Armies: Soviet Union vs Germany (Dragi V)

The final game of the day had me paired up against my son for a Take and Hold battle.  Going into this game I was 1-1-0 and I was really hoping (expecting) another victory.  The Soviets could just could not hold the objectives.  A few mistakes on my part in prioritizing some of my orders had hurt me, other than that my son out right beat me.  The Germans ended up controlling 4 objectives and the Soviets controlled 1.

Game 3
So at the end of day 1, my record with the Soviets was 1-2-0 and my son with the German army was also 1-2-0.

Once all 3 games were over for the day, most of us headed out for a group dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery, it was a great place to relax, drink some good beer and enjoy the camaraderie with the other players (even though half of them were the enemy).


It was now time to finish up the last 2 games of the tournament and hand out the awards.

Game 4
Scenario: Top Secret
Objective: Seize the objective and carry it off your table edge.
Armies: Soviet Union vs Germany (Chris T)

As I mentioned above in Game 2 with Robert, this was the second game of two that I enjoyed most, and probably the most fun game I ever played in my life (even though I had lost).  Chris's German list was a well balanced list and were basically equals on the battlefield.  I knew this game would come to a blood bath in the center of the table near the objective marker.  The Soviets were able to control the objective first with a Guards Squad and was all setup to do some hand offs the following round for a victory.  The turn after seizing the objective, the Guard Squad had 4 pin markers on their unit and were doing an order test to 'advance'.  With the Senior Lt. near by they only needed to roll a 7...........an 8 was rolled and the unit had to go 'down'.  By failing to advance and the hand the objective to another unit to run with it, a German unit assaulted the Guard Squad and won the fight.  The Germans now controlled the objective and had to make run for it.  The Soviets did all they can do to stop the objective...... the Germans were only 11.5" away from their table edge and a German dice was drawn from the cup..... the game was now over, the German unit passed their ordered test and ran off the board.  It was a very hard fought battle with an awesome opponent.

Game 4: Soviets approaching the objective marker.
Game 5
Scenario: Demolition
Objective: Destroy the enemy base.
Armies: Soviet Union vs Japan (Jeremy W)

I had one battle plan entering this game and if it failed, I knew I had to fall back to my tactics of when I played Imperial Guard in Warhammer 40K.  The objective was to destroy the enemy base and protect your own.  The game would end at the end of the turn that the opponent was touching the enemy base.  Playing against Japanese for the first time.... I knew they were crazy and had to get into assault.  My battle plan was to take my T-34/85 tank and destroy my enemies base.  I was able to deploy my tank near a road, I was going to take advantage of that road to move at double speed to the enemies base.  The tank encountered a unit of Japanese infantry on the way and assaulted them, but with the Japanese having their 'banzai' special rule, they automatically passed their test and my tank just continued on right by them.  The T-34/85 was now only 3 inches away from victory.  The next turn, the Japanese assaulted the tank and was able to immobilize it.  There went my battle plan for the game.  Now I had to go to plan B which was to keep my units protecting my own base (which I kept 3 Guard Squads and my Senior Lt. to protect it).  The Japanese spent 2 turns trying to destroy my tank, causing it to be on fire twice but never knocked out which I think really hurt them.  The Japanese infantry probably should have just concentrated on advancing towards my base.  With my units protecting my base, I had kept them on 'ambush' orders through out most of the game.  As a Japanese infantry would approach, I would jump out and destroy them.  This had worked in my favor and was able to take a full Japanese infantry unit and and Flamethrower unit.  We managed to play through 6 turns of the game and rolled for a Turn 7...... the game ended..... it was a Draw for both the Soviets and Japanese.

Games 5: T-34/85 approaching the enemy base.

So I ended the tournament going 1-3-1 and my son finished 1-4-0.  We now got to chit-chat with some old friends while we were waiting for all the scores to be tabulated........

Best Sportsman: Robert B (very well deserved)
Best Painted Army: Brent S (also well deserved, you can see him US army HERE)
Best Overall: Jeremy W (with his Japanese)

Once Tim gets some relax time in, he will be posting all the results and winners of awards on the Gathering in the Desert site.

As I mentioned last week after my first two games of playing Bolt Action..... I really enjoy this game... I love the 'period of the game' and I like the simplicity of the game.  Of course there are still questions that arise, but for the most part it is very easy to play.

Now it's time to continue painting and playing some games with the locals.

February 21, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'Heavy Machine Gun Team'

With the big Bolt Action tournament this weekend, 'Gathering in the Desert', I did not want to start on a large unit and leave it unfinished on my table over the weekend.  So I decided the other night to start on the 'US Heavy Machine Gun Team' knowing I would be able to complete it in time.

While getting this model ready to be painted, I ran out of my old Games Workshop 'Sand' and had to purchase a new container of sand.  At least to me it looked like that this new sand is a bit finer than what I was using (also Games Workshop but a few years old).  It could just be the sand that I was using all the larger rocks had fallen to the bottom of the container and I was left with that, compared to the new container actually having a lot more sand on top.  I am hoping that when the models are next to each other that you can hardly tell.

United States: Heavy Machine Gun Team
United States: Heavy Machine Gun Team
United States: Heavy Machine Gun Team
United States: Heavy Machine Gun Team
Painting Points: 4

February 19, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'Regular Infantry Squad 1'

"JOINT RESOLUTION Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial Government of Japan and the Government and the people of the United States and making provisions to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Imperial Government of Japan has committed unprovoked acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America:

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial Government of Japan which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial Government of Japan; and, to bring the conflict to a successful termination, all the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States."

With that, the first unit for my son's WWII United States army for  Bolt Action hit the painting table.  I decided to start off with one of his 'Regular Infantry Squads'.  I figure that while I am painting his army he can still play with his unpainted models but at a 600 point game (he'll just build his 600 point lists around the units that I have out on the painting board).

United States: Regular Infantry Squad 01
United States: Regular Infantry Squad 01
Painting Points: 12

February 18, 2014

Battle Foam: M2 Bag 'Bolt Action'

Last week I placed an order with Battle Foam for a new bag and foam trays for my Bolt Action armies.  It turns out that Battle Foam has an agreement with Warlord Games and makes custom bags just for them.  Yesterday afternoon I received word that my bag was ready to be picked up.

The Battle Foam bags for Warlord Games are called the M2, and they have the Warlord Games logo stitched into the bag and the bag also comes with four patches to represent each of the Warlord Games: Black Powder, Bolt Action, Hail Caeser and Pike & Shotte.  You can order the bag 'empty', 'pluck foam load out', or 'standard load out'.  I was debating about the 'standard load out' with the custom cut trays, but I felt I could probably fit more figures if I went with the 'empty bag' and choose my own foam sizes.

The bag itself can hold 12" of foam.  So when you add up all of the trays you also need to include .25" for each tray (which is the base of the tray).  For example a 1" tray is really 1.25".  Seeing how I already a 1.5" tray I was going to use for this bag to hold my weapon teams, I ordered the following trays:

1x Pluck Foam Tray in 2.5"

Those 7 trays plus the existing 1 I had would total exactly 12".  I already had one of the 72 Troop Foam Trays for my W40K Imperial Guard army, so I was able to test fit my Bolt Action models and they were perfect.  Each one of those Troop Trays will hold 6 squads for each army, or just about an entire 1000 point army allowing me to store multiple armies in the same bag. The 2.5" Pluck Foam Tray was going to be used for my vehicles like Tanks and Half Tracks.

Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: Front.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: Back.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: Front pocket for rule books.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: Side pockets for dice.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: Front smaller pockets perfect for my iPad Mini|
with my Army Lists.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: All 12" of foam.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: 1" 72 Troop Foam Tray.
All of my Soviet Infantry fit into the one tray.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: 1.5" existing foam tray.
Battle Foam 'M2' Bag: 2.5" Pluck Foam Tray.

February 17, 2014

Battle Report: 2/16/2014 Bolt Action 'Soviet Union vs United States'

Seeing how this coming weekend I will be playing in a Bolt Action tournament 'Gathering in the Desert', I thought that I should probably get a few games in to actually learn the game.  My Soviet Union army was finally painted, and my sons United States army was assembled, so we decided to yesterday to throw down in the garage for a couple of games.

Since I am just getting back into gaming, my selection of terrain is slim pickings and the tabletop was more of an open battlefield.  It was OK for our games since we were both concentrating on learning the rules rather than the actual outcome of the games.

We did make a few mistakes through out the games, but it was good to actually take the time to look up those mistakes/rules and to try and not make them again.  In a tournament, time is of the essence, so we would rather take the extra time now to look them up.  In our second game, we did play against the clock to try and speed up our play in preparation for this weekend, so no photos were taken of the second game.

For this being my very first two games that I played of Bolt Action, I honestly have to admit that is the best game that I have played.  It really fits my style of gaming.  I enjoy more of the sit back and shoot type of games (compared to assaulting in) and this is it for me.  There are assaults in Bolt Action and they are much easier to figure out than that GW 40K game, but they are more brutal in Bolt Action, a unit of 3 men can defeat a unit of 12 men since it is all in the dice.  I prefer to take my shots from afar.

Game 1
Scenario: Maximum Attrition

We thought that the scenario 'Maximum Attrition' was going to be a good scenario for our first game since it was all about destroying the other army.  In this game the Soviets had everything going for them.  They were easily able to wipe out once side of the board and then concentrate on an 'outflanking' reserve unit that the Americans had coming in on the other side of the table.  In the end, the Soviets totally decimated the Americans with only limited casualties to the Soviets.

Soviet Infantry coming into the game on Turn 1.
Soviet T-34/85 coming into the game on Turn 1 and getting 'Massive Damage'
on the Americans M4A3 Sherman, first 'Immobilizing' the tank, then setting the tank
 'On Fire' which caused the Americans to fail their 'Morale Check'  in sense
being 'Knocked Out'.

Americans causing some casualties to the 'Inexperienced'  free Soviet
Rifleman to the far left, but the rest of the Soviets started to take control
on this side of the tabletop.

Soviets finishing the clearing of this side of the tabletop so they then
can concentrate their fire in the opposite direction with some Americans
coming in on an 'Outflank'.
Game 2
Scenario: Top Secret

In the scenario 'Top Secret' the objective of the game is to secure the 'objective marker' in the center of the board and bring it back into your zone and off the table edge.  If you succeed in this you 'win' the game, otherwise if neither player accomplishes this task, then the game is a 'draw'.  More than likely this scenario will be used in next weeks tournament with one slight twist.  If neither army successfully takes the 'objective marker' off of their own table edge, but controls the 'objective marker' at the end of the game, then the army that controls the 'objective marker' will earn a 'minor victory'.  We decided to play this game in a faster pace with a 2 1/2 hour time limit in preparation for the tournament.

With both armies having to start in 'reserves' it was not looking good for the Soviets in the first two turns of the game.  The Soviets could barely get any of their units into the game, and the units that were on the board were being wiped out by the Americans.  The Soviets had two full infantry squads destroyed before their entire army was finally into the game.  With this, the Americans captured the 'objective marker' first and then handed the marker to an infantry squad that was heading towards a half track so they can drive it off the table.  The Soviets finally came through and concentrated their fire power on the American infantry squad causing them to be destroyed off the table and the T-34/85 immobilizing the American half track so any quick get away by the Americans was now spoiled.  The Soviet infantry then managed to capture the marker that was left by the Americans.  On an 'order test' for the Soviets to run back to their own table edge (with other Soviet units prepared to accept the marker in a hand off) the Soviets rolled double sixes for a 'FUBAR' and then rolled to run away from the closest visible enemy unit, this still allowed the Soviets to keep the 'objective marker' and they ran back towards their table edge, but now they ran past the unit that was originally setup to accept a hand off.  It was now near the end of Turn 6 and time had expired.  It was a hard fought battle, but the Soviets managed to hold the 'objective marker'.  Per the book rules, this game was a 'draw', per tournament rules, it was a 'minor victory' for the Soviets.

Both games were fun, and like I stated above, the rules for Bolt Action really fit my gaming style.  When it comes to tabletop miniatures, I am more of Collector/Painter/Gamer where I enjoy collecting different armies and getting them painted more than I do the actual gaming.  With Bolt Action, I can say that I actually really enjoy playing this game.  The number one rule for me to always remember is that it is just a game, and just have fun.....  leave the die hard competitiveness at the door.

February 15, 2014

Bolt Action: 1,000PT United States 'Starter Army'

My son's United States States 1000 points Starter Army is now assembled.  I was trying to get them assembled as soon as I can so tomorrow my son and I can get in a few practice games.

Next week I will probably start to get these guys painted.  I'll still let him play with them as an unfinished army so we can get more playing time in.  For next weekends 'Gathering in the Desert' he will be borrowing a friends German army and playing with them (since for this Tournament, all armies must be fully painted).

United States: 1000 Point Starter Army