Tuesday, 7 January 2014

First game and first painting of 2014

Following the events of last year, I have decided to make more of the opportunities I get and do more with my time than I did last year.

So, when Nathan invited me around for a game on Sunday, I went along ready to play another game of Chain of Command.  This time it was a 1940 game, with the dastardly Huns attacking the gallant (newly painted) British infantry.  Nathan had a German platoon of 4 squads, commanded by 2 senior leaders.  Supporting them he had a 50mm mortar, a medic and a Stug III.  I had a British platoon with 3 smaller squads, again lead by 2 senior leaders.  Support was a Boys AT rifle team, a 2" mortar, a Matilda II and a FOO with a 3" mortar battery on call.
 The table looks mostly open, but the fields all blocked line of sight and made for limited long range fire opportunities.  The German jump off points are marked in red, the British are in blue.  The terrain was made by our late friend Gus Murchie and it was nice to see it being put to use again.
 Turn 1 came and went in the initial German phase.  Nathan rolled four 6's and a 3 on his 5 dice, giving him the next phase, a Chain of Command Dice and a random event.  He brought on his first squad with the 3, then rolled for the event.  A random mortar stonk came down on his right flank, restricting his advance, but luckily missing his troops.
 His next roll was three 6's as well, ending turn 2 before the British even got on the table.  He slowly (5" on 3d6) advanced his squad, while also bringing on his sergeant.  His next move was more normal, allowing 2 more squads to come on while he pushed his initial squad forward to within 3" of one of the British jump off points.  Things were looking pretty bad for my British.
 I finally got a phase and managed to bring on 2 squads and the platoon sergeant.  I couldn't deploy on the threatened jump off point as Nathan had his men too close.  I did manage to get two 5's though, so my CoC dice was filling up.
 Nathan rolled again and declared a normal move to seize the jump off point.  2d6 were rolled, giving a move of 3" which looked like enough for him to get there, except he had run flat out the turn before and had a point of shock, which reduced his move to 2"!  Shame that..........    His other dice allowed him to push forward one squad and also move over towards his left flank with the 3rd, while also bringing on the Stug.  I was getting decidedly outnumbered.
 My phase again and I got two 6's, giving me the next phase.  I pushed both squads forward, with the 1st going 5" on 3d6 and the other going 16" on the same number of dice.  The Sergeant moved up and rallied the shock off his troops.
 This time I got several 5's, giving me a CoC dice.  This was used to move the threatened jump off point away from the Germans, saving me from a nasty force morale loss.  At the same time the 1st squad went on overwatch and the 2nd moved around to flank the Germans.
A couple of quick phases resulted in the Germans advancing 3 squads, taking fire from the British infantry as they came on and then the German left got threatened by the high speed (17" on 3d6) move of the Matilda II.
 Sustained and effective Bren Gun fire caused 5 shock to the German leftmost squad, while the rest of the British troops fired at the advancing Germans.  The FOO was also on, and made contact with his mortars.
 Some effective fire by the advancing Germans saw the British leftmost squad get pinned down.  Those damn MG34s lay down a lot of fire, while the small 8 man squads of the British make them very fragile.  On the other flank the Matilda revved its mighty engine and ground forward, crushing several Germans and breaking the squad.  Lovely!
 However, C squad was looking ropey and, if they broke then the British left was wide open.
 Luckily the FOO stepped up and saved the day.  Two 6's gave me the next phase and the mortars came in with a whoosh BANG.  Unfortunately for Nathan (hehehe), all his squads were within the blast area, along with his sergeant and his Stug.  All the infantry were pinned and the Stugs CO decided that he didn't like being shelled.  Losses were few from the mortars, with the noteable exception of one of the MG34 teams, which was wiped out to a man by a single, lucky mortar shell.

When the mortars fired again on the next phase, Nathan decided that the attack was over and pulled his men back.  Victory to the gallant defenders of the realm, who held out despite being outgunned and outnumbered.  A great game, with the result swinging from a German victory to a crushing defeat, thanks largely to the mortars.  Thanks for the game Nathan, it was a blast.

It also saw the blooding of my first painting for 2014, who won despite being used in their first game ever.
 The figures are a Forged in Battle Highland infantry platoon, supported by a FoB Vickers MG and a FoW 18/25pdr gun.  All the infantry were painted on January 2nd, with the gun and crew being done on the 3rd.
I also painted up these lovely little tanks on the 3rd.  A Zvezda Matilda II and a FoW A13 Cruiser tank.  The Zvezda costs less than 1/2 the price of the FoW tank and is just as nice to look at.  Bargain.

Anyway, thats it again.  Its 1.40am and I am going to bed.  Keep rolling those dice.

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