Sunday saw the regular Hobbymaster Bolt Action store championship being held and given the way the weather was behaving, being inside playing toy soldiers seemed to be an outstanding idea!
As it was a long weekend (Queen's birthday here in NZ) and NICon was being held in Thames, we expected attendance to be down on the last tournament. 6 guys played with a variety of forces in action. Americans, Finns, Soviets, Germans, Marines and Brits. Not a single double up on the forces which was awesome to see!
The missions we were playing had already been pre-determined and definitely added some variety to the norm! We played, in order. Max Attrition, Envelopment and Top Secret. Four different tables were set out and we'd be randomly assigned one each round but try not to have anyone play twice on the same table.
My first game was against Mark and his Brits on the trench table. Hard cover for a heap of infantry in Max Attrition...?! This should be pretty easy, right?!
The first couple of turns were basically our forces advancing and trying to get a line of fire on the other guy. Pot shots from the snipers rang out across the battlefield with Mark's biting the big one before mine. With massed ranks of Brits taking residence in the trenches like it was 1914, it was time to call in the Air Force....
Who, in true American fashion, proceed to drop bombs on their own guys heads!
Fortunately for me, Mark's die rolls in activating his heavy hitters were pretty abysmal and his Cromwell wouldn't unbutton. My Chaffee was piling the shots in, adding pin markers where I could, but not able to destroy the damn thing! On the other flank, the recce trucks were also trading fire and keeping each other busy while the infantry sorted out the centre.
With turn six approaching and my chances of victory slipping away, I start piling fire into the until in the middle of the table. Despite heavy fire, I just couldn't get rid of them. Mark took this one 5-2.
Game 2 was Envelopment and I was drawn to play Scott on the snow table. I was the attacker for this mission so needed to get my guys into Scott's deployment zone fast while minimising my own losses. Too easy!
I started on the far side of the table and should be able to use the hills on my right to sneak through and dodge fire while my other units hold down the other flank. My preparatory bombardment really did some damage, pinning most units on the table and killing Scott's sniper! First blood!
My units all walk on rather than being deployed so seeing most of Scott's troops laid out on my left, I rub my hands a little and start running my infantry squads through the hills on the right with cover fire from both my Chaffee and Greyhound. I send my Lt. and Medic along to help with any problems as well.
Scott has a ZIS gun and his mortar sheltering close together in a wood off to the left. Perfect target for a strafing run from my Mustang! My FAO calls in the fire but they don't show up. They're delayed by the snow....will have to wait and see. I know that he has a T34 waiting to come on as well and he has called that he is flanking. I just hope it doesn't arrive in the middle of my lines!
Scott's troops start advancing on the left flank, trying to make some ground and get in behind my lines before I can get too far into his.
And then arrive the T34 does....on my left! Whew! I get my Greyhound into position to try and take care of it while still being able to recce away.
And then, the Air Force arrived....and once again they decide it would be a GREAT idea to bomb their own guys! Brilliant! So of course, Scott directs them to the centre unit of my advancing lines and the start piling on the pins and kills. Just perfect really! I still have another one up my sleeve though and a VERY JUICY target in Scott's T34. So once again, my FAO draws a bead on the target and calls in the support....and yet again, lets bomb our own guys, huh?! Seriously, what the hell is going on at TACAIR?!!
I do manage to get a few units into Scott's lines though and as we finish, I have 2 there and have killed 2 units. 6 points to me!! Problem is though, Scott has taken 4 of my units out....8 points to him....
So Game 3 was going to be the Battle for the Spoon and I'm drawn to play Saul and his Finns. I've never played against Finns before so this should be a heap of fun! We get the Teddy Bear table to play on.
The mission is Top Secret so we set up an objective in the centre and start deploying. I have the bottom edge (right in the photo) as my area to come on so start deploying infantry units and running them behind cover. My plan is to sneak out and grab the objective while my mortar, MMG and vehicles provide cover. My FAO sets up to call in some fire once the Finns start advancing...and promptly gets a sniper's bullet in the eye. 85 point that bastard cost me....and he did NOTHING!!
My plan actually worked in this case and despite heavy fire, losing their NCO and BAR, my short infantry squad manages to grab the plans and head off the table! A win and the spoon avoided!
So, all in all, a great day was had by all. Lets face it though....for us, how can a day playing soldiers not be great!
And the results...
First place: Garth and his Germans
Second place: Mark and his Brits (not including the Cromwell)
Third place: Phil and his Marines
And, most importantly, the SPOON! Saul took this one!
And there was even a special spot prize! And this went to the most terrible FAO rolling anyone has ever seen...yep, yours truly!
And the obligatory group shot...
So another great event and more BA tournament games up my sleeve! Next time is going to be Tank Wars....rolling steel for the win!