Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Convinced by the Bone

OK, I'm flighty at times, and certainly so distracted and busy I'm still falling behind on my Warhammer 40K obligations and promises.  I did in fact buy a box of intercessors this weekend, but that does not mean I'm ready to deploy an all-primaris Ultramarines army yet.

BUT, there is a local (small) ITC event on March 21 that I might be able to make - and I was suitably impressed with a free-view game of Blood Angels vs Adeptus Custodes at Tabletop Tactics that I thought I'd build a list of something similar and at least get three games in for the day! I'm in the middle of watching another game of Blood Angels vs Chaos Marines at MWG - but don't spoil it for me!

I have yet to proof the list vs available miniatures in the collection, but I think its pretty close to the list the BONE played at Tabletop Tactics - its not the same, but similar.

Dual Battalions, 2000 points, 10(-2)CPs
HQ1 - Smash Captain w jump pack, thunder hammer, storm shield, visions, angels wing
HQ2 - Lemartes
HQ3 - Mephiston
HQ4 - Lieutenant w jump pack, power fist, bolter
TP1 - 5 tac marines, bolters, flamer
TP2 - 5 tac marines, bolters, flamer
TP3 - 5 tac marines, bolters, flamer
TP4 - 5 tac marines, bolters, missile launcher
TP5 - 5 tac marines, bolters, plasma gun
TP6 - 5 tac marines, bolters, flamer
EL1 - Sanguinary Ancient, angelus boltgun, power fist, standard, relic banner
EL2 - 10 Sanguinary Guard, angelus bolt guns, mixed cc weapons
EL3 - 10 Death Company, bolters, mixed cc weapons
HVY1 - Predator, autocann, HBs
HVY2 - Predator, autocann, HBs
HVY3 - Predator, autocann, HBs
Trans1 - Razorback, twin Asscann

Now the BONE had a librarian dread instead of Mephiston, and the Sanguinor, and only the three preds (no razorback), and scouts instead of tacticals. 

I'm thinking about bundling the Elites into a formation, and trimming some fat to get a Sanguinary Priest w/ jump pack (if now available/not legendary) to run with the lieutenant, wrapped in the sanguinary guard.  The priest gives an added bubble of strength, and he might just revive some casualties.

Overall, the similarities of action are the same between this list and the game I watched/studied.  The troop choices run out into terrain near objectives for scoring them/missions, while the death company do initial work and the large sanguinary guard blob plus ancient and Mephiston and stuff do the hard work as a second wave. It seems fun.  But I need to finalize and practice....

All for now,



Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Ultramarines Force Org has Changed and I got Questions

I'm doing up-front work to try to understand the Ultramarines, before dropping a bunch of money on new units.  Essentially a reboot.  Overall, I'm looking forward to getting back in, but as all-new tech. 

As part of my reboot, I'm reading and studying the "new" Space Marines Codex and Ultramarines Supplement. 

In that review, I have had something in my mind, scratching away.

The 10th Company of Ultramarine (and probably all Space Marines) is now composed of "10 squads of Vanguard marines" and an undisclosed unimportant number of scouts and aspirants. 

Vanguard marines essentially are only listed in the Company organization for 10th.

So, what exactly constitutes the Vanguard marines? 

A cool resource seems to provide me an answer here:

  • A Vanguard Space Marine is a Primaris Space Marine who serves as a covert operator. 
  • The entire Vanguard Marine force of a Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapter is normally contained within the 10th Company and is commanded by the Captain who bears the title of Master of Reconnaissance.
  • The primary squads found among the Vanguard Space Marines include Vanguard Infiltrators, Vanguard Suppressors and Vanguard Eliminators.

OK, pretty cool.  But why then does GW always show Vanguard marines in 2nd Company paint schemes? Well, this web page proposes an answer...Battle-Brothers from a Chapter's Reserve Companies may be temporarily seconded to the foremost Battle Companies as Vanguard Space Marines, taking on the colours and markings of their new company for the duration of their service. 

I find that explanation kind of weak.

So, being a codex compliant kind of guy, I'll just take all of my Vanguard Marines and keep them marked for 10th Company.  Further review has the Captain, 2 lieutenants, librarian(s), Impulsors, Invictor War Suits, and Helix Adepts in that same livery.

Interestingly, I think the designers sort of "messed up" by just not adding "Vanguard" as a key word.  Instead they have others that don't really capture the entire new group as a range.

Overall, I just need to get busy.  There is a FLG tournament day this Saturday, but it overlaps with some other events and a meeting I need to be at.  What I really need to do is have a game or three at home before taking stuff out on the road. 

Overall, I need to target what new units I need to get - must buys - in order to convert to a modern collection that is good for matched play. 

Right now my "new collection" looks like:

Primarch Roboute Guilliman
NEW Marneus Calgar Chapter Master
Vanguard Lieutenant
Vanguard Captain
Vanguard Librarian
2 Victrix Guard

1 10-man Squad Vanguard Infiltrators w/ Helix Adept

1 3-man Squad Centurions
1 3-man Squad Vanguard Eliminators
1 3-man Squad Vanguard Suppressors

1 3-man Squad Inceptors
1 3-man Squad Aggressors

So, where do I go from here?

2 squads of Intercessors?
Leviathan Dread?
2 more squads of Eliminators?

Since everything new is not yet really 3rd Company, do I do all the new (not Vanguard) units as 4th?

It is just so much.

Should I just net-list the best Ultramarine winning list? 

Comments always appreciated.




Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A year later, same concern

The LVO live stream on Warhammer TV was just meh. I recall I made comments on it last year, and it seems no improvements or changes were made. 

How hard would it be to have a person with a headset table-side actually providing details as to what was going on?

In case you missed it, the vertical camera facing the table type of stream went sort of like this:

[Host 1 voice] look at those models.  Nice highlights on the tip of that helmet.

Hand reaches in moves model.

Hand releases model.

Tape measure comes in to view, wiggling around.

A different tape measure wiggles in.

Model returned near original location.

Model moved to a different location.

[Host 2 voice] yep. really nice. 

Action moves to dice box.

Handful of dice rolled.

Another handful of dice rolled

Another handful of dice rolled

Another handful of dice rolled

[Host 1 voice] That is a lot of dice.

[Host 2 voice] Yep.  I bet there might be some strategem cards too. Lots of 1s and 6s. 

More dice rolled

A model is picked off the table.

The model is put back near where it was originally.

A different model is picked up and removed from play. 

Other colored models are moved.

[Host 1 voice] I bet it is a really good score. I don't know for what though. Its really tactical down there. Those tactics will win someone the game. 

[Host 2 voice] yep.  Really tactical. I bet someone will put the boom on the other guy by turn 5. 

Dice rolling begins again....  

OK, now you have to be reminded that Host 1 and Host 2 really want this event and tournament coverage for 40K to move to the e-sports type of online watching.

It won't cut it with that lack of detail or commentary. 

I'd write a long piece on how it could have been better, but if you've ever watched an e-sport event, or even Monday Night Football, you know they could do much better.  Heck, even comparing Sunday Night Football announcing to Monday Night, and you'd get it too. 

Live broadcast tournament coverage needs excitement, and details. Here are some reminders that might improve the streaming of a game:

INTRODUCE the players. Create hype in the handshake.

TELL us what each player selected for pregame stuff.

SHOW us their army lists, and eliminate the units as they get destroyed. Come back to the lists at the end of each battle round.

REPORT to us each turn, spells cast, stratagems played, who and what is firing and who and what is saving.

TRACK what player turn phase we are in.

KEEP the score as it develops, don't wait for the turn to end. The REF on that [top] table should have/be the scorekeeper, not the players for a broadcast stream.

CUT to views of the players in the game. Expressions show everything.

CONGRATULATE the winner.

STOP having models moved and re/misplaced. Hands off and movement stops!

Caps above for EMPHASIS. I guess it might get figured out.  Maybe next time. 



Monday, December 23, 2019

Tats What it is

I had a very interesting thing happen on my way to a big concert held at the Boston garden earlier this month. 

We arrived in the Boston area a few hours early, in order to have some beers and dinner before the concert.  My wife was tasked (as navigator) to decide what bar/pub/restaurant we'd go to and make reservations if possible. 

The short version is that she decided we'd be just fine.  Lets see where we can seat when we get there.  Made even more fun when she found she had other friends going too, and thought we'd all get together. 

Needless to say, it can be a madhouse trying to get into any venue around the Garden if they are any good.  So, yeah, besides the fact there was also a Patriots game on...

We ended up at a fairly new place called Blakes. It was basically empty.  The beer was good, and the limited menu just fine for what we had.  I had nachos.

The best part was the bar tender.  We sat at the bar and watched him work.  It was pretty clear he was not very experienced, and neither were many of the other staff.  He also seemed on first blush Russian. 

Well we were wrong on that count.  He is Spanish.  We never asked what he was doing in Boston, probably in University. 

What was really interesting was that he had a large tattoo on his forearm.

It was the winged blood drop chapter symbol of the Blood Angels Chapter.

In color. 

Apparently he'd gotten it because his family always had "wings and blood" in the family iconography, so he'd asked the Tattoo artist to give him a tattoo with the symbols crafted together. 

At first, I then told him it was a notorious Boston gang symbol, which got the attention of the ladies at the bar.  He immediately looked around and covered it up.  Rolled the sleeve down...things got serious.

I then pulled the symbol up on my phone.  And it was an identical match of the first jpeg that a google search offers.

Needless to say the "blood drained out of his face".  He though he had an original design.

OK, it was mean. But I was ready to let is stay that way...

My wife then explained it was the Blood Angels symbol, and it was from a game.

The bar tender sighed relief.

He promised to look it up.  The girls all went back to their other conversations.



You just never know who has them...

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Seaside Italy 1943 - its like a trip to the Zoo

I'm looking to clear a bunch of pix off my phone.  I had a great time in a team game of Bolt Action in Late September, and its all worth sharing.

We decided to play a 1500 point per side game (750 per player).  I was teamed with another German player.  This would be maybe the second time I'd rolled out the Germans from my collection for a bolt action game.  I made the list on the fly using the Battlescribe tool.  It was fun to put together a list built around the collection.  It became a hodgepodge of sorts.  My team mate had an awesome German army collection though, and we talked briefly to tailor our lists.

The allies (combined Americans and Brits) together really made it like Salerno, soon after the landings as the Allies pushed inland to hook up with the 82nd Airborne who had dropped in on the right flank of the landings. The terrain was really nice - the "club's" Italian table.  Dusty open ground around a village crossroads.

Overall, the Germans won the day, and the fighting got close in and nasty at times.

Here...have a look...


The captions are all mine...

Here is my 750 points.  Regular Tiger, Veteran Infantry. One squad is under strength in order to get the Tiger into the list. Regular MMG for support. Veteran officer. 

Here is what the British Player was using for 750...his big secret sauce was the squad of Gurkhas.  Really nasty in assault.  Included in there is the artillery observer...

Bad shot of the Americans.  Paratroopers and a Calliope Sherman, including a bazooka support team, other stuff.

Unfortunately I did not get a shot of the other German player's forces...

 Battleground before deployment.  The battle would be a swirling affair - 1/2 of the Allied force was to start, deployed on the table within 12-inches of the center.  On Turn 1, half of the German units would enter from the left.  After the first turn, all remaining units would come in from reserves, from any table edge, but not if it was an edge the last enemy unit entered from! This mechanic really made the game a cat-and mouse event. 

  The game started with a bombardment, which put initial pin markers on the deployed allied units.  Then the first dice drawn was for the Germans, and I used it to deploy the Tiger into view of most of the allied army.  The fear was palpable! 

The Tiger drove onto the road and headed towards the crossroads, its two MMGs spitting out fire on the various infantry units stuck out in the open. That hidden marker...LOL...

 With the Tiger heading west towards the beach, the Sherman entered from the South. A few units later, the German Heer infantry entered behind the unguarded Sherman and...

Meanwhile, the Bren Carriers arrived in the Heer staging area...the Ghurka's charged out and in a tough fight wiped out a Heer squad and a HQ organizing the attack on the paras. The response was plain.  German infantry counterattacked and slaughtered the Ghurkas, and the Bren Carriers (including the British artillery observer) were wiped out...most of the work by the Marder III...

Two or three activation dice later, the British attack was just wreckage.  

And then, the Sherman was destroyed by the ol' shaped charge up the tailpipe trick...

With the Allied defenders no on the ropes, it was time to start wiping up...

The Tiger commander decides to just drive on through...the paras just rolled out of the way and let the parade go by...

Trundle Trundle Trundle...doodle dee doo...

More allied troops hiding in the rubble that is Italy...

Fighting spread further towards the west....

Soon after, the Heer units dealt with the Bazooka team, and the Allied players called for an all out retreat.  The Germans had stopped the advance. 

Overall, it was a bunch of fun.

A few things that had me scratching my head - like...

1. How hard it is to damage an infantry unit in a crater, that goes down...or even out in the open...
2. How charging a string of heavily pinned infantry units with a Tiger won't be successful if their nearby officer helps with morale...they just let the big tank roll on by...

I never used the 88mm Gun on the Tiger...I just kept using the MMGs.  If the Sherman had been in my LOS, I would have gone for it.  

At one point the American Bazooka team went for a long side shot, but they FUBAR'd their morale roll and shot their load at a nearby British squad instead...

Overall, if we'd spun the table around and my team had played the Allied side, we'd have started the game with the artillery spotter on the table with the Bren Carriers, keeping paras, Ghurkas, and Bazooka in reserves...certainly, units were going to get pinned in the barrage before the game started, but once the main point of the German attack was known (west to east in this case), we could have withdrawn to better cover and looked to take the two German tanks from the rear...the artillery observer for the Brits is a key resource.  Our opponents never used theirs.  I'd say my game play was sort of meh.  The Tiger was not the MVP.  It did impact the allies with extra Tiger Fear, but not much else.  I was thinking about shooting up the units in the road at point blank range, but after shooting at them for two turns, with little effect but pins, I decided to try to charge through them for a lucky panic roll...again, no effect.  The Tiger did, however, help wipe out another American squad that was troubling us far to the southwest.  Maybe next time I'll break out the Panther...

Next game in a few weeks...I'll need to come up with a different list.  My German collection really needs to be upgraded... 


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

May 1942 - Near Kharkov - Bolt Action

This past Saturday was a "monthly" special event day for our local Bolt Action in Maine group. We had 5 or so separate tables set up - different terrain and players for each!  Probably 16+ Bolt Action players in the house.  Crossroad Games. The "escalation League" theme was 1942!

My own battle had a very fluid beginning.  I'm not a "regular" so I had no idea what I'd be doing or even the points.  I'd brought US infantry (1943 Tunisia, 1000 points), and also a 1942 German (750 pt) list. Ends up I was going to play 1942 Germans at 1000 points...I was using BattleScribe to pull the list together on the fly, so the points are suspected to be wrong, but close. I also used the models I have, not the models I wished I'd have.  Plus, I'd never played Germans in Bolt Action before! I also had no idea what my opponent was bringing, much less what kid of mission I'd have. 

My Battle would be against Russian, and I'll call it a platoon engagement around the Ukrainian village of Nepokrytaia, at the beginning of the 2nd Battle of Kharkov.  The terrain was the village center - Russian Infantry units from the 160th Rifle Division were attacking through the village. My force was from the German 6th Army - this was pre-Stalingrad, after all (no particular Division). 

The Scenario we rolled up was simple - destroy each other's local objective.  The Russian infantry was attacking to destroy my local radio communications net, while I was out to destroy a forward supply dump.

My force (German Platoon, 1000 points): 
10 Activation dice
Oberleutnant with two runners, SMGs, Veterans
Heer Veteran Infantry Squad, 10, rifles and LMG
Heer Veteran Infantry Squad, 10, rifles and LMG
Heer pioneer squad, 5, SMGs and LMG
MMG Team, veteran
MMG Team, veteran
Light Mortar team, veteran
50mm pak38 Team, veteran
Marder II inexperienced (note - I used a Wespe as counts-as)
Hanomag transport, forward and rear MMGs

My force - the radioman in the sandbagged position is the OPFOR objective. 

The OPFOR (Russian Infantry, 1000 points - I don't have an official list)
Essentially 2 Platoons, about 18 activation dice.
2 HQs (both LT equivalents)
6+/- Infantry Squads - regular to inexperienced, 5+/- or so men in each, with flamethrowers or LMGs, rifles
1 infantry (free, conscript) squad - 12, rifles
1 Sniper team
1 Medium ATG/Howitzer
2 Multiple Rocket Trucks
+/- 4 AT Dog Teams, 2 handlers and 2 dogs each.
1 medium mortar team with spotter

the game requires a 40-inch wide no-man's land up the middle, so we each had 4-inch wide deplyment strips.  My "radio net" objective was placed on my far left. The Russian supply dump was set on the upper right.  The terrain was a dense mix of wooden buildings and a church, central square bell tower, and a N-S road. I was on the north edge facing south.

Table looking west.  I'd be attacking north to south-southwest, defending my objective in the northeast. 

Battle plan
My platoon would split into a defense force and an attacking force.  I intended to send the Heer infantry squads, Hanomag, Marder up the center and left with overwatch from my light mortar, Pak38, and one MMG team. My own objective would be protected by the HQ, pioneers, and remaining MMG.  The Russians deployed more or less into a similar attack and defense force. I was going to need to be careful - the Russian had a lot more activation dice than me, so it would create a huge tactical advantage for them! My biggest concern was the 40-inch distance my troops would need to travel just to be near the objective.  I wanted to leap frog forward the best I could, with one Heer squad on foot and the other by Hanomag.  To that tactical end, the Heer squad on foot would move through terrain for cover, flanking the Hanomag on the road.

Deployment complete. Ready to go! Wespe playing the role of a Marder II.   

Turn 1. 
Everything started to go to south really fast.  I realized that with the dense terrain, the MMG and light mortar were pretty useless, and so I moved them east to support my objective.  Similarly, I decided to move the Marder east as well, so I'd have a lot more defensive firepower there. My opponent used the N-S road as a demarcation point, and with my Pak38 on ambush looking up the road, he just never looked to cross it. My Heer squad on foot immediately came under sniper fire while crossing the village cemetery. In the near center, the Hanomag (running up the road) was immediately attacked by two AT dog teams - which stunned the vehicle crew (I don't think we played it right on damage - possibly forgetting the 1+ for open topped) and added a bunch of pin markers to my attackers. On my right, all of the Russian infantry units rushed forward through the various buildings or fenced yards, but I was able to apply a few pin markers and casualties. The Russian mortar and one rocket truck fired, but both missed.

Turn 1. Pak38 has been targeted and missed by the mortar. I had to dig the crew out of a box during a break. Apparently they were in my car hanging out with the Americans...

Hey, use that radio. What? We can't get any artillery or air support till the next game? 

Go ahead. Cross the road...make my day...

Who is a happy dog? Good boy!

Turns 2 through 4
My attackers were immediately bogged down. The Russians attacked the Hanomag squad with a second wave of dogs, first immobilizing it for more pins, then wrecking it.  The Heer infantry dismounted with about 5 pins on the squad, and went down on their own activation. The Heer squad in the cemetery encountered the same - one rocket found them for a mess of casualties and pin markers. Both squads made no progress. The russian mortar team continued to miss the Pak38, and no Russians wanted to be ambushed by it.

On the left flank, I moved the HQ and Pioneers forward, and immediately engaged the oncoming Russians with some MMG and Marder II support. The Russian rocket truck on that flank switched to smoke to obscure my supporting forces, leaving the pioneers and HQ to fight about three times their number, plus one or two flamethrowers.  At one point I had my pioneers and HQ move up and shoot a 5-man russian squad at point blank range in the open. The Russians went down. With the equivalent of 7 SMG shots and 1 LMG, I was only able to cause two casualties - which was really bad considering that enemy squad had a flamethrower.  Needless to say, on turn 3 my pioneers were roasted through two flamethrower attacks, and my HQ squad was shot up and then assaulted. That left the path to my objective basically open. Adding insult to injury, another set of AT dog teams wrecked the Marder II.

Redeploying to the east...

Advance in the center stalling...most Russian units are inside buildings now...

He's not here to pee on my Hanomag...

Back from lunch Russian Armor in sight...

Gaining the midline of the table - looking to stall the Russians there. 

Viewpoint from the other side of the building...

meanwhile, the attacking force is stalled in the village center. 

Smoke from the rockets are obscuring the support element. 

Turn 5
With smoke obscuring my remaining support elements, and my attack force eliminated through a combination of shooting and rocket/mortar fire, we called the game as a Russian Victory. We ended with my having on-board just the 2 MMG teams and the light mortar team. 

Russians are rapidly advancing towards their objective now. 

The last canoneer at the Pak38 looks on at the rushing conscripts. 

Lessons learned
This is probably my first real loss in Bolt Action besides the first game I'd ever played. Usually Id get a draw or narrow win. 

The battle reinforced my opinion that flamethrowers and AT dogs are amazingly dangerous. For this game, the light mortar was a waste of points.  Since it has no spotter, its just bad in dense terrain.  The Pak38 looks awesome - I'd bought it or won it pre-painted a decade ago and had never used it in a game.  My opponent was more afraid of it than I was...The Marder II was good - I'd shot it into some buildings and such, but it really needed to stay back from the dogs. Overall, my game suffered a bit from my deployment.  I might have easily deployed the same and then just rushed left on all defense for a draw. Also - this is the second time I've seen the Katusha rocket truck in a game, and the guys that have them are getting tactically better with them - in a nutshell, deploy a large amount of smoke (3 large templates of smoke) with nearly no risk, OR it a target and every unit within 6 inches of that target on a 6+ roll.  In the artillery role they can miss a lot, but when you get one hit, it is pretty devastating for each 6+.

In departing, I bought a Bolt Action German Heer medium mortar kit.  I'll need to have that in my quiver for the next time. 

The Hanomag btw is a Solido 1/50 scale die cast model from their "motor pool" collection.  The Wespe is a similar scale plastic model from Bandai.  In my rush to get a list built, I had not realized my Hetzer is a pz38(t), lol, I might have taken that instead of the counts-as Marder II.  Regardless, since I used it, I now need to get a Marder II for the collection...

And a big thanks to some of you who "donated" their photos to my story line above! You know who you are! 

If I'm playing as a German in September's monthly event, I'll have to upgrade to a 1943 list...I am inspired to do some painting and basing repairs and upgrades...

Until next time!


Thursday, August 29, 2019

D+1 Attack - Widening the Utah beach Landing Zone - Bolt Action Game

Ed: I'm not afraid to edit what was happening...this is my battle report for what was going on for the D-Day event at Crossroad Games this past weekend (the store's 20th Anniversary!). The single 24-foot table (corridor) battlefield was for 8 players per side.  The organizers were calling it Beach-Carentan-Caen (just to make the one British player happy I guess). Since the allied (almost entirely US) force was fighting to gain ground facing the west, I'm saying instead it was (at this scale) the western-most expanse for Utah Beach, D+1, from north to south as Quineville - Montebourg - Valognes (all connected by the local roads).  It fits well, since Montebourg had a church tower that could be seen from Utah Beach by Roosevelt when his 4th ID landed. 

The game play was awesome. Each player provided a 750 point list, following the Normandy selector.  The head judge assigned tables more or less on arrival, so each approx. 6-foot zone had two players per zone.  The equivalent of about 8 depleted platoons per side.  There was no further "historical" guidance on force selection.  The game started with 8 dice per side, and each table acted on that activation. 

I'd assumed in my planning a few days before that I'd be fighting in hedgerows or a village, so I had a mixed force of paratroopers from the 502nd PIR just reinforced with some mechanized support (4th ID just off the beach) to take on my mission.  At the last minute, however, my mission was changed to bunker clearing along the beach as the landing was widened westward towards Cherbourg and the Cotentin Peninsula.  For this, my platoon was joined by another combined team of US Rangers and more infantry from the 4th ID. Neither my platoon or the supporting platoon was ideal for this job, but we talked out our attack and made the best of it. 

My List:
502nd PIR - 
Paratrooper Platoon HQ - 1st Lieutenant and two runners, all with submachine guns.
Paratrooper Squad, 10, rifles, 1 LMG team.
4th ID - 
Veteran Infantry Squad, 10, rifles, 1 BAR team
Regular M3 halftrack, pintle HMG, rearward MMG
Veteran M4 Sherman, Coaxial mmg, hull mmg, wet storage.

My force, ready to go. 

My support buddy's list:
Ranger Squad, 10, SMGs and rifles, cliff climbers
Ranger Squad, 10, SMGs and rifles, cliff climbers
4th ID
Regular Infantry HQ, 2nd Lieutenant and runner
Regular Infantry Squad, 10, rifles
Bazooka Team
Mortar Team

As a special rule for the event, the german players could deploy up to half of their units (per player) on the table, at any location, and the remainder would enter following reinforcement rules turn 2 onward. The Allied players would enter any units they want turn 1 using a run or advance order. We had to deploy on the assigned table, but, you could support the adjoining table if needed.

There were 4 bunkers on our beach front.  We were tasked to take them. Our table had the simple win condition of 1 point per bunker. Side with the most bunker points wins. Other tables had their own different win conditions.  All of the win conditions favored the defender. 

Beach with the cliff at the south end. Montebourg in the distance.
My team partner and I watched the germans deploy and studied the terrain. A pak40 ATG and an 88mm ATG were deployed in bunkers, as were two MMGs. Mortars were deployed with spotters in trenches further back. We realized that due to the layout, there was a blind spot in the terrain through which we could advance to largely mitigate the ATGs (right below the cliff at the eastern end of the beach). We'd still be susceptible to other fire, but not those weapons! Our plan was for the rangers to enter and take the bunker on the high ground immediately to our left, and all other squads to advance rapidly behind the tank and half track to gain the access to the next two bunkers in line. Regardless, the bunkers were 3 feet into the table, so even with just running it would take 3 turns to get to most of them, plus you could only assault the bunkers from the rear doors... 

The game started with a preparatory bombardment that placed a few pin markers on the enemy but little else. 

View after the bombardment - pins here and there. 

Game Turns
On turn 1, we started with a good run of allied activations.  The Sherman Tank and Halftrack full of veterans ran up the base of the cliff followed by the paratroopers. The rangers came next, immediately taking two actions to enter and scale the cliff.  They were all followed by the regular infantry - which in the fog and confusion of war decided to flank the attacking force, straying into the line of sight of german guns and artillery/mortar spotters! One ranger squad had climbed directly into the face of the 88 gun, and took a danger close blast in the face.

Units beginning the attack!  That regular infantry squad should have stayed in cover! 

Rangers scaling the cliff see the gun barrel crank towards them!  

On turn 2, the dice began with the arrival of a german artillery barrage (16 inches in diameter) which dropped a big pile of pin markers all over the assault force and a few casualties. Our assault force continued to run directly at the two bunkers ahead (#2 and #3), while the rangers began work on securing bunker 1.Several german reinforcement units began arriving and they ran towards the edge of the beach to take positions in their trench line. 

German reinforcements start arriving and man their trench line! Rangers have made quick work of Bunker #1 and I'm stalled in front of Bunker #2. 

On turn 3, our mortar team began dropping smoke to obscure the pak40 bunker.  The Sherman and halftrack began suppressing the german troops in a trench line just uphill from the beach.  Bunker 1 was secured through assault.  The german MMG team in bunker 4 abandoned their post and began running south (left) to try to get into a useful position.

Paratroopers are pinned by bunker #2, while the veterans of the 4th ID carry their attack to the trenches only to be wiped out by a crossfire! Where did the rangers go? 

Turn 4, we received some assistance in the form of an infantry squad from the inland assault on Montebourg firing on germans in the trenchline behind bunker #2.The Sherman stopped at the beach edge to take up a better firing position on the trench line - and staying beyond reach of the panzerfausts!  The half track advanced into the trench line area and the veteran infantry dismounted to decimate a german squad there.  They were met with withering return fire from other german units which eliminated the squad.  The paratrooper squad was set to assault Bunker 2, but was met with fierce fire from bunker 2, forcing them down (pinned!). German units from the north end of the beach all began streaming south (left), but more smoke shells from the mortar team obstructed their view to the beach.

Firing into the trench line! The infantry will fail to get to Bunker #3...

Smoke is helping, We have cleared Bunker #2, but Bunker #3 is being reinforced and the germans have abandoned Bunker #4. The halftrack has pulled forward to clear the LOS for the Sherman. 

Turn 5, with 5 pin markers, the paratroopers passed their leadership and assaulted and took bunker 2. In response, entrenched german gunners began shooting them up.  One german squad assaulted the nearby paratrooper HQ unit, and lost!  The HQ unit then assaulted the next german unit in the line and won again.  Then they were shot up and eliminated from the fight.  The untouched Sherman continued using just MMG fire to suppress and pin german units, focusing on anything with an anti-tank capability. 

Rangers on the top of the dcliff have a sweeping view of the dwindling germans on our  flank!  Remnants of the paratrooper squad take cover at bunker #2. 

On turn 6, we wrapped up the assault, keeping the germans pinned around bunker #3, but we were unable to reach it. 

The judge ruled the attack to be a draw or stalemate. 

Far and away inland, the battles also pitched back and forth. The overall victory for the side was seen as a slight (minor) german victory (minor german at Montebourg, minor allied in the hedgerows, and minor german at Valognes). The germans still held the two towns, but lost in the terrain between.

In the Montebourg section, an allied win was only achievable by capturing the church and holding it.  It was in the middle of a town square.  Nearly impossible.  An allied player almost did it though by assaulting through the front door on turn was that close...

Overall, awesome effort by all! 

The best learning moment for me was how mortars can be used to deploy smoke.  Never though of that in previous games.  ALSO as a house rule for smoke - rather than having smoke shells deviate up to 12 inches on a miss to a point selected by the defender, we went with random direction, 2D6 for initial smoke placement.  It was terrific, and worked great for a team game. I also read up on using tanks to assault infantry.  I considered doing it on Turns 5 and 6, but decided to just keep firing...

I'd consider my 750 point list to be great for this game.  If we went with slightly bigger lists I'd try to squeeze a mortar in for the smoke...or a FOB to call in a barrage or air strike...or flamethrowers....

There is another bolt action day this weekend! Hoping to get another game in!

All for now,