Tuesday, 17 August 2021

A Bolt Action Campaign, part 2

Last week, we played our second battle in the Bolt Action may 1940 campaign we started. This time the german invaders came to face the first real defence line: the Peel-Raam stelling. Though the line was supposed to be abandoned, the troops arround the village of Mill found themselves engaged on the 10th of may and unable to withdraw. 

The dutch defence consisted out of pillbixes along a water filled anti tank ditch (defensie kanaal), then minefields and barbed wire defences and subsequently two lines of defensive entrenched positions. The germans managed to cross the defence lines early on in other places through the use of an armoured train and at other sectors of the line where the dutch forces had already been ordered to withdraw.

As a game scenario we used a modified attacker-defender scenario(breakthrough) from the main book. The german objective is to get troops behind the dutch defensive lines, the dutch need to prevent that from happening. Because of the german breakthrough's they are allowed to outflank.
We used our homebrew hidden setup for the 750 points dutch forces. The germans had 1000 points of attackers availlable. They put an officer and two infantry squads in outflank. Then they advanced their artillery, mortar and free air observer into the area with the small woods, since that offered virtually the only cover for the germans. The preliminary barrage caused a fair number of pin markers.

The first turn of the game the dutch used to rally as many of their units, except for the pillboxes who opened fire on the advancing german infantry. The germans used their panzer 2 tank (represented by the pzr4, due to a lack of an appropriate model)to screen their infantry. Because hidden units can only suffer pin markers (house rule) the deadly accurate mortar fire did not yet wreak havoc, but pinned the  units that Michael thought would most likely be the dutch light howitzer present.
The second and third turns saw the germans suffer casualties due to fire from the dutch pillboxes. A dutch artillery barage failed to cause any lasting impressions, but the german luftwaffe airstrike did cause a considerable amount of pinmarkers. The dutch inexperienced captain proved a worthwhile investment, his +3  within 12" on morale and order tests allowing me to rally and keep putting units on ambush. 
The deadly german mortar and light howitzer managed to virtually destroy a dutch infantry squad defending the lines. Luckily for me this was my 'free' squad, so i would not have to replace them in the post battle campaign sequence.

By the fourth turn the germans had, at a cost, taken the three dutch pillboxes. The dutch however, despite the accurate german artillery, still firmly held the trenchlines with multiple units on ambush. A few fluke dicerolls had even enabled them to save two of the three pillbix crews from destruction and retreive them safely behind the lines. 
On the fifth turn the first german outflanking units showed up, unfortunately, the veteran pioneers failed to show...the remaining german infantry unit was badly mauled by the dutch artillery piece in ambush, and the german officer first lost his aide and was subsequently taken down in assault. 
On the last two turns the pioneers heroicly managed to save the day by showing up and destroying the dutch artillery piece in assault, winning the game for the germans. Because we are playing a campaign and casualtues can be hard to replace, both sides conserved their forces. In the last turns there were no last ditch assaults that would have occured if this was a one-off: the risk of losing a lot if troops without gaining significant advantage was just to great. 

The germans suffered quite few casualties, but because they won the game were able to tend to their wounded and received enough reinforcements to recoup their loses. The dutch however could not replace al the lost infantry, starting to feel the strain of a campaign game. The homebrew scenario felt balanced and the battle was a tence affair right untill the last turns. The hidden/fog of war markers worked well again: the germans focused their fire on a unit they thought was the dutch artillery piece, while in truth it was the dutch medic, and the artillery was safe behind the lines in ambush, waiting for the outflank.

Next time, the dutch are going to try to retake the lost positions in a counter attack, switching the roles of attacker and defender. 

Friday, 6 August 2021

A Bolt Action campaign: may 1940, invasion of the Netherlands

After months of planning and a sneaky pandemic my friend Michael and myself finally started our Bolt Action campaign this week. We are using the campaign rules as published by warlord Games, with a few houserules to make them slightly less convoluted.

We plan to fight 6 consecutive games, representing the advance of german forces through the south of the Netherlands in may 1940. We plan to modify existing scenario's from various books to suit our games. The following battles will be played:

Raid of the Heumen lock-complex (may 10th, Maas-Waal channel defence line)
Assault of the Peel-Raamstelling at Mill (may 10th)
Counterattack at Mill (may 10th)
Hasty Defence of the Willemsvaart (may 11th)
Retreat through Brabant (may 12th)
Attack on Dordrecht (May 13th)

The campaign rules allow each player to assemble a company size masterlist with support units, from which you select units for each battle. Casualties suffered need to be replaced after each battle with reinforcement points earned. Surviving units can gain experience.

To introduce a Fog of War in bolt action, we used counters to represent units deployed, which would only be replaced with their corresponding units when they fired, or moved out of cover into line of sight. Counters can be targeted by fire, but only suffer pin markers.

Raid of the Heumen lock-complex
Early in the night german infiltrators dressed as railroadworkers and military policemen tried to seize various bridges across the Maas-Waal kanaal. In some cases they were uncovered by the border battalioans guarding these bridges, or the bridge was blown with infiltrators on top off it. At Heumen some 30 german soldiers managed to get across the bridge at a lock compex, before revealing themselves and assaulting the defenders. They managed to hold out untill reinforcements arrived, thwarting various dutch attempts to retake the bridge and destroy it.

We started the scenario with two forces of 750 points. The germans (RED) could deploy up to 3 infantry squads and an officer on the dutch side of the bridge, within 12" of it. Other units had to start on the far side of the canal, which can only be crossed by infantry at the lock doors and the bridge. The Dutch start occupying the three bunkers and the breastworks present.

Objective of the germans is to take out at least two of the dutch bunkers covering the bridge, while the Dutch need to recapture either the bridge or the small wooden guardhouse next to it, in order to blow the bridge.
The first turn the Germans seized the initiative and surged a unit forward towards the bunker near the road. Dutch units fired upon the german infantry advancing towards the bunker, but came under intense artillery and mortar fire in return. On the left flank the units occupying the bunkers went into ambush, ready to counter any german attempt to cross the canal.

The second turn saw the germans seizing the first bunker in close combat. Accurate mortar fire hit the dutch unit covering the bunker. Dutch artillery fire form the ancient 8 staal covering the road failed to hit, but did convince the german officer to redeploy his infantry from the guard house in a safer position behind a nearby hedge, now that the first bunker was in their hands. A squad of german infantry took their chances and charged across the bridge to reinforce the units near the guard house.

The third turn saw two dutch infantry squads reveiling themselves and work their way up the side of the road towards the guard house. Aided by a Fubar on the german infantry that just crossed the road they bravely advanced. Elsewhere some shots were exchanged and some unrevealed units redeployed towards the tableside where the action took place.

On the fourth turn the dutch advanced further, coming within charge range of the empty guardhouse. The 8-staal in ambush still threatened the german units, so they sat tight and took some pinning shots at the advancing Dutch infantry. At the end of the turn the luftwaffe liaison called in a Stuka, which duly arrived and pinned a lot of dutch units and blasted apart one of the advancing infantry squads.

In the mean time a dutch unit of regular Politietroepen had arrived from reserve, took some potshots at the german occupying the nearby pillbox and at the start of the next turn charged in. They managed to retake the bunker with only minimal losses. As a reaction to this manouvre the germans advanced their veteran Infiltrators back towards the guardhouse and reoccupied it. The two units of dutch inexperienced troops near that same guardhouse remained pinned down, taking further casualties.

The last turns saw some scattered shots taken at various units, eliminating both the german and dutch light artillery. The dutch defenders on ambush detered any further german advances, and continuous german fire kept the advanced dutch units pinned down. We both tried to preserve our forces, unwiling to gamble with our troops, knowing that further casualties were going to be hard to replace. Thus the battle ended in a hard fought draw, with the germans still firmly in posession of the bridge, and the dutch clinging to their bunkers.

The recovery rolls in the post battle fase of the campaign allowed us to regain some lost infantry, and with the resupply points most casualties were replaced with new recruits. On both sides the mortars performed good and gained some hard earned xp, as did the german officer leading his men and the dutch politietroepen that retook the bunker. Next time the german's are going to assault the defences at Mill. 

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Imperial Guard Battalion race to finish

In two weeks time we will be playing our anually 40k megagame at my local club. I want to finish my current availlable guard forces before that time (convieniently contributing to our local winter painting challenge). So I marched my battalion out onto the local table/impromptu parade ground to see what work remains....it turns out I have 1 and a half a week to paint 50 guardsmen. Better start glueing and undercoatingšŸ˜Ž.

The whole battalion in its current incarnation.
The first company: detached from the 4th Hollan Emperor's Own line infantry regiment: three infantry platoons of three squads each, all with a heavy weapon squad attached. 1 squad each of roughriders, ratling snipers and carapaced veterans as company support.
the 2nd Valhallan infantry company: two plattoons of three infantry squads with a special weapon team each, and a heavy weapons platoon of five heavy weapon squads. A small squad of roughrider scouts and ratlings as company support. Most of the armoured vehicles also belong to this company.
the third Catachan Devils company: two platoons of three infantry squads and a sniper squad, one heavy weapons platoon of five squads and 6 ogryns and Sly Marbo as company support

Monday, 3 April 2017

28mm Dutch Marines Review

Yesterday a friend of mine brought in a few packs of May 40's new 28mm Dutch Marines. He picked them up for me at a local gameshow. I got a full squad of Marines(12), a set of three marine officers and a small separate three man Lewis team, aptly named the Rotterdam Team, for their poses where inspired by a locally famous painting of the Marines defending Rotterdam against the Germans.

Even though I have slightly to many projects going at the moment, I couldn't resist opening theblacks up. The Marine squad contains a mix of 12 different Marines in battledress and in long coats. One Lewis Gunner and a sergeant are included. The quality of the sculpts is very fine, and only a little flash. The detailing is excellent, the rifles have clearly sculpted bolts and even the anchors on the helmets are clearly visible. The quality of my tablet's camera don't do the models justice.

The size of the models is just a fraction larger than the warlord games plastics (even back than the Dutchie's were taller☺), but right on par with most metal ww2 ranges, and they blend in nicely on the battlefield with my BTD early war Germans and fallschirmjager. Because of May 40's attention to detail there really is only one flaw to find, and that is more of a personal taste: the helmets on a few of the models seem to sit somewhat high on their heads, which can look a bit funny to me at times. I'm really looking forward to painting these miniatures up, and fielding them in a few Rotterdam skirmishes against some of my disembarking German luftlande division.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Battle of the bulge scenario 2

Today we started playing the scenarios from the bolt action supplement Battle of the Bulge. First up was the battle of Hurtgen Forest, with some veteran Americans trying to take down a German fortified position occupied by regular units. I took a veteran Sherman to accompany my three units of veterans supported by two Mmg's and a sniper.

The German left flank was heavily defended, so I chose to attack their right flank with the majority of my units. The scenario special rules gave the German some fortifications, minefields(the green patches) and ambush positions, and limited visibility in the heavily wooded and hilly forest.

A carefully placed German flamethrower team funneled my troops through a narrow corridor. Some bad dice rolls and -draws saw my gallant attack slowly grind down to a bloody halt, the Sherman destroyed and a desperate dash of my commanding officer proved futile. Even though the Germans suffered some serious casualties, the veteran gebirgsjager were firmly in control of the pillbox and trenches.

All in all we had a blast: the scenario was quite well ballanced and the special rules added some nice touches. Looking forward towards the next scenario!

Monday, 26 December 2016

28mm Dutch farm

Recently I purchased Sarissa's Dutch farm as a terrain piece for my early war Dutch and fallschirmjager to fight over. I'm pleasantly surprised by the kit. It's only the second lasered MDF kit I ever bought, but putting it together was rather easy, and the fit is excellent.

It consists out of a single ground floor, decided into two sections, two upper floors (no stairwell), and two roof sections. If you want great interior detailing you'll have to add some, but if like me, your main interest is a sectioned building suitable for bolt action, the structure is spot on. The size off the kit possitively surprised me, almost completely covering an A4 sheet.

After a quick fur brown spray painting was quick. Not entirely satisfied with the result though, so I'll add some more detailing later. The cardboard shutters fit reasonably well but don't paint up very good, I'd like to have seen them in MDF as well.

Tyrants Legion under construction

After much deliberation and a chance encounter in our hobby room with a the recent killteam box containing a full plastic tactical squad, I settled on building my centurions out of these parts. I also came up with just enough resin industrial/rubble bases to base my fledgeling Tyrants Legion on them. To make the process of building a new army manageable, I decided to go build and paint them in 500 put blocks.

Presented below is the first block; an imperial guard HQ command with meltagun and lascannon(not pictured), a ten men infantry squad with flamer and missile launcher (the tyrant guard combined marine and guard elements, I wanted the guardsmen to emulate Marines by carrying their signature weapons) a Chimera armoured transport and a single marine centurion. Since the marine codex doesn't allow veteran sergeants as independent characters , the only option is to make him a techmarine.

The guardsmen where painted a decade ago and have him surviving in a plastic bag ever since, so are in need of some touching up and adding some tyrant legion colours.

Saturday, 17 December 2016


A second attempt to revive my blog, mainly because it's an efficient way of sharing project progress. Currently running projects include, but aren't limited to, 28mm bolt action Prinses Irene brigade carrier patrol section, adeptus mechanicus guard army, 15mm bolt action and joining in a 2nb edition 40k Badab war campaign.

The latter project has had me scrounging through my stores, looking for suitable models. I'm aiming to build a 1500 pnts Tyrants Legion; an attempt by Lufgt Huron to rebuild the Imperial Army of old. I've selected my partially painted platoon of cadian shock troops to form the core of my army, supported by a handfull of Astral Claw marines. I'm still in doubt as to which models to use for the marines.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Early war german paratroopers

Some support paratroopers for bolt action and chain of command. Mainly engineers plus an antitank rifle and a light mortar.

Converted flame thrower from a radio operator. He should have a round gastank, but I'd like to imagine some creative paratroopers disguising the tank in something more innocent.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Adeptus support for the Imperial Guard

I've stumbled across some of my adeptus models in various stages of painting. And recently acquired five battle sisters. Currently I have three assassins ( of which two are actually necromunda spyerers)  5 Arbiter, 5 seraphim, an inquisitor, a techpriest, two frateris militia and some naval advisors. I'll assemble them and try to get them painted soon.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

German fallschirmjager for Bolt Action

Although I planned to paint a lot more during my holiday, I did manage to finish the first batch of my early war fallschirmjager. I've fudged the machine guns a bit, because I own only two mg34's, so the rest are mg42's. These fallschirmjager are to be used as enemies of my dutch reinforced platoon. Shown in the pictures are an officer, an air force liaison, a mmg and four squads of jager with an machine gun each.

Some engineers, a light artillery piece and a 37mm at gun are still in the mail, who together with some early war regular army troops whom I will use as the German 22nd airlanding division, will round out my German force for Fall Gelb battles.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Dutch ww2 Huzars

The Dutch army of 1940 had a few motorised regiments; the Huzaren motorrijders. Around my hometown they were mainly used to guard the motorways against enemy airborne forces and insurgents. The dutch armoured car platoons were also supported by the huzars. Thus they helped defend airfield Ypenburg against the attacking fallschirmjager.

For my Bolt Action force I converted a BA10 into something not entirely unlike a Landsverk M 36, and converted some Warlord games German motorbikes into huzars, by means of a simple headswap. The huzars wore brown leather motorjackets and pants, coupled with dark cavalry boots ( and spurs according to some!).

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The last Dwarfs

As part of my vacation painting and basing spree I finished my WFB dwarf army today. I painted my Anvil of Doom and dwarf lord, and based my slayers ( very nice avatars of war plastics)  and scouts. With these models my dwarf army is officially finished. Hopefully I can squeeze in a game with my entire dwarf force before everybody switches form 8th to Age of Sigmar.