Since the first convention game we played at Siege of Augusta, I have been hooked on the fun of running a game. There is something that is awesome about showing off a game that you love as well as watching other people get inspired by the game that you play. I think that all of us wargamers have that one memory of that awesome game where you charged and killed off the opponent against impossible odds, or you just had a great time. These are the things we look forward to, so why not model it up as well.
The first Historicon I ran a game was last year's with a Bolt Action WW2 game based on Hell's Highway during Operation Market Garden. We had fun, but someone at the convention liked everything, but my trees. I had the same thought myself, so I went on a mission to build even more realistic terrain for our troops. Thus was the birth of this last Historicon's project.
About the game, this was a four part game using Bolt Action rules with some modifications. The game was about taking various objectives across the board. The board was designed 6' x 15' using Fur terrain. The projected time frame for this game was about 6 months. I decided in December I wanted to run more than one game. For one, the first Historicon game I ran did not get that much attention. I felt that people might not have been as interested in our game, because I was relatively unknown. I honestly, did not start really posting stuff until I started this blog. I still mainly post in various Facebook Groups of similar interest. Also, I want to do a continuation game much like I saw one member of the H.A.W.K.s (Harford Area Weekly Kreigspielers) ran. I played on the first of the three games, and enjoyed the game. I just cannot remember what rules he was using.
I decided to stick with the Bolt Action rules for the game mainly, because the rules were still popular and Kalissa and I knew the rules really well. Also, it was easy to modify for our needs without changing too much. We changed few things that were mainly for smoothing game play. we decided to take the Iron Cross rules concept of running multiple orders for units instead of limited units in movement. This would ensure that the troops could cross the distance of the whole board if needed in all three games. We also had to tone some things down. We got rid of the recce escape whenever fired at rule. It was currently hated in the game, and is going to be changed, in fact, in Warlord's 2nd addition of the game. This was confirmed by them at Historicon. We also gave the Nebelwerfers more killing range, but it would take three orders to reload. We, also, added command for extra actions for troops in line of sight. This gave an extra flare to the game. It is not that Bolt Action is a bad rules set. These changes were needed to get troops on the move for some serious action.
|There was some serious violence across this section of the board through the field to the church.|
Game One: The Americans started the game in the far right hand corner of their side of the board. To the left was a small farm that opened up dirt road for reinforcements and flank point, as well, as it could be established as a forward HQ. The Germans had drop off points to start in key areas. They were allowed to deploy eight inches around these points. There were nine of these. The only units the Germans could not deploy were the 88 Flak 36 gun guard the long stretch of the road directly leading in town, and the two Nebelwerfers that were in town in someone backyard. The Nebelwerfers had a two-man spotting team in the church steeple that commanded most of the ground on the hill. The Americans only got to start with Airborne troops with bazookas, snipers, a medium mortar, and 57 mm AT gun as support. The beginning of the game also had "night rules" in the first turn change to regular light, but overcast.
Knowing that the Americans had to capture six objectives and a HQ in town, I did not expect one of the German players to stack a two squads and a Stug III at the first small farm house. This proved to be very decisive delay for the American forces who were held up with an occupied farm. They manage to take the larger farm in front off them and made it their forward HQ. The small farm fell, but after heavy casualties.
|The Nebelwefer 41's in town.|
|The Airborne head right to take the small farm. The road was were they came in from.|
|The Airborne commander made the larger farm a forward HQ after taking it. There were no Germans defending this other than mortar fire and German grenadiers in the next hedgerow to the left of this picture.|
The toll on the German infantry was also hampered by mortar fire. Since, they started Game 2 spread out, there was not a large force to push back the American force. The Germans also lost their spotters in the church as well as a Pak 40. The church would fall to the Americans by the beginning of next game.
|Germans holding the threatening church.|
|Given a 12 foot range, the Nebelwerfers were even hammering the forward HQ in the farm!|
|There was a good reason for caution from the American armor. A Stug III was stalking them. It gained their respect in a long range shot at 71 inches killing a Sherman on the road. At this point, there was still no need for the 88 Flak Gun to shoot. These were mainly it's victims!|
|A picture of the Stug III. It is hard to tell in this picture, but there is a knoll blocking the Shermans LOS. That and the low profile.|
|The Germans losing to the 82nd airborne. The Steeple is on fire from a Sherman HE shell.|
|The Stug III ace!|
|One of the evil Nerferwerfers. These killed about 15 full squads other than countless others.|
|The sad death of a Stug III.|
|A Sherman is on the move to the battle at hand.|
|The Germans set up their defensive line, while other units delay the Americans.|
|Violence on the knoll.|
|American infantry take another crossroad.|
|A Sherman hides behind the recent victim of an 88 round as the mortar half track lays down smoke rounds.|
|Americans take fire from a 222 armored car after taking down a Panther tank.|
|German counter attack towards the church.|
In the end, the Americans won by the most objectives! But most importantly, everyone had fun! Mission accomplished!
|Chaos around the church.|
|After taking a Sherman out, the Panther tank tried to hide behind the burning Sherman tank from a captured Pak 40. The commander forgot about the 57 mm AT gun in the bushes in front, which got a luck shot at close range!|
|Burning armor from the one Panther tank.|
|Before it died in the open, the Panther tank ran the battlefield. If it was knocked out here, the Americans would not be able to drive armor through this way.|
|German counter attack through a wheat field.|
|This was the second time the Pak 40 was re-manned this game, even though, it was rated as Inexperienced.|