Sunday, 15 June 2014

May 2014.

This is a mixture of wargaming and a little bit of information on a major event in my life.

As of 23rd April I was taken into hospital with severe abdominal pain, which once an ambulance dropped me off at A+E full of painkiller, for which I bless the person who invented liquid IV paracetamol, as this was all that could stop me being in agony for the trip, as morphine was useless in my case. It was discovered that I had appendicitis, and so at quarter to one in the morning on Thursday 24th April, I was in theatre having my appendix removed, except, it wasn't that simple - the appendix wasn't there any more, it had died, having already burst, and was just a rotten black thing floating in my abdomen filling me with poisonous pus and endangering my life, which according to the doctor was a couple of days at most at this point, but luckily it was removed along with the majority of the pus. So then I spent 10 days in hospital on intravenous anti-biotics and suffering with a wound infection, which was sorted by the return of the surgeon who spotted it within seconds and involved him re-opening a few centi-metres of the wound to drain the infection. So now I am at home recovering off work for a few weeks. Which means I have had a few weeks in which to do nothing but play video-games, and assemble and paint my wargaming miniatures! Which leads us on to the rest of this post....

I have started assembling the remaining half of my Bolt Action German late war infantry, which are my veteran grenadier squads, who are the more heavily armed part of my force. I have also painted and finished the spotter for my sniper team, whose wearing splinter camouflage just like the sniper himself. 

I have also carried on painting my Tiger, and assembling and priming my two Sdk.fz 251/1 Ausf Cs. Which I regretted trying to do having already assembled one as I am having trouble getting paint under the lip of the armour by the driver's seat. Although this is extrememly difficult to spot if your looking at the vehicle, and will be further hidden when the MG42 gunner is glued in position at the front. 

I have also thanks to the Warlord Games forums, found out after years of postulating, what the 20mm autocannon used by the German forces at the end of Saving Private Ryan is. It is a 2.0cm Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun on its wheeled trailer just on a low elevation so it can hit ground targets, in honour of the film, which is one my favourite WW2 films, I have ordered a Flak 38 for my German forces in Bolt Action, ordered from The Wargames Command Store and it is made by the modelling manufacturer Company B. This will arrive next week (well, it was due to arrive last week but has been delayed due to stock problems) and will be a small but welcome addition to my force, as it is small enough to be potentially ignored by an opponent in favour of my tank/s and so it can be used to take out infantry all the way up to lightly armoured vehicles, and any future aircraft my opponents may get (as that is what it is really for, but I'll ignore it in favour of attacking infantry with it like in the film).

Anyhoo, last night (16th May), after a 3 week gap I returned to Dice and Decks, and took part in a massive game of Bolt Action, and did some shopping for my X-Wing miniatures game collection thanks to a visit from Square Orange Games. In terms of X-Wing, I expanded my Imperial force with a Lambda class shuttle, whilst the Rebel Alliance gained the transport used to evacuate Hoth at the start of The Empire Strikes Back.
The Lambda Class Shuttle for the Imperials
The Transport for the Rebel Alliance, half scale compared to the other ships, but still a nice model.
The Bolt Action game was a 2 v 2 game, consisting of me and another German player vs British and Russians combined. We never really got going, we managed one and a half full turns, but plenty of action occured with so many models on the table, which I have realised I didn't manage to photograph at any point during the night (Doh!). I can say that we had 3 tanks, 2 Panzer IV Ausf H and a Tiger 1, and 4 Sdk Fz 251/1s, along with around 60 men, and most importantly, my newly finished German Medic, converted from the basic plastics and whom I'm very happy with how it looks. He managed to survive the battle (our Russian player likes to take shots at Medics in game to prevent them saving casualties), much to an opponents annoyance. However, the enemy had 3 MMG teams, around 80+ infantry, a 17pdr Anti-tank gun, a Churchill Tank and a Josef Stalin 2 tank, which managed to take the Tiger out (so now 2 games into it being my army it still hasn't managed to do anything but blow up). 

Some pictures of my new additions to my Bolt Action Germans are below as well as pictures of my assembled force so far;
One of my Veteran Grenadier squads and it's transport.

1st Platoon Lieutenant and his guard.

My heavy-hitters, well, "hitters" is a bit of an exaggeration as the Tiger never does alot, misses every shot and dies very quickly in most games.

My most complete squad so far - with an NCO and a Grenadier both finished, with another two well on the way.

The Sniper team, as mentioned above, both are now finished, and wearing splinter camouflage tunics and the spotter's helmet is also in the same camouflage scheme.

My Colonel (who counts as a major in games) and his Bodyguard

My converted medic - a tempting target for the Russian Snipers (my Russian opponent hates Medics and prioritises them as targets for his snipers, so a bright white helmet might not have been the best choice on my part!).

My half-painted MMG Team
My completed force so far, there is another half to put on the table yet so it will be even more formidable yet!

Which leads onto another game at Dice and Decks on the 23rd May, another Bolt Action game, a 3 player game (due to the adsence of our fourth Bolt Action gamer). So it was my Germans vs Russians vs another army of Germans. As seems to becoming worringly often, the Tiger failed again to do anything useful, but at least wasn't destroyed this time. The other German force took out one of my Half-tracks, with a Panzerfaust, which is a first in our club. But this didn't end well, it set the Half-track on fire, resulting in it being destroyed, and the squad of Veteran Grenadiers bailing the vehicle, and losing only one man in the process. This led to a tense wait for the next turn's order dice, which I got, and so the surviving squad from the Half-track fired and caused four deaths on the squad that took out their transport. The Russians, as usual, were virtually invincible to all fire directed at them. A problem that needs to be sorted, some artillery might be needed in the future.

However, Warlord Games has had a half price sale on their individual sprues of plastic troops, so I ordered 3 sprues of Late War Germans and 3 sprues of Early War Germans (adding 30 more men to my force, the early war Germans will add variety to my force) and some extra weapons, and finally a squad of newly released Late War Germans with Stg44s equipped with early Infra-red night sights on them, which look interesting and so were ordered, giving me a unique looking squad of Veterans in my now company sized force, since I have 2 platoons now with these additions, 2 officers to lead them and an overall Officer in charge. 

My latest game of Bolt Action on the 30th May didn't give me a chance to field my new German reinforcements however. My regular opponent had also taken advantage of the Warlord sprue sale and managed to get a decent sized Japanese army! In the interests of a slightly more historical match-up, I decided to use my USMC, and lost resoundly, although I have a suspicion that the national rules may have been over-exaggerated. Next week, June 6th (70th anniversary of the D-day landings) I am having another game of Bolt Action using my Germans against another member of Dice and Decks Gaming Club member's British force. This will be a more close-run thing (I hope!), as our forces are more balanced and both of us are aware of each others special rules for the two forces.

I have also bought a new terrain piece of terrain for Bolt Action games, a 28mm scale church, which I have started assembling and have termporarily fitted together for use in games whilst I'm painting it, as I find it easier to paint it in pieces rather than glue it together and try to paint it all at once.
The main body of the Church, with the rest of the pieces lying in it.
The Church's front entrance, the door isn't present as it is being painted seperately.

And that's all for now folks!