Back on July 2nd WR opened his warren for two concurrent tabletop scenario games, a 28mm Bolt Action Italian scenario and WR’s 28mm Battle of Voltri 1796 game. On the covered patio, two different concurrent games were run during the warm California day, along with a complete Italian themed meal served, including Chianti, cool lemonade, and the normal side munchies. Total of eight gamers RSVP’d from the invitations for the event and all had a blast gaming on the Italian countryside tables.
One of the tabletop scenarios was a 28mm Bolt Action (BA) scenario developed and GM’d by WR’s local San Fernando Valley (northern Los Angeles) friend Dan with assistant from southern Andy. Dan, Andy, and Paul brought their excellent 28mm BA WWII miniature collections to field the American, German and Polish forces. WR pulled out his 25mm Italeri Italian village buildings, and other terrain from his collection, for the arriving gamers. Should note we could have three “Pauls” at the tables that day, with the confusion of “that Paul, you Paul, me Paul?” etc…but only two RSVP’d and they played in different scenarios that day. We didn’t have to resort to the Welsh method of Paul identification. The other concurrent scenario was WR’s Battle of Voltri 1796, which details and AAR will be covered in a separate blog post. Since WR’s game was back in 1796 nearby, his viewpoint and comments about the Bolt Action scenario can only be gleamed from the war correspondents taking their photos of the scenario in progress. Late in the scenario play…. about turn six, WR joined as a draftee German to push the lead, after the conclusion of the Voltri 1796 scenario..
The tabletop scene has the early morning Italian sunlight revealing a “peaceful” Italian village, their mayoral building sporting a recent large hole in its roof. The old medieval church dominated the surrounding terrain and would be a target for both sides. Sensing trouble…. the rumble of tracks maybe, the village inhabitants, with their farm animals and Chianti carts, scattered into the fields around the village.
With players arriving between 9am and 10am, the BA Italian scenario successfully was underway by 10:30am, a tradition with WR to have the gaming start on time. Dan is the local expert on the modified BA rules used by Dan, Andy , and Steve P (missing for the day) which feature a modified range and weapon charts from the basic BA game. Both sides were advancing to control a key small bridge crossing nestled in a small Italian village. A review of the Bolt Action contestant platoons involved (copy and paste work):
The GI’s, played by Andy and Daniel:
Small Company with 2 platoons. Each platoon had three squads. Each squad had 8 men including a Sgt. and Cpl. Each platoon had a HQ of 1x Lt., 1x SSgt., 1x Runner.
CO HQ had 1x Cpt., 1x SSgt., 2x Runners, 1x Medic
Also with the U.S. company:
1x FO team (2 guys), 1x Bazooka team (2 guys), 1x MMG team (3 guys), 2x 60mm mortar teams (3 guys each) “The Smoking Joes” crew. Supporting the company was an armored recon team of 1x Stuart, 1x Sherman and 1x Jeep.
Polish forces played by Paul S: The Poles had a short-handed rifle company on the table: a company HQ and two platoons (each with 3 squads of 7 men), backed up by a Vickers MMG team and a lonely, peregrinating Cromwell. WR remembers a mortar team dropping shells too.
The Germans used a 1944 TO&E as a basis, played by Dan M. and Luis, later joined by WR after the Voltri 1796 scenario completion:
1) Panzer grenadier company, consisting of a headquarters, 3x
rifle platoons (3 squads each) and one weapons platoon (2x
MG-42 MMG teams, 2x teams with GrW 38 80mm mortars). Only 3rd
Platoon had SdKfz 251 halftracks, the two other platoons, plus a SS platoon, arrived via (off-board) truck transport then walked on.
2) Armor support in the form of the remnant of a mixed medium tank platoon ( 1x Pz III-J, 1x Pz IV-H).
3) From battalion HQ, 1x Panzerschreck team and 1x sniper team joined the Axis advance.
Scenario starts with both sides advancing towards the central village and bridge from three different entrance points. Objective for both sides: 1) seize control of village and bridge, 2) defeat the opponents encountered, and 3) advance over the shallow waterway showing ability to continue the sustained advance tomorrow.
Another turn or two wouldn’t change much after playing eight turns. The Poles lost heavily in the blood stained church windows. They would poke a head or two out and be targeted by every German carrying a weapon or slingshot. Dead Polish soldiers dropped from the upstairs on to the pews below. German losses mounted along the right side stream bed when the polish survived the firestorm. One German squad was wiped out along the blood stained stream, and the SS squad was public target #1 for every Polish rifle or mortar team it seemed. The Panzer IV blasted the Polish command teams to bits…. caught out in the open fields near the church. Slowly the Germans were winning this side of the table. But on the German left the concentrated American firepower dropped German panzer grenadiers with every volley of rifle fire. Having the two American tanks (Stuart and Sherman) prevented any thought of German advance on the left side, and soon, those steel monsters would advance to clear the rocky stream bed, supported by three nearly fresh GI squads.
So…. basically a tie or hung scenario at this point. Both sides will need to summons their reserves to attempt tomorrow their resumed advances. Scenario flowed well, considering there was thirty-six (36) Bolt Action maneuvering elements on the tabletop. WR suggests to Dan, for next BA scenario, to pair up a squad with a smaller element… commander team, sniper, mortar team etc.. for each pick from the cup of chance. This would reduce the number of choices down from 36, to maybe 20 in total. Set a total number of picks and pair up squads or teams for joint turn action till number reached, preferably on different parts of the tabletop or in different Platoons as a starting point.
WR thanks Dan, Andy, Paul S., Luis, and Daniel for the great BA game at the warren. As always, Dan’s, Andy’s and Paul’s 28mm miniature played their tabletop parts well. Terrain was mostly WR’s with the exception of the “clean dirt roadway”, rocky ground, and crumpled foam green steam bed scenic from the Dan collection. Extra special thank you for Raquel’s Italian cooking for the mid day meal.
Time to schedule the next warren game day….. till then eat carrots for good eyesight.