Friday, August 28, 2015

A Battle in Normandy

Jim and I recently played a game of Bolt Action. His WIP FJR 6 versus my 101st Airborne. We never play any specific battle, like Bloody Gulch, Dead Man's Corner or Carentan, but maybe in the future we will. We played a generic scenario- Half of each army had to stay in reserve and could come in on turn 1 with no penalty. I was also tasked with getting as many units off the table as possible.
Jim's table, from my left

From my right
A few years back, I found this picture of a P-47, which had a hard belly landing on one of the Normandy beaches. Around the same time, I read Ian Gardner's and Roger Day's excellent book, Tonight We Die as Men, which tells the story of the somewhat overlooked Third Battalion, 506 PIR. I was inspired by these recollections as well:
Seconds later a P-47 Thunderbolt, with its throttle wide open, crashed near us and made a terrific noise as its bomb load exploded. The Germans paid little attention and seemed more focus on processing us! (p172)
Second LT Pete Madden was looking at the men around him when suddenly a damaged P-47 came screeching overhead and crashed in flames 1 1/4 miles due north at Les Rats Farms. (p188)
A patrol was sent out to Les Rats where the P-47 had crashed. "I was sent along with a few others to try and recover the machine guns from the plane" recalls Pvt Miles Allen (G Co.). "Unfortunately the weapons were twisted and bent beyond use" (p199)
At around this time, a damaged and burning P-47 aircraft came in from the south, passed low overhead, and crashed about 1 1/4 miles from the bridge... a small patrol [was sent] to the crash site to see if anything could be done for the pilot. The men returned with the dead airman's dog tags. (p204)

My attempt to emulate this photo uses a 1:48 model kit I picked up for $9 at Michaels using a 50% coupon.

 Our village had an untouched factory, that had miraculously escaped any explosives, while the rest o the villages were blown to smithereens.

 The Allied preparatory bombardment had knocked out a few German vehicles and local heifers
 An American Cavalry scout rolls down the road toward the suspected German positions

 FJs move toward the unpainted destroyed citadel

 A squad and a 60mm mortar moved on the right flank

M5 Stuart with air recognition panel

American command and M-10 move into the center. One of my gripes with Bolt Action is that it seems every mission has the opposing armies move on 6-18 inches then form a battle line. I wonder how games like Chain of Command end up. 

Jim's Pak40 ambushed my M-10. That caused my momentum to stop completely.

Pathfinders signal a DZ

A few of my favorite miniatures.

After my M-10 blew up, all of momentum stalled, and we ended up in a stalemate. I tried to get the Suart and a squad off the table, but all that ended up happening was both units died because they were out of cover.
I want to like Bolt Action, have played close to 100 games, but as I said above I feel like it ends up the same way most times. Unless one player has terrible dice, there really isn't a lot of ebb and flow.

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