Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bolt Action Batrep: Ghurkas!

Bolt Action vs Nathan. My Finns have STILL not arrived. They were second wave on the Kick-starter, but now I see they should be here *soon*. Worse, I can't find one of my tins of BA troops, since I've moved back in. So Nathan had to loan me one of his armies. He loaned me his fearsome Ghurkas! He took his very cool looking Italians. We were a little less than 1000pts each as he forgot one of his Italian squads. I had a CO, free arty FO, a Rifle squad, 2 Ghurkha squads, a medium mortar, a 25pdr cannon, and two Bren Carriers (one was recce). Nathan also had three infantry squads (airborne?), mortar, the tank that throws 16mg dice, and one of those light AT guns with no gun-shield. Italians get cool defensive rules and Ghurkas... Ghurkas are filthy good in CC. Especially as Nathan told me I could take another Brit special rule on top, to make them even better.

 I picked the mission where one side attacks the other, who has to defend three objectives. Typing this, I recall now that I probably should have got a prelim bombardment, but I forgot that. We did roll for attacker/defender but Italian rules make it much more likely they will defend. Nathan defended and built his little fort on the centre objective. We were on a smaller 4' board (because I prefer this) so he decided he didn't need reserves and put every-one on in hidden deployment and ambush.

He committed a terrible war-crime and relegated his Servomonte to a mere objective... Neither of us had Flamethrowers. Nathan had put me one in my list but forgot his so I took it out. This actually meant that my sole AT weapon was the 25pdr. Nary an AT grenade or PIAT to be seen in what I had.

While I forgot my free prelim bombardment, it was okay because Brits get a free FO so I spent my first turn having Nathan place the target marker 'just so'. Since there was a huge hill in the middle, the plan was for Ghurkhas to push each flank. They both got mg covering fire from a UC but I weighted my left flank with the 25pdr and the artillery barrage as this would be the main focus. My third squad would be run over the hill so Nathan would be forced to still spread his defence.

Nathan had picked the best defensive terrain and was holed up in ruined buildings and his central fort. I would have put his fort on his right flank. He could not have know I'd focus there but he still could have aimed to reinforce the centre 9if needed for forts on either flank as it was going to be quicker for me to hit his flanks due to the hill.

With my sole AT weapon on the left, Nathan's tank wandered off to crush the Ghurkhas on my right. Once my arty came in (no kills, lots of pins) and I had shot the light AT gun to death (no gun-shield is a problem in BA), it was time for the infantry attack to get going.

 In order to draw away as many of the enemy as possible, I had been more aggressive on the right. My poor Ghurkas did not particularly enjoy taking a few rounds of fire from a tank with 16 mg dice. I remember that tank fondly from my previous game. I guess I should count myself lucky he didn't take the light armoured vehicle with the flamethrower...

The poor Italians, it was their one opportunity to shine. Nathan is a big Italian army fan and they are another of the armies that always got screwed over big the odd and vaguely disturbing stereotyping that the BF team seemed to follow in Flames of War. I don't think the Italians fare quire as well in BA as Soviets do but at the skirmish scale they do have some of the best armour going.

However, this time I had the Ghurkas and pretty much nothing can stop a Ghurka assault. It wasn't even close. I think the BA guys may want to go back to the drawing board on them - Nathan's only chance was to whittle both squads down before they hit and that's tough to do to Vets. If I use his Brits again, I will have a wee look through their army-book and see if another unit (Commandos? Paras?) has slightly more reasonable rules. I think in the previous game (where he had Ghurkas and I had Italians) I only survived because I kept just out of assault range so got one more turn to finish the attackers off with shooting. Heaps of fun anyway, and good to catch up, thanks Nathan. Hopefully my Finns get here before the next game... or I find the other half of my Soviets.

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