Saturday, 25 June 2016

Arnhem - Bolt Action Boot Camp Chaos!

6 Pounder ready to defend the bridge

Here we go again
I have been reading the book "Arnhem" by Major-General R E Urquhart CB DSO (played by Sean Connery in the film "A Bridge Too Far") and realised this would make a great Boot Camp game. So it is!
Everyone charging across that bridge

As you can see from the pictures of the board below, this is a city table with the bridge flanked by the hotel and other buildings at one end.
There are 3 German and 3 British Paratrooper forces in the game.
As with any good demo game we need to have a visually attractive board with challenging mixes of forces and a balanced game. It is always so easy to visualise how a game can go but as with everything Bolt Action you have to actually play the game to see the results.
View from the Bridge

View from the town
Our first play test today had the three German forces all coming in from the bridge and approaches. Although the game worked, it was too much concentration in one spot and much of the fluid nature of a Bolt Action game was lost.
So the reworked version we played in the afternoon had the main and one of the secondary German forces attack from the bridge and approaches, with the primary British force defending the Bridge and La Haye Saint building complex, the other German force occupying the terrace houses at the end of the board, one of the British forces occupying the terrace houses along the side and the last British force coming in from the police station side of the board.
We had a very close game, ending in a draw, but there were still a few stalemates which had to be overcome.
We have now replaced the two Hanomags with a Panzer III N (Light Howitzer - short 75mm) so that the bridge assault force can sort out the paratroopers in the Stone Hotel. Also, the British can't start as "Hidden" as everyone knew they were there.  Lastly, the reinforcing British must come from the side middle road, encouraged to reinforce the main British defenders who are being attacked by two forces.
Thanks to all our play testers today. It was a very enjoyable game - challenging for everyone as fighting began in earnest on turn one and didn't stop until the end, with the dice being pulled from three dice bags and people being fired upon from all directions!

Here are the forces:

British - All veteran Paratroopers:

Main Bridge Defenders: 
750 points 9 dice
2nd Lieutenant with 1 assistant - 78 pts
5 x Paratroops squads (NCO SMG, 3 Rifle, 2 SMG) Stubborn - 93 pts each
PIAT Team - 52 pts
Sniper Team - 65 pts
QF 6 Pounder AT gun - 90 pts

2 x Supporting Forces:
600 points 7 dice
2nd Lieutenant with 1 assistant - 78 pts
4 x Paratroop squads (NCO Rifle, 5 Rifle, LMG) Stubborn - 103 pts each
MMG Team - 65 pts
PIAT Team - 52 pts


Bridge Assault
752 pts - 7 dice
2nd Lieutenant with 1 assistant - 60 pts
Veteran SS (NCO Assault, LMG, 4 Rifles) - 106 pts
Veteran SS (NCO Assault, 2 LMG, 3 rifles) - 111 pts
3 x Heer Grenadiers (NCO Assault, LMG, 7 rifles) - 100 pts each
Panzer III N (Light Howitzer) - 175 pts

2 x German Support
600 pts - 8 dice
1st Lieutenant with 1 assistant - 85 pts
3 x Heer Grenadier (NCO Assault, LMG, 7 rifles) - 100 pts
1 x Heer Grenadier (NCO Assault, LMG, 6 rifles) - 90 pts
2 x MMG Teams - 50 pts each
Medic - 30 pts

Once we get the play testing sorted we will be providing a detailed scenario.


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