Thursday, 31 October 2013

Game 4 - Pont de Mouette - The Assault Commences

Whilst the Royal Marine Commandos start to scale the cliffs, the first unit of Paratroops is dropped from above, albeit a turn or two late. The first such 'stick' is grouped bang on target with the exception of the weapons canister which lands in a mined area covered in barbed wire. As can be seen below a Roll of 1 meant that both the canister and the unfortunate Para who had been volunteered to pluck it from the wire were removed from play.

More Commandos disembark from the landing craft. Further and repeated rolls of 1 indicated that the supposedly agile Commandos had fallen whilst scaling the cliffs. Jo's defenders were simultaneously cutting the ropes from the grapples at the top of the cliff adding to the injury count. Surviving soldiers are evacuated to the LCA.

More units of Paratroops land and head towards the barracks complex (foreground).
In the distance the British 3" mortars are now firing smoke to try to disrupt the activities of the 'Heer' troops in the bunker.

I would point out that Communications between the Para Commander (Craig) and myself had to be routed through the Umpire (Ted) using a notebook, as the Mk 38  Radio Sets we were using for communications within the game were deemed unreliable. A plethora of 1's (despite changing colours of D6 on several occasions)  meant that the only radio transmissions that were decipherable amounted to the ever helpful ' Climb the B***** cliff Nige ! and the response of  ' I can't, I keep falling off !'

After a second support canister was lost to a minefield a Para unit emerged at the far end of the Bunker and put paid to the mortar unit that had set up in the weapons pit. Finally Commandos started to reach the summit of the Cliff and localised superiority forced the few remaining German troops back into the bunker.

The terrain looks as awesome close up as it does from a distance.

The Paras started to take casualties from the MG nests in the bunker and sought cover in the dead ground at the bottom of the wall.

As dawn breaks the Paras are on top of the barracks complex and Commando and Paratroops have cleared the area around the bunker. In the distance the gliderbourne support troops have finally made it to the table with their Maquis guides.

The next game is planned for a week tomorrow. This was our first outing using Bolt Action rules and I think we were all happy with them. The predictability of IgoUgo has been broken and there is a clear advantage in keeping units in game, if only to maximise the order dice you have available.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Game 4 - Pont de Mouette - Opening moves

We are using the Bolt Action Rules with additional house rules introduced for the early stages of the game. These apply to things like Sentry awareness, spotting, paradrops, mine clearing and the  beach landing. This is the first time we have used Bolt Action and as there are three player (plus umpire) we have order dice 'in the bag' representing British, British Para, German and a solitary French die. As the French are partizans the fact that they are 'irregular' is reflected by the sole die restricting when they can be activated. I thought that was a good idea.
Mixed blessings for the Allies at the start of the night. For once the weather gods were in our favour and the SBS Kayaks had no problems with either wind or tide in making their way to the landing beach both on time and unharmed.
 Kayaks are scratch built by Ted.

It took only one turn for things to start going horribly wrong. Firstly the glider units landed safely (off table) but they were then incapable of meeting up with their Maquis Guides. The Allied heavy weapon support was therefore delayed for another 5 turns.
Secondly, the supposedly elite 'Expo' of the second SBS Kayak unfortunately detonated one of the mines attached to the beach defence he was trying to quietly defuse. The fact that he was also carrying two Satchel charges whilst he was doing this only enhanced the noise generated and alerted the otherwise comatose German sentries.
 The power of the explosion was sufficient to vibrate the tripod of this long range photograph! Attempts by Maj Hasler the SBS Commander to pass all of this off as the activities of an errant Seagull fail dismally.
 German troops slowly emerge from the bunker to investigate the unexpected noise. As they do so a landing craft emerges from the gloom and starts to disembark the Royal Marine Commandos equipped with Grappling Mortars

As the Royal MarInes disembark the first grapples are fired and the defending units emerge from the bunker.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Game 4 - Pont de Mouette RAF Raid

These are the results of the planned RAF raid to soften up the defences. In 1940's terminology I think the effects amount to 'naff all'!

Game 4 - Pont de Mouette, Recce Photos

Here are some of the pre game photos that Ted has sent. He has spent a fair amount of time building up the playing surface. The cliffs are 9in high.

This is the view of the Table  from the sea.  The bunker is on the right as you look and the barracks are to the left. the wooded area at the far end is where the Glider troops will come from.

Here is a closer view of the bunker complex as approached from the sea

In the foreground we have the barracks  and the bunker is to the rear

Another view of the bunker. The complex must extend underground. Craig and I have divided up the responsibility for dealing with these

Our plan has been formulated, probability of everything going to plan ? 1% if that

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Game 4 -,Pont de Mouette

A lengthy period has elapsed since my last blog. Lets just call it real life !
The next game is called Pont de Mouette and it is scheduled for this coming Friday. The last few days have seen frantic exchanges of emails and new information being disseminated piecemeal by Ted.
I will post pictures of the new gaming table that Ted has built (which includes a 9 inch cliff face) as soon as I wrest the iPad from my daughter Ver 1.3  Impressive is an understatement, but more of that anon.
In terms of date and time Pont de Mouette is to be gamed simultaneously with Game 4 which is a covert mission into a Chateau.
For practical reasons we cant obviously run both games at once but this scenario has the ability to influence the Chateau game.
Whilst agents and Commando's infiltrate the Chateau a plan has been created by Allied Command  to neutralise the Bunker Complex on top of the cliffs at the Pont de Mouette.
The bunker complex sits close to the cliff face with seaward facing defences. Inland a smaller bunker protects access to he complex via a road that passes through a ford.
Information on numbers disposition and troop quality of the defenders are limited at this time (My Maquis spies have not yet returned).
It is intended to hold the Defenders within the confines of the bunker complex and to prevent them from reinforcing the Chateau.
This will be a Combined Operation using Air, Land and Sea.
1) A Glider force including some heavier equipment will land, meet their Maquis guides and then travel overland to intercept any units leaving the Bunker and support the assault.
2) A seabourne  assault led by Kayaks from the Royal Marine Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD) will land on the beach at the bottom of the cliffs seaward of the bunker, clear the beach and facilitate a strike team of RM Commandos who will then scale the cliffs and assault the bunker.
3) Concurrently a force of paratroops will be dropped on top of the bunker and will assault it in conjunction with their RM comrades.
Three operations all timed to concide with a 4am start time - what could go wrong ..... Clearly the chief planning officer is in line for Chairmanship of the Guild of Village Idiots!
That being said Craig has the Para's , I have the Royal Marines and Jo has the Germans.
Cue feverish planning.....
This scenario is Bruneval meets Eben Emael meets Op Frankton meets The Dirty Dozen. I only hope that Ted misses the Tiger Tanks from Kellys Heroes