Saturday, February 18, 2017

It's Blood Bowl, baby!

The Badland Bashers - an Orc Team for Blood Bowl

The Badland Bashers
First row: Blitzers
Second row: Black Orcs
Third row: Linemen
Fourth row: Troll, Goblin and Throwers

Back in 1994 Games Workshop released the 3rd edition of its fantasy football boardgame; Blood Bowl. Simply put its a boardgame of American Football in a Warhammer Fantasy setting. We dived right in and enjoyed it immensely. We had a league running literally for years.

And now its back in its 4th edition! Happy days. Its simply a fun, great game. It plays fast but demands tactical thinking and all doesn't always go to plan. With the new edition and new miniatures it felt like the perfect opportunity to start playing it again. What's even better is that friends that didn't continue with miniature gaming through all these years are now back painting their first miniatures in 20 or so years.

So this team is The Badland Bashers. An Orc team with the full potential line up of sixteen players. Its mainly build from the starter box. The now released plastic twelve man teams from Games Workshop are made up of two identical six man sprues. So if not modified you will end up with doubbles of each miniatue. Not a big problem really - as they are really nice miniatures - but sometimes you might want more variety. Also, wanting four Blitzers and four Black Orcs on the team demanded some additions and adjustments.

The Black Orcs were mainly made out of what is nowadays called Orc 'Ardboys bodies using Space Ork heads. The Blitzers are identified through their horned and covered heads, also made from Orc 'Ardboy bits. These additions freed some bits to be used elsewhere on the team (for instance one of the Throwers is using what is supposed to be a Blitzer head). With some further cutting and repositioning identical doubles on the team were avoided.

WIP picture of the whole team, clearly
showing the non Starter Box bits in grey plastic.

Some of the Black Orcs.
Black Orcs made from 'Ardboy bodies and Ork heads,
with a few bits from the Starter box thrown in.

Blitzer, Thrower and Blizter.


Note that the Blitzer to the left is made from a Thrower body.
And that the Blitzer to the right is using a Thrower left arm.

Lineman, Thrower and Blitzer.

Note that the Thrower in the middle is made froma Lineman body,
with a Starter Box Blitzer head and a Thrower arm.
A troll from Black Scorpion Miniatures and a slightly
modified Goblin from Games Workshop's 40k range.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

AAR: Probe before Panzer Attack on the Western Front 1944

A Chain of Command Battle Report in 28mm

Awhile back we found time for a WW2 game using the Chain of Command ruleset from Too Fat Lardies. If you are not familiar with the Chain of Command rule set you can find good instruction videos on Youtube posted by Too Fat Lardies. Its a great set of rules.

We set our scene on the Western Front in the late summer of 1944 with a US rifle platoon trying to hold a vital crossroad as a SS Panzergrenadier platoon tried to secure it before a larger German counter attack. For this we used the Probe scenario from the Chain of Command rulebook. For the attacker to win they had to exit a unit off the defender’s table edge. For some extra nerve we kept our support choices secret until they were deployed in game.

Opposing forces

The Germans were the attackers in this scenario. The regular panzergrenadier platoon had an adjutant and a Unic halftrack as support.

The defending US Rifles platoon, also regulars, were supported by an 81mm off table mortar battery and its Forward Observer.

The German Panzergrenadiers
The US Rifles

The table

The game was played across a 6x4' table. The patrol phase, and alot of interviening terrain, resulted in the Jump Off Points being quite close to each other and the Germans having claimed alot of ground before the game even started.

A 6x4' table.

The Game

A squad of Americans was in position in a ditch by the crossroad and the church, waiting for the German advance that would surely come.

Sure enough, using a forward jump off point a squad of Germans appeared by the ruined house by the central road and opened up on the US soldiers in the ditch. With the Germans two MG42 guns it was an uneven firefight and it got worse as the Germans had their commanding officer deployed keeping his men firing and in order. The US squad was in good cover but both shock and casualties were mounting.

The first Germans on the scene...
...with the Americans just visible down across the road.

To keep the US rifle squad in the fight the US platoon sergeant arrived on the scene and rallied the men and helped in keeping the lead flying. To further counter the Germans supperior firepower a second US squad deployed on the road behind a hedge and it also took up a fire fight with the single German squad by the ruins.

Both sides deploy more men on the scene.

For a moment it looked like the US soldiers were getting the upper hand but then an Unic halftrack came rumbling up the central road with its machine gun firing.  Suppressing the Americans it rolled up the road and later also deployed a German squad in the ruin across the road from the church.

As both sides committed even more men to the field it was clear that the Germans supperior firepower was getting the upper hand.

The German Unic halftrack arrives...
...making the Americans keep their heads down in the ditch.

The Germans deploy from their halftrack.

Up close and personal.

All would change however as at a critical moment the American spotter in the church tower managed to call in a 81mm mortar barrage right on target, hitting the Germans hard. The barrrage continued until the Germans were seriously weakened. 
The American Forward Observer, high up in the church tower...
...calling in a a very well timed American mortar barrage...
...catching the Germans in a very bad spot.
With the Germans in disorder and close to breaking they tried a last desperate attempt to smash trough the American lines. The Unic driver got the engine going at full speed and drove straight up the middle of the battlefield. But the Americans were ready and a well placed bazooka shot destroyed the halftrack and put an end to any German hopes of achieving their mission.

The Germans retreated from the field leaving the Americans bloodied but victorious.

The last desperate attempt to break through
the American lines is stopped by a bazooka.

It was a very fun game - although we were rusty on using the rules and made a few mistakes.

The German firepower were starting to take its toll on the Americans and they were making themselves ready for the final push through American lines when that vital mortar barrage was called in. After it finally finished the Germans were no longer a real threat to the Americans. Their mission could still have been achieved though with that last desperate gamble with driving the halftrack forward. But a well positioned bazooka put an end to the game.