Battle Reports, Bolt Action, Gaming & Collecting

Tournament Tales: “Our Finest Hour”

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The Warlord Games Tournament team have once again been on the road for more tales of Bolt Action gaming. Warlorders Marcus and Conor tell us all.

 

Marcus: “Recently, the Warlord Games Tournament Team (we really need some kind of snappy acronym – ideas on a postcard, please!) travelled to Kirkby Muxloe for “Our Finest Hour”, a Bolt Action doubles tournament hosted by the mighty Leicester Juggernauts.”

 

Alas, Marcus forgot to take any photos of his games on the day. We therefore took a few photos of his army here at our HQ store. Fortunately, Conor remembered to take some. (Perhaps Marcus “The Captain” Vine shoud be demoted? -.ed)
Marcus: “After yet another frantic evening of last-minute painting (I work best when time’s against me, honest!), we arrived at the venue for the tournament, which was billed as an all-out competitive dogfight – with a twist. Although it was a doubles event, the pairs were allocated randomly for each of the three games! This meant that there was no real way to optimise lists to support each other, and led to some truly weird and wonderful combinations!

Game 1

Marcus: “After meeting the competition (a mix of familiar faces and new opponents), we got stuck in to the first game. I found my Waffen-SS fighting alongside some British Paras, against a mixed Russian and German force, which rather worryingly featured a Sturmtiger! I was actually quite happy about this, as it gave my Jadgpanther something to do other than blasting infantry all day. The game, which revolved around a single central objective, swiftly became a hard-fought meatgrinder – no sooner would a unit capture the objective than it would be swept from the board. Sadly, my Jadgpanther wasn’t able to bag the enemy big cat, but I contented myself with using its main gun to demonstrate the meaning of the word “overkill” on various infantry units. As the game came to an end, we added up the points to reveal a well-deserved draw. This caused some consternation amongst our hosts, as the mission had been specifically designed to be un-drawable. Nevertheless, the numbers bore it out – where there are wargamers, there’s a way to derail a scenario!”

Conor: “For my first game I was paired with Konrad from the Juggernauts against David Parker and Will Beresford. My 8th and Konrad’s Chinese Nationalists versus David’s Free French and Will’s own 8th army Sikhs.

This scenario was a single objective, centred on the hill and the mission was to have units in contact with the objective and hold it from turn 3 onwards for consecutive turns. Turn 1 and 2 was mostly advancing with few casualties either side but I got a very lucky artillery strike, taking out a commando squad and pinning a good portion of the enemy, I also nearly knocked out a Morris mounted Bofors AA truck!

Conor Our Finest Hour Game 1

However come turn 3, it went to pot very quickly, soldiers on mine and Konrad’s side dying in droves as dice draws went against us. By the end we lost horrendously as they held the objective from turn 4, earning 9 points (we didn’t continue to turn 6) and both myself and Conrad had lost 12 dice in total, bringing their total to 23, to our measly 6. Ouch! But I’m told not the worst… On to game 2…”

Game 2

Marcus: “My next game saw me partnered up with more British Airborne, against a really interesting Chinese Nationalist and US Philippines team, and turned out to be possibly the best game of Bolt Action I’ve ever played. It was incredibly hard-fought, with no cunning ploy or sneaky trick left unused, and yet played in perfect gentlemanly fashion. Turn by turn, both sides vied for the upper hand, and there were several occasions where my mind went from “we’ve got ’em!” to “all is lost!” in a matter of seconds. This game really deserves its own full-length report to do it justice, but some particular high (and low) moments included my Jagdpanther hitting a Stuart cleanly in the rear armour, before failing to do any damage whatsoever (overpenetration, much?), and my plucky Volkssturm managing to kill just enough US cavalrymen to drive them off the crucial objective. After the dust settled, we had pulled out a victory on Kill Points, but the score didn’t reflect how incredibly tight and enjoyable the game was.”

Conor: “Round 2 and it was myself and Steve Lloyd versus Gaz Walsh and Dan Johnson. Soviet and 8th army versus Monte Casino Indians and winter Germans. Playing a scenario called Cleansing, a sector-based objective game with the table divided into 4 and an objective in each sector. The mission is to hold the home objective and capture the neutral and enemy objective.

Conor Our Finest Hour Game 2

Again the first couple of turns were extremely promising for myself and my teammate, I was rolling so many 6s to hit that I was starting to think they there was something with my dice! Two sniper teams held down, a king tiger held up by a lucky FOO artillery strike and conscripts, and our units rolling towards capturing multiple objectives… It seemed really promising.

But lady luck decided it wasn’t to be, soon the Soviets began to die to combined fire from the Indians and Germans, and my lucky rolls just ran out, I couldn’t kill a bloody thing. Suffice to say despite best efforts we lost, but we held our home base and I will be remembered as the guy who rolled too many 7s… The score was 19-6 to them. Dammit.”

Game 3

Marcus: “The final game of the event was a great counterpoint to the previous one – a fun bash, featuring a beleaguered Belgian/US force chronically short of anti-tank weaponry attempting to take on both my Jagdpanther and my partner’s Tiger II! While victory was never really in doubt for us, great credit has to go to our opponents, who displayed fantastic sportsmanship throughout, and made what could easily have been a bit of a slog into an entertaining and relaxing finish to the event.”

Conor: “The final game of the day and my 8th army felt right at home in the desert. It was myself and the Juggernauts own Topher, versus Stuart Ream and James Dyer. 8th army and polish lancers versus British Airborne and a Sturmtiger supported late war Fallschirmjager platoon. This was a standard kill points game.

In true fashion, the first turns seemed to be going well, back and forth with casualties flying either side, but the major struggle was taking on the Sturmtiger without any significant anti-armour, so it was a case of trying to avoid it as much as possible. My Daimler managed to give Stuart’s a hard time, but never managed to kill it, my sniper engaged in a sniper duel with James’ German sniper team and the Polish lancers running amok causing havoc with their derring-do and dashing.

Conor Our Finest Hour Game 3

However, the Sturmtiger would prove to be a serious menace as it attacked unhindered and hammered our troops with its rocket mortar and machine gun, killing 8th army troopers and lancers alike. The airborne proved suitably stubborn and resourceful, setting ambushes for charging lancers. Thankfully we gave as good as we got, bringing the game to a bitter draw. 8-9 with two officer kills to our name.

 

Results

Marcus: “With the games over, I was frankly stunned to realise I’d managed to go undefeated – I obviously need to play more doubles! Thanks to our skilled teammates (a special mention must go to Pete, the Juggernauts ringer who stood in for Warlorder  Nick who unfortunately couldn’t make it on the day), to our utter shock we managed to finish as the top team in the tournament, something that we hadn’t even considered the possibility of at the start of the day. My shock was compounded when I learned that I’d somehow finished fifth overall as an individual – easily my least-rubbish tournament finish to date!
Results aside, I had an absolutely fantastic time – the random pairs format makes for some incredibly challenging but very rewarding matchups, and the atmosphere and quality of play was absolutely fantastic. Sadly, I was too engrossed in the games to take any photos, but there were some fantastic armies on display, and some characterful and interesting tables to play on.

Roll on the next tournament – just don’t bet on me continuing the winning streak!”

Conor: “It was an awesome day and despite losing many games, my success with secondary objectives kept me from earning the wooden spoon! Many thanks to the Juggernauts for having us and I hope to do more tournaments in the future.”

2+
Dan Hewitson
Dan can often be found contemplating the mound of unpainted minis building up under his desk. He has a tendency to roll lots of ones. He also has a tendency to complain about rolling lots of ones.