A Busy Weekend!

The weekend past was a busy one in terms of hobby fun. Between BattleCry, the Howick Military Tattoo, and a TCOW meeting, there were a lot of reenacters firing weapons either by using dice or black powder.

BattleCry 2015
The big hobby event of the weekend was BattleCry. The event has a lot of interesting games being played and this year it was in a new, smaller venue. This pushed all of the games together into a smaller space, which was difficult on the players, but made it easier for photo taking!

I didn't end up playing this year because I had a lot on all weekend. But I did want to make it in to score one of these bad boys from the Mighty Ape show stand.

Dave, the main hobby ape, mentioned that he'd have some for sale, but numbers were limited. Since I've missed out on the Falcon for a few years now, I was really quite desperate to get one. I set my alarm clock for nice and early and managed to pick one up at the show! Of the four David had, three were purchased by studio members, and the fourth was scored by a TCOW member. So, they went pretty fast!

Anyway, the upstairs was packed with Warhammer, 40k, Malifaux, and X-Wing. Downstairs hosted the historical stuff, including Flames Of War, Bolt Action, some Napoleonics, pike and shot, ancients and moderns.

Gav ran the Flames tournament and it was good to see both familiar and new faces.

I was impressed with the Bolt Action tables. To be honest, this is the sort of thing that sucks me in, good terrain. I have to be honest, I've read the rules and looked through the army books, and after years of writing for FOW, I have a real hard time with the historical liberties the game takes when forming armies and determining stats. Nevertheless, you can't deny that the game is popular, looks good, and has some awesome scenery!

There were some nice looking Napoleonic and Pike and Shot armies to look at. I do love how Napoleonics look, but the same reason the Bolt Action tables drew me in, the Nappy and ancient tables pushed me away. I want to love Napoleonics and maybe one day I'll pull together my British peninsular campaign army that's been sitting in my storage for over 10 years...

Howick Military Tattoo
I missed this last year, so having never been to one before I made sure that it was on the calendar this year. I packed the family up and off we went, arriving just in time to see the combined piper marching band. It was pretty awesome to see that many pipers wailing away. It's something I never got to see stateside (or in Scotland, for that matter), so it was pretty cool to watch.

There was a lot of cool re-enactment gear and soldiers to talk to and Theo was especially interested in the "Yelling Bird" unit, also known as the 101st "Screaming Eagles" Airborne Division. He was also fascinated with the Vietnam reenactor that was cooking up some beans and franks over a fire.

It was a fun event and we all had fun, but it was back home at 1pm to kick the wife and kid out of the car and go play some games at TCOW! Actually, it was me that was kicked out so they could each have naps. :)

I arranged a game with Greg for meeting day, 1600 points, Late War. I had no idea what to take, but I wanted to play Americans. So I drafted up some lists and couldn't decide which to take. In the end I took none of them and resurrected one of my old favorites, CV US Tanks!

Tank Company 
(Confident Veteran)
HQ (2x Shermans)
upgrade CiC to M4A3 76mm
upgrade 2iC to M4A3E2 Jumbo
Tank Platoon (4x Shermans)
upgrade 2x M4A3 76mm
upgrade 2x M4A3 (Late)
Tank Platoon (4x Shermans)
upgrade 2x M4A3 76mm
upgrade 2x M4A3 (Late)
Cavalry Patrol
Armored Field Artillery Battery
(3x M7 Priests)
upgrade OP to M4A3 (Late)

Greg took a 506 sPzAbt from Bridge at Remagen, with something like:

1x CIC King Tiger
1x King Tiger
2x Tiger I E
3x Nebelwerfers
1x Jagdtiger (CV)

We played a game of Breakthrough, which went quickly. The Shermans focused fire on the Tiger Is and knocked them out on the move. The Priests managed to bail his CiC and, being Reluctant, it was practically a death sentence as the Shermans moved up over the course of two turns and overwhelmed it. The Nebs were shot up as well, and with my recon arriving from the march move to secure an objective and a Sherman platoon on the other, there was little left but a quick mop up to score a brutally fast 6-1 for the US Tankers.

With that game lasting 30 minutes, we played a FFA straight away. The table had some great lines of fire, so I resigned myself to impaling my tanks on the heavy AT guns of Greg's army.

Again, I focused on the Tiger Is and knocked them out first, which was good because they had ROF3, re-rolling misses and had a Sherman platoon dead to rights! Luckily the weight of fire was too much and the platoon was destroyed.

The King Tigers looped around my flank as did the Jagdtiger. The former destroyed a 75mm M4 and the latter killed my CiC. Taking those few losses as good luck, I went all in and rushed out for some flank shots, bagging the JT and one KT. The Priests bailed his CiC and my recon shot up the Nebelwerfers with .50cal and mortar fire.

Once again, there was a little to mop up as Greg's reluctant troops were over it, scoring my tanks another 6-1.

Though fast, the games were fun, and there was some amazing luck being generated in my dice. I chalk that up to my brother not being there so I didn't have to share any of it.

I stuck around and chatted with the guys about Bolt Action. There's a lot of interest, especially for 28mm scale, but I'm keen to try in 15mm for a few reasons. First, though the models are cool, I'm not up for adding WWII to my 28mm painting schedule - that's tied up with Muskets & Tomahawks and Saga. Secondly, I don't want to make 28mm WWII terrain. Third, I've already got some individually based 15mm FOW models complete that will give me a head start in the skirmish realm.

I'm keen to try out a small-scale game. Bolt Action may not be what I settle on and Chain of Command comes with some highly regarded recommendations, so I'll try both and see from there.

Anyway, one last bit of news....

Behind Enemy Lines: Podcast!

If you haven't already, try out the new Behind Enemy Lines Podcast. I've been involved with Greg and Dan to help produce the show and thanks to the dudes at WWPD, it's being distributed world wide. It's a podcast about wargaming news, so there's lots of interesting things in there for multiple game systems. Be sure to check it out!

Behind Enemy Lines, Episode 1 ...


  1. Wow, what an action-packed weekend! I share your views on Bolt Action. It looks fun, but I have no desire to replicate anything I've already done in 15mm in 28mm. Chain of Command and BA seem to be the two most popular skirmish level WW2 games, CoC is a bit more complicated from what I understand.

    1. I hear ya, Paul! I read Bolt Action's US forces book cover to cover. I can't disconnect my brain enough not to be put off by some rather liberal interpretations of history. So, it may be a fun game, but it is never going to be my cup of tea (or coffee). I'll have a read of Chain of Command next.

  2. Yeah. One scale of WWII is enough for me. I like lots of tanks and I don't see that in bolt action. I wouldn't want to try and fit 28mm tanks in my already packed man cave.

    1. Fair point! More storage space is certainly something I hadn't considered!


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