13 June 2017

The Battle of Knackerville

Boys, Beers and Battle = Good times!
To celebrate the Queen's Birthday long weekend, Slowpainter John hosted a bunch of the club lads for a massed "toys on the table" game of Bolt Action.  The 4 x 8 foot table depicted the Alsatian town of Knackerville (famous for its horse retirement farm and unrelated but located next door sausage factory...), and its bridges over the Knacker River.  3 wiley German defenders would try to hold out a mixed Allied force of British Regulars, Brit Paras, and French. Reilly took command of my beloved Red Devils and all the recent additions from AHPC saw table action for the first time.
Western approach to Knackerville, through the horse stud and sausage factory. The River beyond is the Allied objective.
The Allies had some 40 order dice (!) to the Germans' 24, with the latter setting up hidden with a range of dummy markers.  To make matter worse, when Allied units first encountered one another, a d6 roll of 1 would see a case of mistaken identity and taking each other under fire.  To keep the action moving (and player involved), the game progressed by drawing lots of 4 dice and resolving the actions simultaneously.  Worked very well.

The Germans had clearly developed their defensive fire plan in detaill, accounting for the their uncanny ability to zero in their artillery and remove entire infantry sections in a salvo...Ouch!
Initial German artillery salvo - on target! a full section of British infantry was wiped out
"Ya! Ya! Gut job Hans - do it again!"
As you might expect it was a hard slog up the middle of the narrow table end.  And it make matters worse, with all those Allied units we had a real traffic jam on our hands too.  I put my new Sherman Firefly Assegai on a flank march up the left, while Reilly (remembering our game from CanCon, clever lad!) stuck two squads of Paras plus a FT and PIAT team flanking up the right.  Took a bit of patience but we held out and they proved rather key in the end.
A Panzerschreck team hidden in the ruins saw an end to the Churchill Minotaur, blocking the intersection
Para recon jeep locates a hidden PaK at the end of the road the hard way...
...enabling its neutralisation by off board artillery bombardment
A Para squad is destroyed by another deadly accurate salvo from the German gunners
Best on Ground for the day: Heer Artillery
The German rein of 6s and our continued spate of 1s was rather amazing.  In 6 turns our snipers never hit a thing, my medic failed every roll, and only a single artillery salvo hits its mark. C'est la guerre aplenty over 4 hours.  Then the game started to turn when the Luftwaffe appeared and mistook the rather unusual Panzerwerfer 42 Rocket launcher vehicle for an Allied threat.  The Me 262 rolled in and promptly removed it from the equation before it had fired.
BOOM! The Luftwaffe pilot earns himself a DSO!
4 turns in and our FT team dropped in, taking the Germans completely by surprise as they ran up to incinerate the squad in the building. Unfortunately, they rolled a 1 and missed.  They got the first activation in the next turn but mangled to fail their activation roll after getting a single pina nd were predictably eliminated.  The Germas thought that the flanking threat was over but then came a nasty surprise on the right as these chaps arrived - 5 feet up the 8 foot table!
Surprise Fritz!
Memorable moments - the time that PIAT actually brewed something up!
Meanwhile, over on the left flank the appearance of the German heavy armour made the Firefly's debut timely - Assegai rolled in and dispatched the first one with a nice rear armour shot!
"Scratch one Panzer Jim!"

The next turn the Pz IV spun round and the two tanks engaged one another but missed.  However, the French Char B1 saw his chance and rolled in for a stern shot on the Pz IV - Kill!

At the same time the second Churchill, Medusa, tried to overrun the Panzerschreck team that had dispatched Minotaur, resulting in mutual destruction.  It was a bad day to be a tanker on any side really!

At this point, the German position was untenable though they had extracted a heavy price for the Allied advance - a draw was naturally called!  It was a cracking day made possible by the hospitality of John and his lovely wife with great lunch, dinner, snacks, beers, endless coffees and wonderful camaraderie.  Thanks very much!
Kampfgruppe Kommandants (and Umpire with dice bag!)


  1. Those explosions are excellent! I hope no horses were harmed, and they were able to continue eating daisies, frolicking, and giving rides to orphans.

  2. Fantastic looking game. Multiplayer games are always the best in my humble opinion, especially when lunch and beers are involved. Great stuff.

  3. Fantastic stuff Paul! Looks great and I agree with Guidowg, a game with the lads and a few beers is hard to beat.

  4. What a great read. Some fine photos. Thanks.

  5. Great stuff! Love the explosions with the turrets flying into the air. Sounds like you had a ball mate. :-)

  6. Those explosions are excellent! I hope no horses were harmed, and they were able to continue eating daisies, frolicking, and giving rides to orphans.

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