Thursday, May 1, 2014

Little Wars 2014

Last weekend was Little Wars gaming Convention in ST Charles IL. I had not been in three years due to my recent deployment and a conflict last year. I was glad to get back this year even for just a day.

I did not pre-register a game as I had done in the past due to being gone for training the two weeks prior. I did pre-arrange to bring along a Bolt Action pick-up game (North Africa scenario) with my gaming cohorts which worked out well.

Attendance seemed a bit light as compared to what I remembered. There were plenty of games on tap though with a well stocked vendor area. The Flea Market is one aspect I always look forward to, but again it did not seem as full as I recall. Most likely because I missed Friday and I was kind of looking for some specific items which were not available. I still came away with some well priced treasures.

Hills and Building are always in need

I arrived early Saturday AM in time to hit the first flea market session and meet up with Mike and Dan. After we perused the vendors and the other gaming in progress we secured a table for an impromptu Bolt action game.

Initial set up deploying troops
We had a good location with a lot of traffic and soon had two additional Players (Jim and Mark) in addition to Dan (first time playing) Mike and myself. I had brought along my new NA terrain along with my DAK army and an American force. Mike decided he wanted to use his newly painted Brits (Most Burma Chindits and Gurkhas) which I agreed to. I only had 1000pts in my DAK force and he had more troops, so I agreed to him going up to 1500pts and we would play Point defense less the prepatory bombardment and free Arty observer. This worked out very well.

British pressing the attack with "Up and At Em" Army rule

The game ended up being three Allies (Mike, Dan and Jim) vs. Two Axis (I and Mark) which worked out perfect with each player controlling about 500pts of troops. It was 15 Allied order dice vs., 11 Axis to start with. It moved along a little slow as we were teaching new players, but they caught on very quickly and a rousing game ensued.

M3 Lee enters the fray
In the end the game concluded in turn 6 with a narrow German victory as the DAK secured all three objectives. Had the game proceeded to turn 7 the Brits would have secured one if not two of the objectives. Not bad considering we were down 500pts. As always with Bolt Action players must keep in mind what the scenario objective is and do not get distracted. The Germans staged a successful diversion with the PzII which drew the allies’ attention away from keeping up the advance and ultimately led to the German victory.
An awkward moment in the gaming hall as Mike exclaimed "I penetrated your rear!"

In the end the DAK patched togehter a defense and held out

We then took a late break as Dan and Mark had to leave and agreed to reconvene after the afternoon flea market session.  During this time I had a chance to check out some of the other games taking place.

Cool Vietnam scenario
Pre-Dreads...Always one of my favorites
Another Bolt Action Multi-player game
Full scale Normandy
Featured Game-The Alamo

I scored some really nice buildings in the Flea market during this session which made the trip worth it. My son was happy as he is eager to play with more of a city/village scape at some point.

Prizes from the Flea market
We then reset the board for the evening game which pitted 1K DAK vs. 1K Brits and we rolled for the scenario which turned out to be Hold until Relieved. The DAK were again on the defense. This time it was two on two as Jim rejoined us and brought along his friend John along who had both played a few times using 15mm.

DAK Defending the bldg with PAK 40 in support
This game was again a close one with the Germans losing the PAK 40 early on to a successful assault. The allies then became bogged down again as they took their eye off the ultimate prize of capturing/contesting the objective until it was too late and most of their infantry were greatly reduced or could not make it to the objective in time.
Brits space out and put units in ambush
DAK lost the PAK 40 crew, but successfully funneled enough troops on to support the obj.
Remaining Gurkhas attrited as they try to contest
With two full DAK squads in position and it only turn 5 the allies concede defeat as time was getting late
All in all another great day of gaming and meeting new gamers. The Bolt Action table definitely drew a lot of attention. Depending on my schedule next year I would love to see a small tournament as there was plenty of room for it.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great time. Nice write up. I may try DAK for my Axis force. Nice score on the MBA buildings!