Well, another tournament over for Bugeater 2021 and what a year, celebrating its 10th Anniversary with almost 40 avid Bolt Action generals leading their forces over the battlefields of Omaha, Nebraska. Firstly, I want to shout out the organizers and people who supplied tables, thank you for all you did for us allowing these games to go forward. I look forward to next year.
I brought my New Zealanders again this year, but not backed up by SAS, this time it was the British Eighth Army “The Desert Rats” who fought through North Africa and into Tunisia where my army theme was set.
Game One – No Man’s Land
In my first game ,I played against a German Army with an 88, a Kubelblitz with twin autocannons and small squads of Fallschirmjäger with an attached flamethrower in a couple of Sdkfz. 251 transports backed up by some basic infantry. We both had a Prep. Bombardment, my opponent receiving his but unfortunately my British Observer was no where to be seen and my bombardment did not happen (I rolled a 1). So, I received Pins and spent few turns recovering. Fortunately, my opponent grouped his units together and I managed to get my Artillery Strike early on and I Pinned most of his support units and then my Crusader AA tank rolled through his airborne.
Result – Win
Game Two – Meeting Engagement
My second game was also against Germans, another 88 but backed up with a lot more infantry and only a scout Puma to contend with as armor support. I can’t say I won this game as it was more like my opponent lost the game. The fatal words of “I hope you roll a 1” when I placed my Artillery Strike were said by my opponent and then it was he that rolled a 1 for his Air Strike. The Aircraft failing to be shot down by either side resulted in a broken unit along with multiple Pins and then to add insult to injury my Artillery Strike rolled a 4 and came down and added even more Pins. Capitalizing on this my New Zealanders raced across the table to lay waste to the 88 and all the nearby units. It was a German disaster.
Result – Win
Game Three – Key Positions
My final game of the first day was against Greeks, that’s right I said Greeks. Lots of infantry and a couple of units of cavalry backed up with Medium Artillery and a few Armored Cars. This game was so much fun. The Greeks had a hard time advancing into the British lines and the Artillery Observer once again delivered, not only Pinning but nearly wiping out a full Greek squad. The Crusader AA earned its points back by destroying one Medium Howitzer with the 6pdr took out the other early on, making it hard for the Greeks to make headway. The Commandos outflanked and pushed back the cavalry, whilst the Stuart placed shot after shot onto the Greek units holding one of the Objectives. In the end it was three Objectives for British and one for the Greeks, but I was Impressed by their performance.
Result – Win
Game Four – Sectors
For Day Two I was going into the battle undefeated, and drew against my friend John Stentz. It would be British vs British, Maori vs Gurkhas. I knew this was going to be a tough battle and it absolute was. Neither of us could advance far as the table was heavily packed with difficult terrain. John’s Naval Artillery Strike failed to materialize for four turns which helped me advance and hold the line. My Artillery came down pretty quick but not really do damage, but did provide some Pins which slowed John’s advance. The battle came down to two dice rolls at the very end to determine which Sector my two units were in. I rolled two 3s which meant it ended as a 10-13 loss rather than a potential 14-13 draw. Very close game…
Result – Loss
Game Five – Point Defense
The last game of the tournament was an Attacker/Defender scenario. I won the roll off and decided to be the attacker as it allowed me to dictate the pace of the game (even though it is harder to win the scenario). My opponent was Josh, who was the original organizer of the Bolt Action event at Bugeater and who I first met in 2016 and I have to say he was both the most fun to play and the hardest player to beat this year.
His main units in the army were small units of Gurkhas and two, yes two, Sherman Fireflies which both rolled on the board and killed 6 out of 10 Maori on the first shot. Revenge would be mine though as my leftover four Maori with AT Grenades charged his tank, he missed his shot (hitting on a 3+), I rolled 5 hits (+1 bonus attack for Maori) and then went through the armor and rolled a 5 to destroy the Firefly, effectively securing that flank and one of the Objectives. The center Objective was never in my control but the third Objective I took early and sat my Stuart tank behind it as an emplacement where it held the objective. Thankfully the Firefly missed its target twice. These big misses secured me victory in the end. But as said, this was such a fun game and Josh is a great player.
Result – Win
This is my fourth year at Bugeater and it is great how it has grown from 12 people the first year I attended to almost 40 this year. The players are fantastic, the TOs did a great job, the tables were wonderful and I had an awesome time.
The results shocked me! I won the Bugeater Award again, which is awarded for the highest overall score (Battle + Paint) and I did not think I had even got close too that. John took Best General, Andrew from the Club took Best Axis, and Jeff from SNAFU took Best Allies. Overall a lot of fun and I am both looking forward to next year and to trying a new army.