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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bolt Action - AAR: The Rise of Cthullu Commander

Deep in the heart of Nazi Germany an ancient power stirs. The destruction, suffering, and death caused by the War breathes life into the Great Old One.  An unholy alliance has been formed between this ancient evil and Nazi corruption of man.  One provides the souls to be sacrificed, the other a champion to answer the call.  Arise Cthullu Commander. (What can we say? Sometimes you've got to go a little crazy in your BA games. Enjoy the fun AARticle and your Labor Day! - Judson)

Cthullu Commander is my new German Commander.  While searching a bits box for an appropriate head swap to make Red Skull (from Captain America) and came across a gnarly awesome Cthullu head.  I quickly swapped out the goofy German officer head from Warlord for this tentacle faced monster.   Cthullu Commander got his chance for first blood in a match up between the US MMG themed army list I have been toying with and a force of Nazi servants.

German List
Cthullu Commander (1st Lieutenant, Regular) + 1 Staff
6 Veteran Grenadiers (4 x ARs)
6 Veteran Grenadiers (4 x ARs)
6 Pioneers (Flame Thrower, 4 SMGs)
8 Grenadiers (2 x SMGs, 2 Panzerfausts)
Panzer IV H
81mm Mortar
Light Howitzer

1st Lieutenant + Staff
7 Veterans (SMG, 2x BAR)
7 Veterans (SMG, 2x BAR)
8 Regulars (SMG, 2x BAR)
8 Regulars (SMG, 2x BAR)
MMG - Reg
MMG - Reg
81mm Mortar
M4 Sherman w/ .50 cal
M8 Greyhound
Jeep w/ .50 cal

Somewhere in France the Forces of Darkness conspire to stop the allies from retaking land that has been promised to the Ancient One. The Great One's dark servant has gathered his forces in an attempt to thwart the aspiration of great men.  We rolled for mission and got Envelopment.  Cthullu Commander opted to defend.

Turn One

American forces bombard the German position, causing mayhem and destruction.

The American jeep takes up position along a fence to cover the advance of the US infantry.

The American Sherman arrives from reserve and is narrowly missed by incoming fire from the Panzer IV.

US infantry advance down the road while their mortar sets up.

The American Lieutenant leads another squad toward the force of Germany.

A US MMG fires on a squad of Grenadiers.

The M8 moves in to support the MMGs.

Turn Two

Fire from two MMGs and the M8 chews up a squad of veteran grenadiers.

The Panzer IV's maingun tears into the Sherman, setting it on fire.

The crew is unable to extinguish the flames and the Sherman burns up.

The 81mm mortar drops a round of smoke on target, all little too late for the Sherman, but just in time to cover the moves of the American infantry.

The smoke blocks the Panzer IV's line of sight down the road.

With the cover of smoke the US infantry makes a dash toward the ruined farmstead.

As does the second squad.

Cthullu commander surveys the battlefield and breaths in the souls of the recently departed. 

The Grenadiers' rifle fire takes out the Jeep.

Turn Three

US infantry take cover behind a stone wall and exchange fire with the Grenadiers.

The German Puma arrives from outflank and chases off the M8.

This light howitzer ranges in on the US squad occupying the center of the board.

The mortar does the same.

Everyone, but a lonely private is killed.  Although he was loaded with five pens and facing certain death, he overcame his fear, rolled snake eyes and stood his ground.

Even the MMGs of the Panzer IV fails to bring him down.

Cthullu Commander senses there is a soul to be harvested and zones in on the lonely private.

Turn Four

The Panzer IV opens up on a new target.

Cthullu Commander sprays the private with SMG fire, but the private dodges every shot.  The private then rallies 6 pin markers by again rolling snake eyes for his morale.

Meanwhile the Puma continues to chase the M8 across the board.

Combat around the farmstead rages on.

The US mortar team score a direct hit on the light howitzer.

Turn Five

Constant fire from German troops kills off the majority of the squad on the wall.

The American officer moves to support the lonely private as he dodges more shots from Cthullu Commander.

A squad of American arrive from reserve.

The chase continues.

The Panzer IV and squad in the building also try to take out the lonely private, but a shield of Freedom protects him.

Then a round from the mortar lands behind Cthullu Commander and his body falls limp.

Turn Six

The Panzer IV moves forward and tries to machine gun the American officer.

The private picks up his BAR and rushes into this building.

One squad of American and the M8 rush off the board and this new squad arrives right behind them.

Turn Seven

The Grenadiers assault the US officer and kill him.

The Panzer IV rolls forward machine guns blazing.

The lonely private rushes forward and uses his BAR to take out the German mortar.

After failing their reserve roll two turns in a row, the pioneers finally arrive and torch one of the .30 cals.

After that the game ends.  The Germans failed to stop the Americans.  Final score was 10 to 13.  Cthullu Commander's body lays limp, but his spirit is reunited with the Lord of Darkness.  He has learned from his failings and will return strengthened by the souls of the men that fell.

It was a really great game.  That one BAR wielding private would not die.  If the Germans killed him it would have ended up being a 4 point swing in their favor, but he just kept going.  He is officially the new nemesis of Cthullu Commander.

The whole MMG thing was okay, again.  They owned up on a squad of Veteran Grenadiers, but after that they didn't have that many targets so they sat their providing the occasional covering fire.  This experiment will continue.  The Americans haven't lost a game yet when taking them, but they also haven't been amazing.  We'll just have to wait and see if they are really worth it.

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