Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cancon Prep Board 1 - Grand Hotel: Hold Until Relieved

We are containing are race towards Cancon.
On Sunday we set up one of the boards we will have on the Saturday with the centrepiece of the magnificent laser cut Grand Hotel Compound from 4Ground. We will provide a more detailed review of the hotel in another post, but in summary it is a huge complex which is almost a battle within itself.
We will be setting the scenario to be "Hold Until Relieved" fought between the US and German armies.  The hotel is placed on the board at an oblique angle as this makes much better use of the windows and compound access points. For our sample battle I played Germans defending the hotel and James attacked me with his US troops.
The scenario requires the defender to have 2 units on the board holding the objective.  In the case of this compound the objective was the corner entry to courtyard back door.
The Attackers edge
The attacker could then place any or all of his units over 18" away from the objective point. Any not placed on the board would go into reserve.
The Defender's edge
The Defender then could place up to half his units as the first wave and the rest would come on in reserve from turn 2 onwards.
The Germans were feeling a bit exposed - even in such a large building
I placed an infantry squad in each of the main building's second floors, spread across the various windows.
James put many of his units on the board, leaving most of his infantry off the board ready to run in later.
A bad opening placement of the Sherman
James forgot that it would be so easy for my Hetzer to come on so close to his Sherman.  With only an Advance move I ended up on the road with a clear shot straight to the rear end of his exposed tank.  Only needing a 4+ I rolled a 1!  The Sherman quickly advanced up the road away from the Hetzer, firing backwards, hitting, but the shell bouncing off.  I moved on my Pak40 AT gun so - depending on the order dice - I should get a couple of chances to try again in turn 2.
Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valour.
I had 2 chances to hit him next turn and missed both times.  Bah!
Anyway, the game progressed with the US infantry swarming into the building quickly.  The squad in the closest building fought well but were swamped by the 12 man US squad in close assault.  My other squad was able to hold on until the end, trapped on the second floor, but was unable to affect the objective.
One German squad went right around the compound, close assaulted and destroyed the US mortar, close assaulted the rear of the Sherman which was sitting right inside the courtyard but only stunned it and then was wiped out by another US close assault.
The Hetzer was able to destroy the Sherman in turn 6 and on the last order dice of turn 7, the German squad which had been failing orders for turns 2 to 5 (!) made a mad dash to touch the objective and claim contention.
Phew!  A draw clawed onto with bloody finger tips.

What did we learn?
1. Full US squads are hard to kill and do well in close assault.
2. We will swap attacker and defender edges for the real game.
3. Bolt Action is an exciting system where one can still come back from seemingly certain doom.
4. Every game seems to have it's own Commando Comic moments.


  1. That hotel certainly is fantastic. The price tag is imposing though.

    1. It is a lot, but it is really 4 buildings that can stand separately. The Stone Hotel, Grand Hotel, Cookhouse and Stables. Normally we have used it separately, but I wanted to have a game where we used the lot. Crikey, it's a good size! Makes for a great game though.

  2. Just a quick question on how you played the mutli-room aspect: did you allow a squad to spread across multiple rooms?

    1. We did. We treated the floor as one big room with dividers so that squads could maximise their firepower. It is hard enough defending with only two squads as it is. But we still treated a close combat as being on the whole floor once a lead element of those pushy US squads broke through the door of one of the rooms. Then it was all in. (And I died!)



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