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Band of Brothers – From D-Day to the Eagle’s Nest

Band of Brothers – From D-Day to the Eagle’s Nest

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Project Blog by adamogelsby

Recommendations: 186

About the Project

I have started to collect and paint US Airborne and German forces, with the intention of playing Bolt Action games and scenarios that replicate Easy Company's European engagements from WW2. Having purchased the Warlord Games Band of Brothers boxed set at Salute! a few years ago, I thought it was high time these miniatures made their way onto the tabletop!

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Conclusion

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 10
1 Comment
Conclusion

Well for Easy Company the mission was a resounding success – they lost 7 or 8 men killed and wounded, to around 37 German casualties, and although they only destroyed 2 of the 4 guns, the defenders resistance was reduced to a almost nothing, so it would be easy to assume the other guns would easily have been taken out.

All in all this was a great little scenario. It played out roughly as it had in real life, and was a good introduction to the Bolt Action rule-set. With only infantry to think about, and no special rules for heavy weapons, artillery or tanks to try and remember it gave a good grounding in the fundamentals and has left me eager to get on with the next engagement: Carentan!

Conclusion

Battle Report Part 2

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 7
No Comments
Turn 3. Easy continue to move along the tree-line, peppering the German positions with fireTurn 3. Easy continue to move along the tree-line, peppering the German positions with fire
The German's counter-attack...The German's counter-attack...
... and their Lieutenant leads from the front... and their Lieutenant leads from the front
Again the LMG teams' concentrated fire thuds into the defenders...Again the LMG teams' concentrated fire thuds into the defenders...
...Crippling the German flank attack...Crippling the German flank attack
Turn 4: Easy takes the second gun and finds the intelligence documents, and finally breaks the tree line to press their advantageTurn 4: Easy takes the second gun and finds the intelligence documents, and finally breaks the tree line to press their advantage
Heavy fighting in the trenchesHeavy fighting in the trenches
The Medic is proving invaluable for EasyThe Medic is proving invaluable for Easy
Turn 5: Reinforcements arrive and add to the withering fire surrounding the beleaguered GermansTurn 5: Reinforcements arrive and add to the withering fire surrounding the beleaguered Germans
The surviving German MMG team harasses the attackersThe surviving German MMG team harasses the attackers
Turn 6: Easy clears the trenchesTurn 6: Easy clears the trenches
Easy withdraws, leaving the lone MMG team as the only German survivorsEasy withdraws, leaving the lone MMG team as the only German survivors

Battle Report

Tutoring 8
Skill 9
Idea 8
No Comments
Easy Company kicked off the battle by assaulting the closest German MMG position - it was an overwhelming victory, wiping out one of the major defensive emplacements. The Germans quickly counter-attacked but the sandbags soaked up the worst of the fireEasy Company kicked off the battle by assaulting the closest German MMG position - it was an overwhelming victory, wiping out one of the major defensive emplacements. The Germans quickly counter-attacked but the sandbags soaked up the worst of the fire
Easy Company then moved into the first gun position, making short work of the defendersEasy Company then moved into the first gun position, making short work of the defenders
Along the trench line the Germans advance to defend against the sudden hail of fireAlong the trench line the Germans advance to defend against the sudden hail of fire
The Grenadiers returned fire, but the trees obscured their targets and Easy Company escaped unscathedThe Grenadiers returned fire, but the trees obscured their targets and Easy Company escaped unscathed
The LMG teams returned fire, keeping German heads downThe LMG teams returned fire, keeping German heads down
Turn 2: The Americans spike the gun Turn 2: The Americans spike the gun
Easy Company advances behind the tree lineEasy Company advances behind the tree line
The next gun crew is under fireThe next gun crew is under fire
Easy Company keeps up the pressure on the German positionEasy Company keeps up the pressure on the German position
The gun crew folds under fireThe gun crew folds under fire
The Germans re-take the MMG positionThe Germans re-take the MMG position
But Easy's LMGs give another German squad a batteringBut Easy's LMGs give another German squad a battering

Scenery and Set Up

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
The full table - I made the boards using 6mm MDF in 2ft by 4 ft sections.The full table - I made the boards using 6mm MDF in 2ft by 4 ft sections.

I decided early on that I wanted to build a table with sunken trenches. I’ve seen a few scenarios with table-top trenches, but I liked the idea of having that more authentic look.

I used 6mm MDF in sheets of 6′ x 4′ with 50mm insulation foam stuck on with PVA. I then carved out the trenches as per the scenario map, and cut up the worlds supply of balsa wood sheets to make the walls and floor! I used sections of square balsa rods for support struts. I started carving out the German MMG positions, but decided to make separate sandbag emplacements for them instead, so that I could use them for future games if I wanted to.

For the main field areas I first glued builders sand to the foam, then gave it a quick coat of green paint. Then I used watered down PVA in a spray bottle on the painted green sand, and sieved flock over the top. I chose a nice summer green – it is June, after all! I did this a few times to make sure it wasn’t patchy.

With the boards complete I turned to my trees. The thin tree line is quite extensive, so I picked up about 60 trees of various sizes (I shopped around a lot to find the best prices, and bought a few different sizes from different suppliers). I then glued these to foam-card bases in either 2s or 4s. This would make a nice thin line of trees, but would also give me a nice selection of trees for future games that I could place in batches for larger sections of woodland if I wanted to. Then I used the same method on the bases as I did for the fields, laying down sand, then paint, then flock.

Finally I made 2 foam-card bases and glued sandbag emplacements to them for the MMG prepared positions.

The whole thing took a bit of time, but most of it was waiting for glue or paint to dry, and has left me a nice trench position that I can make use of in future games, and LOADS of trees, so I’ll never be short of woodland again!

The main force of the US Airborne troops assaulting the German field gunsThe main force of the US Airborne troops assaulting the German field guns
The view of the US Airborne Assault Squad who's attack would be the signal for everyone else to move on the gunsThe view of the US Airborne Assault Squad who's attack would be the signal for everyone else to move on the guns
German 105mm Howitzers and crew ready to fire on Utah beach in the event of an invasionGerman 105mm Howitzers and crew ready to fire on Utah beach in the event of an invasion
US Airborne lurk unseen in the tree-lineUS Airborne lurk unseen in the tree-line
German Grenadiers wait in defence of the field gunsGerman Grenadiers wait in defence of the field guns
German MMG position supports the defences German MMG position supports the defences
Scenery and Set Up
Scenery and Set Up

US Airborne

Tutoring 6
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments
US Airborne 1st LieutenantUS Airborne 1st Lieutenant
US Airborne MedicUS Airborne Medic
US Airborne Assault TeamUS Airborne Assault Team
US Airborne Infantry Section 1US Airborne Infantry Section 1
US Airborne Infantry Section 2US Airborne Infantry Section 2
US Airborne
US Airborne
US Airborne LMG TeamsUS Airborne LMG Teams
US Airborne Reinforcement Infantry SectionUS Airborne Reinforcement Infantry Section

Germans

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

After purchasing the Band of Brothers boxed set at Salute in 2019, I used my time off over Christmas to clip and glue the miniatures together. Then I started looking at the metal figures I’d need, and picked them up a little at a time to spread the cost. Lets start with the Germans

1st Lieutenant (or Oberleutnant)1st Lieutenant (or Oberleutnant)
Germans
MMG TeamsMMG Teams
Germans
Germans
German Grenadiers Squad 1German Grenadiers Squad 1
German Grenadiers Squad 2German Grenadiers Squad 2
German Grenadiers Squad 3German Grenadiers Squad 3
Germans
Germans
German 105mm Howitzer crewsGerman 105mm Howitzer crews

The Scenario

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

Having never played a game of Bolt Action before, I had a hunt around online for a suitable scenario to replicate the action, and found this one on Jay’s Wargaming Madness:

http://jayswargamingmadness.blogspot.com/2014/09/bolt-action-scenario-brecourt-manor.html

 

The Scenario

Brecourt Manor: Assault by 506th PIR on D-Day

Objectives & Game End
1VP is awarded for each destroyed gun position (to the US airborne). For each gun position not destroyed by game end, the Germans get 1VP. Each eliminated enemy order dice is worth 1VP. The game lasts 6 turns.

Scenario Special Rules
US Start – The first dice of the game must be a US dice that is used for “kickoff” of the assault (see Kickoff special rule).
Kickoff – First US dice must be used for the assault team (5) which resolves a special grenade attack against the nearest German MMG position. The grenade attack is resolved as an automatic hit with D6 hits (no penetration) against the MMG position.
US Reinforcements – arrive on any US dice pulled after the second gun position is destroyed. US reinforcements enter from the table edge at the indicated spot on the map (#7/arrow entry point).
What’s This?! – When the US officer enters any gun position for the first time, roll 1D6. On a 5+ he has found valuable intelligence worth 1VP. This can only be rewarded once.
Spike the Guns! – any US airborne infantry section (4 & 7) can spike a German field gun. To do so the unit must spend a “fire” action within 1” of the field gun with no enemy units present within 6” of the gun.
Trenches – are “in the ground” and do not block LOS, additionally:
-> MMG positions can fire 360°.
-> Units in the trench are in hard cover from units outside of the trench.
-> Within the trench, units don’t suffer shooting penalty unless crossing the walls of the
trench to target unit.
-> Figures from the same unit can draw LOS through figures from their unit.
Light woods – all woods/tree lines can be seen through and provide light cover if LOS is drawn through the tree line to a target.

Order of Battle – Germans
1 x Regular Officer (1st Lt., pistol) + 2 men (rifles)
1 x Regular Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 4 x rifles)
1 x Regular Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 4 x rifles)
1 x Regular Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 4 x rifles)
2 x Regular MMG Teams
4 x Regular LefH 18 10.5cm Gun Teams (4 x crew each, rifles)

All teams are deployed as indicated on the map.

Order of Battle – US Airborne
Primary Assault Units (#4 and #6 on map)
1 x Veteran Officer (1st Lt., rifle) + 2 men (rifles)
1 x Veteran Medic
1 x Veteran Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 5 x Rifles)
1 x Veteran Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 5 x Rifles)
2 x Veteran LMG Teams

Assault Team (#5 on map)
1 x Veteran Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 2 x Rifles)

Reinforcements (#7 on map)
1 x Veteran Infantry Section (1 x SMG, 5 x Rifles)

All teams are deployed as indicated on the map. See the “US Reinforcements” special rule for arrival and deployment information

As a complete novice player I also typed up my own force lists with stats on for quick reference, using the rule book and Bolt Action US and German army book supplements. I found this an invaluable way to navigate the rules and get an idea of play before commencing the game proper

I found a few other suggested scenarios/rulesets, but the one from Jay’s Wargaming seemed the most straightforward, given that I was also using it to learn the game mechanics

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=368599

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1258241/player-scenario-kse-1-take-care-it-brecourt-manor

https://brooklynwargaming.com/2015/06/16/battleground-brecourt-manor-1944-scenario/

Brecourt Manor Background

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 8
No Comments

You might remember the Brecourt Manor Assault from Episode 2 of “Band of Brothers”. Dropped behind enemy lines in Normandy ahead of the D-Day beach landings, the Airborne troops were scattered across the countryside, many missing equipment or weapons. 1st Lieutenant Winters managed to round up enough members of Easy Company to attack the battery of 105mm German howitzers dug in near Brecourt Manor, that would be used to harass US forces landing at Utah Beach.