Part of Eric's amazing board. There is also a complete village not visible. My forces entered the board at top left.
Eric the Shed has been continuing with his epic Scales of Anubis campaign since August and there was another game last night. Unlike the previous three games, I did manage to get along (I quite often have to do work events in the evening) and there were six others in the shed. Eric had hinted that there was a Where Eagles Dare aspect to it but this was not a lot of help to me as I had no idea about Where Eagles Dare. I knew it was a film but that was it!
Anyway, Eric will no doubt be providing his usual splendidly illustrated account shortly but I will just provide a brief overview of the game from my point of view. The other games have used Pulp Alley rules as players' forces were around ten figures but this one was more in the nature of a proper military action where we had a couple of dozen figures each, so it was Bolt Action, this time. I had four units of six British paratroops. Incidentally, my Uncle Keith fought at Arnhem as part of the Airborne, although he was glider-borne rather than a paratrooper. He missed D-Day as he had been trained to operate a particular new light artillery piece which wasn't ready, as it turned out, for the big day.
Anyway, the British had to extract the final component of the Scales of Anubis, the Balance of Souls, from deep within Nazi Germany just before the outbreak of World War 2. The British were told (I think - I didn't have my glasses so couldn't actually read my player's briefing) that the piece was in the Castle or the village but we also had to secure the airfield as an exit point.
Taking on the pillbox
My units came onto the board close to the heavily defended airfield which had a pillbox and a nasty looking armoured car at the gate. I got my troops into a walled orchard and had some initial success against the unit in the pillbox. Incredibly, given my parlous dice throwing last time, I managed to get four sixes out of six dice thrown. I credited this to the fact that Sooty the cat had been banished from the shed. Unfortunately, I continued to throw high when I needed low scores to unpin myself or otherwise pass morale tests. Once inside the orchard I got pinned down in every way, not wanting to risk getting into the open given the presence of the armoured car, as we had no anti-armour capability.
Blonde girls with guns!
What I hadn't counted on was the arrival of two units, in smart cars, of Nazi She-Wolves; strapping blonde women (Seven of them in each car? They must be as friendly with each other as one might suspect - at least from a series of obviously historically accurate films of the seventies I have seen - Frauleins in Uniform (1975) aka She-Devils of the SS springs to mind) with lots of sub-machine guns, who stood outside the walls of the orchard and poured fire inside. These were controlled by Nazi mastermind, Mark, who has won every single game of the scales of Anubis so far to the extent that I now actually think of him as a sinister Nazi in real life (although, in reality, there were more fascists in my own family (including the Old Bat - the only person I know who has actually voted BNP - she thinks UKIP are wishy-washy pinko liberals) due to a link with Oswald Mosley in the thirties!).
Time to re-take the orchard!
My forces were being whittled away in the orchard although, towards the end of the game, I saw a slight improvement in my fortunes due to the kind transfer of a unit from Steve. This enabled me to mass behind the wall, see off the She-Wolves and counter attack back into the orchard. At Arnhem my uncle had come similarly unstuck and, making a break for it, had rounded a corner on his Airborne folding bicycle only to be confronted by a Panther tank in the road. He calmly got off the bike, turned it 180 degrees and cycled back the way he had come, very fast. Fortunately, he had been his schools's victor ludorum and his athleticism got him out of trouble!
We didn't quite reach resolution in the game. The British were close to capturing the airfield but the cunning Nazis has shifted the location of the artifact. In addition, a column of tanks had appeared in the village and was heading up towards the airfield and castle. So, happily, we are promised another game! Thanks to Eric, as ever, and all the other players for tolerating my total inability to remember any rules whatsoever. Maybe I should take up model railways rather than wargaming?