Home Forums WWII CoC Bloody Bucket campaign (completed)

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  • #150883
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    I’ve been wanting to give this intriguing campaign a try for some time, so I’m pleased to make it our first CoC campaign of the year. This is set in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944 with elements of the US 28th Division trying to hold an outpost line along Skyline Drive in the face of the German winter offensive.

    While the average CoC campaign follows a campaign ladder in a reasonably logical order this campaign allows for the Germans to infiltrate around the campaign ladder with the potential to strike at any of the maps and in any order they might choose. Excellent for fog of war and something that keeps the American player trying to second guess where trouble may be coming from next.

    To help readers that are not familiar with the campaign I’ve put together a post that helps explain how the campaign works and what the options are for both players. You can find that here https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/02/a-guide-to-following-bloody-bucket.html

    I’ve also produced a post about pulling together the various elements of terrain and the miniatures needed to run the campaign and you can find that here http://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/02/getting-ready-for-bloody-bucket-campaign.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #150934
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    After a couple of turns with the Germans infiltrating around the American positions we hit turn 3 of the campaign with two assaults launched. The first is on Map 1 Skyline Drive and so we begin the fighting that will determine the outcome of the campaign. The full AAR is here: http://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/02/bloody-bucket-turn-3-scenario-1-skyline.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #151230
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The Germans make their second attack of campaign turn 3. This time they fall on Holzthum Village at Map 3. Can this platoon of Volksgrenadiers have more success than the platoon that attacked Skyline Drive? Full AAR is here: https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/02/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-3-scenario.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #151298
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I always love these campaigns you do, just great stuff.  Rough times for the Germans, if they can get some armor you might have a very tough time of it yourself!

     

    Is there a rules that support has to stay at a location once it has been allocated, like minefields, the .30 and .50cals?  Or does each fight generate entirely new support?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #151313
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    I always love these campaigns you do, just great stuff. Rough times for the Germans, if they can get some armor you might have a very tough time of it yourself! Is there a rules that support has to stay at a location once it has been allocated, like minefields, the .30 and .50cals? Or does each fight generate entirely new support?

    Thanks. Yes the field defences supports are tied to each table so can’t move. Each platoon is under orders to stand and hold each table, they can be moved but there’s quite a risk that you will lose much of the platoon if you do (assumed they surrender). Supports like the MG teams can be moved at the start of each campaign turn (ie before you know which maps will be attacked), however only between maps that are adjacent or along one stretch of road. The Germans can interdict the roads, so there’s a risk. A 1 in 6 chance they are destroyed. 50% chance they are forced back and 30% chance they make it through. Risky!

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #151315
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Ooo I like that!  This is a great campaign setup.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153508
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The campaign rolls on and the German pioneers struggle to bridge the River Our so that heavier support can assist the Volksgrenadiers dislodge the Americans. After two bloody repulses in the previous games, can the Germans start to drive the Americans from Skyline Drive? Full AAR of the next game here: https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/03/bloody-bucket-campaign-turns-4-5.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #153509
    Norm S
    Participant

    Enjoyed reading that, thanks for the ton of work that went into putting it together.

    #153596
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Wow, that really is a tough map to get through for the attackers.  I am a bit surprised just how effective the defensive cover is, it really did great work for the Americans.

    I think you may have answered this before but I cannot recall: are you playing in 28mm?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #153604
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Wow, that really is a tough map to get through for the attackers. I am a bit surprised just how effective the defensive cover is, it really did great work for the Americans. I think you may have answered this before but I cannot recall: are you playing in 28mm?

    Thanks. All my Chain of Command is in 20mm (1/72). I find the table looks too small and crowded in 28mm.

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #153605
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    I am a bit surprised just how effective the defensive cover is, it really did great work for the Americans.

    Funny you should say that, in another forum I have someone who regularly comments that they don’t think hard cover is protective enough. I was a bit fortunate in this game with the first round of HE, but after that I lost 7 killed and had the squad pinned down twice, so the cover wasn’t that great!

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #154097
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The Americans have put up a determined resistance so far and the Germans are still looking for their first victory of the campaign. The clock is ticking against them but now that they have armour available that might just give them the edge they need to dislodge the Americans. We get to Campaign Turn 6 and the Germans continue to ramp up the pressure. You can find out what happens next in this AAR: http://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/03/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-6-scenario.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #154132
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Great report.  And now i am eager to see what the Germans do with this foothold!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #154253
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    This is the second German attack of Turn 6 on the Outskirts of Consthum. The Germans were successful in their first attack of the turn, but could they repeat their success here? This one packed quite a surprise and more than a few cinematic moments. The full AAR is here: https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/03/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-6-scenario_26.html


    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #154284
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Oh man, if that had worked it would have been amazing!  But, the likelyhood of being shot to pieces by deploying enemies was unnervingly high.  I applaud his being able to throw caution away and give it a go anyways!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #154294
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Oh man, if that had worked it would have been amazing! But, the likelyhood of being shot to pieces by deploying enemies was unnervingly high. I applaud his being able to throw caution away and give it a go anyways!

    Yes, I thought it was worth a shot. If the pre-game barrage had disrupted or slowed American deployment it might have been a very different story. It needed a bit of luck and unfortunately that wasn’t to be, but like I said, on another day this could have won the day.

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #154602
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Deja vu for the Volksgrenadiers as they make their third attempt to dislodge the Americans from the crossroads on Skyline Drive. It’s a tough table to attack with much open ground but we now enter the second day of the campaign and the German support levels increase even further. Can this heroic American platoon hold out once more? The full AAR is here: https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/04/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-7-scenario.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #154625
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    The whole game hinging on a 1-in-6+ chance of a hit, you’re as optimistic of the Dicegods as I am!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #154643
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The whole game hinging on a 1-in-6+ chance of a hit, you’re as optimistic of the Dicegods as I am!

    Oh well, this was always going to be tough once Dave decided to rely on his armour to do the hard work and leave his infantry out of harm’s way. That said I’ve been gaming long enough to know that as long as there’s a chance, no matter how slim the odds, then there’s a chance. It might just swing your way. I did what I could to push the odds closer to my favour, but once that opportunity slipped away I knew it was over. As it happens we may have played that German response to the ambush wrong, it looks like they should have been allowed only one opportunity to interrupt not the two that occurred. Although I don’t think that really changed the overall outcome, as you say it would require some outrageous good fortune for that to happen (not impossible, but not very likely!).

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #155249
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Once again the Germans return to Holzthum Village to see if they can evict the Americans. So far the Germans are finding dislodging the Americans from any of the maps a very difficult proposition, but their recent successes clearing Maps 1 and 2 has buoyed their spirits. Are they about to unpick the American defence of skyline drive? The full AAR is here: https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/04/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-7-scenario_18.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #155318
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Woa, I sort of shocking that he called it so soon.  Kind of makes me wonder if it was just an off day for him or if he has something up his sleeve….

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #155518
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The Germans are behind schedule and the pressure is on to capture the remaining four battlefields before time runs out. We are now at Turn 8 and the Germans make a second attempt to clear the Americans from Map 4 The Outskirts of Consthum, will they be more successful this time? The full AAR is here: http://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/04/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-8-scenario.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #155567
    Tony S
    Participant

    As ever, great report!  A real nail biter!  Loved reading, and quite inspiring.

    #155606
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    That was a really wild game!  Probably the luckiest Panther tank in you campaign.  And the frustration those bazooka teams must have felt after hitting it so many times was surely palpable.  Riveting read!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #155625
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    That was a really wild game! Probably the luckiest Panther tank in you campaign. And the frustration those bazooka teams must have felt after hitting it so many times was surely palpable. Riveting read!

    Indeed, not sure what else I could have done to try and stop it. Made for a good narrative and it lifted Dave’s spirits no end to get a victory, so probably a good result that keeps the German in the campaign (doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have loved to have taken the Panther out though!).

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #156383
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Having successfully cleared the outskirts of Consthum the same Volksgrenadier platoon takes advantage of the blitzkrieg campaign rule to mount an attack on the next table immediately. And why not, it’s a free game that might help get the German attack back on schedule? It also sees the return of that pesky Panther from the previous game, the one that led a charmed life in the face of numerous bazooka rounds. Will it be so lucky this time? Full AAR is here https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/05/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-8-scenario.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #156440
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Wow, that attack unfolded very smoothly, right up until it hit that wall of bullets.  Pretty hefty butchers bill to boot, the Germans will miss that Panther.  But since the crew survived maybe they will be back for revenge!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #156452
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Wow, that attack unfolded very smoothly, right up until it hit that wall of bullets. Pretty hefty butchers bill to boot, the Germans will miss that Panther. But since the crew survived maybe they will be back for revenge!

    Unfortunately there are plenty more Panthers available but my goal in the campaign is to delay the Germans as long as possible and so in that sense we’ve done our job, but I’m certain we haven’t seen the last of those big cats.

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #157027
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    The Germans return to Holzthum Village for the second attack of campaign turn 8. This will be their third attempt to drive the Americans from the village. The question is, will they be any more successful this time? Full AAR is here: http://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2021/05/bloody-bucket-campaign-turn-8-scenario_30.html

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #157109
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Great game, you’re troops are pretty hard on those Panthers!  I must be really difficult to hold back like that and not deploy until the last second.  Hopefully you see the campaign through, these are great AARs and there has to be a way for the Germans to make it.  I’m guessing that each game is limited in the number of infantry that can be in play?  Weight of numbers could be the only solution.

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #157277
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    After a bit of deliberation we’ve decided to call an American victory on the campaign and call it a day. We’ve played ten games across eight campaign turns, making this the longest campaign we have played to date, so I think we’ve given it a fair shot. Having won the previous scenario the Americans are in good enough shape to mount a counterattack against the rather meagre German force that has fallen back to Map 2. There’s a decent chance they could recapture it which would make any hope of a German campaign victory (or even a draw) very unlikely. As Dave said, our gaming time is precious and perhaps it’s time to move on given the writing is on the wall.

    It’s an intriguing campaign with much that we liked and would like to see in future campaigns, like the off map movement. The appeal of a campaign is in the broader story that is told and about the decisions you make for the future that impact the game currently in play. The extra layer in this PSC added to that experience. After all the discussion I would really like to have a crack at fighting this as the Germans at some time in the future, but with so many other campaigns to choose I’m not certain that’s something that will happen any time soon.

    So, what’s next? We’ll take a break and play a few other things. I want to try O Group and a bit more of I Ain’t Been Shot Mum. We have some Sharp Practice we want to play and we will do a bit of a compare/contrast by playing the same period with Muskets & Tomahawks. We will return to CoC with the Many Rivers to Cross PSC from the 2018 Lard Magazine. Dave has painted up a Dutch platoon to complement his early war German platoon, so we will look to run this in Holland 1940. With that in mind, I have just bought this which I need to build:

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

    #157327
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Great campaign, and it was a great read too, thank you for posting all of the AARs.

    Will you be taking up the position of attacker for the 1940s games?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #157341
    Tactical Painter
    Participant

    Great campaign, and it was a great read too, thank you for posting all of the AARs.

    Thanks for following along and glad you enjoyed it.

    Will you be taking up the position of attacker for the 1940s games?

    Yes indeed, my turn to wear the jackboots.

    The Tactical Painter - painting miniature armies for battles on the table top.
    http://www.thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/

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