Sunday, 19 June 2016

558 - Bolt Action Game: 1500pts Brits Vs Germans

Hullo All,

I said I'd cover my most recent game in a little more depth and so I shall...although it won't be in much depth because I don't like taking photos of games when I'm using unpainted or unfinished minis, and this was a game for trying things out.
The table. Gorgeous.
My two-platoon list was essentially as follows - all regular - (and again, this was designed (and okayed) to try out a few new units, so please ignore any apparent cheesiness...):
  1. Lieutenant
  2. [Free] Arty Observer (naturellement!)
  3. 10-man Rifle Section with LMG
  4. 3-Ton Lorry
  5. 10-man Rifle Section with LMG
  6. 3-Ton Lorry
  7. 3" Medium Mortar + Observer
  8. PIAT
  9. Sniper
  10. Staghound Armoured Car
  11. Cromwell
  12. Second Lieutenant
  13. 5-man Rifle Team 
  14. Universal Carrier
  15. 5-man Rifle Team with LMG
  16. Universal Carrier
  17. 4.2" Heavy Mortar + Observer
  18. Cromwell CS (95mm medium howitzer)
...That's a whopping eighteen order dice: very handy against the high-cost/low-dice lovingly painted veteran SS troops I was up against!
Some of my newer, W-i-P bits. L-R from top: Cromwell CS, 3-Ton trucks, 
3" mortar, 4.2" mortar, Staghound, 
3" spotter, 4.2" spotter, Lieutenant.  
[a reference pic I took for my own purposes to limit confusion.]

The mission was (as it always seems to be) Hold Until Relieved and I chose 'Attacker', as being British, that gives me the opportunity to use one of my special rules to choose the best of two rolls for preliminary bombardment.
My talented opponent, David, had laid on an absolute visual feast for scenery when I arrived: an 8'x4' board of wonder, complete with a whacking great escarpment in the top-right corner (see above - this is the view of my right flank).
The house to the top-left corner of the crossroads here was the objective. 
I shan't go through the whole game, but suffice to say that my numerical superiority inevitably won through in the end, helped by a few fun moments in particular, viz:

  • In my first turn an opening salvo from my new heavy mortar ranged in with its first round and absolutely minced one of the two 5-man squads sat on the objective
  • One of my nippy little bren carriers shot along into his lines, shot-up another SS squad and was immediately shot in turn by his big-ass Panther tank. The carrier was blown to dust, but the rifle squad inside it escaped miraculously unharmed and lived on to harry David's flank for another two or three turns!
  • On the other flank, my new Staghound armoured car bimbled along and ended up just sitting on the escarpment, surrounded by small German teams with no ability to hurt it, and slowly gunning stuff down (It looks SO much cooler than my boxy and brutal AEC Mk III). It felt kind of weird seeing it sat between an SS sniper and an SS mortar with complete impunity, I must say.
  • ...and maybe the Germans were a little spooked by this too, for next turn the mortar rolled a FUBAR! on its order test and to David's bemused disappointment rained HE down on the remaining Germans still holding the central objective. They all died, much to the relief of the brave Toms on their way to seize it!
  • Next, a vicious tank duel erupted...with all the bile and anger of a wounded flamingo accidentally stepping on an over-ripe banana. Yup, the Tiger and my Cromwell wafted their hankies at each other whilst my PIAT and his panzerschrek tried to show them how it should really be done. To their credit, both of the A-T teams did themselves proud.
  • My new-and-almost-finished 'Mickey Mouse' trucks did exactly what they were paid to do and then even stuck around, as their drivers selflessly used the two vehicles to simultaneously block the enemy's route and provide their erstwhile passengers with cover from the enemy's view! The transport platoon will definitely get a Mention in Dispatches for that.
  • Finally, one of my favourite moments of the game was when David's Lieutenant jumped over a wall to make his final stand of the objective, little realising that my Lieutenant was about to do the same thing! They traded ineffectual shots and (as David conceded shortly thereafter, hopelessly outnumbered and swamped by Toms) I'd like to think that they traded drinks too, the German officer having obviously decided to do the honorable thing.
My OC  (top-left) closes on his SS counterpart
(behind the top of the objective building, near the black dice)
as the Toms swarm home past the stranded Puma
And that's just about it. We got a bunch of things wrong (sadly, mostly in my favour), but ultimately I think it was only ever going to end with a British victory - even if I'd been defending. I soon realised his only real threats to me were his medium mortar and his Panther, and I had mobility and firepower enough to counter them well enough.
Clash of the Titans. Not. My PIAT is watching from the wall behind that order dice!
A dual mortar list is fun (those of you who've ever played me in 40K know how much I love mortars) and both of our snipers achieved absolutely nothing all all in all it was fun!
Mickey and Minnie fly along the road...
...whist 'Pieter', my new Cromwell CS W-i-P, snipes at the sneaky wee Puma.
Unit of the match? I suppose it'd have to be my heavy mortar: losing an entire 'hidden' squad with the first shot was brutal for poor David!

Thanks for following along, folks,

coming soon, a focus on my Mickey Mouse lorries and an explanation of what the hell's been going on in real life for me...

Yours aye,

- Drax.


  1. Sounds rather nice and congrats on the win. I have one quesion tough. How you can call a game 'historically accurate' when a squad that was in a transport blown up by a PzVI shell survives this?! Aren't UCs paper thin? And are Tigers a viable choice? Ive never fielded one, so I would ask how they perform (of course if you have some experience in fighting against Tigers)

    1. I think what must've happened is that the shell just ripped straight through the thing: as its armour is so paper thin, it probably didn't even set off the fuse! Maybe it just blew out the entire engine block? Either way, I suspect if I were one of the poor soldiers riding in it, I would've leapt out as soon as soon as the panther rolled into view!

      Re. Tigers, yes they can of course be fielded in Bolt Action, but I don't think I've faced one yet.

      One of my secret shames is that I absolutely cannot tell one German tank from another! I even had to spend five whole minutes checking and double-checking that I was calling this 'Panther' the right thing!

  2. Apparently, Blogger is being an ass-hat with captions again. Whoop.

  3. Looking like a very enjoyable game and congrats on the win. Hopefully you're schedule is settling down and you can keep getting some good games like this in.

    1. Thanks, matey - that's both the hope and the plan!

  4. Yep, one of your captions clearly says 'dice' when the PIAT team is hiding behind one die.

    Cannot tell the two most distinctive looking tanks, not only of WW2, but possibly of all time, from each other ? Good Grief man, after reading that many commando comics ? What on earth is your aircraft recognition like ? No, don't answer, I don't think we have time.

    As long as you can tell a BTR60 from a BRDM, that'd be a start....

    1. Die? Dice? Given my professional life I spend my online time trying hard not to be That Guy.

      Oh, and yes. Shame. Basically I've never been into real life tanks at all until I started Flames of War a few years ago, and it's growing slowly. No rush, methinks.

      I had BTR60 and BDRM etc drilled into me during basic, but even then it was all extremely tongue-in-cheek, given the rather diminished Soviet threat of the early 2000s...

      My WW2 plane recognition, on the other hand, is generally shit-hot, even though I'm 22 years out of practice!

  5. German panzer recognition guide:
    Tank with 6 wheels and slightly sloped back hull: Pz3
    Tank with 8 wheels and boxy back hull: Pz4
    Tank with four large wheels: pz 38 (t) or pz 35 (t) - captured during Studetenland annexion
    Bigger tank with wheels stacked one on other: Panther
    Heavy tank with big rounded turret and stacked wheels: Tiger
    Tank with a shaped turret bigger and meaner than Tiger: Tiger ausf.b (2)
    Tank with no turret but with a fixed main gun superstructure mounted on other Panzer chassis: Stug, Stug (4), Jpz4, Jpanther, Jtiger 2
    Small tanks are Panzerkampfwagen 1 and Panzerkampfwagen 2 retired (mostly, pz2L fought up to 1944) in 1941 from frontline units.
    Other tanks can be a mix of captured armour, like a gun superstructure mounted on Char B2 or unchanged designs, like 7TP captured during september 1939.
    There were also few prototypes that had mixed pieces like Sturer Emil.
    Hope it helps a bit.

    1. I love you so much right now that it hurts a little.

  6. Glorious game! Nice to see you playing against Germans for once too!

    Table does indeed look lovely. My own 28mm WW2 terrain is a bit pants in comparison...

    Eager to see those new toys fully painted.

    1. Thanks, matey! Next up will be the first brace of 3-ton trucks...

      And yes, that terrain is fab!

    2. Thanks, matey! Next up will be the first brace of 3-ton trucks...

      And yes, that terrain is fab!

  7. What a fantastic battle, that terrain really does make it! I'm eagerly following the progress of those trucks.

    1. Why, thank you!

      With luck, trucks post will be up in about 90 minutes...


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