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Monday, June 10, 2013

Bolt Action - AAR: US Infantry vs Heer/SS Maximum Attrition

Somewhere in France 1944 a strong American force runs into a Germans force probing for allies near a villa.    Both armies consisted of approximately 2000 points; the Germans had 19 units and the Americans had 18 units.  We had six guys playing and did not want the game to bog down due to to many order dice.

  The villa and farm.

Since we were playing with twice the number of points as we usually play, we decided to only place half the number of dice in the bag as there were units on the board.  The other half of the dice were put into a dice pool for each side.  Each time a unit dice was pulled from the bag, that side pulled an additional die from their dice pool and activated two units.

This rule worked really well and the game did not slow down from having too many units.  It was also nice because normally two players from any given side were activating units at a time.  If you are interested in playing a large game with a solid groups of dudes, try it out.

One last thing, our bocage is modeled for 15mm and 20mm figures so we made a ruling that you could not see through bocage unless you were on it.  I know that this is contrary to the rules for LoS, but we wanted a Normandy feel and needed our bocage to block LoS.

The American force was one large 2000 point platoon, while the Germans brought two 1000 point platoons; one platoon of Heer and one of SS. The Americans threw everything they had at the Germans and held nothing in reserve, while the Germans sent a Puma and SdKfz 251/1D halftrack full of SS around the flank.

 American troops move in to secure a heard of ferocious french chickens.

 Germans take up position on a hill overlooking the bocage.  Fire is exchanged between the two sides for several turns.

SS troops move up the left flank.

 More Germans arrive and take up position

 US infantry advance across the fields, bolstered by the machine guns of a halftrack 

The Germans call in artillery causing pins on the Germans.

 The Germans second platoon observer calls in his artillery with similar effect.

An SS Panzer IV arrives and takes out an M13 AA half track that was eating SS men for lunch. 

Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield the German 88mm Flak 36 puts an end the M5 halftrack which was providing covering fire for the US infantry.

 Suddenly a US aircraft roars overhead; fear rips through the German ranks.

A Sherman 76 takes a pot shot at the Germans light howitzer. 

US infantry move into the villa. 

 Joined by fellow troops, it becomes their Alamo.

 Their presence in the villa draws the attention the attention of most of the Germans.

 The Americans roll a 5 and bring in the heaviest of attack aircraft, which obliterates the 88mm Flak 36 and its crew.
 The US aircraft climbs away after releasing its payload.

 The SS start moving on the Alamo.

 Then a second aircraft appears overhead.  It drops its payload and takes out a German squad.

The German MMG lays down a hail of fire on the Alamo. 

American mortar fire takes out a spotter.

 The Germans on the right start falling apart, but the Americans fear a flank attack.  A full strength US platoon is diverted to the American flank instead of being free to push the attack.

However, the reserves arrive on the opposite flank. Laying down more fire on the Alamo, but its too late and time runs out.  Final score 5 VPs for the Germans and 4 VPs for the Yanks.  A maximum attrition tie.  Both sides took significant casualties and had little left to push the attack.

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“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to he is busy blogging, painting, modeling and rolling dice. You can find more of his work and articles at”

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