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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bolt Action - AAR: The Fire Brigade's Counter Attack

Over the weekend I had some buddies over to my house for a game of Bolt Action.  For several of them it was their first time playing, so I fielded basic units in a homemade scenario designed to introduce them to the game.   For added flavor each side also had an armored platoon.

The Fire Brigade's Counter Attack
Summer 1944
Eastern Front

After the initial success of Operation Bagration, Soviet forces take a rest while establishing new supply lines.  Meanwhile elements of Hitler’s Fire Brigade counter attack the slacking Soviets.  Control of a vital roadway is up for grabs.

The Soviet player sets up no more than half his force on the table.  The rest of the units are held in reserve and can out flank.  No more than two Soviet vehicles can start the game on the board. The German player selects at least half his force to be sent in as the first wave.  Any troops not used in the first wave are held in reserve and can out flank.  The Soviet player starts that game holding all of the objectives. 

First Turn
The German player must move all his first wave troops on the board in the first turn.  These troops do not have to take an order test to arrive from reserve and must be given a run or advance order.  These troops can arrive at any point along the attackers board edge.

Caught off Guard
Even though they are defending Soviet force is caught by surprise, not expecting a German counter attack in this sector.  Soviet forces may not deploy their troops using hidden deployment.

Game Duration
The game last six turns.  At the end of turn six roll a die, on a 4+ play another turn.  The game will end after turn that turn.

At the end of the game calculate victory using the following objective tables.

Control the Roadway                  5pts per junction
Capture the Manor                      5 points
Secure the Bridge                        5 points

Objectives are captured when touch the objective with one or more infantry or artillery unit that has at least three or more men in it or a tank or armored car that is not immobilized or destroyed.  Once you secure an objective it is yours until an enemy force secures it.  If more than one side have units securing and objective the objective is contested.

Conserve your force                       
            Vehicles                         If not immobilized or destroyed
            Infantry or Artillery            If you have taken no more than
            11+                                    3 Casualties
            7-10                                    2 Casualties
            2-6                                    1 Casualty
            1                                    No Casualties

Cripple the enemy
            Vehicles                         If immobilized or destroyed
            Infantry or Artillery            If the unit has this many men left
            11+                                    3 Men
            7-10                                    2 Men
            2-6                                    1 Men
            1                                    No Men

Stone Wall – Obstacle, Hard Cover
Fence – Obstacle, Soft Cover
Hedges – Obstacle, Soft Cover
Creek – Shallow Water, Rough Ground
Road – Road
Bridge – Road
Dirt Road – Road except for Tanks, which treat as Open
Crops – Soft Cover Infantry and Artillery, Rough Ground
Manor – Hard Cover, Building
Grass – Soft Cover Infantry and Artillery, Open Ground
Woods- Soft Cover, Rough Ground

Soviet Force

Soviet Armored Platoon (Regulars)
1 x Command T-34/76
2 x T-34/76
1 x SU-100

Soviet Infantry Platoon (Regular)
Senior Lt. + 2 Staff
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 8 Rifles)
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 8 Rifles)
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 8 Rifles)

Soviet Infantry Platoon (Regular)
Senior Lt. + 2 Staff
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 7 Rifles, 1 LMG)
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 7 Rifles, 1 LMG)
Soviet Infantry Squad
NCO + 9 Men (2 SMG, 7 Rifles, 1 LMG)

Support  (Regular)
2 x Maxim MMG w/ gun shield
1 x 120mm Heavy Mortar 
2 x Anti Tank Rifles
1 x Zis-2 57mm Medium ATG
1 x Truck

Order Dice: 21

German Force
Panzer Platoon (Veterans)
Panther (Command Tank)
Panzer IV H w/ side skirts

Grenadier Platoon (Veterans)
1st Lt + 2 Staff
Grenadier Squad
NCO + 7 Men (1 x SMG, 2 x LMG)
Grenadier Squad
NCO + 7 Men (1 x SMG, 2 x LMG)

Grenadier Platoon (Veterans)
1st Lt + 2 Staff
Grenadier Squad
NCO + 7 Men (1 x SMG, 2 x LMG)
Grenadier Squad
NCO + 7 Men (1 x SMG, 2 x LMG)

Support (Veterans)
Captain + 2 Staff
2 x MG-42 MMG
1 x 8cm Medium Mortar
Sdkfz 251/1D

Order Dice: 15

The Battlefield with flags marking the objectives.

Soviet defenders take up position in and around the manor

German troops start their counter attack

Soviet heavy mortar fire finds its target on its first range in attempt, taking out the German Captain and his HQ section.

A Panther arrives to support the  German attack

AT-34 and ATR exchange fire with German armor

German MMG team lays down covering fire

A StuG gets into a dual with a Soviet tank

Hold fast for the mother land

Intense fight erupts around the bridge

The StuG is knocked out

German infantry advance to take the bridge

While Russian infantry bears the brunt of their assault

German mortar fire has trouble finding its mark

The command T-34 advances to support defense of this sector

The Panthers main gun finds its mark, blasting the Soviets to pieces.

Quick the hill becomes known as dead Russian hill.

More Soviets arrive from reserve

Fight becomes even more intense as the Soviet meat grinder shoves its way forward

A T-34 is taken out by a lucky long range shot from the Panzerschrek

The Soviets begin to counter attack the Germans

Soviet mortar fire ranging in

More German arrive from reserve

The dualing MMGs

German mortars change their target

The Commissar urges the men forward, at gun point

German troops exchange fire with the Soviets in the manor

The Panther scores another hit and takes out an ATR team

More Soviets take up position in the woods

Supported by a Maxim

And a T-34

The Germans secure part of the road

Suddenly a Panzer IV arrives from the flank, machine gunning the infantry and firing its main gun at the T-34 (but it missed)

Heavy mortar fire shifts its target

German mortar fire scores a direct hit

As more soviet arrive to counter attack the bridge position become untenable

The heavy mortar score another hit on the Germans

A Soviet command section and Commissar move to support the manor

More MG dualing

The conflict near the bridge rages on as casualties mount on both sides

The Soviets send in their armor reserves, a SU-100

Another mortar hit on the Soviets

The ZiS-2 57mm takes careful aim at the Panzer IV

But its the SU-100 that does it in

One last hit from a mortar takes out the Germans on the road

The Soviet command section finishes off the Germans attacking the manor

This allows a T-34 to take up position to support the bridge

However the Panther rages on

After two rounds of hitting the German mortar misses, giving the Soviets some reprieve

Soviet force advance to contest the bridge.

The red tide begins to overrun the German positions and the game ends.

What a fantastic game.  We had five guys rolling dice and finished in about 3.5 hours.  Final score was Germans 24, Soviets 31.  The Germans had a good start, but the Soviets dug in deep and their counter attack was like a shot to the gut.

One thing I did to help the new players and us old beard, was to make unit cards.  I put all the important information about each unit on a card so players could easily look at their units stats and abilities.  These worked really well.  I will be saving these form game to game so its easy to built armies for group play.  

I will throw up more detailed samples of these cards for others to use once I work out the bugs with my local group.  Until next time happy gaming.

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