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Friday, February 21, 2014

Bolt Action - AAR: Soviet Frontal Assault

A bunch of us government workers and lazy bums (is there a difference?) got together on President's Day to play a Bolt Action group game.  I came up with a scenario where the Russians were attacking a German position somewhere in Poland during the spring of 1945.

I wanted to use a bunch of tanks in the game, so I made the board 4x8 instead of the standard 4x6.  I also had the Soviets attacking diagonally instead of across the board, short-way.  My hope was for tanks to engage each other at longer ranges.  Because of the added length to the board, I made sure the attackers had plenty of transports to get them from one side of the board to the other.  Additionally, we did away with outflank, and allowed players to bring on reinforcements along any board edge on their half of the table.

German Force
1st Lieutenant (Regular)
Medic (Regular)
FOA (Regular)
SS with ARs (6 men Vets)
Grenadiers (9 men 1 SMG, 2 LMGs, 1 faust, Regulars)

Grenadiers (9 men 1 SMG, 2 LMGs, 1 faust, Regulars)
Grenadiers (9 men 1 SMG, 1 LMGs, 1 faust, Regulars)
Tiger (Vet)
Panzer IV (Regular)
SdKfz 251 (Regular)
MMG (Regular)
MMG (Regular)
81mm Medium Mortar (Regular)
Panerschrek (Regular)

Russian Force (all regular)
Senior Lieutenant
Infantry (9 men, 1 SMG, 1 LMG)

Infantry (9 men, 1 SMG, 1 LMG)
Infantry (9 men, 1 SMG, 1 LMG)
Tank Riders (SMGs, 1 Panzerfaust)
Tank Riders (SMGs, 1 Panzerfaust)
Tank Riders (SMGs, 1 Panzerfaust)
Maxim MMG
Maxim MMG
82mm Medium Mortar
120mm Heavy Mortar w/ spotter
White Scout Car

The Germans were allowed to deploy on their half of the table first.  The Russians had to deploy on their half, but no closer than 18" to a German unit.

Russian reinforcements advance toward the town.

German MG-42 covers the field

A German squad hunkers down in a ruined house

Turn one, Soviet heavy mortar fire takes out the MG-42

Soviet medium mortar fire misses their target

The Tiger arrives, but misses the T-34s on the road

The Panzer IV arrives and engages the T-34s as well.

German artillery fire pins the advancing Soviets

Russia artillery returns the favor

T-34 #57 attempts to out flank the Pazner IV

German infantry tries to assault #57, but fails to pass an order test.

The Soviets T-34/76 arrives from reserve with its tank riders who are caught off guard by a squad of Grenadiers

The Tiger and T-34/76 engage each other at close range. (Yep. I'd say confidently, without measuring, that those tanks are within 6" of each other. - Judson)

The Panzer IV comes under more fire from the #57

The Tiger is knocked out by the of T-34/85 (That's Bolt Action! - J)

The Tiger burns

The lonely Panzer IV, with four pins, is left to face three tanks on its own

The 82mm mortar puts more rounds down range

The White Scout Car rolls up in support

The SS arrive in the Hanomag

After deploying from the 251, they take cover behind a building

The Soviet command assaults the Germans, but loses.

Tank riders finish the job

The Panzer IV finally gets it

The German mortar splats a squad

SS with ARs lay down fire on the remaining Russians

With very little troops left under his command, the German player calls the game, and withdraws from the town.

This game was fairly lopsided.  Afterwords, we talked about how the Germans would have been better off engaging the Soviets at a longer range.  We also talked about scenario balance.  We should have given the Germans the ability to start hidden.  We made that change and played the game again.  It was much closer - too close to call, in fact.  I think the adjustment made a big difference, but the Germans' change in tactics made a big difference as well.

Did you get any games in recently?  How did it go?  Share with the rest of us on the forum.

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