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Monday, June 30, 2014

Bolt Action - AAR: Hold The Crossroads - Part Two

 Can the German reinforcements run the gauntlet that is the occupied town?

Hey you savages.  Last time, in part one, we left off as the Canadian's were moving into positions in the town on the crossroads, while the only remaining defenders were a heavily pinned Pak 40 and its beleaguered crew.  This report picks back up at the start of Turn 5, when the German convoy could arrive.  Their goal was to blow through the town and get to the beaches in order to help reinforce the Atlantik Wall.  Did they succeed?

The Germans got the first order die, but the Pak 40 crew had different ideas, hunkering down behind their gunshield in an attempt to stay alive.  The Canadian Medium Mortar had them zero'd in though, and dropped another shell on their position.  The blast killed two and the last crewman legged it. Thanks to the shirkers special rule, his pins finally equal his morale.

The rest of the turn passed quickly, as the Canadians took up positions in the town, with some units going into Ambush.  One of the SMG armed units ran up to crew the abandoned Pak 40.  This was an extra rule we added to the scenario to give the Canadians some extra anti-tank capabilities.

Meanwhile at the other end of the table, the German convoy rolled up.  The Sdkfz 222 took a few pot shots at the Canadian's scampering in the distance, but failed to hit anything.  With the final die of the turn, the Canadian Air Observer called in an airstrike on the German Sdkfz 7/2 AA Half-track, fearing it's quad autocannons could make short work of the Canadian Paras.

With all available aircraft busy along the coastline, the airstrike is delayed at the start of Turn 6.  The Canadians turned the Pak 40 to face the road as the German's advanced.  The Sdkfz 222 fired its autocannon at the gun but, it's aim is off as the Canadian MMG team fired from ambush, spraying the side of the armoured car.

The Canadian Sniper put a shot on the German command vehicle and another squad shot at one of the Hanomags.  One Sdkfz 251/1 with a full squad of regular Grenadiers in the back, broke off to their right side of the road.

Turn 7 began with the airstrike delayed again and the Sdkfz 222 rolling up the road, firing on the Pak 40 again.  This time it activated and fired, but the Canadians dove behind the gunshield in time, taking no casualities.  A Canadian squad in the building to its left put some rifle and light machine-gun rounds into the armoured car, but they did little damage other then causing some concern to the crew.  The PIAT team fired around the corner of the building but missed.

A half-track pulled up next to the Sdkfz 222 and a squad of smg toting veterans dismounted, spraying fire on the Pak 40.  One crew member was hit by a bullet, as another one caught a panzerfaust to the chest.  With no allied vehicles to worry about, the German player decided to use the 'fausts on the anti-tank gun.

Meanwhile, the German Leutnant in the Sdkfz 251/10 command half-track ordered the vehicle to reverse after failing an order check, worried about the Canadian sniper rounds pinging off the vehicle's hull.  The German Sniper team dismounted the half-track on the Leutnant's orders, to take out the pesky Canadian, as the Sdkfz 7/2 opened fire on a squad of Canadians on the second floor of some townhouses.  The high explosive autocannon rounds shredded the upper floor, killing four of the seven Paratroopers inside.  Their resolve is strong as they return fire on another German half-track.

The brave men returned fire on another German half-track, while the third half-track continued it's flanking move, heading for the weakly defended right flank.

This is how the battle looked as Turn 7 came to an end.  Both sides are poised to strike, but who would get the jump?

Turn 8 began with the Canadian airstrike finally coming in.  A British Hawk Typhoon came screaming in from the skies, aimed at the German flak-track.  The Germans sprayed the incoming aircraft, hitting it 5 times, but it's not enough.  Launching a storm of missiles, the Typhoon pulled up as a firestorm blossoms where the Sdkfz 7/2 was.  The Canadian player rolled 17 hits, so even after losing 5 from the Flak fire, he easily destroyed the German vehicle.

After the airstrike, the Germans pull a string of grey dice.  The assault squad in the courtyard left the Pak 40, assaulting a Canadian officer team inside the townhouses, killing the Lieutenant and his aide while only losing one Grenadier.  Meanwhile the Sdkfz 222 failed an order check and reversed, while the two Sdkfz 251/1s still on the road tried to break through.  The squad of regular Grenadiers in the second half-track got out and fired on the waiting Canadians, hoping an extra pin might keep their heads down.

Then the Canadian's sprung the trap.  The Light Mortar who must have been busy marking co-ordinates, dropped a shell in the midst of the Grenadiers, killing one.

The PIAT missed again from point blank range, but the squad of Canadian Paras with smgs moved up and gunned down the Grenadiers. The pair of survivors turned tail and ran.

Meanwhile another Canadian squad exited the building behind the half-tracks and lobbed grenades inside the rear vehicle, destroying it in their assault.

As the front vehicle is now empty and far away from it's friends, at the end of the turn, the driver abandoned it, leaving the Canadians in clear control of the crossroads.

The only face saving result of the turn was the last Sdkfz 251/1 continuing it's flanking move, with a relatively clear round for the table edge.  But Turn 8 definitely saw the battle swinging towards the Canadians.

Recovering their nerve, the German Sdkfz 222 took off after the Hanomag on the right flank.

While the Sdkfz 251/10 with the Leutnant still on board moved to the left flank.  The German Sniper team was killed by the Canadian Sniper, as a squad of Paras moved up the road.

The German assault squad ran out of the building, killing a Canadian Para as the Pak 40 swung around to track them.

The Canadian Medium Mortar started raining death down on the German veteran assault squad as the Paras in the street and the 3 survivors still on the second floor of the building also opened up on the Germans.  4 veteran Grenadiers were cut down and the unit was quickly up to 5 pins.

The Sdkfz 251/10 continues on the left side of the table, turning to give itself a straight line of advance to the table edge, but it's started to run out of time.

Meanwhile the half-track on the right pulled up as the troops inside dismounted and fire on the Canadian Paras in the street, hoping to alleviate some pressure on the veteran Germans in the yard.  They managed to kill 2.

At the start of Turn 11, the German Sdkfz 251/1 high-tailed it, advancing off the table edge, while the Grenadiers continued to support their comrades near the townhouses.

On the other side of the table, the Sdkfz 251/10 moved up but the pins began to rack up as half of the Canadian forces poured small arms fire at it.

The Sdkfz 222 tried to gun down the Canadian Observer in the top of the ruin building, but he ducked the fusillade.

As the German command half-track advanced through the hail of bullets, the Canadian PIAT team moved up and took a long range snap shot.  Hitting the half-track dead on, it exploded in a ball of fire.  The German Leutnant's bodyguards were killed and he was seen abandoning the burning vehicle and running wildly into the trees.

The Canadian Paras on the road launched an assault on the last two veteran Grenadiers and in a brutal melee, both sides are cut down.

Despite a big dice disparity, the Germans drew first on the final turn and the last Grenadier squad ran for the table edge.

As the Sdkfz 222 took a few stray, long range shots from Canadian Brens, the driver ignored the vehicle commander's orders and refused to advance.  A failed order check sees the game come to an end.

As German vehicles burn, the Canadian's take stock.  Most of the convoy was halted, with only one half-track and it's troop compliment making it off the table (each worth 3 Victory Points), while 14 German units were destroyed (each worth 1 Victory Point), it's a clear victory to the Canadians (14 to 6).  The defenses along the Atlantik Wall would not be reinforced!

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