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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bolt Action - Alternate Mission #2: Seize and Hold with Bonus Play Test AAR

This is another new mission I have been working on.  Since it is currently in a Beta stage, I am trying to get feedback from the BARbarian community.  Let me know what you think and if you play the mission how it goes.  It should be noted the inspiration for this missions comes from the Dust Up scenario from Flames of War.

While your force rushes forward to capture and objective, your opponent counter attacks toward an objective of their own.

Set Up
Both sides roll a dice to determine who the attacker is and who the defender is.
The player with the higher roll is the attacker.
The attacker chooses a table edge to attack from.  The defender then chooses one of the table quarters on the opposite side of the table to defend.  The attacker attacks from the opposite table quarter.
Starting with the defender, both players deploy an objective in their table quarter.  Next, starting with the defender, both players place an objective in their opponent's table quarter.  Objective’s must be at least 8 inches away from all table edges, center lines, or other objectives.
The Defender nominates half their troops, rounding down, to start the game on the board.  The remaining troops start the game in reserve.

Then, the Attacker nominates half their troops, rounding down, to start the game on the board.  The rest of his troops are deployed in reserves. 
Starting with the Defender, players alternate deploying their units on the board in their table quarter.  Units may not be deployed within 8 inches of the 4 foot center line.

Reinforcements arrive from each player's own table edges.

First Turn
Players may begin rolling for reserves on turn one at a -1 modifier for reserves.  Thereafter, reserves are rolled for as normal.
Game Duration

The game ends at the end of turn six, unless the game is extended.  At the end of turn six roll a die.  On a 1-3 the game ends.  On a 4-6 play one more turn.

Both sides are trying to control the objectives.  An objective is controlled if at the end of a turn a friendly infantry, tank, or artillery unit is within 3" of an objective and there are no enemy infantry, tank, or artillery units within 3" the objective.  Empty transports cannot control objectives.  Once a player controls an objective, it is in their control until it is taken or challenged by their opponent. 

The player controlling the most objectives at the end of the game wins.
If players control the same number of objectives at the end of the game count the number of units each side lost, excluding transports.  The side that lost more units loses the game.  If players lose the same number of units the game is a tie.

Play Test AAR: Germans vs USSR

Andy and I got together to play test this scenario.   I ran an adjusted version of my scout/cavalry list, while Andy got his first army on the table that he had painted (they looked great).

A bombed out village on the Eastern front in 1944.

Russian Army

This army looks larger than it really is because I have mounted and dismounted version of all my troops now.  That includes mounted and dismounted cavalry, tank riders, and truck passengers.

Senior Lt. with SMGs (R)
Commissar with SMGs (I)
6 Cavalry with SMGs (R)
6 Cavalry with SMGs (R)
6 Scouts with SMGs (V)
6 Scouts with SMGs (V)
6 Tank Riders with SMGs and Body Armor (V)
11 Rifle Squad with Rifles and Molotov Cocktails (I)
120mm Mortar (I)
M4 Lend Lease Sherman (R)
M3 Scout Car (R)
Truck (R)

German Army

Andy got his German army painted and based and they turned out great.  I really liked his PaK 40 and Hetzer.

2nd Lt. with SMG and 2 staff (R)
8 Grenadiers with SMG and LMG (R)
8 Grenadiers with SMG and LMG (R)
8 Grenadiers with SMG and LMG (R)
8 Grenadiers with SMG and LMG (R)
81mm Mortar (R)
PaK 40 (R)
Hetzer (R)
Truck (R)

Soviet troops hunker down in the town.

Germans set up outside the town.

I didn't bring a spotter and my table corner gave me limited options for deploying my mortar.  I ended up putting him up front and exposed.  It immediately came under MMG and mortar fire and was dead by turn two.

Scouts rush forward.

My rifle squad holds down the flank.

A mortar round just misses the PaK 40.

German watch Soviets swarm the town.

Grenadiers make a break for the woods.

I drive my truck forward to provide cover for my troops and it is shot up.

Scouts jump into this building.  Soviets control the town.

PaK 40 watches the GaZ truck burn.

The Hetzer puts shots on the M4 through the trees.

His shots cause the tank riders to dismount.

Cossacks gallop forward toward destiny.

The Soviet attack unfolds, overwhelming the Grenadiers in the woods.

A second squad of Cossacks start moving through the town.

German troops advance toward the town.


The PaK 40 takes out the M3.

Mortar fire comes dangerously close to the Cossacks.

Second squad of Cossacks move down the road.

Rifles continue to hold the flank.

Scouts move up spraying the Germans with SMG fire.

The mortar finally finds its target, but only causes one pin and one casualty.

Tank Riders clear the woods of Grenadiers.

The M4 kept failing his order tests and found himself backed into a table corner.

The Red Storm begins clearing the hill of Germans.

With fire, and explosions, and gunfire raging all around the Cossacks surge down the road.

The Germans mount one last desperate defense of the hill.

Sit up in those saddles and draw your sabers comrades.  Prepare yourself to go full tilt on the fascist invaders.

The Hetzer continue to hunts for the Sherman.


No narrative necessary.

The German make one last attempt to capture an objective and force a tie by hauling a hand full of survivors forward in a truck.

Its too little, too late with the Cossacks in the rear.

This game was pretty rough for Andy.  He could not pass an order test to save his life.  Additionally, he kept hitting the Sherman with the Hetzer, but also kept failing to penetrate its armor. (Damn you, AT guns in Bolt Action! - J) One time he got a flank shot on it and needed a 2+ to penetrate, then rolled a one followed by a one. Andy's list was scary good at dealing with vehicles and, like in the last few games, he handily dealt with my vehicles.  I seem to be struggling with running my vehicles and keeping them alive and effective.

After the game we also talked about his deployment and concluded he could have done a few things differently.  He made some aggressive moves with his riflemen, which was good in theory, but it meant my SMGs didn't have to move that far in order to spray them down.  Also, he had a lot of points wrapped up in anti tank assets, and needs to possibly mix up his infantry units with a bit more variety.

The mission worked really well and felt right.  We talked about allowing for outflank, which is something I have to chew on.  I am worried that most lists wont be able to cross the board in the time it takes to threaten both objectives.  My list is exceptionally quick, so that was not an issue for it - but it's the exception, not the rule.  I think next time I will play test allowing outflanking manuevers.  Also, we played that reserves started rolling to come on turn two, I adjusted that to turn one in the current Beta to give people more time to make their way across the board.

If you get a chance to try this mission, let me know how it goes on the forum.

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