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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bolt Action - AAR: US Airborne vs German Volksgrenadiers Envelopment

What better way to spend a Saturday than getting your Bolt Action FTX on? Had some friends over for an afternoon of Bolt Action glory.  First game GI Joe's US Airborne faced off against my Battle of the Bulge themed Volks Grenadiers with Big Kitty (Tiger II) Support.  I snagged a 1/48 plastic King Tiger from the flea market at Historicon this year for $20, pre built and painted.  I didn't care for the paint job so I painted it to match the rest of my late war armor and then got the hankering to field it.  I secretly plotted against Joe and requested we play at 1250 points (respect Mark Dawg) so I could fit a regular version of the Tiger II (with low fuel) in my list, hoping he would take the opportunity to field a few tanks of his own.  I figured he would bit seeing Tank War just came out but boy was I wrong.  GI Joe showed up with nothing but airborne infantry.

German Army
HQ Regular 1st Leutenant
3 squads of 8 Volkgrenadiers (5AR/3rifles)
1 squad of 6 Engineers (4SMG/Flamethrower)
1 squad veteran Heer (2LMGs/5rifles)
Motorcycle MG (regular)
Light Howitzer (regular)
Medium Mortar (inexperienced)
King Tiger (regular-low fuel)
Truck (regular)

US Army
HQ 1st Lieutenant (vet)
4 squads of 10 Airborne (3SMGs/LMG/6rifles)
1 squad of 12 glider troops (3SMGs/9rifles)
Light Howitzer
2 bazookas
Light mortar

I set up the table to look like we were fighting somewhere near Bastogne.   We rolled up envelopment and the Americans ended up attacking.  As the story goes the German attack has just lost steam and the US Airborne trapped in Bastogne are now counter attacking in an attempt to break through the German lines.  

German VG take up position outside and around the town.

Preliminary bombardment hits the German defenders.  Two of the three VG squads become veterans.

US troops set up their howitzer and begin their attack.

Americans troops sneaking around.

Be very, very quiet we are hunting kitty.

The US light mortar sends a couple down range to find targets.

Low on fuel, the Germans commit their armored support early on.

That light mortar catches these VG by surprise.

Its an all out attack by the airborne.

More men pile forward.

Airborne move into the house with the red roof and the German mortar takes notice.

US airborne troops start running from building to building, drawing fire, but avoiding major casualties.

VG hiding in this building surprise the advancing Americans and give them a hell of a fight.

After two rounds only two yankees remain.

The King Tiger's engine sputters... and stops.

The Airborne in this building take hits from German HE.

The motorbike sprays the Americans with MG fire.

Airborne troops moving at the double close with their objective.

The two survivors from the American squad in the building make a dash to the board edge.  One is cut down by MG fire from an ambushing King Tiger, the other makes it to safety.

I am attempt to stop the Americans from getting a second squad off the board the Engineers role up and spray them in the face with precious petrol, however it fails to break the Americans.

So the next turn they do it again, this time with more success and the airborne run away.

Another squad of Americans snake their way through the town and toward the board edge.

Followed up by a third squad that manages to draw fire form six German squads, but avoiding any major casualties or pinning.

Another squad dashes for the board edge.

Then the third files into the house.

The engineers bring down a bazooka team.

The VG run up to stop the third squad from escaping in the event of a 7th turn, but the game ends as six.  The Americans ended up getting two squads off the board and killing two units for 8 points, while the Germans killed three squads for six points.  American victory.

The game was closer than I thought it would be.  It was nice getting two VG units to turn veteran.  I needed that after blowing most my point on a tank that sat on a road for five turns.  I was excited to defend and force GI Joe to run across the table but he masterfully jumped from building to building and avoided firefights.  This also let him get a little bit of extra movement each turn.  I enjoyed how cinematic the game was with the Americans dodging from house to house breaking through the German lines.  In hindsight I should have focused on killing more of his small units to score points but oh well.  Had a great time with some fun flavored armies and a great scenario.

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