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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bolt Action - Patch's German Blitzkrieg force for Wintercon 2015

Recently I have revitalized my early war Germans in preparation for an event being held in Canberra, Australia in July 2015 called Wintercon. The first day is a series of three 1000 point games restricted to early war forces and the second day is three 1250 point games with no restrictions. Both days will be using the format rules.  I really like the look of the early war forces and have collected and painted French and Germans from this period so have decided to build a list with both for day one and then fix the paint jobs up.

The German patrol come across an unwary French senior officer.

First army that I am tackling is the jackbooted Germans and to me an early war German list is a fast moving blitzkrieg force.  Light armour, motorbikes and very limited heavy weapon support. I decided to go with the theme of a 1940 - Invasion of France, Kradschützen force that had pushed up beyond the range of guns and even air support and is on a mission to secure a vital crossroads or something similar.

Crusader Miniatures MMG Team with Crusader resin base.

Kradschützen are a really unique type of unit and very rarely used as in order to get a motorbike it is worth five points per man on top of everything else. For those points though you get a movement rate of 12"-24", an escape move that mimics the recce rules and most importantly they look amazing on the table. As well as that, if you have a sidecar mounted they can shoot on an advance and with the option of two SMG's per squad as well as an LMG a unit of six can fire eight shots at 12" or four at 30" or with an advance order that's eight shots at 24" or four at 42" (they are an infantry unit so the LMG gets the extra shot from Hitler's Buzzsaw!).

Mounted squad from Black Tree Design.

So a squad of mounted Kradschützen was a must and with the option to take them dismounted for completeness of theme I will take another four squads of eight (dismounted) to make up the infantry component of my list. Each squad will be standard regular forces with an SMG, LMG and six Rifleman. The dismounted infantry squads are representing squads that have left their motorbikes down the road to fight as infantry whilst the squad still mounted is providing a quick reaction or screening force.

The motorbikes lead the Panzer II down a road.

As the theme is 'fast' I have included only two support options, an Anti-Tank Rifle (ATR) team as well as a Medium Machine Gun (MMG) team, both of which could have easily traveled on motorbikes or small vehicles. The ATR is to provide me with some much needed anti-tank capability for low cost and the MMG is just so iconic I want to use it.

Some German plastics from Warlord Games mixed in with the majority of Crusader Miniatures.

To provide leadership I have picked two junior officers, one Veteran and one regular with the intention of mounting the junior officer in a Kublewagon so that he can man the MMG. The Kubelwagen will basically act as another support team, with the ability to zip around and add pins on enemy units as required. The veteran officer will be moving on foot alongside the dismounted infantry to keep their moral up and their rifles pointed in the right direction.

The standard infantry squad in the force, 8 man - 1 SMG and 1 LMG with the rest rifles.

I have then included two vehicles in the armoured car slot, an MMG motorbike and an 8-RAD. The MMG motorbike is spot on with the theme and can really move fast around the table to add its fire to pin units or plug gaps as required. The 8-RAD is just plain ugly but packs a punch with its light auto-cannon which is the heaviest weapon I will be carrying in the force. In the tank slots are a Panzer I and a Panzer II, both very iconic early war tanks soon to be relegated to rear echelon units but for the invasion of France were perfect fits in this highly mobile light force.

From left top right - 8 -RAD from Warlord Games, Panzer II from Army Group North, Panzer I from Warlord Games and a MMG Bike from BTD.
So all up the force looks like this,

Platoon 1

Second Lieutenant - Regular = 50
Kradschützen Squad (Dismounted) - Regular 8 men, SMG, LMG =  88
Kradschützen Squad (Dismounted) - Regular 8 men, SMG, LMG =  88
Anti-Tank Team - Regular = 30
8-RAD - Regular = 100
Panzer II - Regular = 105

Platoon 2

Second Lietenant - Veteran = 65
Kradschützen Squad (Dismounted) - Regular 8 men, SMG, LMG =  88
Kradschützen Squad (Dismounted) - Regular 8 men, SMG, LMG =  88
Kradschützen Squad (Mounted) - Regular 6 men, 2 x SMG, LMG =  101
Medium Machine Gun - Regular = 50
MMG Motorbike - Regular = 40
Panzer I - Regular = 70
Kublewagon with MMG - Regular = 36

Total = 999 points with 14 order dice


First off the overall tactics will be to put as many mobile units on the table in deployment as possible if the mission calls to split your force, the strength will be on getting up into the opponents middle line as soon as possible to put him on the defensive. With five mobile elements all packing MMG's the aim will be to start putting pins on enemy units, in particular support teams like howitzers, straight away. Make them roll order tests from turn one and be thinking about defending themselves rather than projecting fire power.

A LMG team and an 8-Rad provide covering fire from the hedgerows.
 The three recce units will will lead the push, constantly zipping out to shoot and being a real nuisance while the tanks roll up and my infantry support moves to occupy prime real estate.With any luck I will control the flow of the game with such high movement and make my opponent constantly react to me, lets see how that goes!

Next article will be the French list, the theme for that will be 'Call up the Militia!''.

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