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Monday, July 25, 2016

Bolt Action - AAR: Australian vs. Hungarians, Envelopment

Recently I had a 1000 point game against a friend of mine named Mikey and his Australians. I was using my Hungarians, although neither of us used the BAA PDFs for these forces (both of our army lists were older ones we had written up on Easy Army before either PDF had been released). We randomly rolled which scenario we would play from the rulebook missions and got Envelopment. I got the choice and decided to be the attacker for a change, leaving Mikey to defend. The table was set, the battle lines drawn and little did we know, but Bolt Action was definitely set to happen in this game.

The first 12" of either side of the table had very little in the way of hard cover, so my opponent deployed quite far forward, planning on moving up to the hard cover and trying to hold me back, as I tried to run my army of his table edge. I decided to not outflank with anything, as it's a bit of a lame way to try and win Envelopment, so I bought everything on in the first wave. We rolled for the prep bombardment and I did a smattering of pins and killed a single Commando with the artillery fire.

Turn 1 begun, with one of my Nimrod's rolling onto the table and sighting up the enemy Crusader. In a classical example of why I rate the Nimrod so highly, it put two rounds into the Crusader, with one punching straight into the crew compartment, knocking out the tank with the opening shots of the game.

With my second order dice, I advanced my second Nimrod onto the table and fired on the Matilda. With a 72" range, I was within short range, meaning no penetration penalty. I hit again, and scored a superficial damage result, which set the Matilda on fire. Mikey passed his moral check, but he now had a couple of pins on his Matilda and had already lost his Crusader. Poseidon had forsaken him.

To add insult to injury, my Panzer 38(t) then advanced onto the board and fired at the Matilda. The shot went wide but it was a further threat for the poor Matilda to face.

The Australian infantry started to move onto their right flank, hoping to get into the cover of the village and get some protection from the marauding Hungarian armour.

My two Toldi I tanks, seeing most of the Australian anti-armour being dealt with, put their foot down and ran across the table, planning to make a swift exit and secure me a score of victory points.

The Hungarian infantry also moved on, with one squad following the Toldis. The others moved for the safety that the village provided.

At the end of the last turn, Mikey called down his artillery strike (from his free British Artillery Observer) right next to my Nimrods and Panzer 38(t). Well Poseidon wasn't finished with him yet, as at the start of turn 2, he rolled a dread 1 for his artillery!

I dropped the artillery next to his troops in the middle, making sure I got the Matilda in there as well. It only took 1 more pin but the veteran squad nearby took a heavy howitzer hit and were evaporated into a red mist.

This left Mikey's middle in serious trouble. With my first two order dice, I advanced both my Panzer 38(t) and my Nimrod, but with my luck finally subsiding a bit, both missed the Matilda with their shots.

Meanwhile, the Toldis advanced onto the road in the middle of the board and fired their co-axial MMGs at the Australian infantry on the flank with the burning Crusader.

The Matilda crew managed to quell their fears and shoot the Nimrod. The round hit and blew off the left-hand tracks, grinding the AA gun to a halt.

The Hungarian infantry continued to run after the Toldi tanks, using them for cover as they crossed the table.

The veteran Australians on the far flank fired off some long range shots at them, but it was ineffective.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Hungarian infantry swarmed into the buildings in the village.

The Australian Commando unit that took 2 pins in the prep bombardment, failed their second order check and remained cowering at the back of the table.

My medium mortar had moved onto my right flank to help cover the advance up the middle and started ranging in on the veteran Australians opposite them.

The Australians moved another veteran squad into the last building in the village and as turn 2 came to a close, it was clear that the Hungarians were very aggressively pushing across the table.

Turn 3 begun with me getting the first order die again, and so the Panzer 38(t) advanced and bounced a shot of the Matilda's iron hide.

The Australian mortar team (using their spotter hiding in the ruins in the center of the table) fired on the immobilised Nimrod, hoping to eventually range in on it, Mikey rolled a 6 and dropped a round straight into the open fighting compartment. With a large explosion, the Nimrod was torn apart.

The Matilda crew emboldened by the mortar and the Australian officer hiding behind it (or perhaps using the tank phone?), fired on the 38(t) but the shot was rushed and it missed.

One of the Toldis advanced and sprayed the ruins with the hiding Australian sniper team and mortar spotter, but failed to kill anyone.

The Hungarian infantry with the Toldis also moved forward, firing on the ruins, killing the sniper team.

The other Toldi advanced firing at the Australians, who then proceeded to assault it. Lacking any anti-tank weapons, their assault failed and they were forced to pull back.

In the village, the Australians in the building saw the Hungarian officer advancing down an alley between the opposite houses. Opening up with their Bren, they cut down the unaware officers in a hail of fire.

As turn 3 was ending, I moved up my Nimrod who missed his shots, as well as my second lieutenant behind it and a squad of regular infantry made a run across the road. My plan was to get on the side of the building without any firing ports on it.

This was the table at the start of turn 4. My entire army was either on the half-way line or within a few inches of it. Things were looking grim for the Australians to hold off the Hungarian exodus.

Again, I got first order die and advanced the Panzer 38(t) towards the Matilda. The thing now seemed impenetrable as the Panzer's 37mm round glanced off the hull. Meanwhile, my infantry squad ran around to the blind side of the building that held the Australians in it.

The Australians on the other flank, assaulted the Toldi I again and actually managed to shake up the crew, who were worried if they should be concerned by the banging on the hull of their small tank.

Meanwhile, the other Toldi I fired an anti-tank rifle round into the side of the Matilda, hoping to pin the crew into submission.

For the fourth turn in a row, these Australian Commandos failed their order check. They had decided it was not worth it.

More Hungarians begun to surround the Australians in the village...

... who not wanting to be trapped, launched an assault on one of the Hungarian squads but the Hungarians fought back ferociously and quickly beat the Australians into submission.

The Hungarians on the other side, moved up and hosed down the Australians crawling over the Toldi I, leaving only 2 men alive and the nearby Australian Artillery Observer.

At the start of turn 5, Hungarian infantry advanced and begun to put fire into the Australian mortar who was now isolated on the far flank. One fluke shot hit the mortar tube, destroying it and sent the crewmen packing as they were now defenceless.

With turns starting to run out, I started to make a move to getting off the table. One Toldi advanced while the nearby infantry moved up and finished off the veterans. Meanwhile the shaken Toldi failed its order check and started to back up.

Having secured the village, I began to run my other units up. The Matilda failed it's order check, now on 5 pins, but couldn't back up because of the officer behind it.

Seizing the opportunity, my remaining Nimrod advanced past the Matilda and shot it point blank in the rear. As expected, it finished off the job its comrade had started on turn 1 and killed the Australian tank.

The Australian Commandos, seeing the Toldi I making it's move to escape, used Up and At 'Em to assault it (luckily not having to pass an order check to do so, haha). The assault failed, but they consolidated to form a human roadblock.

With the Matilda dead, the Panzer 38(t) drove around it and fired it's co-axial MMG at the Australian officer, gunning him down.

As turn 5 ended, even though the last few Australians were being totally overrun Mikey refused to submit, happy to play the game out to the likely conclusion.

This is the other side of the battlefield, where you can see my mortar team who from turn 3 had been running across the table as he was devoid of any real targets to fire at.

Turn 6 began with a suicide charge from the Observer. Ignoring him, my Toldi I advanced, firing on the Commandos in my way.

The other Toldi I and the Nimrod also opened fire on the Commandos, gunning down a handful of them, leaving only 3.

Who were then assaulted and killed by the infantry squad nearby.

Meanwhile, with no Australians left on the other side, a large contingent of Hungarian troops exited the table.

Including my mortar team, who managed to run across the entire table.

We rolled and got a turn 7. My Toldi tried to kill the last remaining Australian model, the Artillery Observer, but failed.

So I sent the second one to finish him as my last squad and Nimrod left the table.

The second Toldi also failed and so the game ended with a single Australian Observer left on the table, along with 2 Toldi I tanks.

The final score was 40 to 4, but I really have to hand it to my opponent. Despite the terrible luck in the opening turns he wanted to play the game through and never once got upset that the game was going terribly for him. Because of his good sportsmanship, we had a great game with some funny moments, even if the result was very lopsided. This is what gaming should be able. Having fun with friends, regardless of the actual result of who won what!

"Anf" is a long-time gamer from Down Under, who currently focuses his hobby time on Bolt Action.
With an equal love of  rockets and Ice Hockey, he constantly explores weird and wonderful army lists
in his never-ending quest to collect them all.

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