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Monday, August 15, 2016

Bolt Action - AAR: Eastern Front tank battle report

The great Hungarian plain...September 1944 and the Red army steamroller is approaching Budapest. Otherwise known as my mate Ben's gaming room. We decided to play a 1500pt game using a mix of armoured and infantry platoons. We played the 'Tank War' scenario and rolled up 6 objectives, which we took turns placing around the table on what looked like suitably strategic terrain pieces.

Above is Ben's Soviet army. Some big beasties in there in the form of an IS2 and an SU152.

This was my Rohamágyús Üteg, or Hungarian Assault Gun battery. The core being a mix of Zrinyi Assault Howitzers and Hetzer tank hunters. The Zrinyi is a unique looking vehicle, a Hungarian design based off the Turan tank hull and incorporating a 105mm (medium) howitzer. It was the first game for my vehicles from the Mad Bob Miniatures Kickstarter, after finally painting them all.

The mission begins with no units on the table so it's straight into pulling order dice from the bag. First the Soviets SMG squad arrives via truck to advance on the large farmhouse and nearby objective.

Next a squad of 12 inexperienced Soviet riflemen runs on to occupy a trench position also next to an objective in the Soviet centre.

The first Hungarian infantry arrive. These inexperienced militia make straight for hard cover as Soviet HE lands close by.

The battery of 3 Zrinyi assault howitzers arrive and take up position behind the high ground, their low silhouette granting them hard cover. Their medium howitzers begin to range in on the Soviet infantry occupying the trench system.

The giant SU-152 rolls on to back up it's little brothers.

A view of the Hungarian left flank.

Overhead view of the table and two armies near the end of turn one, battle lines are drawn!

A pair of Hungarian Nimrod Self Propelled AA guns arrive one after the other. Training their heavy autocannons on the distant pair of Soviet T-70 tanks. They both hit the lead tank but fail to penetrate its armour.

The T-70 is pinned twice though.

More Soviet guns arrive in the form of a Katyusha and SU-76.

The IS-2 arrives last and heads for the objective next to the large farmstead.

Turn two and the Zrinyi battery combines it's efforts to bombard the Soviet trench again...

...but all three guns fail to range in!

Meanwhile some veteran Hungarian infantry move through cover toward an objective on the high ground in the center.

The Soviet right flank is a formidable gun line.

The Soviet T-34/85 rolls up to help secure the objective in front of the trench, in case the Hungarians howitzers do range in on the inexperienced squad.

Having shut down the Soviet T-70 on the flank with 4 pins but failing to penetrate it's armour of 8, the Nimrods re-deploy up to the high ground to look for softer targets.

That's one pinned  T-70!

The Zrinyi battery continues its bombardment but again none of them range in...

The Hungarian inexperienced militia advance through cover toward the central objective on the high ground, but make sure not to block the Zrinyi batterys line of fire.

Hungarian Assault Pioneers with a flamethrower run up the right flank toward the farmstead.

Matched by the Soviet SMG squad, but neither have the movement to enter the building.

The IS-2 rolls up onto some higher ground and spots the Hungarian pioneers...rolling a 6 to hit them even in cover!

The squad is annihilated by the HE shell.

The Soviet center holds the objective firmly.

The SU-152 lands a heavy howitzer shell on the militia, also with a 6 to hit! Luckily they had chosen to go Down and only lose 4 squad members.

Having survived 2 rounds of shooting form a pair of Hetzers the IS-2 turns it's attention to them...

And lights one up, destroyed!

To press the advantage, the Soviet heavy armour begins to roll forward, the central objective in it's sights.

One Zrinyi takes a heavy howitzer hit from the SU-152 as it advances and cops 6 pins! The Zrinyis have failed to range in but are now on a 2+ for next turn...

A Nimrod destroys the Katyusha with its heavy autocannon.

The soft skin of the truck no match for +3 pen.

HE rains down again, this time wiping out the Hungarian veterans. Even going down does not save them.

Finally the Hungarian assault guns medium howitzers begin to range in, taking out 9 of the 12 Soviet riflemen...

But the survivors display insane courage and roll a double 1 for morale! (the farmstead terrain piece is also a dice tower.)

Not all goes the Soviet way though, as the T-34/85 FUBARs and reverses in panic.

It's turn 6 and both the Hungarians and Soviets have 3 objectives each. But the Hungarians are barely holding onto the central objective as the SU-152 bears down on the inexperienced Hungarian militia.

The unpinned T-70 attempts revenge but misses it's shot.

The pair of Nimrods send their cannon shells down range in support of the infantry and put multiple pins on the SU-152, shutting it down just in time.

3 pins stops the Soviet monster.

But the Hungarians are surrounded by threats!

We run out of time as it was Sunday afternoon and the wives are calling us for dinner, ignorant that the Hungarian front hangs in the balance! The game is a draw, but one more turn and these poor militia would have most certainly not been able to hold off the tide of Red Army armour that's almost on top of them. It was a bloody battle and the HE was wiping out anything without 3 inches of steel armour. The game was in the balance up until the Soviets devastating round of fire knocked out several Hungarian units by rolling those 6's to hit. Meanwhile the Hungarian assault guns really failed to do much, no more sitting back and using indirect fire next battle!

By Bryan

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