Well that was interesting, it was a game that I don’t think my opponent and I will forget in a hurry… Bolt Action is always fun against the right opponent and mine this time is definitely the right opponent, like me he hates the idea of tournament play and big horrible nasty armies built with just winning in mind rather than having fun.
We both like to play Bolt Action with small infantry-based armies with a couple of small armoured cars or tiny tanks in support, you won’t often see any of the big guns on the table when we are playing.
I do have an early war Panzer IV Ausf D with two turrets one with the short 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 and one with the long barrel 7.5 cm KwK 40 gun fitted and I have a late war Panzer III Ausf L if I need slightly bigger tanks, but I only use those if I have lots of points to build my list with and I am playing a bigger game, I just find that when you have bigger tanks on the table it normally ends up with a separate tank battle and an infantry battle and not just one battle, if that makes sense.
But that is just my opinion and probably not worth much.
We again used some of my opponents lovely scenery for the game, and this time we played on a fairly open table for a change with no buildings, although the low walls and hedges gave lots of good light and heavy cover, and there were plenty of line-of-sight blocking trees as well.
We decided to give just a small objective to the battle which was simply to hold the junction of the roads… I have to say now that this did give me an advantage over my opponent as it was closer to my side of the table which meant I would get to it quicker than he would.
The US had a good selection of troops including one unit of Paratroopers in a M3 White Scout car and even one unit of inexperienced troops, these plus the other two US squads ( one was in a M3 Half Track ) were supported by a medium machinegun team, a medium mortar with spotter, a nasty sniper!!! ( I hate snipers )
For heavy support or ‘not so’ heavy support the US had a light anti-tank gun with a tow and a Stuart.
For the German force I had five full squads of Heer Grenadiers, one of these was Veteran, in support I had two medium machine guns, a medium mortar with a spotter.
And for my “heavy support” I had a SdKfz 222 light armoured car and an old Panzer II used in this game as a Ausf L ‘Luchs’ this meant the Germans had some big guns in the battle… ok two light autocannons!!
Luckily all my squads had one Panzerfaust… it was argued that this was overkill for the small US stuff on the table, my counter argument was that for the 25 points ( the cost of the five Panzerfausts ) I couldn’t get anything else to deal with any possible US vehicles my opponent would bring to the battle, also with my dice rolling it meant I would probably need about twenty Panzerfausts before they would be any sort of threat ( more about my dice rolling later )
We did a simple roll onto the table meeting engagement on turn one, both sides moved on as far in as they could get, with the US deploying both the Stuart and the anti-tank gun on the road to deal with my very scary Panzer II 😉
As my little tank came onto the table it fired off its turret machinegun at a squad of US troops in the field opposite and managed to kill one!
The US Paratroopers drove up to the hill on my right in their scout car followed by a machinegun team.
The US half track moved out to the left of the table behind a walled field and a squad of troops got out gaining cover from a stone wall.
The inexperienced troops moved forward to the side of the hill in the centre of their side of the table with their commander close by, the US sniper moved up to that hill heading towards the trees at the top.
My troops all moved forward into positions behind cover while waiting to see where the US were deploying, my armoured car sat behind them as well unsure of which direction to go at this point, but my main push was towards the road junction.
Turn two saw much of the same, most units on both sides pushed forward toward each other and of course the road junction.
As the Scout Car carrying the Paratroopers moved up onto the hill a unit of my Grenadiers hit it with their Panzerfaust and blew one of its tracks off immobilising it, that was a good start although that Scout Car was still going to be a pain with its pintle mounted machine gun.
My spotter saw the Scout Car on the hill and called in a mortar round to try and take it out… well strike one Scout Car!!!!!
My little tank hit the US troops who were still in the open in the field opposite, pouring machinegun fire into them, but as they were keeping their heads down and hugging the ground only one more of them died.
One of my machinegun teams saw them as well and it also poured more fire into them killing another one.
Then the US anti-tank gun zeroed in on my Panzer II and took careful aim…. And missed!! Not to be left out the Stuart aimed at my tank as well and missed also!
I moved a squad of Grenadiers over the hill on my left and started to moved down towards the road firing at the US squad by the walled field opposite managing to kill one US soldier.
The US machinegun team moved forward into the same field and got ready to give supporting fire around the road junction.
Turn three and my Spotter saw the US Paratroopers moving from behind the now burning Scout Car and decided that they were a threat that needed to be dealt with… another on target mortar shell, my spotter was obviously very experienced and knew exactly what he was doing.
At this point I felt bad and had to apologise for my ridiculous dice rolling so far in this game, two first time sixes for my mortar and lots of shots hitting US troops when needing sevens ( sixes and fours ) to make matters worse my opponent had been rolling really badly so far in the game, only managing a pin or two of my units here and there.
My troops at the hedge by the junction came under fire from a few US units, mortar shells were falling around them and the machinegun in the walled field killed a Grenadier in the walled field on my side of the road.
This squad of Grenadiers and my machinegun team and the 222 returned fire killing all the machinegun team!!
What was happening with my dice rolling? I was not used to this, I have never seen so many sixes being rolled before… had someone stollen all the ones from my dice?
The US sniper saw my Panzerschreck team and took out the main firer, the loader decided it would be in his best interests if he moved back behind a wall and get to safety leaving the Panzerschreck on the ground… did I mention that I hate snipers?
The US anti-tank gun fired again at my little tank and only managed to immobilise it, and then did no damage to its turret, I could live with that as my tank had no intentions of moving from where it was.
The Stuart also fired at my tank but again it missed… I didn’t laugh, honest.
I think that the US were thinking about going back to the pub for a few pints at this point as they were not having any luck at all.
Turn four and more pins were put on the US troops in the field opposite my tank, this time they were hit with my machinegun team taking out one more of their number.
The US Paratroopers moved slowly down the hill towards the junction firing on my troops and they came, killing one.
In reply my tank hit them with a hail of machine bullets taking out another one, then my machinegun team thought they would join in the fun but only managed to put another pin on the unit.
My squad of Veteran Grenadiers wanted to fire on the Paratroopers as well, but were a little bit shaken and went down instead of firing, my first bad roll of the game! They only had one pin as well, but I rolled a ten ☹️
Then my squad of Grenadiers in the walled field by the junction decided that they were taking too many hits and felt it would be wise to get down behind the wall and hide!! My second bad roll ☹️
Then the Stuart moved forward along the road and pushed through the low hedge and moved into the field deciding it was time to move towards the junction to at least try and dispute the objective, it fired at my tank again but missed.
The US anti-tank gun fired again at my tank this time stunning its crew and jamming the little tanks turret, that was ok as it was still able to fire and it was facing towards the US Paratroopers 😉
Well we had one more turn before we decided to call it a night, with my Germans claiming a slight victory over the US as I did have more troops at the junction than my opponent and we felt that the most he could hope for was a draw if he moved a unit or two closer to the junction to dispute control.
Well that was a very unusual game for me, I had a steady run of good to extremely good dice rolling compared to my opponents awful dice rolling, I did start to get some bad rolls by the end of the game but it was far too late to make much difference to the outcome.
I think we both still had fun, as there were plenty of laughs and banter going on all through the battle.
The one thing that I got again from the rules is that I really really do hate snipers, they are a little bit broken for my liking, far too deadly and not that easy to deal with… I guess I could have fired everything I could at the sniper for a turn to get rid of him, but then that would have taken too many units away from hitting other targets.
And of course, with my normal dice rolling it would not be guaranteed that I could have killed him, I suppose I could have tried to put some pins on him to put him off his aim, oh well maybe next time.
Still a win for my Germans… possibly their first ever!!
I can’t wait to see if I can manage another win soon.