I had a Bolt Action game at my club last night using my Germans, it was going to be four people playing so I split my 1,000 points into small units and a couple of little vehicles, my opponent did a similar list.
My opponent brought down some of his lovely scenery for the game, so the battle would be taking place somewhere in Spain… possibly!
There is always one thing I can guarantee when playing against him is that you will always be fighting on lovely scenery, he is like me in that visually the game has got to look good, it can put me off a game and even a rule set if the table doesn’t look “realistic” or at the very least something that looks “nice”
I have seen so many games where the players measure out where the scenery is placed so that the table does not give one side or the other an advantage, or because the rules say that is how the buildings and scenery are to be placed etc. etc. mainly for a sci-fi game that I won’t mention!!
I have said to players I can imagine the huge battleships above the planet flying around all day looking for the perfectly symmetrical area that they want to fight their battle on and then finally saying no, we can’t fight here the terrain isn’t right!!! 😮
Sorry my little rant is over and back to the game… on the lovely non symmetrical terrain with probably a few things that give one side a slight advantage over the other.
Well the table was set up and we were ready to play, we both had 12 dice each for 1,000 points I didn’t think that was too bad, but then my opponent said that he had wanted to try something just a little different than the normal dice activation.
He suggested like Test of Honour we should add three black counters ( in this case black dice ) to the two forces order dice, so when we draw the first one this would allow for one side ( the side that didn’t activate last ) to remove up to D3 pins from their force, the second dice would be the same and when the last dice is drawn they would be able to remove the D3 pins as normal but the turn would also end.
This would add a little uncertainty to the game on top of the normal uncertainty of drawing action dice.
So with these dice added we started turn one…
The first turn saw both sides moving their figures and vehicles on cautiously keeping behind cover when possible.
The little Stuart took a long range shot at the German Sd. Kfz 222 but only managed to scratch off a little of its paint from the turret.
This was enough to persuade the crew to move back and get to a safer place!
I have to say at this point that during this game we saw some of the most ridiculous dice rolling, lots and lots of poor rolling on both sides missing easy shots and we also saw some silly accurate dice rolling, we saw a large number of 6’s rolled during the game from the American side of the table ( although I did have one lucky roll of a 6 during the game 😉 but I will talk about that later )
Turn two and the next several turns, shots went back and forth and we did a lot of moving backwards and forwards not really getting anywhere, the Americans got to their side of the road and didn’t really come any further except at the far end by the hill.
Here one German unit came forward and advanced up towards the hill and with the help of it’s armour car in support took out one German rifle squad.
They then advanced onwards up the hill to attack the Germans waiting there, these included one infantry squad, the motor team’s spotter, an HMG team and the Sd. Kfz 222 which had parked at the bottom of the hill for safety.
The spotter called the mortar team and gave the US armoured cars position, but they could find the range of the moving vehicle, the crew in the armoured car decided they would be better off moving away from the area so they moved back behind the stone wall that surrounded the small field at that end of the table.
What this meant was the US infantry squad now found it had no support at all which meant the Germans by the hill had no real chance of surviving, even running away they would be slaughtered in the open ground so they decided that they would die like heroes and got the order to charge into the German just over the peak of the hill… and failed their order test ( they had a pin ) and went down… they never got up.
The Panzerschreck team moved to fire over a destroyed wall and took a shot at the distant Stuart, and managed get a hit and set it on fire, but they were very disappointed when the fire fizzled out and the crew got back in the little tank.
The Panzerschreck team because the must kill unit in the German force, and the loader fell to a bust of machinegun fire, but the Panzerschreck was still in the fight, it managed to get off one more shot but that went wide of the mark, the next turn he was taken out by the American sniper.
At the other end of the table a unit of US Veterans managed to get behind a small farm outbuilding but once they saw the Panzer II and the unit of German infantry that were there, they decided that they were going to hide and keep out of sight.
The American light mortar had obviously been practising a lot and were extremely accurate and had taken out most of one unit of German infantry and then decided to take out all the crew of the small Pak 36 anti-tank gun with their first shot! 🤬
That mortar hit twice during the game by rolling a 6 on the first shot!!
All of the German units tried to push forward in different places but could not get across the road, or if they did they had to pull back fairly quickly because of heavy US shooting.
The Panzer II took a hit at long range from the US armoured car and a small fire broke out on board, after a few seconds of panic from the German tank crew realised that the fire had gone out so quickly got back in their tank.
At his point in the battle the score was three / one to the Americans, the Germans were in trouble but darkness was coming and soon the fighting would be over for this day… actually it was already evening and it was getting late so we decided that we would have one more turn and then call it a night.
The first thing I did was turn the turret of the little Panzer II and fired my light autocannon at the Veteran transport… and it burst into flames and was destroyed.
After seeing their transport being destroyed the US Veteran infantry moved out from cover and ran into the road shooting at what was left of a German infantry squad in the field by the road, only managing to kill two, the remaining Germans held their ground.
The US Stuart decided it would stay where it was and not move forward to hit the German infantry squad again.
The German machinegun team took some more shots from a US halftrack as it moved out from the trees, in answer a squad of German infantry moved forward and destroyed the halftrack with a Panzerfaust.
This unit was then almost wiped out by a US squad in the field at the far end of the table, the last man wasn’t bothered he stayed to fight.
And that was that, the fighting was over and it time to go home…
We ended the game with four points each!!!! The Germans came back to snatch the victory from the Americans and get a draw.
What a great game that was! We had so much fun, the game had excitement and tension and lots of silliness!
The extra dice being added to the game really did add a little extra to the turns, I think this will be something I would like to add in my future games.
Both sides rolled some awful dice during the game but both sides also found that excellent roll when needed so it sort of evened out during the game, which was great.
I think that the Americans probably should have won that battle, they got an early lead and the Germans just couldn’t get close to them to make much of a difference, but all in the last two turns the Germans pulled it back.
I think that the American players held back a little at the end, but then realised their mistake they tried to push forward shooting but by then I think it was a little too late.
Either way it was a fun game and I can’t wait for the next one.