Thursday, 14 July 2016

Battle Report: 2500 Points of British Versus Germans in Bolt Action

On Monday night of this week, I found myself at Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge (Ontario, Canada for my readers from around the World) playing a 2500 Point game of Bolt Action. For this game, we had four players with two players fielding 1000 points and two players fielding 1500 points. The table was set up as pictured below. We played on a 4' by 8' space for this game and almost all of the buildings on the table are by Plast Craft Games. I love those products.


The armies brought to the table are pictured below.

This is my Army. It is a British Army Totaling nearly 1000 points. Everyone in my army is a Veteran. It consists of one Sherman V, three Bren Carriers with an extra LMG each (all used as transports), two 5 man infantry squads (3 SMGs and 2 Rifles), a Flame Thrower Team, a First Lieutenant and his assistant, a Medic and a Forward Observer and his assistant (being the second observer in the combined army, I paid the points for this unit). 

This is Carl's 1500 point British Army. He brought to the table a Churchill AVRE, A Firefly, and an M5 Transport for his vehicles and a couple of infantry squads with a forward observer and Commander. He also has a squad or two of commandos. 
In total, Carl and I brought 2500 points worth of British units in three Platoons. Our opponents, brought 2500 points of German forces broken up into four platoons. This allowed our opponent to field four tanks and an artillery gun. When I saw the amount of heavy guns coming to the table, I figured that my carriers were in trouble.

Dave brought to the table a few platoons of regular infantry and one platoon of heavily armed SS Veterans. He also brought a medium mortar team, an MMG team, a transport for their commander and a Jagdpanther. In total, there is 1000 points on this tray.

Jeremy, the store owner, loaned his army out to a new person that showed up Monday night. The new person did not have their own army but was really happy to play. To introduce him to the game, he got to field 1500 points of well painted Germans across three platoons. How many people get to start Bolt Action off like that?! That is one of the many reasons that I really like Forbes Hobbies. Each of the three platoons have 2 units of 5 to 6 lightly armed soldiers. He was also able to field a PaK40 (we downgraded to a PaK38 to allow him to move the gun on the field without a transport), a mortar team and an MMG team. All of his infantry and guns were Regulars while his tanks were all Inexperienced. For Tanks, they had a StuG, Hetzer and a Panzer IV.  
We then diced off for the mission and rolled Envelopment. We determined that the Germans would be the attackers, which is too bad because my list is fairly mechanized and I would have enjoyed attacking. In Envelopment, the attacker must make it through the enemy's deployment zone and off the board. For the attackers, 3 points are given for each unit that manages to escape, 2 points for each unit in the enemy's deployment zone and 1 point for each enemy unit killed. The defender gets 2 points for every attacking unit that they kill. The attacker starts off the board and the defender nominated half their forces to be in reserve. The British Deployment looked as follows...

A lone carrier unit with infantry on-board was deployed in the middle of the board. 

Infantry was deployed behind a hedge line. 

A tank was deployed hidden in the forest. 

And infantry were stationed near by to defend the tank. 

My forward observer was deployed in the tower of the church. 

The other carrier (with more infantry on-board), the AVRE and a squad of infantry were deployed on the right flank of the table. 
The Germans managed to get a preparatory bombardment on the British. Nearly everything on the British side (except for the two universal carriers) received pin markers from the guns going off. The British spent most of the first round rallying troops and the carriers fired shots in the windows of houses trying to hit the German spotters to no avail. By the end of the first turn, the British were facing the following...

Two tanks entered on the road with infantry following closely. 

Nearby the PaK38 and a unit of troops were brought on.

Along the back middle of the board, tons of troops were brought on. The enemy brought on all of their troops in their first wave. The defenders held plenty of their forces off the board to start.

More troops, an MMG team and a Mortar team.

The Jagdpanther and more troops. 

The Hetzer and two more troops deployed on the left side of the board.
That is how the first turn ended. Right off the top of turn 2 I took my first casualty. The Germans destroyed one of my Universal Carriers with a lucky Mortar shot. I also lost two out of the five soldiers inside that carrier.

This Mortar team fired a lucky mortar shot that killed one of my carriers. 

Three of the  passengers survived and took cover against the hedge row. 

I called in an artillary strike right on that coin. Most of the units around it have either already moved or were placed on Overwatch. Our firefly got a hit on the Panzer IV, resulting in a couple of pin markers.


The Jagdpanther is not moving and we are going no where near its firing arc. 

My carrier engages their incoming troops. 

The Firefly gets reinforcements but is pretty much afraid of moving due to the Panzer IV and PaK38 trained on it. They stay in the woods.
At the end of Turn 2, the British have a lot of enemies running across the field at them. The artillery honed in and placed many pin markers on the German tanks and troops.


In turn three our firefly takes out their Panzer IV.

All the units around this area are fairly well pinned due to the earlier bombardment.

My observer is now acting as a sniper.

And kills a man from that unit behind the fence. 
Our second Observer in the woods calls in a barrage but gets gunned down himself. Our half track moves out but gets blown up by the PaK38 and the Flame Thrower team inside dies. It has not been a good turn for us on this side of the table. 

We are getting plenty of pins on this team and they are wiped out by our commandos taking them on in close combat. Charge!

A close up of my troops. This squad is down to just two guys.

These guys are advancing up to support my two guys that lost their carrier. 

A great shot from the AVRE. This vehicle has been very ineffective this game. 

Finally it was past midnight and we had to call the game due to running out of time. These gatherings are a social evening for us. If we hadn't of spent the first two hours talking, we might have gotten through the game. We were also teaching the game to a new guy. That said, we aren't playing too competitively so no one was too bothered that we ran out of time. 
The game ended in a draw. The Germans killed four British units and the British killed two units of Germans. No German units got across the board. Overall, we all had a good time and it was great to have a new guy come out to play.

The store owner plans to run a Bolt Action Campaign soon, so anyone in South Western Ontario - check out Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge. It promises to be a great time and the more players the better.

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