Monday, 15 June 2015

Bolt Action - turn 1.1

I managed to actually get my WW2 game rolling this weekend. I've decided to use the set up to play test Bolt Action, the WW2 platoon level rules from Warlord Games. I am really after some entry level rules which are simple enough for non-wargamers to drop into and can achieve a result relatively quickly. At some point the intention is also to play test Chain of Command from Too Fat Lardies, but that will need to wait.

I've put together two platoons but have left out any armour, as I just wanted to learn the other rules first. We chose the first of the six scenarios in the book, with the Germans defending their position against a Soviet assault. The Russians rolled successfully for a pre-assault bombardment, and brought their long range artillery down on the Germans' heads. This succeeded in dishing out pin results on three German squads. No bonus for hiding in cottages when Soviet big guns are hitting you!

We commenced the first turn. Squad Schmidt had divided into two groups of six men, one with an MG42. The first squad, with Schmidt in it, was pinned by artillery, but the first die out of the orders cup was used to effect a Rally order and remove the pinned status. Next up, Squad Schneider also tried to Rally, but failed its orders test, and went Down. The Russian artillery was too close for comfort for Schneider and his men.

The first red die out of the bag and the Russian infantry moved onto the table, bringing a squad with an LMG at the Run past the duck pond.

First Soviet squad advances on the German left.


Next up, another Russian die. I had already deployed a two man sniper team into the church tower ahead of the game. Snipers get this special ability. However, as the photo illustrates, they couldn't see much, other than the house where one German squad was hiding (at the end of the row of cottages). I mistakenly applied the hidden advantage (all Germans in this scenario began hidden) to the roll, which meant the sniper missed his shot. He should have fired without it as he is a sniper.

Sniper's eye view from the top of the church tower.


The Germans in the house got the next order, and opened up. They had a pin marker, so should have made a roll to see if they fired, but we forgot that too. Learning experience. The Russians in the church tower were too well hidden to be hit. I also made the mistake of letting the four Germans with rifles shoot, but they were out of the range of the tower, which could only have been raked with MG42 bullets. Speculative shooting, but enough to give away that position to the Russians, dropping its cover bonus to -2.

Church tower seen from the German MG position...


Finally, another squad of Russians moved onto the field. This time the Russian lieutenant and his medical orderly are part of the squad. They inch their way past the church. Their problem is going to be dealing with the MG42 set up in that cottage. Will the Russian sniper team be able to help out? Sadly, my opponent was called away to finish her homework, but we'll try to resume Bolt Action in the near future.

The Soviet LT (fur hat and pistol) urges his men on! Urrah!

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