A New Opponent

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A New Opponent

Tuesday evening saw a trip over to Stevenage to take on a new opponent at Bolt Action.

I’ve previously watched Ken playing a couple of times before I started playing Bolt Action and he invited me over for a proper game.

We decided on 1,000 points and I took my US Airborne platoon against his mixture of German Heer & Fallschirmjager.

I took:

  • 1st Lieutenant and mate (Airborne)
  • Sniper Team (Airborne)
  • Bazooka Team (Airborne)
  • 57mm AT Gun (Airborne)
  • 2 x 10-man sections with 4 rifles 4 SMGs one LMG, one BAR and an NCO (Airborne)
  • 1 x 7 man infantry squad with 3 SMGs and 4 rifles (GI)

Ken had a couple of units of Fallschirmjager, a unit of Heer infantry, a Panzer III, sniper team, motorcycle & sidecar with MG, medic and a truck with MG.

My US Airborne Army

We decided not to play a specific scenario but use the game as a learning opportunity, so it was a case of both starting at opposite ends and attempting to destroy as many opposition elements as possible.

We set up units by the draw of a dice, each wanting to see where the other was placing their valuable assets. This was where I made my first error. Ken had put a hill under the green table cover which was right on my far left flank. I didn’t realise that you can’t see over hills and thinking the far left flank gave the best view between the house ruins, I placed my ant-tank gun there. Completely useless as it could only fire at the German far right flank.

Overview at the start of the game, US Airborne nearest the camera

The Germans very quickly entered the rubbled buildings while the Americans had no such cover on their side. The right flank unit advanced towards the wheat field while the centre unit went towards the woods.  The GI unit on the left flank advanced in the open.

The tanks traded shots as did the snipers. Unfortunately, my sniper was taken out very early on in the game.

The First Airborne Squad advances towards the wood
Poor Positioning of the American Anti-tank Gun, right behind a hill
Fallschirmjagers enter the ruins
Germans seek cover behind the wall
The Sherman was immobilised but had 3 turns of shooting before getting wiped out
The 2nd Airborne Unit didn't get as much cover as the Germans opposite

Ken was very helpful during the game, on several occasions when I was about to make a move he said something like “Well, you could do that and this would be the result but if you did this then that would be the result.” and allowed me to change my mind on what orders I was about to give. This was largely due to my lack of knowledge on how the mechanics of the game work, for instance, when I fired on his motorcycle, I had no idea that it has a special ‘recce’ rule which allows it to run away before you can get a shot off, provided it hasn’t already had an order that move.

The German mortar ranged in on the second shot which meant for the rest of the game it only had to roll a two to hit the Sherman, which was eventually destroyed without loss to the German tank.

The American GI unit got taken out from a combination of MG fire from the truck and fire from the German unit on the left right flank.

The Americans did have some fortune when it advanced in the open towards the Fallschirmjager in the centre house ruins; the Germans decided to leave the house and attack the Americans but lost out on the resulting assault die rolls and got wiped out though the paratroopers didn’t last much longer, themselves being wiped out a turn or two later.

The Panzer III's view of the Sherman in its sights
The view from the German left flank
After several shots as a sitting duck, the Sherman eventually cops it
The Germans advance towards the Americans in the field
The American centre advance in a last ditch effort to take casualties
Three Airborne remain for their final assault

So, overall an enjoyable game, even if I did lose. I learnt a couple of new things and also was able to correct a few things that Mark & I have been doing wrong as we learn in our battles at the wargame club.

Looking forward to the next game.

2017-08-03T23:23:00+01:00August 3rd, 2017|Bolt Action, Wargaming, WWII|Comments Off on A New Opponent
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