Bolt Action AAR - "Hunting the Stuka"

A bolt action After action report. British Paratroopers Vs. German Wehrmacht. This was a test mission to see if the scenario would work and give a fair and balanced game. The scenario was written for the Bolt action ruleset and designed to be played in 28mm scale, but the mission could quite easily be played in another ruleset and scale. We played this mission at the West Coast Gamers  group in workington. Unfortunately, it was the Clubs AGM, so we lost a little bit of time at the start of the night and only got 6 turns played (the aim of this mission is to play 10 turns), but we still had a good game. This mission is supposed to be a bit of fun, It is LOOSELY based around December 1944, and the Place I picked to write about the mission was Roermond. Other than that, everything about this mission is completely made up. I just like to write a little background to add some flavour to the game! The mission is as follows.

German Briefing: operation faustdick.

The allied advance is faltering under the might of the Fuhrur’s great army! It is your duty to continue this great victory and push back the invaders. Hauptmann (captain) Von Kluge, Kompaniefuhrer in the area surrounding Roermond is tasked with supporting German Armoured defenses by use of the Stuka zu fuss. Given one infantry kompanie, with a under-strength Panzer support. Field marshal Montgomery marches on us with his XXX corps. The Stuka zu fuss will stall his advance long enough to bring up {anzer support if used correctly. They are in short supply so guard it well. Firing from the relative safety, your kompanie of infantry and Panzer support should be more than sufficient to take care of the XXX corps tanks and bring Field marshal Montgomery to his knees! Victory conditions. Keep the Stuka zu fuss operational for 10 turns. Repel any force that comes in range (destroy the enemy) Draw: enemy wiped out but stuka destroyed Lose: Stuka destroyed & enemy force unbroken Starting forces. Two units (player choice) are left in reserve. These can come on any time after turn 4. Panzer 4 must also be left in reserve. This may come on as soon as the first successful reserve roll has been made (no need to roll for the P.iv)  

British Briefing: Operation “Silence the cow”

Lieutenant Brian Browne has been passed orders from Battalion HQ to take out a mobile artillery platform that’s been causing monty a spot of bother. It’s understood that jerry believes he can still win this war, and is getting sloppy with confidence. Jerry’s sent forward a Stuka zu fuss with a single company of men to protect it, firing from the fields surrounding Roermond. Your mission is to route out this blighter and send him packing! Destroy the bugger and it’ll be a weight of Monty’s mind. You’ve been issued with a single Cromwell tank to support your platoons advance, as we believe they could have some light support. We’d love to give you more but unfortunately everything has to assist XXX corps advance. Victory conditions: Destroy the Stuka zu fuss within 10 turns draw: Break the enemy, but stuka survives. Lose: Fail to both drive off the enemy, and kill the stuka. Starting forces. All British forces start on the table.   Game Setup: As per the map below, Germans set up in the lower left corner (up to the hedge line that extends to the top left), and British in the top right corner.
the table

the table

  The forces are as follows:
British
unit rating number points
HQ - Leuitenant Veteran 90
Trooper Veteran (x2) 26
113
Medic Veteran 30
Trooper Veteran (x2) 26
56
Forward Observation officer Regular FREE
troopers Regular (x2) 20
20
Paratroopers Veteran (x8) 114
Sub machine guns (x3) 9
LMG (x1) 20
AT grenades (x8) 16
158
Paratroopers Veteran (x8) 114
Sub machine guns (x3) 9
LMG (x1) 20
AT grenades (x8) 16
158
Paratroopers Veteran (x8) 114
Sub machine guns (x3) 9
LMG (x1) 20
AT grenades (x8) 16
158
MMG Veteran (x1) 65
Piat Team Veteran (x1) 52
Sniper Team Veteran (x1) 65
Medium Mortar team Veteran (x1) 65
75mm howitzer Veteran (x1) 66
Cromwell Medium Tank Veteran (x1) 246
Jeep (HMG) Veteran (x1) 50
Jeep (HMG) Veteran (x1) 50
Total 1322
Germans      
unit rating number points
HQ - captain Veteran 125
Trooper Veteran (x2) 26
151
Infantry squad Regular (x10) 100
LMG (x1) 20
SMG (x2) 6
126
Infantry squad Regular (x10) 100
LMG (x1) 20
SMG (x2) 6
126
Infantry squad Regular (x10) 100
LMG (x1) 20
SMG (x2) 6
126
Volks grenadiers Inexperienced (x5) 60
Assualt rifles (x5) 30
90
MMG Regular (x1) 50
Panzershrek Regular (x1) 80
Sniper Team Regular (x1) 50
Medium Mortar team Regular (x1) 50
Panzer IV Veteran (x1) 282
SDKFZ222 Regular (x1) 95
Panzershrek Regular (x1) 80
Goliath (+ tow) Regular (x1) 85
Total 1391
  House rules:  Normal WCG’s house rules: The “Dice of doom!” two extra orders dice are put in the bag, the first one to be pulled out is the “warning” that the turn could end. The second dice of doom ends the turn at that point. This could mean that some units on the table do not get an order this turn. Indirect fire weapons. We use a typical scatter dice (D6, with 4 arrows and two hits) and a "missfire" die (D6 with faces "misfire, 2,4,6,8,10) to determine if an indirect fire weapon hits. The template is moved from the aiming point to whereever the scatter dice indicates. the shot is always resolved. It could land on nothing, it could land on your own men! (which can be a lesson in why “danger close” got it’s name!) Moral: when a unit is reduced to one man, he flees the table. He’s not considered an effective fighting unit and takes no furthur part in the game.

Turn 1:

British dice spotter runs through the woods German - section advances German - sniper team advances British - hmg runs through the woods First dice of doom German - books grenadiers advance German - hmg goes on ambush British - Jeep spots the advancing Germans. Shootsv , hits one. Kills one. British - other he advances and misses Germans - mortar fires at the Jeep. Spoons it. British - paras run toward the enemy Germans - Goliath advances to the hedge Germans - unit in the cornfield goes on ambush British - paras advance into bombed out building British - platoon HQ advances British - piat advances German - Faust team on ambush British - forward observation officer advances British - sniper advances British - 3rd squad advances German ambush! BMG shoots the advancing paras 2 dead! German - ambush for German squad at far side of the field British - mortar advances End of turn
Paras occupy the building

Paras occupy the building

DSC_0348
Cromwell's point of view

Cromwell's point of view

Paras after first turn

Paras after first turn

German Defences

German Defences

Para MMG (Vickers)

Para MMG (Vickers)

Para Jeeps

Para Jeeps

Advancing Paras

Advancing Paras

Defending Germans

Defending Germans

Turn 2:

British - forward jeep fires at Germans in the hedge. One hit. Fails to kill. Pins. German - hmg fires at the squad. 2 hits. One dead. Unit goes down. German - mortar aims at the Jeep. Misses but hits the British platoon commander! 2 pins. 2 hits. 2 dead! Fails moral! Leuitenant runs away First dice of doom British - foo runs to ruins. German - Unit in the hedge tries to spot the foo. Sees nothing British - Jeep advances I off the road. Shoots the already pinned unit in the far hedge. One hit. Kills one. German - sniper team fires at the Jeep. Hits but no damage. One pin. German - shrek team fires at the Jeep. Hits. Rolls a 6! Boom. Very dead. British - Cromwell fires 2 mmg's at the poor Germans in the far hedge. 1 hit from 8 dice. No casualties. German - unit in the middle goes on ambush. British - far paras advance into woods Germans go onto ambush British - spotter advances into building British - unit in the building fires at Germans in the hedge. 5s to hit. 7 dice. 3 hits. One pin. One dead! End if turn.
advancing goliath

advancing goliath

ambush!

ambush!

 
British After move 2

British After move 2

 
Germans in turn 2

Germans in turn 2

DSC_0355
Cromwell hasnt moved far!

Cromwell hasnt moved far!

 
Germans

Germans

 
heavily pinned germans

heavily pinned germans

 

Turn 3:

Germansv- hmg shoots the same unit. One pin. German dice - mortar team goes for the Cromwell. Misses British - 75mm howitzer goes for the hmg. Misses! German - sniper fires at guys in the building. Rolls a one. British - Jeep fires at the uber pinned Germans. One hit. One pin. Now on 5! 2 dead! German - 5 pinned unit tries to rally. Fails. Goes down. British - unit advances through the trees. German - platoon commander advances towards the pinned unit. German - shrek team runs backward! German - Goliath goes round the hedge First dice of doom British - too calls down arty barrage on the hmg. Watch this space! British - mmg advances onto the road British - Cromwell advances and fires at the pinned unit. 7s to hit! Gets one hit. No kills. German - unit on the far side runs up the flank British - mortar drops smoke in front of the hmg. German - shrek team on ambush. End of turn.
Forward Observation officer spots his targer

Forward Observation officer spots his targer

Spot where the Arty Barrage will come down

Spot where the Arty Barrage will come down

What a bunch of flankers!

What a bunch of flankers!

Heavily pinned germans hold the line

Heavily pinned germans hold the line

British Jeeps

British Jeeps

Turn 4

Smoke dissipates, Arty barrage rolls a 2. Delay! Moves it slightly to be closer to the unit next to the hmg. British - unit in the open fails to ralley so goes down. British - 75mm howitzer attempts to hit the hmg. Misfires! Shot is a dud. British - paras in the building advance out toward the next building German- mortar hits the Cromwell Pins it. 2 markers. German-sniper team which was pinned once tries to move away from the advancing paras. Passes its order and gets away German - advances flanking unit. German - brings on first reserve - sdkfz222 with panzer iv. Sdkfz222 moves on to deny the flank to the paras. Tries to spot them sees nothing. Panzer if advances down the road and opens fire on the Cromwell. Hits it. Gets a glancing hit (matched armour value) rolls a one on the damage table. British - piat advances onto the road. British - Jeep moves across to cover the flank German - Goliath advances up the road. British - sniper fires at the flanking Germans. Hits. Pins. Fails to kill End of turn
Pinned Brits!

Pinned Brits!

Vickers mmg sets up in cover

Vickers mmg sets up in cover

Pinned British Paratroopers

Pinned British Paratroopers

paras

paras

Goliath

Goliath

Panzer 4

Panzer 4

stalling the advance

stalling the advance

Jeeps

Jeeps

uh oh

uh oh

Panzer iv h arrives

Panzer iv h arrives

Thats one pinned cromwell!

Thats one pinned cromwell!

MOVE!

MOVE!

Rick & Graham plan their advance

Rick & Graham plan their advance

Turn 5:

Artillery rolls a 3. Delay! German - Goliath advances and shoots at the mmg. It hits! Kills the mmg team. British - 75mm howitzer fires at the panzer 4. Hits. 2 pins. British - Cromwell tries to fire has 4 pins on it. Passes! Fires at the panzer iv but misses. British - piat advances. British - Jeep moves over to the far side of the board. Fires at the advancing Germans. 2 hits. One pin. No kills German - flankingbgermans try to advance into the building. Fail. Down. German - panzer iv tries to move back down the road. Passes its test. Moves back down the road out of the way of the hmg. Misses when it fires at the panzer if. German - hmg shoots the paras. Go down. Kill 1 German. Mortar shoots the Cromwell. Misses German. Sniper moves up German 222 advances, spots the paras in the woods. Sees them. 1 hit. One dead. One pin. British - mortar advances to get q better position near the Cromwell British - paras in the woods advance to the fence to outflank the pinned unit. 11 dice. 8 hits. 5 dead! Unit wiped out. British - sniper fires at the flanking Germans. Hits. Kills one. British - paras in the building take the que from the last paras and run forward. British - medic finally advances. British - foo goes on ambush Germans sniper advances. Dice of doom End of turn.
crumbling german defences

crumbling german defences

British after turn 4

British after turn 4

Pinned flankers!

Pinned flankers!

German Lines

German Lines

The Paras make their move

The Paras make their move

Pinned cromwell

Pinned cromwell

Turn 6

Artillery comes down! 9" barrage. Hmg - 3 pins Shrek team - 2 pins. Panzer if - 1 pin. Commander - 3 pins. Sniper - 3 pins Infantry squad. - hits! Causes 12 casualties on10 models. Dead. German - commander rallies. Loses all his pins. German - panzer iv - 2 pinson it. Advances. Passes its test. Machine guns the advancing paras. Kills 1 German - tries to bring on volks grenadiers. Fails. British - paras charge the panzer iv. Miss with all attacks because its moved  and get no 6's. British - next unit tries the same. Pass their order. 2 hits! British - 75mm howitzer fires at the tank. Misses Dice of doom Germans. - flanking Germans fail order to advance. Go down. British - piat advances out of range to fire. British - Cromwell tries to advance. Fails its order. German - 222 fires at the paras. 2 hits. 1 dead 1 pin. British - mortar fires at the panzer iv. Misses British - he fires at pinned flanking Germans. 2 hits. One pin one dead. British - paras with loads of pins try to move. Fail. Down. German - rally order on the hmg. Fails. Down. German - mortar fires at the mortar. Hits ! 2 pins. 3 hits. No damage. German - rally the shrek team. One pin off. German - shrek team advances. Shoots at the Cromwell. Hits! Penetrates! (6) rolls a 5. Knocked out! End of turn!
Panzer iiv pinned

Panzer iiv pinned

german lines from the Foo's POV

german lines from the Foo's POV

Runaway piat

Runaway piat

End of game

End of game

The jeep and sniper made an excellent team

The jeep and sniper made an excellent team

Pinned germans

Pinned germans

Germans dont like being shelled!

Germans dont like being shelled!

Close assault

Close assault

Cromwell dies horribly

Cromwell dies horribly

Stuka untouched

Stuka untouched

End of Game! (ran out of time) Unfortunately, the game ran out of time before either side could really say they'd completed their mission. With another 4 turns it could have been anyone's game. The Piat was moving up close to hunt down the Panzer iv, and had support from two of the British sections who had a good chance of securing the left flank. On the right flank the sniper and jeep were holding back the counter attacking germans very well. The germans lost a whole section in the centre of the table, and the MMG was pinned, this opened up the stuka and left it vulnerable. The germans weren't out of the game though. They still had their panzer iv, as well as the SDKFZ222, and in the last shot of the game managed to destroy the Cromwell! one of the British sections was still lagging prett far behind the main advance too, left pinned by the german MMG in the corner of the cornfield. With the other 4 turns this could have been a very brutal game which could have gone in either side's favour! I think I'll revise the rules on the stuka the next time I run this scenario, and give it an order dice. It'll have to "fire" and reload a certain amount of times at a target off the table. If it doesn't manage to fire X amount of times then the Germans will not be able to claim a victory. A good game was had by all (I hope!), Thanks for reading this AAR, There are more Bolt action AAR's on my blog, check the link in the top menu to see some more. Thanks for reading. Chris

About The Author

Chris has been a Wargamer since he was 12 years old, progressing through 40k, WFB now playing a diverse range of games from 15mm WW2, to space combat games, and even the odd game of judge dredd.

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