This scenario was put together very last minute, I was hoping to get a game of Bolt action with my new British Para force at my local wargames club, but wasn’t expecting to run the game. So the scenario isn’t as “polished” as the last AAR (find that one HERE), but, the premise was:

I bought the Para’s character pack from Artizan Designs, I wasn’t sure who the guy in the kilt was (as the other characters are quite easily recognisable to be actual people), after posting on the miniaturespage.com my recently painted paras, someone suggested that this character was a glider pilot (but failed to go into details), This gave me a point of reference, and quite quickly I came across this chap: Captain James G Ogilvie, the linked page also gives a brief overview of the final mission Cpt Ogilvie was a part of,

Basically, He, a medic, and two sections of paras were tasked to take the Schoonord Hotel on the Oosterbeek crossroads which had been overrun by germans.
The scenario I came up with was based on this (as I currently have two sections, and a medic + the Cpt. Ogilvie figure!),
The board was set out to have a crossroads, with buildings surrounding it, I placed a few spare para models in one of the buildings, These were the objective, the Para patrol was to rescue their comrades from “jerry”, and take back the crossroads. Simple.

I was planning to play this game, and not write an AAR, but after a couple of people turned up who fancied giving the game a go I decided to just umpire the game and take notes for an AAR, I also didn’t have my camera with me, so all the photos were taken on my iPhone, which ran out of battery before the end of the game! oops!

We use a few house rules when playing bolt action, the most notible are:

Indirect fire:
Instead of the normal rules, use a “misfire” dice and a random direction dice, on a role of a misfire the shell is a dud, otherwise the shot scatters (or gets a direct hit). This can lead to units being hit which you didn’t actually aim at!

“The Dice of Doom”
Two order dice of a different colour to that of the players’ order dice. When the first “Dice of Doom” is pulled out of the bag it’s a warning that the turn could end, The second “Dice of Doom” to be pulled out of hte bag means the turn ends. This means that not every action is guaranteed to happen in every turn, some turns can be very short with only a couple of actions.

Our other house rules can be found in the AAR from the dumfries show report which you can find HERE

Order of Battle:
Paras:
*captured* 4 riflemen, held behind german lines.

Rescue party:
Captain J. Ogilvie (+ 2 para riflemen) (veteran)
Artillery OOP (regular)
Sniper Team (veteran)
Piat Team (veteran)
75mm Howitzer (veteran)
1 Rifle section (8 men, 3 stens, 1 bren, 4 rifles) (veteran)
1 Rifle section (8 men, 3 stens, 1 bren, 4 rifles) (veteran)
Medic (+ 2 stretcher bearers)  (veteran)
Cromwell tank (regular)  (veteran)

Germans:
Command squad (regular)
10 man section (regular)
10 man section (regular)
10 man section (regular) (in reserve, in opel blitz)
sdkfz 222 armoured car  (regular)
Sdkfz 251 halftrack (with panzershrek team)  (regular)
Panzershrek team (regular)
Marder 3 (regular)
mmg team (regular)
mortar team (regular)

The table set up before turn 1

The table set up before turn 1

The captured paras!

The captured paras!

Turn 1:
I only decided to do this AAR after turn one had started,
but pretty much everything either moved once, or went into ambush.
One german unit crossed the road and occupied the building that overlooks the fields.
No shots were fired.
Double dice of doom after every order dice had been pulled out of the bag.

 

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Turn2:
Dice of doom 1 first dice out of the bag
Cromwell trys to spot. Fails
Spotter moves up
German mmg moves up.

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Turn 3:
German mmg goes on ambush.
Para mmg advances
First dice of doom
Cromwell goes onto ambush
Germans in the building try to spot the advancing paras. Can’t even see their own shoes.
Second German platoon advances to their hedgerow. (attack is the best form of defense right?)
Mortar attempts to shoot the Cromwell. Misses but pins the command squad and kills a man.
Sdkfz251 moves around the wood.
End of turn.

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Turn 4:
Para mmg gets to the edge of the field.
Sdkfz251 moves round the field and spots the mmg. Pins them.
Piat shoots the advancing sdkfz. Misses
Germans at the hedge shoot the Vickers team. Pins them and kills one man.
First dice of doom.
German mortar again goes for the Cromwell. This time hits the squad. They go down. No casualties.
Marder 3 advances onto the road and shoots the Cromwell. 5s to hit, rolls a 6! Then rolls another 6! Cromwell dies horribly.
Spotter for the 75mm howitzer goes for the marder, misses but hits the squad. 1 pin, 3 dead Germans. Thats what we call a “happy accident”.

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Para sniper takes a pot shot at the sdkfz251, pins it.
Paras go on ambush.
222 armoured car advances
OOP calls down his artillery barrage on the marder.
Germans in the building shoot the ambushing paras. Pin them, but no casualties.
German command squad goes on ambush.
Para medic goes on ambush.
Panzerfaust team moves into a new building.
German reserves move on the table.
End of turn dice.

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Turn 5:
Artillery barrage: rolls a 2. delay.
75mm howitzer attempts to hit the marder 3. Misses.
Sdkfz251 attempts to shoot the piat, unpins, two hits. Kills a para.
Germans try to get the pinned Vickers, but fail their order test.
Germans in the building fire at the paras. Kills one.  Medic rolls a 5!
222 moves to support the halftrack
Marder 3 with no other targets trys to shoot the spotter. Fails.
Piat shoots the sdkfz251, hits, rolls a 5. So blows up the half track, gets d6 hits on the panzerfaust team, 5 hits. Dead panzerfaust team.
Vickers team fail their order test to shoot the advancing Germans. Go down.
German mortar fails to hit the Vickers.
Paras attempt to return fire at the guys in the building but fail order test!
Panzershrek team advances
Sniper attempts to hit the guys in the building but rolls a one.
Para medic goes on ambush (nothing to do, within 6″ of both sections & the command squad)
German command team goes on ambush.
End of turn

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Turn 6
Artillery Barrage: Boom! 6! Fire for effect. 6! 12″ range!!
German unit gets 2 pins
Panzershrek team gets 3 pins
Marder gets 3 pins
Spotter gets 2 pins
Command squad gets 3 pins
Germans get 2 pins. No casualties but an awful lot of pins delt!
75mm spotter gets a direct hit on marder, fails to penetrate but gets 2 more pins. Now on 5!
First dice of doom
Paras in the woods pass their order dice and run through the woods.
Second paras pass their order dice and go for the Germans in the building. Fail to hit.
Germans in the building fail their order dice to return fire.
Germans at the front fail order dice
End of turn!

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Turn 7.
75mm howitzer trys to fire at the guys in the building. Fail!
222 advances and tries to finish off the Vickers. Shoots the ground in front… And still, manages to miss!
Marder retreats!
Vickers tries to shoot, fails its order dice.
German spotter passes his order dice.
Shrek team tries to rally, passes and looses all his pins!
Paras advance to the field in the middle from in the trees.
Piat advances and tries to hit the 222, misses.
Paras attempt to shoot the guys in the building, one hit. One pin!
Para commander advances to support the (slowly) advancing paras
First dice of doom
Sniper hits and kills a guy in the building. (3 pins on them now)
Rally order on the German commander. Passes and looses all his pin markers.
Opel moves down the road,
End of turn

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Turn 8:
222 goes for the piat. Tries to use the autocannon , hits but fails to kill!
75mm goes for the 222, fails.
Vickers passes its order dice and shoots at the German squad, kills one!
Paras run over the open ground to the far hedges, can now see the german mmg covering the open ground.
Medic advances over the hedge to support the advance.
Piat fails its order dice.
Paras shoot at the forward Germans behind the hedges, kill one.
German mortar gets a direct hit on the paras. 5 hits. Kills 3! 2 pin markers.
Para sniper advances.
Para commander advances in the woods.
First dice of doom!
Germans get out the Opel and go into the hedgerow near the mmg.
End of turn.

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Turn 9:
First dice of doom!
Forward paras engage the Germans in the building. One pin (got 4 now!)
75mm goes for the 222, hits the squad next to it and kills a unit. Noe got three pins on it.
222 goes for the piat. JUST kills him.
German mortar hits the same unit again. 2 pins, 1 dead para.
Germans squad in the building fails to rally.
End of turn.

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Turn 10:
222 attacks the Vickers, fails to kill but gets a pin.
75mm howitzer, hits the 222. Fails to get a penetrating hit.
Battery died on camera
Double dice of doom

Turn 11:
Vickers passes its order dice, gets no hits.
222 passes its order dice. Misses everything when it fires.
75mm howitzer fails to hit the 222 again!
Paras fail to hit the guys in the building.
Paras get ordered by the captain to attack, pass their order dice at -4! Have to roll a 1 r a 2 to get the range for the assault, rolls a 1!
Charges in and kills the entire squad. German attacks leaves the para section down to 2 men ( assault through cover means simultaneous)
Sniper advances
Germans shoot the paras in the hedgerow, kills one, medic fails to save.
Germans next to the mmg get 3 hits on the paras. No kills
German mortar misses the advancing paras
Germans in the building fail to rally.
Double dice of doom!

End of game.

Quite an eventful game! This was the first game of bolt action either of the Para players had ever played, so they were quite cautious, and this showed in the result, The one assault that the paras made was devastating, and in a longer game with a couple more units (and the confidence that comes after playing a few turns) the advance might have been a bit swifter.
There was a severe lack of smoke, and effective ordinance in this game. It really showed that the paras didn’t have any mortar cover at all, purely because I’m waiting for my mortar team to be delivered! Otherwise there would have been one in the list.
I maybe gave the germans a few too many units, as the advance was rather slow. I didn’t work out points before the game (as I was using someone elses troops so didn’t know what they had available), we still had fun though.

I think I’m going to try and refine the scenario, and maybe work out points values to balance it out, and give it a go with a full camera battery!

Thanks to Nigel for supplying the German forces for the game, and Then him and Newton for Playing on the side of the germans protecting the crossroads, and to Rick and Ron for not getting all my paras killed on their first outing!

Thanks for reading.

(You can also read another account of this game from the perspective of one of the Players on the german side, Newton, at his blog HERE)

Chris

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