Bolt action AAR 1940 Belgium – French vs Germans This Tuesday night we managed to get our second game of Bolt action in two weeks! We’ve been pretty lazy gaming wise lately, choosing to play the addictive, and easy setup of X-wing for a couple of months, but finally we decided to do something else and play bolt action, Last week we played pretty much the same scenario, (I forgot my tablet, so I didn’t record that game), but basically the idea behind that game, and this one was that the French army has hidden setup, denoted by markers on the table. The german force is trying to occupy the ground, and the objective is to get two units off the far side of the table (playing long ways on a 6×4 table). The advance in the first game was very sporadic, and in turn 12 had two tanks in a position where they could leave the table in the next turn, but we only had 12 turns to complete our objective, so we ended up losing the game. It was very fun, so much so we decided to do it again the next week! Only this time there were a few tweaks to the forces, The first one being, that in the first game, a panzer II made it 3/4 of the way up the table then got destroyed, so a smoking wreck of a panzer II was placed on the table at the beginning of the game to represent it. This game was supposed to be our second attempt at claiming this ground, after we failed to do it last time the french have re-occupied the ground and we had to start over. As ever, we play bolt action with a few house rules that we feel makes the game a bit more interesting, these are as follows. 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 further part in the game. The forces The german forces French forces The table The table before set up Bolt Action AAR – Turn 1: Two panzer 3s start on the table German: try to get squad on. Fails First dice of doom German:squad comes on German: mortar comes on German:panzer 3 on the road advances, spots a marker, dummy. French: marker on ambush French: marker on ambush German: squad fails to come on End of turn hidden setup panzer III Bolt Action AAR – Turn 2 +1 german +1 France dice German:squad advances into the woods, splits a marker, dummy. German:panzer 3 advances, spots another dummy French: marker on ambush French: marker on ambush German: fails to bring a squad on German: fails to bring squad on German squad with medic advances onto the table First end of turn dice French: mortar fires at the squad with the medic, failsvto hit German: try to bring on panzer 3. Fails. End of turn panzer III moving onto the table Bolt Action AAR – Turn 3 +1 german +1 France dice German: panzer 3 moves into the wood and spots a dummy German: mortar advances and spots a dummy in the woods First end of turn dice German: tank advances up the road German: Germans with medic run forward French: mortar misses the squad End of turn mortar advancing move to cover move to cover troops entering the field of battle Bolt Action AAR – Turn 4 +1 german +1 France dice German squad at the far side fails to move through the wood French: mortar tries to hit squad, misses but lands on tank. Bounces off, but gets 2 pins. German truck comes on the road Ambush! French machine gun opens up on the new truck. Fails reluctant test and does nothing. French: small mortar attempts to fire, fails. German: commander moves on. First end of turn French: ambush on marker German: pinned tank tries to advance, fails, goes down and moves back down the road German tank advances End of turn Bolt action AAR Bolt action AAR advance! or not… hmg tactical withdrawl Bolt Action AAR – Turn 5 +1 german +1 France dice French dice – back in the bag! German: try to advance through wooids but fail again French hmg retires! German: tank spots an hmg moving into the open. 5 hits. Dead. French ambush on marker German squad with medic runs forward into the wood. French mortar fires at squad, misses again German commander advances to the pinned tank German pinned tank advances, looses a pin after passing its test. German truck advances up behind tank German squad advances onto the board next to the road. End of turn perfect timing traffic jam Germans moving onto the table panzer 3 looking down the road Bolt Action AAR – Turn 6 +1 german +1 France dice First end of turn dice German tank near the house advances round onto the road, ambush! French at gun fires at the tank, misses! Panzer 3 continues its move Panzer 3 with 1 pin advances, passes its order and moves up the road. Ambush! Bean can, sorry tank comes out of ambush and shoots at the advancing panzer 3, roles a 2 but manages to hit at point blank. Gets a glancing hit and catches fire. Crew puts fire out after passing moral. German squad at the far wood finally advances! Runs out of the wood Germans on the road run into the low walled cover. French reveals gun, fires at already pinned panzer 3 on the road. Hits. 2 pins, needs a 6 to get a glancing hit, rolls a 6! Immobilised! Another pin German panzer 4 comes on. German hmg comes on. French mortar fires at the squad in the walled cover. Hits. 2 pins 4 hits. 3 dead. German troops move through the wood toward the house. German commander runs forward. End of turn perfectly lined up! ambusing french tin can Bolt action AAR – germans advancing french artillery medic with unit Bolt action AAR Bolt Action AAR – Turn 7: +1 german +1 France dice German panzer 3 shoots at the tank, hit, fails to do anything. German the uber pinned tank attempts a shot. Fails, would normally retreat but immobilised French. Mortar at the guys in the woods. Fail their order test. Germans run up the flank German squad in the walled cover advances German panzer 4 runs straight forward First end of turn dice German hmg runs forward Mortar runs up the flank French tank returns fire at the undamaged tank. Hits but no damage French anti tank gun moves backwards German troops in the woods spot, see the troops in the house. End of turn That’s one pinned panzer! Truck on the road more advancing german troops Bolt Action AAR – Turn 8 Panzer 3 attempts to fire, fails, retires 3 inches. Typical the at gun just moved!! First end of turn dice German troops run out of the walled cover and up to the hedge at the road French places ambush order on marker End of turn french soldiers in the house Bolt Action AAR Moving up to the hedge Exchange of fire Bolt Action AAR – Turn 9 German squad at the hedge spots the marker in the walled cover, spots a squad. Opens fire, 5 hits. 3 dead. German panzer 3 moves up and hits the small tank. Again fails Germans near the house charge into combat, close enough that french get no defensive fire, 2 germans succumb to french baguettes, I mean bayonets. All the french die horribly. Germans panzer 4 advances onto the road, fires at the horse drawn arty, hits but no casualties German commander advances French squad that got spotted tries to fire, gets distracted by brie, misses everything German Squad on far side advances and fires at the anti tank gun. Causes 2 casualties French horse arty fires at the panzer 3. Hits with 2 pins. Fails to penetrate. French. Small tank returns fire at the panzer 3, gets a glancing hit. Adding a 3rd pin. Gets cruw stunned. Another pin! French add ambush to marker French add ambush to marker Mortar spots a dummy counter then runs up into the wood French at gun passes its order test and fires at the squad, getsva pin and two hits. First end of turn German truck moves up behind the panzer 4 German first spare End of turn Germans moving in mortar team exchange of fire moving up to the crossroads Bombed out panzer 2 how many pins would a panzer pin if a panzer could pin pins? traffic in 1940’s belgium was a nightmare Bolt action AAR bolt action AAR Bolt Action AAR – Turn 10 French – get back in the bag! French (booooo) squad attempts to fire, fails its order geoes down. French at squad kills another German Germans in the building charge the tank, pass their test, get a stunned then advance into the hedge. Ambush! As the germans consolidate into the hedge near the tank, an hmg pops out of the woods. Firesvat thevgermans and kill 1. German panzer 4 advances, hull machine gun fires at the arty. Pins. Turret hmg fires at the squad, pin. French mortar fires at the truck and hits. Fails to do any damage but gets 2 pins. German hmg advances to the hedgeline. Germans in the hedgeline fire at the french. 3 kills. Germans sick of being stonked run at the at gun, just kill the remaining gunner and move into a flanking position to the french squad. French arty fires at the panzer 3, hits and imobikizes it! Now has 6 pins. German commander advances to the hedge, fire light mortar at the french mortar but spoons it. German mortar spotter advances French ambush on marker German truck advances up behind the panzer 4 French first spare Panzer 3 tries to rally, fails. End of turn. French soldiers didn’t expect a tank to roll over that hedge mortar firing wouldnt want to be walking along that road germans get sick of being shot by an AT gun thats a whole lota pins! spotter moving up Bolt Action AAR – Turn 11 French – back in the bag French mortar fires at thevpanzer 4, misses but hits the infantry in the hedge line. They go down, but lose 2 guys. French German panzer 4 advances over the hedge, shoots at the arty, pins it. French tiny tank fires at the infantry, kills 3, medic saves 1, fail their moral test and run away. Panzer 3 that has been down for a few turn s, fires at the mortar, pins but no kills. German hmg in the hedge fires at the french, misses. French arty passes its moral. Hits the panzer 4, no damage but 2 pins. Germans flanking the french assault. Kill 4, french kill 1. The French run away. Germans consolidate into cover. Ambush! French squad in the house ambush the consolidating germans. Get 2 hits and kill 1. German mortar fires at the hmg, misses. End of game (ran out of time) panzer 4 move to flanking position end of assault phase french arty in the woods Bolt action AAR Table at the end of the game Table from above As you can see from the table, the middle got pretty choked up. Some poor dice rolling on the german side, and some excellent dice rolling on the french side kept that little tin can operational throughout the entire game, it even took on two panzer III’s and came out on top!! This traffic jam stalled the german advance and pretty much lost us the game. The advance was consistent and felt about right, but once the tanks stops so did everything else. The french victory here was well deserved. We did do a little maths at the end of the game though, and realised that with a single move order, on open ground a unit moves 6″. We had to cover 72″ in 12 turns. 6 x 12 = 72. But with each infantry squad starting OFF the table, it was going to be VERY tough to get two foot units off the other side. The trucks simply don’t have the staying power to be able to carry forces confidently at speed. With a couple of armoured half tracks this would have been a MUCH different game. Still, very enjoyable, and I hope we do the scenario again (with half tracks!) Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed it, please check out some of my other posts, and leave a comment, share it on facebook or twitter or post a link on your favourite forum. 2 Responses Joe October 1st, 2015 Nice write-up! … but who/what/where are those cool looking pin markers from? Litko, per chance!? … Joe Reply Chris Sutherland October 5th, 2015 Hi Joe, Yes, good guess! the pin markers are from Litko! Glad you enjoyed the AAR. Hopefully there are some other articles on here you’ve seen and enjoyed also. 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