Sunday, June 7, 2015

D-Day +6, A Bolt Action scenario

Met with friends on the anniversary of D-Day to kick the tyres on the Bolt Action rules set for WW2 skirmish battles. The situation was a reinforced platoon of US troops trying to dislodge the Germans from the fictional village of Les Hommes avec des Seins. The Germans were well dug in and had the usual kinds of toys: lots of machine guns, a PaK40 AT gun and of course, a Tiger I.
The Americans' greatest asset was a pre-game bombardment and 2 air sorties. They also had a M5 Stuart (oh boy!) and a Veteran airborne squad equipped with AT grenades. In all there were several ways to take out the Tiger, including the airstrikes, a 3" AT gun and a bazooka team.
This was a playtest of a scenario I would like to run at conventions. I think Bolt Action lends itself extremely well to scenario design as well as a very balanced tournament style game, though that isn't my particular cup of tea. Anyway, the scenario was based on one from the rulebook (#3) in which the Americans had to take 2 out of three objectives determined before the game started. We chose the church steeple as one and the two road exits in the German set up area as the other two. The idea was that the Americans were trying to open the bottleneck and into the heartland of France. The board was covered in bocage from where the Americans entered with choked ingress into the village.
The scenario called for 6 turns with a 50/50 chance at a 7th, but I wanted to see how long it would take to come to a conclusion. The game ended up lasting 8 turns with a last ditch assault by the Americans. Whoever won the assault would win the scenario but the Germans slaughtered them in defensive fire, killing 8 out of 9 GI's!
After it was over, we decided to modify it by allowing the American First Wave to set up 12" on the board. (We played long ways on a 4' x 6' table.) Also it was decided the PaK40 was an uneccesary luxury and dropped it from the German OB. Point totals were about 1120 for the Americans and 1140 for the Germans. After the removal od the AT gun, the Germas will have about 1000. This makes sense as the Americans should have more points assaulting dug in positions.
Anyway, here's some pics:
 Some of the best friends an old fart can have.
 Part of the American First Wave enters bocage country.
 The Airborne after their flank move are greeted rudely but the hosts of the town.
 Germans hunker down behind a hedge and ambush the Airbone as they enter the board, whacking 3!
 The Stuart contemplates where to die as an American squad enters the woods on the outskirts of town.
 As good a place as any, the Stuart decides. It was picked off by the hidden PaK40 and blocked the road the rest of the game. The Americans chose this route as a certain Big Cat was on the other side of the table.
 Sneaky Germans with their LMG upstairs take a bead on the advancing unit in the woods.
 The Tiger has to go hunting. With infantry support he turns his attention to the center of the board and the main American advance.
 He finds a target rich environement. In the upper right you can get a glimpse of the US 60mm mortar team. They fired smoke all game but for the most part was never accurate and the Germans moved it so it hit the pond and fizzled out. The one time it landed on the board, it effectively blocked it's own 3" AT gun's LOS!
 The ultimate heroes of the game. They whacked 8 out of 9 US GI's in defensive fire to hold onto the objective. The GI's had just dispatched the PaK40 crew with little patience.
 The German MMG kept most of the American advance pinned. Repositioning only once, it was expertly placed by the German CiC.
 Give 'em the pointy end! Close assault in the rubble.
 Why it's important 'not to be seen.'
 How's that taste?

A couple shots of the terrain we fought over.