Monday, 11 March 2013


A few pix of a recent 28mm WW2 game played out by myself and members of the Peninsula Wargames Group. This was another test of the Bolt Action ruleset, with a slight modification of the simple "Point Defence" scenario from the rulebook. Once more the Germans (with a "lost brigade" of Italian airborne vets) were set as the defenders, and the Russians and Partisans were on the offensive, but this time, the forces were raised to just over 2000pts a side, and the terrain was mostly hard cover and buildings...

With snacks, drinks and defenders deployed, the game began...Two of the three objectives markers were placed outside of the defenders deployment zone - objective one was the entrenchments in the church square, and objectives two and three were the central two apartment buildings (left centre in this pic) overlooking the church square.

The Germans deployed two platoons of Heer regulars, supported by a single Pak 40, and an assortment of infantry support teams - snipers, MG42s, 81mm mortars and so on. The veteran Italians were supported by a 45mm mortar, a flamethrower team and a sniper. Facing them were 7 squads plus supports of Russian regulars - a mix of inexperienced, regular and veteran Guard troops, with a smattering of Assault Engineers and a small Naval detachment. Crucially, the Red Army had 2 artillery spotters on table, directing off-table medium field guns. A single T-34 and a Bobik recce car comprised their available armour.

The game started with a preparatory bombardment that pinned a fair percentage of the defenders, and the Germans spent the bulk of their orders in the first turn rallying their crucial weapons teams, and advancing to occupy the two closer objectives. For the next 4 turns, the game was played in a very cagey, attritional style, with the Soviet squads attempting to whittle down and suppress the defenders, with some success. The Germans had lost about 5 order dice, and were feeling the pressure of the Soviet strength in numbers, but holding a solid line of buildings across the table.The Pak 40 scored a success, disabling the T-34 that was menacing its position. The two sides faced each other across the town square, neither willing to order troops to leave their hard cover.

 Italian sniper team keeps an eye on movement across the square...

...and this is what they see:

With time running out (turn 5), the Russians launched a mass charge across the square, supported by a long-delayed flank attack by the Partisans. They managed to reach the cover of the far right apartment block of the German line, and take the entrenchments on the left. That being said, the other two objectives were looking very solid for the Germans, who had taken minimal casualties amongst those in the central buildings. It looked like the Russians had left it too late.

Turn 6 saw the Soviets consolidate their position on the far side of the square, and then strike the telling blow of the game. A lucky artillery strike (double 6 on 2 dice) took down an entire apartment block, causing massive German and Italian casualties, and rendering the objective undefended. However, in terms of the victory conditions, the Germans were still ahead. If the game ended after turn 6, they could still claim victory. Fatefully, however, the dice determined that the game would go into turn 7, and with the first three orders drawn for the Soviets, they dashed to the objective. And with time running out for some of the players, the Germans conceded.

The game took a surprising length of time to play. 2000pts per side for a bunch of players new to the game was probably a bit ambitious, and the abundance of hard cover and buildings made the game much less "bloody" and less decisive in its early turns, while both sides were shooting at range. The attackers needed 4-5 turns to soften up the defenders...

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