keskiviikko 14. syyskuuta 2016

Bolt Action: In the name of the father

Bolt Action: Hold until relieved

This is a most unlike story of Finnish troops defending a church somewhere very deep behind the enemy lines... so deep that they are attacked by the troops of Imperial Army of Japan!
And yes, you guessed it right: this game is not based on any historical battle!

As we have a Bolt Action tournament coming this weekend, me and my friend Marko felt the same need to rehearse with a game to refresh the rules of Bolt Action in our minds. We chose one of the scenarios to be played in the tournament: Hold until relieved. In this scenario victory is simply decided based on who controls the central and only objective in the end of the game.

My list was as follows:

1 Reinforced Platoon, 70 pts
   1 Vänrikki (Rifle; Motti; Sisu; Trained Huntsmen)
      2 Soldier  (Rifle x2)
7 Continuation War Rifle Squad, 83 pts (Rifle x7; Motti; Sisu; Trained Huntsmen)
   1 NCO (SMG)
7 Continuation War Rifle Squad, 100 pts (LMG x1; Rifle x6; Motti; Sisu; Team; Trained Huntsmen)
   1 NCO (Rifle)
7 Kaukopartio Long Distance Recon Squads, 210 pts (LMG x1; Rifle x6; SMG x6; Anti-Tank Grenades; Deep Strike; Fanatics; Medic; Motti; Sisu; Tank Hunter; Team; Trained Huntsmen)
   1 NCO (Rifle; Anti-Tank Grenades; Tank Hunter)

1 Medic, 35 pts (Rifle; Medic; Motti; Sisu; Trained Huntsmen)
   1 Soldier

3 Medium Mortar Team, 50 pts (Medium Mortar; Fixed; HE (D6); Indirect Fire; Motti; Sisu; Team; Trained Huntsmen)

2 Panzerschreck Team, 80 pts (Panzerschreck; Motti; Shaped Charge; Sisu; Team; Trained Huntsmen)

2 Sniper Team, 55 pts (Sniper Rifle; Master of the Hunt; Motti; Sisu; Sniper; Trained Huntsmen)

5 Medium Artillery, 85 pts (Spotter; Medium Howitzer; Fixed; Gun Shield; HE (2D6); Howitzer; Indirect Fire; Sisu; Team)

1 StuG III Sturmi, 230 pts (Forward Facing Hull MMG; Heavy AT Gun; HE (D3))

I won the roll off and chose to take the role of the defender, whom would first setup an infantry unit + 1 another unit on the objective. Rest of my army would enter the field during first round (50%) and the rest as reserves, to be ordered to the field.

The attacking Japanese deployed all of their infantry at least 18" from the objective, anywhere on the gaming table.
IAJ infantry deployed

Finnish defenders: an riffle squad and the sniper in the church tower

First rounds

Battle commenced by the hidden Jap sniper opening fire at my sniper, whom was it but not wounded, he immediately retaliated, but missed!

My Sturmi also rolled to the field and peppered a small Jap squad near to my table edge, 
only one casualty.

Another rifle squad rushed forward with my commander, vänrikki Mannerheim 
and company medic following suit.

Following the lead of my sniper, the rifle squad in the church blasted away, but hitting nothing... damn!

On it's second order my Sturmi rolled through the woods and fired on the large
Jap unit ahead. No point in wasting time with the small unit, that can't even be tank shocked, those
crazy fanatics!

The Jap sniper was becoming such an annoyance, that I ended up 
wasting quite a bit of fire power on it: medium mortar, a riffle squad and my vänrikki
and his adjutants blasted away, but only managed to cause 2 pins on him!

It was time to play on the Finnish army specialties: I set my objective holding
rifle squad into an ambush (gives me +1 to hit) and when a Jap unit right across the opening moved,
they blasted with all they got and after the smoke cleared only the Jap NCO was alive.
He duly  broke and fled the field, huzzah!

Situation after two rounds. Two of my units were still outflanking...

Middle game

I was still relishing the superb performance of my defenders, when a splash of cold water hit me in the face: my unit failed their order test with just one pin and went down, instead of ambush!
This was a too good an opportunity for the big Jap unit to miss and they charged headlong towards the objective. My troops took 4 Japs with them, but the objective was lost!

To add an insult to injury, the damn Jap sniper I had poured so my firepower on, followed suit and took out my sniper!

On round 3 my best unit - the long distance recon unit (Kaukopartio) arrived behind the Japs and opened up with their 6 SMG's and 1 LMG. The Jap unit with 3 light mortars took a serious death toll!
They retaliated in a very Jap-like way and Banzai charged my elites, whom in cold blood simply
butchered them without any losses! Simply brutal!

In the meanwhile my excellent med howitzer opened on the still
quite big unit in the ruins, a hit! HE 2D6 took a terrible toll!
My scheme of luring the Japs in to the objective and the annihilating them with HE 
was coming through!

The beautiful Jap scout car had speeded to the field blasted away at my officer and my infantry, 
whom finally had taken out the enemy sniper - by charging him! 
Vänrikki Mannerheim had ducked to cover while bullets ripped one of his adjutants! He had
to survive to keep my troops moving towards the objective.
A dark cloud in form of an air support forward observer was also hanging on my troops, luckily 
the skies were empty for now!

On the other flank a duel of tank destroyers and other anti-tank elements was going on hot!
It was also going badly for me: my expensive pantzerschreck team missed and was then shot to pieces, my Sturmi fired away at Jap units and backed away, but a shot from the Jap tank-destroyed immobilized it.

Situation in the end of round 4.

Decisive moments 

As one can expect, an immobilized  tank without a 360 machine gun is too easy a game for a fanatic Jap with a pole and a antitank explosive... KABOOM!

The Japs only had their officer and a medic in the objective, but the time was
running out. So my elite Kaukopartio had to make a run for it: not caring to use any cover they dashed towards the church...

Even teh Jap tank destroyer couldn't intimidate them! Going on round 5....

Another perspective and Marko's magical hand. All
of my infantry moving towards the objective, where only the medic team still 
survived in the middle of corpse piles!

My remaining rifle squad moved to contest and blasted at the small Jap unit, BUT...

Vänrikki Mannerheim shouted at the Kaukopartio, whom had ran through a hail of lead
from the surviving few Japs: "take the church, charge!"
But Vänrikki Mannerheim could only watch in horror, when he's elite men
completely misunderstood his command and went down to get some cover instead!!!

So close, but just a bit too late! Clear victory was within my grasp, but 7th round didn't materialize and the battle was over. The fact, that I had destroyed more Jap units, than I had lost gave me some solace in this bitter draw...


Bolt Action was still just as good as we had remembered and we had really good and a fun game! Jap air support never appeared, so that helped my units to stay alive, while my HE arsenal blasted the Japs to pieces. Even if they failed to take the objective, my best unit of the battle was Kaukopartio. They arrived on a critical moment, took out a Jap unit without a scratch, proceeded to take out Jap Anti-tank gun and then surged towards the objective through a hail of lead, simply heroic!  

2 kommenttia:

  1. Nice looking game, beautiful table!

    1. Thanks Phil! We had fun! It's a great priviledge to have good scenery and tables at our club.