So for some one playing Bolt Action there’s not too many batreps you may ask. True, but I’ve been pretty busy with gaming so haven’t really had the time to update the blog…or at least that’s what I tell myself, truth is I still haven’t developed the routine. So in an attempt to rectify this most grievous omission I write this batrep, mostly on the train, even though the game was many weeks ago now.
For the 800 point rounds of the Bolt Action league I issued a challenge out to the organisor, because I had yet to face off against the French, and as we would both have vehicles this time around I was keen to play someone who knew the rules better than me.
The mission for this round was “Spitfire Down”, an unofficial scenario you can get here. The main objective of the mission is to secure a spitfire that crashes turn 3, coming on 10d6 from a table edge, so about 30″ from a random side with the potential for wild variation. If your units are too close bad things can happen from getting pin markers to taking casualties. So you want to be close enough to get there first, but far enough back it doesn’t land on you!
My small group of SS backed up by a heavily armed recce SdKfz233, and a light Panzer II tank.
Opening moves were relatively cautious, with both sides advancing under cover.
PzII and Panhard face off across the table, with the French having the advantage of most of their vehicle being hull down behind the hill. After a round of exchanging fire the PzII moved around the house to tackle some infantry.
French close on the objective.
Meanwhile the PzII moves around the flank of the infantry pursued by a squad of French infantry hoping to assault it. The flank attack paid off despite its circuitous route, taking a shot at the panhard, lighting it up, resulting in the crew bailing and fleeing the field.
Stopping to take the shot allowed the infantry to catch and they launch their assault the PzII.
However the tank held firm, locking all hatches. The French lacking any dedicated AT weapons are thwarted and resort to standing in front of the tank to slow it’s advance! This is where sometimes rules let you down vs real life. What infantry unit would form a human chain vs a tank?! With this situation I have two choices, stop and spend time mowing down infantry with MG fire, or charge them. The rules do not allow me to advance and shoot them! It’s charge and not shoot or remain stationary and shoot! Fortunately a charge was what I had in mind. The PzII drives off, chased by French.
A big factor in the decision was the French were piling up on the objective, and my forces where slowly getting whittled down, and the French had little to hurt the locked down Panzer so it was largely free to move about with impunity!
In another display of gamer desperation not reflecting real life, or perhaps insane bravery? my medic charged into the fray, taking on a unit of French much larger than him and his adjunct, and despite losing his adjunct drove the French off! Not willing to approach such a fearsome expert in human biology the French gunned him down where he stood. Supporting fire was finally taking down more French but time was fast running out. In the end it was too little too late and the French won the day.
One thing that struck me about this game was how massively outnumbered I was.. two very small units of SS against four full squads of French. It was this game that convinced me I needed to redirect my efforts to more, less fancy infantry. Quantity has a quality of it’s own as Stalin said. Looking around the tables I was also convinced a PzII wasn’t going to cut it… T-34s, PzIVs… I was going to need to bring bigger guns. Enter the Panzer IIIJ.
While I wasn’t able to make the second night for this event, I did make up some templates that were a bit more thematic than a black CD.
If you want to make your own here’s the Spitfire Template.