So it finally happened! After months of preparation, modelling, painting, basing, I managed to find a free evening to shamble along to a games night for a Bolt Action engagement. I have the rules. The book is a nice looking thing, and the rules seem simple enough, but also not too simple. I met a bunch of new, interesting people, and had a laugh. Ironically, we used someone else's 28mm armies, so I didn't even get to take my guys for a spin. It was probably for the best though, as I don't have a very good array of support weapons.
It was a four player game, 1400pts, playing an ultimate destruction scenario (is that its name?). The Germans had an SS platoon of small squads, supported by an MG42, medium mortar, a 75mm infantry gun, Hanomag, and a Panzer IV. There was also a Wehrmacht platoon of large squads, a Pak 40, and Puma. The allies consisted of a regular US platoon, 2 large squads, bazooka team, medium mortar, 50cal, halftrack, and an M4 Sherman. They also had a British Para platoon of smaller squads, a 6pdr, a useless jeep, and sniper. I played as the US.
I didn't get many pictures. I didn't want to be the new guy who was going around taking photos every five minutes. What photos I did take, were taken on my phone, and as such aren't great.
I advanced my less experienced force into the town, in an attempt to get the added defensive bonuses from being in buildings. It didn't really achieve much, and I ended up spending most of the game just camping here, taking long range shots.
The Brits took up the right flank, getting the 6pdr into position in the field. It stayed there all game waiting for the puma to make an appearance. The sniper (in the bottom corner) set up in that wooded area, proving to be totally useless, all game.
This blurry shot shows most of the German forces. SS on the right flank, Wehrmacht partially visible on the left. Puma and other infantry are out of shot.
Early on my Sherman lights up the advancing Hanomag, causing massive damage and brewing her up. This put the allies up one point for destroying an enemy unit.
Unfortunately the Hanomag wreck provided hard cover for the Panzer IV, so he just parked there for the rest of the game missing his shots at the Sherman.
I set up an infantry squad in this building and they managed to cover the field in the middle of the board. But they couldn't hit much until the very last round. I think they scored a couple of pins is all.
I eventually charged my Sherman out to get a better shot at the Panzer IV, scoring a hit, but the crew managed to put the fire out. Here you can see the Sherman clearly in the sights of the Panzer IV....
And the Pak 40...
The game ended before she could die though. Below shows the beleaguered Wehrmacht squad in the middle of the board who took fire from all directions in the last round of play. More pin markers than men! This is also the field where a close combat took place. Because the SS squad was attacking the paras through the hedge, both attacked at the same time, wiping each other out. I don't know if that was correct, but we were all very new at this, and the rulebooks rarely left out hands (we had about five copies between us). The game ended with an allied "victory" because we had wiped out two units, and the axis had only wiped out one.
We undoubtedly did things wrong. But it was a fun game. My next one will hopefully be on a much smaller scale, perhaps just a few infantry squads to get a feel for it first. I also doubt I will be playing a destruction scenario again. It just encouraged us to sit in cover and camp.
I really liked the indirect fire mechanism. We didn't score many hits (one in total!) but with the likelihood of hitting the target getting better each round, it meant you couldn't just camp a unit somewhere and hope it survived. My HMG team was almost constantly on the move because the German artillery was following it around. They had no spotter though, so we may have been playing that wrong.
As I get more experienced with this game, and build forces myself, I will be able to give better reports and next time I hope to have a better camera, and my own figures on the board!