Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Bolt Action - Envelopment!


For what was going to be the last wargame of 2017, but also became the first game of 2018, I had a hankering for some Bolt Action Eastern front armour combat!


A fairly balanced and moderately wooded and sloped landscape, vaguely bringing to mind Western Russia or Poland, think 1944-45, was set up on my 10 x 6 foot table. Scenario 7: Envelopment, (page 140-1 of the rulebook) was the setting.



The Germans would be defending with 1,065 points - 3 'Regular' crewed Panthers, from the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg.


The Panther models are the 1:56 scale Italeri/Warlord kits - easy to put together and doing a very good job of rendering the Zimmerit anti-mag paste.



The Soviets had 1,128 points made up of 6 x T34-85s, with 'inexperienced' crewmen, despite the profusion of 5 Guards Tank Army badges!


All these T34s were Rubicon kits - not harder to put together exactly, but a novel approach to model kits - however they finish off very pleasingly with a good range of options.



According to the scenario, the Germans set up first. Whilst its true that 'he who defends everything defends nothing', the victory conditions allowing the Soviets to run their vehicles off anywhere along the German table edge for 3 victory points meant that the whole 10 foot length had to be covered!



Therefore the 3 Panthers were distributed singly all along the front, with the hope that the long range of their guns would cover all eventualities. 
 

At least the scenario condition 'hidden set-up' allowed them to make full use of cover - hidden units were scattered with clump foliage to designate their status, until such time as they moved or attempted a fire order...


Less fortunately for the Germans, the scenario also allowed the attacker a preparatory bombardment - very historical for the Soviets attacking in '44-45! The bombardment was pretty effective, all Panthers receiving 1 or 2 pin markers. The red tankers were not slow in following up the barrage! The Soviets, aware that they only had 6 or possibly 7 moves to advance into the German zone, or better yet off the German table edge, advanced across all sectors...



but concentrating on the track leading off the middle of the table....


This route provided the most cover, although Panther C/S 309 in this sector had successfully rolled an order test to give himself an ambush order - his single pin marker removed, but technically still counted as hidden as a fire order was not issued : crafty!


Not to be outdone in the craftiness stakes, the centre Soviet column advanced stealthily through the woods to stalk their Panther...


As it was 'hidden' it was going to be a difficult shot...


Frustratingly for the Soviets, an amazing first shot hit promptly bounced off the Panther's thick frontal armour...


But its own shooting was pretty good too...


But also failed to penetrate - the side armour of a T34-85!


Meanwhile on the southern flank, C/S 223 was having a good day...


But sheer weight of numbers was telling in the centre...


By move five, with the Soviets having broken though the centre and ganging up on the southerly C/S 421, that Panther C/S 223 was going to have to finish cleaning up the northern sector then head down to save the day. The first part of that task was easily completed...


And for its part Panther C/S 421 was holding its end up....


Despite the mounting pressure...


However a couple of unlucky hits had jammed C/S 421's turret, and the Soviets were manoeuvring on the blind side to take full advantage...


The roll of the dice determined that there would be a move 7, and C/S 223 had moved sufficiently far down table to be able to get in a long range shot - just one T34 knocked out might make a difference...



But both that shot, and those of the T34's against C/S 421, missed! However, the Soviet command tank had managed, with road-double run move, to advance off the German table edge.


Would that be enough to secure victory? The German Defenders destroyed 3 T-34s, for a total of 6 points. The Soviet attackers destroyed 1 Panther, for a victory point, advanced 2 of their T34s into the German zone, for a further 4 points, and the leader tank running of the German table edge earned them another 3 points: 8 - 6 win to the Soviets tankers!

6 comments:

  1. What a wonderful and bloody tank game, splendid pictures, love the Panthers ...

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    1. Merci bien Phil! Yes the Panther is a very attractive looking tank...

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  2. What a nice pictures. It looks like it was a great game!! Cheers

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    1. Thanks so much Alejandro - yes I had a great time!

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  3. Outstanding pictures. I've been seeing a lot of good Boltaction lately and it kind of makes me want to pick it up.

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