I've been remiss with postings over the last several weeks, so I'm working backwards now to cover our last few Bolt Action games, starting with Saturday's game in this post (because it's fresh in my memory) and going back to July in subsequent posts (for which I'll just make up stuff because I have no recollection now of how the games went).
The genesis for Saturday's game was when I bought a 1:56 scale T-35 from Company B Miniatures at Enfilade! in May. It was a long time getting done, but I finally completed it in September and was eager to get it into a game. I've completed T-35s in three scales now: the C-in-C model in 1:285th, the now out-of-production Battlefront (Flames of War) model in 15mm, and now this great hulking beast.
|Land battleship Potemkin|
|Action off the port bow!|
But this was the occasion to get it on the table as well as to give Bill Stewart's Soviets and Germans a furlough from their storage boxes.
The game was a 1941 scenario with veteran German infantry holding against a Soviet counterattack lead by the T-35 and a couple squadrons of cavalry. We have no 1941 German tanks in suitable camouflage (as a later post of an earlier game will show, they all wound up in Libya), so we had to trust to the Bolt Action rules about the T-35's unreliability, namely that any pin result from fire takes an automatic +1 pin as well. This is a significant drawback because the tank can be reduced to an ineffectual state after just a few hits. However, perhaps as compensation, the Bolt Action rules make its armor a 9+, which is generous considering that the thickest armor on the tank was only 30mm.
The Russians were Jerry Tyer, Dick Larsen, and I. The Germans were Bill Stewart (who painted all the figures except the "beast") and Phil "clear cut" Bardsley.
I was in the center with my "beast" and two infantry squads. Jerry was on the right with an infantry squad, cavalry squadron, Maxim MMG, and an infantry command group. Dick was on the left with a mortar, infantry squad, cavalry squadron, and mounted command group.
Facing us were Phil on the German right with probably two infantry squads and an MMG, but it was hard to tell because all the trees were in Phil's way. As the game progressed, there were fewer and fewer trees in Phil's position.
|Phil's infantry holds the line amidst sylvan splendor|
|Steadfast defenders of the pea-patch|
|Across the stream|
On the Soviet left, Dick began his patented move-down-the-table-edge maneuver. His cavalry advanced, but then bolted back in response to a fusillade of 7.92mm bullets from Phil's MG-34.
|Defending "Festung Teichschaum"|
|Red Sabres forward!|
Meanwhile, my infantry and the "beast" were whittling away at Phil's right-hand infantry squad and eventually eliminated it with the help of a few 82mm rounds from Dick's mortar.
However, Bill's mortars had finally zeroed in on the T-35 and it was soon hopelessly pinned. I was able to rally once and roll off all the pins, but I was still stationary under a barrage of mortar fire and by next turn, I could no longer do anything because I couldn't pass an order test.
|Pinned and useless|
I was able to get my two infantry squads to advance. One went towards Phil's position on the hill and the other moved to flank "Festung Teichschaum." Faced with two Soviet squads closing in, Bill abandoned his position and got himself embogged in the swamp to his rear.
|Attacking Phil's hill|
|Flank attack on "Festung Teichschaum"|
|Sabres in the bog|
Dick had been slowly working away at Phil's MMG with his infantry squad while Phil moved his other infantry squad to counter the advance of my infantry (and replace his eliminated squad). This gave Dick the opportunity to move his cavalry unopposed down the table edge to ultimately break through the German line.
|Skulking to victory!|
My infantry was now effectively out of action due to repeated hits that pinned me to the point of uselessness. I routinely failed order check after order check.
By turn six, Phil had one mostly intact squad left, Bill was still holding "Festung Erbsenfeld" with one squad and an MMG, with his two mortars still untouched.
|Holding "Festung Erbsensfeld"|
We called it a minor tactical win for Stalin's minions.
No set plans for the next game, but I will run a small Pacific War game at the upcoming NHMGS game day at the Paine Field Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, WA.