Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bolt Action 1940

Another fun night with the Ambler Gamers. This time it was Bolt Action, a scenario designed by Joe and Mark (Mk. I--I'm Mark Mk. II) set in 1940 France. The French have to reinforce a chateau overlooking a crossroads before a reinforced German mechanized platoon can overrun it.

I was controlling the French defending the chateau, while Steve T. ran mes freres rushing to reinforce me. Sadly, his slow and skittish R-35's did what they could to avoid joining the battle, so we would have to make do without armored support in the early turns.

Here is a shot of the lovely die-cut chateau. As you can see from the command die atop it, I have already occupied it with a squad of infantry.  A 25mm anti-tank gun waits patiently for the lead Panzer III to come into range.

Did I say patiently?  My gun crew couldn't wait, so they pushed their gun out into la rue. They got off the first shot, but their shell pinged off the front armor of the Mark III.  They did not last long after that... 

The Germans tried to move around my right flank with a squad of infantry and another Mk. III. I moved my Panhard armored car to slow their advance until my reinforcements could arrive.  Despite the Germans setting up a crossfire, this plucky little vehicle endured four turns of fire  before it got immobilized and engulfed in flames.  Well done mes amis!

Over on Steve T's flank, he had to contend with the other hook of the German pincer. His support weapons occupied a hedge line and fired some feeble shots at one of the German halftracks. Then, a lucky mortar round found its target, devastating the squad riding within.    

Well, Steve and I did not have long to celebrate the joys of pinpoint mortar accuracy when the Steve P's own mortar support found its target. Another lucky shell found its way through two floors of the chateau to devastate my occupying infantry squad.  Of all the things to come down the chimney that night, i would have much preferred Pere Noel.

Another shot of the chateau.  You can see the pin markers piling up on my squad within and on my gallant Panhard.  Steve P. has moved a squad to the hedge beyond the chateau, and I have countered with an MG behind the wall on this side. However, as Steve P occupied the woods to the right, my hold on the objective was starting to slip.

Jow and Steve P survey the field at the end of the game.  Steve T's infantry finally reached the chateau, but the Germans had a substantial force ready to pounce.  We decided to call it a well-fought draw, with lots of wild twists of fortune to make it a fun game night. One highlight was the lucky shell from a French 75 that glanced off the Panzer III that had taken out my ATG earlier.  While the damage was superficial, the tank commander was apparently so rattled that the tank remained immobile for the next four turns.  From what I have seen on other boards, the early was does not get a lot of love from Bolt Action players. I hope scenarios like this show that 1940 can be as wild and fun as 1944. 

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