Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Bolt Action game: Soviets vs German paras

We played a fun game of Bolt Action today, with Soviets and German paras duking it out over a bridge.  Highlights of the game were my flamethrower team burninating two German squads (and the gunner of the team living to tell about it and, I like to think, carrying his wounded assistant to safety after the 'thrower ran out of gas) and the PaK 40 defeating both T-34s.  We called the game a draw, as both sides were shot to pieces but neither side had clear control of the bridge. Pics below and a few of my thoughts on Bolt Action afterward.

My forces: three squads, a flame thrower, a mortar, an officer, and two T-34s.  The Germans had some broken, overpowered, over-statted paratroopers that I didn't bother taking a picture of.*
*the commissar is right behind me, watching what I type.

The board. 6'x4'. Buildings by Miniature Building Authority; old latex roads by...someone; a river by...someone. 

I think that's a Hovel bridge. Technically 20mm but it worked fine for the game.

"Don't worry, men. I'm sure that wooded area won't be infested with panzerfausts and MG-42s."

Moving out. My numerical advantage was limited so I pressed on one side of the board and kept my tanks in the denser terrain, where I figured the enemy's ATG wouldn't be able to zero in very easily. We advanced cautiously, in bounds, keeping my troops covered as they moved.

The Germans, being overpowered and overstatted and generally a Cheater Army, open fire with an LMG.*
*The commissar has noted my lack of zeal and wishes me to correct the problem.
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T-34 coming up for direct support.
The Germans put out some nasty small arms fire from the house to the Russians' left. The Soviets put it under accurate mortar and 76.2mm HE fire and drove the paras out.
The flamethrower goes forward! This guy was the star of the match. He helped defeat 2 enemy squads.

Confident that the PaK 40 was lurking somewhere just outside my LOS, I set up my T-34s to dash across the bridge.  When the first came around the corner...

The Pak 40 noticed...

...and killed the lead T-34.

However, the second T-34 charged up the bridge and opened up. The tank and the ATG exchanged fire for a while. The tank was shot up but not destroyed and the ATG lost two crew.

Two shots of the heroic flamethrower team.  They survived numerous volleys of enemy fire and charged up to burn out a German held building.  The stack of Flames of War counters indicate the number of pins they stacked up on the enemy. German fire finally killed the assistant, but the gunner remained and finished the job before withdrawing.

 Above-shot of the table when we called the game.
 This is my third or fourth game of Bolt Action.  Overall, the game is pretty decent. It plays quickly and can turn from one side's favor several times in a game, which makes for exciting games.  As far as the game's design, it is as if you took Warhammer 40k and stripped away all the garbage mechanics and clumsiness.  Much to its credit to has an interesting Pinned mechanic and, praise the gods new and old, an opportunity rule, something a certain other big market WWII/Cold War Gone Hot game inexplicably lacks.

I think there is definitely some strangeness in the game, though.  Mortars are really uneven, requiring such a high roll to range in---they were platoon and company commanders' best weapons but you don't really get that in the game.  I thought that the T-34s were weak against the ATG, a problem I've seen in other games. If I had been engaged by an enemy tank, I think my surviving T-34 could have damaged or destroyed it much more easily than an unentrenched ATG, which doesn't feel right to me.
That being said, however, the $*!&# game has won me over enough to want to buy 28mm British at some point in the future. As if I needed WWII in another scale, especially the one I don't particularly like...oh well!

Thanks to my uncle for providing the great figures and terrain and for playing the Germans for once.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Table is looking gorgeous! Give your uncle my kudos.

    1. Thanks Ivan! He does have some fantastic terrain.