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Sunday 9 June 2013

More Bolt Action In The Green Fields Of The Great War

I have not had much spare recently for blogging so sorry for the gap in posting and not passing any comments on the blogs I follow, but I have looked and I am suitably impressed with what I have seen.

 Here in OHQ we recently played another Great War game using Bolt Action rules, the scenario was based on one in the "Through The Mud And The Blood" rules supplement "Stout Hearts And Iron Troopers". This saw a British platoon tasked with clearing a small hamlet, christened "Rawnslie Les Bains" by Dave, of any remaining German troops so that the British advance could continue.

 To make the game a little different I decided to add a separate dice to the order dice, drawing this would trigger drawing a card, the dice would then be returned to the pool so that several cards could be drawn per turn, alternately the die can be left out and put back in at the start of the next turn. Rather than make special cards I decided to utilise the ones for  "Through The Mud And The Blood"

The cards used for this were:

Command Initiative
Levels 1 and 2 for the Germans and 1,2 and 3 for the British, these could be retained and used by any units not activated if the Time For a Snifter card was drawn and the turn ended. The level 3 card could only be used by units within 6" of the platoon HQ. Once used these were then added back to the deck for the next turn.

Up And At Em!
This card could be retained and used by the British to move a unit 6" whether it had already been activated or not. Once used it was not added back to the deck.

Forward Observer
This card allowed a German SOS artillery strike on any visible British target. Once used it was not added back to the deck.

Air Support
This allowed a strafing run by a British aircraft, this is an unplanned attack by a returning recon pilot having a little sport on his way back to base.  Once used it was not added back to the deck.

Blank Card
Just a randomising aid

Time For A Snifter
The turn ends, units not activated can go "DOWN" or can be activated using a Command Initiative Card.

Amendments to the scenario and rules were that all units would need to be spotted before they could be fired on, for this I stole the table from "Kampfgruppe Normandy", the Germans would have twice as many dice than units in the pot, these would be placed in designated positions on the table when drawn out of the pot and placed on ambush orders in the first turn, if spotted and fired upon in the turn or when the alarm is raised a dice would decide if they were an actual unit (4,5 or 6) or a dummy, except for the first one which would be the German sentry, when the first British unit comes within 12" of him, dice, if it is real he can then fire or if a dummy it is assumed that he slips away without firing in either case the alarm is raised. Un-spotted German units can be fired on but count has hidden has per page 117 of the rules.

British Force
HQ - 2nd Lieutenant +1 and two scouts with rifles, regular
Lewis Gun Section - Lewis LMG 2 men, six riflemen and a NCO, regular
Rifle Section - Eight men with rifles and a NCO, regular
Bomber Section - Eight men with rifles and a NCO, regular. To reflect their bombing proficiency they were given the tough fighter rule.
Rifle Grenade Section - Four men with rifle grenade launchers, four loaders with rifles and a NCO, regular. Range 6 - 18", two shots if loader present, one if not. Penetration +1, indirect fire, HE (D2) may fire as rifle.

German Force
HQ - Feldwebel +1, regular and two clerks (to burn documents) with rifles, inexperienced
Three gruppen of eight riflemen and NCO each, regular

The game would last for six turns with a D6 been thrown at the end of turn six to determine the number of extra turns

How It Played Out

Due earlier German artillery fire in the sector the British were obliged to enter the table in artillery formation once on table they could deploy as seen fit by Dave their commander. Dave sent two sections along the right flank using the natural cover provided whilst another section drew the enemies fire, this was his bomber section which went boldly forward driving in the German sentry.
They then assaulted the German infantry in the first house, although depleted by fire from the defenders they carried the position through their superior bombing skills, meanwhile the Lewis section was bought up to engage the Germans in the second house adjacent to the first one 
Meanwhile the bomber section consolidated its position in the captured building and also fired on the Germans in the other building.

The third German gruppe was position in the field next to the house where they were unable to give proper support so they were moved out to protect the other flank, unfortunately when they  reached the road they had already been flanked by the British rifle grenade section, in the following turn they also came under fire from the rifle section and were put to flight.
 In turn six this left the stalwart defenders in house two holding out against the two British sections, they were helped by the arrival of a SOS artillery strike against the Lewis section which although it caused no casualties it seriously weakened the fire coming from it due to several pin markers at the same time the Brits in the adjacent building threw some shocking fire dice.
Over at the German HQ building the rifle grenade section were just gearing up to assault it when they were strafed by there own aircraft. We threw for the additional turns, a one! this did not give enough time for the British to finish the job. A worthy draw was declared.
More pics taken by Dave can be found on LAF

The buildings are 4Ground MDF, I found that they looked a tad pristine for bombed out buildings so I added various Games Workshop washes which I then dry brushed, the grey building is scratch built the farm is a Rapid Fire piece from Colin Rumford, trees and hedges by Last Valley and the figures Great War Miniatures.