Here’s the table – I particularly like the effect given by the lichen. Must get me a bag!
|Somewhere in the east...|
With no troops starting on the table (other than snipers and observers) this turn was all about advancing. My chaps made the best use of the cover afforded by the church walls in the centre and the orchard on the right flank. Steve, with superior numbers, advanced all across the line.
|Jerry advances to good cover|
|Here come the Russians!|
My Panzer IV rumbles on to the battlefield (okay, it’s a Stug... I recently moved house and the Pz IV is still in a box somewhere!) and blasts away at the Russian tank. It’s a hit, but rolling a ‘1’ for penetration saw the shell harmlessly ricochet off the thick armour.
|Both forces advance into cover while the AFVs battle it out|
|Panzergrenadiers in the orchard|
|Russians in the fields and lanes|
Things really began to hot up this turn. I opened with a spectacular FUBAR that resulted in my squad in the churchyard opening fire against their mates crewing the MG42 by the orchard. Two of the three machine gunners fell dead but thankfully the last chap held his nerve.
Steve’s heavy mortar targets the German assault squad on the road. Rolling a natural 6 Steve drops the shot plum on target and wipes out the entire squad! Ouch. The German squad in the field next to the newly cratered road promptly failed their command test and went down. Suddenly the left flank was looking a bit frail.
Poor command rolls dogged the German forces this turn with a total of four failed tests from my nine units – there’s not much you can do when you roll 10s and 11s. This meant that the Russian horde could continue their advance with very little German shooting to oppose them.
|The pesky Russian heavy mortar|
|Now you see them ...|
|... now you don't!|
|The fourth failed morale test this turn!|
|End of turn 3 and the Germans are keeping their heads down|
Whilst Steve made another cuppa I took a few "across the table" pics. Most came out a little too blurry (camera phone!) but these two are okay I think.
The Russian tank had two lucky escapes this turn. The Pz IV shot hit but bounced off the armour, so a brave Grenadier with a Panzerfaust stepped forward to blast the enemy in the flank. I rolled a 5 to hit ... then, needing just 2+ to penetrate, the dice bounced and rolled a 1. It gained a couple of pins but that didn’t seem to bother the crew as they continued to roll forward spraying bullets into the squad sheltering in the churchyard.
The Russian heavy mortar team, buoyed by their earlier success, targetted another German squad. This time it was the large veteran squad who’d moved out of the orchard across the fields to claim an objective - see the pic above. Steve rolled another natural 6. The 10 man squad was rapidly reduced to just 2 men, an LMG team, plus they picked up a heap of pins.
|A faulty panzerfaust?|
|"Hans, can you hear a whistling sound?"|
|End of turn 4|
Again German command rolls were dreadful – but at least there were no more FUBARs. What on earth was going on with these chaps? The result was several squads of Russian SMG armed troops getting perilously close and virtually unopposed. Gulp!
At last my Panzer commander got all his ducks in a line and put a shell right through the Russian tank. But... it still wasn’t knocked out, instead it was ablaze. The Russian crew had four pins by now so Steve rolled 2D6 looking for 5 or less, but they’d had enough and leapt for safety as the tank brewed up.
Steve’s heavy mortar actually missed yet another of my squads – we were both surprised ;o) Next turn the squad (at the edge of the field in the pic below) would need to pass their morale test otherwise that mortar was bound to blast them.
|The T-85 is finally knocked out|
This turn saw a lot of close range firepower dished out by Steve’s Russians, with most of my squads already having several pins it wasn’t looking good for Jerry! I managed to inflict some casualties in return but Steve’s men (and women, Reg) had the best of it.
First dice out of the bag was black – so time to get that squad moving before the mortar zeroed in ... yup, you guessed it, they rolled high and went down instead. Steve wasted no time with the mortar, requiring a 5+ and rolling yet another natural 6 to blow the grenadiers to smithereens as they crawled through the wheat fields. That pesky mortar had accounted for more than a third of my army.
|End of turn 6|
Steve had at last managed to get one of his dog bomb teams in range of my Panzer. I’d blasted them with everything I could muster in previous turns but one still made it through the hail of bullets ...
|Not so nice doggy!|
|Woof! Woof! ... BOOM!|
And that was pretty much it. Steve held two objectives, I held one and the fourth was still contested. So a win for Steve 2 to 1. However, in terms of casualties the result was much more in favour of the Russians. Another superb game of Bolt Action. My thanks to Steve for being an excellent host :o)