February 17, 2014

Battle Report: 2/16/2014 Bolt Action 'Soviet Union vs United States'

Seeing how this coming weekend I will be playing in a Bolt Action tournament 'Gathering in the Desert', I thought that I should probably get a few games in to actually learn the game.  My Soviet Union army was finally painted, and my sons United States army was assembled, so we decided to yesterday to throw down in the garage for a couple of games.

Since I am just getting back into gaming, my selection of terrain is slim pickings and the tabletop was more of an open battlefield.  It was OK for our games since we were both concentrating on learning the rules rather than the actual outcome of the games.

We did make a few mistakes through out the games, but it was good to actually take the time to look up those mistakes/rules and to try and not make them again.  In a tournament, time is of the essence, so we would rather take the extra time now to look them up.  In our second game, we did play against the clock to try and speed up our play in preparation for this weekend, so no photos were taken of the second game.

For this being my very first two games that I played of Bolt Action, I honestly have to admit that is the best game that I have played.  It really fits my style of gaming.  I enjoy more of the sit back and shoot type of games (compared to assaulting in) and this is it for me.  There are assaults in Bolt Action and they are much easier to figure out than that GW 40K game, but they are more brutal in Bolt Action, a unit of 3 men can defeat a unit of 12 men since it is all in the dice.  I prefer to take my shots from afar.

Game 1
Scenario: Maximum Attrition

We thought that the scenario 'Maximum Attrition' was going to be a good scenario for our first game since it was all about destroying the other army.  In this game the Soviets had everything going for them.  They were easily able to wipe out once side of the board and then concentrate on an 'outflanking' reserve unit that the Americans had coming in on the other side of the table.  In the end, the Soviets totally decimated the Americans with only limited casualties to the Soviets.

Soviet Infantry coming into the game on Turn 1.
Soviet T-34/85 coming into the game on Turn 1 and getting 'Massive Damage'
on the Americans M4A3 Sherman, first 'Immobilizing' the tank, then setting the tank
 'On Fire' which caused the Americans to fail their 'Morale Check'  in sense
being 'Knocked Out'.

Americans causing some casualties to the 'Inexperienced'  free Soviet
Rifleman to the far left, but the rest of the Soviets started to take control
on this side of the tabletop.

Soviets finishing the clearing of this side of the tabletop so they then
can concentrate their fire in the opposite direction with some Americans
coming in on an 'Outflank'.
Game 2
Scenario: Top Secret

In the scenario 'Top Secret' the objective of the game is to secure the 'objective marker' in the center of the board and bring it back into your zone and off the table edge.  If you succeed in this you 'win' the game, otherwise if neither player accomplishes this task, then the game is a 'draw'.  More than likely this scenario will be used in next weeks tournament with one slight twist.  If neither army successfully takes the 'objective marker' off of their own table edge, but controls the 'objective marker' at the end of the game, then the army that controls the 'objective marker' will earn a 'minor victory'.  We decided to play this game in a faster pace with a 2 1/2 hour time limit in preparation for the tournament.

With both armies having to start in 'reserves' it was not looking good for the Soviets in the first two turns of the game.  The Soviets could barely get any of their units into the game, and the units that were on the board were being wiped out by the Americans.  The Soviets had two full infantry squads destroyed before their entire army was finally into the game.  With this, the Americans captured the 'objective marker' first and then handed the marker to an infantry squad that was heading towards a half track so they can drive it off the table.  The Soviets finally came through and concentrated their fire power on the American infantry squad causing them to be destroyed off the table and the T-34/85 immobilizing the American half track so any quick get away by the Americans was now spoiled.  The Soviet infantry then managed to capture the marker that was left by the Americans.  On an 'order test' for the Soviets to run back to their own table edge (with other Soviet units prepared to accept the marker in a hand off) the Soviets rolled double sixes for a 'FUBAR' and then rolled to run away from the closest visible enemy unit, this still allowed the Soviets to keep the 'objective marker' and they ran back towards their table edge, but now they ran past the unit that was originally setup to accept a hand off.  It was now near the end of Turn 6 and time had expired.  It was a hard fought battle, but the Soviets managed to hold the 'objective marker'.  Per the book rules, this game was a 'draw', per tournament rules, it was a 'minor victory' for the Soviets.

Both games were fun, and like I stated above, the rules for Bolt Action really fit my gaming style.  When it comes to tabletop miniatures, I am more of Collector/Painter/Gamer where I enjoy collecting different armies and getting them painted more than I do the actual gaming.  With Bolt Action, I can say that I actually really enjoy playing this game.  The number one rule for me to always remember is that it is just a game, and just have fun.....  leave the die hard competitiveness at the door.

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