Palmer and I spent Sunday at The Sentry Box running a demo of the Bolt Action WWII rules for some local gamers. We had four people who came to the store to check out that game with three of them playing and a fourth just watching and asking questions.
The table was set up with a farm on one half and a wooded, hilly section on the other. Sadly I don’t have enough tress to really create the effect I wanted so it looked more sparse than I was hoping for.
We brought out 600 point forces and walked the players through the rules and provided some advice and suggestions while they played. Happily my advice seemed to work this time and the German player didn’t suffer my usual ignoble fate.
We played the Point Defence scenario with the Germans choosing to defend. With the exception of a sniper and a small SMG squad, the Germans deployed on board. Some lucky rolls meant that the Germans were almost all effected by the Preliminary Bombardment. It took some time to get rid of all of those initial Pin markers and the German forces in the leftmost farm buildings were never able to be rid of Pin markers for the entire game due to some initial failures to rally.
The two American players pushed most of their infantry along the left of the board hoping to grab the two left-most objectives and secure a win. Most of the German infantry was split between the left and right-most objectives with the idea that the SMG squad would come on later to either clear the centre objective out or capture it. With their flank refusal deployment it meant that one of the German squads was well out of range for combat. The MMG and Medium Mortar team were also well out of combat but this really only had an impact on the MMG as the mortar could range in across the entire table.
Palmer managed to fit his Forward Air Observer and an armoured car into his list and so the German sniper was tasked with attempting to take out the FAO and the leIG18 was placed near the road to hopefully attempt to pin or destroy the armoured car when it appeared. Luckily the Americans took the bait and sent the car out to take out the leIG18 and the two of them had a nice gun duel that resulted in the loss of the leIG18.
With little to actually affect the armoured car I did a quick read through the rules and realized that it was very susceptible to infantry assault. Knowing that it would just cause them to use the recce escape rules, the German squad nearest to it attempted to assault the armoured car. Over the course of two turns this pushed the car away from the third objective and into a traffic jam with one of the American squads, a bazooka team and the American HQ.
The American attack was delayed by the slightest thing. The German sniper team came on board on only managed to get a single shot before being destroyed. But that one pin marker, and no injuries, caused the squad to fail its next Order test, fail the second with a FUBAR roll and then fire on the second American squad killing some troops and adding a pin marker. The American ability to win the game was markedly hampered by that one Pin marker.
In the end the Americans were only able to secure a single objective despite me urging them to attempt to assault the leftmost building. This ended the game in a hard fought draw.
Despite being a small sized game it was actually quite a lot of fun, even to watch. The amount of different units you can get in a 600pt force is actually quite surprising. Next time if I am bringing a squad of SMG toting troops I will spend the points to make them veterans.
The medium mortar was a lot more effective this game than last. I dropped some smoke with it and also used it to pressure the armoured car off of a position and then begin to slowly range in on an American squad near the end of the game. Certainly not a precise piece of gear but certainly a lot more effective than I first thought.