AAR – Bolt Action – 1000pts – Soviets V Germans – Hold Until Relieved – Kursk Mini-Campaign 3

With the mini-campaign tied at one all and $20 worth of sushi and sake on the line, my mate and I were looking forward to our third and final game for the campaign to decide the winner.

 Forces

I upped the points this time round and included some new things.

Soviet01 - Soviets

1st Lieutenant, plus two staff with rifles (inexperienced

Forward Artillery Observer team (two members)

Two SMG squads, comprising of 10 men each with AT grenades (regular)

Two LMG squads, comprising of 10 men each with an LMG (inexperienced)

Free green rifle squad (12 men, inexperienced)

Maxim MMG (regular)

82mm medium mortar (inexperienced)

Zis-3 AT gun (regular)

T34/76 (regular)

German: 02 - Germans

1st Lieutenant, plus two staff with SMGs (regular)

Seven man pioneer squad with flamethrower (veteran)

Hanomag halftack (for the pioneers, inexperienced)

Three Heer Grenadier squads, each with eight men, two SMGs and a panzerfaust (regular)

MG42 MMG (regular)

81mm medium mortar (inexperienced)

Sniper team (veteran)

Panzer IV G (regular)

Table and Mission

Here is the table. I bought a new jigsaw and finished cutting out my roads, but didn’t get around to finishing them. I did, however, make three new houses and a small rural Orthodox church which turned out really well. The mission chosen was Hold Until Relieved. The church in the centre of the field was the objective. To hold the objective one side needed infantry or artillery within 3” of the objective at the end of the game – turn 6 with a 50% chance of turn 7.

Order of Battle

As the defender, I set up one Heer Grenadier squad and the MG42 team up in the church. Half my remaining force would constitute wave one and the rest would be in reserve. Wave one was the Hanomag, Pioneers, sniper team and 81mm mortar. Reserves consist of the other two Heer Grenadier squads, HQ and Panzer IV G. My mate deployed, from my left to right, an LMG squad forward in the field, Maxim in the upper floor of the barn, HQ in the lower floor of the barn, 82mm mortar behind the barn, SMG squad left of centre on the road, the other SMG squad right of centre next to the house, second LMG squad on the hill and the rifle squad in te forest. The T34/76 and Zis-3 were both placed in reserve, as they were not infantry untis, along with the forward artillery officer team.

 Turn one was mostly uneventful. The two SMG squads ran towards the church so that they would be within assault range come turn two. The mortar fired on the church and missed. My Heer shot and missed the SMG team to the left, while I made the incredibly stupid decision to move my MG42 team out of the church and into the open to bring to bear on the right SMG team next turn. What then happened was both the rifle team in the woods and LMG team in the field opened fire and killed the MG42 – the first casualty of the battle, again! Meanwhile the LMG squad on the hill ran forward onto the road and the Soviet HQ went down. My sniper ran on into the house roughly left of centre in my half, the mortar moving up behind it with the spotter darting off the left. My half track came on and took out two or three men in the LMG squad on the road – including scoring exceptional damage and taking out the NCO! My pioneers then jumped out and lit up the Rifle squad. The flamethrower scored three hits, but only killed one, and only added one further pin. My mate tested for morale and seven. Now, I wasn’t sure which order things needed to be done in at this point. As it was, the Rifles were going to be destroyed after failing their morale by 1, but given they were Green and had taken one casualty from the flamethrower, they also needed to check to see if they turned regular, stacked on more pins or had no change. I wasn’t sure whether this check came after all shooting from my squad was resolved, or before shooting from the rest of the squad. We did it before the rest of the shooting, they turned regular which upped their morale by one and they stayed in the game. The rifles then fired and picked off two or three more – again scoring exceptional damage and taking out the NCO!

Turn two and my sniper fired on the SMG squad on the left, picking off the NCO of that squad. The mortar fired on the church again and missed before the SMG squad to the right assaulted scoring 8 kills while my men (fighting simultaneously, could only score two and were destroyed. On the road, the LMG squad assault my pioneers – which resulted in a disaster when they scored only one kill to the pioneers 3 and were destroyed. The T34 came on and put the halftrack on fire, but didn’t destroy it, and machine gunned the pioneers to no effect. The rifle squad failed their order test and went down, likewise the left SMG squad. I ran my pioneers across the road towards the centre. My mortar fired and missed the SMG team before they assaulted while my other two Heer squads came on and shot at the LMG squad in the field. The first squad only killed one man before taking three casualties in return shooting before the other Heer squad picked off two from the LMG squad – again including the NCO. My half track (which had rolled snake eyes for the morale check in response to the fire) passed its order test on a 3 and advanced left behind the house right of the church. My Panzer IV G then came on and popped the T34 in a single shot. My mate had decided to put the Zis-3 down – we forgot about the forward artillery officer team.

Turn three and the Pioneers struck again. Moving up and flaming the church they scored six hits, but only killed two, and two pins. The SMG squad failed their morale and were destroyed. The Rifle squad went down again, the Zis-3 moved on next to the T34 wreck. I moved my Panzer left behind the house right of the church. I kept my HQ down behind the right house in my half while the half track went down. One of my Heer squads advanced and whittled the remaining LMG squad down a little more, which then assaulted my other Heer squad and destroyed it. The surviving SMG squad made their way into the house left of the church. The Soviet HQ went down again and Maxim moved up while the mortar missed the pioneers. Finally the forward artillery officer team came on and called artillery down in between the pioneers and Panzer.

The artillery came in without issue at the start of turn four, but it wasn’t very spectacular – the Pioneers received one pin, the Panzer three and the half track two. I moved my HQ up to provide the morale bonus to my Panzer – and then promptly forgot it when I actually made the order test, forcing the Panzer down. My pioneers moved up without issue though and doused the house left of the church in flame – causing a couple of casualties and resulting in the SMG squad failing their morale and being destroyed. The Zis-3 moved up to get range on my Panzer IV while the Maxim moved up to be near the church and open to shoot at my Pioneers. My remaining Heer squad assaulted and destroyed the remaining LMG squad without loss while the sniper took out a crew member from the Maxim and the mortar missed everything. The Soviet HQ and forward observation teams both moved up to be able to contest the church, while the Rifle squad finally passed their order test and moved onto the road from the forest.

The Zis-3 scored the first dice of turn five and popped my Panzer IV. My pioneers then flamed and destroyed the Maxim – but my flamethrower then ran out of fuel and was removed. My remaining Heer squad moved up to seize the church. The Soviet HQ moved into range of the church and the forward observers entered it. The Rifle squad, yet again, went down.

Turn six and the Soviet HQ and forward observer were both killed. From memory the Pioneers assaulted the forward observers in the church and took them out without loss, while the last Heer squad (which was still at full strength) blasted away the HQ. By this time it was 10:30 and we were both tired. The Rifle squad failed its order test and went down again and we decided we would call it there.

Aftermath

With victory for the Germans, the mini-campaign ended 2:1 in the German’s (my) favour. And to the victor go the spoils: in the next fortnight we will be going out for sushi and sake, with my mate shouting me $20 of what I eat/drink. I’m not sure what we’ll play next time, but we’ve agreed to delay our Flames of war games in North Africa until sometime in the future.

Post Script

Firstly, this battle actually took place two months ago, I’ve been very lazy in posting it. Secondly, the new WordPress media browser is utterly terrible.