Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bolt Action: Outskirts of Stalingrad

After last weeks game I actually got a chance to read through all the rules, which cleared up a few things. So this week Dave and Patrick showed up to play another round of Soviets attacking Germans in and Envelopment scenario.

As Dave was here we saw the return of Serzhant Boris Trotsy (Dave's Character from our old Savage Worlds  East Front campaign). We said after last weeks terrible performance, the Soviet Platoon Commander was Executed and Serzhant Trotsky was promoted to some sort of Senior Sergeant and placed in charge of the platoon – and attached supporting elements!?



An enemy pocket of resistance along the Volga River must be dealt with! The Germans are to be engaged and pinned in place by a portion of the attacking Soviet force, while the rest will make their way around the enemy position to surround them and isolate them from their supply chain. 


We played SCENARIO 1: ENVELOPMENT, straight out of the  Bolt Action rulebook. Dave and Patrick played the attacking Soviets, and gained victory points by getting their troops into my deployment zone or off my edge to he table by the end of the game (which would be 6-7 turns).

Both forces were just under 1000 points.


Soviet Forces

1x Senior Lieutenant + 2 runners Spotter (Veteran)
1x Medic Spotter (Veteran)
1x Sniper and Spotter (Veteran)
1x Infantry Squad (NCO w/SMG, DP + Loader, 8 SMG-gunners – Regular)
3x Rifle Squads (NCO w/SMG, DP + Loader, 7 Riflemen – Regular)
1x MMG Team (Regular)
1x Medium Mortar team + Spotter (Regular)
1x Flamethrower Team (Regular)
1x T34/76 (Veteran)
1x BA-64 Spotter (Veteran)

German Forces

1x Company Commander (Major) + 1 orderlies w/ SMG (Veteran)
1x Sniper and Spotter (Veteran)
1x Senior Lieutenant + Sergeant ( Regular)
3x Infantry Squad  (NCO w/SMG, MG34 + Loader, 7 Riflemen – Regular)
1x Infantry Squad  (NCO w/SMG, Riflemen w/Panzerfaust– Regular)
1x MMG team (Regular)
1x Medium Mortar Team + Spotter (Regular)
1x Pak40 AT Gun and Crew (Regular)


Dave and Patrick set up the terrain while I was busy with other stuff and then I selected a side to defend from. I didn’t give it much thought and my choice was based more on which side my toys were sitting on than any tactical considerations.

Put pretty much everything on the table with the exception of the higher command and the “Tank Hunter” section.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The preliminary bombardment rolls in.

My platoon command team was hit and took two pin markers

One of the German infantry sections was also hit – taking two pin markers and a casualty!

On the first turn the Soviets came rolling on. All but one unit came on in the first wave – the Flame thrower team was left in reserve and I knew – KNEW – from the get-go that it would be flanking and wait until turn 5 to come on – right next to my mortar – and burn them up then scarper off my table edge. My mortar observer could see them so I dropped a bomb to their rear – missing…

End of Turn One/Beginning of Turn Two – Soviets all pushing up their right flank – Germans desperately trying to redeploy – the command team, having two pin markers actually failed to give themselves orders on the first turn!

I’d rushed a section of German infantry into the village and occupied a building hoping it might stall the Russian advance through there…. AS one Russian section moved from one building to another, my Germans ambushed them hitting four and causing two casualties…

Germans continuing to redeploy.

On Turn Two – the Pak40 got a lucky shot across a couple hedges and a stone wall and hit and immobilized the T-34!

My sniper also hit – and added a pin marker to the Soviet MMG team.

By the end of turn two, however, My sole German section in the town was feeling pretty alone and exposed…

Straight off the Soviet SMG Squad stormed the building the Germans were holed up in taking one casualty on the way in, and another in the building… but destroyed the German section and occupied the building!

The AT gun had tried another shot at the T-34, but missed.

The BA-64, followed by a Soviet infantry section, stormed through the village and shot up the Tank Hunter Team, killing four and setting the sole survivor to flight.

Then the Soviet MMG team wiped out the German sniper team…

The T-34 also hit the AT gun, killing one of the crew.

Three German units lost in Turn Three and my left flank – the flank the Russians were advancing on – was wide open…

End of Turn Three/beginning of Turn Four – the village solely occupied by the Soviets.

Germans still trying to get to someplace where they could bring some fire down on the

T-34 firing on advancing Germans… later the BA-64 roared forward and shot up a second rifleman from this section. Despite that they were finally able to bring fire upon a Russian squad, killing two…

End of Turn Four

Beginning of Turn Five; Half a German infantry section – sitting in the open – along with an AT gun and a German Major and his adjutant is all that’s standing in the way of the Soviet advance – a full platoon supported by and armoured car!

Russian MMG takes down a few more Germans… The same section also took fire from the village… and somewhere else…? They had 3 pin markers at some point, making in rather difficult to do anything!?

The Soviet SMG Squad charges…

…and wipes out another German section… at this point I’d run out of German casualty markers…  The Soviets regrouped after the close assault right in front of the German Major and the AT Gun.

The German commander hadn’t gone yet, so was able to shoot them up at point blank range (I didn’t figure there was any point in having him run away – there was no where to RUN TO!?)

Ah, there they are with three pin markers

And then the Russian Flame thrower team succeeded in their flank maneuver and entered the table right next to my defenceless Mortar team…

…and roasted them… I hoped this might provide me with a victory point (or two, rather) but the Flame trhouwer checked fuela dn still had some so they stayed on the table and sauntered off my table edge the next turn, unopposed.

End of Turn five, beginning of Turn Six.

At least during turn five I’d been able to back the AT gun away from the SMG Squad, and out of the zone the Russian mortar team had been trying to zero in on since turn two, and line them up so that, if I was lucky, on Turn Six I might be able put them in ambush and be able to take a shot at the BA-64 as it tried to roll off the table.

Strangely the Russian SMG squad FAILED to received their order to advance and over run the German Higher Command, standing two inches away!? So the Major and his adjudant got another turn of point blank fire, but as they were now “down” I only took out one more…

Last chance for German glory – the AT gun successfully got their ambush order and got a hot off at the BA-64 as it tried to roll off… but missed. The surviving German infantry section (having rallied the previous turn) shot up the Russian MMG team killing two of it’s members. The remaining team member hung on, however, denying me a single victory point.

Total Victory Points

4x Units exited off German edge of table = 12
5x Units in the German Deployment zone at end of game = 10
5x German Units destroyed = 5

Russian Victory P{oint Total = 32.

Sweet F-A…

This turned out to be a really fun game, if rather one-sided game. I think the terrain had a bit to do with that… and force selection…

I had a lot of point tied up in that higher German command which I mostly took just to fill out the force quickly and not take too much stuff because I was worried about disadvantaging the Russian “attackers”. I totally could have dropped him and the “tank hunter squad” and taken a Marder or something… totally wouldn’t have disadvantaged the Soviets too much… might have made for a slightly less one-sided game.

I had noted as I was setting this up that the previous game had been played on a surface that was much narrower than it should have been – probably 5’ instead of 6’ this considerably influenced the outcome. It’s startling how much that one extra foot you have to defend can mean!? When the soviets put ALL of their force running up one side and the bulk of my infantry was set up on the other I had a much harder time redeploying them. (Perhaps I should have left more of them in reserve. I mistakenly guessed that, with tanks, they’d come across the slightly more open side that try to push their way through the village…

If I’d been able to start dug in it would have vastly changed how things turned out… would it have been too much…? I don’t know… It’s damn near 4AM and I’m too tired to think about it too much more…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I was just finishing up some Modern Soviets in NBCD gear before the game, I’ll get pics up of them in the morning… or, rather, later in the morning… 


  1. Great battle report as becomes your standard. However second line in your scenario heading is probably due to sleep deprivation ?

    Very interested to hear what you think of the game itself ?

    1. About "no armour or artillery"? Thanks. Yeah I copied and pasted some of that stuff from last weeks game as much i=of it was the same information.

      The game is alright. The lack of clear rules about entrenchments is kind of puzzling...

      And the force composition has sort of a Flames of War Feel - one platoon that's supported by an MMG team and a Medium Mortar and a tank and an armoured car and a flame-thrower AND a sniper AND... AND... That's got to be the best reinforced platoon in the whole war!?

      Of course once I have a really good handle on the game I'll ditch the force construction rules and standard scenarios and run scenarios as I see fit...

  2. Great report ! Very nice photos !

  3. Looks like it was a great game despite the German loss. I do agree that the army you had some disadvantages based on selections you made and I agree it would have done better if you went with a different approacb. Perhaps even took two platoons and some slightly smaller unit sizes to say 7 are two things I think would have helped spread your firepower out.

    1. It was a really fun game, indeed. Playing with good people makes all the difference in the world. And Dave and Patrick are the best sort of people to play games with. They're there to have fun. Everybody has fun.