Monday 22 January 2018

Russian The Objective

Greeting comrades!

As you may remember, I used some money of the money I was fortunate to receive from Santa to buy a Soviet BA-6 Armoured Car from Warlord Games for the glorious knockdown price of £10 (thanks to the judicious application of vouchers and free shipping offers). Well, here it is...

Nothing too special in terms of painting, but it was a fun kit to build and I finally added some transfers to one of my vehicles - although I can’t shake the feeling that the starts look like targets (more on that later).

I also took the opportunity to use spare transfers to spruce up my truck and my SU-76. The SU-76 is having some more work done on it, but here’s the truck.

This sudden flurry of activity on the Eastern Front was prompted by a 750 point game of Bolt Action against Pete’s Germans. We used Operation Barbarossa lists (that’s 1941) and I decided to go for a ‘red horde’ approach by using a lot of inexperienced units.

My army was as follows:
  • Inexperienced Second Lieutenant & 1 man
  • Inexperienced LMG Squad (12 men)
  • Inexperienced LMG Squad (12 men)
  • Inexperienced Rifle Squad (12 men)
  • Regular NKVD Squad (8 men)
  • Regular MMG Team
  • Regular Anti-Tank Rifle Team
  • Regular 45mm Anti-Tank Gun
  • Regular Medium Mortar Team
  • Anti-Tank Mine Dog Team (2 men)
  • Regular Truck
  • Regular BA-6 Armoured Car
Pete had something along the lines of:
  • Regular Second Lieutenant & 1 man
  • Regular Heer Squad (8 men)
  • Regular Heer Squad (8 men)
  • Regular Heer Squad (8 men)
  • Regular Heer Squad (8 men)
  • Regular MMG Team
  • Regular Light Howitzer
  • Regular Sd.Kfz 222 Armoured Car
  • Regular Panzer I Tank

The mission was ‘Top Secret’ which meant we had to try to get the objective from outside the house and of our own table edge. In the first turn we both struggled to get some units on, my AT Gun, AT Rifle and NKVD Squad all failed orders tests, whilst Pete’s Howitzer and MMG Team weren’t too keen to enter the fray. In fact Pete’s MMG Team continuously failed to come on until the very last turn.

Here’s the state of play at the end of the first turn...

Both of us had opted to push our infantry forwards in a surge towards the objective. Meanwhile, my BA-6 has suffered the curse of new models and completely missed a flank shot on the Panzer I, before being one-shotted by the Sd.Kfz 222.

I’d pushed a truckload if inexperienced troops up the road towards the objective. In retrospect I probably should have gone further onto the objective earlier in the turn and aimed to snatch it before the Germans got into position. As it was the truck was destroyed at the beginning of turn two and the troops took a couple of turns to shake their pins.

By the end of turn two my infantry was massing near the objective whilst the German squads used fire and move tactics to move up and put irritating pins on my ill-trained rabble.

By this point there weren’t really any vehicles left in the game as the curse of new models struck Pete, and the Panzer I was detonated by a single mine dog, and the Sd.Kfz 222 was hit by a mortar shell, pinning it enough to essentially take it out of the game. It would survived to the end but didn’t pass any orders tests. Pete realised he should have been rallying it too late.

On turn three my Anti-Tank Gun showed up, but with no vehicles left to worry about it began pumping shells into the side of the house.

Casualties began to mount as we began the struggle for the objective in earnest. My squad on the right poured fire onto a German Squad which had broken cover to attack my Rufke squad, almost destroying them.

The aforementioned Rifle squad had made a break for the objective, but was shot from several directions and assaulted by the Germans in the house, leaving the objective in German hands.

And so began the desparate race to stop the German escape. I assaulted and wiped out the unit in front of the building, but not before they had handed the objective off to the squad that followed them into the house.

I fired everything I could at the retreating Germans, desperate to get even a single pin that might cause them to fail an orders test, however it was to no avail.

When Pete moved a squad across into the line of fire towards his unit that was retreating with the objective, there was no longer anything I could do.

At the start of turn five, the Germans moved the objective off the board to win.

Ultimately, it was a close game. Me being a bit more aggressive at the beginning, orders dice coming out in a different sequence, or just a little bit of luck in that final round of shooting could have changed everything.

What I have learned is that inexperienced troops aren’t as bad in 2nd edition Bolt Action as they used to be, mainly due to the changes to the rally action. I may aim to ask more of my free Rifle Squad in future outings. 


  1. Nice batrep Kieron, and as for "my BA-6 suffered the curse of new models" which made me laugh - at least it's now 'blooded' ready for its next game ;-)
    I've been reading quite a few WW2 write-ups recently, and this one might just have won me over :-(
    So the "No new projects this year" might not even last until the end of January!

    1. Thanks. I’ve always had a funny relationship with WW2 gaming, I tend to play Bolt Action (and previously Flames of War) because others do, and left to my own devices I probably would never have come to it. Too many uniforms.

      However, as a gaming period it does provide engaging games, a variety of opponents to play (in terms of armies) and a nice mix of vehicles, fixed weapons and infantry to put together.

      Bolt Action also has the benefit of working well at lower points levels to learn the game.

  2. Nice Ruskies Kieron, I always fancied having a crack at the Sovs but just too many minis to paint!

    1. Thanks, although after your zombie output, I’m not sure the “too many minis” excuse holds much water. :)