Wednesday, 27 March 2019


My first club night in a month and full of enthusiasm I chose Bolt Action and a game against Simon's Russians, 900 points although I would have liked more. I wanted to use my Stummel so in order to do so, as the thing is for some unknown reason classed as a tank, as is the halftrack with the rockets on the side, I had to take two platoons as I also needed something to take on the inevitable KV1. I therefore ended up with four small squads, two of them veteran with two LMG's instead of one and a sniper. My plan was to bring down a lot of firepower on the big Russian squads and wipe them out.

  We rolled for the scenario and got Breakout from the 'Barbarossa to Berlin' book, the Germans had to get units into the western side of the battlefield or off the table, the Russians got points for killing German squads etc. The attack was at dawn therefore sighting rolls had to be made before the onset of daylight. The Russians set up along their line and managed to get two units dug in, this, along with the hidden rules meant these guys were almost impossible to hit, the chance of hitting the others was almost as bad. But hey ho, is that the sun coming up?

Some of Simon's lovely Russians.
 No, it wasn't the sun coming up, in fact the sun didn't appear until move six, this completely ruined my plan of superior firepower as I could not see anything, and when I did my guys either went to ground or missed completely. My so called veterans on whom I had been depending on to deal out death and stop the usual sneaky flamethrower were worse than useless.

Panzer IV

The KV1 turned up after a delay and the Panzer IV managed two shots at it, both hit but bounced off, the KV did nothing in return. My only success was the Stummel as I had predicted, it caught a Russian squad trying to sneak up and assault the Panzer, the HE shot caused enormous casualties and as the squad failed its morale it dispersed. Time was up and I had read the victory conditions wrong, although I had wiped out two Russian units I did not get points for them, I had no one on the Western table side as it would have been suicide to have run guys up there and suddenly the lights came on. Simon had killed one full squad and therefore got two victory points.

Useless veterans.
 A very disappointing game for me, partly due to me being a bit useless and partly down to terrible dice luck, for instance, four LMG's firing and getting no casualties at point blank range. The main reason though was not getting daylight until the very end turn, how unlucky is that, this negated my Plan A and I had no Plan B. I also think that the scenario has to be chosen before we start so that the forces can be tailored somewhat for that objective, because it is a game and not a simulation. We did manage to get through the visibility/night fighting rules which otherwise we would not have bothered with, would I use them again, probably if I had to or give a more specific intervention of daylight. My commander's watch must have been fast. At least the Stummel came through, yessssssss.

I have at last got back to my SYW painting, I am at the lace stage for the grenadiers and managed to do five of them in 45 minutes the other night, home alone tonight so I hope to get all the lace done on the remaining figures.

I have went a bit daft again with the cash lately, I got a couple of books, some new Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes (ouch) and two more pieces of kit for Bolt Action, one for each side.


  1. Half-track =tank, you just have to love Bolt Actions absurdities. It appears that sunrise is somewhat random in Russia, but as you say perhaps Hans forgot to put his watch right, but such is wargames, all part of the fun and you "enjoyed" it that's what counts?

    1. It would seem at platoon level we only have Chain of Command or Bolt Action for choice and I really dislike the former. My sunny disposition can usually rise above setbacks, but I was sorely tried last night, I had been so looking forward to it. But as you say, that's wargaming.

  2. Oh George!
    Yes the BA lists can sometimes be a little daft - that's why Dave, Mike, Steve, etc and I often "bend" them slightly ;o) Then we can have some reasonably representative looking forces and use our toys.
    Pity that the night fighting rules spoiled your game, when we played it with the Para drop on "Warton-sur-mer" they worked quite nicely.
    Look forward to seeing more painting and your new kit!
    PS - that photo ... shorts! :-D

    1. They worked fine for our game but last night's results may never happen again (hopefully). I know people who would kill for legs like those.

  3. The hidden joys of Bolt Action, eh?

    1. My brilliant generalship is being somewhat undermined by bad luck .............

  4. Good report ! My essential Wargaming mantra, which I say three times silently every night before I commence my snoring entertainment for my wife, goes like this:
    1. Once the worst possible die roll is known it will be thrown
    2. Bad luck is a well that never stops giving
    3. All rule writers are scunners
    4. Morale is a Royale Corral of disappointment
    5. If a unit has the option of not doing anything useful, it will always choose that option
    6. If you deploy an invincible unit* tank* ship* gun* leader* *fortress (delete as applicable) and it is is attacked, it will fall.
    7. If your opponent deploys an historically inept wobble fest of a unit* tank*etc etc, and you attack it, you will fail
    8. Rules writers are all evil, historically inarticulate, and gallus
    9. Why did Dumbarton Rock? Because it saw the River Leven
    10. I ran out if wargames talent after reading Advanced Wargames by Dinald Featherstonevwhen I was 16

    1. I have been a victim of several of those if not all Ken. Scunner, forgot all about that wonderfully descriptive word.