Saturday 19 September 2020

Line Dancing

After a period of time that likely rivals the duration of the entire war, Pete and I have finally finished our Bolt Action campaign from the Germany Strikes! book. 

The finale was an attack by German infantry on the blockhouses of the Maginot Line. 

I'd been feverishly painting bunkers, barbed wire and mine markers, and was able to put together defences that covered the full 8' of the table quite nicely - although with more gaps in the minefields than I would really have liked.

We'd already played the first part of this scenario several months earlier, so I knew that I would have some reserves to arrive in the later turns. Things were pretty finely balanced in the campaign overall, so this game would decide things overall - which was nice. 

Here's a canter through the battle - I'm writing this a few weeks after it happened so it's what I remember happening rather than necessarily getting everything just right. Assume it's a report being written by a French commander who's well into the cognac by the time he's finished.

Also, I took a lot of photos, not all of them have been cropped to my normal standards as my phone didn't want to cooperate. Please try not to notice.

Germans appear at the treeline

Faaasands of 'em!

The defensive line looks perilously close to the attackers

The bombardment blew a couple of holes in the barbed wire...

...and pinned some of the defenders, which hindered their shooting

The aerial view shows loads of advancing infantry,
with the French backed up by a giant tin and some rulebooks

A combination of pinning and very poor
dice rolls stopped me from doing much
as the Germans reached the barbed wire

Germans get ready to assault the entire line.
At this point, things looked somewhat hairy.

Infantry cross the barbed wire and stream toward the bunkers. 
My shooting was still abysmal at this stage.

The central bunker braces for an assault as
an 88 shows up to support the German advance

Pete took care to avoid the minefields, which is unsporting

A flamethrower took out the artillery from the right hand bunker,
but an assault on the retractable turret failed and the
Germans started to take casualties

View over the sights of the French howitzer in the bunker on the left,
before it destroyed the 88, as soon as it unlimbered

The central bunker is assaulted on both sides by
troops that stayed out of sight of its weapons

The tide starts to turn - on the right flank,
the Germans are mauled by artillery fire

Out of sight of the defenders, a German unit tries to breach
the right hand bunker's walls, but never succeeds

More assaults, but thick bunker walls and strong turret
armour keep the Germans at bay

Finally some success for the attackers as a flamethrower takes
out the central French bunker

German artillery tows start to crush barbed wire, but it's more
of a gesture by now

Attacking squads take enough casualties on the left
that they can no longer actually damage the defences

A German howitzer takes a few shots but doesn't manage
to cause any damage

The French reserve arrives in the form of a single cavalryman,
who promptly machine guns the flamethrower team

At this point, Pete threw in the towel as he couldn't damage the fortifications through assaults (he'd lost too many men) and didn't have enough time left to get his surviving flamethrower to the other bunkers. 

I also had a random assortment of further reinforcements about to arrive, but by now it was all over anyway.

So, I'd won the game, and with it the campaign! Huzzah.

This was a decent set of games and the campaign tied it together quite nicely, but Germany Strikes! is an older supplement and it shows - some parts of it are hard to make sense of. So, of course, we're moving straight onto Battle of France and the campaign there.

And let's not forget, setting all this up meant I needed to get some barbed wire and mine markers ready. I've also been buying stuff (bad Matt! Bad!) so that's all affected the scores...

Painted: 148
Acquired: 145

Well, I'm ahead, but not by miles. I do have more on the way though, and at least for now have no further purchase plans. So things should improve! I'm sure you'll be on tenterhooks waiting for that.