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I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

20 March 2023

Bolt Action East Front Winter 1944

 This weekend saw the wife and I make our way to Vacaville where I met up with my friend Densmol at Forgotten Path Games for a rare face-to-face game of Bolt Action whilst our wives went off and did "wife stuff". 

I brought my Winter mat and terrain (Though stupidly forgot half of it so the table looked a little bare!) and both fully painted forces for the game, Densmol playing the desperate Germans and I the invading Soviets. 

We played "The Ivans are coming" scenario from the Road to Berlin campaign book which was fun - my Soviets defending a road crossing and Densmol's Germans trying to wrest control from the commies. All went well with some rules look-ups due to neither of us having played for almost 2 years (!!!) aside from completely forgetting to apply the effects of "Snow" the whole game through. (Insert eyeroll here)

Whilst I won't be attempting to put in a turn-by-turn account, here are some photo's of the game. The mdf fencing terrain is brand new and got it's first run out that day; it looked great and I already have a second set ready to assemble and paint/weather on the hobby setup.

The German Officer and a Squad of Grenadiers approach the crossing cautiously out of the village outskirts.

Hetzer tank killer in the distance, killed a tank...

... which in this instance happens to be my Soviet T34/85.

Then it went on to kill my poor wee BA64 Armoured car. 

First casualty of the game was Densmol's officer and Adjutant. The T34/85 gunned them down mercilessly.

Here's a late game image showing the Soviets swarming the objective. At this point, the Germans only had a handful of fanatical SS troops alive and the Hetzer. Not enough to hold back the Commie tide.

Earlier in the game. I have bases to prep for the tree's and about 20 coniferous trees to go in them too. That table was very bare.

Soviet reinforcements to come on in the foreground. Germans toward the back of the table.

A Guards squad hunkers down behind these woods, waiting for the optimal moment to dash up and add their fire support.

On the left a second Guards squad patiently wait behind a copse of trees whilst a small SMG-toting squad of inexperienced troops are forced to leap from their burning transport after a very unliekly shot from the German Panzerschreck team blows it up!

The late game mad-dash.

That GAZ jeep (on fire) had the Soviet Flamethrower team mounted up inside. Flambe'd flamethrower! Is what they get for missing twice in a row earlier ingame. 

The Hetzer was Densmol's MVP. It blew up 3 out of my 4 vehicles and put pins on my ZIS-3 artillery gun. 

The GAZ jeep right after the Hetzer shot it with yet another amazing dice roll by Densmol. Guards squad looks on horrified.

Hard to make out, but in the top left corner of this pic is an anti-tank-rifle team that took a rather improbable shot at the above German Half-track and blew it up, killing the German Flame Thrower team inside and causing a Volksgrenadier squad that was also the passenger to hop out!

Earlier in the game, German Panzerschreck team, SS Vet's and a Medic team carefully make their way to the objective.

And that's it. Was great to play my first game in a long time and against Densmol too who I hadn't seen for a game in yonks. Playing again has gotten me motivated to get a second set of fences put together and also paint minis! 

Thanks for getting to the end of this post!

- Dai

24 comments:

  1. Great you were able to get a game in Dai, with an opponent you wanted to play against, sounds like the dice gods were with him this day ! LOL Even though you forgot some of the scenery, the board and armies looked great and would have been a pleasure to game across, shame about the snow effect rule ! LOL

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    1. The dice gods were with his little tank hunter, but sadly, not consistent enough to be with him all game. The triumphant Soviets carried the day in the day in the end!
      Thanks Dave!

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  2. Dai! You played a game! This is a big step forward for you. The game looks cold so your terrain is perfect. BA produces a light and fun game. Let's hope you can maintain this momentum at the gaming table.

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    1. A HUGE step! LOL
      I'm hoping to get in another game before the Summer arrives, possibly two.

      Cheers jon.

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  3. Great looking game Dai....I think the bare table looks fine foe mid winter in eastern Germany....good result too....I take it Fascist Beasts were taken down by the forces of fraternal liberation?! ๐Ÿ˜

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    1. Exactly! Victory to the common good and all that. :)

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  4. Oh, the battle!
    Great to see winter guys in action!

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    1. Glad you liked the pics Michal, thanks mate!

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  5. Superb posting Dai. You can't beat playing an actual game to get you motivated to paint more figs, imho, and this looked like a cracking game too. I thought the table looked suitably sparse for a winter battle tbh. Great stuff.

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    1. Well it seems that is the common concensus. saying that, I'm still going to get more terrain sorted! LOL

      Thanks Simon. :)

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  6. Hey that is great!

    and the bare table is probably more realistic... fields under snow and all that. Can't all be Normandy hedgerow or Berlin.

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    1. I think that's one of the reasons I went with the Winter theme - seems Western Europe during Summer/Spring has been covered rather well enough already?

      Cheers David.

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  7. i wonder what wife stuff is..

    OMG an actual game. congrats! hurray! great stuff!
    now if only me and David could tempt you out for something...
    The BA stuff looks cold I mean cool I mean awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. I wondered that too.... Seems beer and pub foods might have been involved?

      It was a good one. Getting a game sorted out for you to attend is in the works. Just have to get a couple things to fall in line beforehand and I'll let you know mate.

      Thanks Stew!

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  8. That looks like a terrific game, Dai, full of those moments and quirks (the lucky ATR shot on the halftrack, the killer Hetzer) that gamers love to tell years later. Good on you for getting a game in. The winter landscape looked chilly, so full marks for atmosphere.
    Cheers, Michael

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    1. Definitely did have those type memorable moments including us both forgetting umpteen rules on the day! :)

      Regardless, a fun time was had and we are excited for the next opportunity to get minis on the table.

      Thanks Mike!

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  9. It must have been a dusting of snow. Looks nice but no real effect..... Did the lack of terrain create an uneven bonus/penalty for either side?

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    1. Pretty much accurate there, yes. The trees were arrayed in such a way that we said there was actually some dense undergrowth between the trees where three of them made a "triangle" area, so there was enough intervening terrain to stop kill shot lanes.

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  10. The battle looks great with or without the extras. I need to make some bare winter trees sometime for Norway

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    1. Thank you Matt! Glad you stopped by.

      Norway terrain? Have you seen the fantastic terrain building book Pat Smith published on frosty Norway tabletops in his "Setting the Scene" range?

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  11. Splendid looking game, nice to see your figures out, a game is great at generating enthusiasm for the period! Still haven't used my Soviets, I have acquired some winter Germans now, of course!
    Best Iain

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    1. Isn't it just mate!

      Yeah, you REALLY need to get in some ww2 games with those lovely Soviets. A new project? Like you needed one! LOL

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  12. Even with only half your terrain the board looks really good.

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