Saturday, April 18, 2015

Soviets want more

Last night I played another game of Bolt Action against John's Soviets.  We laid out the table and chose to play the Maximum Attrition scenario because the Red hordes were itching for revenge following their heroic defeat two weeks ago.  This game was played at the newly remodeled Crusader's Retreat.  When I first walked in, I thought I had gone in the wrong place because it looks so different than it did the last time I was there - a whole 6 days ago for the ACW game.  Anyway, this time the Soviets traded in their 2 T-34s and brought out quite the literal big gun - the KV2.
 I knew immediately I had to try and take that monster out before its giant gun and 3 machine guns destroyed my army.  My air observer was able to quickly get a fix on it and called in air support.  He was rewarded for his stalwart efforts by being machine gunned to death in turn.
 Air support arrived next turn, but alas, the pilot decided to strafe the big tank with machine guns.  The rounds were incapable of penetrating the thick armor.  So, with a wasted air attack and a dead AFFO, the only real shot at taking out the KV2 laid with the venerable Sherman.
 Here's the result.
 So, at this point, the Americans don't have a great feeling about the outcome of this battle.  But, with dogged determination, they decided to press the flanks with infantry.  The Soviet left was lightly held by inexperienced troops.  They did appear to have rifles, but they seemed not to work.  Or, maybe they had no ammo.  The Americans were able to drive them out of the woods and begin rolling up the left.
 Tank riders clinging precariously to the back of the KV2 decided they stood a better chance facing the American squad pushing on their right.  It was a good move as this fight continued for most of the remainder of the game.
 Meanwhile in the center, the Americans were making a glorious comeback.  Infantry and Rangers were able to heroically assault and clear two buildings held by Soviet troops.
 The fight had definitely turned against the Russians.  The KV2 crew, now inebriated after celebrating their victory over the American Sherman, were unable to hit any targets for a while.
 In an unexpected surge of elan, the Russians launched a counterattack and retook the two buildings in the center.  The Kommissar had demanded results, and the Red troops delivered.
 In a last ditch effort to try and gain a victory point, a shot up American squad was ordered to assault the KV2 from the rear, but they had had enough and decided to "take cover".

The game ended after turn 6.  Both sides destroyed/lost 5 units, so - draw.  This game was interesting because after turn 2, it looked REALLLY bad for the US.  After turn 4 it looked REALLLY bad for the Russians.  And then a draw at turn 6.  It had a lot many moments of glory, and many moments of despair.  Lots of fun.  Afterwards while enjoying a pint, I learned that the Russian commander is a bit of a geological celebrity.  Had I known this during either of our fights, I would have been much more intimidated and probably wouldn't have been able to perform.