Sunday, 14 February 2016

Operation Breakout is a Bolt Action campaign being run in Liverpool.

My first game was for hex GB, held by Dan Miller as my US forces had turned up late (for round 2) and took point as the British had struggled to make headway...

With a twelve dice limit, and attacking I figured I'd need some solid infantry

My 29th infantry division force (all regular unless stated):

2nd Lt + 1 GI
Forward Air Observer + 1 GI
9 GI's with 1 SMG and 1 BAR
9 GI's with 1 SMG and 1 BAR
9 GI's with 1 SMG and 1 BAR
7 Veteran GI's, 1 SMG and 2 BAR with Tough Fighters
7 Veteran GI's, 1 SMG and 2 BAR with Tough Fighters
Veteran Sniper team
Veteran Flamethrower team
Bazooka team
Medium Mortar with spotter
Medium M2A1 Howitzer with Gun shield and spotter

 Dan had the following, based on 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment

Veteran HQ with 2 Assault rifles
Veteran Medic
7 Fallschirmjaeger with 4 assault rifles
7 Fallschirmjaeger with 4 assault rifles
7 Fallschirmjaeger with 4 assault rifles
7 Fallschirmjaeger Pioneers with 3 SMGs and Flamethrower
5 Ostruppen
5 Ostruppen
Inexp Nebelwerfer
Veteran Truck
Regular BMW 75
Regular Pz IV

The mission was rolled, Point Defence. As I was attacking the hex, I was auto attacking and Dan chose the best defence line. An FJ squads set up nearest my left hand objective, the 2nd at teh centre objective with the Nebelwerfer, Panzer, officer and medic, with an Ostruppen towards BMW 75 on the bridge and the third FJ squad in the church near my right side objective. Dan kept the second Ostruppen and Pioneers as a flanking reserve in the truck

Having seen the German defences, I felt I would struggle against the center and opted to attack the flank objectives. For Flankers, I kept a veteran squad to flank  on each side, the flamethrower on the right to winkle the FJs out the church, and a regular squad on the left for support.

My sniper team set up on the 2nd floor of the central house, my air observer on my left and in the corn...

The preparatory bombardment killed one FJ and put pins everywhere...

Turn 1:

First dice saw the sniper hit but fail to kill the German officer. The BMW advanced up the road and failed to hit the sniper. The Pz IV failed to advance and retreated...
My support came on in the first wave, a GI squad advancing centrally with the bazooka heading towards the house and forcing the BMW 75 to recce away.
The mortar and artillery advanced onto the hill left of centre. The officer and 2nd GI squad ran up the left... The Air observer couldn't draw sight to the Jerry armour as it had retreated behind the hill in teh German centre. So he called in a strike against the FJs in the church, who decided to rum out and take shelter in the open, praying as they went as the USAAF zoomed overhead.

Turn 2:

Obviously, the rookie pilot of the P-47D got confused, and dropped his bomb load on the hapless Air observer team's co-ordinates.., pinning the mortar spotter, 2nd Lt and GI squad with 2 pins each. Hmm...
The sniper missed the officer again, the bazooka ran into the ground floor of the house, and everyone on the left, the mortar and GI squad went down. The tank advanced and poured MMGs into the central GI squad near the house... The FJs from the church added their support and killed a few GI's. The howitzer hit the tank but couldn't penetrate it, adding a single pin. The US 2nd Lt ran into the cabin on the left.

Turn 3:

The sniper finally slotted the German officer, the nebelwerfer came into play and hit diddly...
he 2nd Lt went on ambush as he heard truck engines to his left. However they seemed to go past (as Dan rolled 12 for his truck to come on)
My left flank units turned up and my veteran squad took heavy fire from the 2 FJs squad but it was fairly ineffectual. The Pz IV failed its order again and retreated as the bazooka rounds went high and wide. The mortar spotter was still keeping his head down and no mortars were targetted against the foe again. The GI squad advanced and shot ineffectually against the FJ's. The sqaud that had been guarding the church advanced again to harass the GI's behind the house, leaving my right objective free as the Ostruppen nearest were still cowering from the prelim bombardment

Turn 4:

This was where it came to the crunch. First dice was US, the regular support squad went on ambush  as truck engines were heard again. The Opel truck came on, having advanced up behind the cabin to avoid the waiting GI's, who held their fire. Next dice, the Ostruppen refused to be first out as bait and went down. Next dice, the pioneers advanced, losing 3 men as they advanced on the untouched GIs regulars that had ambushed them. 5 GI's died, and with 3 pins still managed to pass their test (though they didn't recover the rest of the game) The regular GI's to the right then assaulted and wiped out the pioneers. The mortar ran up into the corn, as the spotter was useless. The left side veterans took fire from the Pz IV  as it advanced to my left objective and 2 FJ squads, the Germans realising this was where the battle would be decided. They veteran GI's were wiped out. The howitzer missed the Pz IV's exposed flank. The sniper added a pin to the cowering Ostruppe on my right. My right flankers ran on and into the church, which had been abandoned as that FJ squad went after my centre. My 2nd Lt advanced at the fore of his GIs to face off against the FJs.

Turn 5:

It was hotting up on the left and I felt I was going to need the untouched GI squad. But I had Ostruppen in a truck behind me! Seeing this, the mortar crew charged the truck, and teh Ostruppen jumped out, losing 3 men for one mortarman... My 2nd Lt put a pin on an FJ squad, and lost his asst in return. The flamed squad stayed put, the virgin GIs ran towards the objective. The right objective by the church was secured. The FJs in the centre more pins on the central GI squad.

Turn 6:

I got the first dice and ran onto the objective. I got the second dice and took a direct howitzer shot against the only FJ squad that could contest the left flank objective. It hit, wiping out the squad and NCO bar one man. But he was resolute, even with 3 pins. My 2nd Lt put one on him too. My GIs ran onto the objective and prepared to recieve incoming. Dan didn't disappoint.

Firing with the 2nd FJ squad, Pz IV and BMW 75. It put the 9 man squad down to 3, but never 50% from one shooting and they hung on in. My right veterans too out the Ostruppe. the Nebelwerfer finally dropped on my central GIS and wiped them out. The last dice came out, and it was all down to the lone FJ to pass on a 5 and advance in to contest. He failed...

But a turn 7 would have seen me lose the objective. Dan rolled, but came up in my favour and the game was over... It was hard fought and could have went either way...

 Left objective

Right objective

 Centre objective

The remaining US forces...

The US casualty list...

So the US claim a victory, and take their first steps to Berlin...

Unfortunately, they now have to defend their starting hex, which if they fail to do they may well be cut off...