Bolt Action Battle Report: Hold Until Relieved (1000 Point British vs Germans)

In this Bolt Action Battle Report, we played a 1000 point “Hold Until Relieved” battle between the British and Germans. In terms of armies, the British brought a highly mobile and elite force while the Germans sacrificed soldier quality for tanks… That’s right! Plural tanks in a 1000 point game. That doesn’t leave a lot of points left for infantry. Below are the two armies on parade.

The British Army

The British brought along a highly elite force. These guys rely upon speed and the firepower of their vehicles to get their jobs done.

British Bolt Action Army on Parade (1000 Points)
The British brought along one Otter (armoured car), three Bren Carriers (each loaded with a unit of infantry), a Sherman V, an 8-man Commando Team and a free Forward Observer. All units in this group are rated as Veteran except the Forward Observer.

All three of the Universal Carriers count as Transports and are loaded with troops. Below are the unis in each of those rides.

British First Lieutenant for Bolt Action
The First Lieutenant and his extra soldiers. All of them are armed with SMGs.
5 Man Assault Team for Bolt Action
This assault group has their bayonets fixed and is armed with 3 SMGs and 2 Rifles.
British Engineers 28mm Bolt Action WW2 Miniatures
This Engineer Platoon counts as a British Veteran Squad armed with 3 SMGs, 2 Rifles and Anti-Tank Grenades.

This army is extremely mobile and brings a ton of light armour to the table. While the small 5-man teams might not have the same “staying power” as a larger squad, they combine really nicely with the Bren Carriers into an effective unit.

The Germans

The Germans brought along two small platoons, each with their very own tank.

1000 Point German Army of two platoons with two tanks
The German army broke down into two separate platoons. Each platoon had two squads of five men and a command team. As support, they brought a Panzer IV with schurzen and a Tiger Tank.

With the Germans bringing two large tanks to the battlefield, I knew my force was in trouble. While these British soldiers armed themselves with a ton of armour, they did not bring many anti-tank assets, and the Germans had two heavy tanks that could easily punch holes through the British vehicles.

Basic Strategy

After seeing the armies, I strategically decided to focus on presenting too many targets for my enemy to shoot at while overwhelming their infantry and trying to ignore their tanks.

The German player decided to prioritize taking out my armoured assets while trying to keep his infantry units safe from gun fire by using cover and line of site blockers. His overall plan was to create kill zones for my soldiers to walk right into (which should be a fairly easy feat to accomplish considering how open the middle of the table is by the objective).

Whomever controls the Objective Flag at the end of turn six (or the end of a pre-determined time limit) would win the game.

Now let’s see how this game worked out…

Deployment

I won the die roll off the top of the game and nominated the German Player as the defender. In “Hold Until Relieved” the defender gets to start with one infantry unit and any other “one” unit within 6″ of the objective marker. They chose a small 5-man team as their infantry unit and a Lieutenant as their second option. Personally, I would have chose the Tiger as my second unit, but my opponent did not want to present a juicy target for my Sherman so near the start of the game.

German Deployment Bolt Action Hold Until Relieved
The Germans deployed a five man squad and a lieutenant near the objective.

The attacker, in the “Hold Until Relieved” scenario, may deploy all of their infantry during their deployment phase (if they wish). I put out three of my five infantry units, and kept the Lieutenant and the 5-man squad with anti-tank grenades in reserve with the vehicles.

British Deployment - Bolt Action
I deployed an 8-man troop of Commandos near the warehouses, a 5-man unit of vets to pincer them on the other side of the board and a Forward Observer with a clear view of the objective.

The Battle…

Turn One

Right off the top, both the German and British players rushed their infantry to the closest possible cover.

Bolt Action Battle Report
All of the forces rush for cover as quickly as possible. With the British being on attack, they take the more aggressive approach.
28mm WW2 German Lieutenant - Bolt Action
A close up of the German Lieutenant. A great miniature by Warlord Games.
British Commandos by Pulp Figures for 28mm WW2 Bolt Action
A close-up of the British Commando Squad.

Meanwhile, the Tiger enters the opposite side of the battlefield and pins down the small British 5-man unit.

Tiger vs Infantry - Bolt Action
The Tiger enters the field and fires at the British Infantry.

And then the Panzer IV enters the other side of the battlefield and threatens the British Commandos.

Panzer IV vs Commandos Bolt Action
The Panzer IV enters the field with his aim on the British Commandos.

It is now the end of the first turn and the Forward Observer calls in an Artillery Barrage near the objective. The Barrage is delayed and the Observer decides not to move the coordinates.

Barrage Marker for Bolt Action
The Barrage is called, but fails to materialize. The coin represents the coordinates for the artillery to fire upon.

Turn Two

Sherman vs Panzer IV
The British Sherman comes into the fight and takes a shot at the Panzer IV, but misses.
Bolt Action Battle Report
The Panzer IV crashes through the city walls and takes a shot at the Sherman.
Panzer IV kills a Sherman
The Panzer IV hits and destroys the Sherman V.

At this point, the British pretty much give up hope in killing the German armour on the field. All the British have left that could harm the armour includes an Anti-Tank Rifle (on the Otter) and some anti-tank grenades on a squad yet to enter the battlefield. These weapons are extremely weak versus a Panzer IV and a Tiger tank.

Bolt Action AAR
Using the Commandos Squad and a Bren Carrier, the British whittle the German squad in the open down to just a couple of men.
Bolt Action WW2 Battle Report (AAR)
The Otter enters the battle, takes out what remains of the German squad in the open and hits the Panzer IV with a solid Anti-Tank Rifle shot. No damage.

To finish the round, the Tiger takes a shot at the Otter and misses. Now we roll to see if the artillery comes in. It does!!! The barrage hits the Otter, the German Lieutenant and a 5-men unit that the German player had hidden behind the middle house. Pins all around, except on that unit behind the house…

Bolt Action - Unit hides behind a house
This unit hiding behind the house takes a shot as if it were hit by a Heavy Howitzer. Everyone in the group died. It is not a good day for the German Player. He has lost two units to the British. Mind you, the British lost their Sherman, which is worse than losing two small units of infantry.  🙂

Turn Three

The German player draws the first die. He moves his Panzer IV but then remembers that the tank has a pin marker, so he rolls an order test. The tank goes down. He then draws a second die and orders his Tiger. He first targets infantry but then asks if he can target the Otter instead. The British Player agrees. The Tiger opens fire on the Otter, hitting it with a solid shot.

Tiger vs Armoured Car
The Tiger takes a shot at the Otter.
Best Game Store in the Kitchener / Waterloo Area - Forbes hobbies
The Tiger tank obliterates the Otter Armoured Car!

“Wait!!!!   I forgot that the Otter gets a recce move. Can I do that instead of having the car destroyed?” The German Player agrees and the Otter is all of a sudden alive again and sputters out of site of the Tiger tank.

Bolt Action Recce Move
The Otter makes a Recce move to safety. Not a bad spot to be in compared to being destroyed by a Tiger!   🙂

The British Commandos then declare an assault on the downed Panzer IV. They have to roll moral tests as they have no anti-tank weapons, but they pass the test with flying colours.

Infantry Assault a vehicle in Bolt Action
The British Commandos assault the Panzer IV to no effect (other than adding a pin). It would have helped if they came to the fight with some anti-tank grenades.

Turn Four

The Bren Carrier closest to the objective opens the round by firing at the German Lieutenant but misses terribly. The Passengers on board jump out and gun down the two man unit. Being able to attack in this fassion is one of the key advantages of this army build.

Utilizing a Carrier to its best possibility in Bolt Action (2nd Edition)
While the Carrier could not hit the enemy, its passengers disembark and take the Lieutenant down with a hail of gunfire.
Bolt Action AAR
One of the two German Lieutenants is no longer in the game. This puts the German’s lost units up to three (vs the British one).

The two enemy tanks continue to prove ineffective. One won’t pass an orders test while the other has issues hitting targets.

Turn Five

The state of the field at the top of turn 5. Notice that the Tiger is slowly starting to make his way across the battlefield while Allies start to surround the objective.

To satisfy his curiosity, the German Player decides to assault the Otter without anti-tank grenades. He causes it no harm.

Infantry vs Armoured Car Bolt Action
The Germans decide to assault the British Otter. They do not harm the little armoured car.

The British Player counter assaults the German Squad with his Commandos. The Commandos win, despite taking heavy loses.

The Commandos take out the closest German Squad, but take heavy loses. The Otter continues to shoot the Panzer IV to no effect (other than adding an odd pin here and there) and the Panzer IV still finds itself unable to pass an orders test.
Infantry vs Tiger Tank Bolt Action
The British Infantry (without Anti-Tank Grenades) pass their tests and assault the Tiger. While they do no harm to the tank, they do cause a pin.

It is at this time that we reached our agreed upon time limit. The game is called as an allied Victory.

Allied Victory

Allied Victory

Having run out of time, it is agreed that the Allies won this game.

Had the game gone into a sixth turn, the German Player figured that the outcome would have still been the same. I, on the other hand, am not so sure. Had he of got either of those tanks to the center of the table, he might have been able to force a draw in turn 6 or 7.

Another shot of the Allied Victory from a higher angle. The Allies are all over that objective marker!

Hopefully you enjoyed this Battle Report. Below are a few more pictures from the game.

Eye Candy

Playing Bolt Action at Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Special thanks goes out to Forbes Hobbies. While the Cigar Box Battle mat and Sandbads belong to me, the rest of the terrain on the table belong to Forbes Hobbies. It is a great store with lots of space and terrain to play Bolt Action and other games. Check them out if you are ever in the Cambridge (Ontario, Canada) area.

 

Warlord Games Tiger Tank
Yep… I actually managed to get a pin on that Tiger at the end of turn 5!
A German Lieutenant and his helper.
Tiger Tank in Sandbags
I didn’t expect a Tiger to try to use those sandbags as cover. Cool!!!
Bolt Action (2nd Edition by Warlord Games)
I also want to give recognition to Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing for publishing such an awesome gaming system!!!

Related Products

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Until Next Time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

 

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