October has a lot going for it. The weather changes, apples happen, halloween, my birthday, and since last year a fantastic Bolt Action event called Operation Sting occurs! October has always been my favorite month, and this tournament simply piles more good on the good.
Have you heard the good news?
Operation Sting was truly fantastic this year. I did much better, had more fun, and really came to find an iteration of the Soviet Army which I very much enjoy playing. I’d like to share some pictures of the event as well as some stories and insights about my latest Soviet build.
The army which accompanied me to Operation Sting is based on the lead recon elements during the summer 44 offensives of Operation Bagration on the Eastern Front. The list is taken from the bog-standard Soviet selector from Armies of the Soviet Union and is built around a core of 3 Scout units, small panzerfaust tank hunting teams, and some Rota-Razvedki cruising around in their lend-lease White Scout car. This is the first Soviet Build I’ve taken to the field which didn’t include a tank, and I didn’t miss it a lot. I love tank duels in Bolt Action, but it really doesn’t fit the elite, raiding vibe of the list. That being said I did have some fairly conventional Red Army units in the list to bolster the veteran units. Here is a brief summary of what I took to the event…
- Vet Junior Lt with a SMG friend
- 3 Scout units, 7 strong with SMGs
- 3 AT teams with SMGs and a single Panzerfaust
- Artillery Forward Observer
- Tank Riders (representing Razvedki)
- White Scout Car, Recce enabled
- Inexperienced Rifle Squad
- 45mm M-42 AT gun
The list was fun to play. I discovered that using a smoke bombardment to cover the advance of the scouts was pretty effective. The schtick of this army is that 8 of the 13 units can use forward deployment. This wasn’t some kind of overly leveraged special rule in my experience, but it did allow me to dictate where the fighting was going to happen and to have units ready to rock early in the game as opposed to being in reserve. I think that this could be a very powerful advantage once I learn how to use it. In several of my games I faced close-quarter badasses which outclassed my small vet units, SMGs or not. Ghurkas, large, tough fighting Senegalese units, and Armored Soviet Tank riders were tough to cope with and demanded more finesse to engage.
In the end I was pleased with my performance winning 2 games, drawing a game, and losing 2 – each one of these games was very fun, against great guys, and had their own challenges.
Some shots from the event…
Inexperienced infantry advance across the sub pen to cover the flak of the attacking scout units.
Game 4. Scouts advance through a smoke cloud (ring of white dice) to capture an objective covered by several SS Machine guns and units! Bloody and very historically accurate feeling game!
John Stentz’ objective for his British army which I faced round 1.
Commissar from an inspirational Soviet army
Jeremy Williams fantastic desert airfield board! I played on this several times now and its always fun! A good mix of open space and cover.
John Stentz’ British army. The two Ghurka units were a pain and a distraction while his arty and flame thrower managed to pin and punish my units. Great game and I want a rematch!!!
This is the John Humphrey’s table that I helped a bit with and have played about half my Bolt Action games on!
“It is my submarine” The scouts supported by a tank-hunter team capture the sub which gave me some bonus points thanks to Operation Sting’s hidden bonus objective format.
Charlie’s British army which I faced in game 5. Winning game 5 provided me some revenge after Charlie stomping me at Operation Sting last year!
Soviet scouts ready to move to the objective to locate the intel… across the road is a line of Waffen SS just waiting to pour fire into my brave soldiers!
Scout unit advances to objectives in the sub pen
John Stentz’ battle-smile.
Soviet sniper covering the road to keep the Germans honest. This was a bad play as they stayed shut up in their buildings when I should have been putting pins on them and robbing them of Assault Rifle troops. Live and learn.
Shot of the excellent and very fun Sub pen board. I would like to get more games in on this.
Check out this amazing Objective marker! This Soviet army is one of my very favorites and has set the bar with what I hope to achieve with my own army eventually.
The TO approached me about making a show figure for Operation Sting as well. I was very excited to have this opportunity to get Horrorshow Miniatures involved in such a cool event! We decided to do something of a multi purpose Forward Observer character that people could easily use in their armies. I took some creative liberties with the character’s gear to keep him from being too clearly from a certain nation. A set of independent heads gives the modeler some options in this regard. This guy was very fun to sculpt and I really hope to see some of these models which were provided to the Operation Sting attendees painted and on the boards at Adepticon next year!!
Forward Observer Green Componants