Bolt Action & Battle of Kursk at Adepticon

I wanted to take a sec to share some recent Bolt Action activities that I’ve been involved in!

 

Rich at Chicago Terrain Factory and I ran our 2nd year of the Kursk battle at Adepticon. Check out his coverage of the event, it is excellent. We had a blast this year and I think the folks who played had a great time.

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Soviet T34s burning all over the place.

We limited the game to tanks and had a good turn out for each side. Over 20 tanks lined up and going at it. The Germans really held out this time, burning T34s everywhere!

 

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Cassino Display for 2017 Team Tournament Army.

The Fallschirmjager also made an appearance at Adepticon in the Team Tournament. We got stomped by our opponents but had a great time.

I am revising and doing some updates to the Fallschrimjager for Operation Sting 2017. I took them last year and had a good time running them. This year I am building the list around the paratroopers who fought the Canadian 3rd Division in the ruins of Ortona. The list will see a few changes including potentially adding a vehicle to the army, which wasn’t the case with the Monte Cassino version of the army.

Operation Sting 2015

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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
  • Sniper
  • 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…

Advance
Inexperienced infantry advance across the sub pen to cover the flak of the attacking scout units.
Attack
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!
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BT7 Tank
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John Stentz’ objective for his British army which I faced round 1.
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Commissar from an inspirational Soviet army
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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.
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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!!!
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This is the John Humphrey’s table that I helped a bit with and have played about half my Bolt Action games on!
MySub
“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.
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(I think) Jeremy Olsen’s Italian Paratroopers. I was stoked that he made it to the event! Visit his site… http://empireofghosts.blogspot.com/
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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!
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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!
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Scout unit advances to objectives in the sub pen
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John Stentz’ battle-smile.
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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.
SubPen
Shot of the excellent and very fun Sub pen board. I would like to get more games in on this.
Sweet Objective
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!!

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Forward Observer Green Componants
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British FO
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German FO

Panzer IV for Bolt Action

One of the units which I am running in my half of the Bolt Action team tournament at Adepticon is a Panzer IVh. This is my armor support for the list that I am running with John for the tournament. Its been performing well in recent games, I feel that I am learning how to run a medium tank in a infantry heavy list.

Some of you may recognize this from this post where I showed some work in progress on the modeling.

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Bolt Action Panzerpioneers

Last week I picked up the excellent Warlord games Pioneer kit based on the new plastic Blitzkreig kit.  These are a vast improvement over the previous plastic set. The metal parts that allow you to make interesting pioneer models as well are excellent.  These include more equipment on their backpacks, some new heads, and additional and more characterful weapon options. These guys are the latest addition to my force for the Adepticon team tournament which I am participating in with John at Plastic Legions.

I wanted to update the look of some of these guys to give the unit a bit more of a mid-war period look, with camo smocks, and helmet covers.  Three of the models which I modified are shown here to give you an idea what I have been up to.

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I don’t know too much about the ‘pole explosives’ which some pioneers used blow up hard to reach places.  Some photo reference shows that it is essentially a box on a stick. I added some wiring to give an impression how a pioneer may set the explosive off after put into position.  This is largely my design, I’ve not found any examples of these sorts of triggers on these things, but I get the impression that they are sort of ad-hoc, so they may come in all shapes and configurations.

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This guy may be a NCO, or simply a trooper with an SMG. He has the camo smock that the Panzergrenadier units were occasionally given, especially as the war went on.

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Last but certainly not least is the flamethrower!  I also took some liberties with the design of this figure’s modifications as well.  Its only somewhat modeled after the flamethrower which comes with the pioneer kit.  I made some changes which suited me when modeling this. Now I can run two units with flamethrowers which should be pretty sweet in upcoming games!

Sturhaubitze 42 Work in Progress

A local Bolt Action tournament called Operation Sting is happening this weekend, and I have a few models to finish up for the event. I’ve been getting back into an early morning painting routine which has been helping in getting stuff done. I was able to make some progress on the StuH 42 which I am very excited about.  The plan is to get it to the same point as the SdKfz 222, which is about 95% done, and then to move on to some other touch ups that need to be done.

Bolt Action Vehicles
Armored Car and Sturmhaubitze on the work bench.

In addition to the Stuh 42, I will need to wrap up some basing and some details on a heavy mortar team. Tomorrow I am meeting up with my buddy John to play a practice game with our tournament lists!