Bolt Action 1941 Somewhere in Karelia

A historical themed game between Finns  and Soviets in either Finland or the Soviet Union, depending on your political point of view.  The scenario is ‘hold until relieved’ with the Soviets deploying 2 units on table to protect the objective.  The trees here represent outlines of clumps of dense woods.  So despite the bare outward appearance of the table there are very few lines of above 18″.

The Finnish special powers include a +1 to hit with rifles when shooting from ambush.   Unfortunately ambush works against a unit that moves not one that only shoots making the ability less useful when the Finns need to move such as here where they need to get onto the objective.  The Finnish sniper can move up to 6″ and go down on an ambush order making him a ‘go to’ choice.


A close up of our brave defenders.  The houses are plastic 1/72 from Pegasus.  The objecrtive to hold is the truck although for game purposes it offers no cover and does not block line of sight.


The Finn could set up all infantry (only) units at least 18″ from the objective.  This could include positions close to the Soviet entry edge although any units there would be exposed to early game Soviet swamping.  Instead the Finns went for a more conventional approach with a horseshoe deployment around the objective.  All these units are hugging the woods, getting the benefit of hidden deployment but reducing any possible 1st turn moves to 6″.


An early dice sees the Soviet T28 come on for some long distance shots at the Finns.  The T28 is a truely rubbish tank that can only penetrate armour of 7 or 8 (a medium tank like a Pz III is 9).  In this game it played up well as a howitzer and machine gun platform, staying at the back of the field and concentrating on the clump of Finnish infantry opposite.


Turn 2 sees more Soviets arrive to support the objective holding units as the Finns move up cautiously.


At the objective the 1st Soviet squad is taking heavy losses as a Finnish mortar homes in but 2 more squads and the Soviet commander have moved into the fray.


Turn 3 sees all the Finnish armour on table.  2 Soviet squads have yet to show.  The Finnish flamethrower is just about to dive out from behind the hedge.  The Zis gun fails its morale and legs it but the flamer runs out of juice and also heads for home.


The last of the Soviets arrive and action hots up by the objective.  The cloth capped Soviet squad are the free green unit (luckily upgraded to regular).  They are in 1 hut, the Soviet command are in the other.  The Finnish Ba10 is being ranged in on by the Soviet mortar and has taken a pin from the T28.  The Ba10 has shot at the Soviet squad in the hut but under the latest Bolt Action FAQ they can  go down for a -2 to hit the building and half casualties if they are hit.  2 separate Finnish squads make assault attacks on this unit.  The Soviets are down so there is no fire on the attcakers as they come in.  The building means that in an assault both units roll at the same time.  2 assaults (turns 4 and 5) the ex-green squad wins them both, destroying 2 Finnish squads.


Towards the rear more Soviets move up, the T28 keeps a safe distance.


The Finnish T26 is hit by the Soviet Ba10 and goes down.  The Soviet squad passes tank fear and goes in, gets only 1 hit (not enough to penetrate the T26) and rallies back behind the hedge.


More Soviets move up and they are running out of targets.  The Finnish Ba10 contests the objective but the Soviet shells are having difficulty making any headway against it.


End of turn 6 shows the position around the objective.  A gamey ploy might have been to drive the T26 over the hedge and assault the Soviet unit behind.  If they failed morale they would be off for an early bath.  This would still only contest the objective as vehicles cannot control in this scenario.  The only nearby Finnish infantry squad is looking decidedly ropey and is knee deep in Soviet infantry.  In ‘real life’ I would guess that the result of a T26 crossing a relatively thick hedge would be ‘hedge:1 T26:nil’.


So a final result of a draw.  If playing to a tournament the Soviets would take a winning draw having destroyed more Finnish units both in points and order dice.