Playing Bolt action for the first time

So I've already talked about getting a couple of games nights in so today I'm going to share some game pictures with a bit of a commentary. More of a story telling than a full on battle report and hopefully an insite to how the game plays as well.

So a few months back we ventured across to Wayland games, Nick had lent us his terrain as he couldn't make it and so we eagerly set up for our first game.
Roling for scenario we got no mans land which is basically kill points, and obviously driving the enemy away from a small village was the objective.

Winning to select sides the british then set up on the edge of town taking advantage of the sandbags and cover.

With the brits already at the edge of the village the germans opted for a 2 pronged attack, predicting the crusader's intent to dominate the middle of the field with it's howitzer the Panzerjäger sets up with a unit of supporting infantry behind the sand dune on their left flank looking across the village centre.
Across on their right flank the infantry and weapon teams take up position among the trees and dunes with outflanking plans in mind.
So the stage was set for our first skirmish and at this point we both discovered a grave tactical errors as the preliminary bombardments began to fall among our whole force.
As the smoke cleared there where few casualties but with pin tokens aplenty across the two forces it could well cause significant issues for the commanders wanting their men up and moving.

The early game saw the Crusader take a cautious approach to dealing with the Panzerjäger and bravly hid behind a building in a game of peekaboo.
To the amusement of both players both opposing infantry units with plans on the british right flank failed order tests as they recovered from the preliminary bombardment. While german machinegun teams and their central unit made a cautious attempt to take the sandbags at the edge of town, slow progres by the squad left the machine gunners over stretched as they tried to set up and a prime target for the brits and their tank. Not only that but having recovered from the preliminary bombardment a punishing artillery strike called in meant they failed to take the centre ground.
Meanwhile the Germans began their march down the field in an attempt to outflank the british left with the mortar team taking up position along the village outskirts.
After a couple of rounds casualties had been taken but the germans had moved up while the british recognised a defensive position when they had it.
At this point the germans had mostly lost the anvil of their attack and their left pincer had come into contact with the enemy while the right lagged behind and needed to get a hurry on.
Having called in his air strike the forward observer and accompanying tommies proceeded to show the somewhat shaken squad how things are supposed to be done consistently scoring more hits and wounds than the much larger unit, a unit that for the first two turns had failed to move forward.

Shots where fired and the german push slowed on their left thanks to the observer and his men while their commander hurried the german right hand pincer onwards.

The Crusader poked its nose out for some better shots and to finish off the central German infantry which had managed a few wounds on the plucky brits holding the centre while the officer moved to support both squads. Taking advantage of the crusader's position and having finished the boys antitank team the Panzerjäger moved further up hoping to cripple the british tank but alas failed.

The German left flank crumbled as wounds and pins took their toll but the right flank had finally arrived.
Taking to the perceived safety of the buildings the german officer bravely maned the window.
Unfortunately what seamed like a safe house was soon revealed to be a brutal death trap as the Crusader promptly backed away from the Panzerjäger's line of sight and fired it's howitzer, incinerating to two occupants with a single HE round.

Still not all was lost surely as the last DAK infantry unit arrived into position.
And the british mortar gunner promptly found himself out in the open and glad of the brown trousers for the few remaining moments he had left.
Sadly it was too little too late and the remaining Brits took revenge on the DAK unit driving off the german forces.

The cost of their failed attack high as the dead pile showed with a final score around 6-2 to the british.

Overall it was a cracking game and I've even got a bunch of pictures for the second game we played, bolt action has many advantages over 40k for balance since the benchline troops for everyone is the same. It felt largely like the win came from tactical choices, deployment and target priority instead of simply having the more powerful army. A couple of errors on lesters part helped as well the positioning of the Panzerjäger under the assumption I intended to move up further was unfortunate as was the more scattered arrive of his units to the fight but over all we both enjoyed ourselves and definitely learned to appreciate the effect a mass of pins from a preliminary bombardment can have on the game.

I've now got 4 games under my belt and may even get some more in this evening, I'll be sharing the pictures of the second game at some point but will probably look at the flames on the Knight next time and some more showcases of finished models. Until then TTFN