Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Uprising in Southchester - the battle report

The small walled city of Southchester  (ficticious) lies on the Essex side of the River Thames. Its about 40 miles from London.
Prior to the War this estuary town was famous for its local eel fishing, a rather beautiful 14th century church and the near perfect Norman Keep. Local travellers would often stay in the King George Hotel situated on the harbour front.

For the last six months it has been under the protectorate of the BUF. The local garrison commanded by Colonel Steven 'the Lash' Gates, a rather unsavoury character who bears no resemblance to the singer in that iconic Irish boy band (sarcasm). However local residents have decided that enough is enough and want to throw their lot in with the Anglican League.
At Dawn an explosion ripped through the telephone exchange and armed partisans can be seen on the streets.

As you can see from the table below we had a big table to fight over and just an evening to play it. One of the advantages of umpiring such a game is you can keep the momentum going. I don't allow players too much time to deliberate their decisions and of course the random activation that Bolt Action brings involves everybody all of the time.

In this particular scenario the evil fascist protectorate must put down the local uprising whilst at the same time deal with the amphibious incursion by Anglican League Forces. I would estimate that they were outnumbered by a factor of 3/2 in terms of troops and armour.
On the BUF side were two new recruits to the shed  who I shall refer to as Colonel Steve (commanding the Keep end of town) and Commander Rolf (defending the King George Hotel  and the New part of town). Their forces were dispersed according to the map below.

2 x Squads (6)
Fixed MMG
Panzer Mk1
King George Hotel
2 x Squads (6)
Mortar & Observer
Medium Howitzer + Crew
West Gate
Squad (6)
Petrol Station
Armoured Car
North Gate
Squad (4)
Railway Station
Squad (6)


Neutralise Partisan threat in the town.

Ensure that key buildings do not fall into enemy hands – The Keep, the Gates, the Rail Station, King George Hotel.

At some point in the proceedings you believe League will support the uprising.

No reinforcements are expected despite your radio comms

The Partisans were lead by Rebel Leader John 'sticky bomb' Carew with his forces scattered across the table, and the League force were managed by Brigadier Mark Mywords-Down.
 The Partisans and League Forces have four core objectives
1.       Seize the Old Norman Keep
2.       Seize the Railway Station
3.       Seize the Western Gate (spending one turn at Gates and planting mines constitutes gate captured)
4.       Seize the Northern Gate
Note: The Heavily defended King George Hotel is not an objective.
Capturing the gates could prevent BUF forces from entering the town
League Forces
Squads x 4
Heavy Infantry Tank
Mortar + Observer
Light Tank

Armoured Car
Church Tower
Old Quarter
3 Squads (6)
Old Quarter
Armoured Truck + Med Howitzer
Terrace Gardens
Mortar & Observer
Terrace Gardens
2 Squads (6)

So with everybody clear on their instructions we kicked off the game around 7.50pm. Two and half hours later (about 11 turns) the streets of Southchester had witnessed some of the bloodiest fighting in the war so far.
With opposing forces in close proximity it wasn't long before bfighting started. Our first casualty was a body blow to the partisans. Their howitzer armed truck drove straight for the Keeps Gates. (sometimes crazy things work...I thought). However a rapid burst of HMG fire from the BUF Armoured Car saw the heath robinson styled vehicle explode in a gout of flame.
With the loss of his primary weapon Johns rebels stalled their move forward aloowing the initiative to pass to the Keep garrison. Sensing blood, squads of blackshirts ran into the old quarter to hunt down the  partisans. 

 By now Commander Rolf and Brigadier Mark had arrived so we could kick off action down the other end of town.

Unfortunately I haven't got round to making landing craft yet so movement trays doubled up. The League moved up onto the beach under a pounding from the Hotel based defenders.
Twice Rolf hit Landing craft with careful Mortar fire but casualties were remarkably thin. It looks like the amphibious assault is going to be successful. With observers standing atop the hotel his indirect artillery had a fabulous field of fire but just could not make it count.

Recognising that the League forces might get ashore unopposed a squad quickly hijacked a civilian car and drove off down the beach road. The driver then slammed on the brakes did a ninety degree turn and the passengers bailed out behind the ready formed barricade. They then began a furious fire fight with the League troops rushing off the beach.

Meanwhilst our Partisans in the Church quarter decided that a supporting operation in the old quarter was required. So they upped sticks and began to march North.

Believing that he had the partisans on the run Commander Rolf ordered his squad guarding the station to hijack yet another vehicle and push forward to catch the retreating partisans. Unbeknownst to him a mortar opened fire a scored a lucky hit pinning the captured van and crew just outside the memorial garden.

The Black Smoke of the burning truck hovered across the tiled roofs of the old town, and under covering fire the blackshirts assaulted the first partisan squad in their way. Despite being slightly outnumbered their foolish tactics win them the day. Yet another victory to the 'Lash'.

By now the League Armour was on the beach and the big tank made mincemeat of the tank traps. This began to engage fire with the troops holed up in the hotel. All shots from the Big Tank missed - three ones.
But Commander Rolf could not even hit this monster. The beachhead was becoming a tale of bad luck for both sides.

Remember that truck pinned by the garden...well they failed their activation test so got another mortar round plopped on them. Fortunately no kills but the pins were beginning to build up.

In the centre of town the Partisans in the pub had been trading fire with the western gate guard. Once again the Blackshirts were making a better job of it. That was until the partisans armoured car trundled into view.

Its target the Fascists running amok in the old quarter.

Buy now the graveyard previously controlled by the Western Gate Guard (all dead) had been seized by the Partisans.

Back to that pinned truck, more mortar fire and the sniper had joined in on the fun. Six pins later the morale of the passengers broke and they routed.

Elsewhere the beach assault had overrun the hasty BUF barricade and were now bearing down on the Hotel

Secondary armour support had also arrived. Taking advantage of the gaps made by Big Tank.

and onto what is probably the longest protracted tank engagement I have seen in my life.
Brigadier MyWords realised that the only thing stopping him from clearing the BUF forces from the southern edge of town was the Panzer MK1. He three everything at it including Big Tank, Little Tank and two infantry squads in close assault. Could he knock it out no...it took three rounds. In this time the plucky little Panzer immobilised BIG Tank and shot up both Infantry squads. 
BIG TANK continuously missed -another two ones


Picture of the first close assault
Eventually Little Tank knock him out.

What of our Partisans - well by now they had captured the Western gate and the railstation (a sneaky retreat from the Pub through the woods got them this second prize)

A third squad dashed into the Keep (who left the doors open) but were chased down by the Armoured car

A final squad close assaulted the remaining guards on the North gate and won by one dice. Three out of four objectives secured - a minor victory

What a furious game...frantic, hectic and certainly could have gone to the wire three quarters of the way in.
I'd like to thank my gamers for being jolly good chaps, playing the game as it should be done with grace and humour, and I look forward to hosting another in the not too distant future
until next time




  1. The Orc wagon didn't last long! Not seen the harbour before!

  2. Great stuff a most pleasant? evenings read and viewing

  3. Wow, the pictures beat my expectation - wonderful!!

  4. Great game , the most intense BA game ever . all the PZ1 crew mbrs awarded the Archie Hamilton token of bravery - posthumously :-( .... I wonder if the new BA tank war supp adds anything ???

  5. Great game and great looking town.


  6. Really lovely looking game Mr Shed! More!!!!