I attended Operation Cleanslate, a one day Bolt Action tournament held at Games Laboratory in Melbourne. One day, three 1,250 point games and 15 players is a recipe for a top day.
I took a Tiger supported by a lot of mid-war grenadiers (and a squad of SMG armed fallschirmjager). A minor bum note was although I had Germans, I played against Germans in all three rounds. My opponents more than made up for this historical aberration. And, it was interesting to be on the receiving end of Hitler’s Buzz-Saw for once.
For once I remembered to take photos.
Game one: Demolition, against Garret who had a German armoured company. No tanks though, it was all half-tracks with various gadgets and just two infantry squads, both veterans. Garret is a gentleman but he knows Bolt Action and I had my work cut out right from the start. It didn’t help that my Tiger got lost on the way and didn’t arrive until turn 6! Just in time to take out his command vehicle and his most expensive unit, but too late to help defend my objective or destroy his.
I did OK, and thought I might get a draw but with pins piling on I couldn’t get forward as my squads went to ground. An 8-16 Loss.
Game two: Point Defence. Off to the ruins of Stalingrad for a fight against Robert’s DAK (man, they must have really pissed Rommel off to get posted to the Volga!) A wonderful board to fight over, I thought I played it well keeping the DAK at bay and keeping my units alive in depth on two of the three objectives.
Lesson this game: read the mission. Point Defence defender only wins if they hold all three objectives. I chose to defend two objectives in depth, largely ignoring the other one, which left me playing for a draw right from turn one. Doh! 12-11 Draw.
Game three: Kittyhawk Down! Another German armoured list, against Aaron on a very open board. While there was some line of sight blocking, there was nowhere to hide.
Kittyhawk down really starts at turn 4, when a Kittyhawk crashes at a random spot along the centre line of the table and becomes the objective. It comes down with a bang, exploding with the effect of a medium howitzer. I lost an entire squad in the wreckage and went from being in a good place to being on the back foot as truck loads of (opposing) vets poured onto the objective.
The end result was a draw, 12-13 Aaron’s way, but if we had gone to turn 7 it would have been all his.
Tigers are ace. They can take a lot of damage and they are a one hit one kill unit. But they take a lot of points and will still accumulate pin-markers. This means that the rest of your army needs to work hard to take and hold objectives.
To win with a Tiger list you need to stay focused on the mission and know your army. Actually, that is really just advice for winning with any list.
And some of the other armies:
See you on the battlefield. Maybe even the next BA event.