Having limited figures for the setting didn't stop us including a couple of mortars and an observer (two observers in fact, one of which was an air liaison officer.) in the game. We just allowed for them to be deployed hidden or out of line of sight for the game.
To balance the extra Australian forces, the Chinese were given prepared earth work defenses, and some barbed wire.
Added to this, the Australians had to cross a river using a fallen tree. I mistakenly gave my Mate the option of placing the tree anywhere along the river, something that turned out to be a game changer.
I made the river and the earthworks especially for this game, but made them generic enough that I will be able to use them for other games.
The earthworks are still a work in progress, as I didn't have enough of the same colour paint to paint over the sand.
|The Chinese set up|
To speed up the game, we allowed for soldiers to be activated in groups of two or three until such times as combat actually started.
|The river the Australians needed to cross|
|Looking towards the Chinese positions|
|The Australians start their approach. I am particularly pleased with the reflections of the scenery in the river.|
|The Australians get within range of the fallen tree. The mortars are setting up behind the hill to the left|
|Crossing the river|
This was at this stage of the game the 'game changer' kicked in. The Australians were out of range of 70% of the Chinese in their earth works. As a result, and due to bad dice rolls, I was only able to pin two Australians with my initial fire, and they shrugged that off with a successful rally test.
After rallying the scouts crossing over the bridge, the mortars fired some smoke to give cover to the troops crossing the river. This blinded the 30% of Chinese that were in range.
Figuring this game would be lost quickly, I moved some Chinese out of the earth works so they could get into the fight.
In an attempt to out flank my position, one of the Australians was taken out of the battle with one of the few shots that actually inflicted damage.
Time for playing was running out, and my Mate remembered he had a Beaufighter on call.
As we had added the use of indirect fire to our game, it was simple enough to use air support as well.
As with the mortars, the Australian's had some jolly lucky dice rolls, and the fighter bomber came in when and where it was needed.
|My Mate finally remembered he had air support|
Even with the earthworks, the Chinese suffered heavy casualties and all that was left was for the Australians to clear the trench and check to their wounded.
|The Beaufighter heading back to base.|
Again we were very happy with how easy the Bolt Action rules are.
One thing that is important is to keep the normal BA rules for air support as they are, and not adjust them to skirmish games. Otherwise planes are too powerful.
We did have some questions about the indirect fire rules which I intend to ask about over at the Warlord Games forum.
As mentioned, the lack of figure for this setting makes for very limited games - I can get plenty of extra Australians, but I can't get any heavy weapon or support figures for the Chinese.
As a result I will dust off my 20mm Australians and Japanese for a historical Pacific campaign, as well as work on my alternative history Europe '45 setting.