I like the Bolt Action rules for WWII and I like tanks so when Warlord came out with their Bolt Action Tank War.....well, you know the rest. I couldn't afford to do it in 28mm scale but I do have some 15mm armor so, for no investment, Pete and I tried a game. Pete claims I am inspired to blog mostly when I win and not so much on other occasions. I say it's just a coincidence.
Pete commanded the Germans and fielded 1 platoon of Tigers, 1 of PzkwIV, 1 of StugIII and one of Marders (a kind of hillbilly tank destroyer). My Americans consisted of 4 platoons of Shermans and 1 of M10 Tank Destroyers. I also had a Forward Air Observer detachment in a half track. All platoons on both sides consisted of 3 vehicles.
American air power helps to offset the superior German tanks We used random die rolls to determine the order we set out our various units. Those rolls went badly for the Germans who mostly set up first. Pete placed his PzkwIVs on his right (east of the village), Tigers and Marders in the center and Stugs on his left. His plan was to quickly move the PzkwIV unit into the center to support his main attack with the Tigers. Pete has a deep and abiding love of Tiger tanks. I piled 2 units of Shermans on the PzkwIVs before they could get to the center and, using Happy Dice, got them all. In the center the Tigers took a toll of the Shermans but were stopped by a combination of defensive fire from my ground forces and air strikes. The poor Marders were pushed forward to try to keep the attack going but their light armor was not much help against the American guns. As he was running out of options, the German commander withdrew.
The game played easier than a typical Bolt Action infantry game because it was vehicles only. It was a good size encounter played out in a few hours. The Bolt Action Tank War book is interesting to read, but really didn't add much to the basic rules. If you want to save some $ you could certainly play the game without it. We will run this scenario again at the upcoming JeffCon, the Historicon of the North.