24 August 2020

Operation Barbarossa - Bolt Action Skirmish Game in 1/72 Scale

Pictures of another recent scenario with three of the regular crew (Alex / Carlos / Juan). In the game we kept distancing measures in place, and face coverings when necessary.

The game was a skirmish operation roughly based on / around the time of Operation Barbarossa put together by Carlos, composed of a small mobile force of German Panzergrenadiers supported by a couple of Stugs. 

Russian infantry were defending a small village and as the game progressed they received increasing support from BT-7s.


 Germans start moving in towards the village


The Russian commander looks out at the oncoming enemy.



 A political Commissar in the meantime keeps to the rear to "persuade" any dubious Comrades to hold their ground.

The Germans continue their advance 


Mortar shells come raining down on the awaiting Russians.


Bolt Action rules allow you to add medics. In this case the lovely Svetlana made an appearance to help out the boys under mortar fire.


 German squads arriving on foot through a small wood reach the outskirts of the village.


Stug surfing ! On the road into the village, a StuG tears down the road loaded with a squad of improvised tank riders.


 More BT-7s make an appearance. 


The Germans on foot who reached the outskirts have a tough time out in the open and stack up more and more casualties. 


The Stug surfers dismount but pay a high price, the Russians holed up in the houses practically decimate them in a hail of gunfire


Another BT-7 enters the fray and causes a lot of headaches on the Western flank. The fast-moving tanks get in behind the Stugs and disable both vehicles.


Meanwhile the remaining infantrymen are pinned and the German player decides enough is enough, he can't win this time so he concedes he's fighting a losing battle, and the victory is given to the Russian player.


The Commissar looks on at the retreating Germans - this time he hasn't had to persuade anyone to stand their ground.


The game was difficult for the Germans, too much ground to cover and probably not enough forces for the attack - but who said battles were fair ? 

In any case, we were thinking of maybe tweaking the scenario and playing it again sometime. The Russians didn't really do much apart from just shoot every turn in a static defence and the arrival of four BT-7s sealed the fate of the Stugs. 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and as always the only victims in this battle were just little toy soldiers. 

Keep safe and in the next update we'll try and maybe get some photos up of a pre-Covid colonial game played back in February, or some photos of a few Airfix US Paratroop conversions


  1. Great batlle! We also played in Bolt Action with 1/72 minis... that was an interesting experience!

    1. Thanks !! Yes, 1/72 is a good scale for Bolt Action. Great blog too, I just added you to the links.

    2. Thank you! Here the link to the AAR about our game in Bolt Action in this scale if you interested: https://strategistultimaoriente.blogspot.com/2019/01/bolt.html
      Thank you for your blog! Alot of interesting information!

    3. Thanks for the link, love the stuff on your blog mate !!

    4. Thank you a lot, sir! The same thinks about your blog!

  2. That was really good. You play on sand too? You gear is smashing, any chance of a list of manufacturers?
    Best wishes, ST

  3. Hello John!
    I would like to stay there and share the 1/72 world you have!

    It's very interesting the use you do with the "sand table". I think is the only way to harmonise all the elements of the escenography, otherwise they looks like a puzzle, as I see in internet or in my littles attempts.... But if you put diferent sands o little stones o scenic grass, sturf...do you lose them? So Do you change the sand each time you play?...ahh...you live near the beach...

    1. Hey Antonio - thanks for your comments, but the sand table world is not so glamourous as you might think lol :-)

      I used about 10 big bags of fine-grain dirt from Leroy Merlin, with a bit of sand "stolen" from the beach. I would have preferred all sand, but if the Policía Local catch me bringing home bags and bags of sand I might have a few problems and end up in the local press "Englishman caught stealing sand off the beach to play with little soldiers" .....
      The scenic grass is dyed sawdust I made. I have to scrape up the sawdust after the games and either throw it away or filter it out with a sieve. It's been a steep learing curve, the table is very heavy and needs a lot of water to shape the contours, so that adds extra weight and the table has to be very robust.

      I have plans to make an article on the sand table, I must do it soon !

      Thanks again.

  4. What size of bases are those on the troops? They look great!

    1. Hi Jason, they're all based on one Eurocent coins, a little smaller than the UK penny and about the same size as a US cent.