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Battle for Normandy: The Black Baron

Crush the Allied advance in the ruins of Villers-Bocage...

Battle for Normandy: The Black Baron

Tigers on the Prowl!

Desperate to exploit a gap in the German lines and break the deadlock around Caen, British armoured units are racing towards the town of Villers-Bocage. If their tanks can punch through the German screen, they will be able to encircle the veteran Panzer-Lehr division blocking the route south – forcing them to withdraw or be completely destroyed.

The British flying column is composed of nimble Stuart and Cromwell tanks, backed up by the up-gunned Sherman Fireflies. Interspersed between the tanks are trucks and troop carriers, loaded down with infantrymen from the Rifle Brigade. Big cats stalk the German countryside – a group of Tiger tanks from the 101st SS Heavy Panzer Battalion, commanded by the Black Baron – tank ace Michael Wittmann have raced forward to prepare an ambush for the advancing British.

The Axis heavy tanks pose a significant threat to the flying column. Combining the element of surprise with their heavy armour and superior firepower, they may be able to completely blunt the British assault.

This scenario is a fantastic way to try out the Tank War supplement, and re-fight a key tank battle of the Normandy campaign. You could even use this scenario as a jumping-off point for a whole Tank War campaign, creating your own tank aces and a narrative worthy of any war movie!

British Army

  • 1x Regular Cromwell Tank (Command, Radio Net)
  • 3x Regular Cromwell Tanks
  • 2x Regular VC Firefly Tanks

Waffen-SS

  • 1x Wittman’s Tiger I (Command, Radio Net)
  • 2x Veteran Tiger 1s

Special Rules

Rubble: Hammered by constant artillery barrages and ceaseless fighting, the town of Villers-Bocage has become a blasted ruin. Huge piles of broken brick and shattered furniture impede movement and pose a hazard to any armoured vehicles moving through the area.

When a tracked vehicle is going to move across an area of rubble that is longer half the height of the vehicle model itself, declare their intended move and then roll on the Rubble table the moment they start moving onto the rubble. In this scenario, the areas marked by grey debris are considered rubble.

Roll: Result:
0 or lower Crash: The vehicle crashes through the rubble and into a cellar or sewer beneath. The vehicle is removed and it counts as destroyed.
1-2 Bellied: The vehicle becomes temporarily immobilised by a protruding obstacle pushing against its belly armour and preventing the tracks from gripping. Roll another D6 to determine how far the vehicle actually moves across the rubble this turn before it becomes immobilised until its next activation. Any shooting at the vehicle from the front that rolls a natural 6 to hit will strike its exposed belly armour (counts as rear armour). The vehicle can attempt to move across rubble again next turn.
3-4 Slipped: The vehicle moves a short distance before slipping awkwardly sidewise or backwards. Roll another D6 to determine how far the vehicle actually moves across the rubble this turn. The vehicle can attempt to move across rubble again next turn.
5-6 Crunch: With its engine roaring and treads clattering the vehicle is free to move across the rubble without any incident this turn.

Rubble Modifiers

  • Heavy or superheavy tank: -2
  • Light or medium tank: -1
  • Inexperienced crew: -1
  • Veteran crew: +1

The Convoy: At the start of each turn, place a British half-track, truck or universal carrier on the road in the British deployment area. This unit will then move 12” down the road towards the opposite table edge. It will attempt to navigate around any obstacles and move away from any visible enemy units, but must always try and move towards the escape zone. Once the vehicle reaches the escape zone, remove it from the battlefield.

Set-Up

The Waffen-SS player deploys his force in the marked area. If he wishes, they may begin the game with an Ambush order.

The British player divides his force into two groups. The Cromwell Command Tank, and 2x Cromwells make up the first wave. The second wave composes the fourth Cromwell and both Fireflies which is held in reserve.

Objectives

The British player must ensure the convoy’s survival and neutralise the German Tigers.

The German player must destroy as many British vehicles as possible!

First Turn

The British player moves his first wave (including a transport vehicle) onto the table. They do not need to pass an order test to make this move.

The remainder of their force begin to arrive from Turn 2 onwards.

Game Duration

Keep a count of how many turns have elapsed as the game is played. At the end of turn 6, roll a die. On a result of 1,2 or 3, the game ends. On a 4,5 or 6 play another turn.

Victory

At the end of the game, calculate who has won by adding up the Victory Points as follows The British player gains 3 Victory Points for each transport that makes it to the escape zone.

The German player gains 2 Victory Points for each enemy transport vehicle destroyed, and 1 Victory Point for each enemy tank destroyed.

D-Day: British & Canadian Sectors

You can find the rules for legendary tank ace Michael Wittman, and a pair of fantastic scenarios for playing out his untimely demise in the Norman bocage in our brand new campaign book; D-Day: British & Canadian sectors. Written by Bolt Action veterans Mark Barber and Gareth Walsh, this book is a must-buy for anyone interested in the battle for Normandy.

The book is jam-packed with scenarios, new units & theatre selectors, and will add a new dimension to your games of Bolt Action!

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Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti. 

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