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Bullets shriek overhead as a bitter duel rages back and forth in the streets of Stalingrad. Keen-eyed snipers play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.

As the German advance into the city ground to a halt, fighting within Stalingrad took on a rhythm similar to that of World War I. Both sides dug extensive trench networks and fortified buildings into inter-connected defence networks. Large-scale attacks became increasingly difficult.

Mobile warfare was replaced with frequent artillery bombardment, trench raids, and sniping. The spontaneous appearance of the sniper movement within the Soviet army led to a vast increase in the number of snipers
patrolling the front line. German sharpshooters quickly followed suit, with each sniper seeking to rack up as many kills as possible.

Sometimes these silent hunters encountered each other on the front lines and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse would play out, where only one sharpshooter could come out on top – or alive.

Snipers in Bolt Action

When a sniper shoots using a Fire or Ambush order, the player can decide to use his scope, in which case the following special rules apply:

Rifle range changes to 36″. However, if the target is within 12″, the shot misses automatically.

The shot ignores negative to-hit modifiers, except for pinning markers and for the missing assistant if the sniper is the last man standing.

The shot ignores the gun shield and extra protection rules.

If the sniper rolls to hit and damage, this always counts as exceptional damage (just as if you rolled a 6 followed by a 6 to damage), so the firing player can pick any model in the target unit as a casualty.

Unlike other units within the team weapon special rule, all members of a sniper team can fire any weapon they are carrying in any turn where the sniper is not using his scope and in an assault, they can use the assault rule from their pistols/submachine guns.

Sniper teams are a powerful tool, allowing you to pick off key models like officers, NCOs and artillerymen, not to mention other snipers. The size of the team makes it difficult to eradicate with direct fire and they can tie up enemy artillery and infantry units that could otherwise be spent taking objectives or shoring up the enemy line of battle.

The ruins of Stalingrad were a sniper’s paradise, and many men (and women) rose to prominence on both sides. The out of control propaganda machine blew their exploits out of proportion and these eagle-eyed marksmen became heroes.

You’ll find rules for two of these giants – Vasiliy Zaitsev and Major Konig in our brand new Stalingrad campaign book, along with a scenario centred on a bloodsoaked duel between two expert marksmen. It’s available for pre-order right now!

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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.