Final victory has been declared in Operation Critical Hit, our global World War Two campaign for Bolt Action, Blood Red Skies, and Victory at Sea, with the Allies coming out on top – by a fair margin, in the end. Was it ever really in doubt? Well, yes actually. We’re privy to all the reporting stats after all, and it looked mighty close in certain sectors right up until the final week! Especially when looking at the Allied: Axis ratio of victories in Bolt Action, which remained more or less level right until the very end of the campaign.

This is the final instalment of War Stories, in which we briefly round-up some of the action, theatre-by-theatre as you guys reported it.

North-West Europe

This one was a doozy! Throughout each week of the campaign, the Allies have come out comfortably on top in the Northwest Europe theatre. This week, they well and truly put their stamp upon it, claiming all nine hexes, with overwhelming victory in the skies and at sea. Indeed there was a whole flurry of Blood Red Skies games being played in the theatre, compared to previous weeks. On the ground too; though the Axis put up a fair fight they were not able to keep up last week’s upward trend.

British and German forces jostled to retrieve a downed RAF pilot in this early-war-themed game using the Top Secret scenario. Early Allied initiative was quickly quashed by fierce fighting in the centre, as the pilot was grasped from British hands. Determination on both sides saw this game result in a draw. Result reported by Staxer.
In an unlikely turn of events, an inexperienced ten-man strong Hungarian squad fought off a six-man Veteran US Airborne squad in melee, before popping out of their secured position to take out an enemy MMG, and have enough steam left to secure the objective thereafter. One suspects they will not remain Inexperienced for long. Reported by Eugene Burger.
Sergeant Schultzy brought us this report of a very bad day for the Brits as they attempted to seize control of a vital bridge in the French countryside. The British force was annihilated, with a German Tiger doing sterling work in singlehandedly felling a British comet and demolishing a building, dooming the British troops sheltering within.
This game saw US Airborne and Glider troops encircle German defenders as they clung to the objective. Despite brave efforts, a lone German officer and a nearby mortar team were unable to halt the Allied attack. Game reported by Matthew Moore.
This Axis win was reported by El Reino. It would have only taken a single shot to hit to have turned the tide of this game. All the Allied player needed was a six… followed by a second six. How hard could that be?

The Pacific

Despite a relatively strong showing in Blood Red Skies, the early Axis success in the Pacific continued to erode in the campaign’s closing stages, with all suggestion that the Imperial Japanese Navy win the majority of their Victory at Sea battles long forgotten. In this final week, the Allies claimed two-thirds of Pacific theatre hexes, almost cementing a four-week-long comeback, but ultimately leaving overall control of the theatre (just) in the hands of the Axis.

SgtFluffyBoots reported this close-fought jungle battle in the Pacific, with British forces only coming out on top in the final round of the game.
The Imperial Japanese Army and United States Marine Corps fought for control of a small village, nestled around the ruins of an old temple in the jungle. Japanese forces took the initiative early, with a banzai charge wiping out a squad of marines, and a suicide anti-tank weapon putting paid to a flamethrower tank. The late arrival of a US Buffalo with a squad of engineers was not enough to overturn Japanese superiority. Game reported by Kamchatka8.
In the first of two games of Blood Red Skies, the Japanese take the upper hand, with two RAF pilots downed over the treacherous waters of the Pacific. The second game did not go so well for the Japanese however. Games reported by Sargnagel – we appreciated the Monty Python reference guys!
In an attempt to regain air superiority over the heavily contested Celebes Sea, the Americans deployed their newly arrived long-range P-51 Mustangs. One such flight, led by the veteran Captain Darren caught a flight of IJN Zeroes on a routine milk run. The superior P-51s and their better-trained pilots made short work of the Zeroes. Game reported by XYFER GAMES.
Csherrange set up shop in a museum to run some demo games of Blood Red Skies. Over the course of two games those new players sampling the game for the first time won the day, as is only good and proper!
The Imperial Japanese Navy enjoyed many a victory in the opening stages of the campaign. Not so anymore, as demonstrated in this game reported by Germatt. The US Navy achieved a major victory by eliminating the entire Japanese fleet over the course of eight turns of combat.

The Eastern Front

Even on the Eastern Front, the Axis could not avert Allied dominance. The German Wehrmacht, along with their Hungarian comrades, put in a heroic effort, securing victory across all three land hexes. Alas it was not enough with the Soviet Air Force dominating the skies (thanks largely to Joy704!) and even an Allied win in Victory at Sea, the balance of power firmly swung in favour of the Allies in the final week of campaigning.

Hold until relieved! A US Airborne force was unable to wrest control of a village from a small Hungarian force. Game reported by XYFER GAMES.
RatReverse shared this report of a Top Secret mission, with Germans and Soviets jostling for control of an objective secreted in some ruins in the middle of the game board. With many Soviets left in reserve the Germans were able to move up and seize early control of the important papers. A horrendous weight of fire saw decimation on both sides, with heavy tanks duelling and mortars exacting a heavy toll. At the end of the carnage, the German side had only one gun and a mortar team remaining. Despite these, the Russians had too few troops remaining to retrieve the objective, resulting in a draw.
In the final week of Operation Critical Hit, Joy704 continued to be one of the most prolific contributors to the Eastern Front theatre, and indeed the overall campaign, submitting 11 results this week alone. In this battle, combat was cagey, with tactical uses of Poorly Trained Opponents or Robust cards reducing the efficacy of firepower, while Boom chits slowly accumulated. The tide turned dramatically when Luftwaffe ace Pips Priller came off second-best in a head-on duel and was promptly shot down. Victory to the Soviets!

The Mediterranean

Another particularly strong Allied performance saw all nine active hexes in the Mediterranean claimed. All Blood Red Skies games resulted in Allied victories and only a single game of Victory at Sea saw an Axis victory. Again, the Axis put up a stronger showing in Bolt Action, but not nearly enough to stem the tide of the Allies.

With British artillery knocking out a German armoured car at battle’s beginning, a Humber armoured car running amok, and dwindling Afrika Korps infantry, the Allies were able to secure a win in this Western Desert-themed game, courtesy of player Dandare58.
This was a real back-and-forth brawl from start to finish. It included a failed artillery barrage, several key sniper kills, two broken but not destroyed tanks, and a vicious hand-to-hand fight. This draw was reported by LazyChief76.

We’d once again like to thank everybody who participated in the campaign. We had well over a thousand game reports submitted over the five weeks. Your enthusiasm was both palpable and contagious. We’re already looking forward to the next one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like