Sunday, June 07, 2020

Grozny 1995 - Bolt Action Modern

With the varnish barely dry on the new buildings time to throw them down on the table for some modern action. The recent Bolt Action games have been a real highlight of the past few months, so when I found a modern version on Jay's wargaming Madness site. I thought I would give the Chechens a roll out and a Russian probe into Grozny 1995. 

The Russians are seeking to break into the city of Grozny with an armoured spearhead. The Chechen defenders are lightly armed with only RPG's and Grenades against the Russian tanks. Three squads does not seem enough to stem the Russian column. But if they can keep the column from exiting the table it will be seen as a victory for the defenders.

A local TV crew covers the conflict as the tanks roll in. Not expecting this to be nothing short of military parade.

Chechen fighters hide out amongst the ruins awaiting the invaders. The game will last 8 turns and the Chechens to stop the Russians exiting the table at the north end, killing as much armour as they can. 
I worked out some basic point values if they were needed in the case of a draw.

To keep the game interesting for solo play the Russians started with 3 dice in the bag once pulled I rolled for the type of vehicle, Tank, Carrier or Scout Car. At the end of each turn the diced for possible Russian reinforcements dropping an extra dice in the bag, these new options who would join the end of the column.
The Russians were unable to leave the road by more than 6" due to mines and IED's and ran the risk of bogging etc when they did come off the main highway.

Turn 2 - Contact.
A couple of Chechen fire teams pop up and fire an RPG round at the lead tank, a near miss but gave the Russians a taste of what's to come.

The Russians infantry spills out of the lead APC and the militia squad heads into the court yard as the column grinds to a halt.

The untrained Russians see terrorists behind every fence and burned out car not knowing where the next attack would come from. The T80 with only one pin marker fails its order roll and nervous of further RPG strikes fires on the nearest building catching the advancing militia in the blast.

Despite losses largely due to their own side the Russians press on down the main road into the heart of built up area. The BMP cannon firing on any potential hiding place looking to supress defenders who were either down or on ambush orders.

RPG rounds whizz past the BMP2, despite a number of strikes none penetrate the armour. The defenders close in for the kill as the crew repeatedly fail to bring themselves under command to react to the approaching Chechen tank hunter teams.

The fire team by the petrol station get out of sight of the armour as the security troops close in, nipping round the back of the shop looking to find a better angle to harass the invaders. The Russians waste valuable time looking to kill off one or two men.

Meanwhile the column comes under sustained attack by multiple RPG strikes. None strike home but pin markers start to rise slowing the column down as the poor quality security forces fail command rolls.

The Russians strike back with heavy machine guns raking the defenders as they clear out insurgents from the rough ground at the back of the petrol station. The armour pours shot and shell into any potential firing point. (unless the Chechen's had shown themselves the Russians were only able supress the defenders and inflect pin markers on them.)

The BMP finally runs out of lives as an RPG rounds first immobilise and then knock it out. The column is still someway off it's objective.

The Shilka gambles leaving the road to bypass the burning BMP as yet more Chechen's gather on roof tops and in door ways.

The T80 pushes the burning APC out of the way so the advance continues, the clock ticks down. Two turns to go.

The BRDMs takes an RPG round it's top armour offering little or no protection for the AT round.

Turn 8 the Russians are through but are out of time.

A fun affair and surprisingly even give the significant weighting in favour of the Russians with armour and accompanying infantry. A good adoption of the Bolt Action Rules for a modern setting.

Bolt Action definitely seems well suited to 15mm and asymmetrical warfare, the limited movement and turning circles for the vehicles made them vulnerable to the nimble insurgent types, only allowing supressing fire until shot at gave the defenders a one shot chance to inflict damage. The Chechen's don't last long if caught in the open but were great at frustrating the poorly trained Russians as the often missed their order roll.

I may well have to go back and re-read Fangs of the Lone Wolf which details tactics of the Chechen war and see how well they convert to Bolt Action modern. More scenarios to follow.


  1. A nice scenario and Bolt Action, for all its 'bad press', does give a good game IMHO.

    1. I would agree Steve these have been a fun experience and have some nice mechanisms for areas such as snipers and artillery.

  2. Nice use of BA for a modern scenario. BA is my favored rules for anything post black powder.

  3. Great adaptation Stuart, it seemed to play really well.

    1. Pretty good fun Michael may be one day I will get a real opponent.

  4. Nice looking game Stu...I wonder what "spin" the blonde Russian reporter put on the story?!

  5. Good stuff, I like the period but never dipped my foot in yet. I won’t hear anything against Bolt action as I think the mechanism is excellent for games upto a certain large very large skirmish. 👍 or even the ACW

  6. Hi Stuart- a very good 15mm Battle. On another note - I was looking at your 'Blog List' and noticed 1yr ago 'Tinkerton Project'with my URL- I've now a new Blog 'Kev's Miniature Wargames'...suggest you delete the 'Tinkerton' from 1year ago. Thanks. KEV.