Showing posts with label bolt action. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bolt action. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Birthday Bolt Action

Bolt Action appears to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity at our club, so on Thursday a four-player game was arranged to allow some of us to get used to the rules. It was also Caesar and my birthdays, so there was cake, but not this one; this one was the one I got with my coffee at the cafe we frequent each morning:

Back to the Bolt Action. Members of our group have their own forces, but none have enough to stage a game big enough for four layers. So we threw history out of the window and put together an Axis force (consisting of early war Germans and some Japanese) against an Allied one (Americans and Russians). There was no objective as such; we just lined units up at random and went at it.

I didn't take that many pictures. I had the Americans, and ended up with my troops on each flank. The bulk of my infantry had the cover of some hedgerows, but some sneaky Japaneses can be seen top right.

The other half of my force had a tank, and was on the other flank where they faced a Japanese tank. It didn't last long; it caught fire from the first shot I fired at it, and the crew bailed out.

Gary's Russians were in the centre, mostly in a village. They were charged by some Japanese ...

... and Gary counter-attacked, keen to try out the assault rules. The Russians lost.

The rest of the game seemed to consist of the Americans and one unit of Russian conscripts, mowing down hordes of charging Japanese and groups of cautiously advancing Germans, whilst trying to stay in cover as much as possible. Eventually we reached a point where the Axis troops in the village (and there were a few by the end) were looking down the business-end of  Sherman tank but with no anti-tank support with which to oppose it. It was not going to end well for the Axis.

Bolt Action gives a fast and furious game, mostly because the rules are incredibly old-school and seem to have little in the way of trimming. The activation mechanisms (of drawing dice out of a bag) does force some interesting decisions about when you try and do certain things, whilst firing and movement are very basic. It does feel a bit like a WWII Warhammer, though, with the way troops have special abilities or special units attached to them - we jokingly dubbed it Warhammer 1.94K. It's probably not a game for which I'm likely to buy the rules or any figures, but one I'd play again.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Thursday Report

I was too tired to consider actually paying any games this Thursday, but I did turn up at the club in order to (i) be sociable and (ii) return Peter's SYW Austrians, which I had acquired after our Kolin game the other week.

Although I didn't play, I did take some pictures of three of the four games on offer.

Geoff and Gary played HOTT - 36AP is still very much the flavour of the month, with MOAB on the way.

Daniel and Bryan had an improvised game of Bolt Action. They had troops, but no cloth or terrain, so used Caesar's 15mm HOTT terrain collection.

Meanwhile at the other end of the room, people were engaged in another of our Super Secret Projects. Shhh.

The fourth game was Caesar's offspring playing Talisman.

Sometimes we come close to looking like a real wargames club.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Bolt Action Tanks

We played Bolt Action last night, but Bolt Action with a difference - we only used tanks.

The scenario was set in Poland in late 1944 (not 1939, as I had somehow managed to misinterpret the pre-game blurb to imply), with a force of German tanks holding a village, bridge and railway crossing against some attacking Russians. Both sides chose their force from a limited set of options, unaware of what the other had picked.

In the first game the Germans went for the power-play - five Tiger IIs. The Russians went to the other extreme - a horde of inexperienced  T34s and SU85s. The Germans were outnumbered three to one. Five to one when, on virtually the first turn, a lucky Russian shot knocked out the lead Tiger.

Not Flames of War - those Russian tanks aren't touching
Another Tiger took so much fire that the crew panicked and ran. This left three Germans to defend against an undepleted Russian horde. It didn't go well. The German shooting was appalling, and the Russians could put down such a volume of fire that German destruction, or total suppression, was inevitable. The Germans eventually lost all five tanks and all three objectives, with the Russians having two tanks immobilised.

The second game saw more balance, with five Panthers against a smaller number of more experienced T34s backed up by ...

... a couple of JSII heavy tanks.

The Germans defended back from the village. One T34 tried to  rush the bridge but was immobilised. In this game the Russians actually took some real casualties, but were also trying sneaky flank moves when we ran out of time.

It was mildly entertaining trundling big (relatively speaking) plastic tanks around the table, and it almost made me nostalgic for all those games of 20mm Rapid Fire we played with the Staines Wargamers. Obviously Bolt Action is a far superior game to Rapid Fire, because whilst it's about the same level of complexity, the rules have more and prettier pictures, are the size of an encyclopedia, have a Hard Cover, and, to clinch it all, they have Special Order Dice.

Ralph set up the game, and his more detailed writeup is HERE.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Bolt Action And DBA

We had two games on the go last night. On Table One was Bolt Action - Tank War; a skirmish game for tanks, basically. Quite good fun in a light beer and pretzels kind of way and an excuse to trundle 1/56th scale model tanks about. Several games were played, involving T34s against either PzIVs or a Panther, and featuring crew skills in some of the games.

In the other part of the room were a couple of big-battle DBA games using the mew 3.0 rules, which various members of the club have now got hold of. The first featured Pyrrhic vs Camillan Roman.

The other was a matchup between Franks and Skythians - just assume the Skythians really represented a later horse-archer tribe from the Steppes and all is good.

The general consensus seems to be that the new edition has some very interesting changes that make the game smoother and more interesting. The Solid and Fast gradings seem to offer some extra troop interactions without adding any real complexity to the game, and the switch to side support for some troops is regarded as a good thing as well. I need to go through my ancient/dark ages armies and see how I'm set up for troops now.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Another Night Of Gaming In Wollongong

Four games on the go this week - two games of HOTT, one of Bolt Action and one of ... well, I can't say. If I did, I'd have to kill you, and neither of us wants that.

Bolt Action action.

Cei and Marco play HOTT. Cei was using my Alice in Wonderland army, whilst Marco was using my Australian Aboriginal force. Marco won a fairly decisive victory.

They played another game, with Marco keeping the Aborigines, but Cei switching to (and attacking with) the Boxer Rebellion Foreign Devils.

I don't know who won the second game; they played, packed up and went off clubbing afterwards. The stamina of youth ... *

I played a game against Peter, using the Chinese (with two dragons) against a Roman force.

I lost, when my general got backed up into my other chariot. I even had a dragon shot down by artillery.

I think we're playing Longstreet next week.

*Cei got home at 3am. I found this out via Facebook.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Biggles Pulls It Off

Once again German bombers are on their way to Paris. Only the RFC stands between them and the French capital ...

It's been a while since I played 'Spandau and Lewis', so I ran a game of it tonight at the club; Geoff took the RFC, whilst I took the Germans. All aircraft were 1/600th models from Tumbling Dice.

I had three Friedrichshafen G.IIIs escorted by three Halberstadt CLIIs. The bombers had two experienced crews and one veteran, but their escorts were fresh out of flying school - two inexperienced crews and one experienced.

Geoff had two flights of scouts - the first was made up of three SE5a, all with experienced pilots.

The second flight consisted of two rookies and an experienced pilot, flying Sopwith Camels.

The German objective was to get the bombers off the end of the table. The RFC had to shot down two bombers without losing three or more of their own planes.

The first exchange of fire; a Halberstadt and an SE5a go head to head. The Halberstadt had detached from the main formation and, after this exchange, never got back into the fight. This left me one escort down. It was the only one with a decent crew.

The bombers come under attack, despite a close escort. The German firing was woefully inaccurate at this stage.

An escort in trouble. Generally, though, Geoff kept his eye firmly on the objective, prioritising shots at the bombers rather than taking on the escorts. For most of the game the escorts were little more than a nuisance anyway.

A badly position Camel comes under fire. At this point, though, two of the bombers were starting to take serious hits.

The final moments of one of the bombers.

An overview of the game towards the end. This was the last picture I took. Two bombers were badly damaged, and the RFC were taking minor hits only.

In fact, not long after the picture was taken, one of the rookie Halberstadt crews took two British planes under fire. And SE5a fell to the pilot's gun, it's pilot shot through the head, whilst the observer fired a burst at a pursuing Camel, causing its engine to catch fire. In two shots the British were only one plane away from having to break off the action.

Unfortunately in the same turn they shot down a second bomber to win the game. But it was close.

I don't think that we identified any rule changes, aside from a suggestion that pre-measurement of movement not be allowed (a player has to declare their speed and potential turns/sideslips before testing to see if they can achieve them). I need to make a few tweaks to the prototype spotting rules, but I think that they are almost there - not complex, but in keeping with the spirit of the rest of the  game certainly.

Meanwhile on the other table Austen, Bryan Ralph and Caesar were playing a four-handed game of Bolt Action. Based (or, more accurately, derived) from a real incident during the Battle of the Bulge when General Eisenhower broke lose from his guards after going stir-crazy, this saw four factions competing to seize or rescue the general from a farmhouse in the centre of the table. German regulars, Skorzeny's commandos, American military police and Belgian resistance fighters were all competing for the prize

Some of them had tanks. Or a tank.

And here's General Eisenhower himself, who had slipped away for a little bit of 'me' time in a pretty frock and some cute shoes, as his alter ego, Ingrid*.

Aside from the apron I actually have this outfit, although my red frock doesn't have a slit up the side.
Anyway, I think at some stage all of the factions held the General at some stage, before being blown away by their opponents. I'm not sure of the final result. I do know that it was a bit of a learning experience for all involved.

*May not be historically accurate.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Bolt Action

For last night's game we tried out Bolt Action, a WWII skirmish level game. Bryan provided the lovely 28mm figures, whilst Lachlan adjudicated the game. Bryan and Caesar had a force of French Resistance who were tasked with breaking through a German cordon, run by Ralph and myself. Somehow they had acquired allies in the form of a lost American tank. Their objective was to get off, or at least close to, our board edge. Ours was to shoot them down.

Here's the table - A house, a road and some low rises, plus a few scattered woods. The Germans were already in position along the nearest edge.

The French cautiously advance around the farmhouse, although an accompanying tank provides a big boost to their confidence. As the Germans we had a single AT gun, plus a panzerschreck and a few panzerfausts. Unfortunately the panzerschreck was lost very early on, leaving us somewhat vulnerable to the tank.

Germans skulk in the woods.

The Resistance had a very dramatically posed sniper. She didn't shoot much, but she kept our AT gun in hiding for most of the game.

Caesar advances his Resistance fighters into the teeth of the German fire.

Ralph advanced one of his groups into a position where it could be seen by an enemy artillery observer. Here's his group after the fire was resolved.

My troops were now in the wood and the orchard, but the tank was causing us some difficulties.

One squad had a medic.

The French shot us up with the tank, then charged in to finish off the survivors.

Leaving the medic all alone.

He recognised a university rival - the medic for the resistance. They killed each other.

The German AT gun continued to hide.

The French artillery observer was one of the figures they got off the table.

The Resistance won a major victory. Although we inflicted a fair number of casualties on the Resistance we didn't actually destroy that many units. In return we lost lots, mostly because we had to expose ourselves to risk in order to stand a chance of knocking off that bloody tank. Once there were gaps in our line the Resistance made a run for it and got off or close to our board edge.

The rules worked well; not too hard to play and relatively sensible. I think the game suffered from having too many open fields of fire, but that's easily corrected by adjusting terrain density for future actions. A fun evening, even if the wrong side won.

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