Saturday, April 4, 2015

BA- Somewhere in Russia...

Kent was keen for a game of Bolt Action over the long weekend and we organised a game for today. The guys were having a Dystopian Wars comp down at the club so we decided to game down there. One of the young guys at the club, Jacob, has a Soviet army so I took Finn and his Soviets along. I and took on role of mentor/umpire/advisor for the Russians.

Each army was 800 pts, so 1600 pts per side.

Jacob ran: HQ, Reg LMG quad, large vet engineer squad, large SMG squad, T34, free green squad, and maybe a sniper.

Finn had: Reg 2nd Lt, reg LMG squad, reg SMG squad, reg Siberan squad, 81mm mortar, MMG, SU 76

Kent ran FJ: Vet HQ, 2x large squads, 75mm recoiless gun, stug, free observer, medic, 222 armoured car

Stephen ran my panzer grenadiers: Vet 2nd Lt, 2x Vet squads (2x LMGs), 1x Vet pioneer squad (with flamethrower), 1x 25/9, 1x 251/9 stummel, 1x 233 armoured car

We used an 8 x 6 table and to keep things moving allowed each side to deploy 1' onto the table. I forgot some objective markers so it was basically just a max attrition.

Finn's troops deployed in the foreground, Jacob's in the top of the picutre. Jacob deployed his T34 with the SU 76. Finn has his SMG squad flanking.

A view for the German lines, Kent's troops cowering behind the rolling steppe.

A view of Jacob's masses of infantry.

turn 1 the stummel advances and was the only unit to score a hit, killing 3 of Finns regualr LMG squad.

Finn's maxim team advances towards a ruined church. In the background Kent has called in his artillery strike and palced it near the T34 and Suka.

Jacob ponders his next move.

A view form the German lines. the 233 armorued car had tried to rcce away from the Soviet AT gun but was hit and its crew momentarily stunned.

Turn 2 the Soviet mortar ranges in on one of Kent's squads, killing a coupleof pinning them.

The inexperienced Soviet squad advances towards the 251/1

Meanwhile Finn's SU76 has been hit by the Stug and its crew stunned.

On the Soviets far right Jacob's infantry advance is protected by one of the rolling hills.

 The inexperienced close assault the 251/1 and destroy it.

But a second hit from the stug destroys the SU 76.

Stephen's troops have occupied the wood facing the road while in the lower corner Finn's troops advance through the cornfields.

Crossing the ridgeline proves deadly as Stephen's mortar ranges in on the Soviets, the LMG squad is badly mauled and eventually breaks.

The Soviets and Germans square off near the road with Stephen's two panzer grenadier squads using the woods as cover to hopefully halt the Soviet attack.

Jacob has redeployed the T34 to support his troops.

Finally the SMG squad comes on and destroys the 222 armoured car.

Th 233 armoured car bounces a shot of the front armour of the T34.

The SMG squad advance behind the T34.

On Finn's flank the maxim covers his infantry, suppressing the German units.

The SMG squad about to launch an assault on the Germans, 16 dice and only two Germans killed! The German survivors kill 5 or so Soviets and the squad surrenders. Unlucky dice rolling by Finn.

 The assault goes in.

 The 233 tried for a flank shot on the T34 but misses, return fire from the T34 destroys the pesky armoured car though.

 End of turn 6. Both the stug and 251/9 stummel have been immobilised by the Zis 3 but neither is knocked out.

And there we ended with a 3-3 draw.

A close game and everyone had fun, the big table worked well, there was plenty of room to manouvre but still enough terrain and cover to make things interesting. As tends to happen the game slowed down the longer we played as we had to sort out one person's action before the next. To keep things moving though, we had enough dice for the maximum units in one force for each side and when a die was drawn both players got to use one of their units. this worked well.

Overall though, I am starting to want something with a bit more depth to it, not sure what though. The games are enjoyable but lately have gone a bit flat towards the end, I'm not sure how to speed them up but I'm also starting to want a bit more flavour or detail to the games and aren't sure of what rules to try for this, or maybe I just need to tweak BA to speed it up a bit more.

Things I'm considering are:

1. Transports must be attached to an infantry or artillery unit and are activated as part of that unit- thus reducing a few dice.
2. SMGs don't have a long range penalty, simply 12" range and point blank range- figuring out if SMGs are in point blank or long range really slows things down and don't see it as being a really big difference (not giving them the move without penalty would help too- I need to think on this a bit more )



  1. Great report Craig. I really must get some more Bolt Action games played!

  2. Great looking game and report, Craig. Great ideas on modifying/tweaking the rules too.

  3. Cheers guys. The game looked great ona bgger table without too many troops. One fo the Dystopian players noted that they sometimes play gams on 12x 4 but he liked the look of the extra depth- which too me is the ky to making games interesting- decent amounts of table depth (to avoid line em up and shoot) as well as reasonable width (one reason I prfer 5x5 tables as my minimum)

    BAs big advantage is that it is easy for Finn (13) to get the hang of, but we probably need to stick to smaller games and more scenarios- I didn't really have time to come up with anything too interesting though.

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