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Author Topic: Anyone here play Bolt Action?  (Read 64 times)

Offline KTG17

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Anyone here play Bolt Action?
« on: May 22, 2021, 01:53:45 AM »
Just found out that Rick Priestly has done a lot for this game. Had no idea what that guy had been up to.

I was looking at a few vids on YouTube and discovered the 2nd edition starter called Band of Brothers. Seems like a nice compact set. And I am a sucker for starter sets.

Has anyone played this and how did it go? I am a huge WWII history buff and built tank kits, but have had no interest in gaming WWII.

I have no idea how army lists go, so I was wondering if I wanted to add to the forces that come in the game, would I be limited on what I could choose? Assuming itís the same point in the war. Can I just buy one vehicle and add it, or are there restrictions on who can have what.

Usually I am excited about games (sci-fi and fantasy) because of the looks of the units but I donít quite feel the same about WWII stuff. Especially late war when everything was pretty much already decided. But if the game has some interesting mechanics and is fun to play I wouldnít mind picking up the starter.

I also should mention I love the western desert part of WWII, and the legendary LRDP. I donít know if theyíve had any kits made for them  but I am not really interested in hunting down a bunch of separate kits along with the rules. So itís either the Band of Brothers set or nothing.

I also think German and Poland 1939 would be cool like First to Fight has done.

Anyway, give me your thoughts. Or else.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone here play Bolt Action?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 02:17:06 AM »
I'm not a fan.  It has a play system that feels like 40K to me.  I like a different style to my WW2 historical gaming.  However, I've seen some giant sized tactical games put on at conventions using these rules over Stalingrad like terrain, and other such stuff, so it can fit for those interested in cinematic, large number of player, convention games because of it's not overly complex.

I prefer rule sets for WW2 like Chain of Command for tactical battles.  Or D-Day to Berlin for mass combat over miles of territory.  Old school gaming like Rapid Fire is also fun.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: Anyone here play Bolt Action?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 09:04:22 AM »
I haven't played the game, but several of my gaming buddies have, and I've sat through some deployments and chatted their unit choices.

It's an interesting, fast-moving game with nice models. It doesn't pay much attention to scale and individual differences between the tanks, for example. So is a rather easy game. Looks nice, though.

It has the same unit activation mechanic as Gates of Antares and Warlords of Erehwon: for each of your and your opponent's unit, you put an activation die in a pouch. Then you pick up the dice, one by one, and whoever gets the die gets to play their turn, activating a non-activated unit of their choice. I find this mechanic really good, as there is no I-go-you-go, and you have to plan each activation knowing that anything might happen. So you need to have a grand plan but also need to able to read the table and react to opportunities and threats.

For starter forces in the most common (tournament) game scale you usually take one tank, a couple of platoons of infantry, some heavier support and maybe something special. Naturally in some scenarios there are no tanks but two or three other, lighter vehicles. I'm not sure how off-map artillery and air strikes function, if the game has such. Considering the scale and space for gaming, it's a really up-front alley-fight game. Tanks can be real behemoths, but in close combat they can get outmaneuvered and destroyed without infantry.

Priestleys mechanics for BA, GoA and WoE all emphasize movement, cover and suppressing fire. (Yes, the fantasy WoE does this too, so feels very different from other fantasy skirmishes.) You essentially pin down the enemy, maybe kill some, and by doing this for consecutive turns force them to flee or break. On the other hand, and for game dramatic purposes, unit may recover in pretty bad situations and fight back afresh. If the map has buildings, taking those and defending them is a good tactics. I think the game has some rules for destroying buildings, floor by floor, but am not sure how that goes exactly. But without any cover your units are pretty much dead meat. Although of course that dash to an objective might be necessary and worth the risk.

I think the game does what it promises, you get to play with 28mm (1/56) WW2 toy soldiers, and it sort of feels as it should, although very cramped and local, of course, given the scale.

-Z
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