A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bolt(er) Action TM

Bolt(er) action battle feild

A new month and a new game to try out. This time the game of choice was Bolt Action. Warlord games WW2 squad level game. I am still on the fence about buying models for the  game so which we switched the WW2 setting for 40K and threw down some cultists to face off against some Imperial Guard. One of the editors claimed Bolt Action was simliar to 2nd edition 40K with the focus on infantry squads with the other arms providing support.

Cultists moving up a fortified ruin

The mission picked was secret mission.  Which translated into two rival forces trying to rescue/captured a down fighter pilot.

The cultists consisted on a second lieutenant with a SMG leading four ten-man rifle squads. The Guard consisted of a second lieutenant with two aides, all with SMGs. Leading 3 10-man rifle squads with the all the NCOs armed with SMG. The platoon was supported by MMG section (heavy bolter).

Cultists in woods

We were not sure what terrain density was need for the game so instead concentrated on making an interesting looking battle field. Ruined buildings and burnt out tanks provided cover as did some scattered woods.

Imperial Guard move into a ruined hamlet

The Cultists came on in strength and started to flank the pilot’s position. The lieutenant and two squads moved to the left towards one ruin, while the other two squads moved right towards the other ruin. The guard arrived and raced forwards. Two squads got in to the ruins before the cultist lieutenant’s group could arrive. The third squad and the Guard lieutenant faced off against the other cultist group. The MMG set-up in the centre to cover the pilot’s position.

Imperial guard takes shelter behind a wrecked tank

The Guard in the ruins opened fire on the lead squad in cultist lieutenant’s group, killing a cultist and placing a few pinning markers on the squad. The cultists on the other flank opened fire on the single squad blocking their path with no effect. The guard returned fire and downed a cultist.

With one squad on either flank the reaming Cultists worked their way into the centre towards the pilot.  The Guard kept on the pressure with the lieutenant sprinting across the centre and pushing the two squads in the ruins forward. The Blocking squad on the other flank exchanged fire with the Cultists in the ruins with both sides taking casualties and gaining pin markers.
The Guard lieutenant’s pushed forward and started taking fire from the cultists. The lieutenant’s aide was killed and both squads took casualties and one squad opted to regroup rather than push forward. On the other flank the blocking squad took advantage of the distraction to assault and destroy one of the defending Cultist squad. The other cultist squad was two badly pinned to react.

Cultists and Guard exchange fire over the objective

The Guard pushed their advantage with the SMGs getting in range to added their fire power to the fight. The blocking Guard squad destroyed the other cultist squad to secure the ruins on the other flank before it could react. The Guard lieutenant shot his cultist counterpart. The cultists responded and reduced one of the Guard squad to a single NCO. Another cultist squad grabbed the objective and made to leave. It took fire from an ambushing guard squad. The squad with the objective had taken too many hits and missed to order to bug out. The single NCO with a SMG ran around a burning tank to take out the survivors and go on to capture the objective.

Cultists provide covering fire from the fortified ruin

With one squad left the cultist opted to retreat leaving the pilot in the hands of the Guard.

Guard squad storms the fortified ruin

-Random unit activation is fun. At one point the cultists got to activate four of their five units in a row and put heavy pressure on the imperials.  Only to pay the price when the Guard attacked the over extended squads.But generally there was a lot of friction as both sides tried to control the battlefield
-The pin markers are a nice touch. They nicely stimulated the confusion in the game. One of the highlights of the game as when a cultists squad captured the pilot but it had taken so many pin markers that the squad froze in place instead of running for safety, allowing the imperials a chance to take them out before they could escape.

Last Cultist squad opts to withdraw

-MMG seemed a bit meh. I expected a bit more from the gun. I had it on ambush with a clear line of sight to the objective but it did not do much.
-Random unit activation is fun. It would also might have been nice to have a random end turn event. Similar to the Too Fat Lardies tea break card were all the units can be used new orders.
-I need to re check the rules for hits and wound allocation. There seemed to be some  40K “congo line” type formations that did not seem right.

Verdict; Will play again. Rumors of Pacific war, Japanese vs Chindits are begin to spread.


Frank O'Donnell said...

That seemed like a fun little game mate, are the rules for it free to download or do you have to buy a book ?
I for one am getting a bit feed-up with the size of 40k armies on the table with no room to move, with small pts battles seeming more & more inviting to play.

Dakeryus said...

Got to buy the book I am afraid. Wargames Illustrated did a piece on the rules a while ago

I picked up my copy in Gamers world.

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