So after talking about Bolt Action on a number of blogs and showing the development of the United States I thought it was about time I spoke briefly about the game……
Bolt action is an turn based table top war game. Each player takes charge of a reinforced platoon with a set point limit.
The platoon takes a general structure of:
Two infantry squads.
From here the player can add additional units, HQ units (Medic, Forward Observer, Captain or Major), machine gun teams, sniper/mortar team, artillery, tanks, armoured car.
When the force has been selected to the agreed point limit, the players will need:
Order die (or chits with the orders on)
Instead of being a ‘You go/I go’ game where each player moves each of there units in one go, then the opposition reacts and moves there units. Bolt Action uses order die with various orders on that are pulled from a bag at random.
Each die represents a unit. The colour of the die dictates which player activates the units.
So when a dice is pulled from the bag the player has the options as shown above. With out going in to too much detail:
Ambush: unit waits until an enemy crosses it’s path then shoots
Down: unit takes cover
Run: units moves at double it’s movement without firing
Rally: unit can move but will lose X number of pin markers dependant on the dice result
Fire: unit doesn’t move, stays stationary and fires
Advance: unit advances then fires.
The game is played on any surface that could act as a battlefield. The game is played using model line of site requiring the player to get down and look at the table from the models point of view. Key point: if when down at model eye level then the model can’t see the target.
When a unit fires there are certain modifiers (cover/movement/small unit/etc). The number of shots (dice to be rolled) depends on the weapons being carried. If when modifiers have been applied and say a 5 is required. If a 5 is rolled then the target takes a pin marker.
Pin markers are key as the effect that units morale and the effectiveness to carryout orders (from the order dice).
We play on a board made by Mr A, it’s has all the things you would expect from a Normandy field!
The rule book and game are the brainchild of Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestly, published by Osprey Publishing. It is an excellent read from both a rule point of view and it’s good for little snippets of information just dotted throughout the book.
The book is laid out to outline the basics in clear paragraphs, as you progress through the pages the information builds from the orders, to the types of units, to playing a game, then to force selection.
There are six scenarios set out in the book. Each use the main rules with additional special rules dependant on the scenario.
The force selection section outlines the rules for selecting from the Army List. The four main nation army lists are outlined in the rulebook, Germany, United States, Britain and Commonwealth and Soviet Russia.
These sections are a good starting point which contain a good selection of units. For a more ‘expanded’ list for individual nations the ‘Armies of’ book is a good next step.
Also included in the rule book is a time line of World War II. I found this a good addition for increasing my information base.
Right at the very back of the book is a helpful rules summary outlining all the main points to save you diving deep into the book.
Overall in my opinion this is a very good book, both from a rules perspective and from an enjoyable read perspective.
It’s available from the Warlord Games website here.
I would thoroughly recommend a read!
Right, time for more painting!
Till next time,