Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bolt Action and Commando War Comics

Important Research Material
I recently realised that some of the young lads that we were teaching how to wargame were lacking in some important background information.
They had already passed the first test.  They could make proper gun and explosion sounds.  No "Bang Bang Pew Pew"s here thank you very much. But I was wondering why my boys seemed a step ahead in the story department until we asked the question, "Have you guys read any war comics?"
The blank looks told us all we needed to know. It was time for some education.
Bolt Action rules have the definite flavour of a Commando War Comic. With the combination of the randomised elements caused by bad dice rolling and style of play encouraged by he use of pins and unit activation dice, every game seemed to have many 'Commando Comic Moments".  These are those moments in a game crying out for word balloons to get the full effect.

A Commando Comic Moment
We promptly searched in our home library and gathered up our collection of war comics.  Now this is some homework the boys don't mind doing at all.

On a whim, I went online and discovered you can now subscribe to Command Comics online and for 4.99GBP a month (about $8.50 Australian) and get 8 comics a month.  These are readable online or on your iPhone or iPad.  That's pretty good value for just over $1 a comic. And they won't get destroyed by the younger children.
The only downside is that the software is not very efficient.  It works out at around 90mb a comic, which mean over 700mb downloads a month.

Being in a philosophical mind, I had a discussion with my wife about what makes the Commando Comics special. There used to be a number of companies that made war comics, but the Commando comics were always preferred.  The stories do not glorify war.  Sure, they are centred around war and have lots of explosions, dead guys and hardship.  But that is not the focus of the stories - it is more the background to the real story. The central plot to the stories tend to revolve around the benefits of truth, bravery, resolve, trustworthiness, honesty, friendship and good humour.

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