Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bolt Action Boot Camp - The First

Our city heights board
Today we had our first Bolt Action Boot Camp at The Demo Company's wonder warehouse.
We had a modified City Heights board and a Winter board.
There were 11 x 600 point armies on display ready to be played with. We had enough dice, tape measures, periscopes, unit cards, rule summaries and whatever else was required to learn how to play Bolt Action.
Over the course of the day we had 10 players all staying for a 2 to 2.5 hour game.  Where did the time go?

The Winter Board - would it be as brutal today?

A peaceful little spot
We left home at 7:00am so we could get the The Combat Company by 9:00am, we setup everything in an hour and by 10:00am we were ready.
Our last game ended at 5:00pm then packed up.
We finally arrived home at 8:00pm.
BOOM! Now that is how artillery can strike.
The day went by very fast.  Bolt Action is a very engrossing game.  Quickly players, spectators and even us organising the games got caught up in what each order dice could achieve and groan or cheer at each dice roll, especially as the games progressed.
Peek a boo!

A classic Bolt Action ending.  Anyone can win.
In one game on the Winter board the British player fired his artillery.  The hit point and distance roll managed to have 5 enemy units under fire.  The Panzer III was hit with a 6 - full fire for effect which blew up the tank.
Then he rolled another six to hit the men sheltering in the "safety" of the house.
BOOM! 13 hits which destroyed the house and the full squad within.
In one turn, the Germans lost half their force.
"Bolt Action Happens" as players have begun to remark.
Most of the games had the classic last turn tension. It was very enjoyable analysing options of what can be and what possible consequences there are.
The latest phrase we have coined is "Pins Kill Plans" So often a plan fails because a critical unit failed to pass their order test, or a pin caused a shot to miss.
In one game involving a T34/85 and Panzer III the Panzer III missed the T34.  The T34 hit but only achieved a pin.
But that pin ended up being critical.
The T34 kept missing and the Panzer III kept failing the order test and going down.
On Turn 6 the best plan was for the Panzer III to advance and kill the only Russian unit holding the objective.  So he did this and it was a success - until one of our sergeants mentioned, "Hey, did you roll for the order? He has a pin."
Oops. But it shouldn't be a problem, only an 8 was needed.
But a 9 was rolled. That great move was put into the very busy "Could have been" column.

In another game, one American unit was in the middle of the orchard and was able to inflict many casualties on the surrounding Finnish forces.  Eventually it was down to 1 man - continually passing morale and being annoying to the Finn.
So he charged in a HQ squad.  It should have been easy, but the Finnish player only rolled under 4 which meant no casualty.  The American killed one of the HQ squad which meant he won the Close Combat and killed all the HQ unit!  Bolt Action Happens.

Overall, it was a great day.  We will probably hold another one in August, and then we will be running a 2 day Bolt Action Boot Camp at MOAB in October.

Yeah!  More new players! And more Bolt Action.

Some posts are already up elsewhere with lots of photos of our games.
The blog No Duff Gamer
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  1. Nicely done....I depart for my Demo event in a few hours.

  2. It sounds like all your hard work was worth it. Oh to still live near sydney...........

    1. We'll be running the Boot Camp at Cancon too. That's closer to you. (By the way - very nice blog you have.)



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