Thursday, 29 January 2015

Our Building Clarifications

Now that's a city fight
Over the last few years we have collected a lot of buildings.  After all, there are so many wonderful buildings now available which make a board so much more worth fighting over.
Buildings not only enhance the attractiveness of the board, they also add another dimension to the game with height considerations, cover, firing positions, additional observation issues and more. The Bolt Action rules for buildings are pretty reasonable but they assume a boring small building with no interior details. However, many of the MDF buildings have lots of interior details like rooms, stairs and interior walls which make a whole new area in which to fight.
In our demo games we almost always have some or many buildings.  After all, how can we resist?
As such we have developed a series of clarifications which allow us to use the buildings and take into account the full details of the inner and outer features.
Click to download the PDF
Our PDF lists all the building rules from the Bolt Action Rulebook and FAQ and our clarifications we use when running demo games.
These have been play tested over a great many games and seem to work out pretty well for us. We figured it would be good to share it with the Bolt Action community as a matter of interest.
These would be classified as "House Rules" and would not be used in tournaments, but for a board with lots of detailed buildings they make a lot of sense and enhance the building based gameplay.

We have also created a video overview of our building collection. Even we were surprised at how many buildings we have!  After all, the collection has grown by a few here and a few there and before you know it we have a busy little town for our men to fight over.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cancon 2015 - A great success

Day 1 - Click for a closer look
We have completed our very successful Cancon 2015 Bolt Action Boot Camp.
At the end of every game as the last dice rolls came to a stop and the result was finally known there was a collective sigh from all players and our Demo Gamer Sergeants as we gazed across the board contemplating the adventure we had all just been through. A short quiet descended on us all, grins emerged and then conversation resumed with comments such as, "If that bazooka only..." and "That combat was so close!" and "How did that happen?"
We always claim that Bolt Action is very cinematic and the various dice rolls allow for a wide variety of results.  Our first instinct is often to think, "That wouldn't have happened," but then we remember the reports on those soldiers which have won a Victoria Cross or other medals for bravery. The tales of one man assaulting multiple machine gun nests, or charging tanks in desperation show that it isn't impossible - just unlikely.  And that is why our highlights are the exceptional occurrences.
You wouldn't plan for one man to defeat a unit of 9 men, or a Chi Ha light tank to survive multiple hits by a much more powerful Sherman tank.  But it can happen.  Or as players remind each other, "Bolt Action Happens".

Day 2 - Click for a closer look
Every game of the St Mere Elise board was full for 8 games over the three days and our extra Far East board was played on over 7 games.
We play tested for quite a while to get the St Mere Elise board balanced and the results proved it was time well spent: 8 games with 3 German wins, 3 American wins and 2 draws.
A total of 64 people played with us over the 3 days and although tired, we are very pleased with the results. Rough age groupings are 25 Young (17 and below), 19 Young Adult (18 to 29) and 20 Adults.
Our aim at The Demo Gamers is to bring the enjoyment of Historical Wargaming to as many people as possible, especially younger people. Much as I caught the wargaming bug when I was 12, we are seeing the same excited look in the eyes of new players that have joined us at our various demo games. We have included a few highlights of our weekend's games here, but the weekend was more than just these highlights.
Every game had the same last turn excitement and end of game "coulda-woulda-shoulda" review.

Day 3 - Click for a closer look
We had planned and prepared for months leading up to the convention. Running an event as large as Cancon takes a lot of planning and co-ordination. With many hundreds of players participating in tournaments, trade stalls, food, security, promotion and so on it is not too surprising that some sections get missed.
Unfortunately in the planning for the event, the Cancon organisers missed our Boot Camp from all official advertising for Cancon, promotional posters weren't printed and we ended up at the back corner next to the traders, away from the front doors.
But this did not affect the success of our Boot Camp.  Our board was very impressive and being so busy all passers-by were attracted by the excitement and noise of the players.  My son and I were always looking for anyone that expressed the remotest sign of interest and we drew them in. One player was a very experienced player of board games who had never played a miniature game and had been coming to Cancon for about three years. He had never realised these games were open to anyone wanting to play.  He had a great game one on one with one of my sons and even though he "lost" the battle, he loved the game. As we say, playing the game is a win in itself.
Our Far East Board - Japanese vs Australians and US Marines.

All of us were dressed in similar T-shirts and groovy vests with Demo Game name badges. Anyone watching knew we were a professional outfit.
Also, I suspect our enthusiasm is what attracted the local news network during their visit to the convention. We were interviewed and appeared on the local 6pm news as representatives of what can be done on Australia Day.  We were very happy to be representatives of the wargaming hobby.

Thank you to all of those that joined us for this year's Boot Camp.  We had great fun and look forward to meeting you again next time.
Another battle of St Mere Eglise over. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Demo Gamer Boys are ready for Cancon

We're ready for action
We are all set up and ready to go for our Cancon 2015 Bolt Action Boot Camp. We have the St Mere Elise board ready and a second board for a Far East game with Japanese, Australians and US Marines.
This means we can handle up to 10 players each session at 9:00am, 12:00pm and 3:00pm.
If you're anywhere near Canberra, pop in the the EPIC complex and visit us at Cancon.
We'll have reports each day so stay tuned.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Building Personalisation Project

Everyone helps out. But there's a cost. Girls add pretty bits.
As you may have noticed looking over our blog, we have quite a few buildings from a number of different companies.  One issue with this is having our buildings stand out and have more of a personalised nature.  Through various means, we have collected many 4Ground terrace houses and they all look pretty much the same. So, in preparation for Cancon 2015 we have finally sat down, done the work and put our own touch on the buildings.
The paint we have used is all from sample pots purchased from the local paint store. We asked the store clerk for any colours which would match the WWII period.  It is a sort of restoration, we explained.
Now there is daily Mass at our St Michael's church.
The Church needed some long planned customisations.  We built an inner wall with two side doors leading to the rear changing rooms and church office. Then we added a stone floor to the church and lots of different touches such as the stained glass windows and crucifix. My son looked at the bare church and thought, "Why not?" and constructed the altar and sanctuary and then went a little over board and created the altar cloth, candles, host and chalice too. Add in a few religious pictures and of course Saint Michael, patron saint of paratroopers, and the church was finally complete.
Then my wife and daughter got creative and looked in my son's box of many colours and selected lots of bright colours.  These made the doors and window sills very special.
A good place to hide a bazooka team
If you are visiting Cancon next week, pop over and you will see lots of special touches.  There are carpets and rugs in some of the houses, chairs and tables, glass in some windows, edges highlighted, smoke from chimneys and more.  Basically, we wanted to create a town in which people would live so the battle makes a lot more sense.
We did a short video walkthrough of some of the personalisations.

These citizens have made their homes special.

Lime Green and Blue are perfect colours.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Bolt Action St Mere Eglise - the video

Here is our YouTube video showing the St Mere Eglise board we will be playing at Cancon 2015.
You can see the US Paratroop drop and the initial close combat and re-organisation phase before beginning turn one.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Cancon 2015 - The Extended Ste Mere Eglise battle

You know you want to play!
Cancon 2015 is almost here.  On the Australia Day weekend from 25 to 27 January in Canberra the biggest games convention will be held and the Demo Gamers will be running the Bolt Action Boot Camp.
We will be right next to the Combat Company's trade area in the main hall with lots of other public participation games and other tournaments.
We have been play testing our St Mere Eglise game and have extended it so we can have 6 players by having reinforcements for both the US paratroopers and the Germans.  To add a lot of spice, the Germans will be coming on with a Panzer IV H and the paratroopers will have 2 bazooka teams.
You can download a detailed Scenario guide here with all the special rules for the US paratroop drop directly onto the town, night fighting and reinforcements.  It should be very enjoyable.
Do you want to join in?  Just rock up to Cancon and play.  Everything is provided and entry for spectators and public participation games is free.


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