Bolt Action, Tank Wars

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Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:10 pm

I had my first game of this Bolt Action spin-off on Monday night. As the name suggests it is tank, or armour generally, based with added support instead of the infantry based BA. It was a first run through for any of us, and to be honest we got the rules completely wrong to start with, but, by the 2nd or 3rd turn we were starting to get it worked out, and, it works reasonably well.

It uses the same "reinforced platoon" system that BA does with the difference being that you must take an AFV of some sort, tank, tank destroyer, mobile artillery, armoured car and so on, as your HQ with 2 more identical vehicles as your obligatory units. You can then pick 0 > 2 more from that list. You can then go on to pick from most of the usual support options, infantry, artillery, anti tank, and so on. As with BA you can take more than 1 platoon if you have the points.

The main mistake we made was starting with the 3 tanks as a troop, which made getting a specific tank hit and then pinned a problem, what did we do then? Give the troop an order to do something which would take off a pin? If the test was failed, could the other 2 tanks do something?

We started to realise that although the requirement to pick identical tanks seemed to say they were a troop, in fact they were separate units , each with their own dice. This made much more sense.

One of the things that did not make sense to us was the requirement to give any unit that was not motorised a tow or transport. Yes, it allowed the foot units to keep up with the tanks but the costings seemed quite high as the units were taken from the army books which are geared up for only using a few vehicles. This also meant that my infantry units had 2 dice, 1 for the infantry,and 1 for the transport. This led to using a dice to move a transport, and, eventually using another dice to put next to the carried unit off table with a "down" uppermost. also, you might not want all your infantry with transport, particularly if you are defending in the scenarioThis also led to a breach of the rules as my friend was playing German paras and the only transport available to them is Schwimwagon which have a transport capacity of 3 which means his 5 man squads were spread across 2 `wagons which is against the rules.

There was also the need to have identical tanks, in FOW and in real life a troop would often have a mixture of weapon fits, a Firefly in a Sherman troop, a Stu h42 as a support tank option in a Stug platoon and so on. This is not allowed i n this game, or at least that is how we read the rules.

We played this in 15mm as we had FOW armies and we did not fancy paying £20 or more for each tank which we would not be able to use in a normal game. I think if we do start playing this then I will re base some of my infantry on separate bases, we just used normal FOW bases this time and kept track of casualties which did work but was a bit fiddly.

We are trying again this next Monday to see if we can make more sense of it. On a first look it does suffer a bit from using the same basic rules and costings as the parent game but if you are prepared to be reasonable and not stick too rigidly to the letter of the rules then it does seem a good game.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:43 pm

Eventually, I might have to consider the Tank rules, I've yet to take part in a serious game, and I only have the One Firefly; my regular rules and British supplement should be in this week.
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:38 am

We did not manage to get our second game in due to my opponent being ill but it is certainly on the cards, we will be sticking to 15mm for this though as even with Warlord bringing out more plastic kits it is still too expensive to buy all the tanks you need that you will just not be able to use in normal games unless you are playing a huge amount of points with several platoons to give you the option to use more than one tank.

The Firefly is a great looking model :D , not quite the tank killer it is in FOW but still something to make your opponent be very wary of.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frizzenspark » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:27 pm

One of my potential opponents was "critical" of my "choice" of a Firefly... since it was not an early or mid-war tank. Another member of the group gave me a heads-up about one on the cheap on ebay... made a decent bargain. :) My intention is to start out with a very late war Canadian force.
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:07 am

Firefly`s were Normandy onwards so I can`t see any problem, he sounds like one of these very prissy people who has to have everything just so. I have got used to our gaming group who accept that not everyone can afford the exact model of vehicle, my mate has the Firefly and as long as he lets his opponent know if he is using it as a standard Sherman then that is fine, same with my StuG, I quite often use that as a Stu H.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:49 am

I think his preferred opponent is mid-war or earlier.... My initial force is really late-war... though Dad's Army and the Chindits look promising.
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:37 pm

Well if he does not want to play late war then that is up to him. I think most gamers have a favourite period but if he will only play one narrow time slot then that is up to him, the fact that another gamer put you on to the Firefly shows a much more accepting attitude.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:49 pm

I have just picked up the rule book, and while I am still working my way through it, I am really looking forward to getting some games in. You can just use it to play games with tanks instead of the infantry based armies that are the norm for BA, or, you can play a campaign, starting with inexperienced forces which gain experience points for killing enemy tanks and just surviving. When a tank has gained enough experience it can trade it in for a skill which goes to a randomly allocated crew member, Commander, Driver or Gunner, who rolls a d6 for a specific skill which can be used once a game.

The system encourages you to get to know your force, to name them and their vehicles. There is an option for adding real life characters to your force who are quite expensive in points costs depending on how many skills they have. But who would not want to actually field, Wittmann, Barkmann or Lafayette Poole?
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey

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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frizzenspark » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:23 pm

I have tons of FoW stuff; so I'll likely do the Tank war in 15mm. I'm throwing a British Burma Force together for tomorrow. 2000pts a side. I've since added a Lee Tank, I've always liked the look of them; the Chindits allow me justify purchasing it.
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: Bolt Action, Tank Wars

Postby Frank » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:00 pm

I think 15mm is the way to go for Tank Wars, particularly if you already have the mini`s, which I do. Our club uses 2` x 2` tiles, usually 6 to make a 6` x 4` table for most games including Bolt Action but we played our game of TW on a 4` x 2` and halved the distances, which worked well but did seem a bit small, I am going to see if a friend at our club will try a few games and we will probably try a full size board.

The last part of the rule book are some historical battles , Arras, Hells Highway, Imphal and so on with victory conditions to match the original battle, and a suggestion to field any historical characters.
"Some believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check.But that is not what I have found, it is the small everyday acts of normal folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
Gandalf the Grey


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