Monday, March 17, 2014

Bolt Action - Test Game for Armies (Fins Vs Japanese) (yea weird eh?)

Played a fun “testing the armies out” game of Bolt Action this weekend with my friend Lee that wanted to test his Japanese list concept we was talking about. I pulled out my Fins and decided to give them a whirl. While I didn’t have everything for an ideal list, I did have enough to make a solid list that resulted in a draw.

My list:
2nd Lt +1 Rifles (Reg)
2 Sissi Squads with (7-8 men) rifles
2 Continuation War Squads 7-8 men) rifles and panzerfausts
1 Kaukoparito Recon Squad (6 man) with rifles
Medic +1 with rifles
Forward Observer +1 (Artillery) Rifles (Reg)
Sniper Team (Reg)
Medium Artillery (Reg)
Tankette 6-Ton (dual MMG)

Lee had a ton of Japanese:
Political Officer
2nd Lt
Anti-Tank Rifle
3 Suicide Bombers
Heavy Artillery with extra crew
3 Bamboo Spear squads with 15 men each
2 IJA (I think) squads with rifles
1 Medic
1 Forward Observer (Air)
1 Open Topped Tank
Flamethrower Squad

We rolled Envelopment for the mission and Lee opted to defend as he felt as an attacker he would have crushed me under the table based on 11 dice to something like 17 or so dice. I warned him I would get bombardment in this mission and he was fine. He opted to outflank with his flamethrower only. I opted to outflank with both Continuation War Squads which he put the tank central to avoid being shot very easy along with the Recon Squad….I placed my forward observers out and it was game on!

Bombardment was ugly….I got a 6 on his tank, boom! Nailed one of his Suicide Squad members also along with tons of pin markers.

The Artillery rolled onto the center of the board, the sniper to the left of it and the observer on a hill. Lee was spread out with one weak flank that I opted to push towards. I knew that would be where the flamethrower was but if I was lucky I could catch it in Ambush and down it quickly.

The game just was back and forth crazy….
Lee and his heavy howitzer were chomping me apart. My howitzer was a joke and missed every time!

My Artillery Observer rolled a 1! Lee moved it towards my stuff but didn’t put many pins on things as the radius was not far enough. His Airstrike crippled my tank and could not move the rest of the game.

My tank after turn 2 sat there and was on Ambush most of the game.

The Recon squad ran on the table, took a few hits and killed a few men. The Japanese assaulted. He then turned the Howitzer to face them. We looked up the rules and they could shoot on an assault as further than 6” away! For fun we rolled to see what would happen, oh he would have smashed the unit. A wise move to flee after they appeared.

His flamethrower did appear, but my Sissi squad was not in Ambush (was trying to move and Ambush when I could), he rolled a 1 on hits and I survived the flamethrower test…then I shot his flamethrower down.

Game ended in a draw, something like 14/14, I had 3 units off the table and killed 5 units (flamethrower, ATR, 2 suicide bombers and the tank). I only had the one Sissi Squad left and that was it…the Recon, Lt and a Continuation War squad got off the table. Everything else was dead.

I forgot the Move and Ambush rule was on the Sniper, otherwise I could have moved him away from the danger also….I think the end he would have died anyway.


  1. Definitely a strange encounter :-) ! I can't make up my mind about Bolt Action. It sounds a little like Warhammer in its approach, with many different types of troops in a typical force.

    1. Well, the game was written by two former GW writers and the company is under John Stallard (former GW bigwig), so yea you could say there is some flavor there or comparisons. But you could also draw the same conclusions from other game systems also about Bolt Action or any other game.

      The big things is that there is some guide to how to build forces in every game, points and all usually use a dice mechanics and is just how you apply them is what makes each game different and the genre you use.

      Bolt Action is simple, has enough complexity to a historical game but not too much to keep it moving. Some people like more detail but also the game drags because of constant looking up of materials and charts.

      The order dice is very unique and a friend wants to include this into a 40k game to change the dynamics of the game. Instead of I-Go-You-Go that is predictable he likes the unpredictable aspect.

      Add in that you can play open style (no restrictions) or using a specific time period to fight a true historical battle that is a nice switch to have as an option.