Switch Theme:

Looking at Bolt Action.  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
»
Author Message
Advert


Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.




Made in nz
[MOD]
Villanous Scum






Had a demo game and quite liked but am finding how to start a bit confusing. I am most interested in playing a Sikh force (actually 13 FFR).
Can someone who knows the system walk me though the best way of starting, like what books to buy, how theater selectors work, whether it is split in times like FOW or any other stuff a complete noob should know?

Cheers.

On parle toujours mal quand on n'a rien à dire.
Keeping the flame of Babylon 5 A Call to Arms alive, check it out;
Babylon 5 ACTA campaign log
Babylon 5 ACTA Painting log
Backfire wrote:
Nobody kills his dad and participates in genocide just for cosplay.
 
   
Made in de
Poisonous Tomb Scorpion






First off, I've never read any history about Sikh, so I'm going to assume you are looking for Indian troops in the continental Asian theater, right?

Sikh don't have any special units as far as I know. You want to start with Armies of Great Britain which covers the little island itself plus its colonies. Australia got a separate army list as a free PDF for the Pacific theater. Everyone else (and if you want to Australians, too) uses the main Britain book, which has some colonial troops if normal infantry squads don't reflect their nature already (such as Ghurkas). Beyond the army book, there are campaign books with have more such special units along with theater selectors, but Warlord's focus has been on the European theater and continental Asia hasn't yet been covered, so unless I got the whole Sikh thing wrong, you needn't worry about this.

Fundamentally Bolt Action works off of a points system with a restrictive force organization chart. The Reinforced Platoon is for general use and is built around game balance. There are no restrictions on unit selection based on location and time. Theater selectors are a little more open with some choices, such as allowing more of a certain vehicle that was ubiquitous at the time and place, but are very much restrictive in general because they are historically themed and limit you to units available at the time and place.

How you play is entirely down to you and the people you play with. Reinforced Platoon vs Reinforced Platoon, theater selector vs theater selector, or Reinforced Platoon vs theater selector are all possible and mostly depend on what you want to do. You can just as easily play a Blitzkrieg German army against a late war Japanese island defense force as you can a game of North African British vs Italians in late 1940. Since the historical aspect is a bit of a touchy subject for some people, you'll want to be sure what you want for yourself and what the people you play with can get on board with. Purely mechanically, Bolt Action doesn't rely on historical restrictions to provide a balanced game. Your 1939 Germans with their Pak 36 might have to get really lucky to punch through the front of an IS-2, but the latter is so expensive in points that your Blitzkrieg Germans can have so much infantry that they can just rush the tank and take it out in melee. Not to mention playing missions that aren't just about punching stuff until it's dead.

Nehekhara lives! Sort of! 
   
Made in se
Regular Dakkanaut




I too am looking at Bolt Action.
I have a US army and German Grenadiers starter box from a year back or so that I never did much with.
Have come to the conclusion that while WWII isnt a huge interest for me, the ruleset and gameplay of bolt action is among the best ive experienced and now I wanna get going with it.

But I feel overwelmed by choice, and wherever I turn people seem to offer different advice on squad sized, number of platoons, how many panzerfausts and so on D:

I just dont know where to start!
   
Made in de
Poisonous Tomb Scorpion






In my experience the best place for the undecided to start is to fulfill the minimum requirements of the Reinforced Platoon - a lieutenant and two infantry squads (be they riflemen, paratroopers, combat engineers or what have you) - since you need those anyway and if you have any throw in a couple of different unit types. Then ask for a few small introductory games so you can see how things actually play and if you like the way they feel. Nothing beats personal experience as far as I'm concerned.

For those two infantry squads you could try one at minimum size but with an LMG or BAR, and the other loaded out the same but with twice the men. You'll be able to redistribute the extra riflemen if you find smaller units are more to your liking, or add extra men, possibly with extra gear, if minimum size or equipment doesn't work for you. Infantrymen are the single most powerful unit in the game once you factor in versatility. If you have ten to twenty infantry assembled, you can merrily experiment with different squad sizes and loadout because you will likely find that extra riflemen are not wastes and can easily find a new home in a third or fourth squad down the line if you're not happy with their original place.

Experience levels can make a difference in approach, too. Some like veterans better than inexperienced ones. Others swear by the middle ground of regular troops. There's really no superior option here and it's very dependent on your preferred playstyle. Although for practical reasons if you start out with those ten to twenty infantrymen, you'll probably want regular or veteran troops for better performance of what little you start out with. I'll add that it's also quite possible to mix different experience levels in the same army and benefit from such a mix.

If you think that Bolt Action has a good ruleset you're already on the right track, because it does. I don't know about the competitive end of the spectrum, but outside of that extreme you can play a lot of things in a lot of ways, and they work.

Nehekhara lives! Sort of! 
   
Made in us
Master Sergeant




Iowa

Soulless wrote:
I too am looking at Bolt Action.
I have a US army and German Grenadiers starter box from a year back or so that I never did much with.
Have come to the conclusion that while WWII isnt a huge interest for me, the ruleset and gameplay of bolt action is among the best ive experienced and now I wanna get going with it.

But I feel overwelmed by choice, and wherever I turn people seem to offer different advice on squad sized, number of platoons, how many panzerfausts and so on D:

I just dont know where to start!


Standard historical loadout for a US army squad is one BAR, an SMG for the sergeant, and the rest with M1 Garands. Repeat as needed for your platoon. Take all the shiny toys you want and throw in a Sherman. 105mm were amazing in 1st edition, they're still good. Can't go wrong with the standard 75mm.

Standard loadout for late war German Wehrmacht would be assault rifle or SMG for the sergeant, 2 assault rifles, 2 panzerfausts on whoever, and an MG42. If you want to make squads more effective at shooting you can play around with German veteran squads a lot. 5 assault rifles with 2 LMGs puts out a lot of Dakka, but it's a lot of points. Throwing a bunch of SMGs and ARs in a Opel Blitz and running it up the board can be quite effective as well. Just stick with 10 man squads. You want units at full strength to survive the game generally. While min/maxing exists in Bolt Action, it is not nearly as prevalent as in 40k. Most BA tournaments will even award more points for a list being historical.

I play both US and Germans in BA so am happy to answer any questions you have.

If you want to get pumped about WWII, there's plenty of ways. Watch some good ol' American classics: Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Enemy at the Gates, Letters from Iwo Jima, Hacksaw Ridge.. just to name a few. Listen to Podcasts (Hardcore History with Dan Carlin has a great series on the Eastern front called "Ghosts of the Ostfront". His current series "Supernova in the East" covers Japan's involvement leading up to WWII. In terms of historical information you can't beat books, but that won't be as blood pumping and is certainly more of a time commitment. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is a good primer on the European Theater.

@ingtaer: to start get an Armies of Great Britain Book like Geifer said, a starter army or a "build your own". At a minimum you need a command squad, two squads of infantry. From there 1-3 more squads of infantry is ideal, special weapon or heavy weapon teams, and maybe a tank or armored car if it fits your list.
   
Made in se
Regular Dakkanaut




Thank you both for your replies, Geifer and Warptide!

I gotta add that I absolutely love Band of Brothers, from start to finish its amazing and one of the best and highest quality shows there has ever been! When I last watched it I was also deeply impressed at how well it has aged!
I also enjoy Saving Private Ryan, and Thin Red Line for whatever reason really stuck with me even after having watched it several time.

So its not that I cant appreciate WWII and the amazing stories it comes with, but Im not very deep into its history. And Im intimidated by people who require certain army compositions and paints etc for historic reason D:

But the ruleset is simply amazing and since first time I tried it my first thought was "Imagine if 40k had a ruleset similar to this". It would be the only game id need!

Im gonna dig through my BA stuff and see what I actually did assemble and not.
I see Warlord has a new box to celebrate d-day that seems packed with stuff as well, maybe something to keep an eye on?
   
Made in gb
Regular Dakkanaut





UK

Soulless, couple of things to take on board.

Even though I play and like Bolt Action I am not a big fan of their plastic figure and vehicles , so don’t limit yourself to just Warlord Games products . There are a huge amount of quality 28mm ww2 manufacturers about to experiment and have fun with.

Don’t be intimidated by the trolls who think they know every colour of every vehicle in WW2. Most of the time they are completely wrong and when you are painting figures and vehicles for the wargaming table accurate colours often do not show up well so a bit of creative contrast helps as long as you don’t go crazy.

I have never played anybody to date who has complained about the historical accuracy of my army composition and I wouldn’t bother with anybody who did. Life’s to short and wargaming is meant to be fun.

Old warriors die hard

https://themodelwarrior.wordpress.com
 
   
Made in de
Poisonous Tomb Scorpion






Soulless wrote:
But the ruleset is simply amazing and since first time I tried it my first thought was "Imagine if 40k had a ruleset similar to this". It would be the only game id need!


Yeah. quite representative of my thoughts as well and I'm not the only one in my group to think so either.

Soulless wrote:
I see Warlord has a new box to celebrate d-day that seems packed with stuff as well, maybe something to keep an eye on?


I'm quite happy with Warlord's deals. It really depends on what you want out of them, of course. I bought an Italian 1000pts army for I think it was 90€ at the time, getting pretty much all I'd ever want for my Italians. Especially considering it's not rigid. you'll buy a tank, not an M13 or Semovente 75. Choice is up to you. I like that.

I think the themed army deals are a little more specific? You'd have to consider if you like everything in the deal since Warlord is selling historicals, so the general price is lower due to easy competition, which tends to give you a lower discount on deals. Still worth it in my opinion, but you're not going to break the bank if you buy individual boxes. Bolt Action can be a pretty inexpensive game if you so choose.

And as darkness screamer said, there are competitors that you can get models from if that interests you. I don't like metal models (ironically those aforementioned Italians are exclusively metal except for the resin parts of the two vehicles...) and while I have a number of resin and metal vehicle kits from Warlord, I don't find them enjoyable to put together. I've been looking into Marines lately, and even though I have an LVT-4 from Warlord I've been glancing over at Rubicon's plastic kits instead of assembling that thing.

Additionally, if you are into exotic stuff you may want to have a look around. Warlord has yet to make a Type 92 tankette for my Japanese, but since I absolutely loved the look of it I bought a 3D printed one years ago.

The options are out there, and as long as you keep scale consistency in mind you have a good few options to choose from.

 darkness screamer wrote:
... you are painting figures and vehicles for the wargaming table...


This is worth highlighting. There is nothing wrong with striving for historical accuracy, if that's your thing, but you can't forget about the fact that you are not dealing with objects of art, not replicas. Scale models will inherently look different to the real deal no matter what you do, simply because the size prevents them from taking the same appearance and life sized ones.

Warlord Games even embraces this by having somewhat heroically scaled infantry (which clashes a bit with their vehicles, in my opinion, but what can you do). I have a couple of Tamiya 1:48 SS guys (bought for sci-fi conversions, not Bolt Action) and while they are larger than the 1:56 Bolt Action models, compared to the Bolt Action version the StG44 for instance is a frail, thin little rifle that you would not want to constantly handle. As a game piece you'd face constant breakage.

At the end of the day you are dealing with representations, and if you like a certain shade of brown better than what so-called experts advise you shouldn't think twice about using it. Most of us are not award winning painters, and by the time you're done with shading, highlighting and any weathering effects you want to do, the model is plastered with so many different shades that picking that "one correct shade" is utterly meaningless unless you actually want that shade and base your work on it.

As far as being intimidated goes, it's really the same as in any other game. You will find a good time with like-minded people while you'll just clash with individuals whose ideas are too far removed from yours to get along well. Often enough it's just a matter of finding the more moderate members of a group, deal with them and not get involved with the extremists. But that's really a local thing to deal with and nothing we can help you with. If you happen to only be able to find a group of historical or bust types to play with in your area, there's unfortunately not a lot that can be done about that. And while I don't really like the term, I like to think of such people as what you would describe as a vocal minority that aren't representative of Bolt Action fans as a whole.

Nehekhara lives! Sort of! 
   
Made in se
Regular Dakkanaut




So turns out that most of the stuff i have is already assembled, i hardly even remember doing that!

US
3x 12 man squads with a smg and a BAR
1x MMG team
1x Mortar with spotter
1x bazooka team
1x sniper team
1x hq with two assistants
1x Sherman
1x m3 halftrack

Germans
3x 10 man squads with a smg, lmg and 2 panzerfausts
1x MMG team
1x Mortar with spotter
1x HQ with two assistants
1x Pak40
1x Puma
1x Stug III


I think both sides are about 1000p as intended by the boxes, i know i assembled it different from recommended since i wanted some support teams and stuff but roughly 1000. I have some spare bits and pieces too if needed.

So where should i go from here? I wanna put together these two lists balanced and fun so i can use it both for show in my cabinet when painted and to introduce people to the game.
I was thinking an airborne squad for US as a veteran squad, and a Panzer IV for the germans?


Or maybe just get started painting
   
Made in us
Master Sergeant




Iowa

You might have used a bit too much super glue on the models. Those fumes can do funny things to a person.

The lists look very good. If you get them both to 1k points I would say they would be pretty well balanced to against each other.

With a normal reinforced platoon you are limited to 1 tank, so you will need another commander and another squad to fill out the minimum for the second platoon if you want to do both. I would stick to one for now. The Stug is nice because you don't have to worry about turret jam, but otherwise the Panzer IV is superior. Also, German tanks are just cool so there's no shame in getting them just because you like them.

I've used a single squad of airborne with my US list with good success (10 man, 3 SMGs). Thematically you can explain it by the army running into them after they were stuck behind enemy lines. You can also field your army fellows as vets do, though they don't have as many options.
   
Made in se
Regular Dakkanaut




 Warptide wrote:
You might have used a bit too much super glue on the models. Those fumes can do funny things to a person.

The lists look very good. If you get them both to 1k points I would say they would be pretty well balanced to against each other.

With a normal reinforced platoon you are limited to 1 tank, so you will need another commander and another squad to fill out the minimum for the second platoon if you want to do both. I would stick to one for now. The Stug is nice because you don't have to worry about turret jam, but otherwise the Panzer IV is superior. Also, German tanks are just cool so there's no shame in getting them just because you like them.

I've used a single squad of airborne with my US list with good success (10 man, 3 SMGs). Thematically you can explain it by the army running into them after they were stuck behind enemy lines. You can also field your army fellows as vets do, though they don't have as many options.


By now I would have developed immunity to superglue but this was a year or two ago so

Yeah I think ill hold up on the buying until I got the stuff I have painted, at least to tabletop standard. I dont mind going back doing details later on.
I still have a few models unbuilt so I can give the germans a sniper team and perhaps a medic with some conversion, and the US could use a forward observer to make use of their air superiority.

Thanks for the help though, its much appreciated
Makes me happy that im finally doing something dealing with Bolt Action, even if its just collecting/painting. Still makes me feel part of it somehow!
   
 
Forum Index » Historical Miniature Games: WW1 to Modern
Go to: