Monday, January 18, 2016

AAR: First Bolt Action Tournament.

    As in the previous post, I mentioned how we ran our first Bolt Action Tournament. I would like to say that it was a "we" project, but it was really my wife's brainchild. I was along for morale support and terrain. The reality of it all was that she set up most of the stuff for it. Our friend, Eric asked her if she would run a tournament for Bolt Action at the recent Siege of Augusta. Naturally, she agreed to help out. She came up with the schedule, the support, the missions, and most of the awards with the exception of one.
    In preparation for the event, I went through a terrain making blitz through late November and most of December. January was rather light, since I picked up a few terrain things here and there. I also finished a mat after the new year, which to this day, I still have not played a single game on. With the fear of not having enough tables, we ended up borrowing some mats from our friend, Bill  along with a bunch of his terrain. As we later found out at the event, we really were okay with what we owned. But if we needed it, we could run up to ten tables, and if pushed, one more. We brought extra dice, extra order dice, bags for the order dice, our different pin markers, glass beads for objective markers, lots of measuring tapes, and two 1,000 point armies. One of the armies, I ended up playing with. If more players wanted to play and had no army, we some for them to play. Preparation is key.
     We came a day early to SOA this year for set up purposes. The main goal was to set up on Friday and allow for "Free Play" games that evening. Sharing means caring, I always say! Due to some room issues, the SOA organizers had us set up in the main hall. We had six tables for up to twelve players. The original list of players interested that had signed up in advance was 8 with another 19 people interested in the event. So really, we had no clue on how many people we going to show up. I have seen this happen at multiple tournaments. The Unknown Zone always seem to happen with these events. The SOA members assured us that if more than twelve showed up to play, we would have room for more tables and up to 20 to 22 players. With the location and preset tables on Friday, Kalissa and I were pretty excited to see the interest for the tournament. We had a couple people play on the table for "Free Play" and Kalissa had some demo games. I also played later in the wee hours of the morning to realize that I attempted to roll pin markers instead of dice while playing. I was getting tired, but was having fun.
    As for the tournament itself, we had eight players. Several of the original people never showed up, as in, to the convention either. The missions were, in order, Hold Until Relieved, Point Defense, and Top Secret. Kalissa picked tough missions, because she wanted a challenge for everyone. I don't like two of them personally, and I did play in the tournament.
     Players and Armies were:
         1.  Paul D.        - Germans
         2.  Ron H.         - Japanese SNLF
         3.  Joe B.          - Yugoslav Partisans
         4.  Jeff O.         - Germans
         5.  Shawn W.   -Americans
         6.  Patrick A.    -Germans
         7.  Jeramiah P. -Americans
         8.  Myself         -Americans
  I ended up playing to even forces out. Kalissa informed the players that I did not count in the tournament, which came out harsher sounding. Needless to say, she was right indirectly! I was dead last by the end of the tournament. Awesome!
    Review: This was a successful tournament. Everyone seemed to have fun and there were tons of spectators. We had several awards given out to the players for first, second, third, best sportsmen, and my favorite, the medic award for the people who took the most causalities. Also the first through third also won prize support from Warlord Games. They were nice enough to provide us with five plastic sprues of both U.S. Marines and Japanese Infantry, the new box set of metal U.S. Winter infantry, and a box set of the metal German Luftwaffe Feld Infantry.
     The awards winners were Shawn W. for 1st, Jeff O. for 2nd, Ron H. for 3rd, Patrick A. for Best Sportsman, and both first and second place players won the Medic Award on a tie with 16 units killed total throughout the tournament. First place got to choose two prizes with 2nd and 3rd picking one.
     In conclusion for a first time tournament, we ran a successful tournament with few hiccups. Everyone had fun! We had over twenty people interested in Bolt Action for their first time. Several people bought armies to start up playing. Several people mentioned that they did not want to play originally due to past tournaments with too open of tables in favor of mobile forces. They said they would really think of playing next year if we ran it again. Kalissa ran quite a few demo games, including one during the tournament. And of course, our terrain inspired people whether they planned to play Bolt Action or not. And as mentioned by a fellow gamer, Kalissa is the first female to run a historical war gaming  tournament that they knew of. I don't know if that is true, but it would be awesome if it was. All of these things are all we could ask in an event and is the greatest compliment. Kalissa has already agreed to run the Bolt Action Tournament for Siege of Augusta next year.
   We would like to thank Warlord Games and Impudent Mortals for help support our event! It would not have been the same with out them. Again, thank you!
     Below are the photos we have for the tournament and some other pick up games and demos.

Table Six.

Table Five.

Table Four.

Table Three.

Table Two.

Table One.

The whole line of tables.

From the other end.

Some Finnish against Germans on a pick up game Friday evening.

Some Finnish against Germans on a pick up game Friday evening.

Some Finnish against Germans on a pick up game Friday evening.

Some Finnish against Germans on a pick up game Friday evening.

My wife, Kalissa teach a lady how Bolt Action while she ended up destroying her boyfriend. He had fun, despite the losses.

Demo game.

Demo game. U.S. Paratroopers vs. German SS.

Demo game.

Another pick up game Friday Evening. Americans vs. Germans.

Another pick up game Friday Evening. Americans vs. Germans.

Third pick up game Friday Evening. Americans vs. Germans.

Third pick up game Friday Evening. Americans vs. Germans.

Third pick up game Friday Evening. Americans vs. Germans.

Patrick and me playing a late night game. I think is was 2 A.M. at this point.

Patrick and me playing a late night game.

Patrick and me playing a late night game.

Patrick and me playing a late night game.

Patrick and me playing a late night game.

American list for the tournament. I believe these were Jeramiah's.

Patrick's Germans.

Tournament game play!

My U.S. Airborne vs. Japanese. First time playing against this faction.

U.S. Airborne vs. Japanese.

American forces advance against Germans.


Partisans advancing.


More Japanese!

I love the horse drawn cart in Ron's list.

Cow tipping anyone?

Fence line shooting.

King of the Hill.

Stug III power.

The Partisan's have a tank!

Partisan speed demon to the rescue!

Bridge fight!

Lots of Jeeps.

U.S. vs. U.S., a field exercise.

Kalissa teaching a demo during a tournament break.

Germans vs. Americans.

A Sherman drives around the corner.

Blue is the color of my pins.

I lost a Sherman tank to a Greyhound. I lost everyone in my list except for one mortar down to a man. We named him Edward Schmitt and determined he will have a hard life after this.

Partisans vs. Japanese.

My cow pen.

My Sherman knocks down a fence for easy access.

Germans vs. Americans in Top Secret.

Looks like a Jeep dealership.

Japanese vs. Americans.

The objective was in the middle of the stable made by Impudent Mortals.

Close combat!

More close combat!

This Stug III should have killed way more than it did.

My Chuck Norris Lt. takes a shot at close range. He later dies after 9 shots.

Downtown Partisan rumble.

Our Tournament winners.

Paratroopers in a building during a demo game between Chris and Drew.

Another shot of same demo. This was the last one on Sunday. Good times.

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