It is official! The other day was my wife and I's first duel using the recently changed Bolt Action rules. There was a lot of commotion about the update to Version 2. A big one seemed to be about adding templates. For us, this was not too big of a change, since our first World War II games were Flames of War ones. If anything, the fact that the templates are circular is a nicer surprise. Nothing is more annoying than spacing out you stands of infantry or tanks to still be targeted based on a corner edge over the base. Maybe, I am repeating that the whole template is not that big of an ordeal to reassure everyone that Version 2 of Bolt Action has not broken the game we love. It is the assurance like the cut on a kid's arm. It looked worse than it actually was! Now, you get a cool band aid! But most of the Bolt Action community knows this already, because they most likely got the rules before we did by a couple of months.
The key thing is that Kalissa gets to play the rules. She needs to know the loopholes and such before the tournament she is running. The best way to do this is to play it out on the table. It has been brought up to quite a few fellow wargamers that Kalissa is great about teaching rules. For one, she is very logically. And if a rules set is written well, she will be able to clarify any of the problems that arise. It also helps that she teaches as a profession.
For our game, this was a test of one of the newer scenarios called "Sectors". The board is simply set up in four quadrants. On a roll of a die, the higher roll gets to choose their quadrant of the table with their opponent taking the opposite one. The points of the game are to have units in the unoccupied quadrants as well as getting into the opponents starting quadrant. Killing off units also helps in points. What we found was an aggressive/defensive tug of war type of mission. Both sides had a preliminary bombardment which was a change from the 1st Addition rules' missions. I am not sure why they have not made missions that went the lengthwise direction of the table like Flames of War has.
Either case, our game takes place in Sicily with veteran Germans facing off veteran British. The Germans had 7 dice to the British 9. This is the first time Kalissa had a "free" artillery observer in her list. We do not have the exact models from Warlord, but it would be nice to have. Kalissa's forces had one 1st Lt. with two men, three full squads of infantry, two Bren Carriers with a pinnacle mounted machine guns, one Crusader III tank, one medium mortar, and the free artillery observer. I had my 1st Lt. with two men, three full squads of infantry, one medium mortar, one medium machine gun, and a Panzer III J tank. Both forces were roughly about a 1,000 point lists. We don't usually play with points, but I wanted to see how that would look at a veteran level.
The turn out of the game was fairly one sided. I say this, because my wife had awfully bad rolls when it came to killing. Her dice rolls hit like crazy. I actually expected to lose based on the Bren Carrier combination with infantry. Something about fast moving vehicles with eight machine guns shots that were all point blank is scary! The same went with her tank guns and mortars. I am used to fearing this things on the table. Instead, my mortar took out the artillery observers before they got a chance to do what they do. Kalissa told me, she was about to bombard me if she was the next die. We had quite a few assaults. I armed both sides with anti-tank grenades, so no morale checks for armor.
Two Bren Carriers were lost based on assaults. And in a sense, I assaulted her tank with a tank. We tested the "tank ram" experience. It only "immobilized" her tank, but it was worth the fun!
And that was the point, we had a lot of fun! It was a major victory for Germany, but Kalissa learned about the mission of "Sectors", which will make it in her Siege of Augusta Bolt Action Tournament in January. If she had rolled as well as her hitting, the damage/kill rate would have destroyed the Germans in a record time!
|Another view of the board.|
|A different view.|
|The British receive hellfire!|
|The Germans are shelled!|
|The British are coming!|
|First one shot looking out!|
|Germans on the move!|
|The German advance through a vineyard.|
|Look out! German Panzer!|
|The German command team.|
|The British capture a wagon.|
|Taking British fire!|
|In the Panzer's sights!|
|Trying to take out the Bren Carrier.|
|The one useful mortar shot takes out an artillery unit.|
|Point Blank Shots, but still surviving!|
|Bren guns shoot at the Germans in close range!|
|A Bren Carrier is taken out in an assault!|
|The burning carrier.|
|These German move as far away from ranged shots.|
|A British mortar crew sees the incoming Germans.|
|An assault destroys a Bren Carrier.|
|The Tank ram!|
|Shot at point blank!|