Wednesday, October 17, 2012

East Front Bolt Action by Dave

This is copied from Dave's entry on Boardgame Geek (Go check out his post and give him a thumb up to show you like miniature infiltrating the site about board games!)  about a Bolt Action Game he put on:

I've got some pictures and a little battle report of a Bolt Action game we played recently. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable
afternoon for our gaming gang, that is once the original scenario was tweaked a bit and we played it through a second time!

By reason of explanation, let me note that I've yet to use the points system for creating forces in Bolt Action, nor have I used any of the formatted scenario encounters included in the rules either. Having put on many WW2 minaitures games over the years, I feel pretty comfortable designing my own scenarios, but one of the downsides of this - you do own the created scenario, especially if it ends up being badly balanced......

The scenario was an attack vs. defender mission, tasking a Soviet infantry force of two rifle platoons reinforced with support weapons to overcome an enemy contingent dug in around a crossroads.

The problem with the first running of the scenario was that the Germans had the open area to their front completely covered by observation and fire, and with some dandy die rolls too, the German player commanding the supporting med. mortar team was able to direct some telling mortar strikes on the Soviets as they attempted to gain stepping off points to begin their assault (which was along a woodline that ran roughly across the board). Seeing that my setup was botched from the get-go, with the distance the Soviets had to traverse being wide open, and offering little more prospects than a shooting gallery for the German defenders, after a couple turns I decided to restart the game, but by providing the Soviet team a more covered approach, and deleting two German units from their roster.

Providing the Soviet team a bit more approach cover (with standing crop fields instead of cultivated fields) made the 2nd game much tighter in game balance, and this time the Soviets were able to close up on the German entrenchments.

Near the end of the game the German players decided they would need to fall back into or through the town area in order to break off from the Soviet assault (if possible), and this was a good point to call the game, with the Soviets having the advantage at that time.

I think all who played probably had a good time, winners or losers, and I enjoyed running both games too!

Follow up to a question on BGG:

It was a 4' X 6' table this time, which is the size of these Games Workshop battle mats. I like these mats very much as they look like static grass, but they're durable synthetic fabric which can contour to terrain pieces placed underneath them for making map elevations, without having to use hills on top of the ground cover (like overlays).

In this scenario I used one GW mat, but for the first Bolt Action scenario I presented, and also posted about on the forum here, I used two GW mats together (the joining seam being covered by a straight road feature, allowing a 6' X 8' area):

I like the larger area, because you can make a more "panoramic" looking game board, and there's more room for flank maneuvering. By locating any of the scenario objectives towards the center of the tabletop will still draw the action to the middle of the board, so that you'll likely ensure the opposing forces actually have to encounter each other and fight it out there.

Here are more pics at the Big Muddy Historical Gaming Alliance Yahoo page.  As always, post your questions here or on Boardgame geek.

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