Monday, January 20, 2014

flash review of Bolt Action (Osprey/Warlord)

I got to sit in on a Demo Game of Bolt Action at Siege of Augusta this past weekend.  The game was run by Charles Cabell, and it was extremely enjoyable.  Here is a really quick review of the game, and I should mention that I followed up by buying a copy of the rules from Time Portal Hobbies.

Bolt Action is a joint venture between Warlord Games and Osprey publishing. Warlord writes the rules and makes the models, Osprey publishes the books.

A word about the Osprey venture into rule publishing.  Each title might not be your cuppa tea, but they are all done nicely, I certainly like a few, they are using proven rules writers, the production is excellent, and the prices are far lower than the other rules publishers. 

Okay, the game is squad based (5-15 figures per squad). WW2. Maximum of 1 tank and 1 recon vehicle per side.  Turn goes by drawing activation markers out of a bag. Player picks a unit to activate, and chooses 1 of 6 commands (move, shoot, run, hold, etc). Warlord Games makes sets of colored dice to use as these activation markers, with the six sides corresponding to the six possible commands, so that everything is clearly marked on the table (see above picture).  Individual shooting and individual melee resolution by dice. Simple morale rules. Nice organization tables, for the big four (Germany, US, Russia, England).  

Separate books (again, priced affordable) cover other belligerents and go deeper on the main crew. Well done, and supported by an excellent line of models from Warlord. Could be played any scale, even 54mm. Could stretch to other conflicts (Korea, WW1, Vulgarian Civil War).

Decent skirmish game. Feels less gimmicky than Flames of War. Lots of product, but none will break the bank.

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