I had a rather interesting gaming experience the other day after having been invited to my friend Nathan ‘Pancake’ Payne’s home for a WWII skirmish game. Upon arriving I was greeted with a cup of hot tea (which was much appreciated after a long, damp walk) and a quite striking battlefield, indeed, a veritable ‘Slice of Normandie’. Nathan hosted a game of Bolt Action by Warlord Games, with his ‘Jerry‘ Waffen-SS pitted against the intrepid British Commonwealth ‘Tommies‘.
It was a fair-sized skirmish with myself commanding a Canadian infantry platoon along with supporting heavy machine gun, mortar, AT gun, three tanks and an attached squad of airborne troops, facing down Kampfgruppen Pancake, Waffen-SS infantry platoon with similar supporting elements. I snapped photos throughout the battle and Nathan recorded videos at the end of each turn for his Youtube Battle Report…
SS infantry with anti-tank gun, advance into the town
SS troops take cover at the town crossroads
A Canadian 6 pdr antitank gun crew lying in ambush, covering the crossroads
SS infantry advance in support of a ‘Panther’ Tank
At the far end of town, Canadian infantry (in the foreground) advance toward ‘Le Chateau’
‘PANTHER!!!’…This hapless Canadian ‘Sherman’ tank is in trouble!
Meanwhile, Canadian Infantry Advance alongside a Sherman, passing by ‘Le Chateau’
Around the corner, the ‘Big Cat’ still prowls the streets!
It turned-out to be a fun and somewhat eventful battle in which I think a few rules were misinterpreted, I having never played before and Nathan having only had a few battles under his belt, therefore, I am loath to review it with any strong opinions of the rules and such without giving it a fair hearing.
There are some mechanics to be found in this book that I quite liked and it certainly appears to be a set of rules that achieves the ‘story telling’ theme that I believe Warlord were trying to create, indeed, I still smile at the thought of my artillery observer, crouched behind a chicken shack, (the model of which can be seen in the far right of the penultimate photo) screaming for the artillery to stop blowing the hell out of his position!
This being said, I didn’t find Bolt Action to be a particularly ‘stand-out’ rules set considering the plethora of rules available, and were just a ‘smidgen too light’ for my tastes at this scale, as I prefer rules which evoke a more realistic feel for the period and its historical doctrines, even so, fun and laughter was had by all and it is always a joy to play on Nathan’s terrain. We shall be getting together for a re-fight soon, hopefully with less kinks!…