17 September 2016

A farewell game of BA 1st Edition

This week I was very excited to catch up with Comrade James to play a last hurrah game of 1st edition Bolt Action before the 2nd edition is released shortly.

I took my Brit Para force (which I painted up during Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IV - see here) out of the box for the first time in over two years.  Slightly ironic given that my first game of Bolt Action was against Dux and his paras (which is resulted in an incredibly rare win over that wily fox - see here)
Cpl "Tommy" Atkins' No 1 section take up defensive positions in the ruins, determined to make Jerry pay dearly
We played the "Hold Until Relived" scenario and after winning the die roll off I decided to defend - thematic after I'd just watched A Bridge Too Far a week ago.  I placed a 10 man Para squad (with Bren gun) and a Medic in the ruins of the cathedral.  My first wave reinforcements were another para squad, Light Howitzer, another Squad and my sniper.  Waiting further in the wings were my third para Squad, 2LT, Forward Observer, and PIAT Team.  James took his German force with 3 Regular Squads, a vet Squad, MMG team, Oberleutnant, a Pz IV, Mdm Howitzer and a sniper.

Jerry starts to move up - a strong advance on my left flank.  The Panzer and Grenadier veterans have not yet appeared

My sniper comes on and starts a duel with his German counterpart.  He failed to hit anything.  In fact,  this sniper is remarkable in that he has never actually killed killed anyone despite being a veteran!
Cpl "Spider" Webb's second squad moves up to reinforce the paras in the cathedral
My Pack Howitzer is brought into action.  Actually, it didn't fire any HE at all, but 3 different smoke missions to screen the ruins in the centre.  This proved to be very effective in keeping the fire (and pins) off the Paras holding it.
Jerry gets ready to push hard on my left flank
Callsign MEDUSA rumbles onto the table via the road, pivots and rakes the German infantry with its MMGs
...only to have a Pz IV appear on its flank (a clever move by Comrade James, I didn't see it coming).  Luckily the optics were a bit off and the German gunner rolled a 1 or a 2 for 3 runs running!
MEDUSA pushed up to put the ruins between it and the Panzer and continued to support the Paras.  The Churchill is not a great tank, but this is what it was designed for and it does it well.
The Germans eventually got in close enough for close combat.  It was a bit ugly in there for awhile
"Defend the Cathedral"!  The ruins hanged hands twice.  In the end 2 German and 1 Para squads were destroyed but the position was retained by the Brits.
The Panzer IV snuck around some obstacles and MEDUSA took a tough shot through the hard cover - a Penetrating Hit!  The Panzer was knocked out and MEDUSA's crew celebrated their first ever tank kill
Followed shortly by taking out the German Command Car and embarked Platoon HQ (who were all KIA)
Time to Mop Up boys! - MEDUSA leads the Platoon reserve, Cpl "Squizzy" Taylor's No 3 Section, into the German rear to claim Victory.

A really fun game.  Great to catch up with James and formally say goodbye to BA 1st Edition

Thanks to Jolt Games in Canberra - a great venue to throw down for a game, with a great selection of tables of terrain ready for use.

27 comments:

  1. I do not get it? You can still play first edition even if second edition is out. I think this is an attempt just to get you to buy yet another set of similar rules. Does this mean all you first edition supplements are supposedly out of date as well and have to be replaced? I my opinion I do not think Bolt Action is that good a set of rules.

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    1. Thanks for your reply Simon. This an emotive and very personal topic. Tell you what, I'll get my 2nd Edition book and then do a post of BA, its changes and other options (because I very much like Chain of Command too)

      WRT the supplements, no they are not superseded and I understand there has been a lot of effort to ensure that is not required (aka GW Codexes). The German Army book will have a 2nd edition printed as it is the oldest and has a lot of errata. The inner cynic says "Really?" but we shall see.

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    2. That's me I am always sceptical. Why is there seemingly so much errata in sets of rules. Surely this could be sorted before publication? Look at the superb Blucher for example. Still no errata. My club used to play Bolt Action a lot. It's a bit to Hollywood for me I am afraid. Most players have moved on to other things. I guess gaming has succumbed to fads. I think FOW has gone this way. I see lots of armies at bring and buys at shows now.

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  2. Nice write up and great looking game! Massive BA fan and keen to check out v2 when i get the chance.
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks Nate! v2 certainly has some good feedback the far but I don't my own copy just yet

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  3. Nice report, great pictures, beautiful minis and terrain!

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  4. Cracking action. Do love the unexpected shot

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    1. Thanks Martin! It was a cinematic (and heart stopping for me) moment indeed :-)

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  5. Still not sure if we will bother updating to v2. I'm interested in your thoughts on the relative merits once you have played a game or three.

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    1. I've been listening to some podcasts about the changes and am optimistic at this stage.
      Hopefully we can catch up at MOAB soon to discuss it (over a beer of course!)

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  6. Thanks for a great write up Paul! 'Twas a fun game for sure :-)
    In regards to the merit of BA V2, there were a few persistent issues that bugged nearly every player who had played a lot of games. Whilst errata and FAQs 'fixed' some of these, it was time for a new edition. Not only did they incorporate most of the errata BUT they have also added new command rules which I think will fundamentally change how the game is played. Allowing officers a much greater role in the battle will change people's tactics from 1st ed, and I think, refresh the system. The toning down of some of 1st ed 'uber weapons' such as flamethrowers , tough fighters and cavalry will make the game less affected by 'Death Stars. I'm itching to put this theory to the test in an actual game of 2nd ed, so I hereby challenge Paul to a rematch, forces terrain and all, with the 2nd ed rules ! :-)

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    1. You're on my friend!

      Please don't upgrade your dice with the rules though, I need you to keep rolling all those 1s and 2s please :-)

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  7. Excellent! :--) Now we just need a time and place.....

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    1. We are also up for a Shamrock Cup match this year too!

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  8. Nice report mate. Glad that you had a chance to put Jerry (and Herr General James) in his place. I like Jolt as a venue too, I've played a few fun games there.

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    1. Thanks mate - hopefully we will get a chance to throw down soon with those nice Winter GIs you've recently finished off!

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  9. Splendid report Paul, sounds like a great game.

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    1. Thanks Michael - very entertaining indeed!

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  10. That's a cracking looking game, Paul.

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  11. That's a cracking looking game, Paul.

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  12. Great to see your Paras in action. But remindes me to paint another squad of my own... ;-)

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    1. Thanks Stefan. I'm going to add a few more units during the next Painting Challenge.
      A couple of jeeps, Polsten Gun and a 6 pdr AT gun for starters!

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  13. An excellent battle report, really first rate, with some brilliant pictures as well. Nice basing as well, I always struggle with that.

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