Bolt Action: At Battlecry 2016

Last weekend, on Feb the 20th I had the pleasure of attending the one day Bolt Action event at Battlecry 2016, excellently organised by the redoubtable David Mulder. It was four games, played by 14 players on a set of lovely Bolt Action tables, with four custom scenarios as well. Early War Bolt Action armies, with equipment allowed up to 1943. That was great as it gave many of us a chance to play crazy light/medium tanks that usually don’t appear in later theatres.

My four games were rather catastrophic, due to a mixture of poor generalship on my behalf (focus on the objectives man), and hard time limits. Even so I managed to have a fantastic day. I played the following games:

  1. My first game was against Saul’s legendary British Carrier force that the TCOW folks often talk about. I snatched a loss from a draw thanks to one squad being an inch away from the central bridge objective! The carriers were an interesting force to fight against, super mobile. I spent ages piling shots into the carriers just to pin the devils. It could have been a lot worse but my fine opponent failed a few order rolls for his pinned carriers, which meant 2-3 Carriers effectively weren’t in most of the game because they kept backing away. My Panzer II was pinned to heck and doing the same thing of course but that was my stupid fault.
  2. My second game was against the organiser David Mulder, who’s a nice guy but knows how to play Bolt Action fairly well and just murdered my Germans with his own Germans (Veteran on Veteran action is horrible, just horrible). I had around 200 points left from 1000 at the start, so I almost got tabled in that game. However there were a few moments of levity when my three surviving Panzerpioneers flamethrowered a squad and then his HQ squad.
  3. My third game was a game where I snatched a defeat from the jaws of victory thanks to the hard two hour time limit. One more turn and I would have had at least three squads on the objective, but the only squad I did have there was Banzai charged by a Japanese squad and murdered, which was a nice play by my opponent. We had at least one more turn, possibly two to play. Heather had a nicely painted Japanese force though, particularly the tanks, including an interesting Japanese tankette that was actually smaller than my Kubelwagen.
  4. Dads Army Force at Battlecry '16 My final game was a victory against British Home guard with another TCOW’er Paul Monk. He had a mad force of inexperienced old men led by the Dad’s Army metals you can get from Warlord. This one actually looked shaky mid game, but the Germans mopped up in the end and I almost tabled my opponent. His army won the ‘best themed’ force too which is fair enough. They were nicely painted and he was driving a BUS around the table, with 29 men in it! Unfortunately I failed to blow it up, and they all disembarked like a clown car, but Inexperienced troops against Veteran Germans went largely as you’d expect it, particularly since my opponent unfortunately failed to make any of their ‘upgrade to regular rolls’ when fired upon. The highlight of this game was the British arty observer calling in a strike upon himself and the nearby British mortar team and killing them handily. Alas he just managed to ping my Panzer II as well and blow it up, but it’d done plenty of damage before then.

My final result was 10th of 14, which I supposed isn’t too bad considering my mediocre Generalship! I’d definitely attend a Bolt Action tournament again too, although might tweak my force slightly if I do so – as I noticed I was the only army without a sniper team in the tournament!

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