Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bolt Action Play Test - Saving Pvt. Ryan - Alamo!

Thanks to my buddies Scott A. and Bob H. (Old Bob on TMP), I managed to flesh out more of the Bolt Action rules using a scenario I plan to use at our annual convention, Enfilade!, in May. I want to also mention the excellent and fast service from FRP Games for getting me some Bolt Action dice in record time. I had just ordered them less than a week ago, and they arrived yesterday - just in time for the play test. We discovered the scenario does need some tweaking though. Bob commanded the Americans and using what I thought was a good initial deployment, had him moving his American 12" from the river on one side of the table. Scott with the Germans entered on the opposite side, 12" from the edge. His Tiger and Marder only being able to come on in Turn 2. Victory conditions for the Americans were to have Captain Hanks getting Private Ryan across the river and into Alamo - and lasting until Turn 6. The Germans had it easier, all they had to do was prevent this from occurring - getting more points for every American unit destroyed.
Americans having moved onto one side of the table - and apparently staying away from the bridge and river to oppose the Germans.
Americans appear to be using cover and concealment to their advantage.
As you can see from the photo above, Bob chose to meet the Germans as they came on the table. I initially believed this was very sporting of Bob, as he could've attempted to just get Private Ryan across the river and hold there. We later found out that this was probably not the best idea as Scott ended up basically occupying all of the defensible terrain opposite the Americans and putting his units in Ambush mode.
Scott's Germans moving into heavy cover in the ruined town; the Tiger and Marder moving up unopposed. The building at the far end having German MMG teams on the second floor - with another unit downstairs - also all on Ambush.
The Sniper team was placed in the tower at the start of the game - he's already been taking hits as the die indicates pins.
Captain Hanks trying to get a bazooka team to hit the Tiger.
Leave it to Scott, a retired SF guy, to get two MMG teams and also another unit into the building to lay in ambush.
This is about when Bob said he'd had enough and let me take over. I managed to get the majority of his Americans killed, including Ryan - right as he about to exit the church and head for the bridge.
Reviewing the game, we decided it was best to have all of the Americans start on the table 12" from river. We also thought the Germans only needed one armored vehicle - probably just the Tiger as it looks cooler. We also all agreed the rules are fun and plan to play more games soon. Bob is working on Japanese and Scott has some Early-War SS. More Bolt Action is definitely in the future for us.


  1. Wow, it looks like it was a great game!

    I really enjoy BA; it has just the right amount of feeling to it, and it's quite easy to teach to newbies.

    By the way, where did the huge ruined town come from? Scratch-built?

  2. Thanks, Greg. Agree on all counts about BA. I liked Disposable Heroes before, but this is quicker and still has enough detail to be enjoyable.

    The ruined town is a foam piece made by Monday Knight Productionsthat I picked up from Enfilade! a few years ago - unpainted. It had some minor defect (the underneath was a little warped) and got it for $20.00!

    Thanks again, Dean

  3. Great looking game Dean

    I've become a fan of Bolt Action also. It plays well in a tournament setting also.

    The table looks like it's a lot of fun to play on

  4. Thanks, Miles. Yes, I agree about both the ease/fun play and the added bonus of tournament play. My buddy Pat L. is hosting such a tourney at Enfilade! too. Best, Dean

  5. A fabulous table! Really great pictures, and a very nice AAR!

  6. Nice batrep, look forward to the next one with the refinements done to it.

  7. Very nice looking set up. I really must get some of my WW2 figures done!

  8. Great looking battlefield and practice game, Dean. You'll have it tuned up in no time.

  9. Thanks for the great and encouraging comments everyone. My experience with play tests and actual games with walk-on players is that they never go the same way - always a surprise ending. Warm regards, Dean

  10. Great stuff Dean, I hear from Bob that he had a good time too. Good luck with the game at Enfilade.

  11. Thanks for the kind words, Christopher and Paul.

    Paul - yes, Bob said he was in contact with about his Japanese force he's working on.

    Best, Dean