Friday, 15 May 2015

Bolt Action Tanks

We played Bolt Action last night, but Bolt Action with a difference - we only used tanks.

The scenario was set in Poland in late 1944 (not 1939, as I had somehow managed to misinterpret the pre-game blurb to imply), with a force of German tanks holding a village, bridge and railway crossing against some attacking Russians. Both sides chose their force from a limited set of options, unaware of what the other had picked.

In the first game the Germans went for the power-play - five Tiger IIs. The Russians went to the other extreme - a horde of inexperienced  T34s and SU85s. The Germans were outnumbered three to one. Five to one when, on virtually the first turn, a lucky Russian shot knocked out the lead Tiger.

Not Flames of War - those Russian tanks aren't touching
Another Tiger took so much fire that the crew panicked and ran. This left three Germans to defend against an undepleted Russian horde. It didn't go well. The German shooting was appalling, and the Russians could put down such a volume of fire that German destruction, or total suppression, was inevitable. The Germans eventually lost all five tanks and all three objectives, with the Russians having two tanks immobilised.

The second game saw more balance, with five Panthers against a smaller number of more experienced T34s backed up by ...

... a couple of JSII heavy tanks.

The Germans defended back from the village. One T34 tried to  rush the bridge but was immobilised. In this game the Russians actually took some real casualties, but were also trying sneaky flank moves when we ran out of time.

It was mildly entertaining trundling big (relatively speaking) plastic tanks around the table, and it almost made me nostalgic for all those games of 20mm Rapid Fire we played with the Staines Wargamers. Obviously Bolt Action is a far superior game to Rapid Fire, because whilst it's about the same level of complexity, the rules have more and prettier pictures, are the size of an encyclopedia, have a Hard Cover, and, to clinch it all, they have Special Order Dice.

Ralph set up the game, and his more detailed writeup is HERE.


  1. Nice stuff...always good to see the Tiger brought down to size by a hoard of T34's.

    1. Both a hoard and a horde by the looks of it :)

  2. Replies
    1. Certainly hard to beat quantity when it also has guns :)

  3. It was a fun and easy game to get into. Models and scenery were up to Ralph's usual excellent standard and I had even picked up the game mechanisms by the end of one evening. I still like the infantry Bolt Action a lot, but this was a nice diversion.


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