Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bolt Action Tournament Alicante 2013




For about a year I have been thinking about returning  to the period where I started in wargaming all those years ago, World War 2. Flames of War just didn't look right to me with loads of tanks lined up in a row etc, due to lack of space on the table top. When my club announced they were going to hold a Pachanga (friendly) Bolt Action Tournament, I decided it was time to have a go. I went for the Burma theater mainly I have always liked this era and also if I didn't like Bolt action , I had already another system (crossfire) I could fall back on.

I shouldn't have worried, Once I had read the rules and watched a few demo games on YouTube, I knew it was going to be a good game, I played my first game a few weeks back against  Kevin´s U.S marines. It was a great game and we hardly had to look at the charts (although we still did a few things wrong). Last Saturday I played against a friend from work, it was his first ever wargame and we both had a great time . For the tournament I decided to take my Chindits because I needed a few more Japanese to make a 1000 point list . After my practice game with Kevin , I decided due to my Chindits having no tanks, I would double up on my heavy weapon teams and have 2 Platoons. I made a mistake of thinking you could have 2 free artillery observors.

Points Accum    
2nd LtInexperienced3535
1st   Platoon 
Chindit Veteran Section A
NCO with SMG  18
PVT   with LMG 20
Loader 15
5   Pvts with rifle 75128163
Chindit Veteran Section B
NCO with SMG  18
PVT   with LMG 20
Loader 15
1   PVT with SMG 18
4   Pvts with rifle 60131294
MMG 3 man Team Veteran62356
1 PIAT (2 Men) Regular40396
Sniper Team (2 Men) Regular50446
Medium Mortar Team Regular
3   men + 1 spotter 60506
Art   Obs Regular Free

2nd LtInexperienced35541
1st   Platoon 
Chindit Veteran Section A
NCO with SMG  18
PVT   with LMG 20
Loader 15
5   Pvts with rifle 75128669
Chindit Veteran Section B
NCO with SMG  18
PVT   with LMG 20
Loader 15
1   PVT with SMG 18
4   Pvts with rifle 60131800
MMG 3 man Team Regular50850
1 PIAT (2 Men) Regular40890
Sniper Team (2 Men) Regular50940
Medium Mortar Team Regular
3   men + 1 spotter 601000
Art   Obs Regular Free

In the end we had twelve participants which was just the right size for the club, any more and it would mean using a larger venue.

The games were decided by throwing a dice and then everyone playing the corresponding numbered scenario from the book. The first round the players were drawn randomly although as we had six Axis and six Allied player we could player Axis against Allied in the first two  games.



My first game even though it was completely random was my Chindits against Juan Marcos' Japanese on the Jungle table using the envelopment scenario.


                                    I  was attacking so threw for pre-bombardment as usual I got a one so the artillery failed to show up.


My right flank was slightly stalled because I was waiting for the Japanese who were hiding in the Jungle to show themselves.



In the centre I had a problem with an enemy flamethrower team who came around the corner of the house and began to burn one of my infantry units, who luckily survived and stood their ground. However they did receive five pins. In the next turn I had to choose weather to fire or charge, I think I took the wrong action and fired, I past the morale test but with four pins already on the unit my shooting wasn't good enough to get rid of the pesky flame thrower. In the next turn he managed to finish off my unit.


My artillery observer called in a bombardment which this time was sucessful. I was able to hit a few of his units in the centre, But the main success was against his Officer unit who had fifteen hits on them so were obliterated.

In the last couple of turns I managed to get two flanking units off the board. But the problem was I hadn't read the victory conditions properly and didn't know how many points the defender received for killing my units. If I had realised I would have been more conservative with commiting sucide charges with small teams, to try and stop the flamethrower in the centre. In the end the game ended in a draw with eight victory points each.



My second game was against Ronin and his Waffen SS Army. This scenario was top secret and so the objective was placed in the middle of the table. This time I carefully read the misión victory conditions. Realising that I wouldn't lose any points by losing units I decided to go for it and placed my Infantry units in the centre to charge down the road to try to get to the objective first.


My front units of Chindits came under fire from Ronin's Stug but they still past their morale test and manged a run to reach the objective. Ronin sent a unit of SS infantry fanatics to kill off the Chindit section and to take the object . 


 I fired with all my units and weakened the SS unit so I attacked and once again captured the objective. However this was the last turn, because we had run out of time. Which was a pity because it was becoming an interesting game. On a side note I tried to kill his Stug with one my Piat teams they moved 6 inches towards the tank set up there PIAT and fired. Unfortunately they turned out to be 13 inches away from the Stug and out of range (theres no pre-measuring in Bolt action). So the missile flew in the air and landed in an inch in front of the tank.



For the third game, I played against the opponent who was on  the closest to me on points. This turned out to be Coronel Bambu with his British Comando Army. We played the "Hold the line" scenario and I was the defender.



First was the pre-artillery bombardment which killed my artillery observer and put quite a few pins on the rest of my units.


His main attack came on my left flank, I had a sniper in a building that was able to kill a NCO of one of his infantry squads before he was killed by the cannon fire of the Cromwell tank. With no serious threat  on my right and centre flank. I was able to concéntrate on defending my left flank objective. At the end of the time limit I still had all the objectives under my control and so won the game.


                                                  A view of some of the other games going on.


                                                   Kevin playing his final game against Joses' Italians.




             One of the players, Fran, brought his U.S Armoured force. Normally this would not be allowed in a normal Bolt Action Tournament, but due to it being a friendly tournament there was no problem the more the merrier. It contained 3 Shermans, 2 Half Tracks and 14 Marines. The game he was playing next to me looked like he wasn't having much luck. I asked him after the tournament about how he got on . It seemed the lack of activation dice was a major part of his downfall, also his opposition were able to get lots of pins on his tanks. Quite surprisingly he was defeated in all his three games which meant he finished with zero points.

It shows what a good game Bolt Action is , you don't need to pick a so called "uber" force to win games and tournaments. Just pick an army you really like to paint and collect and with sound tactics and a bit of fortune from the dice Gods you can beat any army.  




             Kevin won the Tournament with his U.S Marines getting the maximum 9 points with 3 wins.


Myself and Coronel Bambu in our last game.


                I finished with 5 points out of 9 with 2 draws and 1 win.

The thing I like about Bolt Action is its a fun quick game with plenty of cinematic moments in the game. I am already thinking about other Armies to collect and play. Also the system can be easily changed to other ages and I am definetely going to be writing a variation for  the Plain Indian Wars. As well as using most of the system for ACW gaming.

         Everybody had a great time, and we will be definitely organising a competitive tournament in the near future. Maybe next time though I will be taking my Japanese or maybe Polish Paratroopers or Hmmmmmm.






2 comments:

  1. Thanks for giving me a 2014 project! Looks like great fun.

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