Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bolt Action my first game and Annlogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Nick came over a couple weeks ago to play some Bolt Action. He brought his lovely painted late war Volksgrenedier/Luftwaffe Germans vs my US Airborne at my house. Again, most of my pictures of the figures in action didn't come out the way I wanted so I only have a few to give a sense of the field we played on so I highly recommend going to Nick's blog here for more pictures of troops actually fighting.

It was my first game of Bolt Action and in one short phrase I can sum up my feelings......I'm hooked! I find the game very intuitive and easy to learn. It plays in a nice flowing style with a lot of twists and turns due to the activation system which is just great. The army building process is also straightforward with lots of options, but still easy to do even for a new comer.  Some realism in ranges is sacrificed for playability, but virtually all miniatures games must do this or you would need warehouses to play games in so that's really no big deal to me and not worth getting hung up on. While Operation Squad gives a more theatre like experience it costs more time to play it and honestly does not play as fluid as Bolt Action does, but since both play at different levels with one at a squad level and another platoon there is easily room for both systems. Another great point of Bolt Action is the books are very nice like all Osprey publications which really appeals to me as I'm a very visual player and I like books that motivate you to become involved which these really do. Since the books are so nice and I'm a collector I'll get them all even if I don't use all the armies.

As to the game itself it was of course great fun! We had contrasting armies where Nick's army were regulars and Volksgrenadier(home guard) vs Elite paratroops which gave him a substantial superiority in numbers, but a short coming in quality. I should say Nick rolled rather poorly and so his army was virtually destroyed and in the end decisively defeated, but even with his bad rolls he did inflict enough casualties on my Airborne that were he to have rolled better I might have been in serious trouble. My impression is that elites are tough for sure, but like most systems they cannot afford bad rolls or decisions and a decent rolling opposition. I think the lists are pretty balanced and truthfully I suspect standard troops are probably the best in the game as they offer decent amount of troops, with a good morale and leave you room for a few casualties. So, beware elite players as you cannot afford bad rolls and those that like fielding low grade troops to overwhelm the other gent you may find it difficult getting them to both do anything and stay in the game not to mention dying like flies.

It looks like I'll need to expand my Fallschirmjäger collection which is fine for Operation Squad, but too few for Bolt Action(luckily Nick and Franz have substantial German and Russian collections to make up for this shortfall) and while my Airborne is adequate enough I still would like to add a few more options. Oh....and there is these Japanese that I've started.... so, expect to see more WWII figures popping up on my blog in the future.:-)

It also getting time for Curt's winter painting competition here!

This has become kind of a tradition now which I'm proud to announce I've been involved in since the second one and will join this one too!:-) It kicks off on the 15th of December and runs until the 20th of March. It's a fun competition where painters are scored points for painting figures and whoever accumulates the most is the winner and is given a small prize with a second and third place as well. Other accolades are given for Peoples, Competitors, Sarah and Judges choice.It a great way to help slim down our lead mountains and be a part of something we all enjoy as that's the main reason I do this, because I paint far too slow to win.

This year my friend Nick here joined the challenge were we plan on having our own little mini competition within the challenge itself as we are doing a joint Impetus project focused on Pyrrhuss's assault on the Roman Republic with Nick doing the Romans and me the Pyrrhic forces. I'll do my best to stay focused on that which won't be easy as I'm a notorious butterfly. I already hear ACW, F&IW, WWII screaming and kicking demanding my attention and I haven't even started the competition yet!

However, before all that I have a lot of mini's to clean and prep before the kick off as that's allowed, but no figures painted before the 15th can be entered in the competition. Also, I'll need to work on some more terrain before the 15th as terrain pieces are not allowed in the competition either.

I'm really looking forward to this! Curt puts a lot of work into it and every event has been great and this looks to be no exception! So, please show your support for Curt by following his blog and leaving some comments when you have the time. I gave a link on the picture above for those who haven't had the pleasure of visiting his superb blog yet.