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Monday 19 September 2016

Bolt Action Espana

Looking back over the blog it was March when we last played a Spanish Civil War game, time to have another run out I thought. We would be using Bolt Action again but with the new edition plus the modifications for small squads from the last outing and again anarchist units would have to take an order test to change move orders.
The objective of the game is have possession of the crossroads at the end of the game, turn 6 or 7 if an additional turn is rolled, to have possession means that you have to have a unit within three inches of it and no enemy within three inches of it, the buildings have been positioned so that they are more than three inches away.
The Republican forces will based on a die roll enter the table at one of the two roads on the left, on a 1 to 3 the top one and 4 to 6 the centre one. 
The Republican forces consisted of -
2 10 man Anarchist squads all with rifles, inexperienced
2 10 man International Brigade squads, both with a LMG, regular
1 HQ 2nd Lt. and two assistants, regular
1 T26B, regular
1 Armoured truck with a turret mounted LMG, regular. It could not move off road.
The Nationalist forces must enter on the right hand middle road, their force consisted of -
3 6 man Foreign Legion squads, one with a LMG, veteran
3 6 man Carlist Militia squads, one with a LMG, regular
1 10 man Falange Militia squad, inexperienced
1 Foreign Legion 50mm mortar team, veteran
1 Foreign Legion37mm Anti-tank gun, veteran
1 HQ 2nd Lt. and two assistants
Both sides start off table, the Anarchists would need an order test to enter, the Nationalists could leave squads off table to enter on turn two, but if they did so the unit would then have to take an order test to enter.
The Republicans would have a tough time achieving the objective given the Nationalists flexibility with their squads, this however would be alleviated a little with having the only armour on the table.

 Despite the disparity it was to be a very close fought game, although in the first turn the Nationalist dice came out one after the other, they had no enemy to react to and a bottle neck at the entrance point ensued, forcing the Nationalist to leave the Carlist militia off table till turn two. The Republicans were also hampered by having to dice which road to enter on, which left the truck and a Anarchist squad on the high road.
The Nationalist really needed to knock out the T26, a task in which it failed miserably, leaving it in possession of the crossroads, the flanks were side shows really, with the Falange playing cat and mouse with the truck and the Carlists and International Brigade jockeying for position on the other flank. A last gasp attempt by a Legion squad to assault the tank failed, no turn 7 was rolled which left honours even at the crossroads and both sides having lost two units,
An honourable draw.

We thought the new version of the rules worked well in the game, the officer actually having a command role is a big plus in our opinion and the templates were not as bad has I thought they would be.
With regard to forces I just threw everything except the Nationalist Panzer 1 and the Republican Anti-tank gun on the table that I have painted, just out of interest I again worked out the points after the game, the Nationalists coming in at around 740 and the Republicans 550.
Not balanced? Well neither was the last weeks game and the Russians with less points won, this week, were it not for some dire dice rolls by Dave so could the Republicans I think, Dave may disagree of course.
So a question - Equal points games, balanced or bollocks? ;-)



  1. New rules worked well, I agree. Balanced points forces? Only for saddos who play competitions! Get a life!

    1. They certainly did, we will see how they do next week on western front circa 1918

  2. Nice looking game and figures. I like the new version of the rules too.

    1. Thanks William, the changes are a great improvement. Although the points pansies are complaining already I see :-)

  3. Great looking game, lovely terrain and good photos as well πŸ˜€Can't decide whether to get the new rules ? So good to see if they work......balanced points depends on who I am playing I'm not bothered but I do play some who do care.

    1. Thanks Matt. You can integrate most of the new stuff with V1 as you see fit from the various forum posts and video's.

  4. Great report. As for points, no army in history sat around adding up point before a battle. You fight with what you have, its up to the terrain, nature, and the man on the table to decided who wins or loses. :D

  5. Nice looking game, wonderful pictures!

  6. There is no points system for bad die rolls so I think its safe to ignore the whole idea and have fun instead!

    1. Very true Matt.
      That's why completion games are so pointless :-) in my opinion.

  7. Great looking game as always! I am certainly looking at BA afresh with the new edition.

    Points have their uses, but shouldn't be the whole basis of 'balance'. The scenario itself should create the context within which more points plays less.

    I'm always a bit shocked when I read somebody saying they won't take LMGs because of the 'points cost'. You take them because your troops had them, or you don't take them because they didn't... some people huh?

    1. Thanks Jim, yes BA2 is certainly an improvement. Dave thought he had no chance against the more flexible Nationalist squads, but I think I got the balance just about right, but you can't predict the intervention of the dice gods of course.
      I blame Warlord for not making them compulsory, the forum is a place of great amusement at times.
      Classic was " I run my Japanese as Orks" but at least he was playing a historical game so it's not all bad :-)

    2. In a way I'm reminded of Rapid Fire, where your units were 'sliding' and could represent anything from a platoon to a battalion. In that context having LMGs in a 'squad' is superfluous if your squad is actually representing a platoon.

      Certainly with the broad sizing of units beyond their notional squad strengths as standard in BA, you might think that the intention was not strictly to focus solely just on a platoon game, but to present a much wider potential of gaming experience.

      That's how I rationalise it anyway.

    3. I think Warlords main intention was to target Warhammer players, in which they would appear to have succeeded, with any historical players gained being a bonus :-)

    4. Spot on with that Phil, which is why the historical crowd will never get their points listened to, so do it at home. I can play balanced or unbalanced, there is always some disaster which quickly 'unbalances' the game, usual for me.

  8. Superb pics of a great looking game!

    1. Thank you Gordon. I must endeavour to get more figures painted for this.

  9. Beautiful looking terrain, figures and the look of the general game play. Just what a SCW game should look like and play like.

    I'm keen to try the new v2 BA rules to deliver some added c3 benefits for specific forces wither new command rules. We've been discussing this around my group and one handy way to reflect a C3 advantage is to to limit the commander types that an army can have.

    So for example a disorganised Militia mob or inexperienced army can only take leaders with a +1 or +2 morale/command ability. That way they are limited in their coordinated action against a 'proper' organised force that can include +3 and +4 leaders for greater coordination and morale 'stickiness'. Exception off course could allow a better force to have better a leader.

    BA command rules repurposed this way can bring a C3 element to the game with larger less coordinated inexperienced troops vs highly Morivated/coordinated armies using better leaders. ..the muni activation ability allows this.

    This in a way is kind of like the way TFL Chain of Command uses 4, 5 and 6 command dice to reflect C3 when troops may very well be organised and equipped much the same. I have extensive BA SCW list and may have to go back and take a closer look πŸ˜‰

    Top stuff. Always great to see the SCW factions in action...


    Happy Wanderer

    Sent from my iPad

  10. Thank you for the positive comment.
    Some food for thought there on reflecting the 3 C's with BA 2s New command feature.

  11. Great looking game, really like the armoured truck!
    Best Iain

  12. Matt,

    As you don't have BA v.2 yet, can I suggest you pop over to Warlord and take a look at the Officer rules. It is the single biggest change in the rules and IMHO the best.

    Even if you just add on these to v.1 you'll get a better game and draw it back toward co-ordinated action with multi squads...even if it still uses 'blobs' for infantry units (a whole different discussion).


    Happy W