In today’s post, we look at a hard-pressed battle between Italian Paratroopers and British Infantry in the Western Deserts of Africa.
I set this battle as a Demo Game to introduce two to four new players to Bolt Action. While I intended the game for four players, I had six show up to my table. To accommodate everyone, I modified how I planned to run the forces. Instead of dividing them between four players, I allowed the players to divide the forces to run three players per side. It is good to be flexible when one has to be. 🙂
To run this battle, I used the rules from the Bolt Action Rule book and force selections right out of the Western Desert Campaign Book. Both sides would have forces with just under 1200 points each. I rated the Italians as Veterans while the British as Regulars. Neither list contained vehicles or artillery larger than a mortar. The game was completely infantry based with a few small weapon teams here and there. Limiting the units to this reduces the amount of new content that I have to teach. I want to leave the players with a pleasant taste for the game.
No need to complicate things with lots of rules right off the top of the game.
When I run demo games of Bolt Action, I absolutely love to run the Man Hunt Scenario. The reason for this is the game is not based on straight up arbitration. There is an objective. The attacker must assault and capture the highest level commander on the defender’s side.
The defender wins if they last a certain number of turns without their captain being captured. I house rule in a time limit for the session as well. Meanwhile, the attacker wins if they capture the targeted commander. A draw could also be forced if either side kills the commander – although it is not very sporting for the defender to do this (although I do allow them, by house rule, to try with indirect attacks if the wish).
For this instance of the game, I set up a fortress in the middle of the table that the Italian Defenders would occupy. The British had more numbers, but they also had a lot of distance to cover to get into the fort.
The Italians set up half their force to defend the fort. The rest would come on the board from various edges of the battlefield. In this battle, the defenders decided to place the commander inside the largest tower of the actual fort. This is a difficult place to dig the commander out from.
One of the things that I love about the Man Hunt mission is the way reinforcements come to the game. From the second turn on, reinforcements can come any of the three board edges not last used by the other side. This leads to teams sneaking in behind massive forces and all sorts of strange mayhem. It makes for a really fun game and a memorable demo experience. I like Bolt Action for the larger than life stories that unfold on the table and this method of reinforcements helps lead to that.
On the other side of the field, a small Italian troop sneaks up behind a bigger troop of British Infantry. It was ambitious and worth a try, but it did not work out for the Italian soldiers.
Ending the Game
One of my six players had to duck out early, but the rest wanted to play the game through. By the end, the Italian Commander abandoned the front tower and ran into the rear building (see circled position in the image below). Two small British teams still threatened this position and both would attempt to assault it through the route depicted by the red arrow.
In the end, the British won the game, but it came down to just one die roll. This is the type of game that is tons of fun to play and hopefully recruits new players to a fabulous new gaming system.
Wrapping it up…
Hopefully you enjoyed this quick post on how I demoed Bolt Action to a group of new players. Perhaps you can pick up some tips for when you run your own demo game of Bolt Action.
If you want more information details on the game and how it turned out, be sure to visit the full post on Must Contain Minis. This post contains more pictures, more story, more information and even details on the exact Army Lists used for the game.
Thanks for reading and until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!
Aside from writing great gaming related articles, I am also working on compiling a list of all Miniature Gaming Conventions in Ontario (Canada). If you are in Ontario, this list should be of interest to you!