Home Forums WWII Bolt Action Tank War – in 1/72nd?

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  • #24310
    Sparker
    Participant

    Dear All,

    Last night at the uni we trialled playing Bolt Action Tank War in 1/72nd, loosely based on the Sandomierz -Lvov direction during Op BAGRATION. It seemed to work…

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/bolt-action-tank-war-bagration.html

     

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #24312
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    The only times I played Bolt Action was with 1/72 figures and tanks, but I don’t like the roll high for one thing and roll low for the other…never got the hang of that.

    #24313
    Sparker
    Participant

    Well yes you have to roll low for the morale type ‘Orders check’, but for everything else boxcars are good, I think…

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #24314
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Sparker:

    How big was that table you played upon? The photos make it look huge. What do you think of Bolt Action? Do the rules do justice to tank-on-tank action? It has been my (albeit limited) experience that Bolt Action is more geared for infantry actions with some armour in support, and it is my sense that the BA rules abstract tanks and assault guns too much. Did you ever play the twenty year old rules Battleground World War II by Easy Eight? Those tank-on-tank rules were great and would complement your game nicely It does have lots of charts and fiddly bits but it is still the best armour rules for gaming that I have ever encountered IMHO.

    A visual treat and the kind of scenario that every kid dreams of playing – Royal Tigers and T-34/85’s. Too cool!

    Cheers and good gaming

    Rod Robertson.

    #24315
    War Panda
    Participant

    Very entertaining Sparker. 5 King Tigers!!! How do you think the rules themselves handle the BIG BIG CATS. Sounds like the larger amount of Panthers fared a little better or at least a more interesting tactical battle. I enjoyed the rules quite a bit for tank battles especially with the crew characteristics added with Tank Wars. Personally I’d love to see more Batreps using your 1:56 gear 🙂

    Battleground World War II by Easy Eight?

    Are they very detail heavy Rod? I’d be interested in having a look if they’re still available.

    Excuse me for stealing the thread for a moment Sparker but can I ask: Rod what did you like most about the rules? I’m not sure if I convinced that a lot of complex formulas and charts will necessarily mean much greater authenticity and possibly hamper playability? Especially considering the range of most battles if played to proper scale. I might find it difficult to justify the added work involved (I think my reputation for laziness is well known  🙂 But having said that I could be very much mistaken as I’ve never tried anything with much rivet counting involved…

    “The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
    For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”

    #24327
    Sparker
    Participant

    Thanks for the kind comments gents:

    Rod – The table was a T shape constrained by the size of the uni’s desks, which are 4 x 2s. So across the T was 8 foot and the length of the T was 8 foot also, but the width of the long stretch was only 4 foot, if that makes sense? Still gives a big but accessible playing area, which you need for the Big Cats to get the benefit of those 88mm L71s!

    What do I think of Bolt Action? I think your summary is bang on actually, the basic rules were designed for a couple of infantry sections, maybe a platoon, with a tank in support, and work entertainingly for that. My mate Bryan, who is a fan of the rules, has described them as ‘not the game of the battle, but the game of the film of the battle!” I think he’s right too. To be brutally honest I had expected more from the Tank War supplement – the initial rule quite rightly didn’t differentiate too much between the different types of tanks within each category – its an infantry skirmish ruleset after all! But the TW supplement could have enlarged on this I think. But they are enjoyable and reasonably fast, and have delivered a reasonably historical outcome for us so far…which really is the acid test when all is said and done.

    No not aware of Easy Eight rules you mention, so, War Panda, please take the thread away as I too am interested to hear more from Rod about these!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #24339
    DM
    Participant

    I must say I’m not that impressed with BA. I’ve found it rather bland and not particularly realistic in how it deals with small unit tactics. And 28mm just doesn’t work as a scale with the rules as far as I can see. 20mm and 15mm “look” much more at home with the ground scale, weapon ranges, etc.

    Of course the blandness of the rules does make them easy to “house rule” and there are a number of variants out there that work well. At the BV club we’ve adapted the system for near future SF, WW1, Pony Wars, even western gunfights. interestingly I’ve had much more enjoyment using the rules “out of period” than I have for WW2.

    #24357
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Sparker and War Panda:

    Battleground WW II is a tactical (skirmish) game which can handle battles up to a couple of platoons or at most a company. It was put out by Easy Eight in 1995 IIRC and is now sold by Syr Hobbs Wargames. Infantry are individually based and treated as squads and teams (for heavy weapons) while vehicles are represented as single models and  are organized into troops(platoons)/half troops (sections). It uses cards to determine each units activation. The interesting thing about the rules is that they do not treat an armoured vehicle or tank tank as just a vehicle but as a crew of 2-11 individuals. Upon activation each crew member gets two actions. Those actions can be drive, load, fire main armament, fire MG, observe, communicate, un-jam, repair, rally, etc. Each vehicle has its own information sheet which is chock full of data and also has information about variants if statistics need to be modified. Firing and hitting is determined by D20 rolls and penetration is determined by comparing ammo penetration values to armour values where you have to roll under the difference on a D20 if the gun pen.value is greater than the armour value. So if a T-34/76 with a gun penetration of 23 fires at the front armour of a Hetzer with an armour valure of 20 then the T-34 has a 3 in 20 or 15% chance of penetrating the Hetzer’s armour. However, each vehicle also has 20 unique hit locations from the front, side, rear and top aspect and each hit location has its own unique characteristics when hit. Damage can be dome by either penetrating rounds or by non-penetrating rounds. Crew effects range from nothing, stunned, shocked, wounded or dead and each effected crew member is evaluated individually. The rules are flexible enough that vehicle crew can act like infantry so a recce vehicle can dismount some or all of its crew and or portable weapons and  scout on foot  if need be.

    Crew skill and morale is reflected by values from 8 (really poor) to 16 (really good) and one must roll under these values on a D20 to do difficult tasks or pass morale checks. Leaders are given modifiers from +2 (totally incompetent and dangerous to his men) to -4 (Bloody marvelous-who knew Rommel was sitting right here in our tank) and the leader can modify one roll with this modifier per activation.

    There are extensive rules for vehicles attacking infantry and infantry attacking vehicles and in my opinion with a few modifications the system really works and is great fun to play.

    A player can comfortably control up to three tanks on his own and an experienced player twice that number. The game often features one to two infantry platoons and a troop/platoon of supporting vehicles on the attacking side and a platoon plus fewer supporting on the defense.

    I was going to post a link to Syr Hobbs Wargames but I just noticed their website is down for maintenance. You can probably find stuff on Amazon or E-bay too.

    As an aside and in a shameless act of name-dropping, I played a game with the Easy Eight designers at Historicon in 1995 or 1996 and one of the players was the military fiction author Harold Coyle (who also acted as an advisor to the Easy Eight designers IIRC). I had just finished reading one of Coyle’s books (either Team Yankee or the Ten-thousand, I don’t remember which) and was quite star-struck.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #24427
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    If you played it in 15 or 10mm, the ranges would probably feel okay.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #24429
    Sparker
    Participant

    Yes its hard to defend BA from the ‘bland’ label! Still, in a club setting bland can be good for a bit of fun with gamers with disparate interests…

    Rod, thanks for that illuminating description of Battleground WW2. Sounds intriguing, and far ahead of its time in the Nineties. Funny, I wouldn’t turn a hair now with the thought of card activated play, thanks to Sam Mustafa’s wonderful game using this mechanism, but back in the day I would have dismissed them out of hand. Just as novel is the way they treat an AFV as a collection of crewmen. Very rich. Probably to much of a skirmish game for me though – I have had ‘Force on Force’ on my too do list for years now but the complexity means its too easy to pop back on the shelf!

    Yes I have everything by Harold Coyle, and revisiting Team Yankee once the Battlefront Flames of War Cold War rules come out is something I’m really looking forward too!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #24432
    Norm S
    Participant

    Sparker I know there is standard Bolt Action (as AAR’d by Panda)  and then they brought out a tank supplement specifically to deal with armoured actions (as per your AAR) – can I ask, If you had run your scenario with just the standard Bolt action rules, what would the major differences have been? (if any real difference in outcomes)

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by Norm S.
    #24457
    Sparker
    Participant

    Hi Norm,

    Very little difference if I’m honest – all the stats and rules and overall scenario used came out of the main rules. The only think I took from BATW was one of the crew skills they suggest, to give the Panthers a little more speed. (Otherwise all AFV have the same speed of 9 inches).As I said above I was expecting more from BATW, it terms of finer technical differentiation, or at least a toolkit to do this yourself, but apart from the crew skills, and some more scenarios, I don’t see any real development of rules or play for AFV’s….

    But as has been observed above, the very blandness of BA does allow you to develop differences yourself with house rules…I was reluctant to do this with what was an introductory game, but I may do in the future….particularly for a Cold War variant.

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #24471
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Sparker:

    Navy Fower Wun Seven? If so welcome back. If not, who then? Rhetorical questions – no answers needed. : )

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

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