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Historical Gamer Town Square

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General Historical Gaming Discussion Group, where you can discuss anything historical and point visitors to your threads and activities elsewhere on Beasts of War’s Hubs and Forums.

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New to Bolt Action: Desperately need help… (8 posts)

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  • Avatar Image akblu106p said 2 days, 15 hours ago:

    Hi there community! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been tabletop gaming.

    Anyways, straight to the point i’ve gotten into “Bolt Action” and purchased the “Band of Brothers Starter Kit” (my wife bought me a airborne light mortar, airborne 57mm AT gun, and Airborne Sniper squad as well). However I just made a 500pt list to start.

    Played my first game as them today…got ROYALLY stomped…and my opponent and club mates were less than helpful in giving me good feedback on my list or what to do…

    Here is my list:
    1 Second Lieutenant “Veteran” with SMG + 1 infantry with SMG “Veteran” – 78pts

    1 Veteran Paratrooper Squad (Late), 1NCO with SMG, 2SMG, 5Rifle, 1BAR, Anti-tank Grenades – 158pts

    1 Veteran Paratrooper Squad (Late), 1NCO with SMG, 2SMG, 5Rifle, 1BAR, Anti-tank Grenades – 158pts

    1 MMG “Regular” – 50pts

    1 Sniper Team “Regular” with 2SMG – 56pts

    Total List 500pts on the nose.

    This was all created using “”

    This list played like poop… It was a team game, 2v1…my ally had a sherman and multiple rangers (500pts), our opponent was 1000pts, 2 sniper teams, all infantry had SMGs only, and a KV-1 tank.

    It was aweful. I was terrified to dive into his units just because of all the SMGs…

    Was I just being a big chicken? Later he told me I should’ve just charged constantly…but I was 100% sure that would’ve just ended the game faster for my little men.

    I just need help building a list, more importantly understanding WHY the list is built the way it is and how to play the Americans….

    Can someone please help me?

    I’d like to stay with a more “historical” list, around the time of D-Day paratroopers using the starter box models and the above mentioned supplemental units.

    Any and all help is much appreciated.

  • Avatar Image avernos1352p said 2 days, 15 hours ago:

    Mmmm sounds like a barrel of laughs with those guys ;)
    I don’t see anything inherently wrong with what you have. I’m stuck in work for the next 4 hours so when i get home I will give a comprehensive answer. Apart from equipment match up did you see how many dice he had for his force and

    “Daemons and Shit!” -BoW Lloyd 2017

    Sophia Lives!!!

  • Avatar Image akblu106p said 2 days, 14 hours ago:

    Yea it was interesting to say the least. I felt bad for my ally…he just kept rolling bad and whenever he would give advice our opponent would give his own advice since he was “teaching” me at the same time.

    In the end my “teacher” / opponent told me, “yea, I wouldn’t have played your army at all like that.” although i followed his advice the whole time…lol.

    My teammate and I had a collective group of 10 dice (5 each). Our opponent had 12 dice? He had a lot….I just know that. Mainly cause he had 2 snipers and conscripts.

    Again, much appreciate any insight or help you can offer. I really like the game, but going from a fun game as the 500pt starter box german army to the plays like poop 500pt american starter box army was really not fun. (I did lose with my waffen ss germans too… but that was because I made a dumb error of getting too close to chindits….who went on a close combat assault spree)

    On a side note…how do you counter chindits as Waffen SS? Just spam fire at them?

  • Avatar Image a27cromwell64p said 2 days, 7 hours ago:

    Might be better to play with an exact copy of your opposing force , no tanks , no special dudes , just a platoon of grunts each , and maybe a mg and howitzer . Get to know how the cannon fodder works 1st before getting involved in tanks , snipers , AOs , etc . Not as much fun for your opponent ( experienced player ) but how much fun for you to get wiped out in your 1st game . Work your way through each turn , maybe even redo a turn or two , trying a different tactic. Your there to learn , your opponent shouldn’t be there to win

  • Avatar Image tibour196p said 2 days ago:

    I would agree with a27cromwell here. If you can’t get an intro game just divide your minis and go through the motions your self. It will help you get a feel for the basics.

  • Avatar Image koraski674p said 2 days ago:

    I’ve had similar problems in low point matches in other games. Some armies just don’t work well at some point levels.

    My suggestions are try fielding regular squads instead of veteran. You’ll get more men on the table and your early games will be more forgiving. Make a mistake with a high point veteran squad and your screwed. Make the same mistake with regulars or conscripts and well there’s plenty more where they came from! Once you get more experience and/or move on to higher point levels you can go back to trying an elite force.

    I’d also suggest asking your more experienced opponents if you can swap armies for a game or two. Then you can get a feel for how theirs plays and see how they handle yours. This can both be a learning experience and quite humbling if you still get wiped out even using their list vs your own.

    “Putting the gruntled back in disgruntled since 1971!”
  • Avatar Image olliep881p said 1 day, 7 hours ago:

    @koraski said:
    My suggestions are try fielding regular squads instead of veteran.

    Not possible, US AIrborne squads are only available as veterans

    Nothing wrong with your list as a starter. I think as noted above, smaller games with smaller units tend to hurt a lot more due to the game pinning mechanics and to be honest, your “opponent” sounds a bit of a dick if that was his idea of an intro game. Soviets will always have the upper hand in terms of numbers and if he’s spamming conscript squads with SMGs, weight of fire alone will win him the game, especially if his targets are only small squads.

    At 500pts you’re not going to get much in so don’t blame yourself for that one. My first suggestions would be get up to a 1k list before you try playing this guy again, at least you’re on an even keel then:
    - Bulk up and add more squads to a minimum of 8 men per squad
    - Get some armour support, a Hellcat or a Sherman are both viable in historic terms
    - If you’re facing him again with conscript spam, a Forward Artillery Observer could spoil his day. The trick with them is to keep them hidden (so the snipers can’t hit them), leave them as the final unit in your turn to activate, fire their artillery and if all goes to plan with dice rolls, at the start of the next turn you can really spoil your opponents plans.

    As an army, keep the squads moving. US can move and shoot (rifles) with no penalties so make use of it. Focus their fire on one unit until it has a couple of a pin markers on it, and being conscripts will have a lower Ld value already so whilst you can’t wipe them out you can render them ineffective for a turn or two, then move onto the next unit and repeat.

  • Avatar Image koraski674p said 1 day, 2 hours ago:

    @olliep said:
    Not possible, US AIrborne squads are only available as veterans

    I meant he could either proxy the airborne as regulars for a few games till he gets used to the system or build up a few new squads of regulars for now and add or sub in the airborne when they get to higher point games.

    In any case, large mobs of smg regulars/conscripts are really easy to play and very tough to beat at low point level games so don’t feel like you were drastically out generaled.