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Diaries of commanders in chief (part 2)

Allow me to present the four commanders in chief: Peter, Jon, Thomas and Ulrik.

These four players are a mix of seasoned gamers, painters and collectors. Each of them have a different field of focus in the world of tabletop gaming. Some are avid collectors while others are blessed painters but common for them is; playing games has to be fun. None of them are hardcore gamers in any system but as most of us, they really do want to win as soon as the dice start rolling.

Another thing they have in common is the reality. The world outside the hobby will be a part of this venture into the joy of Bolt Action. They are seasoned gentlemen with work and/or family often requiring attention as well. For this reason their adventure will perhaps differ a little from similar projects. They will get more than a week or two per deadline and they will not be done with an army in a month.

Choosing an army went quite easy as most of them knew which nation and troops they wanted to play. The last of the four was even selecting between Axis or Allies based on the choice of the others. He liked the idea of equal spread and didn't like the idea of blue-on-blue battles.

The army selection turned out like this:

  1. Peter, German Fallschirmjägers - has no knowledge of the game or miniatures from Warlord Games. This doesn't mean that miniatures a new to him. Peter is an collector of many game systems and likes painting. Like myself he has too many unopened boxes and blisters.

  1. Jon, German Grenadiers - has limited knowledge based on a demo game year ago. He did however purchase the rule book lat year and have been waiting for someone to teach him to play. Jon likes playing games and has picked up on painting over the last few year. He is quite good at painting his miniatures before moving on to buy more.

  2. Thomas, US Airborne - is familiar with Bolt Action and have played maybe 10 battles. He already owns a couple of English armies from various theaters and participated in the Danish Bolt Action tournament "Bolt Action invades" a few years ago. Thomas enjoys playing but his real passion lies in converting and painting miniatures.

  3. Ulrik, Soviet Union - has played a few demo games years back. He liked the game system and has invested in a large second hand army. Most of it is still on sprues or unpainted. He will be using this collection as the foundation for his army but will follow the rules as the others. His real passion is painting and perfecting his painting skills. He likes playing but he is challenging himself to get miniatures to the table top much faster.

Obviously the choice for Jon and Peter is Germany but they had to choose a box of plastic infantry to start with. Whether they stick to that specific theme is their own choice. The same goes for Thomas by picking the United States and specifically the airborne infantry.

We sat down one evening after work and the boxes of infantry were handed out. We discussed the rules in general as well as the mechanism of the order dice system in Bolt Action. Some knew of this while others were used to games where you take turns to move and activate your forces.

At this point we only went through the basic rules for using infantry and their weapons. Vehicles and heavy weapons were not touched upon at all.

First challenge:

Collect and paint the minimum requirements for a reinforced platoon and spend a maximum of 400pts. When everything has been glued, painted and based a battle will be played against one of the other three players. It will provide the players with a basic understanding of the basic rules and of their mechanism in a game of Bolt Action.

The deadline for this step is Easter week 2020. The deadline was chosen to allow the slowest painter to finish as well and to make room for family and work. Or is it the other way around? The most careful painter is unfortunately also the one painting the most miniatures. This is due to a special rule for the "Soviet Union" player which allows for a whole infantry squad to be added for free.

By the end of February the commanders will meet for painting, study the rules and play some demo games. This is a great way to make hay while the sun shines.

Peter is mostly a collector and painter. He is not a painter of entire armies but more into skirmish and RPG models. He was first to having it all assembled and at the time of writing also close to being the first to finish. His primary choice for painting is the a brush as his experience with airbrush is limited.

Thomas is a fast painter and one who likes to experiment. He is not afraid to use colors which others would never think of, to achieve a certain look. Airbrush is his primary tool and he mainly touches up with the brush.

Ulrik is gluing the first of many infantry models and have even painted a few. Out of the four commanders he is the one with most focus on the painting. He is more of a painter than a gamer but has committed to getting models on the table faster than usual.

Jon was the last man to start assembling his miniatures due his work schedule being quite busy. But he is now well on his way. He is looking to create a quick paint scheme by using lots of airbrush and very little brush.

For every step or chapter I will update the armies; how they look, which units, what's the cost and what would you need to buy to build an army like it.

Hopefully this will give you a clear overview of the investment if you want to start playing Bolt Action. I will only be including "need to have" item and not any "nice to have". These could be things like army-specific books, terrain, extra gaming pieces etc. A starter set contains all you need to start playing including two small armies. These however have not been used due to the number of players participating in the challenge. The starter set is available to all players and this cost is included.

A few weeks into challenge one of the project, the commanders have decided their forces:

German fallschirmjägers

  • Veteran 1st lieutenant + extra man (assault rifles) 88pts

  • Veteran fallschirmjägers squad: 9 men (5 rifles, 3 assault rifles, lmg) incl. NCO (smg) 155pts

  • Veteran fallschirmjägers squad: 9 men (5 rifles, 3 assault rifles, lmg) incl. NCO (smg) 155pts

Expense: DKK 300

German grendiers

  • Veteran 2nd lieutenant (assault rifle) + extra man (assault rifle) 78pts

  • Regular grenadiers squad: 10 men (5 rifles, 2 assault rifles, 2 lmg, 2 panzerfaust) incl. NCO (smg) 163pts

  • Regular grenadiers squad: 10 men (7 rifles, 1 assault rifle, 2 lmg, 2 panzerfaust) incl. NCO (smg) 158pts

Expense: DKK 300

US airborne

  • Regular 2nd lieutenant (smg) + 2 x extra man (rifle) 70pts

  • Veteran US airborne squad: 9 men (4 rifles, 2 smg, BAR) incl. NCO (smg) 131pts

  • Veteran US airborne squad: 9 men (4 rifles, 2 smg, BAR) incl. NCO (smg) 131pts

Expense: DKK 300

Soviet Union

  • Regular 1st lieutenant + 2 x extra man 95pts

  • Veteran infantry squad: 10 men (6 rifles, 5 smg) + NCO 156p

  • Regular infantry squad: 10 men (7 rifles, 4 smg) + NCO 120p

  • Inexperienced infantry squad: 10 men (10 SMG, 1 LMG) + NCO 0p

Expense: DKK 350

NB. This army has been built using a second hand army and the expense and requirements are based on the purchases needed to create a similar army.

Bolt Action 2 Starter Set - "Band of Brothers"

Expense: DKK 680 (DKK 170/player)

Good luck to the players.

You are welcome to comment and ask questions and we will get back to you either here or in part 3 of the diary.

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