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Monday, February 18, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Assault On Normandy Box Set

(I'm happy to announce a friend of mine, Mart Bond - aka marticus - is the author of this long overdue article. I hope you enjoy his look at the "Assault on Normandy" box set as much as I did. Tell us about it on the forum!)

Assault on Normandy is the new starter set for the game Bolt Action - created by British companies Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing, and written by Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley.

This review is going to focus on the contents of the starter set, as the game has been reviewed many times by now.
BoltAction: Assault on Normandy contains:
  • Full-colour 216-page hardback BoltAction rulebook
  • 40 multi-pose, hard plastic 28mm miniatures: (20 USArmy infantry and 20 German Heer infantry)
  • 1 hard plastic Ruined Farmhouse
  • 8 Bolt Action Orders Dice

So let’s get into this! The set arrived and I was excited! I mean, just look at the box - it’s beautiful!

My initial impressions were: Wow, I love the artwork!! Reminds me of the Victor and Warlord annuals I used to read as a youngling (not a bad thing).  Secondly, the size of the box - it's small, well I say small... its smaller than some "other" game systems' starter boxes. The worry about the size was put off when I picked it up. Man, this thing is hefty! So it must be full of goodies right? RIGHT!

Sliding the box lid off, you’re greeted by a thin sheet of paper, just to protect the lavish looking rulebook. Ah, the rulebook! It is beautiful to behold. You can definitely see the quality and feel it when you pick it up.  All the previous Warlord books I've had have been of excellent "Coffee Table" quality, and this one is no exception.  Full colour hardback, glossy pages filled with fantastic models, and more artwork from the large selection of Osprey material; all this graced with striking cover art. It’s a fine addition to any gamer’s horde. It comes in at a smaller size format then most rulebooks we are used to, not in content, but in actual dimensions. It’s shorter which is easier to transport and read, so I’m happy with that!

 You also get a welcome to the game sheet,with some brief information, suggestions for starting lists, a list of available models, and a sheet for your German and American models. These sheets are parts guides to weapons and arms so you don’t get too confused, I found them very helpful! Make sure you keep hold of them.  All of the sheets are nice glossy full colour so that’s an extra bonus.

After removing a layer of card that protects the book and paperwork from the rest of the box, you are met by the mass of plastic in here. There is a lot!

Here it is, out of the box:

And then there are the order dice. I shall come back to those.

The infantry have weapons sprues full of goodies! From rifles, sniper rifles, smgs, lmgs, binos, pouches, ammo packs, bazookas - all sorts of things. Amounting to enough to load out your troops for battle, and create all sorts of differing options.   The main rulebook contains army lists for the 4 major nations, USSR, GB, USA, and Germany.

The variety of models you can build is impressive; from sniper to teams, to officers, to observers, to bazooka and panzerfaust teams. With the variety of options included, it’s so easy to individualize your models with the excellent plastic multi-pose kits.

The building included is amazing! It's so detailed, and can be built in a multitude of different ways, it is a very versatile kit, more than solid enough to stand up to the rigors of tabletop wargaming.   Take a look for yourself at all the parts you get!

The order nice are nice, and functional, a good touch to the set.  That provides added value.

All in all the set is excellent, great rules, great minis, great scenery, and great value! The only thing it’s lacking - and this is a minor complaint - is some regular d6 for gaming. I know we all have plenty around, but you can never have too many!

Overall score 9/10

Closing thoughts:

If you want to play a great 28mm tabletop WWII game with some innovative mechanics, good fun play, and nice rules, you can not get better then this!
(...dude took away a point for lack of free D6s... Harsh! - Judson)

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