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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bolt Action Road to Victory!

C-Bax's Road to Victory campaign set is an excellent way to change up your Bolt Action games, check them out here if you haven't already! Recently, we took a stroll through the campaign from a newcomer's point of view and if you didn't read Community Member Rob's write up, you can find it here. This week, we're going to look at the other side of the coin and take a look at the campaign from a veteran player's point of view. This Community article comes to us from our good friend in Texas, Tyler Wallace. Tyler recently had a chat with us about Americans, and North Africa in particular, on the Ghost Army Podcast (Episode 26, here). In this write up, we get to hear about his experience with the campaign, and get to see some pictures of his snazzy Americans. I must apologize to Tyler for taking so long to get this posted. Thanks for your patience, brother.

Without further ado, or further links, here's Tyler's article!


A Veteran's Perspective

I recently began a campaign with my cousin using the Road to Victory campaign rules from the Bolt Action Alliance. Joel is more of a casual player. But we both love history so, it’s fun to have an opportunity to play a historical game together.

Road to Victory, I discovered, is an excellent way for more experienced gamers to play fun games with casual players like my cousin (granted one of you owns multiple armies with a variety of units.) Not only are the units easier to digest for the newer players but they can also try their hand at list building in a way that won’t seem as overwhelming. Usually, when I play against a new/inexperienced player I end up having to make two generic lists in order to teach them the basics. However with Road to Victory, Joel and I had almost as much fun building the lists, and rolling for random units as we did playing the game itself.

Since the PDF is free to download, I won’t talk much about the actual mechanics. You can check that out for yourself. Below is a report of our lists, and how the battle progressed.

Force Selections

Joel decided to make his infantry both Waffen SS so that he could wither fire and get up close and personal. The First squad was outfitted with ARs and SMGs, and the second used mostly rifles and an LMG to provide support. The Germans get a free MMG per their nationality. He did not receive any soft skinned transports so his SS troops would have to slog it out on foot. However, he did receive a 10 man squad of Luftwaffe Field Division troops, and an armored car in the form of an Sdkfz 250/10 with a light AT gun mounted on the front. In all, the Germans got 7 dice.

For the Americans, I opted to take Rangers to face the SS. It is Normandy after all. I gave them BARs and an extra Thompson. The US gets also gets a bazooka team. I did receive one soft skinned transport in the form of a Dodge ¾ ton truck. I rolled for my random units and got a regular sniper, and a Heavy AT gun. The rules allow you to opt out of a randomly rolled unit instead for an inexperienced squad or an armored transport, so I decided to take an M3 halftrack instead of the AT. I really like that flexibility, and the way players are encouraged to take armored transport.
(I replaced the Deuce and a Half with the Dodge.)

The Setup

We were having so much fun with the random list selections that we decided to make the scenario random as well. The result was a good old game of Demolition which took place over a crossroads somewhere near St. Mere Eglise.

A US M7 Priest had all but halted the German Armored advance but had broken down perilously close to the front lines. A patrol of Waffen SS soldiers with some support from a newly minted squad of Luftwaffe Field division had been sent to knock it out.

Unbeknownst to them, a detachment of US Rangers was aiming to do the same thing to a Nebelwerfer that had taken out an entire company earlier that day but was damaged by Air Attack and currently pinned down in an open field while the crew worked furiously to repair it. The race was on!

The Game
The Rangers were slow getting on the table with just one squad using their free run move, and advancing just short of a wood directly in front of the target, while the other squad loaded into a Dodge weapons carrier in outflank.

The 2nd Lt was the only one on the left flank, guarding the Priest. He had gone to see what the hold up was on the repairs and found the area completely undefended except for himself and his two aides.

It would have to do because the two SS squads started their advance toward them on the first turn. The officer managed to kill one of the SS Assault squad members but it was looking grim.

On the right flank the Rangers found an open field between them and their target with a German MMG in ambush. The German halftrack moved cautiously forward and covered the crossroads with it’s AT gun. Joel placed his Luftwaffe troops in ambush next to the MMG.

The officer stayed close to the downed neb and, was instantly killed by sniper fire from the second story of a house covering the crossroads in the center.

On the second turn, the SS advanced on the US left flank and fired at the US officer team who went to ground but suffered a casualty. The 250/10 halftrack,seeing that there were no tanks moved down the road in the center  to support the SS, but missed its shot at the officers. Just then a US M3 halftrack rolled up the adjacent road firing its .50 cal into the side of the German 250/10. Out jumped a bazooka team. They advanced forward and fired into the side of the German vehicle which became a flaming wreck.

On the third turn the Waffen SS advanced on the officer team once more, firing at point blank range and coming to within just 6 inches of the Priest. The officer team was again forced to ground and sustained another casualty forcing a morale test which he passed but it was looking bad. The Sniper in the center provided some fire support through the but only managed to pin the SS squad.

The M3 halftrack moved up the road and fired the .50 at the Luftwaffe troops who immediately went to ground.

It all ended as the next two dice went to the Americans. The whine of an engine could be heard as the 2nd squad of Rangers barrelled onto the table, piled out of the Dodge, and planted a charge on the Neb.

The German MMG opened fire but was only able to pin them. Game over. The Waffen SS, hearing the explosion and the .50 cal fire, must have figured that there were more GIs guarding the priest than appeared and fallen back.

The Aftermath
We enjoyed this game so much. You may notice that I pretty much described this battle in narrative form as if it were really happening. The parts of Bolt Action that inspires me the most are the cinematics and narratives. Road to Victory takes it a step further. Since it’s a campaign, you upgrade your units from game to game, so you become a bit invested in them. It’s not surprising that a story starts to unfold before your eyes on the game table.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic experience all around. Joel got to see how list building works in a way that didn’t overwhelm him. I got to play with units I wouldn’t normally use, and the narrative was exciting enough to hold both mine and Joel’s interest. This was a fantastic first skirmish of what I hope will be a glorious campaign!



That's that! Another Bolt Action game, but with a force organization that wouldn't be first choices for many players, which of course makes you have to think differently. We're looking forward to hearing how their next game goes, and seeing how the units evolve as well as the tactics to deal with them. You can follow Tyler on Instagram at BoltActionaction for lots of great pics of the projects he's working on, including the sweet tables. 

Have you played some Road to Victory? Drop us a line. We'd love to hear how your experience went and maybe YOU can be the next Community Article!

Get out there and get rolling. Game on!


Seamus, often going by the nom de guerre of “Weekend General,” is a long-time wargamer and sometime contributor to various podcasts and online forums, based in Chicago. Occasionally dabbling in other miniatures games, it is Bolt Action that really captures his interest.

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