Saturday, November 19, 2016

Bolt Action 2nd Edition

While, I've finally had a chance to digest most of the changes in Bolt Action 2nd edition.  In short, I think Warlord has done a great job of updating the rules based on community feedback.  I really only take issue with one rule change (addition) ... more on that below.


Not only am I excited about these updates for WW2, but I'm also starting to update my Bolt Action Modern rules to align with the new changes.  Fortunately this shouldn't be too bad ... I've already taken a first pass at it for the reference sheets and it wasn't a massive amount of work.  Some changes, for example, additional shooting dice for LMGs and MMGs I had already included in my modern rules, so I didn't have to make those updates.

So, Warlord has added a bunch of things, like more scenarios and other things ... but what I'm focused on is the core rule changes and additions that will come up in almost any game played.  To that end, I'll attempt to summarize the changes to the core rules below ... and if I've missed anything major, please let me know in the comments and I'll update the post accordingly.  My approach was to go page-by-page in the core rules and use a highlighter to identify anything that seemed different to me (admittedly a few might have been 1st edition oversights ... but hopefully not).

SIGHT (page 31)
"... you may ignore units of infantry and artillery, both friendly and enemy ..." --- clearly you can't ignore vehicles and terrain, but this will make determining LOS much easier.

RALLY ORDER (page 39)
"No move or fire but lose D6+1 pin markers"

AT FULL STRENGTH (page 41)
If you've taken a full strength squad (the maximum number of troops allowed), and the squad has not yet suffered any casualties, you can re-roll failed order tests.

PINNED AND RALLY (page 41)
Units now ignore pins when taking a rally test.

INCREDIBLE COURAGE! (page 42)
"If an order test roll comes up two ones (snake eyes) then not only is the order automatically given but the unit also immediately loses D6+1 pin markers rather than 1."

RETAINING DOWN ORDER (page 43)
A unit that retains a Down order at the end of the turn (as in, don't return the order dice to the bag) removes D3 pin markers immediately.

AMBUSH (page 43)
Units can go into Ambush as before, but ... at the end of a turn, a unit that is still in Ambush can either stay in Ambush or choose to return their order dice to the bag.  If they choose to return the order die at the end of the turn ... "Alternatively, at this point a unit in Ambush can attempt to fire - roll a D6.  On a 4+ the unit can fire normally and then place its order die back in the dice bag.  On a 3 or less, the unit does nothing and the Ambush dice is put into the bag ..."

SHOOTING TO HIT MODIFIER FOR DOWN (page 54)
"Target is Down infantry/artillery .... -2"

WEAPONS CHART (page 62)
Assault Rifle range = 18".
Light Machine Gun (LMG) number of shots = 4.
Light Machine Gun (LMG) range = 36".
Medium Machine Gun (MMG) number of shots = 5.
Vehicle Flamethrower number of shots = D6+1.
All weapons capable of HE shots now have template sizes.

ASSAULT WEAPONS (page 66)
"... infantry models armed with an assault weapon count as tough fighters (see page 91)."

FIXED WEAPONS (page 66)
Fixed weapons have a 45 degree arc to their front.  When issued an Advance order they can pivot on the spot (but do not move from their position), then can shot applying the -1 to hit penalty for moving.  To move a fixed weapon you must issue a Run order.

HIGH EXPLOSIVE (HE) (page 68)
Big change here, but in short HE now uses templates to determine who and how many are hit.

MULTIPLE HE TARGETS (page 70)
When a weapon system fires that uses HE and has multiple shots, the template are placed touching each other but not overlapping.

SHAPE CHARGE (page 73)
Much improved.  Shape Charge weapons do not pay the -1 penetration penalty for long range (they no longer suffer the negative to hit modifier).

CLOSE QUARTERS (page 76)
Not in the text, this is notable by the removed text.  Units engaging in Close Quarters no longer remove their pin markers.  When reacting with shooting, units with pins do not take an order test but also do not remove a pin marker (and suffer the negative to hit modifiers for having pins).

CLOSE QUARTERS DAMAGE ROLLS (page 79 and 80)
PEN and pins do not effect damage rolls in Close Quarters.  Exceptional damage also applies to Close Quarters.

YOU MEN, SNAP TO ACTION! (page 83)
When activating an officer, additional dice can be pulled from the dice bag to issue orders to friendly units within 6" of the officer.  The number of additional dice depend on the officer rank:

  • 2nd Lieutenant = 1 order die
  • 1st Lieutenant = 2 order dice
  • Captain = 3 order dice
  • Major = 4 order dice

Additionally, Captains and Majors can issue the orders to units within 12" (instead of 6").

GENEVA CONVENTION (page 83)
Medics can no longer carry weapons (but can defend themselves in Close Quarters).  Medics also cannot hold objectives.

FLAK (page 86)
Big changes here.  Flak units in Ambush that fire at aircraft retain their Ambush order.  Vehicles firing pintle-mounted flak weapons also do not count as open topped for the rest of the turn if firing at aircraft.

SNIPER (page 91)
Rifle range still goes out to 36" when shooting on a Fire or Ambush order, but any target closer than 12" is automatically missed.  Shooting still ignores negative to hit modifiers, except for pin markers and if the sniper team is missing the assistant.

VEHICLES AND MEASURING DISTANCE (page 99)
Measuring ranges to and from vehicles is now based on the hull position.

PINTLE-MOUNTED WEAPONS (page 105)
"Whenever a fully enclosed armoured vehicle fires a pintle-mounted weapon, against a ground target, the crew are exposing themselves to enemy small-arms fire, and thus the vehicle counts as open-topped until the end of the turn."

TURRET JAM (page 109)
When a damage result in inflicted against a vehicle that does not destroy it, a D6 is rolled and on the result of 4+ the turret gets jammed in place for the rest of the game.

Note:  This turret jam rule is absolute bullshit and stupid.  My group has already decide to take a black sharpie and redact the entire section of the rule book.

TRANSPORTS (page 114)
"Transport vehicles have a minimal crew, so they can only fire one of the weapons they are equipped with."  Firing additional vehicle weapons requires units to be mounted in the transport.

RECCE (page 118-119)
Same general function but much better written to avoid confusion.

BUILDINGS AND EXTRA PROTECTION (page 124)
Units get a +1 to their damage rating when being shot at in buildings (versus before when you would need a 6 to kill).

NOT ENOUGH ORDER DICE? (page 213)
An option here for playing larger games when you either have too few order dice or there are just far too many and games take forever.  In this case, you are just limiting the number of order dice per side to 12 ... after 12 the turn is over.

ASSAULTING THROUGH TERRAIN (page 79)
If you assault through terrain you still use a Run order, but only move 6" (just as if you where Advancing).

TOUGH FIGHTERS (page 91)
Tough fighters used to just get 2 attacked in close quarters.  Now, this has changed.  If a tough fighter scores a successful damage roll they can make a second (but not third) damage roll.

GUN SHIELDS (page 95)
A gun shield increases your damage rating by 1 when shot at from the front arc.

FIRING SMOKE (page 97)
When you miss with a smoke round the opponent can now place the smoke within 12" of the target point (used to be 6").  Additionally, when multiple launchers roll a hit when firing smoke they pick D3-1 additional points within 6" of the target point and place additional smoke clouds.

MULTIPLE ACTIVATIONS WITH A SINGLE DIE (page 218)
They've included a small section that addresses using group activation for larger games.

I think that covers most of the big changes to the core rules.  I'm sure I've missed a few things ... but I'd say in general there are several rules that are the same, but written clearer or more cleanly.

Now, I've not found an updated QRS ... so looks like I have to make one myself with the v2.0 changes.

12 comments:

  1. Great summery , I have a copy but not got around to reading it yet , think I saw a quick reference sheet for V2 on the 'Lead Adventure' forum , Tony

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I saw the one of LAF ... but it was put together before the guy got the rulebook, based off of what he read online.

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  2. Thanks for that Jay! I am hearing a lot of good things about BA 2.0, which address the reasons why I never took to it overmuch originally. Your post has been quite a help.

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    1. Thanks Jim --- just played a game yesterday (post coming shortly) and found a few additional (good) things I had overlooked. Hope you try it out :-)

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  3. I just got my new book a few weeks ago too! I have seen a few QRS on a couple different sites, but I'd love to see your version :) I already use several of your QRS's, let's add one more!

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    1. Yes, I always do my own eventually ... almost done this one (which then can roll right into the modern sheet) :-)

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  4. Vers 2 QRS found here
    http://perrysheroes.free.fr/IMG/pdf/BA2_QRS_v2_0.pdf

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    1. Thanks!! Just posted up mine ... oh well :-)

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