Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bolt Action Modern Rules Update 1.3

My 200th post!  Wow, can't believe it.  Things are moving along nicely ...

Based on the latest game I played I've made a few more tweaks to the rules.  I'm still working on the army lists that will be specific to my forces I've built up for Iraq, but should give everyone the idea of how to add various other nations units if they are not in the one I make.  I hope to post that up soon.

Download Bolt Action Modern version 1.3 here.

NOTE:  Version 3.1 rules and army lists are available HERE.

Summary Of v1.3 Changes
  • Fixed Grenade Launcher and Automatic Grenade Launcher, should have been HE (D3).
  • Added line to grenades, they don't take a long range penalty.
  • Modified the Assault special rule to remove the ability to move and shoot without penalty.  Now the rule only confers two attacks in close quarters.
  • Added the Recycle special rule.
  • Readded the Tough Fighters special rule from the Bolt Action rule book.
  • Added the No Long special rule (also applies to thrown grenades).
  • Added the GL (grenade launcher) special rule for weapons.
  • Updated victory points rules.
  • Updated the weapons table to add new special rules to the appropriate weapons.
  • Modified Body Armour to apply in close quarters as well.
  • Restructured the special rules page into a two column format to fit everything in a single page.
  • Removed indirect fire special rule from grenade launcher and automatic grenade launcher (replaced with GL).

A Few Thoughts To Date

The games so far have been really fun and representative of modern asymmetrical combat.  There is of course more that can be added to give yourself the feel of the modern insurgent battlefield.  I've been toying with trying a few things, such as random events.  For a random event your would add an off coloured dice to the orders bag.  When drawn, roll 1D6.  On the result of a 1 there is a random event.  Roll 2D6 and consult the random events table.  I have not put one together yet but it would be a mix of things that could benefit the coalition forces or the insurgent forces ... with results covering from 2-12 ... probably combining a few together to reduce the number of possibilities.

If you've played WW2 Bolt Action (BAWII) I must say that this modification (BAMOD) gives a very different experience of play.  As the coalition player you are hard to kill ... being in the open isn't the same death sentence as it is in BAWII - you have body armour and a medic save.  On top of that you get various armoured vehicles to hide behind as they advance around the tabletop.  

The strangest part is that the coalition forces are expected to mop the floor ... killing most if not all insurgents ... that is built into the VPs and the game play.  But it all actually works at the end of a game.  The insurgents/irregulars are just trying to kill as many as they can before getting killed themselves.

One of the challenges of doing BAWII in a town/fully built up area is that building hoping and floor jumping takes a lot of time - but is necessary because being outside without cover is a bad idea.  With BAMOD you don't want to building hop ... it takes too much time and slows you down (guaranteed losing strategy).  You need to be aggressive and engage insurgent groups to keep the VP's piling up ... and most importantly for insurgent groups that recycle, you need to take the target that is allowing them to recycle so it stops ... otherwise you are facing a never ending wave of insurgents.  If you go slow and try to use every building the insurgents will eventually strike enough hits on your guys before you can sufficiently destroy enough insurgent groups to keep up from a VP perspective.  You need to think of a key building or two (or strong point) that you want to move a fireteam into to provide covering fire/suppression for your other teams that will assault the objectives.  Moving fast means being outside ... not inside.  If you think of how many turns it takes to get up to the 2nd or 3rd floor of a building and back down and outside again ... you are just done in a six or even eight turn game.

For the insurgents the same concept applies.  You want to get your groups into a position to maximize firepower on advancing coalition forces.  Getting out in the open is usually the best way to do this.  Pick a couple of strong points to occupy, but know that you can't match the western forces firepower ... plan the risks you will take by popping out your groups to inflict a sudden barrage of firepower on a western military unit ... hope to get a couple or a few casualties before you get blown away (and hopefully recycle).  So long as you kill at least one guy you are ahead ... that is 1VP ... when your recycling unit gets blown away that is only a 1/2VP for the coalition.

So, don't approach BAMOD with the same tactics and mindset of BAWWII ... they are two different games using the same core rules ... but outcomes and tactical game play are night and day.

If anyone out there has tried the rules, or are planning to try them I'd be curious to see how your games have played out.  Or, if nobody is using them ... so be it ... I'm having fun with them ;-)


  1. We are going to try DAMod soon.we are playing BA plan just to learn the rules. I have a large amount of Iraq building I was using for Force on Force I will let you know how it goes. We also use the reaction part in the Konflict rules
    Thanks for everything
    Bill in Wentzville mo