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39 Reviews
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, Fast-playing Rules for WWII Platoon or Company Actions
Superficially this game may seem overly-simplistic to some but it captures very well the flavour of Platoon-Company actions in the Second World War without becoming bogged down with rules that try to detail trivia and in fact add little to realism.

The key mechanics are Orders and Pinning, the former allowing a pleasing mix of doubt and control over which units...
Published on 4 Nov. 2012 by Pongo Pygmaeus

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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars world warhammer two...
I guess if you want a simple game that involves using nice 28mm figures and rolling lots of dice then this is for you. It is for platoon skirmish really. I am sure that it may be useful for those who are moving from GW games into the historical arena then it would be fine. Personally I have played many better WW2 rules over the years.

The gameplay is a...
Published 22 months ago by Nick


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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WWII Skirmish Fun, 23 Oct. 2012
First impressions is that this work is physically good value, at a 216 page hardback. Strangely the writers names are omitted from the front cover. It is credited to 'Osprey & Warlord', which means nothing, or less than nothing as far as Osprey are concerned, given their track record with rules.

However, inside, in microprint, it admits that Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley designed the game. Hello, Osprey, the lights are on but there's no one home - is there? Cavatore and Priestley are two of the best known and most celebrated wargame designers in the world. If you want to sell the book you put their name on the front cover. I believe this is known in the business world as marketing.

The pedigree of the work is clear on a read through. The rules are well laid out, readable and complete. They make sense and after one read through that took about an hour or two. Then one can play a game using the helpful rules summary sheets and tables at the back. In short, this is a professional job.

The book has nice pics from the more recent Osprey books and photos of Bolt Action Miniatures. Army lists for 1944 British, German, American and Russian armies are given and I understand that there will be a raft of army list supplements.

The game is clearly designed for Warlord's 28 mm range. An army consists of one or two platoons reinforced by vehicles (suggested one light and one heavy) and heavy weapons. The army lists make it clear that the generic scenarios included assume 1000 point armies. A Kursk 1000 pt Russian force might look like this: a platoon of regulars with a command squad led by a captain, two rifle squads of eleven men supported by an LMG, and a section of tank riders with SMGs, an LMG and anti-tank grenades. The platoon is supported by an anti-tank rifle, an HMG, and a 76mm general purpose field piece. Vehicles include a light tank and a lend lease Churchill, both with green crews. It is quite clear that this is a skirmish rules set with limited forces. A full one thousand point army could easily be assembled for under £100.

The command control system is one of the fashionable 'alternate by section' systems, which is why you can't use too many units. Each player puts chits into a mug equal in number to the number of tactical units in the army. Chits are drawnone at a time allowing the lucky player to move a unit. Units may be given one of six orders: stay still and fire; move and fire with a negative modifier; run - double move; ambush - go on overwatch; rally - remove pin markers; down - stay still and go to ground. This all takes time compared to a straighforward IGO-YUGO, hence the small armies.

Firing, line of sight, and movement are all pretty standard. Hits lay on pin markers even if there are no casualties, a bit like Hammers Slammers: these affect morale checks and firing. There are no 'spotting' rules.

My first thoughts on a single play through of two 650 pt armies? It plays smoothly albeit I found the command system a bit fiddley. In a smallish army the tanks were overmighty, probably less of a problem with a full 1000 point army. Even so, each player will probably only have one MBT, two at max.

Recommended, but don't expect to field big forces.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put's the fun back into gaming, 14 May 2013
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If you want loads of detail on every weapon used in WWII then these are not the rules for you. If you want extensive charts of fire-factors or morale or anything else for that matter then these are not the rules for you. If you want a game that appears quite simplistic but actually works to provide an enjoyable platoon level WWII game then maybe they are. For these rules, simplicity is strength, as it allows players to focus on tactics and simply having fun rather than becoming bogged down in charts or minutiae.

The best comment I can make about these rules is that one year ago absolutely no-one at my club played 28mm WWII games. Currently there are 8 players playing Bolt Action and over half of those have recruited several different forces for the game. That is a fair reflection of the inspiration these rules have provided for us. Having said that we are a group who are serious about having fun with our 'little men'. If you want a game that is fast moving and offers plenty of challenges amidst the chaotic unpredictability of the order system then these are almost certainly the rules for you.

If you have half the enjoyment we've had then it will probably be the best wargaming investment you've made.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable set of WWII skirmish wargame rules., 26 May 2014
[Taken from geekken.blogspot.com]

....The Good - It's a solid WWII infantry ruleset. Task resolution is simple with enough variation on unit activation to make things challenging. There are enough rules to cover different infantry units, and also have rules for other non-infantry units. I'll take a moment here to talk about the book quality. It is amazing. A nice thick bound book with plenty of color photos and diagrams. It's well indexed with great rule reference sheets at the end. The book also has a decent amount of timeline summaries on major events within the entire historical period. It's a professional job and shows the lovingly applied detail from Osprey Publishing.

The Bad - Some mechanics have wild variability and freaky luck can occasionally creep into the game. I see it more as it's charm, and after giving a thorough reading of personal accounts of WWII combat, actually models events rather well. We like to approach these games as chess, where in reality things were much more chaotic. Still, there are some particular unit rules that can be a little 'gamey.' Folks might also be put off by the use of specialized order dice also (however a deck of black/red suit cards could be easily be used instead, and the rulebook allows for regular dice to serve as a proxy).

Another detraction can be the point lists. For competitive tournament play, I expect this is needed. However it does leave some room for min/max army lists where historical accuracy is dumped for that elite mixture of units. It's a nature of point systems. I am particularly worried if power creep will come into the game with the future release of nation specific books. I can swallow these detractions for accepting the idea that each player has an opportunity to field a potentially equivalent force, but some players might be more happy with a gentlemen's agreement on force composition.

The Verdict - Bolt Action is a fantastic WWII skirmish game. It's not a simulationist game. Movement, terrain effects, and combat can be abstract but the resolution of these elements are simple and quick. Despite this simplicity, there is a surprisingly amount of tactical depth to the game. The random unit activation gives it just the right amount of unpredictability needed to make events which unfold during a turn more engaging than an IGOUGO system.

Most of all, the game is about maneuvering while other aspects of the game encourage holding position and firing. It's a constant nail biting choice to either move your troops into a more advantageous position, or stick it out and hope you can inflict casualties with a fire order, or while on overwatch. The backdrop to this is the pinning mechanic. Throw enough fire on serious threats, and you can allow a unit to advance with some small measure of safety. It works and the streamlined mechanics for conducting all of this makes the game run well and be loads fun at the same time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Aug. 2014
My 10 year old son loves this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 16 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules (Kindle Edition)
Liked it prefer Chain of Command
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Jan. 2015
By 
G W Hogg (Bracknell, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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good rules book, easy to use
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to learn, fast play rules., 19 Mar. 2013
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These rules are not perfect, the ranges of the weapons especially the larger guns are not exactly accurate and the line of sight rules effectively non existent, for example. However the rules a very quick to learn, but still provide you with a serious table top challenge, the games move quickly and are fun to play and these attributes more than make up for any of the shortcomings most of which can be easily overcome. I would certainly reccomend these rules to my friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Oct. 2014
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great set of ww2 rules
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BOLT ACTION RULES BOOK, 11 Jun. 2014
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Beautifully illustrated and well thought through, this hardback book explains clearly and concisely the mechanics of the Bolt Action small unit WW2 game. There are sections on each part of the game process, the various weapons available to each nation and an easy access order of battle guide for those armies, each with many great pictures to inspire those painting their own armies and collecting a bolt action force.

Delivery from the vendor was fast and efficient.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent straight forward ruleset, 29 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules (Kindle Edition)
These rules were initially purchased on a whim, but after reading through them and one of the supplements I have decided to purchase some 28mm figures and give them a go. The many supplements available give plenty of choice on army purchase, I myself opting for a unit of French Resistance fighters assisted by some Special Forces.
You just have to remember that these rules are not over complicated with stats but fun as I think wargaming should be.
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