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"Bolt Action for Post Apocalyptic combat?" Topic

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1,006 hits since 2 Jan 2013
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Comments or corrections?

ordinarybass02 Jan 2013 4:17 p.m. PST

I've heard some good things about the playability of Bolt Action rules. My gaming group does not do much/any historicals. However, we're always looking for new rules and are willing to modify to suit our tastes which lean toward fast-playing games in sizes from Warband to Platoon.

For those who have experienced the rules, how suitable do you think would be for a Post Apoc setting?

While I'm at it, any usability in sci-fi?

Wargamer Blue02 Jan 2013 5:26 p.m. PST

I think they can be used for any era where you have squad sized units of men running around.

AgustinSantos Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 4:33 a.m. PST

I've played sci-fi with it. I'd get rid of the penalty for moving and shooting with vehicles for sci-fi. Probably not for post apocalyptic.

Should work great for post apocalyptic games Everything is so generically described (light howitzer, medium tank, heavy anti-tank gun, assault rifle, sub machine gun, medium machine gun etc.,) that it should be no problem to figure out what you want things to be.

DeRuyter03 Jan 2013 10:23 a.m. PST

Download the BA QRS, then look at a 40k QRS. You should notice that the mechanics are eerily similar……

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 1:02 p.m. PST

These rules are basically 40K with a few changes.

The weapon range scale is totally hosed over.

Rifles can only shoot 144 feet or 48 yards.

Machine Guns can only shoot 216 feet or 72 yards.

Plus unlike what actually happen in World War II you will hit on a 3+ on a D6 and wound on a 4+ on a D6, or around a 33% chance of causing an casuality.

This is way over what actually happened, since at that rate the US Army in World War II would have had around 2.7-3.0 million casualities.

Which is no where near what the real number was.

Want something closer to being realistic use a D10 and hit on 3+ and wound on 4+ this would give around a 12% chance.

Far more realistic though a D20 would be better.

It took alot of shooting and bullets to cause a single casuality.

shelldrake03 Jan 2013 3:51 p.m. PST

They would work well with any setting with a few adaptations to represent that setting.

Nathaniel Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 8:06 p.m. PST

The game really is everything 40k should be. The turn structure is what really makes it sing.

If you're going to be adapting it for another time period anyway, why not just take the opportunity to increase the weapon ranges? Make rifles reach the entire table, but with an additional range penalty for over the listed range of the weapon.

Also, if you use a d10 and hit and wound on a 3/4+, that increases the casualty rate to 42%, not decreases it to 12%. Also remember that in BA, a hit is not necessarily a bullet contacting a human body, it's a bullet that may or may not hit a person but causes the entire squad to be a bit more pinned down/suppressed. The second roll is where you have bodies actually getting hit by bullets.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 9:30 p.m. PST

Bolt Action uses D6 so everything hits on a 3+ and to wound Regular Troops you then need to roll a 4+.

So 3/6 = .50 * 4/6 = .66 or .50 * .66 which gives you 33%

If you use a D10 you have.

3/10 = .30 * 4/10 = .40 or .30 * .40 = 12%

Two roll of the dice so you times the together to get the percentage of actually getting a wound.

The only good thing about this set of rules is that there are no saving throws.


Standard table size is usually 48" x 48" or around 288 feet or 96 yards.

Could be the reason why they are causing casualities at a 33% since the ranges are so freaking close.

Plus I am getting the feeling that they just might want to use the GW Business Plan.

In a few years they will change the rules so that you will have to buy them again.

Oh and while it is not a UGO-IGO game the picking of dice could make it so.

Both sets of dice will have to be actually the same other than color since if one has rounded corners and the other didn't it could be easy to pick your own dice.

They should have gone to a Card Activation system.

As I said this is nothing but 40K set in World War II.

VND 1AA Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 9:56 p.m. PST

3+/4+ on a D10 comes out to 42% (when reading the die as 0-9) or 56% (when reading the die as 1-10). To get 12% you need a 6+/7+ (for 0-9) or 7+/8+ (for 1-10).

Nathaniel Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 11:23 p.m. PST

Mithmee, with the d10 thing, you're flipping your math. 3+ on a d10 is not 3/10 of the time, it's 7/10 of the time.

This thread isn't about how much "40k for WW2" Bolt Action is. This thread is about whether or not the rules would work well for Post Apocalyptic and Sci-fi battles.

The answer is yes, yes they will. But you may have to make some adjustments like allowing tanks to move and shoot without penalty to represent modern targeting systems as Agustin suggested. And describe things in generic terms so you can match them up with Bolt Action stats.

As for the picking of the dice making it back into IGOUGO, that's a very rare occurrence even with only five dice each in the cup. It actually works out to less than 0.4% of the time. You will have multiple activations in a row, but you're not going to get a reversion to IGOUGO very often at all.

DeRuyter04 Jan 2013 7:44 a.m. PST

Plus unlike what actually happen in World War II you will hit on a 3+ on a D6 and wound on a 4+ on a D6, or around a 33% chance of causing an casuality.

Well this is somewhat out of context, because there are other modifiers when you are actually playing the game. I'd say more often than not you are rolling for a 5-6 to hit and the wound roll is dependent on the target quality or experience.

As for the ranges, I think the designers go for a ratio between movement and different weapon ranges to make the game mechanics work. It is after all a game not a simulation. If you are concerned with ranges try "Crossfire" which has no ranges, the premise being than most engagements were well within effective ranges of most weapons (Piat, PF, Bazooka, etc excepted).

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2013 12:21 p.m. PST


You are correct that should be 1-3 to hit and 1-4 to wound.

Or if you really want to mess if the players dice 1-3 to hit and 7+ to wound.


That could be true about the modifier's but I used Regular troops for the wounds since that should be the most common quality of soldier.

Though I would expect the WAACer's to have more Elite Quality soldiers.

The game mechanics would still work even with increase ranges.

You will just have to have more terrain pieces on the table so that your soldiers will have cover.

Something that most 40K games lack.

But yes these rules would work for World War II, and Post World War II settings.

Just do not like certain aspects of the game.


D6 again as the dice only gives you 1-6 results.

D10 would be better and D20 even more.

Plus I don't like the pull the dice out of a cup thing. Since players can rig their dice so that they can pull theirs out everytime they reach in.

Far to easy to cheat.

Nathaniel Inactive Member04 Jan 2013 11:22 p.m. PST

Cheating would suck. I'm not really one who even thinks that would happen in the games I play in, but you never know when you go to an organized event.

Cards can be "shuffled" to rig them as well though. Though something like (but not exactly like) Deus Vult's turn mechanic where you put your cards in any order you like and then when you both turn them over, you roll to see who decides which of the two goes first and which goes second. So if you get Infantry Squad 2 and the other person gets a JagdPanzer II, whoever wins the initiative role needs to decide how important it is for their infantry to activate before or after the tank destroyer.

I've played a game of Bolt Action with 15mm miniatures/terrain and a lot of weapons could shoot half listed range normally, -1 to hit at over half and -2 over listed range out to LOS/unlimited range. It worked fine, but I think the d6 limited it as each -1 is worth a huge 16.667%.

I also don't like the lack of RoF taken into consideration for anti-tank weapons and howitzers. As if a zis 57mm and a 152mm howitzer both took the same time to load and fire.

Turtle Inactive Member05 Jan 2013 5:30 a.m. PST

The dice are fine, a bit more granularity would be nice but it's not a game breaker.

I see the rules designed for more compressed scale and action. Just like how they handle classifying things into broader strokes, the goal wasn't complete simulation, or even really simulation, but rather a compression that would result in some levels of unrealism, but also a level of faster flow and play.

After all, there are plenty of rules out there that are geared towards realism and detail, but fewer rules out there geared towards fast play with familiar rules.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 10:36 p.m. PST

Well the good thing it is not Flames of War.

Ark3nubis07 Jan 2013 4:12 a.m. PST

What Mithmee said…

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