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"Bolt Action & Flames of War" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

847 hits since 3 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP04 May 2018 2:07 p.m. PST

Bolt Action & Flames of War seem to be the most popular WWII games at present. How do they compare?

Lion in the Stars04 May 2018 5:28 p.m. PST

Bolt Action is 28mm, platoon and a couple vehicles per side. You draw a die/counter from a bag to see which side gets to activate a unit. The basic unit you move around is a squad or a single vehicle.

Flames of War is 15mm, reinforced company per side. Much more 'traditional' style game, IGOUGO. The basic unit you move around is a platoon.

saltflats192904 May 2018 6:24 p.m. PST

Like Taco Bell and Burger King

TMPWargamerabbit04 May 2018 6:55 p.m. PST

BA is popular. FOW is on decline across the world since Ver4.0 of the MRB came out last year as mentioned on their own public forum (now dropped to just the few event and product hyping), and even this TMP forum in recent months. The complete overhaul of the army lists…; dropping many, simplifying many, and restructuring added to to the free fall. TMP link

Neal Smith Inactive Member04 May 2018 7:24 p.m. PST

saltflats – Very good analogy! :)

Lee49404 May 2018 10:07 p.m. PST

Eliminating, my rules so this doesn't seem self serving IMO neither BA or FoW provide a "real feel" of WWII. Plus keep in mind that FoW was designed for 15mm, BA for 28mm. So first I'd consider what scale you're most interested in playing and then repost asking for rules suggestions in that scale that fit your criteria, i.e. platoon level, company level. Simplistic vs realistic. Two player vs multiplayer. Most importantly see what others in your area play. I hate solo gaming lol. FoW has all but disappeared in my area and BA was never big to begin with. Spearhead seems to have largest following. Good luck! Lee

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP04 May 2018 10:48 p.m. PST

'what scale you're most interested in playing and then repost asking for rules suggestions in that scale'
what is it these days with saying you can only use certain rules for certain scales? If the rules any good they can be used for any scale anything which suggests otherwise is just some marketing Bleeped text dreamnt up by some management cretin. Then again given that most rules around these days are so poor……….

repaint05 May 2018 1:04 a.m. PST

In spite of what people say about being able to play FOW for cheap, most people spend a lot more on FOW than BA to be able to play. More like three times (~USD 300 vs USD 100)

Painting time:
Painting a full decent BA army takes me around 5 weeks
Painting a full decent FOW army takes me maybe 9-12 weeks

BA army takes half the size of a FOW army for me to carry

I find BA simpler to play, they have some holes
I liked the FOW rules a bit better, they are a bit tighter

Popularity (nowdays):
12 players around me play BA, only 2 of us were heavily involved in FOW

"Realism", WWII "feel":
-BA is very generic with some WWII flavor
-FOW takes itself more seriously than what it really is

Love factor:
I like what the Warlord team does and how they treat their customers. As for the FOW team, I could not care less.

If I had to start all over again, I'd skip FOW (I have three armies with every option you can think of).

All things equal, start with BA, it will be a safer bet.

Lion in the Stars05 May 2018 2:52 a.m. PST

@Leon: if you want pick-up games where you show up at the FLGS and play, you need to have minis in the same scale/game as everyone else.

If you're playing at home, you can futz with mini scale for the game. We've threatened to play Bolt Action in 15mm using a platoon of FoW minis, for example, but my group doesn't like the random-activation aspect much.

@Optional Field: I really like the Battlegroup rules from PSC, and if I hadn't jumped into Flames of War I would have gone with 20mm for my "one true scale" in Historicals. Minis are much better looking and vehicle models are often the same cost as BF vehicles.

But again, what do the folks around you play?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP05 May 2018 4:27 a.m. PST

Another difference in the mechanics: In BA you are moving individual figures (with a few multi-figure weapons teams). In FoW, you have multiple figures on the bases.

ernieR05 May 2018 5:34 p.m. PST

when we play BA we use FoW 15mm figs and keep the measurements the same . works fine , gives a bit better WWII feel to the game .

neither BA or FoW are played often in our group , both had 8 to 10 players at one time .

the Battle Group series gets a bit of play time these days , but nowhere near as much as either BA or FoW did in the day . Chain of Command had a couple of people excited for a while .
i think we're still looking for a WWII game that feels right and plays in less then 3 hours .

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2018 6:19 p.m. PST

thanks for the explanations.

I don't play either, and don't anticipate playing either anytime soon, but it's good to have things laid out for me.

Thomas Thomas09 May 2018 1:33 p.m. PST

Lots of WWII games played besides FOW & Bolt. We did manage to find a WWII game that felt right and played in 3-4 hours but we had to design it ourselves.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

leofwine 314 May 2018 4:10 a.m. PST

Both FOW and BA are really poor. Chain of command for Bolt action size games and Kampfgruppe fro larger stuff

uglyfatbloke Inactive Member14 May 2018 5:00 a.m. PST

Try out all the games you can find, though who you play with is probably the most significant factor. I did n't like BA at all to begin with; we played it because SWMBO liked it and I do as I'm told. Over time, however, it has grown on me and you can have excellent company-level games in a reasonable amount of time. OTH we do stick with historical units and we discarded the 'exceptional damage' rule and one or two other things we found questionable, but we would have done that with any set of rules. We used BA recently for an Indian Mutiny game with 'companies' of 10/12 figures as the basic unit and it worked very nicely indeed – so much so that we have given up on Black Powder completely.

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