Friday, 1 June 2018

B.A.R. (Bolt Action Revisited)

A couple of years ago I bought a special offer version of the Bolt Action Assault on Normandy Starter Set from Wayland Games. I had a brief attempt at painting up the figures but started to get a tad frustrated trying to find the definitive painting guide so that I could ensure that my troops were in the 'correct' uniform. I ended up with three different guides that all said slightly different things and I really couldn't cope with that, so I put the WWII stuff to one side and got on with things that I was a lot more confident with.

Move the clock forward two years and I fortuitously, but quite accidentally, stumbled across a brilliant video produced by Beasts of War, in which Alessio Cavatore umpires a very friendly Bolt Action Normandy game, where Warren from Beasts of War attempts to throw the Allied invasion back into the English Channel with a bag of dice and a Stug III.

Having seen just how brilliantly the game works, with the man who wrote the rules there in person to guide you through the concept, I suddenly became very interested in having a go at small scale World War II gaming again!

The inevitable outcome of watching both parts of the video, was the purchase of a set of Warlord German Grenadiers and the return of the dread search for the ultimate painting guide. This time, with my head in a better place, I quickly came to the conclusion that by the latter stages of the war, uniform was something of a mythical beast and, as long as the basic colours were there, it didn't really matter too much if an individual soldier's bread bag was Iraqi Sand or German Cammo Beige.

The MG42 Team rush into action.
To back this up even further, I came across an absolutely brilliant web site which shows lots of pictures of actual German equipment, all in loads of different shades and hues. If you are intending to paint late war Germans then I recommend that you take a look at If you have ever been told by your local club expert that your bread bags are the wrong colour, then just point him in the direction of this web site!
Image from Real German Bread Bags!

The Squad Leader, complete with rank insignia which Warlord kindly include in the boxed set.
Having seen how the Bolt Action rule set generates a game which is full of nail biting tension, with its brilliant dice out of a bag initiative concept, and, what is more, a game which is great fun to play, and, having removed all those nagging doubts about painting everything the right colour, painting WWII figures has suddenly arrived at the primary end of the painting table, relegating other projects to the 'when I get time' end of the table. I probably wont paint up much more than three infantry squads and the supporting bits and bobs that go with them. Maybe a vehicle of some sort to add an extra dimension would be an interesting challenge... do all those stowage items have to be painted the 'right' colour? Hmmm!

Half of the second squad (a bit more rifle orientated this time) has already been built and sits awaiting the paint brush:

And just to demonstrate how much I've been bitten by the Bolt Action bug, the first of the enemy is already waiting along side them...