Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Thinking Bolt Action...But want to play alone?

A bit of a contradiction in terms maybe, but what if you want to have a go at a war game BUT don't want to play with other people?

There are several very good reasons why you might want to play a game like Bolt Action solo - you might want to learn the basic rules (so you don't embarrass yourself in front of others), or maybe there just isn't anyone near you who plays Bolt Action, or maybe you want to experiment with new ideas and rules (play test)...

Then there's me. I am an anti-social old git. This is why I like computer games so much, because even when I play games - like BF4 - that involve other real human beings they are nicely removed from my location at the other end of the Internet!

One of the things about the YouTube demos I have seen of Bolt Action being played is I could see straight away that I could fudge a sort of solo game just using the basic rules...And possibly a couple of dice throws to randomise events/decisions (just to add some fun).

When my Bolt Action rule books arrive (tomorrow I think) this is what I had in mind to try, just a few simple games with myself playing both sides. Of course, playing against one's self does have obvious drawbacks - the element of surprise is the first casualty of such solo play, and - of course - you know all your moves!

Talk of the devil! Quite by chance the Bolt Action rule books that I
ordered were waiting for me when I got home from work!
Well, I came across a set supplemental war game rules last night called 'Platoon Forward' Joseph Legan (available in PDF format via the Too Fat Lardies web site) and they seemed to offer a means of putting the surprise back into solo battles.

Basically, they are a set of variables - driven by dice throws - and scenarios which generate the unexpected.

Above: The Bolt Action demo game by Beasts of War which piqued my interest in
this game. I was amazed that I actually understood what was going on!

I am probably explaining that very badly, but they must be quite simple to understand really as a wargaming virgin like myself actually found them logical when I started reading them!

Much like the Bolt Action system itself, for some reason I just 'clicked' with the ideas behind the Platoon Forward system and could straight away see how it would allow me to play some small scale games by myself.

(They aren't designed specifically for use with Bolt Action, but are designed to be supplemental to a wide range of different WW2 tactical rules - like Rapid Fire! and Flames of War.)

Anyway, here's a link to a review that probably explains the Platoon Forward system better than a numpty like I can: Battle Brush Studios - Review: Platoon Forward

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