Pete Sucks at Bolt Action!

It’s been a while!

Today I went to the Newark Irregulars war-gaming show. Having recently bought a couple of bits of wood so that I can have a bigger gaming table and acquiring a gaming mat from a fellow war-gamer, I decided that I required some terrain. 

To this end I successfully bought some road, hedgerows and trees, a small selection of walls and a fox hole. Matt bought some river pieces.

The layout for the game.

Matt and I decided that we would have a game of Bolt Action after the show. I would use my US army and he would use his as-yet-undefeated French army, they would fight in the French countryside in a ‘what if?’ scenario. 

The randomly selected Bolt Action scenario for this game was Envelopment (Attackers have to get across the board), we also chose to implement the ‘Night Rules’ additional ruleset which, due to its use of a ‘roll-to-see’ mechanic, makes for a completely different style of gameplay.

I’m not going to write a full game report, but here’s a few in-game photos with “hilarious” captions.

A French officer finds a gap in some hedgerow to retreat through.

A US NCO halts his infantry unit after learning that the French forces have already surrendered to a passing postman.

Not wanting to contravene the hypocratic oath, the French medic team challenges the US Second Lieutenant to a dance-off.

The French really did spend a lot of time hiding in those trees.

The US mortar team regroups after being completely useless for the entirety of the game.

At the end of the game I’d managed to move my tank off the table and get two units into Matt’s set-up zone. Matt managed to kill just my heavy machine gun team, and my lone Second Lieutenant.

This meant I won the game 7-4! 

To explain the blog’s title: Pete has lost failed to beat Matt’s French twice now, I won a resounding victory. So bingo bango, Pete sucks at Bolt Action!


So recently Kieron’s been quite keen to get us all playing the Batman Miniatures Game from Knight Models. I’ve played a couple of games against him and having enoyed them decided that I would create my own ‘gang’ for the game.

I’m a fan of the Arrow TV Show and when Kieron mentioned that Knight Models made a Green Arrow model I decided I would try to build a gang based around characters from the show.

The official Knight Models models are quite expensive at £12 a go (the most I’ve ever paid for a single model) and the Green Arrow model I received had more flash (excess metal that needs to be cut off) for one model than I’ve had before. Once I’d cut this off the model is of decent quality and given that I’m fairly new to this miniature painting lark (and therefore don’t have many points of reference) I can excuse it. However Knight Models appear to be struggling with Quality Assurance in other areas as well. Included in the pack is a character card for use in the game, the word Standard is missing a ‘d’, but more importantly the damage section of each arrow is missing any damage, a ‘-‘ in place of what should be two ‘bloods’. Knight Models make corrected and updated cards available on their website which you can print (and indeed the card has been corrected with the correct number of bloods but also with some confusingly written ‘Adaptable’ help text), but I paid £12 for this and the damage section is a pretty essential area to miss. The card even manages to cut the head off of the small picture of Green Arrow at the top.


The flawed character card.

Rant over, onto the model painting.


The unassembled parts of the model.

Once the model was assembled it was beginning to become intimidating to paint, I was concerned I couldn’t do it justice.


The back of the pack suggests a painting style which is based on comic book appearances of Green Arrow. I’m after a model representing the darker coloured costume from the TV Show.


Back of the pack.


The ‘Arrow’ costume.


The colour choices I used to paint the model.

The final painted model. Ultimately I’m pleased with the final effort, the dark colours of the costume make for a difficult model to paint and successfully keep a clear seperation of colour. It’s by no means amazing and a little shinier then I’d like but looks appropriately dark when in actual play.


The Arrow moving back towards his green ‘Arrow Mobile’,


Patrolling the streets of Starling City.

Next I’ll be re-painting a couple of Heroclix models, Huntress and Black Canary to add to the Arrow’s gang.

6mm American Civil War – First Game

So the other night we played our first game of 6mm American Civil War. We used the Black Powder rule set which Matt and Kieron are familiar with (but haven’t played for a while), but Pete and I are not. A lot of time was spent flipping through the pages of the rulebook and teaching us the rules.

Black Powder’s main mechanic is the concept of giving units orders and seeing if the unit carries out those orders. This is an attempt to make the game feel more realistic for the period and can result in some situations where a unit might only complete half of the orders it was given and end up in an exposed position or even not complete any orders at all.

The game works well, there are many things which are different to the other rule sets I have played, such as the necessity to put units in different formations and the requirement to use an order to ‘wheel’ a unit when attempting to navigate around an obstacle. It’s also unique (so far at least) in that there isn’t really a points based system for working out evenly matched sides. To quote Kieron:

Yo ass may brang what tha frack you wish ta tha table n’ if I have mo’ shiznit than you do, then thatz just war.

— Kieron (I paraphrased a little, thanks Gizoogle.)


An aerial view of the battle, my forces are on the middle left, occupying the farmhouse and slowly being killed by Kieron’s larger force. Pete’s brigade is on the right tackling Matt’s soldiers in the top right.

This first game was fairly short but I could see how with a lot more units and terrain it would be possible for a game to run to a few hours. I now have a good idea of how everything works though, and what types of units I need to paint. I still have a lot of infantry and some cavalry and cannon lying unpainted.


Pete’s Confederates.


Here some of my Confederate soldiers occupy the farmhouse. The large smoke column behind one of Kieron’s battalions is a marker indicating that they are disorganised.

In the end Matt and Kieron’s Union forces were triumphant, with Kieron’s forces gunning down my remaining Confederates as they attempted to flee from the battlefield.

I enjoyed the game and can see it’s potential, we all just need to paint more stuff now.

6mm Farm House

To go along with the 6mm US Civil War soldiers that I bought I also bought a small farmhouse. This is the Large Farmhouse from the Baccus American 6mm scale scenics range. It’s the first time I’ve painted such tiny scenery and I was a little unsure if it might be too fiddly.





In the end I’m pleased with how it turned out, though I think I have used a bit too much Agrax Earthshade and the house looks a little dirty rather than just shaded.



In my next post I’ll be documenting the first game I had with these 6mm miniatures and showing the farmhouse ‘in action’.

Bolt Action Objective

Pete suggested we should each make a Bolt Action objective, something that an enemy would want to capture. He suggested it could be anything, and could be ‘funny’ if we wanted it to be.


The green disc of potential.

I googled for cutting edge technology the US could have had during the war. The most appropriate thing that appeared was the Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee, a flying platform that while strictly wasn’t developed during the war was close enough for me to say that it was being developed in secret at that time. Searching for miniature of this model that were appropriate for Bolt Action 28mm scale was difficult, eventually I found a Japanese website which had exactly what I was looking for, I had to order the model entirely using Google translate, but within 2 weeks it had arrived.


The boxed VZ-1.


The model in it’s packaging.


The strange bag that came in the box.


What was inside the bag was stranger, a purple floral sherbet type substance. I assume the model is actually something that is usually dispensed from a Japanese vending machine, and the sherbet is an enticement for children.


A suggestion for what the VZ-1 might have developed into had it been successful.

The finished model and its appearance in a game. Unfortunately I lost the game.





6mm American Civil War

Recently Matt, Kieron and I attended The Joy of Six, a wargames show specifically promoting 6mm war gaming.

We had been talking about starting a new project for a while and 6mm seemed to be a good choice. The scale allows for more real-feeling army sizes that can be painted very quickly.

Once everyone was on board with the idea, we needed to choose a setting. Initially I was mostly interested in the American Revolutionary War, we discussed it over a coffee and Matt and Kieron wanted to do American Civil War, so a few minutes later we were buying American Civil War guys.

This was a Baccus sponsored event, so the miniatures we bought are from the Baccus range. Matt and Kieron purchased Union soldiers (Eastern and Western) and I bought some Confederate guys with a view to encouraging Pete to buy some more later on.

There are about 200 soldiers in the pack I bought, I also bought a pack of Confederate generals.


A few of the models black primed.


The finished models, including flags.


Robert E. Lee addresses his troops.


Troops in formation.



The General bringing up the rear.

It took me a while to get round to painting them but once I got started I pretty quickly managed to get together enough troops for a sample game. We’ve elected to use the Black Powder rule set, I’ve never played this but Matt and Kieron have so I’m sure they’ll help/berate me with the rules.

Bolt Action Sniper and Spotters

After completing a 1000 point army and playing a few games of Bolt Action I decided that I wanted some ‘proper’ spotters and snipers, I spotted (ha!) a World War Two US Army Spotter pack in mylocal wargames shop and decided to paint them up.



The finished sniper.


The finished Forward Air Observer (left) and Sniper’s Spotter (right).

No much to add, except that the first and only time I have used the Forward Air Observer it was instantly killed, which is typical.

The Indoctrination

A destructive cult uses countless techniques to get its members to stay, commit themselves and take part in what may be harmful activities. The sum of these techniques constitutes what some people call “mind control.” It’s also known as “thought reform,” “brainwashing” and “coercive persuasion,” and it involves the systematic breakdown of a person’s sense of self.

– HowStuffWorks

In the beginning we played a variety of board games for a few months, many of them bought my me, I believed this would ease my access into the group. Surprisingly I enjoyed many of these, my particular favourites were Spartacus, Lords of Waterdeep and Giants. However innocent these games might have seemed they were actually a prelude to this:


A diy miniature painting starter kit.

In order to properly start wargaming I needed to start painting some miniatures. The game of choice was Bolt Action a WW2 themed game. To get started I bought a set of just four US soldiers.


It’s over there!

I began by super-gluing each of the soldiers to a 2p coin then building up a small mound of filler at the base of the model. I then glued some small stones to this mound.


The primed model, next to small stones I used, that I got from the road outside my house.


The almost completed model, just needs some grass.


The fully painted squad.

My first foray into painting miniatures was quite successful. In order to complete the desired 1000 point army, I would need to paint over 30 more men and a variety of other weapons and a vehicle.

In Too Deep


Obviously for security reasons that’s not me, but before all this began I was just as cool. 


This isn’t me either.

It was in May of 2013 that I had my first breakthrough. For several months I had been subtly expressing interest in the war gaming hobby of a couple of nerdy individuals to whom I had been posing as a friend. For the purposes of confidentiality I’ll refer to them only as Matt and Pete. Once I had gained their trust they introduced me to another conspirator Kieron.

My objective was clear: infiltrate the close-knit war gaming circle of these clearly disturbed individuals and find out what it is about war gaming that is so appealing.

For a while all was proceeding as planned, my superiors were pleased, but, as with many undercover operations, I began to sympathise with and understand my subjects, and now, I’m in too deep.

I will use these pages to document all that I see and do.

I can only hope, that soon, those who sent me here will pull me back out.

This is the last of these, promise.

This is the last of these, promise.