Firefight! mods and house rules V 1.0

Home Forums Historical Bolt Action Firefight! mods and house rules V 1.0

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #190197

    Hi all, me and my friend played “Firefight” the other day and loved it, the concept is amazing although the rules are clear as mud and officers and grenades are OP. For example:

    If you choose to activate an Officer then before you choose an action you have the opportunity to activate all the individuals within 12” with one command (pull the correct amount of order dice out the bag)” This destroys the random activation dynamic of Bolt Action, instead it became a game of who could activate their entire army first and kill the other person’s officer, then the game was practically over. Additionally: “On an Advance or Fire action, a unit may elect to throw a hand grenade instead. Resolve a 1” HE attack against a target within 6”. ” No matter how many ways we interpreted this section, it still sounded like grenades were an auto hit weapon.

    Now I know that “Firefight!” is still a WIP, but those rules were atrocious. So I decided to compile all of our house rules, plus some new rules that I came up with in my head. If anything doesn’t make sense, just let me know and I’ll do my best to clarify. The revisions to officers NCOs, grenades, and the small target rule are all for the sake of making the game playable. The house rules for “back at ya” and “selfless” actions are for theme and to make the game stand out from being just a lite version of Bolt Action. And most importantly, please send any suggestions my way. This is just V1.0, I’m currently working on implementing modified national rules, tough fighters, fanatics, and stuff in an extended V2.0.

    Hope you guys found this useful, cheers!

    <i>Modifications to the Current Rules:</i>

    Officers and NCOs: a NCO can snap-to 1 soldier within 6”, a 2nd. LT. can snap-to 1 soldier within 12”, and a 1st. Lt. 2 soldiers within 12”. 

    Grenade rules clarification: a grenade can be thrown within 6”. Grenades have a 1” HE template. To-hit modifiers for cover, small team, or moving and shooting do not apply to grenades, but modifiers for inexperienced, long range, down, pins, and point blank do apply. If a unit is within 6” but not in line of sight, such as obscured by cover, a grenade can still be thrown as an indirect fire weapon that hits on a 6 with no modifiers. Note that grenades cannot range in. *<i>See Example A below for clarification.*</i>

    Optional Small Team Rule: You may or may not remove the “every soldier counts as a small team” rule. I personally play without it because it means almost all shooting requires a roll of 6 or super 6 to hit.


    <i>House Rules and Homebrewed Concepts:</i>

    Reactions to Grenade throws: a unit that has not been given an order that turn can go “down” to react to a grenade throw just as if they were being shot at. But a unit that has not been given an order that turn can also perform a “back at ya” or “selfless” action.

    The “back at ya” action is based on the classic movie scene featured in “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers”, where a grenade lands at the feet of the protagonists, who promptly throw it back at the enemy and continue fighting unharmed. Note that this is particularly dangerous, as grenades have a short 4-6 second fuse, and experienced throwers would often “cook” the grenade for a few seconds before throwing it, giving the target less than a second to react. If the target unit chooses to perform a “back at ya” action <i>after</i> rolling to hit for the grenade has been performed, then pull and order dice from the bag and flip it to “fire”, placing it beside the unit. Take the morale value for each unit, subtract any pins, and roll a d6 applying the result. (the target unit rolls a d6-1) Compare the two results, if the thrower scored higher then roll for damage as normal, the defender probably had no time to react before the grenade went off. If the defender scored higher, then the grenade is thrown back at the unit who threw it! On roll of 6 it hits the attacking unit, proceed to roll for damage for the attacking unit. otherwise it was tossed harmlessly to the side exploding in an unoccupied area. Note that the reason for requiring a roll of 6 to hit the attacking unit is because the target unit was probably frantically trying to get the grenade away from himself, not trying to accurately return it to its sender.  <i>*See Example B below for clarification*</i>


    Wikipedia states that “In United States military history, more citations for the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest military decoration, have been awarded for falling on grenades to save comrades than any other single act.” Based on that, I thought that thematically one of your soldiers should be able to heroically throw himself on a grenade to save your Lieutenant. This is where the “Selfless” reaction comes in. “Selfless” is chosen as a reaction if multiple units are covered by the grenade’s HE template, and <i>after</i> rolling to hit for the grenade has been performed. Give the chosen soldier a “down” order, no order test is required as a “selfless” order is similar to a “down” order, and we assume that the soldier is of the hero type. Use the damage value for “HE inside buildings” to determine the number of hits on the target unit, in this case D3 hits for a 1” HE template, then take those number of hits and apply them all to the one soldier. This is to simulate how laying on a grenade will cause way more damage than normal from the blast being focused on the soldier at point blank range. Any units nearby that would have been wounded by the blast do not suffer pins or damage, but if your poor soldier survives he suffers D2 pins as normal. If the targeted soldier actually does survive, which would be rare due to him taking D3 hits with +1 Pen, I highly suggest giving him a medal. (Note that several soldiers in real life such as Jack Lucas in the battle of Iwo Jima have survived landing on a grenade, although they were not in good shape afterwords) <i>*See Example C below for clarification*</i>


    <i>Example A:</i> A veteran American paratrooper opts to advance and throw a grenade at a veteran  German Waffen SS soldier. The paratrooper advances to 5” from the enemy, and throws a grenade. The target unit decides to go down. The target is partially behind hard cover and the paratrooper moved, but grenades ignore hard cover and movement penalties. It suffers a -3 to hit for long range and the target going down, and a +1 to hit for point blank, requiring a roll of 5+ to hit. The American player rolls a 6 resulting in a hit, and places a 1” HE template touching the target. (Note that going “down” halves HE hits in a unit rounding up, but a 1 man unit halved rounding up is still 1 hit, so “down” has no effect on damage rolls in this case) Only one unit was hit, so he proceeds to roll for damage requiring a 4+ ( 5+ with +1 pen for 1” HE) and rolls a 2, failing to wound the unit. D2 pins are inflicted and play continues.


    <i>Example B: </i>A grenade is thrown by a regular IJA infantry at a veteran marine. It hits, and the target unit’s player chooses to issue a “back at ya” order to the target unit. The target unit passes his order test, and a dice is drawn from the bag, flipped to “fire”, and placed next to the target unit. The attacking unit is regular with a morale value of 9, but has taken 1 pin which is subtracted. The attacking player rolls a 3, which is added to the morale minus 1 pin  totaling 11. The target unit is veteran with a morale of 10, and the defending player rolls a 4 on a D6-1, equalling 13. With the test passed, the target unit yeets the grenade back at the thrower, rolling a 2 on a D6 meaning it missed but still exploded safely away from the target unit. (note that the unit still takes D2 pins for being hit, because having a grenade land at your feet is still a very stressful experience.)

    <i>Example C:</i> A grenade is thrown and hits a LMG team. The HE template covers both the gunner and loader. Realizing the importance of keeping the weapon operational, the loader is issued a “selfless” order. He throws himself on the grenade, shielding the gunner from the blast. The attacker rolls a D3 for hits and scores 2,then rolls for damage. The regular loader is wounded on a 4+ and the grenade has 1 pen, needing a 3+ to wound. The attacker rolls a “1” and a “4”, unfortunately wounding our loader who is removed from play. The gunner however is unharmed and has taken no pins.


    I missed these rules when Warlord first put them out. After reading them, they seem worth a try. I agree that if the officer can snap to all figures within 12″ then there’s no more random movement. Also, as each figure fights separately, it seems like cover would be harder to figure out if you’re partially in it.


    Yeah it’s a really fun skirmish themed way to play, and it takes like 5 minutes to learn.

    But one thing I noticed was that what makes Bolt Action so fun is the national theme that each army has, and the wide variety of troops to choose from. With Firefight there’s just less flavor, there are no national rules or special rules like tough fighters or fanatics, and you are pretty much limited to infantry and a few weapons teams. So for all intents and purposes, there’s no difference between playing Germans or Americans. And the support weapons are so limited, like cmon, I want to use a Flak 38 to blast troops with Saving Private Ryan style.

    TL;DR It’s basically skirmish Bolt Action but with the flavor stripped away, so I really want to see some mechanics added that make it special. It has so much promise, but looks like the Warlord team dreamed it up during a lunch break then forgot about it.

    “Also, as each figure fights separately, it seems like cover would be harder to figure out if you’re partially in it.” Yeah we just error on the side of cover. Me and my friend prioritize having fun over bickering about the rules, it’s done us a lot of good….



    Also currently creating house rules for flamethrowers, the way the rules read it looks like you just get to overkill one guy per turn with it. (since each soldier is “one unit”)

    Sorry for the long winded reply but forgot to mention, LMGs are pretty meta in Firefight. The way they work (if you hit a unit, you can shoot at another unit within 6″ with one less dice until you run out”) makes them a pin machine that’s super effective locking down parts of the board. So I guess that is one improvement over regular BA.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.