What do YOU want to see in Bolt Action v3?

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    @lordnat like your idea of attaching Light Mortars to your officers and understand what your saying about light mortars and removing Japans distinguishing feature (though I’m not sure the Japanese made particularly heavier use of them than many others, in certain theaters and formations the Brits certainly used the things extensively as did the US with their 60mm).

    Concerning the BA and SA rifles I don’t see a problem. Outside US forces there were very few SA rifles used in WW2 and the US get their special rules to reflect this alongside US fire and move doctrine. True most nations had them but they were used in very limited numbers. Additionally the firepower advantage depends on what you compare to and on the skill and training of the operator. My understanding is that easy cycling rifles such as K31 and SMLE / No4 give about 1/3 improvement over KAR98 and the M1 gives about 1/3 improvement over K31 and Lee Enfields. Also this advantage is actually less pronounced for experienced shooters. People also forget the down sides which is that in a firefight SA weapons allow your troops to blat off, and thus run out of, their ammo much quicker (Not that BA considers that outside flame throwers).


    The idea troops would waste all their ammo was claimed about revolvers, then double action revolvers (by no less than Sam Colt himself!), then bolt action rifles, then bolt action rifles without magazine cutoffs, then stripper clip fed bolt actions, then self-loading rifles. It never really worked out like that in practice. It turns out training is a thing, and even comparatively light WW2 loadouts that had much heavier ammo had a lot of ammo (100 rounds). As for Enfield vs. Kar98k, the main advantages are the Enfield’s larger magazine and slightly slicker magazine (but at the cost of a much worse cartridge), which hardly work out to a full third better for the average infantryman.


    @generaljimbo81 – I’d have said thats covered by the TLs having extra slots


    @lordnat Yes I’d agree that is the place of TLs. I was meerly commenting that many nations used light mortars extensively.

    I’d disagree the British .303 is a “much worse cartridge”. True it was an older design rimmed cartridge but it was an Accurate, Reliable  and Powerful (perhaps not as powerful as some but some may argue more suited to actual combat ranges of ww1 & 2) round that saw Britain and her Empire through ww1, ww2 and Korea.


    It can be both inferior in every way and still be both adequate and close enough for the rules to be identical. If there’s a cartridge so bad it merits difference in rules, it’s the 8mm Lebel the French still have not totally gotten rid of by the start of the war rather than .303 British.

    In-fact, I could totally see Early War French infantry getting the “option” to have Sea Lion’s “stoppages” rule (which better represents awkward/slow reloading than malfunctions and could use a name change) on their rifles for a point reduction since, besides being an awful cartridge, most 8mm Lebel rifles were notorious for lacking stripper clips. Especially so for any Chauchat teams as that is both hard to reload and genuinely malfunction prone. Would moreso be material for an Armies of book than core, but an alternative to pistols/hand weapons for making infantry weapons worse would be interesting.

    As for adjusting free units for army cost, maybe “Gets a free X for every 600 points allotted. If less than 600 points, army can instead can take an X for 50% cost.” (replace 600 as desired) So 1 free unit at 600-1199 points, 2 at 1200-1800 etc. . By making anything under this 50%, free units are less silly in very low point games, and there’s a reason to take an inexperienced unit with this.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Nanashi.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Nanashi.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Nanashi.

    I would like to see some of the ideas mentioned above, but for sure I would like to see added:

    1) Vehicle MGs reduced in effectiveness – especially co-axial and hull mounted MGs on tanks and other enclosed vehicles.

    2) Forward observer units (Artillery and Air) are given the following restrictions: Not front-line combat units: Forward observer units can’t assault into close quarters. They will fight in close quarters if assaulted. In addition, they are ignored for the purposes of determining control of objectives.

    3) Spotters have the following restriction added: Spotters are ignored for the purposes of determining control of objectives.

    4) More smoke rules, but still keeping it simple. Rules for vehicle smoke projectors, smoke grenades, allow some other guns to be able to fire smoke, and not just “all howitzers and mortars” – oh, and not just indirect fire, but also add rules for direct fire. Basically include some common ways WW2 combat troops made smoke. Contrary to popular belief, combat forces had multiple ways to make smoke (even tanks like the Panzer IV and Sherman had smoke shells), and for one reason or another some countries used smoke a lot more often than most gamers realize.

    5) Change the rule for Firing Smoke (p.97) to a random direction and distance if the shell does not land on target. Maybe make the distance a D6+6 instead of 12”.

    6) Snipers being adjusted somehow so that they are tone down a little, or cost more points to get. Sometimes, snipers seem way too powerful in a game of Bolt Action.

    7) Would be nice to see the “Different Methods for Activating Units” and “Bolt Action Alliance Mission Pack” included, or at least added as optional choices for players to pick and choose. See:

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Kar98k.

    Make Volksturm/Partisan options have all the weapons options the British Home Guard gets as a baseline (pistols, shotguns and more stuff). Half the fun of fielding such irregulars is being able to give them weird mixes of weapons and still make sense.

    A minor one that just occurred to me: Make US Paratroopers (and maybe late war marines in a theater selector) have access to Johnson Machine Guns as LMGs instead of the M1919a6. At over 30 pounds the M1919a6, is absolutely not an LMG, just a lighter MMG but the Johnson is a legitimate historic LMG used by US paratroopers.

    Maybe “sub-armies” with alternate national rules instead of just limiting to theater selection, with restrictions on what infantry can be taken? Examples could include Imperial Japanese Navy (instead of Imperial Japanese Army), SS (instead of Wehrmacht), and maybe US Marines (instead of the Army most assume). Commonwealth and Chinese already kinda work this way.

    Alan Hamilton

    I would very much like a bit more emphasis on rule writing.  At the moment “rules” and “fluff” are jumbled together making it difficult to find a “rule”.  Could we please have the book divided into a Historical section(s) with all the “fluff” and “Hollywoodisms” in there and a section just devoted to the core rules in a logical way.

    On the subject of poor ammunition it is recorded in many places that German manufactured small arms ammunition of the late war had steel cases.  These were lacquered to resist rust.  Unfortunately for the shooters this lacquer melted when the rounds were fired leading to frequent jams.  There are reports that a 1944/45 rifleman had a rate of fire similar to a Landwehr musketeer of 1815 and of soldiers using entrenching tools and mallets to free jammed breeches. So a Rule inflicting jams late war would be realistic.  The MG42 with its high rate of fire being particularly prone this and any other defect in the cartridges. So some sort of rule reflecting this.


    That’s a gross over exaggeration (if even remotely historic). The quickest way to disprove it is to point out that lacquered steel case ammo is still used today, primarily with Soviet pattern small arms. If there was any issue, it’s the MG42 being finicky and fragile.

    Alan Hamilton

    Exaggeration it may be but then the exaggeration was made by the German users and also manufacturers who printed “Nur Für Gewehr” on the boxes. Steel cases were difficult to get right. The label “Für Gewehr” or “Nur Für Gewehr” basically means that function firing of this lot showed problems (usually stuck cases in the chamber; Hülsenklemmer in German and melted lacquer attracting dirt or clogging working parts) in MG34, especially when the barrel was hot. In peacetime conditions it would have been rejected.  On the other hand “Für MG” means that this lot showed no problems during function firing in MG34. It basically told the troops: set aside this lot for use in machine guns, because it works well. Do not waste it by issuing it to rifle carrying soldiers

    But then other major exaggerations are permitted – extra die roll for all German MGs not just the MG42.

    Please do not try to equate modern peacetime produced ammunition with mass produced ammunition from resource starved wartime factories staffed by starving slave labour.  The “acceptable” quality standard of ammunition is quite different in war.  Especially so in Nazi Germany in 1944-45.


    Germans were hardly the only ones with questionable ammo lots during the wars. World War era bolt actions were absolutely designed with cartridge failures like ruptured cases in mind. “Questionable Ammo” as an option to reduce the cost of last levy troops by giving them Stoppages would be reasonable.

    invisible officer

    The steel cases got used in WW I and in 1918 the problems in rifles had been no more existing in larger scale. The trick was a reduction of the charg and a special “legierung” – It was not to be used im MG. It was possible to do a special MG Version but it was prefered to reserve brass cases for them.

    Being an old German military historian I was lucky to know men like Morawietz, he was from Heereswaffenamt and played a big role there with his CO Eckardt.  For example in Wa Prü 2. Following his death I got a lot from his collection of documents and books. (I loved to be at his home talking, his wife made great cakes)  He was known as Nestor of German Waffenkunde.  Famous as expert and author.

    In WW II there are no significant production quality problems, I guess your sources (I fear books, not original  “Quellen”= sources ) mixed up the wars. In 45 the 7,9 mm amo in army depots was 491.700.000,  In 44 it was 3.862.300.000, so we see a strong reduction. That was caused by loosing factories and still high quality checks, slowing down production. But stil enough for the fighting.

    Forced workers rarely dared to produce badly, the risk was far too high. End Control was too good. And the lot was tracable to the maker if something happened at the front. It was Germany, everything numbered. A lot of the stories of sabotage are just that, stories invented post war. Esp. peoples from the East got not seen as forced but as traitors by mother country. So many invented stories of sabotage to survive the treatment.

    There was intended bad production of vehicles like RSO in factories outside Germany. And sometimes a motor for planes got some exra metal filings inside. But for example the Stories of V1 and V2 sabotage are mostly fantasy. The system itself was fragile enough. Soviet copies made post 45 had the same problms without sabotage

    That Germany had big production quality problems in 44/45 is a myth.   They lacked the numbers but the items had still high quality. That myth was invented as explanation by old Nazis to give a reason for loosing.

    One of my most liked  true stories is Alkett in Berlin Spandau.  With the Red army just a few kilometers away they did not deliver Sturmgeschütze that had welding seems not perfectly cleaned up.   You can read it in Alkett archive.


    At Eastern Front the Soviets “left” German 7,9mm amo packed in originally looking packings from time to time in retreats. That amo was constructed to burst the weapon and injure or kill the user. I have lists of the packages used, following the first”accidents” the Wehrmacht published them and warned against the use of amo of unknown source. The lists are also published decades ago.


    What could be done to make light anti-tank guns and anti-air more useful? Currently they’re rare because they eat a slot used for a very useful howitzer.

    Light AT might be doable with the three in one slot thing since it would mirror real usage (overlapping fields of fire), but that might be overkill for light howitzer. Maybe only one spotter per howitzer fielded this way? Could also drop the cost of standalone AT guns.

    Anti-air seems a bit harder though. Short of giving it its own slot, I’m not sure how to make them work.

    Oh and a small thing: Reword Fire and Maneuver so it doesn’t specify the rifle needed and works for all Americans with “Rifles” other than snipers. As currently worded, a model with a Johnson Rifle wouldn’t benefit without a bunch of extra text. Also wouldn’t work for an M2 Carbine or M3 Carbine since it says “M1 Carbine”, but M3 was bulky enough I could see it deliberately excluded (sniper with lower range, but no night fighting penalties) and M2 Carbine would be an Assault Rifle (which already has Assault) if it differed statistically.


    RE: light AT & Light howitzers – instead of making them better you decrease the avaliblity of the heavier tanks…and /or split the war into early mid & late so their cost makes them more attractive.

    Alter HE to a flat +1 PEN v Infantry except if under the centre of the template…. hmmm…. or make it +1 PEN if you have already hit the vehicle in that arc a previous turn (accumlative) on a 4+ (modified by crews experiance) so PEN +4 light AT gun hitting the front arc of a medium tank a 2nd time would get an extra +1 on a 3+,  if it hits a 3rd time then its +2 :p

    RE AA:  again I’d look at either RoF or making airstrikes more of a valid option

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Nat.

    Does anyone actually use anti-tank grenades at current pricing? I’ve heard even Soviet players, who have them for free on their infantry squad, don’t really get use out of them. Perhaps drop their cost all the way down to “+1 per 2 units (round up)” or give them serious buffs/rework?

    Edit: Actually, I think it may be worthwhile to note all the options that rarely, if ever, get used. Seems like it would identify everything overpriced and underpowered.
    Senior officers
    Anti-tank grenades
    Light mortar team
    3 man officer teams (due to losing small team rule)
    Air Observer (as much a victim of really bad rules as it is power per point)
    MMG/HMG teams

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Nanashi.
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