Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bolt Action and Ready Player One

I play a lot of different games and if you are like me you struggle with the same thing I do. You have so many games but so little time that eventually you know you aren't going to get to them all, literally, before you die. So my solution has been to parse down a bit and try to focus on just like...fifty of them.

Yup, right around fifty games should be doable.


So anyway one of the games that I've always had some interest in because of my general interest in historical war gaming has been Bolt Action. I've always liked the scale and after obtaining a rule book for free from volunteering a few years ago I really liked the rules. I've brought it up a few times to my friends and I've slowly grown a British and German collection to  have a little bit to play with.

Recently a local game store began to carry the game so I have been able to decidedly add to what I have and am on my way to a nice British force. In fact I recently completed my Cromwell tank...
She is a beauty isn't she? I haven't dirtied up the tracks and rollers yet but i'll get to that probably. It's my first piece of British armor in my entire model collection so it holds a kind of semi-special place you know.

Also a local toy soldier shop is beginning to sell Bolt Action and I'm painting up their demo set for them. I've completed the Hanomag and so of course I've got to show it off...
A fine piece even if I do say so myself. I like how the kit has troops you can put in the back but don't necessarily have to put into the back.

I'm looking forward to getting to play out some nice mid-war games against a local player. I need to add to my Germans since he is also a British enthusiast but my main collection will be the Brits for sure. To date I have a nice collection that rolls in around 700 points if they are all regular that includes;

2nd Lieutenant with one rifleman tagging along
Artillery forward observer with a rifleman tagging along with him too
Flame thrower team
Anti-tank team
Light mortar team
2 rifle sections each with a LMG and a couple SMGs
"Missy" the Cromwell tank

I could and probably will split the two rifle sections into four rifle sections since I have 10 soldiers in each. That will give me more order dice and tactical options.

My real hope though, if i'm completely honest, is to find someone to begin the collection of Black Powder American War of Independence with me ;)

The war gaming aside I just finished a fantastic book according to who you are. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a really good read if you are around my age, Generation X so to speak. It is filled with my childhood and teenage years. The material and references strikes deep into my nostalgia and made me smile and feel like a man filled with something valuable which in general is something I don't feel at this point in my life. The writing is really solid and enjoyable but if you are too young or too old you might not value some of the references which isn't necessarily a bad thing it just means you won't get as much out of it.
I will say something for Mr. Cline though. A small part of me hates him and I think I always will. He has, "literaturely", cashed in on my nostalgia. I don't hold that against him. I just wish it had been me. Who wouldn't feel this way. He has taken a childhood that is almost the same as mine and crafted it into a beautiful story that had an emotional affect on me which not all writing does. Further I try to write short stories and fail so much at times it feels as if there is no point to keep trying.

It is a wonderful book. Not all books can make you both admire and want to murder the same person, I hand Mr. Cline an honest to goodness pile full of acclaim for that. Even if it is just from some middle aged blogger lost in mediocrity. Even token counts doesn't it? And if you read the book you'll get that.


  1. Nice job on the half-track and tank, Art! The half track does look like a nice kit. I may have to pick up a few to mechanize some of German units.

    A friend gave me a copy of Ready Player One a year ago. A couple months back another friend offered me his copy. When I told him I already had one he wondered why the heck I hadn't read it yet!? A few more friends have since recommended it as well. I guess I really should just sit down and read it... With a title like "Ready Player One" I assumed it would be mostly about video games - which, while most of my friends were really into, I never really was... But I have been told that it is not (just about video game culture).

    1. It's not just about video games even though they are prominent in the story, and if you're right around 40 i'm pretty sure you will be swamped in the pop culture references. Do you know the name Acererak? If you do you'll find plenty in the book for you :)