There are heaps of missions in Bolt Action including a dozen in the main rule book. Despite this choice missions can start to feel a bit stale. Tournaments especially carry this risk as organizers seem to focus on the most balanced of the missions. I understand why, but it can make things start to feel a bit same same.
A simple way to mix this up is to add a mission special rule. Some players hate this, as some random rule messes with their carefully crafted list. I’m not one of them. I like adding a little twist. Not too many. I don’t want too much extra to remember during a game. Here are a few ideas on adding a little something new to existing Bolt Action missions.
New officer: A new officer has arrived; he seems OK but he doesn’t know anyone’s name yet and it is causing some confusion.
The commanding officer begins the game with a pin.
O-Group: There is an O-Group meeting, and the old man is back at company HQ when the battle starts.
All officers (lieutenants, captains, etc.) must start the game in reserve and cannot be deployed on the table or come on as part of a first wave.
Supply problems: Supplies have been delayed causing fuel shortages.
After deployment but before turn one, roll for each vehicle in your list. On a 1 it gains the Fuel Shortage rule. Vehicles that start in reserve may re-roll the supply problem check.
Last day of the war. The war is nearly over, and nobody wants to be the last person to die. Even experienced troops are reluctant to press home attacks.
After deployment but before the first die is drawn roll for each unit in your list. On a 4+ it gains a pin. Vet and/or fanatics may re-roll. Units in reserve roll when they first move onto the table.
Dutch Courage A cache of liquor has been discovered and drunk. The unit is still under the influence when the battle starts.
To represent their drunk condition, a single unit receives both the Shirker and Fanatic special rules.
New Orders Local commanders can’t always see the big picture. Assets must be redeployed to a more critical mission.
A support asset is being reassigned. Randomly (and secretly) select one unit in your list from the following: tank, armoured car, or artillery. Following from turn 4 onwards it must be withdrawn from the battle by moving off the board from your table edge. If successfully withdrawn this unit is worth 1VP at the end of the game to the owning player.
What do you think? Are extra rules the road to tears and unnecessary complexity or can they help build a fun narrative?