The safe route for Warlord Games would have been to release a weird war source book for Bolt Action. Add some rules for flying infantry, some new units and weapons, and a few scenarios, and they could have had a viable and fun vehicle for their diesel punk alternative history and the associated miniatures. Instead Warlord, in a joint venture with Clockwork Goblin, did something much more brave: they created a whole new game, Konflikt ’47.
Anyone familiar with Bolt Action or its stablemate Beyond the Gates of Antares will recognise the core mechanics of order dice and random turns. But Konflikt ’47 has some distinct mechanics that really help bring this kooky new world to the table in a fun, balanced way.
It is a very clever and rather fun addition to the range. The two largest rules changes are to the assault rules and adding reaction orders. Close combat is still brutal, but the addition of a shooting round as units close to assault means that specialist close combat units like Totenkorp and Shrekwulfen do not automatically dominate this part of the game. Similarly, highly mobile flying units don’t get it all their own way as units can now deliver reaction fire and make other reaction type orders that keep generals at the table and making decisions all the time. All these rules interact in elegant and subtle ways that open up interesting new gaming possibilities.
Existing army books also work with the Konflikt rules. My friend Brad and I tried this out one evening at Games Laboratory. I took a Tiger, some SS vets in armour and a truck load of zombies. Brad took a Japanese list with no weird stuff. The game was compelling (albeit with some page flipping as we took in the new rules), and the Japanese won the day. Turns out medium howitzers can really mess up your day whether you start the day living or already dead!
It was nice to be rolling some dice again, and I think Konflikt 47 is a fun addition to the Warlord Games universe.
Just a shame that K47 is built on BA1, rather than BA2 which has been released at pretty much the same time – almost necessitating a “Day-1 patch” and almost guaranteeing a revised/2e edition within about 2 years…
In a way it is surprising, but K47 is a separate system: the shooting round in close combat and reactions to orders are unique to the weird war setting. I don’t think there is any additional friction: people will be free to mix and match (e.g. add officer orders or HE templates to K47), I think it will still work.