If you go into the woods today

This last Sunday saw Operation Bear, the largest Bolt Action tournament held in Melbourne so far. Thirty players assembled at Good Games for a cracking day of gaming. The hook of the day was 1,111 points using a single reinforced platoon (and no theater selectors) extended to allow one additional 0-1 choice provided nothing was repeated. So, you couldn’t take two Panzer III, but you could, for example, take a Tiger I and a Wirblewind. A silly example, of course, because that is almost 600 points, more than half of your budget.

So, of course, that’s what I did.


There is a theme to the list. After the fall of Monte Cassino and the breakout from ANZIO, the 508 Heavy Panzer Battalion was used in penny-packets in support of 10th Army as they retreated to new defensive positions north of Rome. My force contained Heer Grenadiers, a unit of Fallschirmjager and a Tiger I accompanied by its anti-air asset, a Wirblewind.
This is somewhat of fudge, since while Tigers were often defended by flak units, I don’t think Wirblewinds were deployed in Italy, or even available in June/July 1944. But I’ve got the model and I had never deployed it before.

It was a fun day. There were three games, two with objectives and one for kill points.
I feel this mix is pretty much optimal for three-game tournaments and encourages a more balanced approach to list building (or at least discouraging single-trick lists).
By the luck of the draw I faced two other German Players (who I beat), and a Polish Airborne list (who carried the day). Three fun opponents, three good games, a generally good buzz and lots of beautiful armies to look at on the day. It is hard to ask for much more.

If you want to hear more about Operation Bear and things Bolt Action, I’m one of the guests on the Cast Dice Podcast discussing the day in more detail.

Maybe I’ll see you at tournament sometime.


3 thoughts on “If you go into the woods today

  1. That actually looks really cool. I haven’t been in to Good Games Melbourne since October 2016 or so, and I was a super-rare visitor when I got into town as the place was a giant toilet that was about as minis-unfriendly as a place could be (MTG or GTFO). I’ve actually never bothered to go back when I’ve been in the city since then. The photos in the link you posted show a place that looks reasonably clean and well lit. Something major must have happened in there.
    The Wirbelwind looks great, and your write-up sounds pretty fun as well. I should probably sort out a list for BA sometime and get it painted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the shop changed hands recently. It has definitely become more mini friendly in the last few months. Having played in all the city venues recently (that have tables), this is my pick of the cbd venues at the moment.
      BA is good fun. The game isn’t all that complex and the current crowd are pretty easy to get along with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wrote up a reply on my tablet, but it seems to have gotten lost/not sent. I need to try to crank the BA forces up in my painting rotation. What’s happened instead of army building has been more and more of a focus on finishing the older stuff that’s already started, regardless of what it actually is. Good to hear that Good Game has become more of an accommodating venue. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in town.

        Liked by 1 person

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