Episode 49 – Bolt Action Vs Chain of Command

Dave Hunter returns to the podcast to delicately assist with this potentially divisive show topic: BA Vs CoC. The aim though is not really to decide which is the best game, but to compare and contrast the two leading systems for 28mm WWII wargames. Each has a very distinct ‘feel’ as a rules system and will provide a very different gaming experience.

We discuss key gaming principles, core rules mechanics, scale, time, force composition, etc – as well as looking at the best ways to approach each game in order to get the best out of it.

Contact Sam on the downorder.com Facebook page or follow @downorder on Twitter.

14 thoughts on “Episode 49 – Bolt Action Vs Chain of Command”

  1. Personal preference, I have played both games, but prefer Chain of Command. Full disclosure, I game primarily in 15mm, though I have 28mm WWII figs. (US, Brits).

    1. Yes, my preference is for CoC at the moment (if that wasn’t obvious) and I’d be keen to see it played in 15mm, as I’ve only done 28mm so far.

  2. CoC isn’t an IGO UGO System.
    Even a hint that it is is pretty misleading.
    I’ve played CoC since it was released and I’m confused how you could suggest CoC is a IGO UGO System,…

    1. Hi Scott – I certainly don’t think that our intention was to be misleading. Perhaps we have different understandings of what an IGYG system is: I think of it to be a system where players alternate turns (or phases in CoC) in the game, where they might be activating some or all of their force and the other player has a period of being relatively passive. Typically when I’ve played CoC, one player is active for 10-15 minutes, then they other player takes over to play out their phase. The length of a phase obviously changes depending on stage of the game and the result of the Command Dice roll. I think this is markedly different to games like Sharp Practice and Bolt Action, where you have a random draw and players are usually active/passive for much shorter spells of time. I think both systems are fine and in the podcast I was trying to get across how well I think the Phase/Turn system works in CoC. Sam.

      1. Hi Sam
        I would also like to address your co commentators in relation to British Infantry Minor Tactics. That is to say:
        No, British infantry were not suicidal maniacs who ‘Charged MG34s’. Occasionally there would have been times where poor decisions would have been made but to suggest there was whole scale disregard for doctrine that had been developed and refined since 1918 based on hard learnt lessons strikes me as ‘unlikely’. If you guys have evidence that suggests that there was some kind of collective or systematic disconnect from doctrine I’d love to see it.

    2. It is IGO UGO from the standpoint that one side rolls it’s command dice, then the other side does the same. Obviously rolling multiple sixes changes that, but eventually the other side will get to go. Other than activating overwatch, there’s not much the non-phasing player can do during the phasing players turn.

      If you want a game that’s not IGO UGO, check out Crossfire (if you can find a copy). One side keeps going until it loses the initiative. The non-phasing player has a lot of chances to react while the phasing player acts.

  3. Thank you for the great pod cast, it was good to learn about the differences between Bolt action and Chain of Command. I enjoy playing Chain of Command both at a campaign and single game level.
    cheers John

  4. A little late to the party but I very much enjoyed the podcast.

    We’ve played a great deal of Bolt Action but we use it as a WW2 semi-skirmish game system with orders of battle as opposed to lists and scenarios as opposed to 6 turn missions.

    Using BA 2nd edition with some of the additions from Konflikt 47 makes it quite a different game than an X number of points, tournament style game.

      1. Friends locally used the reaction elements from K47 and call it Bolt Reaction. I played the same scenario with RAW and Bolt Reaction and it did help the defenders a bit being able to fire or move in reaction to the attacker.

        I’m good playing it either way.

        I play in 15mm and enjoy it very much. I also play historical scenarios when possible and less focus on points. BTW, I need to highlight my minis to help them stand out a bit, and also would like to make it easier to distinguish leaders and special weapons.

        I like CoC because it’s designed to be more historical with grittier detail. But it’s a brain burner thinking how to best use your resources. Which is great, but playing a quick solo game is tougher. But I dig the supplements, the free army lists and the whole lardie vibe. I use the army lists to create more realistic formations while playing BA.

        I appreciate the comparison and the show.

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