I do love me some Bolt Action and the scenarios in the book cover some different tactical challenges. However one scenario that stands out for me is Maximum Attrition. The object is to kill as many of your opponent’s units as possible with your troops walking in on turn one. It’s a throwback to 40K where you are just out to kill the enemy army.
Now as a first game scenario, maximum attrition isn’t too bad. The objective is simple (pile up the bodies) and you get to see how everything works. However after playing it a couple of times, it’s become a re-roll for me when deciding what scenario to play.
Not to poop completely on 40K there is a fun scenario in the older editions called Cleanse. The object is to take and hold table quarters for victory points. Tinkering a bit more with that concept, I figured a similar victory condition could be worked up for Bolt Action.
The end result is Secure the Sector. Players have a limited set up in a table quarter with reinforcements coming in on the edges of their deployment zone. The objective is to claim as many table quarters as possible by the end of the game. You get more points claiming quarters on your opponent’s side of the table. In the case of a tie for points, the victor is determined by the number of surviving units.
Secure the sector focuses on advancing and taking large sections of territory. You still have to eliminate units but it’s tagged with pushing forward and holding positions. In my experience, maximum attrition comes down to a waiting game. One player finally makes the advance and if they can’t come to grips with enough of the enemy quickly, they get chewed up with pins and counter assaults. I like how this scenario encourages you to capture areas outside your deployment zone, all the while trying to minimize your losses. Another big wildcard with how the scenario plays are reserves using flanking maneuvers. It can make those players that turtle up in their deployment zone, suddenly have units contesting their table quarter at the end of the game.
The couple of times I’ve playtested this, we’ve had a lot of fun. Hope folks enjoy this scenario at their tables and use it as a replacement for maximum attrition.