Pinning and the Assault Order in Bolt Action

One aspect of Bolt Action version 2 that has always seemed odd to me is how pinning and assaults work together.

The Problem

Imagine the scenario, a squad has three pins from taking fire from a medium machine gun, a sniper and an enemy squad. The squad wishes to make an assault. As things stand, simply take an order test and if you pass, remove one pin and then you are free to assault any unit you wish within 12 inches.

When assaulting the number of pins a unit possesses has no impact on how well the unit is able to assault. And yet, if the unit were merely firing at another unit, the number of pins has a major impact on their performance. If the unit above were firing instead of assaulting they would have a +2 penalty to hit from the remaining pins on top of any other factors like cover and distance.

How can a unit be so massively affected when executing a fire order and yet the unit getting out of their fox holes and charging at the enemy apparently has no effect whatsoever.

The Solution

One of two solutions would make sense to me:

  • Any unit that has one or more pins after the order test is passed is not permitted to assault; or
  • Add the number of pins onto the roll to wound each squad member rolls.


With luck the folks over at Warlord will be beavering away writing Bolt Action version 3. I hope they can take a look at the rules around assaulting and, in my opinion, make them fit better into the way Bolt Action works.


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