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Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bolt Action Army Supplements

I recently received the British and Imperial Japanese Army supplements for Bolt Action. I like both for very different reasons.

The Commonwealth

As a Yank, I am fairly ignorant of Commonwealth force structure and accomplishments beyond the well known campaigns- North Africa, Normandy, etc. I haven't read much on the Burma campaign, but my reading on the Pacific and visit to the excellent Australian War Museum in Canberra had broadened my knowledge of the Aussies' efforts in Papua New Guinea.

I bought the British supplement on a bit of a whim, thanks to Amazon marketing, hoping it would cover the Pacific more than the American supplement. I was disappointed on that point, but pleased with the rules on other points.


US kit is rather standardized and boring.   I never knew the Brits had so much variety in vehicles. This point alone makes the army an appealing topic. I appreciate the fact that Warlord did not obviously design the list around their planned model releases. I doubt they will produce this many vehicles given market realities, leaving room for scratch building and kitbashing.

National Characteristics

The Commonwealth fielded a diverse force. I appreciate how BA provides a range of options for the Army specific capabilities. As a minor gripe, I do think a matrix that matched the characteristics to each commonwealth force would be great. I know such a matrix would generate a lot of debate, but I suspect the Aussies, Canadians, Kiwis, and other nationalities would all appreciate highlighting their individual strengths.


The list for Brit commando raids into Europe is inspiring. I suspect that many tourney players will avoid it, but I am a sucker for light infantry and special ops tactics. This list almost pulled me off my Pacific game plan,

Pacific Woes

I will not belabor the point that the Pacific War theatre selectors remain limited. Also, the Burma list appears to give the Chindits too much heavy support. Nonetheless, we are free to build out Aussie and other forces using the units identified in the supplement.

Will post my two cents on the Japanese supplement soon. My connection or Blogger is acting flaky right now.

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