Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bolt Action- Kiwis in Italy

One area where I think Bolt Action shines is those campaigns where armour was not so dominant. I really don't see me gaming the War in Burma or the campaign in Italy using FoW as both were campaigns where terrain meant that more often than not it was the Poor Bloody Infantry that bore the brunt of the fighting. In my opinion FoW with its focus on heavily reinforced and armoured "companies" often struggles with these campaigns but the infantry-cerntric engagements that typified the fighting in these theatres (broad generalisation I know) is easier to represent in Bolt Action.

With that in mind one force I've been keen to make is a New Zealand platoon suitable for Cassino or the war in Italy in 1943-44. The new Perry 8th Army metal infantry in trousers rather than shorts was all the encouragement I needed. I bought one each of the four packs available to form the core of a NZ platoon in Italy.

Another reason I wanted to do the kiwis is I love the camo of the Sherman IIIs that they used in '43 and also as it is a great excuse to get a Staghound armoured car- the coolest looking British armoured car as far as I'm concerned, and one used by the NZ divisional cavalry in Italy.

I've made a basic list I'm aiming towards. The boyes will be replaced by a  PIAT (for later '44 games) as soon as I can (in fact the boyes was only added to replace the vickers I intended to field so that I could squeeze two more riflemen into the force. The boyes is probably a bit anachronistic and is probably more effective in Bolt Action than it was in reality. I've also added a 6 pdr for AT defence. I was tempted to get a 25pdr but  having a 25pdr at the sharp end and on table seems wrong for this particular force so the free observer will  be used to represent artillery support.

Here is what I'm looking at running at 750 pts:

2nd lieutenant and sergeant
free artillery observer
3x 9 man sections (each with SMG and Bren- not fielding brens just feels wrong to me, points  arguments be damned, and to tell the truth Ive found LMGs to be invaluable in all my forces to date)
1x 3" mortar
1x Boyes ATR
1x 6pdr
1x staghound

I've also decided to use the standard reinforced platoon as the compulsory choices of 2x inexperienced sections seemed wrong for the Kiwis in Italy.

Here is the force so far:

Sniper team- the kneeling rifleman and a spotter converted from the Perry plastics (by adding some greenstuff to turn his shorts into trousers.
 Tonight's effort. A 9 man section painted and based. The bases are drying and will be ready to paint tomorrow night.

  And a 7 man section whose bases I completed tonight.
 I really like the bren team, with the loader handing a fresh magazine to the gunner.
As usual the Perry's are a pleasure to paint. Painting a couple of their plastic 8th Army figs to bulk out the sections made me realise how much softer the details of webbing etc are on the plastic figures and how much easier the metals are to paint.

I've ordered a Blitzkrieg Miniatures Staghound and a 6pdr and Sherman V from Warlord Games. the sherman will sub in as a Sherman III for larger games. I also need to get another sections worth of Perry metals but in the meantime will use the 8th Army in shorts for the third section.


  1. Great looking Kiwis and terrain

  2. Both they and their bases look terrific.

  3. Awesome. I was very happy to see this post. I agree about your view on infantry games in FOW. It just doesn't get that detail of the PBI in rough terrain scraps.

  4. Agreed and bolt action keeps the action fun and both sides guessing throughout so makes for an engaging infantry game. Not so keen on the new tank version- might as well play FoW IMO (or just use part of your FoW collection) :)