Monday, March 25, 2013

Bolt Action Australian 1000pt Far East Army

I bought the new Armies of Great Britain army book for Bolt Action over the weekend.
Its nicely laid out, and has rules and armies for the entire war.  This goes from BEF early war Europe, the African campaign, Normandy, Market Garden, and even the far east is split into 2 parts, the fall of Singapore (early, 1941/42), and the Burma Campaign (later).  It also "covers" all commonwealth troops but really that's assumed in the special rules that you can give your army (so no Australian vs Canadian vs Polish special rules as FOW does).  This was by design and allows you to decide how you think the different nationalities showed themselves.

My Australian 28mm troops fit perfectly with a reinforced platoon of the Burma Campaign.
The entire army is veteran.
Probably give them the "Rapid Fire" special rule giving the a bit more firepower.

1 x 1st Lt commander - 90pts

1 x Medic, 30pts
1 x Forward Arty Observer, free for Brits

1 x Sections, 9 Men, 1 NCO+SMG, + LMG, SMG, 156pts
2 x Sections, 9 Men, 1 NCO+SMG, + 2xLMG, SMG - 176x2 = 352
1 x Sniper Team, 65pts
1 x Med Mortar Team, 65pts
1 x Med MMG, 65pts
1 x Matilda Frog, 186pts

Total: 1009pts

And I have all the parts that I need.  I would have preferred to use the regular Matilda tank with them, but that isn't allowed in the far east.  Only the flame throwing FROG/Murry that the Australians used. Really looking forward to when the Japanese book comes out so I can buy a proper tank for them.

If I find that they need some more AT power, then I might drop the Lt down to 2nd, maybe make the Frog Regular, and add a PIAT section (although technically I don't think the Australians used PIATs at all, and certainly not in the jungle).

I will say the army books seem a bit "generic", but there are some special rules in there which make it worth it.  Generally speaking, veterans are the same the world over.  And all infantry sections has an NCO, 10 guys, and a machine gun.  The real value of the books come from the vehicle section which contains all the different vehicles that each country used.

I will probably also have to do a Fall of Singapore army for Kokoda, but will give the green Aussies lots of defensive cover etc. against experienced Japanese troops, or give the Japanese hard objectives to get, and the Australians play a rear guard action.  It will also have to be a smaller army since I don't have any more.  No tanks in that one either (maybe Milne Bay)..


  1. Hey mate - nice list - do you know if the Aussies used armoured cars or similar in Burma?

    I have heard the PIAT is not very strong. Are AT-Rifles a possibility?

  2. Hey Gumbi,
    I know the Australians had AC in the middle east/Africa, but I suspect ACs weren't really usable in the jungle. They did have access to Matildas and Stuart tanks which were used in bunker clearing, and because they were tracked allowed them to travel through mud. But even the Stuart commanders complained of burning their feet because the Stuarts engines were pushed to the max and the engines over heated.

    As for PIATs, as far as I know Australians didn't have PIATS, and generally PIATs in games like this are rated the same as Bazookas but with a shorter range. Against Japanese light tanks, I'm pretty sure an AT Rifle would work fine.

    I'm travelling to Historicon this year, and there's a Kokoda Campaign early Friday morning so hopefully I'll see Ralph Honner's "Chocco" soldiers hold fast!