Bolt Action Campaign Case Blue

The next supplement for Bolt Action is on our table - Campaign Case Blue, covering the summer offensive into the southern region of the Ostfront.

Bolt Action Campaign - Case Blue

Campaign Case Blue was released in late October 2023, much early than initially anticipated. As the communicated release date was January 9th of 2024. Along with Campaign Stalingrad and Road to Berlin this book completes the coverage on the Eastern Front even further.

This book goes the full length of 176 pages, like many of the recent supplements. A pretty thick addition to your wargaming library, but this is quickly explained, as you receive 19 scenarios and new content for six (!) armies, including the new army list for Slovakian forces. The book is available either as a physical copy for 25 GBP / 30 EUR, or eBook / e-Pub for 20 GBP.

A trio of authors wrote with book, with Alexander Smith (who already wrote Campaign Stalingrad), Ryan Smith and Michael Ovensik (adding the Slovakian army list). As usual direct customers and certain whole traders have access to a special miniatures that is added to this release, an Italian Alpini soldier, who was one of the multi-national forces fighting against communism on the Eastern Front.

Bolt Action Campaign - Case Blue

What is it about?

This campaign supplement covers Case Blue / Fall Blau, which took place between December 1941 to July 1943. It specialy focuses on the Axis offensives through Eastern Ukraine and into the North Caucasus. Case Blue was a new plan, that was developed after the failure of Barbarossa to defeat the Soviet Union. This plan involved pushing through the southern Soviet Union to reach the Caucasus and secure the oil fields that Germany so desperately needed. While initially there was great success and sweeping advances as the autumn began, the Axis advances began to falter in the wake of Soviet resistance and counter attacks, culminating the battles in and around Stalingrad.

As such the main topics of the this book are the fall of Sevastopol and the Soviet amphibious counter-attack (Dec 1941 - June 1942), the following (Second) Battle of Kharkov (May 1942), the later attemps by the Germans to capture the Soviet oil fields in the Causasus Mountains (Operation Edelweiss - August 1942), the destruction of Italian and Hungarian armies during Operation Little Saturn (December 1942) until the German defence of the Kuban region (February to July 1943).

All these operations weren't just fought between the German and Soviet Armies, but involved further nations like the Romanians, Italians, Hungarians and Slovakians. In case you are missing the Spanish Division Blue, they were not part of the Army Group South / Heeresgruppe Süd, but Army Group Centre / Heeresgruppe Mitte, later reassigned to Heeresgruppe Nord and not involved in Case Blue but Operation Barbarossa and the Siege of Leningrad as well as Battle of Stalingrad.

Bolt Action Campaign - Case Blue

First Impression

I don't need to waste any words on the high quality layout. You know that by now, that Warlord Games and Osprey Games are cooperating on a high level, bringing miniatures, illustrations and information together in a very appealing way. Almost 180 pages, a lot of new content, new units, even a new army list and various theatre selectors.

The book itself covers the campaign in four chapters; Crimea, Case Blue, Operation Edelweiss and The Kuban. That's 19 scenarios on the first 90 pages of this book. I was a bit surprised that this supplement doesn't cover any Legends of Bolt Action, as many of the last books did. But honestly, I can live without that, for me they aren't the focus and in platoon level individual characters don't stand out that much anyway. To give you an overview on what new additions the several army lists receive, let us start with the Soviets. Many of these can be used in generic platoons and not just theatre selectors or the specific scenarios. An exception to this is the addition for the first scenario, a Soviet Light Cruiser (Krasny Kavkaz), but you gain access to Maxim Gorki Turrets. Overall the addition is navy / marine heavy, as you get Naval Forward Observers for HQ, Landing Barges and MO-4 Patrol Boats as transports, but broader additions to infantry and weapon teams with the Anti-Tank Rifle Squad, Frontnik AT Rifle Team and a Mountain Division Squad. The German forces already have broad additions to their army lists, so in this case they are very specific towards the operations with a Siege Gun Forward Observer, Waffen-SS Wiking Panzergrenadier, Ostlegionen and Gebirgspioniere Squad.
While the Italians received a lot of add-ons with their dual campaign books, the operation on the Eastern Front brought in various new units for them as well. Mostly infantry with the Fucilieri Squad, Alpini Squad (for Case Blue), Monte Cervino Ski Squad, Bersaglieri Squad (Case Blue), Blackshirt M Battalion Squad, Savoia Cavalleria Squad and Croatian Legion Squad along with two new artillery options of the  75/32 Modello 37 and Voloire Horse Artillery. Similar for the Hungarians and Romanians, as they are so far a micro-list from the Armies of Italy and the Axies, with some love in the Fortress Budapest book. This means for the Hungarian forces: Second Army Rifle Section, Air Force Alarm Unit, Bicycle/Motorcycle Infantry Section, Motorised Infanfry Section, Flamethrower Team, Huszar Recon Section, Tank Hunters, Mortar Section and Motorcycle Recon Section. A bit smaller was the Romanian update, with an Air Force Forward Observer for the HQ, and a Cavalry Section (Case Blue) and Flamethrower Team as new infantry options. Across these are even multi-national units, which means they are available to not only a single faction, but multiples like the Cossack Squad (Soviet, German and Italian armies) or Stragglers (Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romanian). That's 24 pages of new units!
Followed by the Slovakian forces receiving a full army list, spread across 10 pages. Giving them a decent amount of options, with HQs incl. an artillery observer, various infantry sections including Motorcycles, Dragoon, Paratroopers and even Partisans. The Artillery is a mix of various nations, with howitzers, AT guns up to an 8,8! The vehicles are more in the early war regions with armoured and field cards, and a LT VZ.35/38.

After that, a solid 30 pages of theatre selectors. Most of which are soviet and german, covering the themed lists for the four campaign chapters, so you will see specific lists for Sevastopol, Soviet Airborne Reinforced Platoons, NKVD Motorised Reinforced Platoon for Rostov, among others, and 23rd Panzer Division Reinorced Platoon, Rostov Armoured Kampfgruppe, Brandenburger Recon (!) and Ozereyka Bay Artillery among various others. The Italians receive three new selectors, Italian 8th Army, Italian Savoia Cavalleria and Alpini Corps. With two more for the Hungarians; 2nd Army and 1st Hungarian Armoured Division Reinforced Platoons. Even the Romanians have four new selectors, with the Mountain Corps, Romanian 3rd Army, Ozereyka Bay Coastal Defence Platoon and Kuban Reinforced Platoon. For the Slovakians its a generic as well as  the Mobile Division Reinforced Platoon.

And beyond that, to tie them in closer to the second edition, the Italians, Romanians, Hungarians and Slovakians get updated army special rules. Ranging from improvised Anti-Tank weapons, to the experience their various troops earned over the campaigns and fighting in known terrain. To these are various special rules added, like the weather condition of snow, fitting mountaineers, updated digging in rules - just to name a few - and a very interesting thing, the addition of armoured trains.

Bolt Action Campaign - Case Blue

As mentioned above, the 19 scenarios are covered in the four campaign chapters of this book in chronological order.

  • Scenario 1: The Fedosia Landing (The Crimea)
  • Scenario 2: Wing and a Prayer (The Crimea)
  • Scenario 3: Sevastopol - Fort Maxim Gorky (The Crimea)
  • Scenario 4: Second Battle of Kharkov (Case Blue)
  • Scenario 5: The Bridge at Rostov (Case Blue)
  • Scenario 6: Don Bridgehead (Case Blue)
  • Scenario 7: The Last Cavalry Charge (Case Blue)
  • Scenario 8: Derailed (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 9: Mountain Pass (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 10: Georgian Military Highway (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 11: Little Saturn (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 12: Millerovo (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 13: Saturn Phase II (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 14: Last Stand of the Huszárs (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 15: Avanti Tridentina! (Operation Edelweiss)
  • Scenario 16: Ozereyka Bay (The Kuban)
  • Scenario 17: Operation Neptun (The Kuban)
  • Scenario 18: The Lagoon (The Kuban)
  • Scenario 19: Fortified Town (The Kuban)

How does Case Blue play?

This book provides a very broad gaming experience. The dynamics change, as you have offensives and counter-offensives, along with rural and urban scenarios. From sieges, to city fights, from harbour areas to the mountains.

As such it provides a similar gaming experience as Fortress Budapest, as you have high potential for themed armies. So beside doing something special for the two big armies of the Germans or Soviets, the four smaller nations have a lot of potential with the new additions to their army list shown above. Especially the Italians have a lot of Veteran units added. Along with the mountain and cavalry troops, you have tough options for smaller games, even without the use of heavy tanks. The use of mid-war tank equipment, countered with a lot of anti-tank options, that all of the lists have access to, should provide a very balanced situation.

Bolt Action Campaign - Case Blue

What's next?

That is a bit of mystery. There have been rumours about a third edition of Bolt Action, as the current second edition has been around since 2016. Beyond that I went through the Open Day seminar and such, but couldn't find any hard evidence on the next releases.


By now, with the various, well-made and elaborate campaign supplements for the Eastern Front, you have a lot of gaming content for longer campaigns and events. You could easily link up multiple campaign weekends, to cover the battles in Stalingrad and in this book, just for the years of 1942 and 1943, with the addition of Road to Berlin and Fortress Budapest for the late war content of 1944 and 1945.

Is this book a must-buy? For Germans and Soviets maybe optional, but it is proper value. For the Italians it is the third book that covers their battles in Europe, so if you don't want to be exclusive to the Mediterranean, this book is set. And for the remaining army lists from Italy and the Axies this is a no-brainer, as it adds further units to your themed lists. So unless you're exclusively gaming focused on the Western Front or Pacific, you don't waste any money getting your hands on this book.

I am especially excited about the rules for armoured trains, as I got my hands on some material in the fitting scale, only waiting to be converted. Beyond that, as I mentioned above, this book provides the proper nurturing to move deeper into the rabbit hole, and build something special. For away from the 1st Airborne, Afrikakorps or other army projects you will see multiples of at most events.

There are various sources for further information on the campaign, for example Where the Iron Crosses Grow, CAM 189 - Sevastopol 1942, CAM 254 - Kharkov 1942 or CAM 318 - The Kuban 1943.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. Nice review. I will be picking this up soon.

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