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20Sep/180

Bolt Action Campaign The Western Desert

I have already covered the plastic kits of the Afrika Korps and 8th Army Infantry that came along with this campaign supplement for Bolt Action - Campaign the Western Desert. Now it is time for the book itself.

Bolt Action - Campaign The Western Desert Bolt Action - Campaign The Western Desert

The name already gives it away, this book covers the first chapter between 1940 and 1942 of the Afrikafeldzug or North African Campaign. With 168 pages a rather big book, actually currently the one with the highest page count, pushing The Road to Berlin from his former throne at 148 pages. Warlord Games keeps the price at 19,99 GBP or 30 USD and offers as usual a direct exclusive miniature, in this case the very fitting Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Next to the final cover, with Rommel himself, is the early cover with a British soldier carrying a Bren LMG. Nothing unusual, we already had different covers early among others for Duel in the Sun as well.

18Sep/180

Bolt Action British 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry

As already mentioned with the review of the Afrika Korps box, the Western Desert supplement is supported by two new infantry kits, and here is the second one, the British 8th Army Commonwealth infantry kit.

Bolt Action - British 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry

As these were prepared at the same time, we had the chance to see the 3-Ups at this year's Salute in April 2018. The Africa campaign is something special to many wargamers, especially those with relatives, who fought in that battle. The duel between Montgomery and Rommel is often connected with some kind of chivalry, a mutual respect between both opponents. Surely glorified to some degree, as war is war, but still a somewhat special part of World War 2 and therefore of special interest for many people.

Similar to the Afrika Korps box, who was released 1973 (!) by Airfix, the 8th army plastic kit was even around earlier than this, in the 1960s, so for some of the veterans in our rows, these were among the first toy soldiers they to play battles on the living room floors or kitchen tables. Thus reminding many wargamers to their first memories of this hobby.

17Sep/181

Bolt Action Deutsches Afrika Korps German Grenadiers

Warlord Games released for Bolt Action the latest campaign supplement, The Western Desert, and this time the book is accompanied by not just one but two new plastic kits. We're talking about the Afrika Korps Grenadiers we're going to review today and the 8th Army Commonwealth Infantry we'll see here as well.

Bolt Action - Deutsches Afrika Korps German Grenadiers

We were shown the 3-Ups of these kits at our visit to the Warlord Games Studio and the day after at the Salute 2018 in London back in April. The wargaming crowd is eager to get their hands on both of these boxes. But why is that so? Well, back in the day, when the now veterans of our hobby started, long before there was this broad range of miniatures made from plastic, pewter or resin, the only commonly available resource for toy soldiers were 1:72 or 1:32/1:35 plastic kits from companies like Airfix (if you're British) or Revell (if you're German). And from what I've heard, for many people the conflict in North Africa was in particular interesting from the war stories that they heard from their parents or grandparents.

15Sep/180

Bolt Action 8,8 cm FlaK 37

Final part of this week's anti-tank gun series makes the 8.8cm FlaK 37 by Warlord Games / Italeri.

Bolt Action - 8,8cm FLAK 37 Bolt Action - 8,8cm FLAK 37

The 8,8 is one of the most famous guns of World War 2. Similar to PaK for Panzerabwehrkanone, FlaK is a contraction of Flugzeugabwehrkanone. Actually developed as an anti-air gun, but due to the ability to shoot horizontally, it was often used as an anti-tank gun. The 8,8, depending on where you are either called eight-eight or eighty-eight, was produced as prototypes early as 1928, later wide spread production started in the early 1930s and the gun was used in the Spanish Civil War and Sino-Japanese War as well. The here shown FlaK 37 is the latest of the first generation of 8,8s.

3Sep/180

Bolt Action Waffen-SS Grenadiers

Closing the themed week on Operation Market Garden with one of the antagonists. Fighting against the Allied Airborne units were dominantly units of the Waffen-SS. Warlord Games released a plastic kit of the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel this summer and we're covering it in a review.

Bolt Action - Waffen-SS Bolt Action - Waffen-SS

This review is not meant to glorify any political ideas or (military) activities of the Waffen-SS and is purely meant to cover the quality of the plastic kit and its miniatures.

The former armed guards of the Nazi party grew from three regiments to 38 divisions over the war. Seen by many as the elite, veteran infantry of the German forces, the Waffen-SS is a controversial topic. They fought fiercely and zealous, indoctrinated and well equipped by the party, but not to forget committed many atrocities and war crimes. Units of the Waffen-SS weren't just drafted within Germany, but there were many volunteer divisions in (occupied) countries like in the Netherlands with the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland. These volunteer divisions could be as large as 80.000 men (Latvia) or just 54 (British Free Corps).

1Sep/180

Bolt Action Char B1 Bis

It might be a bit odd to present a French tank during the Operation Market Garden week, but the Char B1 Bis is in there for a reason. They were used for example by the Panzerkompanie 224 in the battle of Oosterbeek.

Bolt Action - Char B1 Bis Bolt Action - Char B1 Bis

The Char B1 was a French heavy battle tank that was designed in the 1920s and produced between 1935 and 1940. After an initial run of 34 Char B1, the pattern was improved and around 370 units of the heavier armoured and armed Char B1 Bis were build. It was one of the most powerful tanks at the time and proved to be very effective against German tanks during the Battle of France. But it was designed to be a break through vehicle and did not adapt very well to the modern, more fluid style of warfare, especially the rapid Blitzkrieg of the Germans.

31Aug/180

Bolt Action British Airborne

One of the latest kits and the youngest of the paratrooper plastic kits, are the British Airborne. A must for this week's series of reviews around the Operation Market Garden along with yesterday's US Airborne kit.

Bolt Action - British Airborne Bolt Action - British Airborne

The British airborne is one of the many special combat divisions of the commonwealth's armed forces. They were founded in 1941, roughly a year earlier than their US American counterpart, and the 1st Airborne Division was send to North Africa for Operation Torch. But this kit covers the Red Devils in their North Western European gear, making them the best fit for the mid to late war operations of Pegasus Bridge, Operation Market Garden and the late fights crossing the Rhine / Operation Varsity, the largest airborne operation in history. In cinema the British paratroopers are mostly known from A bridge too far.

30Aug/180

Bolt Action US Airborne

After we started the themed week with the supplement Campaign Market Garden, it is time to introduce and cover the matching Airborne units in a review - starting with the US Airborne. They were the second paratrooper unit released in plastic after the German Fallschirmjäger.

Bolt Action - US Airborne Bolt Action - US Airborne

The US Airborne was founded more or less in 1942, when the 82nd Infantry Division was renamed 82nd Airborne Division, regrouped and assigned a new task, Operation Husky, the airborne landing in Sicily, Italy. The 82nd Airborne are along with the 101st Airborne Division the only airborne division of the American forces, and both took part in Operation Overlord (D-Day / Landing in the Normandy) and Operation Market Garden. US Airborne soldiers were heroically represented in movies like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.

28Aug/181

Bolt Action Campaign Market Garden

After covering the battles in the Pacific, the Eastern front and the Ardennes, the next Bolt Action supplement moves to North Western Europe with Campaign Market Garden. An instead of whole years of war, this battle has its eye on very intense 9 days in late September '44.

Bolt Action - Campaign Market Garden Bolt Action - Campaign Market Garden

This campaign supplement covers the story of Operation Market Garden, the unsuccessful allied military attempt to take 9 bridges along the Dutch-German border. The military operations between September 17th and 25th are covered on 116 pages. Warlord Games charges the usual 19.99 GBP or 30 USD for the book, which is roughly 25 EUR. I've covered both the final cover (left) and the early cover (right) in the first row of pictures. We've often seen changes in the artwork between the first announcement and later publication; it was similar with The Road to Berlin and Campaign New Guinea.

15May/180

Warlord Games HQ Store & Studio 2018

After visiting Mantic Games, we went to Warlord Games, to take a look at their new HQ store. Warlord has been located at since the very beginning. Back when they only had a few offices, spread all over the complex, nowadays the have entire wings of the centre to their name. They held their first Warlord Games Day in 2013 there as well.

As the studio and production facilities are only open to the public during their open days or special occasions, the store is a new addition that is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm, with the exception of gaming thurday til 8:30 pm and sunday til 4 pm.

Warlord Games - HQ Store & Studio Warlord Games - HQ Store & Studio

Connor is the one in charge of the store and master of the several gaming tables within it. You can have a match of any of Warlord Games system at the store with a pal or get a introduction game. They even have the Pegasus Bridge set up at the store.

Warlord Games - HQ Store & Studio Warlord Games - HQ Store & Studio