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PDF eBook (Watermarked) About Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules Action provides all the rules needed to bring the great battles of World War II to. Bolt Action: World War II Wargames Rules - Written by veteran game Note: This digital edition includes the PDF and ePub versions of the. Oddball Rules PDF: Bolt Action Units and Force Selectors closely with Clockwork Goblin Miniatures bring you Weird World War II View the Downloadable.
An armistice is signed on 3 September but by now the Germans have taken moves to occupy Italy. There is no preliminary naval bombardment.
The Allies rely upon the advantage of surprise to advance rapidly and capture the mountain passes before the Germans can react. The Germans, however, are well prepared. Although US Rangers and British Commandos are successful in capturing vital passes, the main Allied forces are slow to win a secure beachhead in the face of a wellorganised German defence. On 16 September Allied forces from the south join the troops around Salerno, capturing Naples on 1 October.
The Allies now occupy all of southern Italy roughly on a line with Naples, whilst the Germans settle upon a defensive line — the Gustav Line — between Naples and Rome. By the end of the year the senior Allied commanders Eisenhower and Montgomery depart to prepare for the invasion of North-West Europe.
US Army. The invaders are confined into a small zone around their beachhead. The Allied forces to the south gradually advance northwards and the Germans fall back onto prepared defences — the Gustav Line. The fierce fighting around Cassino demonstrates both the ferocity of the German defence and just how well suited the terrain is to resist invasion. Commanding the approach to the strategically important Liri valley, Cassino is seen as the key to the Gustav Line.
Much importance is attached to the hilltop abbey overlooking the valley and affording a prime position from which to direct artillery. Monte Cassino stubbornly resists both assault and aerial bombardment until the Polish II corps eventually captures what is left of it on 18 May. With the fall of Cassino the Allies break through the Gustav Line and advance rapidly northwards. The chance to trap the German 10th Army between Allied forces from Cassino and Anzio is lost following a successful rearguard action by the retreating Germans.
By July the opposing armies are arrayed across this Gothic Line, but by now the focus of the Allied war effort has shifted to Normandy, and it will be the end of August before they are ready to advance again. Toulon and Marseilles fall to the French.
The Americans advance up to the Rhone valley in pursuit of the retreating Germans but fail to prevent their escape to Alsace. By midSeptember American forces from the south 7th Army had met those advancing from the north 3rd Army near Dijon. Rimini falls to the British on 21 September and the Americans begin to advance upon Bologna in October. German resistance remains fierce, but with the war in the west all but lost, the remaining Axis forces surrender on 2 May.
Of particular note is the inclusion amongst the Allies of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force — a divisionstrength organisation fighting as part of the US 5th Army. The war takes on a more determined character as the Japanese assault and capture Peking July , Shanghai November and Nanking March Fighting continues between the Japanese and Chinese nationalists, supported at various times by both the Soviets and Americans. There is sporadic resistance from French colonial troops and Foreign Legionnaires and all fighting ceases by 26 September.
British, India and Canadian troops are quickly overwhelmed. Hong Kong surrenders on 25 December. The colony is defended by British Indian, Australian and Malayan troops and is speedily overrun. The Japanese capture 50, troops. The remaining British forces retreat to Singapore where they surrender on 15 February A further 80, British and Commonwealth troops are taken prisoner. Of the Indian troops who surrender as many as 40, are recruited to fight for the Japanese, forming the Indian National Army.
With the Japanese firmly established by the end of the month the tiny British and Dutch garrisons are driven into the mountains. In January of the Japanese attack the Dutch-held island of Tarakan, a centre of the Dutch oilfields. After fierce and determined fighting the Dutch are overwhelmed, but not before they manage to destroy the facility.
In retaliation the Japanese execute all Dutch prisoners taken in the fighting. All remaining Allied troops finally surrender in April The objective is to capture Rangoon and cut off supply lines to the Nationalist Chinese.
In an attempt to prevent being outflanked, the British withdraw beyond the Sittang River. Fearing its capture by the Japanese, the last bridge over the river is demolished. Troops from the 17th Indian Division are trapped and captured. With the loss of these troops Rangoon is considered indefensible. The city falls to the Japanese on 7 March. Remaining British troops flee northwards and join the substantial Chinese Expeditionary Force in Burma.
The British and Chinese are unable to halt the Japanese advance. With supply lines compromised and the monsoon approaching the British mount a retreat to India. Unable to face the Japanese alone, some Chinese retreat to India where they fall under the command of the American General Joseph Sitwell.
The Japanese continue to push Chinese forces from Burma with the help of their Thai allies and have pretty much succeeded in doing so by the end of the year bringing the first phase of the Burma campaign to a close.
This important naval base becomes the centre of operations for the subsequent Japanese campaign in the South Pacific. Papua in eastern New Guinea is to witness some of the most desperate jungle fighting of the war, with the Australians and Japanese closely engaged in the mountains and jungles around the capital of Port Moresby.
The port is the key Allied base of operations and the last bastion between the Japanese and Australia. In May the Japanese attempt to mount an invasion of Papua by sea but are thwarted during the battle of the Coral Sea.
With the Japanese fleet countered by the American navy it is left to the Japanese army to push southwards overland, crossing a series of heavily defended ridges by narrow mountain trails and jungle tracks. By the end of September the Japanese are within sight of their target, but such is their state of exhaustion and lack of supplies that they are unable to press on.
Much needed reinforcements are diverted to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, which the Japanese high command sees as a more important objective. The Japanese retreat to their northern beachheads whilst the Australians, now reinforced by substantial numbers of American troops, begin their counter-attack. From now until August the Allies would gradually advance upon and recapture Japanese-held positions throughout Papua and Dutch New Guinea.
Lying between the USA and Australia, control of the islands would give the Japanese the ability to cut off a major supply route to Australia, and form a ring of naval bases and airfields that would anchor their eastern flank. The Japanese occupied the Solomons at the start of , including the island of Guadalcanal.
Aiming to push the Japanese from their bases and ultimately to recapture the Philippines, the Americans launch the first major Allied counter-attack upon Japan in August with the invasion of Guadalcanal. The fighting over the east Solomons involves rival navies and aircraft as well as land forces — a characteristic shared with the campaigns in New Guinea and the Central Pacific. The fighting over Guadalcanal lasts until the Japanese withdrawal in February , by which time over 10, Japanese troops have been successfully evacuated.
Following this important victory for the Allies the fighting becomes part of the broader campaign in the South Pacific. Allied troops advance westward along the Solomon archipelago and New Guinea coast.
The fighting continues until the end of the war, but the balance of power shifts inexorably in favour of the Allies. After the war Japanese leaders would cite Guadalcanal as the decisive turning point of the war in the east.
Dutch troops are soon driven from the ports and oil refineries by Japanese invaders including paratroops. The Dutch take to the hills and continue to fight on until March. An entire Japanese division that could otherwise have been deployed in New Guinea is tied down for over a year. Most of the 25, troops under Dutch command are native Indonesians. The Allies are unable to prevent the Japanese landing or capturing vital airfields. Java is surrendered in early March, marking the end of the Japanese annexation of the Dutch East Indies.
The battle of Tarawa sees a Japanese garrison of fewer than 5, men fight almost to the last man against 35, Americans supported by aircraft and warships. The American aim is to recapture the Philippines and then launch an attack upon Japan itself.
The Gilbert and Marshall Islands follow in early The Mariana Islands are targeted in June of Airfields in the Marianas allow B Superfortress bombers to mount raids on the Japanese mainland. The fighting continues until the end of the war, the most notable fighting being in the Philippines, where over , Japanese lose their lives; Iwo Jima, where of 22, Japanese defenders all but die resisting 70, invaders; and Okinawa.
This island lies just over miles from Japan and is the final obstacle against an invasion of the Japanese mainland. The Allied task force brings overwhelming materiel superiority to bear upon the defenders.
The Japanese respond with kamikaze attacks.
A naval taskforce led by the battleship Yamato fails to engage the Allies before it is destroyed by aerial attack. American troops fight their way across the island in a series of gruelling battles in which both sides suffer heavy losses. The Japanese troops are pinned by naval bombardment, artillery and air strikes, but survive by taking refuge in caves and prepared defences.
American troops are forced to fight for every position, but they steadily overcome the defenders. By the end of May the monsoon rains bring floods, turning the battlefield to mud. The Japanese finally surrender in June. The invasion of Okinawa is the biggest amphibious operation of the Pacific war. The Americans suffer 62, casualties with some 12, killed in action — the greatest toll of any battle in the campaign. About , civilians are killed during the fighting. The depleted Japanese Kwantung army is overwhelmed, its best troops having been redeployed to take part in the fighting in the Pacific.
The Russian invasion strikes a decisive blow against the Japanese leadership, who had steadfastly maintained a neutral position with the Soviets throughout the war.
After the experience of the battle of Okinawa, the Americans prepare to sustain unprecedented casualties. Half a million Purple Hearts, medals awarded to soldiers killed or wounded in battle, are struck in anticipation of the invasion. More atomic bombs are prepared for use against targets in Japan, with seven to be available to support the invasion itself. American ground forces are advised to avoid entering sites of nuclear devastation for two days following detonation.
Estimates of potential American casualties made by military commanders at the time and by historians since vary from hundreds of thousands to well over a million. Estimates of Japanese casualties, including civilians, exceed ten million.
Each opposing side will also require painted model troops, representing the soldiers, guns and tanks of your chosen armies.
Finally, you must find a playing surface to represent the battlefield — a table top of some kind is the preferred solution, but the floor will do and certainly has the advantage of size. Ideally, your battlefield will be fashioned to represent a suitable scene where the action is to take place.
It might include model woodland, buildings, roads, hills and so on. It could be an industrial scene with shunting yards and factories. Or perhaps it is simply a wasteland of heath and marshes. There are just a few more basic supplies you will need before you are ready to take your armies into action.
All distances in this book are given in inches e. If you prefer to play using centimetres you are welcome to do so, counting each inch as either one or two centimetres as you please. The easiest way to measure distances during the game is without a doubt a retractable tape measure, but you can also use rulers of suitable length if you prefer. Rolling an ordinary die gives you a random number between 1 and 6.
Occasionally we will need to generate a different range of results, so you will see the following notation used throughout the rules. This means roll an ordinary die and halve the result, rounding up, thus generating a score of 1, 2 or 3. This means to roll two dice and add their results together, for a total score of between 2 and Only rarely will you be asked to add more dice and add them together; for example, 3D6, 4D6 and so on.
This means to roll a die and add 1 to the result, generating a score between 2 and 7. This can be varied in many different ways by rolling different numbers of dice and then adding or subtracting different values. We will explain how these work in due course. During play a die is placed next to an infantry, tank, artillery piece or other unit to show which order has been given.
Flip the die so that the number showing uppermost corresponds to the order as follows. Down Ideally each player will have a set of distinctly coloured but otherwise identical dice to use for orders; for example, Germans blue and Russians green. Each side starts the game with one order die for each unit, which is to say one die for each squad or team of infantry and one for each tank, armoured car or other vehicle.
So, if an army has six infantry squads, a machine gun team, and three tanks then it has ten distinct units and the player starts the game with ten order dice. Warlord Games have made sets of special order dice in distinct colours — these dice are clearly marked Fire, Advance, Run, Ambush, Rally and Down. To facilitate this you will need a bag, large mug, a dice bag, pot, or some similar opaque container large enough to hold all the dice. In the rules we always refer to this as a dice bag, but it can be any suitable container so long as it allows you to draw the dice unseen.
One player takes one blank chit for each unit in his army; the opposing player takes one chit for each of his units and marks his chits with a cross. The chits are then placed together in the dice bag and drawn at random to determine which side acts next. When a unit acts any dice can then be used together with the chit to show which order has been given. Alternatively, players can make up their own card counters with the orders marked on them if they prefer.
This reduces their ability to respond to orders effectively. Any kind of distinctive marker will do the job and some examples of the kind of thing we use are shown below. The explosions are the official Bolt Action pin markers, while the helmet-and-rifle markers can also be acquired from Warlord Games, or recreated using spare parts from plastic infantry kits.
Occasionally you will need markers for other purposes, for example to mark a target for aerial attack or artillery bombardment. Use any distinctive marker for this. We often use a coloured chit. This means to pick up the dice you just rolled if you are not happy with the result and roll them again. Note that you can never re-roll a re-roll — you must accept the rerolled result.
The distance between two models is always measured between the closest points of their bases. Ignore parts of a model that might stick out like gun barrels, bayonets, outstretched arms, radio aerials, etc. If the crew suffers casualties, simply place a die on the base and turn it to show how many models have been killed.
The distance between two different units is always measured between the bases of the closest models in the units. Follow the same guideline given above for models without a base. A player must always declare his intention before measuring. Gun barrels are ignored. Diagram 2: Measuring Unit-to-Unit When measuring the distance between two units, always measure the distance between the closest models in each unit. When doing this, you may ignore units of infantry and artillery, both friends and enemy, as in reality they would not block line of sight as they would spend most of their time lying flat on their bellies, unlike our brave models that represent them.
If need be you can gently! Taken from Command Archibal2 Wavell Vehicles and terrain, on the other hand, you cannot ignore and they will literally block the line of sight of your models. If only a peripheral part of a model can be seen such as an arm or leg, backpack, or the barrel of a weapon, then we assume the enemy cannot be seen because there are just too many obstructions or distractions. The same is true for vehicles — if all that can be seen is a bit of wheel or track, a radio aerial, exhaust pipe, the barrel of a gun, or some other extraneous detail then we assume the trooper cannot see the vehicle amongst the din, smoke and dust of battle.
There are a few exceptions to these rules dense terrain, smoke screens, etc. Troops are not allowed to move beyond the edges of the table during play, except where this forms part of an outflanking move or objective as described in the game itself.
Of course this is not strictly realistic, as no such restriction applies in the real world, but it is a necessary adaptation to playing games within a limited space. The most common type of unit is an infantry section or squad.
This is normally made up of around five to ten men representing soldiers from one of the warring nations. Other units may have fewer models, such as a gun and crew, or a machine gun team.
Some units comprise a single model, as in the case of a tank or armoured car. A unit of artillery consists of the gun model itself and a number of crew models to fire and manoeuvre the weapon.
Most guns can be manhandled rather slowly, or towed by a tractor or similar vehicle. VEHICLES This category includes all combat, transport and towing vehicles, from trucks, jeeps and armoured cars to self-propelled guns, tank destroyers and tanks. Vehicle units normally consist of a single vehicle model including driver and fighting crew where appropriate.
This allows us to explain how the rules work without overcomplicating matters with the numerous special rules that apply to tanks, howitzers and suchlike. The rules for different types of artillery and vehicles are explained separately in their own sections. Sometimes a support weapon or artillery piece can be mounted on a single larger base — this is fine, just imagine that each soldier crewing the weapon is mounted on a 25mm round base or oblong 25x50mm base if prone if the rules call for a situation where the position of each soldier matters.
If an individual should become separated from his unit, perhaps because other models have fallen casualty and have been removed, then this must be corrected as soon as possible — normally when the unit moves again and note that the unit must move in order to restore formation.
The exception is that units Assaulting an enemy move into contact and fight close combat as explained later.
Once again, an exception is made for units assaulting an enemy as explained later. Once all the dice have been drawn, or once all the units capable of acting on orders have done so, the turn ends. At the end of each turn the dice are returned to the dice bag ready for the next turn, except for Ambush and Down orders which can alternatively be retained from turn to turn as explained below. This is one die for every unit in their force, including for units that begin the game in reserve as described later.
For example, if a force of 12 German blue units is facing a force of 16 American green units, then the bag starts off with 12 blue order dice and 16 green order dice.
Should you be using some other tokens rather than order dice then you would have 12 blue tiddlywinks and 16 green tiddlywinks, or blue and green card chits, or whatever. A battle normally lasts for a set number of turns as discussed later. In each turn the players follow the sequence as shown below. For the sake of explanation, from this point we shall assume that players are using order dice rather than chits or other tokens, but the process is basically the same whichever method is employed.
Draw an order die from the dice bag and hand it to the appropriate player. The player chooses one of his units and gives it an order. Place the order die next to the unit to show that it has received an order.
Once a unit has been given an order it cannot be given another order that turn. If necessary, the player takes an order test to determine if the unit follows the order. Tabletop encounters take place according to twelve closely defined battle scenarios that explain how forces are deployed and how victory is achieved.
All that remains is for players to pit their wits against each other as they enact just one small part of the greatest conflict in all of history — World War II. I wish to thank him for the many armies he painted for me, including the one he could not finish, and for all of the wonderful books and games he left me. The Russians invade Poland 16 days later. The Poles put up a determined but hopeless fight in the face of overwhelming odds.
Poland surrenders within the month and is divided between Germany and Russia. The Finns eventually cede some of their eastern territories bringing the war to an end. Both The Soviet Union and Finland will resume hostilities in Danish resistance lasts six hours. The Norwegian fighting sees the first encounter between British and German troops in the defence of Oslo.
In the north, a combined force of Norwegian, French and Polish troops defeats the German 3rd Mountain Division at Gratangen, but the Germans gradually force the defenders to withdraw on all fronts.
The Norwegians capitulate on 10 June. These nations, together with their allies, are generally known as the Axis Powers as opposed to the Allies. The fighting is one sided and brutal, and the Yugoslav army capitulates 11 days later. The desperate battles of the following months see the largest deployment of men during the whole war, with over four and a half million Axis troops committed and two and a half million Russians deployed in the west at the start of the invasion out of over five and a half million available to the Soviet Union at the time.
The campaign comes to an end with the successful defence of Moscow by troops under the command of Zhukov. By December Soviet reinforcements arrive from the east and the Russians begin their counter-offensive. Although the German forces are victorious across a wide front the campaign fails to achieve its objective. It is the turning point in the war, although much bitter fighting still lies ahead on the Eastern Front. Between December and the end of March the Axis forces are pushed back and the immediate threat to Moscow is ended.
The Russians are expecting the Germans to attack in the north and are ill prepared. In August the Germans advance across a broad front and appear to be sweeping all before them. At this point a decision is taken to change the original plan to bypass Stalingrad and to occupy the city instead — fighting continues throughout September and October. Within days , Axis troops are encircled and trapped. By February the remnants of the German 6th Army surrender at Stalingrad.
In the process the Russian lines become dangerously over-extended. The Germans regroup and counter-attack, quickly regaining most of the territory lost to the Russian advance. This German counter-offensive results in the third battle of Kharkov which witnesses bitter hand-to-hand fighting over the city. None the less the Russians are severely beaten, demonstrating that even heavily outnumbered and under-strength German formations remain extremely capable. Their objective is to attack Soviet forces in the Kursk salient, surround and destroy them, before consolidating a sound defensive position against further Russian progress.
The Germans attack in a pincer movement from the north and south. The Russians have already learned of the German plans and have prepared their defences in depth. Unknown to the Germans, the Kursk salient has been turned into a huge killing field. In the north the attack is repelled almost at once. In the south the fighting hangs in the balance, but the Russian defences hold out.
By 17 July Operation Citadel is cancelled without ever achieving the necessary breakthrough. The Russians begin their counter-offensive even before the German operations are over — rapidly breaking through the German lines and recapturing Kharkov for the final time on 23 August. The battle of Kursk, encompassing both the German offensive and Russian counter-offensive, is the largest tank battle of all time. With something in the order of , troops lost and more than a thousand armoured vehicles destroyed, the battle of Kursk is arguably the most decisive engagement in the whole war.
Never again would the Germans be able to mount a strategic offensive on any significant scale. The Soviets launch an offensive across a broad front stretching from the Black Sea almost to the Baltic.
Their objective is to recapture the eastern Ukraine and drive the Germans back across the Dnieper. After hard fighting, including drops by Soviet paratroops, a number of bridgeheads are established across the river. Finding their position indefensible the Germans withdraw. The fighting continues through the winter and by early January the first Soviet troops cross into Poland. About half the encircled troops break out after abandoning all their heavy equipment.
Hitler is convinced that the main Russian attack will come from the Ukraine, and has withdrawn much of the strength of Army Group Centre and redeployed artillery, tanks and troops to the south. This is to prove a fatal mistake. In one of the largest Russian offensives of the war the Soviets drive into the German lines and feed in reserves to trap the encircled German forces before they can escape.
The Russians advance rapidly, liberating Minsk by 3 July and reaching within ten miles of Warsaw by the end of the month.