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BOLT ACTION ARMY SPECIAL RULES

Includes rules from the country books. If there are other Armies players require, we can look
them up in the other “Army” books.

United States
FIRE AND MANEUVER
The US army’s tactical doctrine placed great emphasis on firepower and mobility, and this is
reflected in the armament of the standard infantry squad with the self-loading M1 Garand rifle or
carbine, and Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), which could be fired effectively by one man on
the move. To reflect this combination of doctrine, armament and plentiful ammunition, US
infantry models equipped with M1 Garand rifles/carbines and BAR do not suffer the –1 ‘to hit’
penalty for shooting and moving. This means that these models can be given an Advance order
to move and then shoot without suffering the usual ‘to hit’ penalty, making American infantry
extremely effective both on the attack and when shifting position in defense.

GYRO-STABILIZERS
American tank guns benefited from the development of gyro-stabilizers that enabled the gunner
to track his target even while on the move. In the hands of experienced crews, this proved to be a
great advantage, but less experienced gunners found its use too difficult and often switched it off.
When a weapon is described as gyro-stabilized in a vehicle's entry, it does not suffer the - 1 'to
hit' penalty for shooting and moving if the crew are Veteran. This does not apply to vehicles with
Inexperienced or Regular crew, nor does it apply to any co-axial machine gun.

AIR SUPERIORITY
In the last years of the war, the American army could boast undisputed ownership of the skies.
The Luftwaffe was no longer able to oppose them, with disastrous consequences for their troops
and the columns of armored vehicles that were constantly hammered by low-flying attacks by
USAAF aircraft. A US forward air observer unit can call an air strike twice instead of once per
game.

MODERN COMMUNICATIONS
An extensive radio network and numerous land-based communication systems supported the
chain of command. This gave the US army a tremendous advantage over their less technically
accomplished opponents - many of whom relied on word of mouth, runners, or - in the case of
armored formations - signal flags! When units take an order test to move from reserve onto
the table, do not apply the usual -1 penalty, but use their basic Morale value instead.
Germany
BLITZKRIEG
German officers were expected to act on initiative and take decisions on the field based on their
judgment rather than wait for orders or confirmation from HQ. This made them very effective
tactical commanders and made the Wehrmacht a formidably reactive force. German officers
using the ‘You men, snap to action’ special rule can take one additional order die from the bag
and assign it as normal. In other words, a German Second lieutenant (Leutnant) takes two dice
instead of one, a German First lieutenant (Oberleutnant) takes three dice, a captain (Hauptmann)
take four and a German major takes five!

INITIATIVE TRAINING
In the German army every man is trained with some of the skills of his superiors, and encouraged
to show initiative and decisiveness rather than just sit and wait to receive orders. If an infantry
squad’s NCO is killed then roll 1D6. On the score of a 1, the NCO is removed as normal. On the
roll of a 2 or more, one of the other troopers takes over the squad and leads it just as effectively
as before. To represent this leave the NCO is place and remove any other model instead. If the
NCO is successfully replaced the unit does not suffer the usual –1 morale penalty for losing its
NCO.

HITLER’S BUZZSAW
German-made machine guns, but in particular the lethal MG42, are vastly superior to their
enemies’ and rightly feared by Allied infantrymen. German light and medium machine guns fire
one extra shot. Note that this applies to all light and medium machine guns, both those carried by
infantry units and those mounted on vehicles.

TIGER FEAR
Such was the lethal reputation of Tiger tanks that often Allied troops were spooked by the
appearance of any German heavy armor, mistakenly thinking that any Panzer IV was a Tiger
waiting in ambush! All enemy units that have line of sight to one or more German vehicles with
the Tiger fear special rule (see the vehicles section of this army list) suffer from Tiger fear. Units
suffering from Tiger fear count as having one extra pin marker on them when taking any order
test, except if ordered to Fire against a vehicle causing Tiger fear. Note that this penalty also
affects units without any pin marker, which must therefore take an order test on –1 morale to
execute orders even if they have no pin markers.
Great Britain
ARTILLERY SUPPORT
British forces were supported by well-coordinated gun batteries and were able to call down fire
to support an attack or discourage the enemy’s advance. British armies can include 1 regular
artillery forward observer for free.

BOMBARDMENT
British tactical doctrine called for extensive preparatory bombardment prior to any attack. When
rolling for the effects of a preparatory bombardment instead of rolling one die on the results chart
for each enemy unit (see here), roll two dice and choose the best result.

A NATIONAL CHARACTERISTIC
A British Commander may take only one of these special characteristics and assign it to his force
for the entire game session.

1. Up and at ‘em – If the army uses this rule, then any order given to make an assault is
automatically treated as having been passed - the unit is assumed to have passed any
order test die score needed for its order. The rule does not apply to “inexperienced”
troops including any units starting out as “green.”

2. Blood curdling charge: If the army takes this special rule, then any unit making an
assault causes enemy units to be transfixed by the assault and thus do not issue defensive
fire against the assault.

3. Tough as Boots: If the army takes this special rule, then all Regular or Veteran infantry
units roll bonus attack dice when fighting at close quarters. For every three figures
fighting in close combat (drop remainders), roll one extra die. This extra attack is
assumed to be coming from any of the men.

4. Rapid Fire: If the army takes this special rule, then all Regular or Veteran rifle armed
infantry units roll bonus attack dice when shooting. For every three figures fighting in
close combat (drop remainders), roll one extra die. This extra attack is assumed to be
coming from any of the men.

Vengeance: If the army has this special rule, then every Regular or Veteran unit with one
or more pin markers, may roll 1d6 to eliminate one pin marker before the order test is
given. Once this test is completed, roll the order test as normal for below modified
Morale Value

1d6 Roll Result

1–3 Fail
4–6 Remove 1 pin marker
Soviet Union
THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR
Throughout the war Russian forces endured a rate of casualties unimaginable in the West and
which would undoubtedly have broken a people less inured to hardship and sacrifice. Whenever
a unit of infantry or artillery models fails a morale check and would otherwise be destroyed as a
consequence, take the test again and apply this second result. This re-roll applies to all infantry
and artillery units, including HQ units that would otherwise be destroyed if they failed a morale
check. Note that this rule only applies to infantry and artillery, and not to tanks or other vehicles.

QUANTITY HAS A QUALITY ALL OF ITS OWN
If you have more men than they have bullets, they will eventually run out of ammunition. To
represent the vast manpower available within the Soviet Union, the Russian army gets a free 12-
man squad of inexperienced infantry, with all of the possible options you have models for.

NOT ONE STEP BACK
Soviet armies may include a Commissar Officer. Commissars are political officers and do not
count towards the Morale bonus of nearby troops. When a friendly infantry unit fails an Order
test within 6" of a commissar, remove one model from the unit and re-roll the dice. Note that
there is no choice in the matter - if the commissar is within 6" of the unit he will shoot dissenters
whether you want him to or not! The second result stands as normal - the commissar can only
make a single re-roll for each unit affected. This rule does not apply to units other than infantry,
and does not apply to infantry units already reduced to one of two models, of consisting of only
one of two models to start with (in the case of some teams for example).

MASSED BATTERIES
The Soviets excelled in their use of massed artillery and Red Army artillery barrages were truly
terrifying. Therefore we give a bonus to the Soviet artillery barrage. When rolling to determine
the 'Fire for effect” radius from the aiming point (1d6+6 inches) instead of rolling one die, roll
two dice and take the highest score. For example, if you roll a 2 and a 5, the 5 is used, so units
within 5 + 6 = 11" of the aiming point will be hit by the barrage. See the Bolt Action rulebook,
page 64.
Imperial Japan
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR
Many Japanese soldiers and officers believed that a display of will through personal sacrifice
would win the war for Japan. An appropriate offer in blood would at least ensure a spiritual
victory. Every unit in this list has the fanatics’ special rule, as described. In addition, infantry
and artillery units automatically pass morale checks for being assaulted by enemy tanks (note
that artillery pieces are still destroyed as normal).

BANZAI CHARGE
Japanese forces used massed, frenzied charges often with the cry ‘Banzai!’ These charges were
sometimes effective, but more often simply a waste of good men. If a Japanese infantry unit is
ordered to Run towards (or assault) the closest visible enemy, any order test for that move is
automatically passed, as if the unit had rolled a double one. All models in the unit must then be
moved directly towards one of the models in the target unit, and must make contact with the
target unit if possible. Note that a unit can be ordered to Run (or assault) in another direction,
but in that case it will follow the normal rules and this rule has no effect.

AMBUSH TACTICS
Japanese infantrymen were masters at using cover to set ambushes and spring surprise attacks on
their enemies. Also, it soon became apparent to the Japanese that their tanks were no match for
the M3 Lee, M4 Sherman, and Matilda tanks that opposed them. The only recourse was to
attempt to conceal tanks amongst the undergrowth or in other cover and ambush enemy vehicles.
During setup any Japanese unit starting the game as “Hidden” may start the game in “Ambush.”
Use hidden set up rules in the Wargators pages.

SHOW YOUR LOYALTY
Imperial Japanese armies cam include Kempeitai political officers as noted in theatre selectors.
These officers do not confer any Morale bonus to nearby troop, except the presence of these
feared officers will be useful in creating certain troops. If a “green” unit is within 6 inches of
one of these officers, the player may re-roll the result. See “GREEN” infantry rule.