Bolt Action Soviets

Soviet forces defend against a German advance

Over the past couple of months, interspersed between the Soulblight Gravelords, I’ve been working on a 1000-point Soviet force for Warlord Games’ Bolt Action, having played a couple of games using a friend’s Americans vs his Germans. Bolt Action is a 28mm World War Two game at approximately platoon level – a 1000-point force has a few infantry squads, some support weapons, an maybe a tank or armoured car. On the tabletop, it looks beautiful, giving a real immersive feel; while realistic shooting ranges might be heavily compressed on a 6×4 table, the game does play out credibly with 1 figure corresponding to 1 soldier.

Warlord Games Soviet infantry on the painting table

I decided to go with Soviets for my first force as I have Germans and British for Flames of War (and I have some Americans as a second Bolt Action force on the to-do pile). In the game, the Soviets get some special rules (as do all the armies), including a free full-strength squad of inexperienced riflemen to represent the Soviet Union’s manpower, better artillery bombardment, more anti-tank slots, and the option to take a Commissar, who can force a demoralised unit to pass an order test by shooting one of them.

Warlord Games LMG team

For my initial force, I’ve put together the free riflemen squad, a few anti-tank teams, an artillery spotter, a mixed infantry squad, and a sub-machinegun/tank riders squad as the infantry core, using the Warlord Games Soviet Infantry box. This is a nice kit in terms of options, with a range of poses, heads, and weapons with plenty of spares. The figures themselves are nicely sculpted, something I liked also about their British AWI infantry. However, also like that kit, they are very fiddly – assembly takes a long time, especially for any weapons held in two hands as these need to be carefully positioned and then held in place while the glue dries.

Bad Squiddo scouts and sniper team

The other infantry I’ve painted are a squad of scouts and a sniper team from Bad Squiddo Games – excellent sculpts, one-piece in metal. These are nice figures to paint, and a good choice if one wants to depict some of the many women who served in the Soviet army during the war. These infantry are all complemented by HQ and support options from Warlord Games – an officer, Commissar, medic, and artillery forward observer, plus a medium machine gun team and medium mortar team.

Warlord Games Commissar

Finally, I wanted to add a vehicle, and Rubcion Models’ T-34/85 was good excuse to paint a 28mm WW2 vehicle – something large enough to remind me of my old hobby of scale modelling, and a nice kit to put together. To this I added a couple of Bad Squiddo’s tank crew. The whole force has now seen its first game, an inconclusive skirmish with some German Panzergrenadiers supported by a Hetzer. I’ll do a future post about that, and what I like about Bolt Action as a game (and why I think it does tanks and guns better than Warhammer 40k)…

Rubicon T-34/85 with Bad Squiddo crew

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