David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Action in Burma,1944

Recently Jon and I had the chance to give my Burma '44 collections a run out in a Bolt Action game. While I've finished all the figures ~ for now anyway ~ I've yet to paint the Architects of War village buildings I bought last year, so we made use of stuff from my 20mm Vietnam collection, namely a fire base which was transformed into a Japanese Outpost for the day. The table viewed from the British entry points ~

The 'Victory Points' for the game are allocated according to difficulty of attainment. There is one point for the central hill, two for the jungle perimeter, and five for the Jungle Outpost. The eight Japanese starting elements are marked with coloured counters, with an equal number of blanks. No Japanese unit or blank is revealed until it can be 'seen' by the British or it takes an action. The second picture shows the outpost in close up ~

The first Japanese marker to be revealed was a supply column entering from the track on the tables left centre edge. This is in fact a 'Red Herring', playing no part in the game but designed to decoy or dissuade the British from moving along the left bank of the river ~

The British enter the table, mules helping to move the 3" mortar and the MMG. The game will last six turns, plus D x 6 extra turns, determined by a dice throw at the end of turn 6 ~

As the 'Decoy Supply Column' crosses the river, a squad of British troops cross to the left bank while the support weapons head for the river ford. The river was fordable anywhere along its course, at half speed, but at the ford at normal walk speed ~

The 'Supply Column' crosses the river and is removed from the game. The markers showing Japanese positions are just visible in the outpost in the distance ~

A squad of British troops occupies the central hill, having driven off the two man sniper team defending the summit approaches before it could get into action ~

With the central commanding hill now in British hands, the Japanese must deploy all the remaining troops which were represented by Markers. The D x 6 throw for the extra turns was a six [Thanks Jon!] The left hand British squad prepares to cross the river and outflank the Japanese defenders ~

Over on the right flank of the British attack a third squad drives off a Japanese squad occupying the jungle perimeter. The British now have three 'Victory Points' but the Japanese still hold the outpost ~

As they attack from the left, the right hand squad attack on the opposite flank. At this stage the Japanese were holding their own, even driving off the frontal attack from the second squad~

Sadly however in Turn 12 the dice luck deserted the Japanese big time, and by the time their action dice were drawn it was all up for the Nips! Each side shared 2 1/2 points, as the outpost was still just about being disputed, while the three points for taking the central hill and the jungle perimeter meant that the British were the clear winners ~

The figures are mostly from Warlord Games, with the elephant, mule handlers and infantry gun and crew from Brigade Games. The Japanese mules are from Tiger Miniatures. The outpost is mostly resin buildings from Hovells. The twelve turns took us two hours and five minutes, about the time of the average club night game I'd think, proving that Bolt Action are a reliable, and versitile, rule set. {We have used them in WWI, the SCW, Blandings 1940 games as well as the VBCW.} We modified the close combat results to give units a chance to rout and rally, adding one pin marker for each failure to pass the Order Test! All in all a good first run out for the Burma game we thought!



  1. I love your awesome terrain. I'm guessing it was built by your good self. Can you post something on how you did this?

    1. Thank you, Stuart. The boards were made by my good friend Phil Robinson ~ see his post below. They are MDF covered in green toweling,grass matting and some rubberised roads I had. The dark green trees are all from The Last Valley. The multi period/scale 'jungle' pieces are MDF pieces, again coated with grass matting, while the 'vegetation' is plastic aquarium plants cut up creatively. Hope this helps.

  2. Great stuff, I like the decoy column idea. Shame your sniper had apparently been on the saki though ;-). Looking forward to nipping over for a game.

    1. Your puns get worse, Phil! They really do... See you tomorrow for 'Triples the fun'...

  3. There was nowt wrong with his artillery and mortar though
    they both ranged in 1st go!
    A most enjoyable game by Mr.B. Probably the toughest test you've given me - rolling that "6" for extra game turns on the pig-dice just saved me.