Recently, our compatriot and fellow warlorder based in the good old US of A, Mr Jon Russell, popped over for a visit here at HQ Nottingham, we took the opportunity to check a few things with him about his recent work on Bolt Action Korea…
Chinese Musical Instruments
When the Chinese entered the Korean conflict, they brought along with them an ancient but effective command and control system – Music.
They would use bugles, drums, cymbals and many other different types of noise-making items to relay to the masses of troops when, where and how to move or change deployment formations.
To the U.N. forces at first, this was highly unsettling to hear, especially at night, and caused several morale issues. As the war dragged on it became a commonplace thing and was ignored.
We have rules to reflect this effect in the game but funny story; After running our manuscript through two rounds of editing and sending it off to the printers, the data was in the manuscript. When the book came back imagine our surprise and chagrin when we discovered the photo selected on page 165 had removed the last sentence from the bugle information box!
Here is the original material we had in place to allow you to represent these musical instruments in your Bolt Action Korea battles:
The Chinese made extensive use of bugles, small snare type drums, horns, rattles, and other musical instruments as a means of communication during offensive and defensive operations. Initially, this was incredibly disturbing to UN forces hearing all these odd noises at night on the battlefield.
Oddly, the Chinese were not using these instruments in a psychological warfare role, but they had an impact on soldiers just the same. In the early part of October and through to March, the Chinese held this advantage until the UN forces understood that these were a means of communication.
In scenarios set before June 1951, you can represent this by giving a -1 Morale penalty to any enemy infantry or artillery unit that is within 18” of a Chinese model that is carrying a musical instrument. From June 1951, the musical instruments have no effect.
We look forward to hearing from you on how this tactic was used in your tabletop games and seeing pictures of your musically armed Chinese forces!