Throughout the Second World War, there was a huge amount of equipment-sharing… whether it be soldiers of the Red Army stalking from room-to-room amongst the ice-choked streets of Stalingrad, having picked-up an MP40 and Panzerfaust from a fallen German soldier… or the crafty British Commandos having pinched a Panther and made it their own – if you read enough source material, you’ll see practically every piece of equipment having been ‘liberated’ from its intended user…
Of course, when it comes to representing such things on the battlefield, there is a huge scope in the level of conversion required when modelling captured equipment… everything from simply swapping out a Tank Commander model, maybe applying a different nationality’s decals and markings to a vehicle, to more advanced re-modelling work using perhaps plasticard, green stuff, and/or other advanced materials.
Over the years, we’ve featured a few different examples from the community – we thought we’d take the opportunity to gather them together in order to whet your appetite and perhaps get your creative juices flowing…
Dan Hoyt’s Churchill Mk Vii in German hands
Andy Singleton’s T34 under new management
…and his M8 Greyhound – also called-into German service…
…not forgetting his Ersatz Stug!
Bryan Cook’s Captured British Morris Truck
Jakob Lotz’s Yugoslav Stuart Pak 40
Alba Studios’ Ersatz Panther
Matthew Davies’ Pak 36 Carrier
Rules for using captured vehicles in Bolt Action can be found in the ‘Ostfront’ Theatre Book – however, we thought we’d share them here for your delectation;
Ostfront: Barbarossa to Berlin, page 91
In terms of Bolt Action, a strict application of the rules for force selection does not normally allow you to field tanks and guns from other forces – however, you can use captured vehicles and equipment as long as you pay the right points for them and they are taken simply to replace an equivalent ‘slot’. For example, a Soviet platoon could include a ‘captured’ 88mm anti-tank gun with Soviet crewmen, as long as it would take the 0–1 artillery slot allowed for that platoon and the right points were paid.
As a rule of thumb, we tend to apply one further limit when we allow forces to purchase enemy ‘captured’ vehicles and guns. We say that the unit can be purchased only as Inexperienced, or at best as Regular (if there are good records of a particular vehicle/gun being used in abundance by the enemy). This simulates the fact that the soldiers would be unfamiliar with the captured materiel, or if you prefer it can reflect the relative scarcity of its ammunition, spare parts etc., which would make its use and maintenance trickier. If you really want, and if you find an excellent historical reason for it, you can even allow the use of captured vehicles with a Veteran crew, but we feel they should then be penalised by adding the Unreliable rule to them (see below). This rule represents the same problems highlighted before, and ensures that only their rightful owners can make use of the vehicle or gun ‘at its best’, which seems just fair!
– Unreliable: a captured vehicle’s or gun’s chronic lack of ammunition and spare parts means it often suffers from extreme operational unreliability – if the unit suffers one or more pin markers as a result of an enemy attack, it automatically suffers one further pin marker in addition.