“To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tigers!”
Rarely, if ever, have the words ‘war’ and ‘comedy’ somehow been so successfully combined as in MGM’s 1970 classic movie ‘Kelly’s Heroes’. However, the movie which was originally entitled ‘The Warriors’ underwent a major transformation process from its inception to its release, including the cutting of entire scenes and characters and the addition of extended action sequences.
Several members of the cast and crew voiced their disapproval of the changes which altered a grittier war movie with depth of character and an integral romantic sub-plot into an action-packed, farcical comedy. However, the cult following which Kelly’s Heroes enjoys nearly 50 years later and the plethora of infinitely quotable lines is perhaps the best proof that the final cut hit the nail right on the head.
We’ve taken information from the final cut of the movie, Burt Hirschfeld’s accompanying 1970 novel of the same name, (based heavily on the original script) and the real life history behind the units portrayed in the movie to bring a slice of Hollywood to your battlefields…
Oddball’s Shermans are officially part of the US 6th Armored Division, but their Commanding Officer was decapitated by a German 88mm gun. The three tank crews have neglected to report this fact, which has allowed them to enjoy the delights of the French countryside in a rear echelon position, deliberately adopting the façade of a combat weary unit just out of action.
For the movie industry, the Tiger is often the ‘go to’ tank when depicting German armour in the Second World War. Unfortunately Tigers are exceedingly rare to the point that there is currently only one working Tiger left in the entire world. The 1969 Yugoslavian war epic ‘The Battle of Neretva’ found a clever way around this by converting a number of T-34 tanks to look like Tigers, a cost effective film solution.
There’s a superb bonus within every box of Oddballs Sherman, Tiger, and Oddball Heroes box. A full colour, 8 page, booklet provides every hero and vehicle with their own personalised themed special rules to add that ‘Hollywood’flair and daring to your movie inspired games of Bolt Action:
Private Kelly (Ex-)1st Lieutenant
Special Rules: Sergio’s Champion
Eastwood never ran from a fight. Eastwood never hit the deck when he was supposed to advance. Kelly’s team and any Hollywood unit within 6″ automatically passes order checks and morale checks. This rule is only valid as long as the player still rolls the dice, but does so with squinty eyes and a poker face. Any emotion displayed invalidates this special rule.
Master Sergeant Jake ‘Big Joe’ Diamond
Special Rules: Hollywood one-handed Tommy Gun maestro
Big Joe rolls 3 dice to attack with his Submachine gun rather than the normal 2. All rolls to hit are successful on a 2+, no matter what modifiers are in play. This rule is only valid as long as the player adopts a feet astride, semi-lunge stance with one elbow tucked into the hip for rolling. One handed rolling only; anything even close to emulating a proper firing stance invalidates this rule.
Special Rules: The Nexus of Positive Energy
It’s not superior training, equipment or tactics which wins a fight, it’s a positive outlook on life – and that’s how Oddball took down two Tigers with a Sherman. Positive waves can swing the outcome of any battle, but beware – it only takes one miserable cynic with their negative waves to ruin everything and next thing you know, entire bridges are being blown up.
The Movie set
The perfect way to set up your Kellys Heroes Movie night special game at home or in your club:
For an authentic objective add the Gold Heist set, complete with an Opel Blitz truck, the village fountain, and Bank Safe:
For the complete movie buff, or a club looking for a twist to their Bolt Action events look no further than the classic German ‘bad guy’ tank the Tiger, grab 3 for a Tank War Tiger Zug:
More tanks, no problem: