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Bolt Action: Winter US in the Ardennes

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FIght back the last great German offensive of World War Two. We’re looking at fielding Winter US at the Battle of the Bulge in Bolt Action.

Operation Watch on the Rhine was the last of the great German offensives – launched to great surprise on the Western Front in late 1944. It would prove to be one of the largest battles of the war – and certainly, the largest single battle fought by the US in the 20th Century. The battle provides a pivotal point of US military history and a fascinating topic for recreation in Bolt Action. We look at fielding a Winter themed US Army.

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The Bolt Action Campaign books are fantastically detailed spotlights on specific theatres of World War Two, enabling you to imbue your Bolt Action forces with a more historically accurate slant as well as providing a host of extra variety in gameplay with the introduction of key scenarios designed to re-enact famous battles as closely as possible. From the retreat from Normandy to the massed German Offensive of December 1944, through to the culmination of the larger battle in early 1945.

The Battle of the Bulge Campaign book allows brings 12  scenarios to try as well as tailored US Army theatre selectors to better contextualise your Bolt Action battles within the Battle of the Bulge. It also provides US armies with new and updated units to expand your Bolt Action experience.

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The Winter US Range

The Allies on the Western Front faced utmost danger when the Germans launched their Watch on the Rhine counteroffensive. Failure to hold the line would have resulted in a breakthrough that split Allied forces and may have threatened to undo all that had been achieved since D-Day.

The protracted Battle of the Bulge can be recreated in Bolt Action with the aid of our expansive and detailed Winter US range:


Initial Forces

As with any other Army, you’ll need a solid core force of infantry. For US forces in the winter, there is a choice of two box sets we would steer you towards to start with…

US Army Infantry in Winter Clothing

Our Winter infantry box set is highly detailed and depicts the ragtag nature of soldiers wrapping up as warmly as possible in the overwhelming climate of the Battle of the Bulge. The Winter of 1944 was a truly bitter affair, and the soldiery would do just as well to avoid trench foot as they would an enemy artillery shell. As such, uniformity amongst squads would become less common, as each man would scrabble for anything that could afford him some protection from the cold.

The box contains a 10 man winter fatigue clad infantry squad including two wielding those all-important BARs to shore up the unit’s firepower, and a sergeant with an SMG.

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US Army Veterans Squad (Winter)

US Veterans may have been more scarce than those of other nations, with their relatively late entry into Europe and constant rotation of manpower. The American military benefitted from exceptional manpower, training and organisation, so troops on the frontline may not have been so ‘seasoned’.

The few that were, however, became symbolistic to the American populace; do-or-die warriors who would get the job done. No matter the perception to the public, veterans are still not invincible and will require tactical cunning and support from a Bolt Action General to get the most out of them.

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When you’ve got a couple of squads ready you’ll need units to lead them, as well as supplementary weapons teams and maybe even some transports to get your troops to the thickest of the fighting (hopefully) unscathed.



Nip your infantry to where they’re most needed on the tabletop with this squad and transport set.


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US 168th

The Ardennes, 17 – 21 December 1944, US units expecting a quiet Christmas before pushing forward into Germany find themselves confronting what seems to be the entire German army. One such unit is the 168th Combat Engineers, at the vital crossroads at ST. Vith.

Unlike Bastogne, which also had a decisive influence on the Ardennes offensive, St Vith was a town in the German’s advance onto the Meuse River that had to be taken. By pinning down so many forces for so long the German assault in the area was broken and plans to reverse the Axis fortunes in the west stymied. For their actions, the 168th, along with the other defenders of St Vith, received a Presidential Unit Citation.

These bundles give you fantastic balanced forces to stall and begin to push back the last big German offensive.

Combat Assault

This set contains a totally legal army with your infantry command, 2 squads of infantry (10 metal Winter gear and 10 normal plastic so you can mix your squads, convert, and add Bazookas), prone winter MMG team, Winter Mortar team, sandbags and a Farm House ruin to defend, plus an M10 tank destroyer for back up!

US 168th Combat Assault Product Picture

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Combat Engineers Company

A complete Combat reinforced Platoon wrapped up for the winter conditions and ready, under your command, with Divisional support in this attacking force containing; 2 platoons, all the weapon options, plus 57mm AT gun, armoured cars, and your tank destroyer. Includes a free M3A1 Half-track and Winter HQ set!

US 168th Combat Engineers Company Product picture

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Grab a Deal

An alternative way to play Bolt Action, Tank War gives players the option to expand their games to a whole new level – armoured warfare. Build your own US Armoured force with the contents of these box sets. Whether you want to add more armour to your existing armies or build an entirely armoured force, Tank War has you covered.

You can grab the US Tank War Starter bundle, and the US Armoured Platoon and M18 Hellcat Platoon box sets at a great discounted price for a limited time only:

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Dan Hewitson
Dan can often be found contemplating the mound of unpainted minis building up under his desk. He has a tendency to roll lots of ones. He also has a tendency to complain about rolling lots of ones.