Home Forums Historical Bolt Action 25-Pounder

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    Richard K Leclercq

    I find the performance of the 25-pounder as listed in the rules disappointing.  The weapon had two special designed shell types for AT use, and it had an incredible rate of fire for short bursts.

    Right now it has the same stats as a 75 mm pack howitzer.

    Any way to goose up the 25-pounder?


    It can also be fired as a Light AT gun. As always, state before firing (or going into Ambush) what shell you are using.

    This is an excellent litte gun, and a near auto-include for many players of the British that I know.

    1. Remember also that you can’t indirect fire on ambush.   So, as LordRao said, make sure to announce what type of ammo is loaded (AT vs HE) for your ambush as it’ll be for direct fire use only.
    Richard K Leclercq

    My point goes like this:  As a weapon, the 25-pounder (89 mm) should have better stats, and be more like a 105 (40 pounder) than the 75 mm pack howitzer (10 pounder)


    Is this because Rubicon Models will be releasing a British 25pdr soon? This new kit will be a great addition to anyone’s Bolt Action collection.

    I have to agree with the others here in that the British 25pdr fits in nicely with the Bolt Action game system. I wouldn’t change anything about it. Just leave the British 25pdr as is because if you change/adjust the Bolt Action data for it then you will also have to change/adjust the data for some of the other field guns in the Bolt Action game system.

    Stuart Harrison

    Your point doesn’t take into account the brackets that all weapons are required to fall into for this game.  The 25 Pounder is in the light bracket for howitzers which rolls in anything from around 75mm up through 95mm howitzers – it’s actually in the middle of it’s bracket.  75s are at or near the bottom with anything smaller generally getting special rules that reduce their effectiveness (ie: Japanese 70mm uses the 1″ template rather than 2″).

    The bracket that includes 105s goes all the way up through 5.5″ howitzers (Heavy howitzers only start at 150mm).  Bolt Action simply isn’t granular enough in it’s weapons stats to reflect every instance of ‘weapon A was better than weapon B’.

    Richard K Leclercq

    First off, the 25 pounder was a field gun, not any sort of howitzer.  It had a longer by proportion barrel and a muzzle velocity higher than any howitzer.  It was intended to engage targets with direct as well as indirect fire.  It was also designed for a high rate of fire, so the 25 pounder could throw 6 shells in a minute, where the 105 threw 3.  Six times 25 pounds of shell is 150 pounds of steel on target.  Three times 40 pounds of shell gives 120 pounds of steel on target.  It was bad to be down-range of a 105.  It was worse to be down range of a 25 pounder.  (The 25 pounder had reached the end of its design capability.  The 105 was considerably improved, even by Korea.  In 1941, or even 1947, the 25-pounder was at least as fierce as a 105.)

    Along with the higher muzzle velocity came its ability to engage targets with direct fire.  Iron sights were built into the gun, making it a more effective AT gun than the 6 pounder.  Bigger shell, more muzzle energy.  The six pounder was much more nimble and easier to hide/deploy. The 6 pounder was also cheaper to make. The 6 pounder as a dedicated AT gun was the better option.

    My agenda is simple.  I need a gun that has some chance of engaging German Tigers and Soviet KV-Stalin class tanks.  In real life, a 25 pounder did this.  In Bolt action, it will not.


    The 25 pounder hit as hard as a 105 with indirect fire and a tad harder than a 6 pounder in a direct fire role.  As a “light howitzer,” its statistics do not come close to representing its effect in combat.

    As a gamer, I’m not willing to shell out medium-to-big bucks for another piece of allied equipment that’s just a high value target for tigger.  I wanted to build my army around a pair or even trio of 25 pounders, but as the stats look now, I’ll be getting 105s (and Tesla’s.)


    Don’t forget – Bolt Action is a game not a simulation. Warlord have simlified things a lot.

    With agreement of your opponents, you could  reclassify the gun as anything you want, but dont forget to adjust the points. Also, for a better HE you would need a much larger crew to feed the beast.

    Jacob Carter

    There would be a few problems if you uprate to a medium howitzer.

    Cost is the first thing, it’d be roughly a 30 pt increase which would make it more expensive than a medium howitzer anyways.  I don’t know what the 25 pounder costs to begin with, but I imagine it’s more than the standard light howitzer right?

    Tactics are the next problem as you now have 3 separate ranges to keep track of for indirect, direct he(60”) and direct AT(48”) as the light AT gun stats would apply in this case.  In addition there would be a 6” gap where you have better odds to hit with HE over AT, and AT wouldn’t even have better PEN until the target is 24” away.  You’re basically paying more points for a tool you will never use.  If you uprate the AT in addition then that’s just more pts you have to sink into the gun.

    And you change what can even tow the gun, as jeeps couldn’t tow the gun anymore.


    Stuart Harrison

    “First off, the 25 pounder was a field gun, not any sort of howitzer.  It had a longer by proportion barrel and a muzzle velocity higher than any howitzer.  It was intended to engage targets with direct as well as indirect fire.  ”

    We are discussing the rules of a game.  I did not assert that the 25 pounder is a howitzer, simply that it has been placed in that category for the game.

    “It was intended to engage targets with direct as well as indirect fire.  ” – that is pretty much the definition of a howitzer for bolt action purposes.

    As for the ‘not any sort of howitzer’, the 25 pounder was designed to replace both a gun and a howitzer in service (18 pounder field gun and 4.5″ howitzer) and had variable charge ammunition specifically so it could fill the howitzer role.  It’s often described as a ‘gun-howitzer’ due to being a successful compromise between the two roles.

    As Jacob says, for Bolt Action purposes, if you want to bump it up into a higher category you’re going to end up paying for it points wise.  You’re also going to have other impacts based on that higher category, ie: what can tow it.

    Richard K Leclercq

    I’m going to use 25 pounder models and “proxy” them as 105mm guns.  I will pay the points for a 105, play it like a 105, and use the model of a 25 pounder.  No quibble on custom rules.  This will give me an excuse to get a Centurion when it comes out.

    invisible officer

    The 25pdr / 88mm is iconic but was a poor replacement for a modern WW II  105mm gun. Like the German LfH that was a mix of cannon and howitzer too. HE 11,5 Kilo shell to 14,8- More lethal. Equal range.     Same rate of fire and the  25pdr  AP round was inferior in penetration.

    For most gamers and game writers the 105 mm is no direct fire AT weapon but it had a range of AT projectiles. Some better than the APBC. And was often used in At fire against tanks breaking through.



    To give a British Force a gun of 105 mm quality is fantasy and change the structure of a WW II game a lot. The wish to give all forces the same options is altering wargaming into a game like chess.


    The story of the development in WW II is interesting. It was decided to do no replacement for production capacity reasons.

    Richard K Leclercq

    Total Disagreement, as:
    A:  The British used hundreds of lend-lease 105mm howitzers and
    B:  In my educated and informed opinion, the 25 pounder was a weapon just as effective for its purpose as the 105; i.e. a weapon with good direct fire and indirect fire abilities.  The 25 pounder was a new weapon at the beginning of WWII. During the fall of France, the most common variant was the 25/18 pounder, a 25 pounder on an 18 pounder box carriage.


    I have always been perplexed as to why gamers continue the completely foolish belief that Nazi equipment was wonderful; they had wunderwaffe, but allied equipment was junk.  Allied weapons were awesome.  Allied tech was just as good as Nazi tech, and better as the war went on.  One big reason was that many, most in fact, of the top scientists in Germany were Jewish, and they fled to the US and Britain, with their research.


    The fantasy thet German science was better than Allied science is just that.  A fantasy.


    So far as I am concerned, the 25 pounder should have an ROF of 2.  for 10 added points it can have AP ammunition that makes it a medium AT gun (it is an 88mm weapon, not a 40mm weapon, so a minimum of a medium ATn gun, like the 57mm 6 pounder) and for 25 points, it may carry the (middle-to-late war) APDS Anti-tank round making it a heavy AT gun.  but this is unofficial, and I won’t use it.


    One issue with the British used 105s.. by the time the allies reached the German boarder they where semi-retired as resupply issues meant that most of the ammunition was reserved for the US artillery….as the British had the 25 pdr to fall back on!


    now I don’t know whether or not most of the British 105s where used in priest equipped units…and if they where all in Europe!

    Richard K Leclercq

    The British did use the Priest with 105 as well as the Sexton with 25 pounders.  By the time the Allies reached Germany, 105 ammunition was in short supply and the British had to rely more on their 25 pounders.  From the Nazi’s point of view, it mattered little.  25 pounder had a ROF of 6 per minute.  105 had an rof of 3.  In terms of weight thrown per minute, 6×25 pound shells, 150 pounds of steel on target from the 25 pounder; 3×40 pounds from the 105, 120 pounds.  25 pounder is a faster gun. It is worse to be downrange of a 25 pounder than a 105mm.

    The 25 pounder was 28 calibers long, the 105 was 22 calibers long.  The 25 pounder had a 25% longer barrel, and a proportionally higher muzzle velocity and muzzle energy.  The 25 pounder had a Muzzle velocity of 532 m/s.  6011 kg/m muzzle energy.  The 6 pounder had 853 m/s muzzle velocity and a 2.8 kg shell, 2218 kg/m muzzle energy.  In terms of performance, the 25 pounder is a medium howitzer and better than a medium anti-tank gun.

    25 pounder had a crew of 6.  105 had a crew of 7.

    The US 105mm howitzer was designed in the 1920’s and was a mature design by WWII.  The 25 pounder first saw service in the “fall of France,” it began service in 1940.  The US phased out the WWII model 105 in the 50’s, a few ceremonial weapons are still in service, they were replaced by newer models of the 105.  The 25 pounder is still in service with smaller countries and “combat” ammunition for it is still being produced.  Older models of the 105 use “blank” rounds only.

    Nato adopted the 105 as a standard caliber.  For this reason, it was phased out of the British inventory.

    ALSO:  The 25 pounder had an HESH shell (High Explosive, Squash head) which was developed for demolition work, but was much better at demolishing kitties than a shaped charge of the same size.  HEsh rounds used by the Israelis have destroyed Soviet T-10s and Stalin IIs.

    As such, the 25 pounder was, in reality, as good or better than the allied 105mm.   It was better as the medium ATG than a 6 pounder.  In game terms, the 25 pounder is much better being represented by the statistics of a 105.  So, I will pay the price of a 105mm gun, and use the model of a 25 pounder.  This is totally legal and not disruptive to the game.

    The Japanese  did not face British equipped as well as those in Europe.   They never fought Finnish troops, or German troops.  These matchups are purely part of the fantasy of the Game.


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