The LRDG and the SAS, the elite of all fighting units. From the harsh environment of the desert, on to Italy, then behind the lines in Europe, these elite units gathered intelligence and became a thorn in the Axis side time and again.
These army lists are perfect for Bolt Action skirmishes, and with Duel In The Sun being the hot topic of the day, it’s time for us to have all the rules in one place:
The Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was an unconventional unit that specialised in deep penetration raids and intelligence gathering behind enemy lines.
They used a variety of vehicles, most famously the 30 cwt Chevrolet, all of which were festooned with weaponry of all types. This included captured Breda 20mm AA cannons, and Swedish built 37mm Bofors anti-tank guns, which were mounted facing over the back. Although not ‘armoured’ in any way these vehicles are so well armed we’ve included them in the Armoured Car section as they are primarily combat vehicles rather than transports. Note that the options given here are representational of the many variations of weapons used by the LRDG.
We do not suggest that this was the only type of vehicle or armament used. In reality most were unique. With a little research an interested reader would be able to find photographs to form the basis of a modelling project in which every vehicle could be personalised. The types of raid executed by the LRDG suit the scale of Bolt Action battles very well.
LRDG Armed Trucks
|Cost:||45pts (Regular), 54pts (Veteran)|
|Weapons:||1 forward-facing MMG plus 1 rear-facing MMG Damage Value: 6+ (Soft-skin)|
|• May have a pintle-mounted MMG for +5pts|
|• May upgrade the pintle-mounted MMG to a HMG for +10pts|
|• May upgrade the rear-facing MMG to 20mm light autocannon for +20pts|
|• May upgrade the rear-facing MMG to 37mm light anti-tank gun for +40pts|
The SAS were quick to see the potential for a rugged vehicle such as the Jeep, and in their usual manner added as many guns as it could possibly carry. As with the LRDG vehicles these are primarily mobile combat weapons rather than transportation, so we have included them in the Armoured Car category.
|Cost:||48pts (Inexperienced), 60pts (Regular), 72pts (Veteran)|
|Weapons:||1 forward-facing HMG, 1 forward-facing LMG and 2 rearfacing LMGs|
|Damage Value:||6+ (Soft-skin) Options: t May replace any LMGs with Vickers K guns counting as MMGs for +5pts each.|
This great little Deal is built around the vehicles needed either for using the Tank War rules or a reinforced platoon from the 1940-43 – Behind Enemy Lines list.
1940–43 – Behind Enemy Lines
The Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) was formed in 1940 with the express purpose of working unsupported in enemy territory and required extremely high standards of survival and navigation skills on top of the normal fighting abilities. They were used primarily as a covert intelligence gathering unit rather than a conventional combat force, though they did carry out a number of highly successful and widely reported raids and were involved in innumerable small skirmishes.
LRDG units were occasionally used to guide other formations through the desert using their skills to avoid both natural and enemy delays, and this might make an interesting hybrid list (perhaps taking one reinforced platoon from this theatre and another from the Operation Compass or Operation Lightfoot List page’s 72 & 74 Armies of Great Britain).
A British & Commonwealth force for the Behind Enemy Lines list must comprise one or more Reinforced Platoons picked from the following Theatre Selector. Each Reinforced Platoon is made up as follows:
Behind Enemy Lines Reinforced Platoon
1 Lieutenant – First or Second
2 Veteran Infantry sections (early/mid-war)
0–1 Captain or Major
0–1 Medic team
0–1 Forward Observer (either Artillery or Air)
0–3 Infantry sections: Regular Infantry sections (mid-/late-war), Veteran Infantry sections (early/mid-war)
0–1 Machine gun team
0–1 Anti-tank team: Boys anti-tank rifle team
0–1 Sniper team
0–3 Armoured Car or Recce vehicles from: LRDG Armed trucks, SAS Jeep
Transports and Tows
0–1 Transport vehicle per infantry unit in the Reinforced Platoon from: 15cwt Truck, 30cwt Truck, Jeep.
Must Be Mobile: There must be enough transport vehicles in a Behind Enemy Lines platoon for every soldier to ride.
With 38 figures and heads to represent the rugged SAS or LRDG, the Perry Miniatures Desert Rats box is perfect for building a Reinforced Platoon of these famous men in the desert.
Just add trucks:
SAS Infantry Section
Captain David Stirling’s SAS (Special Air Service) had carved their regiment’s name in the annals of history through their daring raids in the Western Desert. With the North African campaign won by the Allies, the SAS were split up to prey on German and Italian forces in other theatres.
Whilst some units fought in Sicily, Italy and other areas of the Mediterranean, it is the squadrons that relocated to fight in north west Europe that interests us here. Those units that joined the war against Hitler and his armies became a brigade under Lt-General Boy Browning’s Allied Airborne Corps. It consisted of two British, two French and one Belgian SAS Regiments. In the open deserts of the North African campaign the highly mobile SAS patrols reigned supreme but on entering the war in Europe they would face an entirely different type of terrain – one for which they had no experience in fighting over.
Supremely flexible, as ever, the SAS men quickly adapted and they would retain the regimental philosophy of setting up bases behind enemy lines, gathering vital intelligence and, if the opportunity presented itself, wreak havoc before slipping away. During the actions in France the SAS often had four-man units working with local French Resistance cells, with bridges, railway lines, supply dumps, etc all becoming favoured targets as they continued to harass and disrupt the enemy.
The SAS Brigade would continue in this role through Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany itself. It can certainly be said that the remarkable men of the Special Air Service live by their regimental motto, ‘Who Dares Wins’!
|Composition:||1 NCO and 3 men.|
|Weapons:||pistol and rifle|
|• Add up to 4 additional men with pistol and rifle for +18pts each.|
|• Any man can replace his rifle with a submachine gun for +2pts.|
|• Up to two men may have a light machine gun for +20pts. For each
LMG, another man becomes the loader.
|• Light machine guns can be upgraded to Vickers K LMGs for a
further +5 points each.
|• The squad can be given anti-tank grenades for +2pts per man.|
|• Who Dares Wins! To represent their special training and
motivation, units of SAS have the Fanatics special rule.
|• Behind enemy lines. When Outflanking as described on p.119 of
the Bolt Action rulebook, units of SAS ignore the -1 modifier to the
Order test for coming onto the table.
|• Tank hunters (if anti-tank grenades taken).|
|• Vickers K gun. The Vickers K gun (also known as the VGO) was a
rapid firing machine gun developed for airplanes but also favoured
by special forces. A Vickers K gun shoots with +1 dice compared
to a regular LMG – 4 dice instead of 3).
|• The SAS Infantry Squad is an Infantry Squad for the purposes of
the generic Reinforced Platoon selector from the Bolt Action
rulebook. It is also an Infantry Squad for the following theatre
selectors of the Armies of Great Britain book: Raiders!, Behind
enemy lines, Operation Lightfoot, Tunisia, Normandy, Into the Reich.