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Monday, July 1, 2013

Bolt Action - Luftwaffe Field Troops: Inexperienced Germans

It seems sacrilegious to field inexperienced Germans in Bolt Action.  Most German players I talk to, including myself, shy away from taking cowards into battle.  Inexperienced troops can be such a liability in the game.  They cant hit their target, they don't like to move, and you pick them up by the handful when your opponent shoots at you.  It can be rough, but inexperienced troops can be a source of cheap order dice and cheap shooting.

If you're lucky you can find inexperienced troops that are Green or Mixed Quality, which means there is a 1 in 3 chance they will be upgraded to regulars or veterans.  I was surprised when I bought the Armies of Germany book because it did not have Luftwaffe Field Troops, which were commonly thrown into the fighting.  These field troops came from the ranks of the German Air Force, could be ground crews, support staff or AAA crews.

Since Armies of Germany doesn't have Lutfwaffe Troops, I recommend fielding them as Osttruppen, Volks Grenadiers or Volks Sturm.  You could also field them as regular Grenadiers if you wanted to represent more experienced Air Force Troops.  You could also field them as Vets if you wanted them to represent the Herman Goering Division, but you probably want to find more troops with ponchos.

I originally painted my Luftwaffe Troops with red shoulder tabs, showing they came from the artillery, but changed them to yellow tabs, because I didn't like how the red looked on the blue uniform.

All these figures are from Black Tree.  In addition to painting two squads, each with a LMG, I also painted up an officer, maybe he is a grounded pilot, and an MG-34 team.  When the 6th Army was surrounded at Stalingrad many Luftwaffe troops and tank crews were given rifles and formed up into ad hoc infantry units.

Sometimes its fun to change it up when painting and to give figure different uniforms to represent moral levels.  Since Bolt Action is a historical game, you don't always have the freedom to paint your army like if you played a Sci-Fi or Fantasy game.  However if you just explore history a little you will see their is a lot of diversity out there to help you mix it up and make your army your own.

If you have painted alternate uniforms on models you want to share, if you want to talk about this article or if you want to talk about any other article on the WWPD network make sure you join the conversation on the WWPD Forum by clicking the link below.

“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to he is busy blogging, painting, modeling and rolling dice. You can find more of his work and articles at”

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