Bulge: British Spotlight

Bulge: British
Bulge: British

Bulge: British - Spotlight
with Phil Yates

With the release of Bulge: British, the Battle of the Bulge series of books for Flames of War is complete. Like the American book in this series, Bulge: British covers the period from the end of the Normandy Campaign until the end of the war, including the British and Canadian Armies’ participation in:

● Operation Market Garden
● Clearing the Scheldt Estuary
● Battle of the Bulge
● Clearing the Rhineland
● Crossing the Rhine
● Advance into Germany

Between this book and D-Day: British, we have the entire campaign in North-West Europe covered.

Bulge: British has everything a beginner needs: history and background, interesting formations, organisational information for building a force, a painting and basing guide, and game stats for playing the game, along with a beautifully illustrated catalogue. For an experienced player, it brings the opportunity to field new models, units, and formations, and some exciting upgrades on some existing formations.

What’s Inside?

Bulge: British has ten new formations, new support options, and loads of new kits, as well as missions for aquatic adventures in the Scheldt, Rhineland, and the Rhine river itself.

New Formations

The new formations in the book are:
● Comet Armoured Squadron
● Hussars Armoured Squadron
● Cromwell Armoured Squadron
● Guards Sherman Armoured Squadron
● Ram Armoured Squadron
● Black Bull Motor Company
● Guards Churchill Armoured Squadron
● Kangaroo Rifle Company
● Frost’s Parachute Company
● Glider Pilot Squadron


Comet Armoured Squadron

The Comet is an upgraded Cromwell cruiser tank. Like the Cromwell, it is fast, very fast, so fast that it makes the American light tanks like the Stuart and Chaffee look slow. Unlike the light tanks, though, the Comet has a modified 17 pdr gun, known as the 77mm. With an Anti-tank rating of 14, it’s one of the best tank guns of the war, able to penetrate almost any opponent from the front.

Along with that, it has quite good armour for a medium tank, with a Front armour rating of 7. It’s got everything it needs, and nothing more, so you can field a decent number of them.

The squadron headquarters can take some Cromwell CS tanks as well if you want some integrated artillery, and the usual recce patrol is available. If you want more oomph in your recce, you can replace the older Stuart light tanks, with American Chaffee light tanks with a 75mm gun, or go the other direction entirely with super-light Dingo scout cars.


British Chaffees

Hussars and Cromwell Armoured Squadrons

If you want to upgrade your D-Day Cromwell Armoured Recce Squadron or Desert Rats Cromwell Armoured Squadron, you have two options.

Part of the 11th Armoured Division’s armoured recce regiment, the 15th/19th Hussars’ B Squadron, fought for a while with two troops of Cromwells and two of Challengers. The Challenger is another upgraded Cromwell. This time the equivalent of a Sherman Firefly. It mounts the same 17 pdr gun as the Firefly in a lengthened Cromwell chassis with an oddly tall turret. So this formation gives you up to two anti-tank troops of four Challenger tanks, and two light and fast general-purpose troops of Cromwells. While still keeping the armoured recce designation, it no longer fulfils this role, operating as a regular armoured regiment by this time.

Cromwells and Challengers

The other option is the Cromwell Armoured Squadron. This is the same as the Desert Rats option from D-Day, but with better morale and up to two anti-tank Challengers or Fireflies in each troop. You can model this as either the 7th ‘Desert Rats’ Armoured Division, or as the armoured recce regiment of the Guards or 11th Armoured Divisions. The cool thing about this formation is, not only do you get twice as many 17 pdr gun tanks in each troop, but they’ve got new ammunition bringing them up to an astounding Anti-tank rating of 15.

Guards Sherman Armoured Squadron

This formation takes the standard Sherman Armoured Squadron from D-Day, and doubles the number of 17 pdr Firefly gun tanks to two per troop of four. This is enough to make those new Front armour 10 Panthers and IS-2s quiver on their tracks, especially since these Fireflies also have the increased Anti-tank rating of 15.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited, you can also follow in the footsteps of the 1st Coldstream Guards and fit your tanks with Tulip, a pair of rockets borrowed from a Typhoon fighter-bomber. These give you the capability to fire a one-off bombardment to eradicate those pesky anti-tank guns and buildings full of Panzerfausts.

RAM tanks

Ram Armoured Squadron

The Canadians designed their own version of the Sherman, calling it the Ram. They built thousands of them and used them for training in Canada and Britain, but exchanged them for Shermans before going into battle. Since you can assemble the new Kangaroo and Sexton kit as a Ram tank, we’ve created this ‘what if’ formation so that you can field them in your games. It looks like a D-Day Sherman DD Armoured Squadron, but equipped with 6 pdr-armed Ram tanks backed with Fireflies.

Churchill VII

Guards Churchill Armoured Squadron

The Churchill regiments changed little after Normandy. However, the 4th Coldstream Guards had an interesting addition in the form of ‘Cuckoo’, a German Panther that they adopted and put into service. This formation allows you to field this odd bird.

Black Bull Motor Company

When the Sherman tanks of the 11th ‘Black Bull’ Armoured Division discarded their .50 cal AA machine-guns, some of the motor companies fitted them to their half-tracks as additional anti-aircraft protection. This motor company formation gives you the option of integral M5 half-tracks with these .50 cal machine-guns mounted.

Kangaroo APCs and British Riflemen

Kangaroo Rifle Company

With so many Ram tanks sitting unused in Britain and an increasing demand for Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers, many were converted into Kangaroos by the simple expedient of removing their turrets. This gave the infantry an assault carrier that was as well armoured as a battle tank, enabling them to drive through artillery and machine-gun fire, and onto the objective, which they then dismounted and cleared. In the game, you can remain in your Kangaroos until you have pinned down the enemy, then at the start of the Assault Step, your riflemen can dismount and assault.

Challengers supporting a Kangaroo Rifle Company

Frost's Parachute Company and Glider Pilot Squadron

No recreation of Operation Market Garden would be complete without the heroic defence of the Arnhem Bridge by Colonel Frost’s 2nd Parachute Battalion. Although organised like a normal parachute battalion, once in Arnhem, they only had a motley collection of support weapons for support. This formation reflects this odd situation with Parachute Royal Engineer Troops and Glider Pilot Flights replacing some parachute platoons.

Paras on defence

If a single flight of glider pilots isn’t enough, you can field an entire squadron of them. They trained British glider pilots as ‘universal soldiers’, able to operate any weapon that their gliders carried. When they landed, the pilots joined their passengers in clearing the landing zone, then reformed into their squadrons as the divisional reserve. Similar to a large parachute company, but without the heavy weapons, the glider pilots have a hidden advantage. They are wearing MRC (Medical Research Council) body armour under their smocks, giving them extra protection against artillery bombardments. On top of that, every man is a sergeant or staff sergeant, giving the units extraordinary tactical flexibility.

As most of the airborne forces operating in Market Garden were very similar to those landing in Normandy three months earlier, you can use the airborne forces and missions in D-Day: British for this operation too.

Archer SP 17 pdr anti-tank guns

New Support Options

As the war progressed, new weapons entered service in the supporting arms as well. The artillery adopted the Sexton self-propelled 25 pdr gun based on the Ram chassis, the Archer self-propelled 17 pdr anti-tank gun based on the Valentine chassis, and placed the Bofors anti-aircraft gun on a self-propelled truck chassis. These options provided greater mobility for guns that were previously towed and emplaced in static positions.

The artillery also gained a rocket launcher that put the German Nebelwerfer to shame. The Land Mattress put the naval Mattress launcher on wheels, allowing it to fire 32 Typhoon rockets in a single salvo - devastating!

Sexton SP 25 pdr

The SAS had been fighting behind enemy lines throughout the Normandy and following campaigns, but once the fighting entered northern Holland and Germany, they fought their way back to the advancing troops and acted as conventional recce troops. You can field jeeps as either SAS (with the option of starting the game behind enemy lines) or airborne recce jeeps.

RAM tanks

New Kits

Almost everything in the British: Bulge book is plastic. The only exceptions being the metal Land Mattress and the resin and plastic Bofors SP. That means we have lots of new plastics being released.
● Comet
● Chaffee
● Challenger
● Sherman Tulip
● Airborne and SAS jeeps
● Ram, Sexton, and Kangaroo
● Archer


New Scenarios

The book also includes four new missions: Objective Walcheren, Widen the Breach, Water Rats, and Rhine Crossing, linked into a campaign. The first mission, Objective Walcheren, is a straightforward beach assault that’s not as bloody as FUBAR in D-Day American, making it ideal for the Gold, Juno, Sword, and Utah beaches in a D-Day setting as well. Widen the Breach also uses the D-Day Beach Assault mat, but has the attacker assaulting along the beach to expand the bridgehead. Water Rats is a more conventional assault, assisted by an amphibious operation on the flanks, similar to those conducted by the Canadians in the flooded Rhineland. The final mission recreates the Rhine Crossing leading to the final advances into Germany. The book has all the rules for amphibious operations, including the use of Water Buffaloes (known to the Americans as LVT-4) as amphibious transports.

Command Cards

The accompanying command cards allow you to tailor your Bulge: British force to more closely represent the particular divisions and the warriors that fought in them, add interesting weaponry and specialist equipment, and create some of the less common formations.

For those favouring armoured cars, your formation can now be organised as either an armoured division’s armoured car regiment or as an infantry division’s recce regiment. Armoured car squadrons can field the Matador armoured car (also known as the AEC armoured car) for fire support, and Staghound armoured cars as their headquarters or even, if you want a Canadian flavour, as a replacement for the normal Daimler armoured cars.

Do I Need This?

If you are a British player wanting to expand their options and try out new combinations, then this is an invaluable addition to D-Day: British. If you are new to the British Army in the late-war period, then Bulge: British is the perfect place to start, since it allows you to field all the latest and greatest equipment in one easy package.

No matter what your interest in the British Army in late 1944 and early 1945, this book is your one-stop shop to fielding an exciting and effective force combining a solid core of effective troops with a wide variety of supporting options.

— Phil