Upgrading Existing Armies with Bulge Options

Bulge: British

Upgrading Existing Armies with Bulge Options

By John Lee

With the release of the Bulge British, I thought I would look at how to upgrade existing D-Day forces and what new support options are available that you could add to your force.

For those of you who have existing armies, there are several options available to you. You could still run your D-Day British force using the D-Day British Force Diagram and take Bulge British Formations and Black Box units. We will look at some options for that first. Secondly, we will look at using the Bulge British Diagram, how you could take existing formations, how they upgrade to the Bulge version (if applicable), and the new support options available in the new force diagram.


Cromwells advance.

There is some cool new kit in the release that we could add to the D-Day British forces that we would still run, and I will focus on those Black Box unit options from Bulge. That’s right, we are talking about the Comet, Challenger, Chaffee, and RAM Tanks. At a minimum cost, you can add these platoons to your existing formations and forces you already run from the D-Day British force diagram. You can also get access to Para, Glider, Motor and Rifle platoons which have some different stats and or extra equipment. An example would be where you would normally take a Rifle Platoon as a black box support unit in addition to your core formation, you could instead take a Kangaroo Rifle Platoon to get access to the Kangaroo Transport to provide armoured protection and use it to close in for the assault!

Let’s see what D-Day formations could translate into their Bulge equivalents and what the differences are or what we might need to swap out. Looking at the table below, we can see briefly that we can upgrade almost all formations to a degree except the Commando Troop. You could still run those as a formation in the Bulge British diagram with access to the new support options and command cards along with black box units from both diagrams.

D-Day Formation

Bulge Formation

Parachute Company

Frost’s Parachute Company

Airlanding Company

Frost’s Parachute Company

Commando Troop


Rifle Company

Kangaroo Rifle Company

Desert Rats Rifle Company

Kangaroo Rifle Company

Motor Company

Black Bull Motor Company

Desert Rats Motor Company

Black Bull Motor Company

Cromwell Armoured Recce Squadron

Hussars Cromwell Armoured Squadron or
Cromwell Armoured Squadron

Desert Rats Cromwell Armoured Squadron

Hussars Cromwell Armoured Squadron or
Cromwell Armoured Squadron

Sherman Armoured Squadron

Guards Sherman Armoured Squadron

Sherman DD Armoured Squadron

Guards Sherman Armoured Squadron

Churchill Armoured Squadron

Guards Churchill Armoured Squadron

British Parachute riflemen

British Parachute riflemen advance through destroyed German vehicles.

Starting off with the Parachute Company, the formation diagram is similar, except you now have the option to take Parachute Royal Engineer Troops instead of the Frost’s Parachute Platoon for up to two platoons. Lose the 17pdr Anti-tank Troop and gain an additional Jeep Airbourne Recce Troop or Frost’s Parachute Platoon. Stats-wise, the infantry units now get a Last Stand rating of 2+. The mortar platoon now only takes two or three tubes instead of two, four or six. The 6pdr Anti-tank Troop is now a section of either one or two guns rather than two or four.

The Airlanding Company goes the same way as the Parachute Company and becomes Frost’s Parachute Company. See above.

Panzer IV vs Paras

British Paras defend against a Panzer IV assault.

The formation diagram for the Rifle Company and Kangaroo Rifle Company is the same. The only difference is that the HQ and Rifle Platoons get access to the Kangaroo Transport which is optional but adding them costs +1pt for the HQ or +2pts per Rifle Platoon.

For the Desert Rats Rifle Company, the big difference will be their ratings. Going from Reluctant to Confident will cost additional points.

Again, for the Motor Company, the formation is identical to the Black Bull Motor Company. The difference is that there is now the M5 Half-track option for the HQ and the Motor Platoons.  Including this option costs +1pt per unit. On top of that, each M5 Half-track can be armed with a .50cal MG for +1pt per half-track.

For the Desert Rats Motor Company, the difference again is the ratings, losing Reluctant and gaining Confident.

Kangaroo mounted riflemen

Kangaroo Rifle Company

There are two different options to upgrade your Cromwell Armoured Recce Squadron. The first is the Hussars Armoured Squadron. The Cromwell Troops can now have three or four tanks per troop instead of just three tanks only. You have the option to take up to two Challenger troops instead of Cromwell troops. The Stuart Recce Patrol is now removed and replaced with a Dingo Patrol. The second option is the Cromwell Armoured Squadron. The composition of the Cromwell troops includes either Challengers or Fireflies and either three or four tanks instead of just three. In addition to the Stuart Recce Patrol, there is now the option for a Chaffee Recce Patrol and Dingo Recce Patrol.

The Desert Rats Cromwell Armoured Squadron is similar in that it can upgrade to either formation, (see above). The other piece that changes is that they go from Reluctant to Confident.

Hussars Cromwell Armoured Troop

Cromwells and Challenger of a Hussars Cromwell Armoured Troop

The Sherman Armoured Squadron is pretty much like the Guards Sherman Armoured Squadron formation. You gain the ability to include Chaffees instead of Stuarts in the formation. Each Sherman troop now allows you more flexibility around three or four tank troops and what configuration you want – including up to two Fireflies. The Fireflies are now the late version with AT15 and there are points increase to reflect that. There is also an option now to add Tulip Rockets to the HQ and Armoured Troops for +1pt per unit.

The Sherman DD Armoured Squadron is similar to the above, but they drop the Firefly Armoured Troop and get everything else.

There is only one key difference for the Churchill Armoured Squadron – the addition of a new single tank platoon – Panther Cuckoo.  A single captured Panther for 11pts. Adds some oomph to your formation.

So, lots of options for your formations – some have the same or similar layout, and you can choose which version depending on points or your preference. There is certainly more variety added with this release with your existing force. Like you, I will be adding some of the new goodies to complement my collection.

Churchill (late)

Lastly, there are several new or upgraded support options available to the new Force Diagram:

Sexton Troop

The Sexton Field Troop is new to this release (well kind of - there was a command card to downgrade the Priest in the D-Day release if you had the old resin kits). It’s the mobile armoured 25pdr allowing you to use it as mobile artillery or indirect fire support. You can take four troops of these as support and take two for 7pts or four for 14pts. Taking at least one troop is an auto-include for your force.

The new kid on the block is the Land Mattress Rocket Troop. This is your counterbattery rocket launcher battery. Able to lay down a devastating salvo barrage with each team counting as two teams, and you can take two troops of these in your force. Stats are 64” range and AT2 FP4+. You will want to keep these out of sight and use observers for them. Two for 8pts and four for 16pts. Tip – take two troops of two rather than one troop of four as each team counts as two. 

Land Mattress

Daimler armoured car and Daimler Dingo scout car

The Daimler Recce Troop is a variant of the Daimler Armoured Car Troop and is flexible in that you can choose the configuration of the troop itself. There are three options. Two Daimlers (2pdr) and two Dingo (MG) for 3pts, four Daimler (2pdr) for 4pts, or 4 Dingo (MG). You can take two of these units as part of your force or you can also mix and match them in the command card recon formation – Recce Squadron.

One of the coolest units is the SAS Section. The SAS Section is made up of three SAS Jeeps (MG) that can be upgraded and fielded behind enemy lines with a command card! 3pts for the base unit. Add 1pt to add an AAMG to all jeeps. For an additional 1pt, you can upgrade one Jeep to have a .50cal. You can take up to two units of these in your force. I would recommend taking at least one – rule of cool.

The M10 (late) SP Anti-tank Troop and 17pdr (late) Anti-tank Troop are the same as the D-Day versions except that their firepower is increased from AT14 to AT15. So, the M10 (late) SP Anti-tank Troop are now 11pts for two or 22pts for four. The 17pdr (late) Anti-tank Troop is now 7pts for two and 14pts for four.

M10 (17 pdr) SP anti-tank guns

Bofors SP (40mm)

The last new unit is the Bofors SP AA Troop. Truck-mounted 40mm Bofors gun. You can take one of these in your force instead of the Bofors Light AA Troop. They might be Unarmoured but have a Gun Shield and the best armour of the game – Careful! Take three for 4pts or six for 8pts. For me, a no-brainer – use them to counter the German Flak Tracks and they can threaten light tanks.

So, there you have it. For those with existing armies, you have options to either supplement your existing forces or upgrade them to the new formation structures and stats. Happy list building!

John Lee