The World War II campaign theatre referred to as the Western Desert encompassed an area some 1,300 miles across, including some of the most hostile terrain on Earth. Brave troops on both sides would have to contend with the harsh climate and landscape as much as they would each other. Perhaps it was because of this common greater enemy that the region saw far fewer examples of the fanaticism and atrocities seen in other theatres of the war. It thus became known as A Gentleman’s War.

A Gentleman’s War is a brand-new Bolt Action starter set that focuses on the action fought across the parched, dusty campaign in the Western Desert during World War II. The box pits the forces of the British 8th Army (more commonly known as The Desert Rats) against their Axis foes, the German Afrika Korps.

Be amongst the first to get your hands on two brand new plastic vehicles. The Sd.Kfz 222/223 and Humber Mk II/IV armoured cars will initially only be available within A Gentleman’s War.

8th Army

Formed from the preceding Western Desert Force in 1941, the British 8th Army comprised men from across the British Commonwealth – British, New Zealanders, Australians, Indians and South Africans. Following early successes against the Italians in North Africa, the 8th Army suddenly faced a new, more deadly foe – the Deutsches Afrika Korps led by their mercurial commander, Erwin Rommel. The 8th Army become more popularly known as the ‘Desert Rats’ – a nickname adopted from the 7th Armoured Division, a key component of the Western Desert force.

Infantry: Within A Gentleman’s War you’ll find enough components to build 24 British Commonwealth infantry. With a multitude of parts and options (such as Indian or Scottish Highlander heads) to choose from, you’ll be able to field a truly unique and rewarding Allied army. It’s not just limited to appearance; on the sprues you’ll find equipment options for Lee-Enfield rifles, Thompson submachine guns, Bren light machine guns and Boys anti-tank rifles, to name but a few.

Humber Mk II/IV Armoured Car: The Humber armoured car was based on the unsuccessful Guy AC, a tiny handful of which were sent to France and subsequently lost. Despite the various faults of the Guy design, the initial versions of the Humber copied them almost exactly in the interests of getting something built to defend against the expected German invasion. The Mark II rectified most of the faults in the armour layout, becoming a well-liked and reliable combat vehicle. Fast, armoured and deadly, with its 15mm Besa machine gun and over 70mph top speed, the Humber served ably in the Western Desert from 1941.  The new multi-purpose plastic kit also allows you to build the Mk IV variant – widely used in Europe and the Far East.

Afrika Korps

Sent to bolster their beleaguered Italian allies facing the combined forces of the British Commonwealth in North Africa, the Deutsches Afrika Korps proved a dangerous opponent. Commanded by the legendary Erwin Rommel, the Afrika Korps fought a series of ferocious battles in Egypt and Libya as Axis and Allies pushed each other to breaking point. The German soldier was well respected by those he faced. German tactics in the desert had a profound and deadly effect on how the British armour and infantry formations interacted with one another – lessons that would be well-learned for the later conflicts to come.

Infantry: The Afrika Korps infantry sprues are similarly replete with a wealth of options – enabling a wide variety of equipment load-outs on your squads. Weapons featured include the Kar. 98k rifle, MP 40 submachine gun, 5cm light mortar and many others.

Sd.Kfz 222/223 Armoured Car: The Sd.Kfz 222 was a light armoured car used for scouting and as a radio car (Panzerfunkwagen). It had an open turret and mounted a 20mm cannon alongside an MG 34 machine gun. The turret’s design meant the weapons could be elevated to almost vertical, allowing them to be used as anti-aircraft weapons as well. Each had a crew of three: a driver, a gunner and a commander. This new plastic vehicle can also be assembled as an Sd.Kfz 223; a radio variant replacing the 20mm cannon turret with a smaller machine gun version.

Coming Soon

A Gentleman’s War contains everything you need to get playing Bolt Action in the Western Desert Theatre. In addition to an A5 rulebook, you’ll find a bespoke theatre booklet that will guide you through your first steps into the game, templates and tokens, pin markers and dice. It is the perfect entry point to the game whether you’re entirely new to Bolt Action or are a veteran looking to explore a new theatre via the thrilling and fast-paced WWII battles.

Pre-Orders for A Gentleman’s War open 22/07/22 at 15.00 BST

For a detailed look at the battles of North Africa, and additional guidance on the forces involved as well as special rules, new units and theatre selectors to refight these crucial battles using Bolt Action, the Campaign Western Desert supplement is an invaluable resource.

    1. Patton didn’t arrive until summer 1942, Operation Torch. The desert campaign had been going on for almost two years since then, so that’s why. Not to mention, that we’ve already had two other Bolt Action starter sets containing US troops. If anything a starter set with Commonwealth versus Italian would have been equally interesting.

      1. If we’re talking what starter sets we’d find interesting: I say Volksturm vs. Soviets would be an interesting one. Plastic Volksturm could also be done as partisans, and it’s a Soviets vs. Germans option that isn’t Stalingrad.

  1. Rather surprised at the title of this starter set since there is a well established rulebook of the same name – A Gentleman’s War.

  2. Nice vehicles and figures. Re Patton comment… USA stayed away only joined when the sleeping lion was given a kick at Pearl Harbour. Two world wars and late to both. Kasserin Pass was a wake up call. DAK figures excellent… remind me of the Airfix of the 70s

  3. One does hope you have reached out to Mr. Howard Whitehouse of rule writing fame who has published a rule system with the name “A Gentleman’s War”, and has a FB page labelled the same.

    He certainly has precedence to the name and is well thought of in our small hobby.

    I would hate to see a misunderstanding develop along the lines of the “Space Marines” fiasco.

    1. Neither Warlord or Howard Whitehouse came up with the phrase “A Gentlemen’s War.”
      I think the bigger issue here is that both publishers are choosing an already established phrase that evokes the myth of the “clean wehrmacht.” The wargaming community would be better served by both Whitehouse and Warlord choosing new titles that demonstrate a less populist understanding of WWII.

  4. wish u could add the h1 units to these boxs i know kitbashing is fun but the metal ones are just beautifly detailed and well made

  5. How does the pictured British force work? “Regular Infantry Section (Early War)” can’t take submachineguns, and the core rulebook only British can’t field light mortars.

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