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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bolt Action - German List Discussion


This isn't me, but after receiving list advice from Steve and Dano, I can relate. Run!

As war gamers, we've put many lists together in our spare time. It's what we do. Some times, that time isn't even technically spare, as our significant others and employers can attest to. I recently made one such list during my "spare" time and showed it proudly to Steve and Dano. Predictably, they shot it to pieces. Read-on for the list, my explanation, and their reactions; then add your own reactions on our forum.
So, here's the list, in all it's glory! (My words, not theirs!)


Reinforced Platoon

090 - 1 Veteran 1LT

234 - 1 Veteran NCO with assault rifle, 2 Veterans with assault rifles, 6 Veterans with submachine guns, plus 1 Regular Hanomag (optional transport)

105 - 1 Regular NCO with rifle and panzerfaust, 3 Regulars with rifles, 2 Regulars with light machine guns

Support

105 - 1 Regular NCO with rifle and panzerfaust, 3x Regulars with rifles, 2 Regulars with light machine guns.

030 - 1 Veteran Medic

075 - 1 Regular Air Observer

050 - Regular Sniper Team (2 men)

065 - Veteran Flamethrower Team (2 men)

245 - Regular StuG with MMG upgrade

999 - total

Again, not me, however I felt like these guys when I hit send. Eat this, Dano and Steve!

After a few proud moments, basking in the glow of my perfect list, I sent it along to Steve and Dano with an explanation of what I thought I'd do with it on the table.

Me: The idea on attack is to use the 105 point regular squads to set up advancing bases of fire to both pin, and eventually put pressure on, units defending the objective area. They'll probably share a flank, instead of one being placed on each flank, as I feel they need to be able to aid each other, and more importantly focus fire to get multiple pin markers on the key targets for the main force. Ideally, they won't draw fire, but if they do, that means the rest of my stuff is not; and the rest of it will be what I want to get into assault. Win/win! The medic advances behind them, staying within 6" of hopefully both squads to take advantage of his ability. Truth be told, I would pay 30 points for an order token alone - the medic abilities that come with the order token is a bargain! Outside of a small transport, you can't get an order token for less. Finally, a sniper will stay as far away from the target unit as possible and assist the two regular squads in applying multiple pin markers to the target. 

That big ol' StuG is the fullback for my Hanomag halfback - football analogy, baby! It's that time of year! The StuG will run forward, hopefully blocking the most threatening shots for the Hanomag, as line of fire gets blocked in Bolt Action. The Hanomag will have the Veteran 1LT, Veteran Assault Squad, and Veteran Flamethrower aboard it, filling it to its twelve-man capacity. If it draws fire, which I suspect, the boss is aboard to help abate the pin markers, but hopefully LoF is mostly blocked by the StuG. The Assault Squad advances out of the Hanomag first, hopefully getting into 12" range for next turn, and dares the defender to assault it - except there's a lot of defensive fire capability with 18 shots coming from it! 1LT hops out to stay between the ASS SQD (yes!) and the Hanomag. The Flamethrower stays inside to man the MMG for one last turn as the Hanomag advances, thereby hopefully making people decide between shooting the StuG, Assault Squad, Hanomag, or 1LT; not to mention the steadily advancing regular German short squads. If the Flamethrower survives long enough to get within the 6" he needs to be to open up, it's all over for the target. He'll hop out and wash the target with most pin markers with flames, since flamethrowers trigger morale tests.

The Air Observer is there because it's one tiny model that I need to finish. Seriously. I don't think Air Attacks will be something you can count on in this game, but his 75 points gets me a chance at air and another valuable order token; and I have to paint less to have the list ready! Woo!

Oh, StuG! How you vex me! You look so awesome, yet I question your table-worthiness.

I really don't know what to do with the StuG. I'm hoping it blocks well enough for the Hanomag, after that, I have no plan for it. Sure, it can spray pins around the board with its hull mounted weapons and its 360 MMG, but at this point I'm looking at the StuG like an expensive hood ornament. It's hard to ignore on the tabletop, and I hope opponents want to try and knock it out. That means they've decided to ignore either the Flamethrower or the ASS SQD at the point of attack, which means, I hope, I win.

So, let me know what you guys think!

Steve: Alright, let's tear this list up!

Agreed on pairing the Stug and the Hanomag.  That makes sense.  The Panzerfausts in your other infantry squads give you some anti-tank capabilities and keep your opponents on their toes.  Having played with more infantry, though, having two LTs is a pretty big benefit since you can cover both flanks fairly effectively.  6" command radius is a 1 foot diameter bubble.  That mans your leadership bonus is on one flank or the other.  Or the center, but a narrow front.  Even a 2nd LT can make all the difference!

I can't comment on the air observer yet, haven't seen 'em in action.  The Sniper is great for NCO/LMG sniping as you approach, though.

I love your assault squad in the Hanomag. Drive up, spray the enemy with fire from the Hanomag and supporting fire from the Stug, then assault!  18 dice to swing in the assault, and you're vet, so you'll absorb the casualties. Nice!

That's about all I can say from my tiny amount of experience.  Haven't seen flamethrowers or medics in action yet. 
Feeling good after Steve's comments, I advance into Dano's offensive.

Dano: Well, well, well...  This list is a step away from Juddd's love of meaty squads, that's for sure; but I know why, and the answer is, 'toys'.  There are cool toys in this list and damn if toys aren't fun to play with!  I digress, so on to giving it like you want me to. (Whoa! - Judson aka Juddd)


The Assault Force:
090 - 1x V.1LT

150 - 1x V.NCO AR, 2x V.AR, 6x V.SMG

        84 -   1x R.Hanomag


065 - V.Flamethrower Team

245 - R.StuG with MMG upgrade

Solid stuff here.  The StuG will prove to be merely an expensive MMG. It's a cool toy, though, and I understand.  What says Germany like LMGs, Halftracks and a friggin StuG? 

1.)  With 10 Morale you could probably save a touch on points with a Vet 2nd LT.  For what?  I don't know yet, cuz' I haven't gone through the whole list, sheesh.  But the +2 Morale bonus on the Halftrack could come in handy.  Maybe the points saved can upgrade the Halftrack to Vet.  Why?  -1 Morale check on it coming on from reserves is why!  I had me a 'Revelaish' on that last night. ("Revelaish" is a Danoism for "revelation". - Judson)
2.)  Additional points can be saved with less SMGs.  This is gamey but, you WILL take casualties.  Maybe you will feel better if you have a pool of riflemen to choose from, say 2-3?  If you have enough points from the total points saved you can possibly purchase some anti-tank assets to deal with cheap transports like Bren Carriers.  This can be either Anti-Tank grenades or a Panzerfaust or two.  The Faust is a greater threat because it's ranged, and it ALSO lets you avoid only inflicting 'Superficial Damage' on the Vehicle Damage chart in Close Combat with vehicles...as long as you haven't fired it yet when you're in Close Combat.
3.)  The StuG isn't worth its points (for this size game) in my opinion, but as said before, its a great toy and it says "GERMANY!".  Other lists that can't damage or deal with it just give your other units more attention from enemy fire.  This builds on our 'Flood the area with targets' discussion we always have. They have no opportunity to make mistakes about who to fire at. (To elaborate, this is an idea that occurs in any war game, and one we frequently refer to. You endeavor to provide the opponent with more targets that he can shoot at; the idea being someone's got to get through. - Judson)
4.)  Love the Flame Thrower.  Cheap enough to not feel guilty about leaving him aboard the Hanomag to fire its weapons.  Deadly enough to come out and play when the time is right.  Win and win.

His blazing fire at my StuG has me down, but not out yet!

The Support:


105 - 1x R.NCO PZF, 3x R.R, 2x R.LMG

105 - 1x R.NCO PZF, 3x R.R, 2x R.LMG

030 - 1x V.Medic

050 - R.Sniper Team

1.)  Lots of shots!  Not meaty in terms of models, but the Medic being nearby may prove handy indeed.
2.)  Shame on you equipping the NCO with the Panzerfaust.  He is already going to be a target for 'Exceptional damage' or Snipers.  Give them to Riflemen.
3.)  Maybe there is a way to make one of these units another Manuevering Assault asset?  Keep one as is, or skin it down to just 5 models with 2xLMG or PzFaust, beef the other up in models and/or Assault-type weapons from points saved from taking away 2xLMG.  The Medic travels with the Manuevering squad towards the enemy.  This unit may stunt the opponents movement toward your main LMG Squad, keeping them out of enemy shooting range.
4.)  The Sniper's real value will come from Pins markers, because they hit easier.  The threat of automatic 'Exceptional Damage' will play on your opponents mind more than it will actually happen.  Snipers still need a 5+ to kill a Veteran after all.

Not a sniper, but a cool picture. Right? Right?

The Wild Card:

075 - 1x R.Air.Ob.

1.)  You're gonna like this guy.  One time use but is a looming Pin-Bomb that your opponent is faced with.  Consider some way to get this guy accompanied with two additional men to act as a 'clean-up assault squad minus'.  This way, after the strike has been called in, the unit has additional game value.  Sqeeze that orange mang!


Summary:

Keep this list as is...play it a few...then weigh it against the critiques that we gave you.  Then laugh at me for all my dumb reasoning, lol.  But no, it looks fun.  And the only thing that stands out more than anything is the un-Juddd-like less than full squad sizes.  

Back to Me: So, there you have it folks! Come on over to the forum and attack or defend my list decisions with us! Post your own lists for everyone to shoot to pieces! C'mon!







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