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Friday, August 23, 2013

Bolt Action - New To Bolt Action: Baxter's Next 500 Points

In our last article we looked at things to consider when building you initial 500 point Bolt Action Army.  Judson started out with a 500 point British list, and I started out with 500 points of Russians.   Your first 500 point forms the core of your army and I chose to fill mine with figures and troops I will hopefully use in most army lists I create.  Here is my 500 point list to recap what I bought.




500 Point Russian Starter Army
2nd Lieutenant Regular w/ SMG
+ (1) Staff w/ Rifle
60 Points

1 x Inexperienced Infantry Squad (11 Men)
+LMG
+AT Grenades
Free

1 x Rifle Squads (10 Men)
100 Points

1 x Rifle Squads (10 Men)
100 Points

1 x Heavy Mortar (inexperienced)
+ Spotter
56 Points

1 x Medium Machine Gun (regular)
+ gun shield
60 Points

1 x BA-10 (regular)
120 Points

Total: 496 Points

After playing your 500 point army a few times you want to sit back and evaluate how they performed on the table.   Before buying new units, I take a look at what I can improve about my current army list, either through upgrades or by removing troops.  I have settled on a few changes that will hopefully increase the effectiveness of my army on the table top.

Officer Upgrade:
I am not a big fan of 2nd Lieutenants.  The +1 moral bonus just doesn’t do it for me.  Time and time again I find the bonus lacking and detrimental to my game play.  So I have decided to upgrade my 2nd Lieutenant to a 1st Lieutenant.  The +2 moral bonus will be a lot more handy and help me keep up my attack or defense at 1000 points.  This 25 point investment will be well worth it.

Infantry Upgrades
I decided to upgrade my two rifle squads to Siberian rifle squads and give them tough fighters for an additional 10 points per squad.  Tough Fighters will give these troops two attacks in hand to hand, which will make them extra deadly against an enemy, especially those Germans with Assault Rifles.   If I didn’t want to make them Siberians I could have opted to upgrade them to Veteran Soviets or Naval Troops, which can also be given tough fighter.  I also want to upgrade them from regulars to veterans, so to save point I cut two men from each squad.  You don't have to use the Siberian figures from Warlord, but they are cool.


 
Officer Demotions
I felt like I can get away with the benefit of having a Senior Lieutenant without him needing to be regular.  So to save points he was purged and replaced with an inexperienced officer.

Support Changes


After playing a few games I have not been overly impressed with the performance of the MMG team.  If just cannot dish out the shots I need and there are other support options I would rather field for the 60 points, so I removed it from my list.  I also dropped the BA -10 to save points for a large infantry force.  This does not mean I will never use the BA-10 again.  It is a solid armored car.


New Additions

Now that I have made changes to my original army list, it's time to finish out the rest of the army. Here is what I came up with:

1000 Point Russian Starter Army
1st Lieutenant, Inexperienced
+ (1) Staff
67 Points

1st Lieutenant, Inexperienced
+ (1) Staff
67 Points

1 x Artillery Spotter, Regular
+ (1) Staff
110

1 x Inexperienced Infantry Squad (11 Men)
+LMG
+AT Grenades
Free

1 x Militia, Inexperienced (10 Men)
+5unarmed figures
60 Points

1 x Siberian Veteran Rifle Squads (8 Men)
+ Tough Fighters
110 Points

1 x Siberian Veteran Rifle Squads (8 Men)
+ Tough Fighters
110 Points

1 x Assault Engineers, Veterans (6 Men)
4 x SMGs
+ Flame Thrower
110 Points

2 x Truck Regular
78 Points

1 x Heavy Mortar, Inexperienced

+ Spotter
56 Points

2 x ZIS-3 Regular
160 Points

3 x Anti Tank Rifle Teams Regular
90 Points


1 x Regular Flame Thrower
50 Points

Total Points: 1001 (1001! Preposterous! - Judson)
Activation Dice:  17

New Recruits
As a Soviet player I love the infantry horde.  Valuable points spent on tanks can be saved and spent on more support options.  Each of those support options I buy are important for my war effort.

Another Officer
A key to the success of any operation is leadership.  Bolt Action is no different.  By adding an additional low-level officer I am able to take two of some units I might normally only be able to take one of.  Additionally, I can spread the leadership love out, to ensure my troops are always moving forward.


ZIS-3
The ZIS-3 is a fantastic multi-purpose gun.  It is not a monotool.  It can shoot as a medium anti-tank gun, but also can be treated as a light howitzer giving it a D6 HE shot.  This makes it a threat to both infantry and armor.  Naturally, I bought two.



Anti-Tank Rifles
These one-shot wonder weapons are very, very cool.  The Soviets can get three of them for each Anti-Tank option, and at 30 a pop they are worth it.  You have to have reasonable expectations for AT rifles, though.  Their purpose is to pin tanks and kill veterans.  While you can buy anti-tank rifle teams from Warlord or other companies, the best deal is getting them out of the plastic Soviet box set.

Assault Engineers
Assault engineers are one of the best units you can field, because you get a decent sized veteran infantry unit with a 20 point flame thrower.  Since the flame thrower is a part of the unit it is harder to pick out and kill.  The unit’s mission is to get up close and torch Jerry.



Flame thrower team
Because the one you have in your engineer platoon isn’t enough.  This team with either be wildly successful or get killed.  You opponent will fret throughout the game wondering where this little dude is hiding and sneaking around.  The terror in your opponents eyes as he sweats about your flame thrower team is worth the 50 points.  You can pick up extra flame throwers from a variety of companies.

Militia
Militia is a great way to put warm bodies on the table and fill out your army.  They are cheap, Green, and can suck up a lot of hits.  Use them to screen your veterans as you advance them across the field.   You can make your own militia using the plastic Soviet box set from Warlord.



Trucks
The biggest mistake I made at Historicon was underestimating the importance and effectiveness of trucks.  I don’t think you should ever leave home without at least one, if not two.  Not having trucks burnt me, while my enemy’s trucks ran circles around my ground pounders.  I will use them to get my Siberians and Engineers into the fight fast.  You can get trucks from a variety of model and miniature companies.

As you can see after playing a few games you learn a little about your force and style of play.  Be prepared to make adjustments to your list.  This could bring added costs, but your force will be stronger and better prepared to deal with a variety of threats in the end.  Make sure whatever unit you take fits in to your style of play, personal preference, and overall strategy for winning games.  If you do that, you can't go wrong.

“Craig Baxter is the Director of the WWPD Northern Research center in Anchorage, AK. When he’s not contributing to Boltaction.net and WWPD.net he is busy painting, modeling and rolling dice."

Mentioned in this Article
Bolt Action
Warlord: Plastic Soviet Infantry
Warlord: Anti Tank Rifle Teams
Warlord: Assault Engineers
Warlord: ZIS - 3
Warlord: Siberian Veterans

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