So I have been running my Hungarians a lot lately, but for this tournament, I felt like I wanted to mix it up and use some of my miniatures that haven't got a run in a game yet. So I decided to use the Last Levy boxset from Warlord Games. I've had this set for a while, but never been able to bring myself to use inexperienced troops en masse (other then the one time I took Volks Grenadiers and a King Tiger).
The Last Levy set comes with 10 Volkssturm, 5 Hitler Youth and a couple of other models. So I started with the Volkssturm. I wanted two squads of them, but felt 5 guys in each was not enough. I also bought a Kriegsmarine squad from Warlord, and with a different paint job and some head swaps, these guys fit right in amongst the Volkssturm. So I chose two squads of 7 Volkssturm, one with 2 Panzerfausts and an SMG and one with 4 Panzerfausts and 2 SMGs.
Next was the Hitler Youth squads, another tragic icon of the defense of Berlin. The squad from the Last Levy set has 3 Panzerfausts and an SMG and I also have another squad with 4 Panzerfausts and an SMG made from models I got at Great Escape Games. These four squads gave me a truckload of inexperienced troops, chock-full of Panzerfausts, but I was going to need something with a bit more backbone if I planned on winning any games.
I went with three squads of Waffen-SS. These were originally painted up as SS Charlemagne before the Ostfront book release rules for them. While the Charlemagne squads would have been nice, I felt they were a little too pricey at the 800 point mark, so I settled on regular Waffen-SS. The first squad has 7 veterans, 5 with Assault Rifles and 2 toting Luftfausts (from the Last Levy set). This would be my support squad. The 2 Luftfausts can put out a decent amount of fire, getting 4 shots, each doing D2 HE at 24", but they are one shot only, so I will have to use them when I have the best chances of hitting to optimise their damage output.
The second SS squad consists of 5 veterans, all with Assault Rifles and with one also carrying a Panzerfaust. These guys will run in a regular Horch heavy field car, along with a veteran 2nd Leutnant, also armed with an Assault Rifle. This is my hit squad. Mounted in a small, fast, wheeled vehicle, they will either outflank or zoom towards a hole in my opponents line.
The third veteran squad has 6 men. 5 of them have Assault Rifles. All up this means I have 7 infantry squads, so I needed to make it 2 platoons. I have another 2nd Leutnant with a SMG and he has an aide with an Assault Rifle. They are only regular status, as I was running out of points. My last unit is a veteran MMG team. Why?! Well I am pretty happy with how the model looks, as the crew hunker down behind a barricade of debris and there are also accounts of a lone SS machinegun post holding the Halensee Bridge for 48 hours against Soviet assaults during the battle of Berlin. So I just had to take it!
Veteran 2nd Lt. - 1 AR
7 Waffen-SS - 5 ARs, 2 Rifles, 2 Luftfausts
6 Waffen-SS - 5 ARs, 1 Rifle
5 Waffen-SS - 5 ARs, 1 Panzerfaust
1 Regular Horch Field Car
1 Veteran MMG Team
Regular 2nd Lt. + 1 man - 1 SMG, 1 AR
7 Volkssturm - 1 SMG, 6 Rifles, 2 Panzerfausts
7 Volkssturm - 2 SMG, 5 Rifles, 4 Panzerfausts
5 Hitler Youth - 1 SMG, 4 Rifles, 4 Panzerfausts
5 Hitler Youth - 1 SMG, 4 Rifles, 3 Panzerfausts
Overall, I've gone heavily into making this a theme list over a competitive one but I think the core of veterans with Assault Rifles should be able to put up a fight at least. The Volkssturm and Hitler Youth are going to be a big gamble. Inexperienced guys with shaped-charge weapons are very unreliable and the list lacks any real long range firepower, relying on Assault Rifles and a single MMG.
Despite all that, one of the things I love about Bolt Action is, even the worst list can sometimes succeed. Bolt Action can happen, and even if I don't win, it's still awesome to put miniatures down on a great looking table and battle it out with cool opponents. While the events of World War II were often brutal, it's merely a skin we place over a game of rolling dice and pushing around bits of plastic and metal. So don't forget to have fun and enjoy the game!