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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games' Atlantik Wall Terrain Set

I LOVE great looking terrain on a tabletop. There is nothing better in my mind than playing a close game against a good opponent on a table covered with beautiful scenery with fully painted models. It is the perfect combination. 

The problem is that I am stupidly busy and that I am a legendarily slow painter. This means that I am constantly battling my age-old nemesis… time… to get armies to the point that I feel comfortable putting them on the table. This leaves little time to build and paint terrain… This is why I am such a big fan of Gale Force Nine’s “Battlefield In A Box” range. Pre-painted, good looking durable terrain? Yes please! 

Over the years, Warlord Games has also released several excellent limited runs of pre-painted terrain like their “Battle Ready North African House” and this… Their “Atlantik Wall Terrain Set.”

A few years ago I picked up the Atlantik Wall set from our local Warlord distributors in Australia, War and Peace Games. Clocking in at roughly $100 Aussie dollars I was initially worried that perhaps I had paid too much but when I got that glorious package in the mail the next day and opened it up, all my fears were allayed.

The Atlantik Wall set comes with a series of three bunkers. All I have to say is “WOW!” The quality of these models is awesome! The resin casting is crisp and the painting is even and not heavy handed. I normally touch up pre-painted terrain; I am a bit of a perfectionist; but not this time. The models were literally perfect right out of the box.

There are three bunkers in the box: Two large bunkers and a smaller pillbox. The roof sections/lids are removable from all three bunkers and they come with two additional wall sections that can attach to the sides or rear of the two big bunkers. The bunkers are the right height so that models can see out of firing slits if they are kneeling and it they are standing up. You can see the smaller of the two bunkers below.

As a personal aside, I was overjoyed to find that that the ceilings of these structures are high enough that, even if models are mounted on resin cast bases (that are fairly thick), the ceiling/ lids do not rub or chip the paint off of hats or rifles. Below you can see the smaller bunkers with the roofs removed.

I really like that one of the bunkers (the largest one) has a reversible roof. You can set it up in the standard configuration OR with a support weapon nest on the roof. It also comes with an optional rear piece that supplies stairs if you go for the gun nest roof option. You can see the three pieces below.

Below you can see the roof in the lowered position.

Now with the roof reversed and the stairs piece attached to the back, which is my preferred configuration. It just looks better.

In the Bolt Action Second Edition, bunkers operate the same way as buildings except for a few small but notable list of exceptions. In Second Edition, models can create holes in the sides of buildings without doors or windows. In bunkers you cannot do this. They are too sturdily built. Another more significant change is that bunkers confer an impressive -4 cover modifier (double that of normal buildings). Please not that flamethrowers ignore cover modifiers so they are perfectly suited for taking out those pesky bunker dwellers.

HE is not nearly as effective in dealing units in bunkers, though units are pinned as usual, all other damage from HE weapons are ignored, unless the HE weapon can succeed in achieving 12 or more hits (2 more than buildings) in which case the bunker is leveled and everyone inside is destroyed. Likewise, bunker occupiers suffer pins from air and artillery strikes but never suffer damage from such attacks.

Vehicles cannot assault bunkers. They are too tough.

These rules are flavorsome variations to the usual building rules that are great for thematic scenarios and games. When using these structures in generic tournament games though, to make things more fair for both players, I have just told players to use them as regular buildings. They are just too fantastic looking not to use!

The Atlantik Wall Terrain Set is currently out of stock on Warlord’s website BUT I have found it in stores as recently as last weekend so I know it is still out there, especially on EBay. I highly recommend this set for anyone looking for something a little different and amazing looking for their tabletop, especially if they are as time poor as me.

I missed out on the Battle Ready North African House when it came out a little while back but you better believe that the next time Warlord makes a pre-painted terrain kit. I am buying it!

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