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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games LVT Buffalo

The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) is a beast and I love it. It is among one of the largest vehicles you will see on the table and is a real centerpiece for an army. Today I will review the LVT Buffalo from Warlord Games and discuss it in game. I will only be speaking about the use of the LVT with Commonwealth forces this time, as the entry differs slightly from those available to the US.

I have over the last four years had three of these vehicles from Warlord Games go through my hands and I have not been disappointed yet. They are a resin hull with metal tracks, hatches, benches, ramp and guns, and assemble very easily with minimal issues. I did have to clean up a small amount of resin however this was almost a non issue. You can have the ramp either up or down, or if you are clever enough you may be able to make it so it opens and closes.

It is priced at 26 Pounds (32USD) which is slightly more expensive than a M4, however you are getting a large chunk of vehicle that can be used across several armies. Why do I like this vehicle so much? Well for a start it is really iconic for those Pacific battles and to a lesson known extent, the Allies push into Germany after D-Day. It also just looks amazing on a table.

The LTV 4 Buffalo can be found on page 62 of the Armies of Great Britain book with the following stats:

Cost: 98pts (Inexperienced), 123pts (Regular), 148pts (Veteran)
Weapons: Two pintle-mounted MMG's with 360-degree arc of fire
Damage Value: 7+
Transport: Up to 24 men
Options: May add a pintle-mounted 20mm Polsten light autocanon with a 360-degree arc of fire for +35 points
Special Rules: Open-topped and amphibious

This vehicle can give you options that are not seen anywhere else for your Commonwealth forces. The capacity to transport 24 men is one of the largest in the game. I have used it in the past to flank with 3 squads and a command team and on the way in, the vehicle can shoot two MMG's before dismounting the squads.

If you upgrade to the Polsten autocanon you do not lose transport capacity at all. This is a big deal as you now have a transport with the ability to punch holes in light armour and clear troops out of buildings. This is a threat that can't be ignored by your opponent or else all of a sudden in turn three with a single order check to come onto the table, you can have three 7 man squads and a command team in their territory. On top of that a vehicle that can hit your enemies flanks and throw autocannon and MMG rounds around like Santa Claus handing out presents at Christmas.

I am not aware of any commercially available mounts for the LVT for the Polsten autocannon, however Warlord Gamed does sell one here which with a little effort you could mount it.

With V2 you can fire a single weapon on the transport when dismounted. You now have a transport shooting a light autocannon when empty, in support of your troops. If you keep a small team inside, you add two MMG's to that list and you now have yourself a battlewagon pumping out 2 x 5 shots plus an autocannon each with 360-degree arcs that can deliver 21 troops. Another feature is the anti-air capability of this vehicle will now scare away all but the most determined pilot should they wish to make a gun run on your forces.

It is not a cheap option though and you will have to sacrifice elsewhere in your list, you will be looking at just under 200 points once you add a small squad which is basically an M4 tank for your force. V2 has made this a really viable option for your Commonwealth forces, giving you transport, anti-air and direct fire support capability in one platform and I can see it being used with Australians in the Pacific and Commandos in Europe more often now. The downside to these vehicles is that they are open topped so you will have to use them very tactically to deliver your troops and protect them from assaulting infantry.

Vanilla lists in Bolt Action are perfectly fine, but many gamers like to think outside the box and bring in units that are not often seen. This could be because they are iconic yet underwhelming in their stats or they are just different. Well the Buffalo covers off on a lot of those things and I would love to see more Commonwealth forces using the Buffalo.


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