Monday, February 18, 2013

BA: Assault Engineers and Warlord Games Ruins

Despite the fact that my Bolt Action forces are largely composed of things other than Assault Engineers, I tend to think of my force as 'The Assault Engineers'. If the upcoming army book gives these boys a good treatment (integral Flamethrowers, please) then I will be set. I tend to find in this game that so go the Assault Engineers, so goes my game. If they struggle, I struggle. If they sweep all before them, then, you get the picture. I've been getting a bit of BA in amongst other things and here are a few excerpts of a couple of games vs the Japanese, followed by my newly painted cool new Warlord Games Ruins:

 Both of these games are the 'Point Defense' (aka 'Encounter') mission vs Japanese using the new Japanese Pdf. We did make one change - though not for game one as Andy had yet to turn up with new flamethrowers for all: We allow Japanese to take Flamethrowers. The good thing about BA is that it is obvious what the cost of a regular flamethrower team will be and adding them really lifts the AT potential of the list. A flamethrower vs the flank (this is 40k style 45 degree flanks not FOW style 180 degree ones) of a tank is 1d6 shots at D6+3 vs say a target number of 8 to take out my T-34/85. Nothing else in their list comes close.

Anyway - first up was Jason's 600 odd points of Japanese vs my 'Assault Engineers'. I was the attacker and we were playing on a 4x4' board with the T-34/85 as the middle objective, because that looked cool. Jason was really relying on his reserves, which are regulars. They tended to not want to arrive in a timely manner. I had thrown a lot of guys into a right hook around that flank but had a good amount of forces pushing up the rest of the board, to try and keep Jason guessing.

Like all wargames, this is a game of skill and luck. I was lucky that my sniper was so skilled that he took out his opposite number, who was hiding in a house, in a single shot. Jason's guys did a good job of keeping my left flank - the free inexperienced guys - pinned down, while my 120mm mortar fail to ever range in on anything.

Meanwhile, my Assault troops and the mech recon squad in the Universal Carrier were making good time up the middle, killing things off as they went. Japanese Vets did begin to mount a counter attack out of the middle wood. However, they quickly discovered that my reserves were coming on from the right and they got caught between two pincers of my best troops an annihilated. At the same time, none of the Japanese seemed to want to come from reserve to return the favour to me. In fact, I won fairly easily in the end after rocking up to the objectives and then sitting there, wondering when the opposition would ever arrive! 

We tried that again a week later with Andy and Jason teaming up (and flamethrowers were passed around the Japanese) to attack my forces. Terrain was a mishmash of all three of our collections. I had the job of holding 6' of width. This was both easier (in that my center was less at risk of flankers) and harder in that one flank could never contribute to the other. Accordingly, I put lots of guys into reserve. The Japanese put lots of guys onto their own right flank. Personally (and I know I didn't follow that advice last game either) I think that at 1000ish points you should always consider something for both flanks, in this mission. My right had only a MMG team holding an objective and a Japanese assault squad would have made more difference there than at the meat-grinder my left flank was to become.

Because of all the reserves/flankers, the game had an odd character to it. My Sniper, MMG and 120mm mortar tried to hit the advancing Japanese squads, doing not too much damage, while we all waited for the real troops to arrive. As they did, that flank (my left, Japanese right) devolved into a mess. However, not as much of a mess as it could have as somehow the first target of the Japanese Flamethrower (needing a 3 on 2d6!) survived it's morale check! I would have got a reroll as Soviets, but still. Then somehow my team ground it out to s stalemate, while the Japanese took the center (as Jason and Andy patiently explained to me that there was no way a 120mm mortar was moving to contest an objective.,..) and no one but me seemed to want to one on my right. So a stirring draw!

I can see the potential in the Japanese list. Lots of riflemen is surprisingly good (so the rules-writers may know more than forumites credit them for)  and the big squad size plus the ability to always run forward can be very intimidating to face. Now they just need to get some bicycles and trucks....

 In other news - I have Progress! After initially thinking making my own buildings would be a good idea - I gave it a go and decided the time/pain involved (seriously read some building tutorials to see how many hours they are expending) didn't stack up when I only have a few odd hours per week tops.

So it was Warlord Games again to the rescue. Their set of plastic ruins is a very reasonable price from Caliver Books with free postage. Why do I keep plugging these guys? I don't know, easy to like anyone who seems to ship my stuff instantly from the UK so that it arrives in about 5 days from order at my house...

The Ruins are cool too. It's a set made up of three identical sprues (though all the bits are precut from the sprue to save box space.) One downside is that mine were seriously warped, it took me a while with some boiling water to fix due to the 5mm plastic. Otherwise, very nice. Good deep detail and the set is highly flexible. You could get much more variation than I did. After paining (isn't it always the way?) I see I didn't even swap the way I had one of the end walls around between buildings.

Overall, I am pleased with the result after a suitably quick and dirty Roughwotr style paint job. I really like the 4ground buildings but one building from them was approaching the price of this whole set while offering approx only half the 'stuff'. The best endorsement I can give is that I will probably buy more when I have spare $ as I can think of more variations I can do and the set easily fits P&S through to WW2 and could go earlier, if you left off chimneys.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Great stuff! I was just talking to someone about the 4ground buildings yesterday.

  2. They look great mate!

    Cheers for the games too...The Japs will get you one day!


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