Sunday, 13 April 2014

Operation KMA - Part 3

I've got my first two Bolt Action German squads assembled...

10 men in each veteran grenadier squad; 1 NCO, 6 riflemen, 1 Panzerfaust and a LMG and loader. According to this has a point value as follows:

• 1 NCO and 6 infantrymen = 104 points
• NCO has SMG instead of a rifle = 3 points
• 1 man with a light machine gun and another man becomes the loader = 20 points
• 1 men with a Panzerfaust in addition to other weapons for +5pts each = 5 points

TOTAL: 132 points per squad

The PSC German infantry are a frustrating half-way house between set posed figures and multipose figures. There are some variation options by way of a selection of spare heads, but you have to cut off the existing heads and drill out a suitable neck-hole to site the replacement head. But more about this when I do my review of the PSC sets.

Generally I am quite pleased with my squads, there are a few particularly nice action poses. Though I added a couple of figures from the Heavy Weapons set (with Panzerfausts) and even one converted figure from the Revell German Infantry set (with one of the replacement PSC heads).

I added a converted Revell LMG gunner to my second squad for variety.
My Revell conversion was done because I wasn't happy with PSC's representation of the squad LMG (which I used in the first squad). The gunner is holding the MG42 sloped over his shoulder and strolling along, the loader is likewise pretty relaxed looking. I would have preferred a more dynamic set of poses for my squads LMG.

Factoid: It should be remembered that - unlike other armies of the period which had two different guns for the roles of light and medium MG - the Germans were the first army to adopt what came to be known as a 'GPMG' (General Purpose Machine Gun). A GPMG could fill both light and medium roles depending on whether a bi-pod or sustained fire tripod was used.

So there we go, I have to start basing these tomorrow and then I will treat them to a quick coat of mid-grey primer. Then I will have to turn my attention to the other infantry teams that will make up my modest German force; the HQ team, MMG team, mortar team and maybe a sniper team (just so I have some flexibility when choosing my final force for the forthcoming demo game).

Tomorrow will also see me start my Armourfast Stug IIIF. Though this should be pretty straight forward, in fact if I go down the route of just using a mid-grey primer for my force I could have the tank destroyer finished in a day I reckon.

Update - Note on your first 'army' composition: (After a dizzying evening of reading about force composition on the web.) At this point I have to say that there are a lot of resources and article on the web which try and help you create your first Bolt Action army list. I have found that there is a lot of ideas about what can make up a 'good' first 500(+) pointer force, with different people offering different approaches and a lot of counter-discussion. I've come to the opinion that the whole process is a 'suck it and see' learning experience and the best lessons you learn about what's good and bad combinations will be learnt in your first practice games (rather than basing your force on someone-elses 'prefabricated' force).

So if you are an experienced Bolt Action player who is reading my inept efforts I realise I will be committing some glaring errors - in both how I interpret the rules and with my force tactics - but I hope to improve as I go along. To help me I have decided to look up my local wargame club and seek out other Bolt Action players who have similar and better experience so I can gleen greater proficiency.

Link: Scarborough Wargame Club web site


  1. I hear what you say about force composition. In the world of BA I personally think the players are to competitive in compiling their force and getting max order dice from said composotion that playing an enjoyable game is forgotten or lost. It all becomes about winning. I like a well balnced platoon that looks good and realistic and playes an enjoyable game whether I win or lose. Yours seem to be one I woul build.

    1. Cheers for your feedback - it's very useful. What I noticed is that there is two Bolt Actions - 'a game' and a system for 'historical wargaming'. Players who want the game seem to want to maximise their army's efficiency, despite the fact that history seldom works like that. In the real world a commander rarely has his 'ideal' unit - in fact I think the challenge is where you have to fight a battle despite your disadvantages.

      So I am going to start at the bottom with pretty 'vanilla' regular units and work out what is the pros and cons of the different set-ups.