Saturday, January 31, 2015

BA- Mechanised infantry

One thing you don't see much of in Bolt Action is mechanised infantry themed forces. Unfortunately the transport rules make "battlewagons" such as the SDKFZ 251 hanomag and the US M3 half track a tad expensive and underwhelming on table for what they do. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, they are very expensive points wise (assuming you use the points system but most people seem to), a regular hanomag costing 89 points. The second reason, related to the first, is that under the standard rules transports can only fire if they have a unit aboard, so one sees the medic eschewing saving people's lives for mounting up on a transport and blasting away with a MMG but lets not go down that particular road, eh. In game terms it far far more sensible to buy trucks and other soft transports, load them up with infantry then zoom towards the opposing force, use the order dice mechanism to leap out of the truck to close with the enemy in very ahistoric manner; armoured transports better designed for that purpose being relegated to the sidelines.

That being said I've long wanted to mechanise my force and try to make  an armoured panzer grenadier force that is sort of competitive. The net ammendments Kent and I are using (5pt LMGs and armoured transports can fire one weapon without  needing to have a team on board) makes such transports far more useful.So my plan is to upgrade my Italian Front German force from (non) motorised to armoured panzer grenadiers. It is a project that has sort of been coming together for a while now. This week my self propelled artillery support arrived, an SDKFZ 251/9 with a 75mm stummel (the some one mounted on early panzer IVs) for close support- these vehicles came from the battlaion's heavy weapons company and the 251/9 will replace the Stuh as my "tank" support. Going by the BA rules the 251/9 can transport up to 8 men which given the room needed for the gun and ammo is a tad optimistic, so I will probably use the 250/8 (basically the same vehicle but on the 250 chassis and used by aufklarung units and which in game terms doesn't get the transport option).

So what I am aiming at fielding is:
3x panzer grenadier squads
1x pioneer squad
1x 233 heavy armoured car
1x 251/9 stummel

1x 251/10 command half track (with pak 36)
2x 251/1s

So that would be a total of  5 half tracks and armoured cars which would be cool. I'd like to squeeze in another 251/1 but think that is getting  bit optimistic. I'll happily rationalise it by assuming the platoons 4th 251 is in the repair shop, which is not all that unlikely.

Last night I painted up the 251/9 but still have the crew to do. I'm still 2 251s short (including the command half track) but am looking into rectifying that shortly.

The 251/9 was a bit of a pain to put together, couldn't find an online assembly sheet for this one, and bits didn't go together as well as I'd hoped but I got there in the end,

The force so far.

 I'm not sure how it will go on the table but should be interesting to run.

While I plot to get this force on table here's a link to an AAR from Sgt Perry's Heroes where he runs a very cool armoured panzer grenadier force- great to see such forces on table!



  1. Great stuff. In some of our games we allowed to delegate one member of the team to stay in the half truck, so we can still use it.

  2. That's not a bad solution either, otherwise under the standard rules they are terrible value.

  3. yeah, we need more mechanized armies. I'll meed to take a look at that unofficial 5pt LMG and get it accepted by our group.

  4. Excellent vehicles! How do you achieve such a good result?

  5. Very nice job on these vehicles. Will you be using the command Hanomag with the 37 mm? It is available from a number of manufacturers.
    Best wishes,

  6. Lovely vehicles - looking back, they are impressively advanced for the time. Both the mechanics and also their employment.

  7. Thanks for the comments guys, yes have a 251/10 ordered, along with another 251/1 and am awaiting the release of Rubicons pioneer (251/7) version.

    Mat, I'm trying to get a pseudo airbrush effect without buying an airbrush. I use vallejo paints. I undercoat black, green-ochre base, dark tone wash followed by green ochre light drybrush. Green stripes are Luft camo green stippled with an old brush, then refelctive green stripple and finally a light stipple of olive green seems to work out okay. Then an iraqi sand highlight.

    Cedric, we always include LMGs as they were integral squad weapons and haven't found 5pt LMGs unbalancing, just means we can squeeze in a few extra infantry. Personally though I think 10pts is about right but we use easy army to build our forces so 5pts makes it easy to use the easy army lists.