1 Box, 1 Army – Wargames Atlantic French Infantry (1916-1940) II

Box Contents

The Wargames Atlantic Italian Infantry box an amazing plastic kit containing:

  • 35 French Infantry (5 Officer/NCO, 30 Soldiers)
  • 40 Lebel (WWI) rifles
  • 20 Berthier (WWII) Rifles
  • 20 Berthier (WWII) Carbines (count as rifles)
  • 10 Chauchatt (WWI) LMGs
  • 10 FM 24/29 (WWII) LMGs
  • 10 SMGs
  • 10 Pistols
  • 40 Senegalese Coup Coup Knives
  • 5 VB launchers
  • 35 each of WWI and WWI backpacks, plus a large variety of pouches and accessories.
  • Enough heads to model all troops with caps, helmets or helmets plus WWI or WWII gas masks. Additionally there are heads for Senegalese Tirailleurs and Harlem Hell fighters.

This kit is absolutely massive and gives you many options on how to build your force. I decided to create two lists. One is a Senegalese Tirailleur force. Historically, most of these units had white officers but you could easily choose to model the entire force as Senegalese troops if you prefer. The second list is a more “standard” group of Regular and Veteran infantry squads.

The List – “Standard” Infantry

Generic Reinforced Platoon
Officer
2nd Lt (SMG) – Reg – 50
x1 Buddy (SMG) – Reg – 10
60pts
Infantry
Foreign Legion Veteran Infantry Section – 8 men – 112
Stubborn
112pts
Group Franc Veteran Infantry Section – 7 men – 91
NOC SMG – 3
x3 SMG – 9
103pts
Regular Infantry Section – 8 men80pts
Regular Infantry Section – 8 men80pts
Sniper Team – Vet – 6565pts
Total6 Order Dice500pts

Breakdown

  • Rifle – 27
  • SMG – 6
  • Sniper – 1

Notes and Analysis

The objective of this list is two part – 1) use as many of the components from a single box of infantry as possible and 2) make a List that work at a competitive level. Please in mind, this List was written using only the content of a single box of infantry.

One fantastic aspect of Bolt Action is that you can truly get started with a single box of troops. And I don’t mean getting started with some kind of demo-level intro game. No no! These are two options for full on, 500pts army lists. A 500pt game played on a 4×4′ table is a rich and engaging Bolt Action experience. Sure, these lists does not include any vehicles but you gotta start somewhere. On to the list!

This list has four, seven/eight man squads of Regulars and Veterans. Two major lessons to learn in Bolt Action are “Pins wins” and the power of the basic rifleman. This list is a great example of this and should prove quite versatile. Each of the squads can move forward to challenge (especially the Vet squad with SMGs), alternatively three of the four can effectively hang back in cover using their rifles at range. Depending on your personal preference you can split the squads into smaller teams or even drop a couple of bodies from the regular infantry squads to add LMGs, but our goal here was to use every body in the kit (this list uses all 35) and LMGs are not generally considered to be the most efficient points usage.


What’s Next?

The main weaknesses of both of these armies are a complete lack of any anti-tank power, low mobility, and no Armor of its own.

  • Medium Howitzer – Thanks to the Forward Artillery Doctrine Army Special Rule, you can add a free Medium Howitzer or Anti Tank gun to any force. Adding a Medium Howitzer to this list gives a versatile long range threat against armor or infantry. This is as close to a “must buy” as you will see in Bolt Action.
  • Berliet VUDB or Lorainne 38 – A unique item French armies have access to are fully enclosed, Armor 7 transports. They are both immune to small arms fire and just generally much less vulnerable than open topped vehicles. The Berliet is my personal favorite being wheeled, with a seven-man capacity (perfect for a squad of Engineers with a Flamethrower) and an LMG for only 69pts Regular. Trucks are still probably more points efficient, but these are too fun to resist.
  • A Tank or Armored Car(s) – French tanks might not be the best, but they sure are fun. The Renault FT 17 is only 42pts Vet (which you probably want due to the One-Man Turret rule) and is an Armor 7, Slow, MMG Tank and about the size of a matchbox car. Alternatively you can go with the Char 2C which is over 7 inches long, with a Light Howitzer and four (four!) MMGs. It’s slow, hulking and a great centerpiece for an army. Lastly, my favorite option is the ability to take three Recce Motorcycles with sidecars for a single Armored Car slot. These soft skins can wiz around the battlefield at only 35pts with a LMG harassing Artillery, Mortars, etc. or at 45pts can take an Anti-Tank Rifle and threaten Soft Skins and even armored vehicles (remember the bonuses for side and rear armor!).
  • More InfantryQuantity has a quality of its own. Thanks to the French Hurriedly Conscripted Reserves Army Special Rule, if you have three Inexperienced squads in your force, you get a free one equal to the least expensive one you purchased. This means you can field 48 Inexp. men with 44 rifles and 4 pistols for only 243pts. This is a lot of bodies to only take up less than a quarter of a 1,000pt army list. If you are going to go this route I recommend considering a 1st Lt to babysit them. Don’t expect them to be as effective as Regulars or Veterans, but don’t underestimate what they can achieve in close combat.

Sam

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