Semper Fidelis – US Marines Starter Army I

Box Contents

The Semper Fidelis – US Marines Starter Army is a mix of plastic and metal models containing:

  • 7 USMC Infantry sprues (42 Infantry) – Plastic
  • 1 M3A1 Half-track – Plastic
  • 1 Corpsman (Medic) – Metal
  • Flamethrower Ream – Metal
  • 1 Medium Mortar Team – Metal
  • 1 Light Anti-Tank Gun – Metal
  • 2 MMG Teams – Metal
  • 2 US weapon sprues – Plastic

The Maximum Utility List

Standard Reinforced Platoon
1st Lt (Rifle or SMG) – Regular – 75
x1 Buddy (Rifle or SMG) – 10
Regular Marine Squad (Mid/Late) – 10 men – Regular – 100
x2 SMG – 6
x3 Shotguns – 9
Stubborn – 10
Regular Marine Squad (Mid/Late) – 10 men – Regular – 100
x3 BAR – 15
Stubborn – 10
Regular Marine Squad (Mid/Late) – 10 men – Regular – 100
x3 BAR – 15
Stubborn – 10
Regular Marine Squad (Mid/Late) – 10 men – Regular – 100
x3 BAR – 15
Stubborn – 10
Flamethrower Team – Veteran65pts
Medium Mortar Team – Regular
Spotter – 10
MMG Team – Regular50pts
MMG Team – Regular50pts
Medic – Regular23pts
37mm Light AT Gun – Regular50pts
M3 Half-track – Regular
Pintle MMG covering the Rear arc – 15
Total12 Order Dice1000pts


  • Rifle – 28 / 30
  • Shotguns – 3
  • BAR – 9
  • SMG – 3 / 5
  • Flamethrower – 1
  • Medium Mortar – 1
  • MMG – 2 (2)
  • Light AT – 1

(x) denotes a vehicle-mounted weapons.

Notes and Analysis

The objective of this list is two part – 1) use as many of the components from the Starter Army 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 the Starter Army.

What we are looking at is force anchored around 40 Regular Marines with Stubborn. Simply put, this army will be hard for your opponent to shift off an Objective. And you will have the advantage when advancing onto Objectives as those 40 Marines can fire on the move without penalty. They may not pack the same punch as a double-LMG German squad, but three of the squads spit out 6 shots at 30″ and 7 shots at 24″, all without the -1 To Hit for moving. Fire & Maneuver my friend, Fire & Maneuver.

For leadership I went with a 1st Lt. Although it may seem a bit of overkill to grant a +2 Morale bonus to a force that is almost whole Stubborn, you want to make sure those squads are still passing their Order Checks. Plus, with a +2 Morale Bonus, this force is not going to flee the field of battle.

You’ve got 12 Order Dice for your 1,000pt list. It’s not as many as I’d like, but I didn’t want to use anything from outside of the Starter Army. This list uses all 42 of the plastic Marines included in the Starter Army – 40 are for the 4 Squads and 2 for the Lt and his buddy. The list also uses each of the metal teams included in the Starter Army – Flamethrower, Medium Mortar, both MMGs and the Light AT Gun.

I wouldn’t normally run two MMG Teams but they are in the Starter Army and the US gets to run up to three in a single Platoon. Considering how much Infantry you’ll be running forward, support shots from a pair of MMG Teams will be most welcome. Consider a refused flank deployment with both MMGs left to hold a side with all the other infantry on the opposite.

Drop the first Infantry squad, the one with all the SMGs and Shotguns, they should sit in the half-track and roll in from Outflank. It’s a nasty surprise, especially if you drop the Flamethrower Team in for the ride as well.

The issues are twofold – AT and HE. For AT assets, the list only has a Light AT Gun. That’s umm, not much. You’ll have a real problem with enemy armor. But, you do have an ace up your sleeve, a Flamethrower works just as well against Tanks as it does against Infantry. The other issue, HE. There is only a single 2″ HE Template. That Medium Mortar has it’s work cut out for it.

Now, all that being said, I like this list. A lot. If you can get your Infantry onto the Objectives your opponent will have a hell of a time getting you off of them.

What’s Next?

I gotta say, this is a solid, solid Starter Army. I would happily take to the field with one of these army list. But why stop there? If you are looking to enhance your Marines, consider these changes and additions:

  • Drop the Light AT Gun, add a Howitzer – Fixed AT is often ineffective. Swapping out the Light AT Gun for a Light or Medium (depending on the rest of your list) Howitzer will immediately give your army some much needed HE support.
  • Drop the M3 Half-track, add a Light or Medium Tank – It pains me to say it – armored Transports in Bolt Action are over costed and ineffective. Trust me, I wish it were otherwise.
  • Add another FlamethrowerIt’s both thematic and effective. A Marines list gives you the option to run a standalone Flamethrower Team as well as a squad of Engineers with a Flamethrower embedded in the unit.
  • Add a Sniper Team (maybe)I go back and forth on Sniper Teams. Alone they are typically not super effective, espeically when firing against Vet targets. But they sure are fun and the threat alone is often enough to justify the inclusion in a list. If you have multiple small weapons teams, having a Sniper to provide Anti-Sniper fire is a great idea.


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