Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Axis & Allies Miniatures Inspiring Lieutenant

I'll be posting, on an occasional basis, musings about particular pieces in the Axis & Allies series of miniatures.

The Inspiring Lieutenant is a core British leader unit of Axis & Allies Miniatures, showing up as collector No. 11/48 from the Base Set and again unchanged as No. 3/60 of the 1939-45 set.
Base set
Rarity: Uncommon
Speed: 1
Defense: 4/4
Cost: 10
Attacks vs troops at short-medium-long ranges: 8 - 6 - 0
Attacks vs vehicles at short-medium-long ranges: 2 - 0 - 0

Special abilities: Close Assault 7 -- This unit has an attack value of 7 against Vehicles in its hex. this attack ignores cover.

Commander Abilities: Initiative +2,
Tally-Ho! — In your movement phase, friendly non-Artillery Soldiers that start their move adjacent to this unit get +1 speed. (revised wording)

1939-45 set

Historical text: The 42nd Division, or East Lancashire, was part of the British Expeditionary Force that fought in France in 1940. its soldiers were among the thousands evacuated from Dunkirk.

The unit in history: The junior British officer was expected to lead from the front, leading to heavy casualties among them. At the small unit level British units tended to be effective, if lacking in flexibility compared to their most formidable foes, the Germans. Still, the British Army went toe-to-toe with the Germans for more than five years. Against the Japanese and Italians British units tended to fare better, although they w ere sometimes undone by failures at higher levels.

The 42nd Division was a Territorial Army formation that had a distinguished record in the Great War. In the Second World War it formed part of the BEF in France and was caught up in the disaster that led to the evacuation from Dunkirk. In England it was reformed as an armored division but later broken up in 1943 without seeing any more action. The British ended up disbanding several divisions over the course of the war due to manpower shortages.

Photo caption: Platoon Commander Lieutenant I. MacDonald (with binoculars and Thompson SMG) ready to give order to attack at S. Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

The unit in the game: The Inspiring Lieutenant is one of the more expensive officers, but the +2 Initiative is handy and the Tally-Ho special ability is also often useful. The unit also has a credible combat ability on its own, being roughly equal to a rifle squad. The Tally-Ho ability may tempt a force build that includes more than one Inspiring Lieutenant but I think he's a little expensive for multiple copies compared to some of the other leaders available for Commonwealth armies.

The revised wording specified that only non-Artillery Soldiers could benefit from Tally-Ho! Also note that the SA specifies the Movement Phase, so movement in the Assault Phase does not get the +1 to speed.

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