Thursday, November 12, 2009

Axis & Allies Miniatures -- Royal Engineers

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

The Royal Engineers, collector No. 13/48 from the Base Set, is one of the very few Base Set units not to be re-issued as of yet.

Base set
Rarity: Common
Speed: 1
Defense: 4/4
Cost: 10
Attacks vs troops at short-medium-long ranges: 6 - 4 - 0
Attacks vs vehicles at short-medium-long ranges: 2 - 0 - 0

Special abilities:

Close Assault 16 — This unit has an attack value of 16 against Vehicles in its hex. This attack
ignores cover.

Bridge Demolition — This unit may attempt to destroy a bridge or Obstacle in its hex instead of moving or attacking in your assault phase. Roll a die. If you roll a 4 or higher, destroy the bridge
or obstacle. (Units now need to make a movement roll to cross the stream or obstacle, and the road is broken at that point.) *

*revised wording

Historical text: None

Royal Engineers work to disarm a dud bomb

The unit in history: The Corps of Royal Engineers traces its formal history back to 1717, although there had been military engineers in the employ of the King for centuries before that. Like the engineer corps of other European armies, the engineers started as a specialist corps f officers, with labor drawn from various sources as needed, but the increasing complexity of modern warfare by World War II had made all ranks tradesmen and specialists in the engineering field. Military engineering is comprised mostly of mobility, countermobility and protection tasks, and the importance of each has grown each year to the point where modern U.S. Army brigades (three maneuver battalions) have an organic battalion of combat engineers assigned, in contrast to military organizations at the outset of World War I which had a single company per (12-battalion) division.

Royal Engineer troops were found on every battlefield where British soldiers fought, integrated down to the lowest tactical levels.

The unit in the game: If obstacles and bridges played a bigger role in the game, the Royal Engineers would see more action, as there are relatively few tools at hand to blow bridges or eliminate obstacles in the game. As it is the biggest reason to select the Royal Engineers is for its awesome Close Combat ability, which is enough to nearly guarantee destruction or damaging the heaviest armored units in the game. The trick will be living long enough to get into the same hex as the target. At 10 points the unit is a little pricey for its value and later engineer units are cheaper.

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