Sunday, November 22, 2009

Axis & Allies miniatures - SMLE No. 4

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

As is customary in Axis & Allies Miniatures, the basic British infantryman figure is named after his common-issue military long arm, the SMLE No. 4, Lee-Enfield rifle. The piece is collector No. 14/48 from the Base Set and No. 4/60 from the 1939-45 set.

Rarity: Common
Speed: 1
Defense: 4
Cost: 3
Attacks vs troops at short-medium-long ranges: 8 - 6 - none
Attacks vs vehicles at short-medium-long ranges: 2 - none - none
Special abilities: Close Assault 6

Historical text: The No. 4 Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303 caliber rifle replaced the Mark II family early in the war.

1939-45 set figure

The unit in history: Like most armies, the basic infantry rifle was a bolt-action weapon derived from a late nineteenth century design with some refinements in the early 20th century. The Lee-Enfield first came into service in 1895 and remained in first-line British service until 1957, although it served for much longer in other armies and is actually still the standard issue firearm for the Indian Police.

Like all bolt-action rifles in long service the weapon went through various models that incorporated improvements. The SMLE No. 4 was officially adopted for service in 1941, although it entered service as early as 1939 with some units.
Base set figure

The unit in the game: The SMLE is your standard bolt-action armed infantry figure, of which there are a half-dozen or so different examples among various nations in AAM. The likelihood of the SMLE hitting the tabletop battlefield will depend a lot on the degree of historical restrictions being used, because in most cases there will be another 3-point infantry figure that has a useful special ability. For example, the French MAS 7.5mm Rifle figure will be available for the same years as the SMLE and has a +1 Urban Combat bonus and still costs 3 points, so there's no reason to select the SMLE unless some historical army restrictions are being used.

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