05/07/2015

USMC Combat Engineers




A combat engineer (also called field engineer,pioneer or sapper in many armies) is a soldier specialist who performs a variety of contruction and demolition tasks under combat conditions.

In Bolt Action an engineer squad can consist of between 5 and 8 men including the NCO. They are much the same as a normal USMC rifle squad but you can have a smaller unit but have some minor differences in weapons they can have. Unlike a normal rifle squad they can not take 3 BAR’s but can only have 2 instead and no shotguns or pistols.. On the other hand you can take 1 flamethrower for 20 points.  Other then that  there’s not much difference in load out or rules. It seems a bit odd that the point cost of an engineer is slightly higher then a rifleman.
In my army I run a veteran engineer squad. I make them veteran because the unit is only 7 men and it makes them a bit tougher to kill. I have 2 BAR’s and also the pricey flamethrower in it. I have to constantly move aggressively towards my opponents units to get the flamethrower in range (6”) but because of the American special rule  “Fire and manouvre” this isn’t a problem. I think the threat of the flamethrower makes many of my opponents nervous and they start moving units away from the engineers. In this way they disrupt the opponents strategy and this is a great tactic. Granted that if a unit comes within range it’s great to use the flamethrower but most players are smart enough to avoid that.

So is the engineers squad worth taking? I think so but I only take 1 engineer squad and use it to bait or scare units away.
Historic Facts

A Combat Engineer Battalion is a combat engineer battalion of the United States Marine Corps.

Mission: Provide mobility, counter mobility, survivability, and limited general engineering support to the  Marine Divisions.

The battalion was formed to be a specialized unit to conduct shore party operations during Amphibious assaults, and to provide close combat engineer support to the Marine infantry. The average age of the enlisted men was about 18, and they referred to themselves as "draft dodgers" because all were volunteers.

The battalion participated in combat during the Battle of Guadalcanal, Eastern New Guinea, Battle of New BritainBattle of Peleliu and the Battle of Okinawa.



Cheers,
Seb


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