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Subject: Weapons breakdown rss

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Antifringe Antifringe
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I pulled my Ambush! series out of my parents' attic over the holidays and have been having a blast reliving the old times. Back in the day, I ran a squad through the entire print run of the series, starting with Ambush!, going all the way through Silver Star, and then taking my poor men through Battle Hymn and Leatherneck. I was a lot less analytic as a kid, and it's been fun looking at it with older eyes. Anyways, here are my thoughts on squad load outs, roughly starting with the 'good' weapons, passing through the 'bad' ones, and then talking about special cases. Hopefully it will help someone out, or at least spark some discussion.

Browning Automatic Rifle (8 pts): This is the best small arms weapon in the game. It has good range, outstanding stopping power, and can be fired in automatic mode. Its only disadvantage is that you have to drop it if you get wounded (the BAR requires two port boxes to hold), but I regularly have my wounded soldiers pass off their weapons and hide anyway, so no big deal. If I don't have one of these in my loadout, that's because I have two instead.

Semi-Automatic Rifle (2 pts): This is a solidly average weapon, and is what you should select by default.

Submachinegun (6 pts): An interesting weapon that has the advantages of good damage and automatic fire, but suffers from a very limited range bracket. You should avoid using it in long range sniping duels, since you will rapidly deplete your ammunition for very little gain. The main reason I don't use the SMG very often is because the greatly superior BAR is just 2 points more. The SMG is good for when you already have a BAR but don't quite have enough points for two of the things. It has some use as a specialty item for nighttime commando missions (see notes on the carbine below).

Pistol (1 point): A real turkey of a weapon, to be avoided unless you really know what you are doing. With miserable range and a stopping power only slightly better than hand-to-hand combat, this thing doesn't bring much to the table. Don't think that you can buy it as a backup weapon in case your rifle jams. Doing this is way too expensive, and there are better ways to get backups (notes at end). The only time you should get one of these is if you are starved for weapon points and you have some stinker of a soldier that probably wouldn't be able to contribute no matter what he was holding.

Medium Machinegun (13 pts): I used to love this thing as a kid. Man, what was I thinking? It's hard to set up, almost impossible to move, and requires two actions from two separate soldiers to fire properly. You will find it very rare to have enemy targets in LOS of your already-prepared MMG with BOTH gunners aware, unpanicked, and with turns available at the same time. In return, you get a weapon that is just barely better than the BAR (the MMG's damage chart is just the BAR with a +1 modifier).

For the same cost, you could have gotten a BAR and a rifle, which gives you a two-man team that can fire independently and twice as often, and still have 3 points left over for other stuff. I wouldn't use this thing if I got it for free.

Bazooka (8 pts): This is a very powerful weapon, but also very situational. It is the best way to deal with occupied buildings, and is one of the few weapons that can kill tanks (albeit just barely). Do not buy one unless you are expecting to face at least one of those threats. The rockets are expensive, but don't skimp! Bring at least four, or don't bother buying the bazooka at all.

Carbine (2 pts): If you studied the weapon chart before diving deep into the game, you may have wondered what is going on with the carbine. It costs as much as the normal semi-auto, but is inferior in every way. Don't fret, you aren't missing anything. There are no hidden advantages to the carbine.

Some of the 'commando' style missions ban semi-automatic rifles, which forces you to use the awful carbine instead. Most missions that ban semi-autos don't ban submachineguns. Many of those missions are also at night, where the SMG's short range doesn't matter as much. This is a rare case where I would recommend buying 2-3 SMGs to reduce the impact of having to use carbines.

Grenade (1/3 pts): I make sure that everyone has at least one of these things. They attack hexes, not soldiers, and are one of the best ways to deal with occupied woods hexes at short to medium ranges. They can also be used as an emergency backup if your weapon jams in the middle of a firefight. If you have leftover points, use them to buy more of these things.

Ammo (1/5 pts): For semi-auto weapons, three clips is enough to protect you from all but the worst of luck (in which case you can just borrow ammo from another squad member). I've found that even this is usually overkill, and have taken to buying 2.5 per soldiers (ie half the men get 2, the other half get 3). Use the exchange equipment action in between encounters to keep everyone up to two clips.

For automatic weapons, never get any less than 4. The Browning never gets less than 5 (I would buy 6 clips for it, but I've found that having a grenade option is usually more important).

Captured German Weapons: German weapons have limited ammo and impose a -1 WS penalty on your men. These are serious disadvantages. However, most of your men will start the mission with an empty port box, so there is no reason not to pick up the odd German weapon or two. If your main gun jams, you can continue to return fire with your 'borrowed' weapon.
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John Kovacs
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Sounds like great advice...now I just need to get the game to the table!
Thanks for the post!
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Alan Kaiser
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Antifringe wrote:
The only time you should get one of these is if you are starved for weapon points and you have some stinker of a soldier that probably wouldn't be able to contribute no matter what he was holding.


Nope, not even then. Even though the pistol doesn't take up a port box it does take up something even more important - an ammo slot! A grenade is a much better use of that slot. Even an ammo clip for a fellow soldier is a better use of an ammo slot.

Quote:
Medium Machinegun (13 pts):

I wouldn't use this thing if I got it for free.


I've always wondered why this is even in the weapons cost table! Who in their right mind would select a weapon like this???? Maybe if you are defending a location but in Ambush you rarely are and even when you do it would be pointless to set this up somewhere since the Germans would no doubt avoid your prepared position and high tail it off the board somewhere else. Complete rubbish.

Nice analysis. I wouldn't change a thing.

Then again, I've never seen or heard anyone who would disagree with any of this. This is pretty much the way I've played from my 2nd scenario (you do need that one play through to figure it out). I guess that's the part that's always bugged me about Ambush. Your load-out is always the same except in special situations. I don't mind the load-out mind you, it's certainly historical. But why bother with all the choice to begin with?? Why not just say 'here's the historical load-out' and be done with it. Add in the specialty weapons on a scenario by scenario basis and maybe add an optional rule to buy weapons at the end of the rules. Why add the extra time and complexity (not much mind you) to the game?? I certainly never use it anymore. I start with the same set of weapons for every scenario except where the scenario warrants a change.
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joshua danley
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I slightly disagree with the Med MG. I usually run as two fire teams/maneuver elements with an over-watch type of mentality. Now I will say in some situations this isn't needed but when it is I usually already have multiple fire angles on any Germans that appear and somebody in position to approach under cover if needed.



You are correct about the MMG damage table just being a +1 to the AR damage table if you look at (K/I)IA results. But look lower on that table. A MMG NEVER PANICS and only wounds a third of the time. As Opposed to the AR which has a 40% chance of Panicking or woundng.

The second part is I always have a commander with each fire team and make sure there is enough command to minimize panics. With a well placed commander with competent PC you can keep your MG team aware and give them multiple turns. Granted you are now tasking 3 soldiers with the task of firing the MMG but you are freeing up more of the squad to manuever.




Just a thought. On the surface I see your point but this is how I run it on occasion and will almost always try to have one set up on a defense mission.



also if I can afford It I will have a couple extra semi auto or carbines being held by other members of that fireteam because sometimes you need to just abandon the MG
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joshua danley
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also don't be afraid to snap fire that MG with one person .
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