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Posted on Mar 28, 2008 in Boardgames, Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Axis & Allies Miniatures: North Africa 1940-1943 – Day 5

By Paul Glasser

Avalon Hill is scheduled to release the latest booster pack, North Africa 1940-1943, for the Axis & Allies Miniatures game today! All this week, Armchair General has published exclusive previews about the units and gameplay, including this last sneak peak.  So, what are you waiting for?  Read on, then go and buy the game!

Axis & Allies Miniatures: North Africa 1940-1943 – Day 5

The new M10 Wolverine tank destroyer is good. Possibly too good.

The M10 is featured in the Axis and Allies: North Africa 1940-1943 miniatures set and offers the best counter to Rommel’s PzIV tanks. With a 76.2mm main gun, the M10 has slightly better AT firepower than the Sherman.

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However, it has less armor and is best used when flanking German tanks. The “Flanking” skill gives the M10  extra dice when attacking the rear armor of an enemy panzer. While flanking, it stands a good chance of destroying a PzIV outright at medium range.

At a cost of 19 points, the M10 gets all the benefits and none of the drawbacks M10 crews experienced in combat. The open-top M10 saw action in both Europe and the Pacific and was vulnerable to close-assaults from Japanese infantry. The turret was traversed using a hand-crank, and it took about 2 minutes to rotate a full 360 degrees. However, neither of these weaknesses are reflected in the M10 stat card.

Commanders will be able to deploy the improved PzIII Ausf. L to deal with the new American threat. The crew consists of experienced Afrika Corps veterans, and as such, they can still fire accurately and move while disrupted.

The Ausf. L model includes several improvements over the current Ausf. F. It has a new high-velocity 50mm gun for improved AT ability and 20mm of additional frontal armor. The Ausf. L also retains the “Smokescreen” skill, which will allow it to safely cross open territory.

To complement the fragile and highly flammable Italian armored fighting vehicles, players can now deploy low-quality fascist conscripts.

Historians frequently portray Italian riflemen as suffering from poor morale, and this new unit from North Africa 1940-1943 reflects that belief. With a noted "Lack of Determination" this low-quality infantry squad will be removed from the game as soon as it’s pinned down. Conscripts also suffer from poor attack values against both infantry and tanks. The only redeeming value is the conscripts’ low cost. However, aside from limited scenarios, they are unlikely to see much action.

The Owen SMG is one of two new Australian units to be released on Friday. This submachine gunner has good short-range attack values but can’t engage enemies at medium or long range. Capable of firing 700 rounds a minute, the Owen gun was a rugged and reliable weapon. It was an essential weapon in jungle fighting and remained in service until the 1960s.

Commanders can also deploy the Owen gun as part of an Australian infantry platoon. The platoon includes an Australian officer, two SMGs and two veteran rifle squads and gives players a slight reduction in point cost.

 

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