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Author Topic: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?  (Read 1493 times)

Offline Doug E

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Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« on: December 04, 2023, 12:16:32 AM »
I can not find the cost of a medic for any army listed in the 2nd edition rule book.  I'm guessing they might be listed in the nation-specific army books, but it seems a strange omission from the rule book.  Or maybe I just can't find it?

Looking around online it looks like the cost is 23 points for Regular and 30 points for Veteran?  Can someone confirm this, and that it's the same for all armies?   (I'm doing Soviet and German.)  Is there also an option for inexperienced medics, and if so what is their cost?

Thanks.

--

Also, it seems many people feel the medics in the game are useless - or at least not worth the points spent.  Not being an experienced player I'm in no position to argue, but having been a (U.S.) Navy corpsman assigned to a Marine infantry unit, it seems a maximum of one medic per platoon is a bit light.  That was the normal peacetime "we don't give a damn about supplying the people you need to prepare for an actual war" mode.

I can appreciate not wanting the rules to get too complicated, but I'm considering some kind of simple house rule that reflects how pissed the troops get if the enemy targets their medic.  (Like maybe an extra D6 on rolls to hit for every unit in the line of sight to witness the act?) Has anyone else done or considered anything like this?

« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 12:23:50 AM by Doug E »
Inara: It sounds like something this crew can handle. I can't guarantee they'll handle it particularly well, but...
Nandi: If they've got guns and brains at all...
Inara: They've got guns.

Offline Dubar

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2023, 03:12:18 AM »
Here's the homemade rules I've made:

MEDICAL ACTIONS

NOTE: Resolve all 1st aid to previous wounds before applying 1st aid to new wounds

If medic is NOT present at end of turn, injured figure or squad member within 3” (but not both) can roll 1D6 (roll for each wound):

If roll is 1 or 6      = figure is healed
If roll is 2, 3, 4, 5   = figure remains out of action, try again next turn

If medic IS present (within 3”) at end of turn, medic rolls 1D6 (roll for each wound):

If roll is 2, 3, 4, or 5    = heals that figure.
If roll is 1 or 6    = fails to heal, may try next turn.


I also place a small red D6 next to the wounded soldier.  Each the end of each turn the soldier remains injured, I turn the die over to the next number.  If after 6 turns and he is still wounded, he is KIA...bled out.  If he suffers more than 1 wound, I place red markers and red dice down for all wounds so they can be individually tracked.

I give medics 35 points, in my homemade rules that's 10 pts more than an NCO and 10 pts less than an officer.  I also give medics additional movement when going to the aid of a wounded soldier.  When moving along with the squad, medics travel at the same pace (6" walking, 12" running), but if they must traverse to the other side of the battlefield I roll 3D6 to give them up to 18" of movement.

Not a lot of fluff but seems to work.  If the wounded soldier is healed he returns to normal duty.  Rarely does a soldier with multiple wounds survive.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 01:34:45 PM by Dubar »
The crow flies at midnight

Offline Doug E

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2023, 02:31:44 PM »
Wow, Dubar, thanks for your input.  That is certainly way more complex than what I was thinking about.  I guess that's always the challenge with designing a game - finding the right mix of realism and playability.

(Edit:  I especially love the idea of rolling to give them the extra mobility to reach a casualty - no concern for their own safety and hoping the enemy will respect the rules.  Good luck with that if you're fighting the Japanese.  Or, you might roll a 3, in which case he was trying to run too fast and tripped over a rock.)

My idea isn't so much that a soldier may be fully "healed" and return to action, but rather that it's realistic to have medics treating casualties, who may no longer participate in that battle but who can be evacuated alive rather than dead (and continue to contribute to the war effort later.)  I don't want it to turn into a fantasy roleplay game with clerics administering healing potions.  I figure if a character is wounded, but not too badly, with a bandage to stop the bleeding he can still be effective on defense, but not able to keep up with his squad charging across an open field.  But again, that might involve making the paperwork (or casualty markers or dice or whatever we use to indicate where he's wounded and how bad it is) too complex given the nature of the game.

(another edit - I really should put more thought into it before I type -- So the medic performing the unseen treatment of relatively minor wounds so the wounded soldier can still function is simply reflected in the successful "saving throw" - no need to make it too complicated, right?  This could also reflect having a medic to enhance overall health, teach self-aid, buddy aid, etc.)

At the same time, I think medics should be cheaper since they are not there to shoot at the enemy, which is why we pay points for all those other people.  One way might be to include one medic free with the platoon, then buy up to one more per squad for 10 (or 13) points each - even though they are free to move about and not tied to a particular squad.  And what good will they do?  I'm not familiar enough with the game mechanics to envision how it could happen, but knowing you have someone there who will treat your wounds and give you morphine should enhance the morale a little - so perhaps having a medic within 6 inches affects the morale check?

So until I hear otherwise from a judge, I'll buy a medic for 23 (or 30) points, and for an additional 10 or 13 points another guy or two to extend his range (yes, I read about that trick) whom I will think of as stretcher bearers with some training.

I'm sure my newbyness is showing - but given the number of comments I've read elsewhere online regarding how useless medics are, I figure there needs to be a reason for every thing on the table aside from giving a player one more dice in the bag.

I'd love to hear other opinions (other than "shut up and keep painting" - I already know I need to do that.)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 02:56:43 PM by Doug E »

Offline Dubar

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2023, 03:08:08 PM »
Doug E, glad I could help.  Feel free to modify as you wish, I'm still playing around with them myself.

Yeah, the idea of miraculously being healed and put back into battle is one of the things I want to work on too.  Maybe have the wounded "retreat" at half speed while being capable of self defense only, hunker in place, or removed from the battlefield, I guess it depends on how deep you want to go.

I wouldn't mind including some individual characteristics (role playing) into my games (squad level) such as what 5 Men In Normandy has, but haven't done so yet.

Hopefully others will respond.

Offline Cat

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2023, 03:25:45 PM »
I always viewed the medic's ability more as a morale boost and buddy witness that would keep someone with a light wound from just bugging out, or otherwise encourage them to make a heroic effort and keep going, and am happy with the effect as written
« Last Edit: December 04, 2023, 03:27:48 PM by Cat »

Offline Doug E

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2023, 12:40:37 AM »
I always viewed the medic's ability more as a morale boost and buddy witness that would keep someone with a light wound from just bugging out, or otherwise encourage them to make a heroic effort and keep going, and am happy with the effect as written

Thanks Cat, that makes perfect sense, too.  It feels like this might be my week to be agreeable to everything.

==

I'm still hoping someone can answer the "points" question.  Is it 30 for a veteran and 23 for a Regular?  I think I also ran across some reference to the additional guy being only 8 points.  Is that so?  And is that for a veteran or a regular? 
Are medics and the extra guy available at the Inexperienced level also? 
Inquiring minds want to know.

Offline Cypher226

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2023, 03:01:15 PM »
It's been a while and I'm away from my books but taking a quick glance at Battlescribe, those points values are correct for the medic's rating and the additional man (or 2) are 10 points apiece for the US at regular or 13 for veteran (vets can only be taken if the medic is also veteran).

The Germans only seem to have the option for a veteran medic at 30 points, or a field ambulance (armoured or unarmoured) at variable ratings.

The medic's costs are in the 'Armies of...' books iirc, rather than the rulebook.

My guess with only being able to take 1 per platoon is it's to limit the number of order dice you can get from them.

Offline Doug E

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2023, 01:29:10 AM »

My guess with only being able to take 1 per platoon is it's to limit the number of order dice you can get from them.


Of course!  (can you picture me slapping my forehead now?) And thanks much for supplying/verifying those numbers!

It makes sense, and I'm new to this and still trying to reconcile the idea it's a game and not always totally realistic (relative ranges of weapons, for instance - and now medics) 

Still, as a former corpsman it feels like a subject screaming for house rules.  I might feel differently if I'd had a different job.  So, maybe multiple cheaper medics all activated by the same order dice, or each one activated along with the squad it's closest to.  Or, they could even be self-activated with no order dice involved, since they're not combatants anyway - often doing their own thing regardless of what everyone else is doing.

==

Everyone has been very helpful - thanks.  I guess it's a given that the supplements are practically mandatory purchases. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2023, 01:46:05 AM by Doug E »

Offline Cypher226

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2023, 10:36:14 AM »
glad to help!

I think if you could 'attach' the medic to a squad (much as like characters in 40k/warhammer can be attached) then that could eliminate order dice shenanigans.  It would also prevent the gaminess of leaving a medic in a transport so it can fire it's pintle mounts...

Offline Doug E

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2023, 03:50:37 PM »
Perhaps we could take a lesson from the Rules for Poetry for Neanderthals:

"We're sure there's more that we just didn't think of, but just remember - If it feels like cheating, it's cheating!"

Offline Khusru2

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2023, 03:49:32 PM »
Light wounds can be treated by other section/squad members. I think that the section/squad should be forced to stay in position until a medic arrives if it is a serious wound. Or, leave one other figure to care for the injured until the medic arrives as the rest of the squad advances. I don't think soldiers would be happy to leave a friend behind who is seriously wounded, alone.

Offline Doug E

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2023, 06:47:20 PM »
Light wounds can be treated by other section/squad members. I think that the section/squad should be forced to stay in position until a medic arrives if it is a serious wound. Or, leave one other figure to care for the injured until the medic arrives as the rest of the squad advances. I don't think soldiers would be happy to leave a friend behind who is seriously wounded, alone.

Right - thanks for that.  It seems like it would need to have some sort of effect in game terms - like affecting morale, or points for successfully evacuating a seriously wounded soldier.  This would just add additional rules, variables, dice, etc.  So I'm vacillating between developing a more realistic use of medics that has some affect on the play of the game, and leaving them out altogether.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2023, 06:49:16 PM by Doug E »

Offline dickiegranthum

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2023, 05:05:40 AM »
The running joke with medics is that after they’re done patching up the injured, they can go and man the Hanomag’s MG! lol

Bolt Action is very rightfully known as Dolt Action in my circle.  :D

Offline Waffles_vs_Tacos

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2023, 02:54:54 PM »
They are not super useful, but if you base your force around a reasonable platoon, you should include a medic.

Offline Mahwell skel

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Re: Bolt Action Medics - Point cost? Usefulness?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2023, 04:59:41 PM »
Not sure if has been mentioned above but in veteran forces I take the medic not for his rules at all but because he is another dice in the bag.

When you draw the dice a medic is a cheap way of increasing the odds that you draw your dice and activate something other than the medic early in the turn sequence.

The weird "forcefield" type effect is not useful. Activating the veteran tooled up squad as early as possible is.

 

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