Those Who Can’t; Teach – Introducing New Players to K47

There is a simple theory: Those who can’t, Teach.

With this in mind to distract myself from the #streakofshame (17 games and counting) I seized an opportunity to help introduce a new player to K47.

To assist me in this I enlisted John Perkins who was itching to try out his new French force. Facing him would be another Jon, affectionately known as Netlist.

Netlist was the new guy, a big fan of Horus Heresy, WH40K and Darklands. His name is from him being a vocal fan of competitive builds, and lists from the internet. After seeing some of the toys and hearing the chat about K47 he jumped in.

By jumped in, I mean both feet, Japanese Banzai army boxed set for a self christmas present, with most the painting done by first game. Yeah, we hit a rich vein of enthusiasm there! Further buoyed by the Japanese previews, he was chomping at the bit to get playing. Which explains why he was happy and willing to take my advice, the fool!

To explain my logic I was wanting a good way to introduce this new player and brilliantly John had just bought a new army. The benefit of this was that was twofold, 1. John wouldn’t know all the hideous tricks yet and 2. I really wanted to see his cool new toys.

I kept it nice and simple, standard reinforced platoons on both side, and BA national rules as neither have a K47 list yet. However we would be using the K47 rules as it seemed the best place to start. The guys would be running the game as normal, bu i was on hand to give pointeres and advice for the wookie. As ever, the aim was to have fun for all involved, sothing that can get missed in some intro games.

Without further ado, let me introduce tonights fighters. If you are wondering why we played a 625 point game, thats because they could decide between 500 and 750, so we split the difference!

In the blue corner is John Perkins’ french force lead by 1st Lt fancy hat. He has been named as such due to the fact it was John’s justification for making him a 1st Lt. His list is:

  • 1st Lieutenant: pistol 75 + 1 Infantry: rifle 10
  • 12 French Infantry Section: rifle (NCO) pistol; LMG regular 137
  • 10 Senegalese Tirailleurs:  rifle(NCO); LMG. Loader with pistol126
  • 6 Inexperienced infantry section: rifle (NCO); one infantry with pistol 39.
  • Medium Machine Gun Team: regular 50
  • Sniper Team: regular 50
  • Medium Mortar Team: regular 50
  • Light Howitzer.: Regular 50
  • Light Howitzer: Regular 0
  • Renault ft-17: Regular 35

622 points


John on his list:

“My plan for this army was to play with as many toys as possible and see if I could get a feel for the way a ww1 army would play in Bolt Action without it being overly filthy for a demo game.

I wanted to put in a well rounded list with lots of different things that are normally in games of bolt action, to give Netlist a feel for the game.I may have gotten the balance slightly off….Especially with the second howitzer!”

In the red corner is Netlist with his Japanese Infantry force:

Imperial Japan

  • 2nd Lieutenant: rifle 50 + Infantry: rifle 10
  • 8 IJA Infantry Squad: SMG (NCO); LMG 103
  • 8 IJA Infantry Squad: SMG (NCO); LMG 103
  • 9 IJA Infantry Squad: SMG (NCO); LMG 113
  • 5 IJA Grenadier Squad: SMG (NCO); 2 × light mortar 103
  • Medium Machine Gun Team: regular 50
  • Suicide Anti-tank Team: regular 20
  • Suicide Anti-tank Team: regular 20
  • Medium Mortar Team: regular 50
    622 points

“The forces of the 109th IJA Regiment. The idea of the list was to offer myself a well rounded mix to see different game mechanics as well as redundancy if a squad gets shot to pieces.
The suicide anti tank teams hopefully to have board control if John brought any armour to the table and bodies if a glorious BANZAI! charge became necessary. For the Emperor!”

The Game

The game itself was take and hold a central objective. I wanted somthing nice, clean and simple. The board was 4×4 with lots of terrain, all of which was discussed in advance to be nice and clear. Althought the plan was for 6 turns then a 50/50 chance of a 7th, we only managed 4 turns due to the time constraints

It was a back and forth game, with several thrusts towards the centre. The Japanese made great use of thier fanatic rules, staying on the table where they otherwise would have failed and ran!

The french numbers became the crucial factor with full units facing off against depleted Japanese squads due to very good tactical manuvering by John.

Slowly but surely, with the help of mortars and lucky 6’s the french gained an upper hand,  although a spirited fight back was attempted.

At the end of the game the objective was being disputed (both had models within 3″) but John being ahead on dice killed (2-1). In fairness had we gone 6 turns the overwhelming numbers of french remaining would probably have won the day.

Over to our players, first John’s thoughts:

  • I need more anti Tank. Just an aside for larger games.
  • The ft-17 should only ever move or fire. The chance of it going on break is toooooo high.
  • Having a second howitzer in a game this size is a bit excessive. But then the free medium howitzer is gonna see a lot of play!
  • Snipers always get results,  even it’s only psychological.
  • Speaking of psychological effect,  the tough fighters on the Senegalese had Jonathan very wary.  So I could push forward with them.

Then Netlist, our rookie:

  • Need to deploy better, I spread too thinly where the cover on one side could of kept be safe from the majority of John’s big guns and allowed for a breakthrough.
  • The suicide anti tank teams kept John honest with his tank I felt by covering such a amount of board space if his tank hadn’t gone down twice they may of been able to take it out. This theory of board control with ambushes as well seems to be a strong strategy on controlling game flow.
  • Plan ahead more for when you’re stuck on the receiving end on a run of dice. John got 3+ order dice in a row very often which crippled some of my units before they could shoot. Forward planning needs to be taken into consideration far more.
  • Perhaps in list design I should of made more use of militia squads as both chaff and to increase my order dice. This could of allowed me to flood the board better to make use of the national rules and pin John in place for better quality troops to advance into position.

My thoughts from the game:

  • First and foremost, everyone had fun
  • Netlist was surprisingly adept at changing his thinking to K47 and I think the game has made him more enthusiastic as pictures of his painted tank have popped up in a few places. As he was on the receiving end in the game, he’s gone for the howitzer equipped one……
  • Dice for unit activation does surprise people to start with, but once they get it keeps people very engaged with the game and it’s great to see a solid ‘i go you go’ player adapt.
  • That the player i was advising lost. Hence starting his #streakofshame (which now stands at 2 games, though he has challenged me to a game….)

So I’m looking forward to Netlist joining the others at our tournaments and games. What experiences have you had introducing newbies?

Feel free to share any advice or comments below.

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