The model under review today is the Warlord Games ‘Deuce’ 2-and-a-half ton truck with .50 cal MG (http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/us-army/products/deuce-2-and-a-half-ton-truck-with-50cal-mg).
The U.S. produced over half a million trucks during the war. They shipped thousands upon thousands of these to their allies as part of the lend-lease program. Indeed, two-thirds of all trucks used by the Soviets were of American origin.
We’ll be assessing the model using the following categories:
2. Kit characteristics
3. Value (a judgement which considers the price in reference to the unit’s functionality)
This is soft-skin transport. In Bolt Action as a regular U.S. truck with a HMG it will cost 76 points. As a truck with MMG it’s 66 points. I’m using it as a regular Soviet lend-lease truck with MMG for 54 points. It is an important and useful addition to a Bolt Action force. First, it contributes a relatively inexpensive order die. Crucially, though, it delivers my unit of Assault Engineers with body armor and a flame thrower 12″ onto the table with an advance or 24″ with a run. This works fantastically when deploying as part of the first wave in a mission using the last/first strategy. Try to give the truck the last order die out of the bag so it can come on at a safe spot away from enemy big guns, then give the transported unit the first die out of the bag the next turn. Finally, the pintle-mounted MMG provides either my medic or kommissar with a useful purpose (forgive me).
2. Kit characteristics
Once assembled this is a solid chunk of resin. The War Altar approves categorically of two things: resin vehicles and metal infantry. The cab and chassis form the two main components of the kit. You glue these together easily enough and then glue on the metal wheels. The canvas cover is also resin. The mudflaps, steering wheel, lamps, and other details are impressive. The only fiddly bit is the frame for the pintle-mounted MMG. It was easy enough, however, for even my caffeine-riddled hands to manage. All told, the vehicle was assembled in under an hour.
The Deuce costs £20/€25/$34. The War Altar is torn about spending money on transports. In general, the editorial team resents paying for models that spend little time on the table-top. Yet we also recognize that they are essential for some broken units (e.g., 12 M3A1 scout cars with .50 cals at €9 a pop to pull 12 ZiS-3 guns in Flames of War). The truck which provides essential transport for slow units and allows a medic to blast away with a MMG is an “optimized” unit in terms of list building.
This is a great model. It was a pleasure to assemble and paint. There are other units you may wish to consider before spending the money on a transport. For example, I’d recommend purchasing a Warlord Games ZiS-3 (review forthcoming!) before getting a truck. Nevertheless, we recommend this vehicle as an addition to a collection that is already well-rounded and intended for use in a competitive setting.
Here’s the truck completed and ready for action: