Greek Soldier

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

North Africa - Common - 5/60

Historical Background:

WW2 was not a good time for underdogs. However briefly hope flared for the weaker side at the beginning of a campaign, soon the waves of bombers, tanks, infantrymen or whatever crushed the valiant defenders under the weight of their bombs, treads or boots. Perhaps the most renowned of the underdogs, and the most successful at least temporarily, were the Greeks. Mussolini's eight million bayonets had cowed the Abyssinians, but found no success in the rocky terrain of the Pindus Mountains. Not only did the descendants of Pericles hold back the hollow legions, but they soon advanced into Albania. Unfortunately, this short-lived success did nothing but alarm the true heavy-hitters of the Axis alliance. Soon, the Blitzkrieg introduced the Greek army to the full fury of modernity. The virtues cultivated for centuries proved inadequate against the mechanized storm, despite assistance from the Commonwealth forces. Despite the fall of Greece and the horrific Axis occupation, Hellenic forces fought on in the Mediterranean.



While the unit as sculpted seems more a representation of the Free Greek forces than the Royal Hellenic Army, the Special Abilities are more reminiscent of the earlier part of the conflict. FURY 2, in its revised version, gives the Greek Soldier two extra attack dice on the turn after an enemy unit is destroyed. This gives a big boost to the unit's otherwise below average Attack Values (7/5/-) and CLOSE ASSAULT 5. In addition, the player can bring a Greek Officer to bump these numbers even higher.

Obviously, with only two units, the Greek army cannot compete on its own. Against the lackluster early Italians, it doesn't need much support. The Italians will die easily and keep FURY 2 in play. Against more powerful Axis forces, the P-40 Warhawk is a perfect adjunct. It can take out Axis units early enough so the Mausers run into the amped-up Greeks right away. The Greek Soldier also performs well as a cut-rate companion for a pair of Shermans. With a little luck and a Greek Officer, the Allied player can often count on having a gang of SS Panzergrenadiers fighting for him at a cost of only three points each.

One might have hoped for a little more flavor in the Greek Soldier, some mountaineering perhaps, but at least WoTC didn't churn out another Mauser clone. This interesting piece does present the player with a lot of opportunities and challenges.

Plastic Figure Notes:


Considering that Greek soldiers have worn skirts from the time of Marathon to the present day, it's slightly ironic to criticize this soldier for his feminine stance. Still, he does look like he would be a lot more comfortable on a catwalk than the steep paths of the Pindus Mountains. I really was looking forward to something a bit more rustic, maybe tinged with desperation and exaltation, emotions I associate with the Greek experience during WW2. The card art shares the same nonchalance as the sculpt. Neither is badly executed; I just suppose I like my soldiers a bit less insouciant.

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