Avanti – Deeper dive

Mark takes a further look at Avanti force and their combination with the Germans.

So it begins

A while ago when we were covering the Avanti launch I did an article on an Italian list combined with the Afrika Corp Germans.  While I do lots of these articles, this one piqued my interest and so I have taken the plunge and now have eighteen armoured cars, five Italians rifle plaootn blisters, Mortar/MG Blister, 47mm guns and two Lorenzo’s Rams starter sets on my build table.

If you are going to do something don’t do it by halves!

Over the next few months I’ll be doing articles on the development of the force including some complete painting guides to get these looking great on the table as well as some battle reports. But today I’ll be looking further at some lists and considering how they square up against the new British book.

I need to get some walls

 

Tiger delivery

My original article looked at using a cheap but effective German formation to allow a Tiger backed up by a solid Italian infantry force to hold objectives:

Armoured Car Formation

HQ 1 x Sd kfz 221 – 1
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns  – 3
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 3
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns  – 3
Short light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 2
Heavy Scout Platoon – 2
3 x captured 6pdrs – 9

24pts

I love these little guys!

Okay this is the core formation and, with six (seven including the HQ) core platoons, it’s a surprisingly tough nut to crack.  Whilst the armoured cars are squishy, they do pack a deceptive amount of firepower and, when you swap in two 2.8cm guns, you gain two AT7 shots which are enough to keep most medium armour honest, if nothing else.  Whilst you lose MGs, I have never had an issue killing infantry in the open and the list has other ways to pin things.

The 6pdrs saves me 3 points over the Pak38s for the loss of HE – to me that’s a total no brainer as it buys another light scout troop that has more anti infantry fire power.  These guns are important as they provide the strong AT9 backbone that the Italians struggle to produce.

Support

Tiger – 28
4 x Marder – 16
4 x M14/41

53 pts

77 pts rolling total

Okay here is the beast! The not so humble Tiger.  While not invincible, it is a massive threat and the allies don’t have anything above AT12 to threaten it.  It still needs to be protected and those high AT 17pdrs and M10s dealt with as a priority.  However, if dealt with, you can dictate the game, happily charging into the enemy and taking an objective.  With the ability to break off through enemy troops (see LFTF) you wont even get surrounded and killed.  Get stuck in on that objective – don’t be draw in to sitting around sniping with its impressive gun.

The beast, I expect good things from this!

The Marders are, well, a no-brainer for any German list.  With these and a Tiger you can also keep those Churchill’s honest and feast on any medium armour.

Finally the M14/41s are actually there as an assault tool and to protect the tiger.  With the careful rating hey have the best armour in the game…. not getting hit!  They assault almost as well as a Panzer III and Panzer IV and  for only 9 points you have really added to your offensive capability.

The Italians

We have 32 points left to bulk our this force with the hard as nails Italians

2 x Carcano Rifle Team HQ – 1
9 x rifle/mg teams, Blackshirts –  7
9 x Rifle/mg teams , Legions of Rome – 7
3 x Mortars – 5
3 x Assault Mortars, Blackshirts –  3

23pts

100pt total

I just love the feathers.  

The Italians are fantastic value and the Command Cards have made them even better.  The basic platoon has solid to great stats although don’t produce that much firepower.  However apply 1 or 2 command cards and you get nine stands for only 7 points.  That’s eighteen stands for the less than an Armoured Rifle platoon!

Choices, choices, choices and here you have 2 to make:

Blackshirts – Basically become 3+ to hit with 5+ skill but gain fearless.
Legions of Rome – Keep 4+ to hit but become reluctant with green skill.

*Its worth noting that the green skill can become trained if you do well on your Avanti dice.*

Mortars give the army something to reach out and hit those 17pdrs (and 88s on Red v Red), however they need to be kept hidden as one loss and you start needing a re-roll to hit.

Finally, what I now think is the little gem of the book.  The humble assault mortars.

With Blackshirts or Legions of Rome, its crazily cheap at only 3pts.  In return you get a whopping eighteen Fp5+ shots and wait for it….all of them can be smoke. Yes 18 smoke shots if needed.  That is enough to almost guarantee your assault is concealed.  The down side of the unit is that they only have a 16 inch range, however with all those spearheading units they can be up close and personnel in fire fight games.

Think about the points here.  I am getting eighteen infantry stands, mortars, HQ and assault mortars for almost the same cost as 2 x German platoons with all the trimmings.  Glorious!

Conclusion

This is currently my favourite build and is what I will be concentrating on to get built for the table. There is, however, as always a plan B.

Plan B

I love the new Italian Tanks but I also feel the Italians dont have great tools for dealing with FA6+when on the attack.  Sure the Lancia can crack any nut but its so vulnerable to air and mortars.  No I need Marders… ergo I need a German force (as Marders are “support”).  Queue pondering face and scribble pad montage – lets combine them see what we can cook up!

If you are a German MW player and dont have 4 of these.  Go buy them right now!

Armoured Car Company

HQ 1 x Sd kfz 221 – 1
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 3
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 3
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 3
Full light scout platoon with 2 x 2.8cm guns – 3
Heavy Scout Platoon – 2

15pts

Yup a mere 15pts for my core company.  It is an Achilles heal of the force though (lose it and you lose the game!) so expect me to keep a couple of platoons in reserve or hidden at the back of the board.

Note that this list is all out attack and therefore I have no gun teams…

Support

4 x Marders – 16

4 x Captured 25 prs – 14

2 x 88s – 12

Command Card – Move ranged in marker once deployed – 1

43pts

58 pts rolling total

I think we all know why I have the Marders.  The 25pdrs are fantastic all rounders with ROF2, FP4+ and turn-tables.  Reliable and flexible, I love it.

Tank Company

1 x M14/41 HQ – 2
5 x M14/41s – 12
5 x M14/41s – 12
4 x Semovente – 16

42pts

100 pts rolling total

Lets get ready to rumble.

Mass, this is all about mass.

Fifteen 4+ to hit tanks.  Okay they have pop guns but they are hugely survivable with a 2+ remount and even AT6 is enough vs the side of medium armour and they are great cheap assault units.

Finally the Semovente give a second bombardment to clear out those pesky guns for the glorious assault.

Conclusion

So fifteen Italian and, two bombardments with one starting on top the enemy ranged in due to the command card.  Deadly Marders and nineteen light vehicles which pack a respectable punch.  Add to that 2 x 88s for long range sniping (remember to get them into prime position with your spearhead)

In fair fights the spearhead platoons will allow you to dominate the mid-field and close quickly to overwhelm a point of your choosing.  You must dictate the battle, be aggressive and most importantly, realise that  you will take losses.  Pick a platoon and kill it. Pick another platoon and kill that!

To be honest I’ll be picking attack with these guys.  I want to be fully on table and ready to overwhelm the enemy, however against an infantry heavy force the manoeuvrability is perfect.  Make them move and mow them down in the open.

Darn it now I’m looking forward to playing this as well. More choices – high board or the low board… hmmm…

Category: Afrika KorpsBattlefrontFlames of WarGermansItaliansList DiscussionMid War

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4 comments

  1. So, very sorry to break this to you, but I don’t think you can take Panzer IIs as a support option. They’re not a listed as a “Support” option on page 15 of Afrika Korps, and they’re not in a black box on either page 17 or 23, so they can’t be fielded as a support unit.

    You can *only* take compulsory combat units (i.e. units in the black boxes of a formation diagram) as support for another formation. Not optional units. Which is a huge shame, because lack of cheap tanks is a massive weakness for AK at the moment.

      1. Originally I had put Pz2s in however it was pointed out that due to them not being a mandatory choice or a support option you can’t have them as German support or German allies to Italians.

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Article by: Mark Goddard