Red Wall on the Emerald Isle

One of the greatest pleasures I find in wargaming is meeting like minded people from around the world, coming together having fun and seeing what other communities  put on the table, because meta always has its local variations.

In this article I will tell you about the list that I am bringing to a tournament in Northern Ireland and the reasoning behind the different components of it. So let’s get the show on the road. Here you see the list:

Stance.

First up is Stance. FoW is mostly played using battle stance and the mission matrix at tournaments around the world, so that will be the first thing to decide. Bringing a Tank army going Defend is asking for trouble. In my case I will be going Defend. This mean I will need to plan my list around the 60% I will start with on the table in most missions.

Holding ground.

When picking defend you will often end up having to defend two objectives on the table. These objectives can be far or close together depending on the mission, but there are always two.
I find that the most reliable way to hold ground in FoW is to use infantry. This is because they have the 2″/5cm zone around them, that no enemy team can cross unless assaulting, and what better unit to have in assault than Soviet Hero Motor Rifles. They are always ROF2, Hit on 2+ in assault and are Fearless as long as the Commissar is alive. So I have taken a HQ, a full company and a small company, both equipped with RPG-6’s which hopefully will make the enemy tanks think twice before assaulting. Now these two companies of Heroes can either be deployed together or on each objective.

To add even more infantry staying power I have taken the Command Card Partisan Band that lets you take a normal Rifle Company and deploy on table without counting to the 60% maximum, on table. Here I have gone with a full Battalion of 22 stands, plus the Commissar. The idea behind these is not only to hold ground,  but to use them aggressively to run forward, denying the opponent the possibility to advance. These low level troops are not as frightening as the Heroes, but they still represent an obstacle that will  require handling and defending in FoW is all about buying time.
As a cherry on top the Rifle Company also have RPG+6’s

Guns and Arty

Now with all this infantry, there are enemy units that pose a greater threat than others. I am not too worried about being machine gunned as my 3+(4+) save combined with FP6+ on normal MG’s, will take far too long to remove me from the objectives, Artillery, on the other hand, will hurt. So, to counter enemy artillery, I have taken the ever present Soviet Mortars, six 120mm and three 82mm. I have also taken the 76mm Arty gun, that can work well as AT guns, once the enemy artillery have been dealt with. In the Formation, I also have a 76mm AT gun unit that will be one of my possible ambush units. The reason it’s not the arty version is that the AT version is not a Large Gun which is good for ambushing and having a 3+ save. When placed in support of the Infantry it will provide some much need Defensive Fire as the RPG-6’s don’t get to shoot.

While talking about counter battery unit it would be appropriate to mention the Shturmovik IL2’s 37mm cannon. This will be priceless in hunting down Self Propelled Guns hiding behind hills from my regular artillery. It will also act as one of my two reserve units and, with unlimited range, can come in everywhere on the table, which is handy as multiple missions have scattered reserves for the defender.

Mobile MG

I have included a unit of five Stuarts as they are only front armour 3 so they won’t count toward Deep Reserves in mission that have that and they are a decent counter to any enemy light tank and recce units driving around the table. Keep the Stuarts close to the Partisans and all of a sudden the light tanks can’t just charge into the infantry.

High AT and Spearhead

Now with the objectives defended and in theory secured against medium and light tanks, it’s time to look at how I managed against Heavies. For my Spearhead unit I shamefully have picked a captured Tiger. For only 8 points this unit fulfill a dual role. It act as my Spearhead unit in missions where having none would hurt and it act as a mobile high end Anti Tank unit. The Tiger is not supposed to go into direct firefights with enemy Tanks, it it there to stay out of sight and pose a threat, that hopefully will cause my opponents to hesitate for a turn or two, again buying me valuable time on defense.

As my last unit I have picked a company of three Hero T34/85’s. These guys are part of the formation, helping keeping it alive, and they will also be my one ground reserve unit.
With the list being 105pts, 42pts will have to go in reserve, but as the Partisans with their RPG-6+s count for 19pt, I only need 23pt in reserve, that being the IL2 Shturmovik at 10pt and the T34/85’s at 13pt.
The T34/85 have outstanding speed and hopefully will be able to move into action straight away after they arrive from reserve and, with Tactics 3+ and an AT12 gun, they can deal with most units the opponent can field.

Now all there is to do is wait. Let my opponents deplete his forces on my defences before counter assaulting on turn 6 pushing them more than 8″/20cm from the objectives giving me the win. In Theory it’s that easy, but I doubt it will that easy in reality.

Strengths and Weaknesses.

Like all list this one have it’s pros and cons. My absolutely biggest Achilles heel is heavy tanks in large numbers. I simply doesn’t have the number of dice needed to stop a Soviet Churchill spam list.

Photo from Twitter

RPG-6’s are great against a Tiger or two, but five tanks with side 7-8 simply won’t be stopped by AT10 in the long run. My Tiger will be the target of every high end AT gun the moment it reveals itself and being hit on 3+ will have it take enough fire to fail a save.

On the up side, this list should be pretty well equipped to handle infantry and armoured infantry list and also put up a good fight against light and medium tanks. Artillery heavy lists will pose a threat but then it will be a question about who eliminates the enemy arty first.

Thank you for reading this far. I will try and make an AAR when i get back from NI.

Happy Hobbying from Soren.

Category: BattlefrontEastern FrontFlames of WarLate WarList DiscussionSovietsTacticsTournamentV4

6 comments

    1. Thank you Thomas. I promise I will be back with a after action report so we all can learn from my failures….. I mean successes.

  1. Good idea on using the Stuarts – would never have even considered them.

    Keep that Partisan band dug in. You might run out of game time if you need to move all those bases around .

    1. Thanks. Handling a big blob of infantry doesn’t have to take long. I use my Partisans aggressively. Just like the saying that if you have your smokebombarment left when the battle is over, you have played it wrong. Then I think that if I have a whole company of unharmed Partisans left, then I played it wrong. They must be the front unit, take the punches to keep the elite safe to win the game.

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Article by: Soren Petersen