The Ar(t)se of Building a Guards Armoured Recce List

Good morning happy blog followers!

So thanks to a few of you I’ve gone guards with my guards armoured recce box – and I’ll be damned if this isn’t the hardest list writing
I’ve ever done!
The list in Market Garden has 2 drawbacks imho, firstly CV is expensive,
secondly AT15 is expensive! So I’m going to try and show why building this list
is just full of frustration.

So lets start with the basics, you need your core combat
platoons, and HQ. Now I want to try and use the cromwells and challengers from
the box, so lets take 2 HQ cromwells and 2 full platoons of cromwells and
challengers. That’s 1090 points! Assuming I’m aiming for 1750, that’s not
leaving me with much left.
At this point I only have 2 dedicated AT units, if they sit
and shoot they’re great, but if they use they’re awesome movement that leaves
me with only 2 shots. I feel the list needs more AT, so what are the options?
Well more cromwells and challengers, or M10’s. The problem with the M10’s is
that 2 are too fragile and 4 is a lot of points for a unit with really no anti
infantry ability. So Cromwells it is… damn another full platoon means I’m on
Well I need some recon next (as ambush’s will ruin my day)
you get 4 options here, column patrol – which is nice and versatile, carriers,
armoured cars and stuarts. Frankly 4 Stuarts appeals to me, add in an AA MG and
that’s 1750 points – thanks for reading this is my new list…
these are my old M10’s hopefully the new ones will look better!
Well yes that is 1750 points, and it utilises a lot of the
box, but as Ben keeps saying, how you going to dig out infantry – for some
reason my answer of ‘sit at 10.5 inches and lift gone to ground whilst
shooting’ seemed to ring hollow even to me.
So I then had a closer look at the guards rules,
specifically the platoon debus. This way I could mount some infantry on the
tanks, zoom up, dump the infantry, smoke/pin their target and charge in…
So lets drop the previous recon and add these guys in. Now I
need recon, so lets look at carriers here – nice and cheap recon. To make this
fit I’ll drop one Cromwell, they may be less effective in attack, but not a bad
option. This leave me with a few spare points, so lets upgrade the carriers to
armoured cars.
So there we are 5 platoons (which is not great!) but it has
tanks, recon, infantry and smoke – it might not be amazing but it should be
relatively effective – though the 4 tank platoon list is just so much fun in my
I still think this was a great game vs Ben’s cromwells
But wait that’s not all as there is also a  Guards armoured recce list in Overlord. Now this is Trained not Veteran – and well as you can see here, my experience with trained tanks is less than ideal! But what doesn’t kill you and all that… The other thing here is no challengers which is a shame as I love that tank! – But I do get cautious movement and disengage, which will really alter the play style, turn it into far more or a flanking army I feel.
So lets take the compulsory choices of HQ and 2 combat platoons – that comes in at 660 points – wow over 400 points cheaper than in the other list. I do however feel thin on the ground, so lets add another platoon in of cromwells. – 905 points
Ok so Recon is next, lets go for those Stuarts I love – 1025. Now I have no anti tank here, so lets add in 4 M10’s as these are really the only good AT option, I could go for 3 shermans and a firefly,but thats not enough. I actually think in both lists there is a real art of getting the right HE to non HE ratio, and if you look at my first list it’s about 10:3 as far as tanks go, and here it’s 14:4 both around 3.4 – i don’t think any other LW army has such a hard balancing act.
My next concern is digging out infantry, as I’m looking a little limited here – you don’t have a guards infantry unit and no guards debus rule – so i’ll just take a CV infantry platoon at this time. 1470
Next I want some artillery,I’m thinking more of a mobile unit here, as I’ll often want to have all my tanks on the board from the start to having quick to position artillery is good, so lets take 4 Sextons.
Ah my sextons, do I keep them? Strip them and repaint? Sell and purchase
new one? or just buy 4 more for a 8 gun battery?
That leave me with 90 points, so with very few options I’ll add in some crusader AA, just to reach 8 platoons.
So there you have it two different lists from 2 different books, lets see what fun and games i can have building and testing them out – they’re not tournament winning lists IMHO, but this game is also about fun and who doesn’t enjoy having a slightly uphill battle!
Thanks for reading


Category: BritishFlames of WarLate War


  1. Thats a very helpful analysis – I am building a Guards Armoured division too – but I started with the infantry and am moving out from that core. Looking at building a Sherman company and doing what you say of carrying the infantry on them, as the Platoon Debus rule is very helpful. I also like the versatility of the carrier platoon, which enables you to add in a bit of anti tank etc as you see fit. Stuarts on recon sounds like a good idea I hadn't explored…

  2. I think the guards lists have lots of staying power, a) due to versatility like the column patrol, b) the rerolls to morale and also the ability to have mobile infantry either on tanks or on transport.

  3. Stuarts are lots of fun. Can you take them as jalopies? I have been playing with 3-4 jalopies in my 11th AD list. Great for harassing infantry and annoying your opponent with all of your machine gun shots. I have gone to a somewhat similar list as your second one when playing 11th AD. I run 2 M10s a lot. They are fragile, but are great in reserve and can do some damage to armour. They are just kind of useless against infantry armies (hence why I don't take 4). Are you able to add a heavy mortar platoon to your list? I am painting one right now as a way to make infantry spread out.

  4. I wish the Guards Armoured Recce list allowed us to take Priests instead of Sextons. With the Priest's Breakthrough Gun, your infantry woes are really mitigated with their direct fire option. Sextons are sadly (And unfairly as they were quite spectacular.) sporting the unloved 25pdr.

    Have you thought about platoons of 3? (2 Cromwells and 1 Challenger) I've been running these of late and had some good results. attaching the iC and 2iC makes up for the lack of numbers and it opens up more points for further options.

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Article by: Mark Goddard