A Scottish Perspective: Gareth at UK nationals.

Gareth Lewis is a super keen FOW player and heads up many of the excellent 1 day events at Gameshub in Edinburgh. He and some fellow Scots made the long trek down to Daventry for UK nationals and he has been kind enough to provide a write up of his experiences. Unfortunately we don’t have pics from 4 of his games so have used some from across the event throughout the article.

The List

Red Banner

HQ- 1x T34 +Guards(CC) 6pts
7x T34 + Guards(CC) 34pts
7x T34 + Guards(CC) 34pts
8x T70’s 11pts
3 x KV-8 x3 15pts

Prelude and pre-event thoughts

With nationals being Dynamic points there was only one list that came to mind using the new(ish) points, T34’s! I have always wanted to use the mass armoured might of the Russian war machine to represent a Kursk army in Mid-war and with Dynamic points it was made viable.

With the T34 formation being Reckless (2+ to hit) and Skill- Green I knew I would require numbers to shrug off losses. I wanted as many T34’s as possible but also to be flexible. The magic number was 7 per unit, then I needed to fill the formation out for break point purposes so a unit of T70’s was perfect as their armour is good for a light tank and their MG’s can mop up infantry.

I knew that my T34’s were going to get bailed a lot due to the prevalence of Firepower 4+ in Mid-war plus my tanks being easier to hit than a barn from the inside. Therefore, I upgraded the formation to Guards so I got the lovely remount of 3+.

Now for the hard part, how do I support my armoured pushes? My go to being a hero SMG company, an 8pt arty battery and IL-2’s. This was an issue after looking at various tournament circuit lists with the sheer amount of combined arms mixed with light tanks and heavy Anti-tank. I knew if I took infantry it would get shredded and being aggressive at best I could not guarantee them sticking around to hold an objective. Shock Troops were an option but are far to pricey for what I needed them to do. All the 8pt artillery options were essentially useless as I needed to get across the board and close as fast as possible plus they have no smoke. This left the IL-2’s which were an option as they are perfect for getting rid of tank destroyers. But what do I spend the other 8-10 pts on? SU-76’s were also a real option but they went up in points with dynamic points (justifiably) so I took them out of consideration. I decided I wanted to go for a distraction to take the attention away from the T34’s instead and instead went for KV-8’s. They went from 8 down to 5pts a chassis plus in taking these I get to keep the formation intact and I will nullify 50% of peoples lists negating infantry, mortars and most automatic weapons below a .50cal.

The plan with the list was to attack for the most part and manoeuvre against a gun line. The main concern I found whilst theory hammer’ing and a couple of test games was multiple AT 10 weapons especially American Shermans as Reckless pretty much counters their +1 to hit from stabilisers.

The week leading up to the event

This may seem like a stranger paragraph header but a lot happened. After all our lists were submitted the lists were dumped on social media for everyone’s perusal. Which meant we could analyse to our hearts content what we had let ourselves in for. There were a lot of careful rated troops and so many High end AT guns to counter the KV-1’s and 8’s which were expected. Also a lot of Italians, Russians and Hungarian’s.

Then our first opponents got released, for me, American Armoured rifles with support of 4x M10’s and 4x Shermans. I was confident in the fact that if I destroyed those 8 chassis’s the game was mine.

Finally 2 days before, a brand new mission pack with some revised missions, some brand new missions and an overhauled Mission Matrix arrived (these were supplied by BF for use ‘in the wild’ at an event – Mark G) .

So with all this information, Shaun (the very kind person who drove us both down) and I did not stop talking for most of the way to Daventry.

Game 1

Vs Paul Chambers (24th) – American Armoured Rifles

Attack vs Manoeuvre – Counterattack

After a couple of turns of posturing, the Americans set up an Alamo of armour and support weapons with a unit of Stuarts and both units of Armoured rifles in reserve.

The Russians lost a couple of T34’s to the initial volley and tried to force a flank to get the side shots in. T70’s went to cover the entrance point for the reserves whilst the KV-8’s charged straight down the barrel taking pot shots at whatever they could see.

What can only be described as the “Teflon 4”, the Shermans systematically wiped 10 T34’s with a few insignificant bails in return. With the M10’s assistance they Broke my formation on turn 5. All the Americans lost was a single Sherman, 2x M10’s from the KV-8’s main guns (AT7) and the Unit of Stuarts from the T70’s. His armoured rifles made it onto the board just to harass the T70’s.

1-8 to Paul, a very pleasant opponent to whom I casted my best Sportsman vote.

Game 2

Vs ‘Fez’ (3rd) – Italian Rifles and Light tanks

Attack vs Attack – Free for All

With the lists being released prior to the event I was not looking forward to the Italian matchups. A ‘Careful’ horde being covered by AT14 in the form of 2x Independent Lancia “Ice Cream Trucks” and a battery of 3x Semoventes 90’s with a platoon of standard Semoventes for mop up.

The Table had an open left flank, a built up right flank and a reasonable amount in the centre.

Long story short I had to defend the open left flank with T70’s and KV-8’s from all 15 L6 Light tanks and the Semovente 90’s which did not go well. The 90’s annihilated the KV-8’s in the first 2 turns but in return I managed to destroy ‘Mario’ and ‘Luigi’ (Yes Really) the 2 Ice Cream Trucks on 7’s over the same turns. After that was completed the T34’s turned their attention to the 90’s to which they had a full volley on the move in short range for them to only bail 1. The return fire was brutal with 5 of the 8 T34’s being destroyed in one salvo. After that my left flank folded like like a wet paper bag.

2-7 to ‘Fez’ another great opponent and a member of the Breakthrough Assault team.

Game 3

Vs Shaun Hartley (14th) – British Rifles and Crusaders

Attack vs Defend – Hold the Pocket

Typical, we travel together over 300 miles and get paired up!

With Shaun picking defend, all his Crusaders started off the board which left a load of infantry, 2 batteries of 25 pdrs and 4 mine fields to hold the objectives. After discovering that my entire list was rated ‘Green’ and that there was very little chance of me getting through a mine field, the more central objective was completely mined off with a unit of rifles to keep it honest. Which meant everything else got deployed around the second objective with a unit of 25 pdrs in ambush.

After 8 turns of the Russians throwing everything at the cluster of Brits and the Brits destroying 17 of my 26 Tank list I nearly grasped defeat from the jaws of victory. Luckily I managed to the win, barely!

8-1 to myself and a very well done to Shaun being a great sport as it was an uphill struggle from the beginning and he never threw in the towel.

Game 4

Vs Gary Lyon (8th) – Hungarian Rifles and Allied Panthers

Attack vs Defend – Cornered

We got issued our game 4 opponents the evening before whilst we were in the pub having a good social and winding down the day with food and beverages. I was quietly confident, with the most prolific Anti-Tank most likely being in reserve. The loose plan was to speed down the flank with all my T34’s ready for when the Panthers did arrive, making sure that they would only get 3 shots off before perishing. Meanwhile the T70’s and KV-8’s would hit the front trying to split the little amount of AT that was on the board. After getting ‘Cornered’ as our mission I knew this was definitely the plan.

All that fell through when the Panthers turned up on turn 1 and closed off the open flank. Also I chose to assault his 40mm AT with Stielgranate after only destroying 1 gun with 15 flame thrower shots. There was a bit of back and forth but ultimately they got wiped.

Between his 80mm artillery, Panthers and 2 remaining 40mm AT guns I was systematically wiped down to 4 T34’s in 4 turns and in return I managed to wipe out a Nimrod platoon.

1-8 to Gary who played to his armies strengths and weaknesses and was a gentleman all the way through.

(This actually a image from the game. Sad T34s! – Mark G)

Game 5

Vs Ian Brook (25th)- Russian Lee formation w/ 18 Stuarts plus KV-1 and KV-8 support.

Attack vs Attack – Head to Head

This was my most entertaining game of the weekend with Ian’s list consisting of 4 Lee’s, 18 Stuarts, mortars and an SMG platoon, plus support from 3 KV-1’s and 3 KV-8’s..

We both comment to one another that this was first game where we might actually be able to hit each other with the majority of both our lists being ‘Reckless’.

With the sheer amount of AT 9 and 7 being flung at one another and bouncing off, I managed to pull the win out through the better attrition and Stuarts being exceptionally squishy. I just ignored both KV units and tried my best for the formation wipe, which I managed just before time was called.

8-1 to myself with Ian being a great sport as we just threw armour at one another for the last game.


Gareth Lewis (10th) – Russian T34 Battalion

I went into the weekend just wanting to throw a horde of T34’s at my opponents with the ridiculously cheap KV-8’s.

I enjoyed every game as my opponents were very sociable and showed a great level of sportsmanship which I wrongly feared could be lacking at bigger prized events.

I honestly got fed up with my list after the first day with all main guns being ‘overworked’ and not being able to hit anything plus the fact that I paid a premium in points for a Firepower 3+ gun and continually failed firepower checks against key targets.

The combination of not knowing what you were facing, on which beautiful table and possibly a mission that you have never played before made my tactics a bit more on the fly than usual.

It was a very close event and a testament to the 30 players and lists brought that there was only 6pts between 6th and 23rd . With number of units lost over the 5 games being the tie breaker it meant that recon swarm formations were not as ruthlessly thrown forward.

All in all a great time was had, some decent human beings, the venue was great although a bit out of the way (Hammy please can you move the shop a little further North? – Mark G) and we agreed that we would likely be back next year for LW.

Thanks for reading this far.