With the British Bulge book on the way we now have the chance to field the Late Late War toys bringing the British up to the end of WW2. While there lots of interesting new vehicles, the new Comet Squadron seems to hold particular place in British players hearts. Therefore I am going to see how we can get the most out of the formation.
First of a heads up. In my opinion Comets are not going to be the new must have unit or list (although I would love to be proved wrong). They are expensive, somewhat fragile in Late Late War, and have to make tough choices for support. That said they are a capable tank and their speed will allow some surprises.
Before we get into the lists let’s consider the core unit. At FA7, a 12″ tactical move (remember you can’t move above 10″ and assault) plus AT14, it is very capable and a threat to almost every armoured unit
The downside is that speed is quite expensive in FOW V4, and reserves may mean you have real capability gaps on table.
At 7pts a tank its a tough sell vs a US Veteran Sherman (Late) 76mm with AT13 (6.5pts) so your playstyle will need to make use of the AT14 and speed which is what sets them apart.
What is positive about the Comet formation is the options it allows. You need to flesh it out to ensure you are not brittle for formation morale. Options like the Dingo as 1pt for 3, even if just to ‘go to ground’ is a must in my opinion. It is the difference between losing the game to a formation break. The Chaffee and Stuarts also allow more Scout/Spreadhead action and are on the cheaper side.
The HQ allows a few different options. Two Comets is cheapest but the top option is over 25% of your 100pt army (!). Now, I never rated the CS Cromwell; to me it just doesn’t know what it is. I am paying about 12pts for a FP4+ bombardments that re-rolls hits, and it’s AT is only 8. Brutal is nice but very situational and slow firing, there are better options to kill gun teams.
Therefore my take is that two Comets is the most obvious options, and we need the points elsewhere.
HQ 2 x Comets 14
3 x Comets 21
3 x Comets 21
3 x Comets 21
4 x Stuarts 8
3 x Dingos 1
That is 86pts which is a hefty chunk of your 100pts. Now, as we look at support, it gets challenging. We need (ideally) to get infantry and arty into the list. Sextons are a good choice at 12pts. ROF2 AT9 is handy to take care of the targets not warranting the AT14 treatment. The issue is that leaves 5pts, which won’t get me a Brit infantry unit.
Luckily we can sort this with AVREs at 8pts. Sure, they aren’t as versatile. However, they are a devastatingly good bombardment and very survivable. They can also hold an objective and can assault. In a world of 5+ counter attacks even a ‘Hail Mary’ assault can push someone off the objective. This now leaves 6pts for an Allied US Battle Weary Rifle Platoon, which is still a decent eight stands strong.
So, you have eleven AT14 fast tanks with a ‘respectable’ FA7, along withtwo recce units ensuring you can spearhead where needed to exploit the table. Capable cautious infantry which has a 4+ rally so can keep moving under fire. This is vital when your army is attacking, and also needed to clear minefields for your tanks. The AVRE finishes things off with a nasty brutal template.
The key downside is a lack of smoke and only five Comets on table with reserves, however their speed means they will rapidly get into position when they do come on. Finally I am not a great fan of three-tank platoons but at around 7pts a tank its a tough choice.
This time I am going to try and overcome how many points we have in reserve and get more toys on table.
Hq x 2 Comets 14
3 x Comet 21
3 x Comet 21
3 x Dingo 1
3 x Stuarts 6
3 x Crocs 21
Piat Battery Section – 2
Dutch resistance platoon 7
Dutch Resistance platoon 7
This list is rather different. You have eight Comets on table for a powerful and fast AT punch, along with the Dingos to get you into position. Two resistance rifle platoons also join you on the board along with a PIAT Battery which allows your Carriers to dump their Brens and fire a FP4+ bombardment. Crocs and Stuarts form the most likely Reserve choices (only need 26pts due to the resistance counting as off table).
Drawbacks are, again, a lack of smoke bombardment (Comets can direct fire smoke, though), and fragile three-strong platoons. This is mitigated by double infantry and Crocs which are perhaps one of the best units for clearing out positions in the game.
I think list preference will really be down to playing style. I personnely rate list 2 over list 1. I have had greats success with resistance troops and the Crocs are just awesome. As I said up front, neither is going to be a super meta build. It’s niche, so approach it with fun and for the joy of running Comets while getting as much as you can out of them.