Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of ‘Building a Better List’. This time I will be exploring what I think is a pretty scary Mid War Romanian offering which will hold it’s own across a wide range of enemy forces.
MW Romanian has some fantastic choices. The key thing is that they are cheap and have cautious. I know I keep banging on about this but cautious is currently one of the most important attributes in the game. Not getting hit is key, especially if you don’t have immense front armour.
Now the Romanian costs are low because of some obvious downsides. Namely the poor skill ‘green‘ meaning they can’t hit a barn door in assault and don’t even think about Blitzing them. Also the army suffers from a 5+ last stand. That is tough when their armoured units are four strong, but it’s largely of no concern to the infantry formation.
Here is the list, it is packing two sizable formations including 7 x Panzer III 3.7cm (AT 9 FP3+ with HEAT) as well as 9 light vehicles (3 with spearhead), 18 stands of infantry inc 4 flamers, 3 x AT12 guns, a FP3+ template and a AT4 veteran aircraft FP4+ template.
Now it is easy to look at this list and do the typical ‘this will hammer that or my Tiger will roll over that’. However step back; this list ticks pretty much every box you want in a force. There is almost zero chance you will break the army with its double formation, it has an answer to medium armour, heavy armour and light armour. It has enough options to deal with infantry and can use spearhead. In fact the only big downside is the lack of smoke. However as with all good games, it is a tough choice. Plus remember how I said green troops can’t hit enemies in assault, well Romanian infantry gets a 3+ assault thanks to defend the homeland.
Some people will raise an eyebrow at the Stuka; let’s face it, air support isn’t that reliable. However, there are limited options for the Romanians to fight heavy armour and AT4 FP2+ vs TA2 (Churchills, KV etc) is better than nothing, it is also a nice back up to my 7.5cm anti-tank guns and really worries Soviet Valentine spam.
The Pioneers are a steal at 6pts for 8 stands, with a pair of flame throwers as well. Even when pinned, that is four defensive fire shots with the flamers plus the rifle teams. Still not massive but I am likely to have my light armour or recce nearby if I am worried about getting assaulted by infantry.
I did ponder whether it was worth going for the Panzer IV over the Panzer III. You pay 1pt more per tank (so 7 in this list) and gain a pip of AT and some more range. However you lose HEAT. I think 7pts is a lot for that extra AT. HEAT allows me to keep the Panzer IIIs back at long range giving me FA6 for no loss of firepower. When I have three tanks in a platoon I have to be cautious, therefore I don’t want to get into close up gun fights with anything AT9 and above if I can help it. In short a Panzer III at long range is almost a Panzer IV, so why pay 7pts?
I am not a fan of having an immediate answer for reserves, you need flexibility depending on what you are facing. If I was looking at light tank spam then my Panzer IIIs will be on table, if I am facing infantry they will be off. Equally if there is a KV threat I will need my Stukas from the start. AT 14pts I can easily have my Pioneers on table locking down each objective and I can never see my 75mm guns not being needed so that is 28pts for definite. I am unlikely to pick defend due to 6 units suffering from the deep reserve rule. With 5 units in reserve that will take too long to come on. However, the force is super mobile so manoeuvre is just as likely as attack.
Having said all that, I still wouldn’t rule anything out. If I was facing a KV or Churchill force that my tanks won’t do much against, I lose little by protecting them and going defend. Minefields and a 75mm gun ambush will do more damage, plus the Stukas can still be there from turn 1.
I actually think Romanians have tons of great options to tweak and work with. There may even be a single Tiger option in there to investigate alongside a R2 formation? What I do know is that that this force will do well (maybe not incredible) against most lists and will be a blast to play.
By the way, one of the great things about Romanians is that you can easily add a few units roll them into Late War. Here is what I will be packing, but more on this another day…