A few weeks ago we have a whole host of players contribute to a post about the new 1420pts and lists they think will be good. Well it’s now time for them to put there money where their mouth is and talk about their Corrivalry lists.
Roger Whittham- This year will be the 7th year of the UK’s largest Flames of War event and is being held at it’s new home, Battlefield Hobbies in Daventry. Not only is Corrivalry the UKs largest event but it is also unique in many ways which is part of the attraction.
As always the event is Late War and this year they have adopted the Battlefront standard 1420 points for the 2016 season rather than the higher points that many of us are used to.
Unique to Corrivalry though is the fact you are allowed two versions of your list with a maximum of 420 variance between the two list. The standard of terrain is also very high and many would consider the terrain “dense” in comparison to many other events. Unlike other events the tables are mission specific and the layout of the terrain on each is done bearing in mind the specific mission it is designed for including some less commonly used missions like Road Block and Break Out. This also heightens the tension in the final rounds as other players in the running for the silverware may be playing completely different missions.
So what does this all mean in gaming terms? Okay, you get to the table and only then when you are looking at the terrain do you know the mission to be played and at that stage the title of the company you are facing but not the actual composition. Both players select which one of their two lists they will use and both reveal them at the same time to their opponent and then you go on as usual to decide attacker / defender as normal and onto the game itself.
In the past Corrivalry has had more than 90 players so you see a nice mix of forces and the two list option allows some more obscure lists to be more competitive. It has been several years since I felt the need to take ultra competitive list such as Brit Para, 7AD or 2iD, I would rather challenge myself by taking the more unusual and to drag it kicking and screaming into a respectable final position.
Ben from Breakthrough Assault asked me before Christmas if I would do a little write up on what I am going to take to Corrivalry and the thought process behind what I have taken knowing I would come up with something different so here we go.
1420pts is going to be a challenge but I like it as it means you are not going to have all the toys and will have to cut corners in company composition. In painted up a Luftwaffen Field Division force a few years ago and it rarely get out and the lower points total may well favour. I have taken the Italian version of the Luftwaffen list over the Normandy option as they are allowed Panzerfaust upgrades which are not available with the D-Day version of the list.
Okay the core of the force has to be the same with a maximum of 420pts difference between the two. The first PDF shows the core which is impressive enough; admittedly Reluctant Trained but ten platoons all the same including 88’s, Pak 40s 2 smoke templates and pioneers with supply truck, all useful assets. You can also beef up the infantry platoons with the one HMG each or farm out all of the HMGs and drop down to 9 platoons or stay as 10 platoons by forming a Kampfgruppe. The core of the force is 1055pts which gives me 365pts to play with for swap outs.
How you approach the 2 list format is down to the individual but I find I tend to tailor the lists partially to the mission and partially to the potential force you will be facing in the missions. The LFD is an infantry company so will be defending against mechanised and tank companies, simple so LIST A is designed as an anti tank list but also useful in the Fair Fight missions.
To complete the list I have taken 2 PzIV/70s as a reliable allied asset to deal with armour for 300 points and then for the final 65pts taken a scout platoon to keep infiltrating Soviets a safe distance away making a total of 12 platoons even at 1420pts! It may well struggle against heavy tanks but at least the 12.2cm howitzers have a chance and the low number of heavy tanks would not want to assault even the small number of Panzerfausts and Pioneers.
The nightmare for the Reluctant Trained Luftwaffen though would be having to attack another infantry company which they would not be happy with to say the least. The answer is removing the randomness of the attacker / defender die roll and LIST B features the fortifications which turns it into a fortified company. As a fortified company in games with prepared positions you cannot have tanks with top armour 1 so no need for tanks as they won’t be on table in missions with reserves. Now if you are going to go all out for a fortifications you might as well go all out and hopefully 5 barbed wire, 4 HMG nests and 4 Minefields should do it! Okay, these fortifications go down before objectives but the Pioneer Supply wagon barbed wire or minefield goes down after objectives so you can leave an apparent “weakness” in the fortifications to encourage the placement of an objective in a particular place and then plug the gap with these final defences and giving a final tally of either 5 minefields and 5 barbed wire or 4 minefields and 8 barbed wire and the symmetry of this also work well. The fortifications total 350points so with the remaining 15 points allows me to take transports for the 88s just in case they have to move to counter a threat as the force lacks mobile assets and the 2iC manages to find himself a Panzerfaust just as additional antitank work. Only ten platoons though but the fortifications should make up for that.
So I was thinking I would not use LIST B in fair fight games even when against another infantry company but discussing the list with people it was pointed out something I had overlooked, that the field fortifications means that I use the Prepared Positions special rule even in missions that do not normally use the rule so the infantry and guns start dug in and I would get to use the Pioneer Supply wagon as well. I will have to gauge this on the day looking at the terrain and the opponent I suspect.
Last year I got a respectable 6th place out of 96 players, the year prior 3rd out of 84 players; will I do as well this year? Probably not, especially now I have given away my cunning plan but never forget Reluctant is the New Fearless!
Corrivalry is an excellent event and worth the trip and adding to your calendar if you have not already been.
1420 has made this significantly harder as its really shifted the usual frame of reference, but that’s half the fun. I think because of this I’ve spent even longer trying to get a list I like. I initially thought about Finns, but dismissed them after a couple of test games and not enjoying them. I considered Brits, but having not played them in a while I decided to ignore them (though I keep feeling Brit infantry is the way to go). So it was back to Germany for me, I thought about tanks, and came up with a few lists, but none of them I felt could both attack and stand up to an auto attack tank list like 7th armoured. So I looked at German infantry, initially I looked at various fortified lists, but with the added need to paint fortifications I binned those off, I also looked at auto defend lists like marine grenadiers or Westfalen, but I couldn’t make a list for the fair fights I liked. Eventually I realised that there is only one infantry list which I really like… Volksgrenadier .
So with my heart soaring at the idea of returning to these guys the question now was which version, CV, CT, RV, RT. The easy answer was CV = too expensive, RT doesn’t suit my style, Reluctant = the new fearless so as at Art of War too I went for the RV guys. So the next decision is what’s in the list? Well the core almost writes itself I found, I need the two combat platoons, + the panzerschrek goodness, and an HMG each – this way they’re 10 stands strong, so 6 need to die before they start taking morale tests. Ok next up smoke, a pair of CT nebs is cheap and cheerful, and the AA comes for the 2cm flakvierling. The final parts to the core puzzle are a pair of PaK 40 (even defending vs infantry I’ll need these) the 3 StuH 42 – a great unit to come on from reserve + the direct smoke is helpful.
That’s 6/7 platoons already, now to specialise, my two options are defending against tanks, and attacking infantry – I do include defending against infantry but attacking is far far harder for this list. Defending is the fun one I think, I ideally want the HMG’s attached out so I’m on 6, and I think defending with infantry you need 8. So what two platoons to go for? The first choice was pretty tough, but in the end the answer was obvious – more PaK40’s – or in this case FK40’s – 6 of those really puts out a lot of shots even when pinned. I toyed with a trio of panzer 4/70, but I think volume of quality may work better, I also have enough points to add a 3rd Pak 40 to the regular platoon, and finish it off with 2 IG37 infantry guns, I think the odd DFS may help the most, but some extra AT in defensive fire could also help a little.
The next list is about attacking infantry/fair fights. As such I think I need more mobility – this list is spoiled for choice in this regard, you have two armour slots (though one already had the StuH’s in) so what are the options for the other? Well King tigers are great but FV is too expensive, CT panthers look nice but again above points cost – the only one which really looks viable is the lowly panzer 4 – 4 fit in the points bracket quite nicely, and work well on attack or defence. The final points left over go on an extra Neb (double smoke template) and some foot recon (really need that on the attack) and a spare 10 points gets wasted on the HMG commanders panzerfaust.
So there we have it in all its reluctant glory! I’m pretty happy defending, and whilst not loving the idea of attacking, the challenge of it will be fun (or frustrating when those 4’s pop out to taunt me) anyway thanks for reading.
Ben – I’m not sure how in depth this is going to be. I’d like to talk about how I picked the Desert Rats Armoured list as I thought was great and I had fine tuned it with lots of practice. I’d like to, but I can’t. While I have played 4 practice games, have only lost once and I have enjoyed using the army, it has limitations. Bill Wilcox and Stefano Breviglieri will tell you that the hay day of the Desert Rats was pre Overlord before reluctant tanks had a points increase. While I think this is true and the points increase has affected the ability to make small changes to the list (if corrivalry was 1425 or 1430 points I’d be a happy man!), I still think you can make a strong list.
So what is my plan for the army? Well I had chatted about the list a little in a previous post about 1420pts (which you can check out here), I don’t think the list has changed too much since this post. So the list, the first unit in the list is 2 CS Cromwells in the HQ. This unit is in the list as one of the biggest problems with making the list work with the points was a lack of a smoke template, but I had to drop too much useful stuff to make that work. So I would have to rely on direct fire smoke, not a problem in some ways I think this is better than a smoke template.
The next two units are three Cromwells and a Firefly, pretty standard. Like the CS tanks this is a comprised choice, I wanted a Challenger tank as the extra speed and extra shot for only 15pts is a bargin. But at 1420pts your list has to be lean and I couldn’t find the points for it. So I have smoke, mobile units and high AT, which ticks off 3 of my 4 requirements for a list and leaves only recce to go. For this I picked the one unit in the army that has been solid in every game, 3 Stuarts. Tanks that are proper recce are golden, very hard to kill if used right and will be useful for keeping my tanks alive and lifting Gone To Ground.
The final two platoons are out of necessity, the first is a full Breaking Group. The biggest fear of a tank list is being caught on the defensive in a mobile battle, by having a BG I gain the auto attack special rule; problem mostly solved as I don’t think we’ll see many in the way of Auto Attack armies because of the points level (well not tank lists anyway). I will probably only run the BG as 5 Shermans as this way they add to the smoke assets I have in the list, sitting at long range using Semi-Indirect Fire. The final platoon is AA Crusaders, which is just there to make a 6th platoon and in case I face any US or British lists with AOPs. At a pinch they aren’t bad against infantry once the AT threats are dealt with.
The swap out won’t be used much, I drop the CS Cromwells and BG for 4 M10’s. Now the idea for this list was to use it in current situations, against particular lists, in some of the missions. But, I had a little chat with Bill Wilcox about the lists and he told me this list, even in the situations I envisioned using it, wouldn’t work. I have had a few chats with Bill and Steve over the years where they have told me something won’t work or XYZ list is great and being slightly stubborn (don’t laugh guys), I normally have to found out for myself… and you know what Bill was right. So why haven’t I changed the list? Well it’s a factor of time, time to paint up with I need when I have Pacific Japanese and U.S. Marines to paint, plus a few extra bits for Beachhead and I need to finish my Team Yankee force….. I’m also comfortable with the army now and I think I can make my A list work in the situations I would have thought the other list would be better (just ask Robins Tankovy). Being comfortable with a list is very important to me, I also preach it’s better to use a “sub par” list that you know how to use than the “best” list you have little practice with. worse case I take a few extra models with me and I have the option to use it.
Well there you go, my list and my thoughts. It moves fast and it can hit hard and it’s made up of my favourite British tank of all time. Add one of the best gaming weekends of the year, hanging out with friends and having a beer or ten and it should be a great weekend. Keep an eye out in a few days we have an AAR between myself and Adam and part two of the post.
If you are at Battlefield Hobbies over the Corrivalry weekend please feel free to pop over and say hi to us. We are always happy to chat.