Hi everyone, Jersey James here bringing you information on his first Flames of War love, Mid War Italians!
Death From Above drops this month and Italian Paracadutisti from the Folgore Division join the Fallschermjager representing Axis Paratroopers in North Africa!
This article will look at what’s in the formation and how it fits into the Italian force diagrams which is different to the German paratroops. After we’ve looked at what you get we’ll talk about the Folgore’s command cards and how they fit into the mid war scene.
The Paracadutisti can field a HQ of two teams, three infantry platoons of 5-7 infantry teams, one heavy machine gun platoon, two 81mm mortar platoons and three, yes three 47mm anti-tank gun platoons giving them lots of light AT fire.
There are two key differences to the Bersaglieri in Avanti; first each of the infantry platoons can swap out a team for a flame thrower and secondly there are no dice to determine ratings. This means you’re paying a premium for Fearless ratings and as most platoons also have a bonus to assault each platoon is slightly more expensive.
The flame throwers are a nice touch and let you pin on the assault but do mean you have less fully functioning infantry teams in each platoon which could matter.
Unlike the German Fallschirmjager, who have their own support diagram which leads to all sort of exciting possibilities, the Italian paras just fit into the standard Italian formation diagram. No infantry observer, no support options crewed by Folgore, no models that weren’t previously in metal for former versions of the Paracadutisti. In fact the end of the book is quite short for the Italians.
The command card pack for the Paracadutisti is also quite small but links the force nicely to Avanti. There is even a card that allows you to use Avanti cards on your Fologre and allows any card that can be used on engineers in Avanti to be used on Paracadutisti engineers.
Grenade assault lets you assault on a 2+ for a round of combat, a bit like buying passaglia bombs for tanks, but the really interesting card allows you to hold an additional ambush of 47mm AT guns on top of ambushes you’re already allowed! This one is definitely worth considering especially as you can have three platoons of these in your core formation meaning every platoon can have as near to integrated AT as is possible with up to 8 shots of AT behind them.
The default Carri or Bersaglieri company is quite elite already. They are slightly cheaper as there is only a 1/3 chance of good moral but they already do everything the Folgore do. Back in prior versions of the game whilst there were elite Italians, the baseline Italian unit was not elite and was based on far more varied moral and skill ratings tables and armies like the Folgore were the exception.
Of course you can replicate this now with command cards, but why would most players want to? It feels to me like there isn’t enough of a niche any more for the Paracadutisti who had the guaranteed good stats when every other Italian is careful, has a reasonable skill rating and good to very good moral depending on a dice.
The key question for me is: what more could be done with the Italians? There are ranges of lovely models there and I think more could happen in both mid and late war for players who love fielding Italians.
These rules are what you expect them to be and the metal Folgore are great. There are some interesting combinations of Italians and Germans that can be used to change the dynamic of your attack by buying Italians as auuault support.
I’m off to look at what I could do with the units and cards to see what I can come up with!