List construction in Version 4; Support, Formation and Cards oh my!

With new books being released from Battlefront in a steady stream and Late War rapidly expanding, the possibilities in how you build your list has become bigger and bigger so guest writer Scott Palmer decided to write an article, so here I leave you with Scott and how to use multiple books and Command Cards in V4 list-building. 

I have noticed that a few players seem to struggle with how different Support, Formations and Command Cards interact with each other when building a list. 

On the Allied side this is, at present, not a big issue given that both the US and British, and soon the Soviets, will have only two books and associated Command Cards to pick from. The Germans however have three LW books and associated Command Cards, meaning they have slightly more choice, and it can get a bit more complicated.

So we are going to try to lay out, hopefully more clearly, how you can combine different books and Command Cards. This is sort of explained in Lessons From the Front however it is kind of wordy and for many players their 1st language is not English.

The below is taken from Lessons From the Front and is the basis for how we will construct our Force.

But what does this actually mean in practice, and how do building a force from different books and then applying Command Cards to that Force using Formations from a book that differs from the Support I am taking it from?

To start with, let’s decide what theme we want to base our list on.

The Force I want to build is a Fallschirmjäger Force, based on the “4. Fallschirmjäger-Division” that seen saw fighting around the Anzio beachhead in Italy in early 1944, but I also want to support it using Panzers that would represent tanks from the “Panzer Division Hermann Göring”, because Panzer 3s are cool and this Division also saw fighting around the Anzio beachhead in support of the FJs.

Pz. Div. Hermann Göring 

So, as directed in the above extract from LFTF, I will first choose a book for my Support – as I want to have the choice to take some aircraft to represent the sporadic attacks by the Luftwaffe on the Allied landings, I will choose Fortress Europe, as this currently is the only German Support Diagram that includes aircraft.

This is the part I think confuses many people, rather than choosing a Formation and having this dictating the Support Diagram available to you, you first choose the Support Diagram and then choose a Formation from any book. It’s kind of a cart before the horse thing, but just try to remember that the Support you choose, does not tie you to only the Formations in that book. 

So the first step is done, I have chosen Fortress Europe for my Support. 

I will now choose a Formation – as stated above, I want to represent a Fallschirmjäger force, with only one Formation available, I will choose the “Fallschirmjäger Company” from the D-Day: German book.

As Fallschirmjäger are expensive, I will only be able to make a relatively small Formation of them, however the 4. Fallschirmjäger-Division only saw combat for the first time at Anzio so, to give this Formation a bit more character (and save a few points) and to represent their possible inexperience, I will apply the “5TH FALLSCHIRMJÄGER DIVISION NO JUMP TRAINING” Command Card. This Card is from the D-Day : German Command Cards but as it is being applied to units from an applicable formation this is allowed.

Most of the time I’m going to be choosing to defend with this force, so I will construct it to have 60pts on table, with the expectation I will have reserves. Once I have the basic Fallschirmjäger Company and the attached discount for “No Jump Training” applied I add in some Stukas, some ubiquitous Flak 88s and a 222 Light Scout Troop. This takes me to 59pts.

So to round off to the 60pts I will have on table I will take a “Lucky” card from the Fortress Europe Command Cards, this is where I am only allowed to take generic (i.e. non unit specific) Command Cards from due to Fortress Europe being the basis.

This is my current force – 

I can now add the second part of my list – the “Hermann Göring” Panzer Company that will be counter attacking and riding to the rescue of the Fallschirmjäger. 

Given the mix of Panzer 3s and Panzer 4s the HG Division had I will use the “Panzer III & IV mixed Tank Company” –

This section is fairly straightforward, a couple of platoons of mixed P3s and P4s. This rounds out my force. 

I would have maybe liked to have added in the Command Card “Assault Flak” to the 88s to represent Luftwaffe field crews supporting the Fallschirmjäger but as this Command Card is not present in the Fortress Europe Deck, I cannot take it. 

There may come points when you are writing themed lists (or trying to build that super tournament list) that you need to take aspects and cards from multiple books, but you need to decide what is the most important aspect to you at that point, the Force Diagram with say Ferdinand’s in it, or the ability to lay down some extra mines with the “Old Minefield” Card from D-Day: German. 

14 thoughts on “List construction in Version 4; Support, Formation and Cards oh my!

    1. Hi Michael, I am glad you like it. I’ll make sure to pass along the praise to Scott.


  1. Thanks for this. I was really stuck on figuring out how to get me FE support in my current list. My Ferdinands and Stukas salute you!

    1. This gives you a lot of possibilities to make good historical lists. Stukas and Ferdinand sounds like an Italy list is on the way…


  2. great job on the explanation. Although making lists is very simple, it was not clear why the regulations did not explain it well. It is the problem of going to the LFTF and what Phil says on Facebook.

    1. Thanks Valendune. Yes it isn’t that complicated when you know how it works, but that is a general rule in life I think. Hopefully this will help people until we get a well written LFTF.

  3. I like the explanation and appreciate the examples! Part of the problem is that the forces of war application does not enforce the list-building rules : I can hardly count the times I’ve had to help people correct their lists!

    If only Command Cards that applied to units / formations had to be actually connected to same within forces of war could it be possible for the official list-building application to be in seamless harmony with the rules.

    1. Thanks. Yes it would be great if Forces could be used for bulletproof list building, but alas that has some way to go yet. Another option could be if BF updated their Command card 101 and How to build list using multiple book.

  4. How is formation (compulsory) support handled? Can you pull from all books or just the book you have support from?

    1. Hi Byan,
      You can add black box units from all books of the same nation as your formation.

  5. Hello guys, just a thing I need to make clear to myself, and maybe to many other people who don’t agree with this interpretation of list building. It make absolutely no sense to take support from a book and Formation from another book. It contradicts the idea of using a Force Diagram… A Force diagram Starts with “Black boxes” in terms of what you have to use to play that Force. Formation and support…. is like in the Formation Diagram, where you have compulsory units you need to take in black boxes and then the grey ones what you can pick and choose.
    Secondly and probably the thing that makes it so clear, is written in the rule book, page 94 – Choosing a Force:
    Step one – Pick a Force Diagram (meaning a book with the forces that fought in a theater of war(with the compulsory “black box” Formations Diagrams )
    Step two – Pick your Formation(s)

    “Your Force must contain at least one Formation” – You don’t have a Force Diagram without a Formation…

    I know it was a way of choosing Air units and Ferdis without taking a costly FE Formation for a D-Day Book but it was so wrong from all points of view. Also now, with Bagration you can have Air/Elefants and other FE sweets (Marders).

    This reading of the LFTF is wrong guys, you know I love you and you guys make such great content and I strongly support you, but please take a second thought about this… pls! Thank you very much!

  6. Hi

    First of all – thank you for a fantastic site! So much inspiration and articles.
    Im new to FOW – and list building is confusing me a bit. Having read the above most seems a bit more clear. But I still have on question that I hope you could help me with.

    Right now I have played two games. 80 points and late war german list. So tigers for me it is not the best list I know, but well… Tigers!
    My question is about formation support. Running a tiger list I choose this as my formation. But how many formations support (the box next to the wild card box) can I include. Only one is shown. But I would like to include more infantry.
    So – to put it square – does only one formation support box (the option to include combat units from black boxes from other formations) mean only one option to include infantry?

    I hope my question makes sense

    Good day to you all

    Kind regards


    1. Hej Jacob,

      You can always take more formations, so if you want more than 1 platoon of infantry you can take another formation. Alternatively you can take multiple black box infantry platoons, with the one restriction that they can’t be the same kind so 1 grenadier platoon 1 PzGrens platoon and one SS platoon but not 3 PzGren platoons.

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