Do you remember Early War? Back when a medium tank had front armour made of damp cardboard and a gun that was about as powerful as getting hit by a potato lobbed by a 3-year-old toddler on a sugar rush? But it didn’t matter about the tank’s armour, as some infantry units had absolutely no anti-tank capability at all, and the dedicated AT guns could barely reach across the table. Even the heavy tanks only had a front armour of about 5 and a single figure AT value.
Well, if you long for that more civilised age, then good news! You can play with an army that ticks all those boxes … The only issue is that you’ll be playing with it in Mid War and have to face T-34s, Shermans and plenty of high end, (as far as you’re concerned,) AT.
Anyway, welcome, to the Mid War Romanian army list.
Everything by the booklet
This is one of the ‘booklet’ armies for Mid War, similar to the White Death and Hungarian Steel booklets for Finns and Hungarians, (I’ll let you work out which one is which,) which means that you only get a short amount of history in the book, the army list itself, a brief painting guide and product catalogue. There are no extra scenarios, linked missions or anything along those lines.
You do instead, however, get all the unit cards and command cards bundled with it, which is probably more useful to me anyway.
The main Romanian special rule is Peasant Army, which is the same as it is in Late War, or the same as the Italian 8 million bayonets. Basically, when you deploy a unit, you roll a dice and on a 5 or a 6 the unit gets slightly better skill and/or motivation stats. You can get special dice that have the Romanian symbol on two sides and a blank on the rest if you want to be fancy about things.
Other rules worthy or note are Defend the Homeland, which gives your infantry an improved assault rating, and Armoured Reserve, which means even your rubbish tanks have to start off the table in missions with the Deep Reserves rule.
Twice the lists, twice the fun, 5 times the legs
“So, what are the formation options in the book, (I shall hereafter refer to it as a book even though it’s a booklet just to save time, and all that time I would have saved has now been wasted by writing this sentence,)?” I hear you ask.
Well, the first bit of good news is that the book has twice as many formation options as the Romanians get in the Late War book.
You still get three tank formations although they are slightly different, but the infantry formations have jumped from one to three and the cavalry has been added in as well. I know these are on Command Cards in Late War, but it’s nice to actually have them in the book.
R-2, where are you?
Right here in fact, I just wanted to use that as a header.
The first tank formation available is the R-2 light tank company. In previous versions of the game it was called a medium tank, as that’s what the Romanians classed it as, however Battlefront decided to change it to a light tank company. I assume this was to stop all the injuries of people falling over laughing when you put your “medium” tanks on the table.
The R-2 is the tank I’m on about in my opening paragraph; it’s slow with a front armour of 2 and an AT of 6. It is, in short, terrible, but I won’t go into that in too much detail, as I will be doing a Romanian Tank Rank at some point soon (honest!).
As for the Formation, you get one on its own for HQ and then 2-4 units of three R-2s. There’s also the option to take a fifth unit with either R-2s, T-3s or T-4s. Terrible but cheap, a full formation of 16 of them will only set you back 21pts. Although they are metal and resin direct order only, so cheap in points but not in pounds, (or your currency of choice).
The next tank option is the T-3 Medium tank, (used to be called a heavy,) these are more commonly known as Panzer 3s, specifically the short barrelled 7.5cm version. With reasonable armour, speed and AT, these are a decent Mid War tank.
Formation wise you can only get 10 in a company at the most, with the other company options being the R-2.
The one thing I will say about the T-3 is that I personally thinks it’s a bit over costed. It’s only a point cheaper per tank then the same tank as used by the Afrika Korps, and the Romanian soft stats are a lot worse.
Speaking of the soft stats, you can see them above in the R-2 picture. They are the same for all the tanks.
Luke use the T-FO(U)Rce
Yeah sorry, that’s bad even by my standards.
The final tank formation option in the book is the T-4 Medium tank, also known as the Panzer 4 with the long barrel 7.5cm. This is the best tank you can get. It’s got the same armour as the T-3, but with 8 inches more of range and 1 point more AT. It’s also only 1 point more per tank than the T-3, definitely the one Luke, or anyone else, should be using.
Formation wise, it’s the same as the T-3, it’s just that anything that said T-3 before now says T-4.
Right, on to the infantry!
These boots were made for walking and climbing mountains
As stated at the start, there are three infantry formation options in the book; the motorised Rifle Company, the Rifle Company and the Mountain Rifle Company, or as they are also known; The ones with all the toys, the cheap ones and the good ones.
One thing that all the Romanian infantry units have in common is that they all have zero in unit anti-tank capability. If you’re assaulted by tanks, your only options are improvised anti-tank and praying. There is a command card that is of marginal use to help with this, but more on that later.
The most well rounded of the infantry formations is the Motorised Rifle Infantry Company.
The Company HQ is a pair of rifle teams, either on foot or in a halftrack for an extra point. The mandatory platoons can be motorised infantry or armoured infantry, the differences being that the motorised infantry are rifle/MG teams with two optional HMGs, and armoured infantry are full MG teams but with no options, and of course they also get to ride around in halftracks.
The soft stats are a bit dubious, it all depends on how the peasant army roll goes. If you roll well, you’ll have a last stand and skill of 4+, however chances are they’ll be 5+.
Having the option for two units of motors and two units of AT Guns is quite powerful, and those 47mm AT guns are quite tasty in Mid War and should make most enemy tanks of the period nervous.
The Rifle Platoon is the poor relation of the Motorised Rifle Platoon in every sense. For a start, they are hit on 3+, and the rifle platoons are just that; Rifle platoons, no LMGs here, although you can add a couple of optional HMGS.
The 47mm guns are also different from the ones the Motorised Rifle Company get; they only have AT 6, but you can have up to six of them in a unit.
Last, but not least, we have the Mountain Rifle infantry, who have the best stats of any of the Romanian infantry, but bugger all in the way of support. As standard they are confident trained, although with a 5+ last stand, but if you pass your Peasant Army roll you get Confident Veterans with a 4+ last stand. There are only, however, in formation support options for a maximum of four HMGs, four mortars and a miserly two AT 6 anti-tank guns.
Call in the cavalry
The last formation in the book is the chaps riding the unprocessed meat pies, (obscure British scandal reference). These guys are basically the same as the Motorised Rifle Company, just on horses.
They can get wo units of machine guns in formation support, so if you take that and the optional HMGs in the cavalry troops you can easily get 12 HMGs on the table. They also get a unit of motors and their AT option is 2-6 captured 45mm Soviet AT guns.
I just couldn’t be bothered to come up with a witty section heading.
The support options are what you would usually expect, but a couple of noteworthy options are:
Pak 40s – in a unit of 2-3, the highest AT you can get in the army, so probably an auto-include.
AB armoured cars – more commonly known as German 222 armoured cars; your only recce option.
T-38 light tank platoon – also known as the Panzer 38t, you can take three of them in support and they are marginally better the R-2s.
Pioneers – chaps with flame throwers and optional SMGs, great assault unit.
By your command card
That basically covers everything in the book, but as I said, it comes with a pack of command cards, so I’ll quickly mention a few of the more interesting ones of those.
Vanator De Care – increases your improvised AT in assaults to three, might be worth having one seeing as you lack any in unit anti-tank
Pioneer Company – have a company of chaps with flame throwers, SMGS and a bad attitude
T-38 Light Tank Company – have a company of T-38s, I’ll be using the because I love them
Scout ahead – gives one of your infantry units, (except pioneers,) the Scout special rule
Reconnaissance Company – a mix of Mortised Rifle platoons and armoured cars
R-1 Cavalry tanks – yes, they are back, the tank with the worst placed hull MG that you ever did see. This card lets you upgrade a unit of armoured cars to be R-1 light tanks
One thing that is missing is the option to swap a unit of R-2s for captured Soviet T-26 tanks. This is something you could do in version 2 and 3 of the rules, and I was assuming it would be a command card, but it just isn’t there. That being said, BF have been known to miss out some card command cards when they send us the review copies, so there might be hope yet.
I think that covers everything. I’ll be back with more Romanian articles in the coming weeks, but right now I’m off to buy some more Panzer 4s, I think they might come in handy.