In the first weekend of March, the Finnish GT will take place in Helsinki and it will most likely be the biggest ever FOW event in Finland with 30+ players. In this article I will show you the list I will be bringing and try to explain the thought process behind the different choices I have made.
The first step is to read the rules-pack for the tournament to see if there are any restrictions. In the case of the Finnish GT, there is a couple of rules for the 100pt force.
Maximum two Formations.
No duplicate Formations.
No more than 5 tank units with Scout.
No Wild Card units.
With these restrictions in mind I am ready to start. My usual approach for tournament lists is to pick something I like to try, with no consideration to in-game usefulness and then build from there. This often means that I don’t end up with the most competitive list as I also tend to have an eye on the historical part of Flames of War. I recently got my hands on some wonderful metal Gebirgsjager models from Battlefront, thanks to Albert, so the first must have in my list is a Company of German infantry. The gebirgsjagers I choose to represent with a Grenadier Company. Now the battle plan for this list will be Attack or Manoeuvre since my last infantry list was Soviets defending and I want to be more active rather than reactive.
The first part is easy. I need a HQ and 2 platoons of infantry. One full platoon and one short. These two platoons should be kept together with the HQ to form a force capable of assaulting enemy infantry and guns. 3 units isn’t enough to keep my formation on the table so I also pick 4x Mortar teams giving me a template and the important smoke bombardment, that will be used either to hide my infantry while closing in on the enemy or to limit the hits taken in defensive fire. I also add a platoon of 3x 3.7cm guns with steilgranaten to act as objective defenders if I end up in fair fight missions where i need to protect objectives as well as take them. This gives me 5 units in the formation, all careful with 3+ saves. This isn’t the most difficult formation to break, but it shouldn’t roll over on the first sight of the enemy either. This will cost 32pt.
Now what? Infantry in MW is a hopeless defenseless bunch. Armoured Cars(AC’s) and light tanks are often cheaper per team and they all have plenty of machine guns(MG’s), that will spoil any attack with infantry running out of their foxholes and the infantry will in most cases not have any AT that can threaten the AC’s or light tanks. So what better, than to have my own horde of lightly armoured spam? As I am going to Finland bringing mountain troops, why not take an allied formations of Finnish T26’s. Gebirgjagers fought alongside the Finns until 1944 so that is pretty historical.
These little tanks have some of the best stats you can get in FOW. Fearless, Trained(Tactics 3+) and Careful, all for the price of 1,5pt per tank. Combined with their decent gun, AT7 FP4+, they make for some absolute wonderful assault units, where their only downside is, that they are not the fastest things to hit the table. Maxing out the formation gives me 17x T26’s for 27pt. I would have prefered to have a platoon of 3 German 5cm guns, but in the Dynamic Points they are still 12pt whereas 5x T26’s only cost 8pt.
I should mention that the T26 is only front-, side- and top-armour 1, so any kind of AT weapon will pose a threat, but numbers and careful should work ok and leave me an usable force even after engaging the enemy. Together with the two infantry units, this gives me 5 assault units that should be enough if I face a Force fielding infantry. If my opponent only is running tank units, the T26’s will take up the roll of screening and the infantry should push forward, ready to capture any bailed out tanks, which is an often occurring event in MW with lots of low FP guns.
Now with mortars, 3,7cm guns, T26’s and infantry I should be well covered to handle lightly armoured forces, but what about medium and heavy tanks? AT7 will not be enough to fight anything bigger than T70’s, which means that the T26’s will have to flank PzIII’s and Shermans and with the limited speed that is a hard sell. So even if i don’t like it, I go with a 3-pack platoon of Marders. In the first draft of Dynamic Points Marders is priced at 6pt per tank, so 18pt for 3 front armour 2 tanks making them only slightly more survivable than the obsolete T26’s, but they do have that wonderful AT12, FP3+ gun with 80cm range. So in case I encounter medium tanks the Marders will be working overtime and hopefully making good use of Blitz/Shoot and Scoot.
Heavy Tanks is another problem I might have to deal with and even though the Marders with their AT12 pose a threat to heavies, they are not a sure kill unless they are shooting on hit on 2+ Soviets. The direct counter to enemy heavies is of cause something with high AT and here the Germans excel. Sturer Emil, Dicker Max, Hornisse’s and Ferdinand’s are all more than capable of smashing through heavy armour, the only problem is that none of them fought together with the Gerbirgjagers and T26’s in Finland.
With 23pt left to spend, my options are more or less, 1 Ferdinand, 2xSturer Emils, 2x Dicker Max’s, 2x Hornisse’s or 4x 88’s. I feel the sensible choice here would be the 88’s, because of the high number of shots they can dish out, but sensible is not my strong side, so the Ferdinand it is. What can I say, I just love that massive chunk of metal. Too big to move, too heavy to save when immobilised, but a huge gun and armour to the front only vulnerable to the Sturer Emil. That takes 22pt, leaving 1pt to Duncan’s favorite card Lucky.
As I mentioned earlier in the article the plan is to Attack. Focusing on one objective and hitting it with everything I got. My biggest issues are having only one template and a low number of medium to high AT shots. From a reserve point of view it is tempting to put the Ferdinand and Marders in Reserve, but that will leave me without any form of medium or higher AT on the table, so that can only be done if I am facing lights tanks. The Ferdinand must at all times be protected by infantry to make sure the enemy is to the front and can’t swarm it. It is also of note that I have chosen to build a list without spearhead units. This might very well come back to haunt me, but I have decided that in this case I can do without. I will be back with an after action report when I return from Finland, so we can see if my plan worked or come crashing down.