On 23 Sep, 34 eager FOW players will travel to Battlefield Hobbies for Europe’s premier FOW singles events (not that I am biased!). With players from the UK, Europe and the USA attending I thought it would be a good idea to share the lists that coming and see what this means for the game.
First off thanks to all the competitiors who submitted their list as PDF. This is not normal practice for the UK but so many people have previously asked to see them that this year we made it a reality. For those who want to see what the great and the good are running, check them out here.
Remember that players could submit a Red and Blue list (if they wished), Mid War Monsters are kept to those that saw combat during the MW period, and you can only have up to 2 formations. The armies are 100pts.
Our very own Martin Turner is bringing his horseys!
State of the Game
Dynamic Points 2023 changed quite a few things in MW. Mainly it increased the cost of high end AT especially mobile (like Marders) while reducing the cost of medium tanks (and oddly KVs). This has dramatically shifted the meta.
A quick glance shows that Soviets are now in a really good place. The mixed Tankovy, Lee Battalion and Hero Rifles are very popular indeed. Valentines and Stuarts are still pipping the T34 in popularity however its great to see some of them on the table. The obviously undercosted BA10 formations (10pts for 10!) is still a must have (and I suspect often held back by people not having the models!).
Italians mimic the ETC lists with infantry formations backed by high end AT and often the L6s or armoured cars but it is nice to see some of their Tank Companies making the field as well. I still think the M14 is a great tank, although needs to be handled very carefully. I faced some at ETC and when backed by a formation commander it is amazing to see those hulls rise like zombies from when they are bailed!
The Yanks are represented by Armoured Rifle Companies which have medium, light and tank killer armour to back them up. However we also see some Shermans on the field now! Armoured Rifles are a rounded force that should play well across a range of boards but perhaps suffers from being the master of most things rather than great at a small number of things?
I would love to see more DAK on the field.
Hungarians are the new go to infantry formation. Crazy cheap infantry with cheap guns packing AT12 at close range (great for defensive fire), which, alongside German allies is a seriously good combination. I would not be surprised if we see a slight rise in Hungarian Infantry costs with Dynamic Points 2024 given they seem to outstrip everyone else.
Germans are a mixed bag. There actually isn’t any evidence of their armoured car spam which was a previous problem pre Dynamic Points. It is however nice to see a couple of ‘proper’ infantry companies and even a formation of German medium tanks. Alas I still think they are generally outclassed at the moment. I would still like to see Pz4 shorts drop a point and the Pz4/3 upgrades become the cost for 2 hulls.
British don’t seem that popular with a lack of rifle and motor rifle companies. There is a Churchill company which is a variation of the ETC list theme and revolves around hit allocation with a command card help keep the beasts alive with ablative armoured car armour. I am a bit surprised not to see more Crusaders but what we do have is paired with US infantry which has been shown at ETC to be a great combination.
I decided to run a little spreadsheet analysis regarding the number of lists. Not only for general interest but also to share with BF which alongside the ETC list analysis I hope can help with evidence based change for any further Dynamic points changes.
A few things that stand out to me are:
- Over half the lists have a infantry formation. That is far more than I expected, however it is worth noting most are paired with another formation. Fewer players think they can build a competitive list with infantry alone.
- Medium armour is present in over 1/3 of the lists. Again some are paired with infantry or light vehicles but there are a significant number of ‘proper’ lists as well. That said Soviets account for a lot of it and it is harder to define due to the oddities such as double Stuarts (light tank) allowed in a Lee Battalion.
- Proper (ie not mortars) artillery isnt very popular, perhaps suggesting evidence for a slight drop in points. For those that take it, there is a definite lean towards those with ROF2 (ie can be used as AT guns). German 105s and US 105s just aren’t cutting it.
- ‘Pie plates’ i.e. rocket artillery only has 2 examples, however I wonder if that was people misinterpreting the meta thinking there would be less infantry? I expect these to actually do quite well.
- L6s and BA10s still stand out as great choices and rule the armoured cars and light tank formations. Hard to believe that they won’t be increased in any future Dynamic Points update.
What I do think is great is that the super spammy lists don’t seem to be present. That is either because the players are all gentlemen (or Officers of the Royal Navy – google it that’s a clever joke), or they are not performing as well in a singles competitive environment. Personally I think many players are realising that you need to be pulling those 8-1s out of the hat to win big events and with easy to kill light vehicles that can be hard, especially once an opponent knows they will not be able to win and are now looking for 3 point scores.
I am really pleased with the list variety, it is significantly better than we saw pre Dynamic Points. Sure there are some patterns (L6s, BA10, Hungarian Inf, Soviet Hero Inf and Soviets in general), but there will always be optimal list whatever changes are made. What we are seeing is more infantry, more mediums and less spam. All of this is a step in the right direction.