Today Mark discusses what he thinks is a ‘gem’ of a list for LW V4.
A shifted meta
There is no denying that V4 has mixed up the meta more than any army book did in V3. While fundamentally nothing has changed the usefulness of units in given situations has; for instance differences in artillery (re-roll infantry and gun saves on the repeat, as well as a reduced AT) has changed the role of the heavy artillery crutch. No more is it the bane of Panthers or King Tigers, but it is still a scary prospect for guns and infantry. To mitigate this though, guns have a 3+ or 4+ save (even after firing) and big platoons of infantry will stick around longer due to the ‘good spirits’ rule.
With the need to be in ‘good spirits’ for your formation you must be able to keep two HQ, combat or weapons teams in ‘good spirits’. That means you may find the old idea of two combat platoons and a load of support doesn’t work. If a clever player kills the combat teams, its ‘game over man’. In the list below, I had to add a weapons platoon to ensure that I couldn’t be so easily broken.
So with these ideas as a base line, I have been looking at a new army for V4 late war and ideas for earlt v4 games as the meta settles down and, after some searching, I’m leaning towards Canadian Infantry as an initial thought. New to V4, it seems a great choice:
- It has pretty big infantry platoons, which now have to have 7 stands lost for a good spirits check (versus 5 in V3).
- They have access to cheap, veteran, Sherman Crabs. I am not yet convinced on the utility of medium armour with the increased staying power of guns, but 400pts for 8 veteran Shermans, which are slow and can’t assault. Hell Yes!
- 6 Pdrs – Always a great unit and they just got better. Now with a 3+ save they will survive nicely the turn after that ‘cheeky ambush’. Okay, artillery will start to murder them with repeat bombardments, but really they are there to act as an ambush unit or massive speed bump. Also you have to kill 4 to start a break test.
- Land Mattresses – These are perhaps the biggest winner in V4. They now produce a pie-plater (12×12) template at FP4+, but re-rolling saves against guns and infantry once ranged in. Remember you start the game ranged in! That means in attack you have a pie plate over the objective already. Vicious….
- Typhoons – Again a good unit in V3, but different in V4. Rockets will not be popping tanks with AT3 now but the cannon (rif 2) is a good tool to kill panthers or anything with a low side armour. They are also useful for pinning artillery to help win the ‘arty’ dual which I think will become commin in v4.
Now, don’t get me wrong; not everything is rosy for this list. It’s issue is King Tigers; I have little that will hurt them. Well, lets be honest… Basically nothing beyond a PIAT or rolling a 1 vs my Typhoon’s rockets for a bail. But you know what, I’m alright with that. King Tigers are going to be a bane of most lists now. Top armour 2 and a high side armour is a huge deal and, actually, I like that they are now scary. I will have to take my chances and also target the enemy combat platoons fast and basically ignore/smoke the big cats. Panthers though can be dealt with via flanking shots (Thanks to my increased, and risk free, dash speed) and the Typhoon’s cannons.
Well here it is, I have gone for 1650, because I think it works well in V3 and also, I am going to go out on a limb and say, in V4 higher points may be needed to allow a few combat platoons and still keep some variety in the game (time will tell).
Now, in V3 you had to think about total number of platoons because that dictated how many platoons you could have on table if half on/half off. Now, when defending, you get 60% of your forces. This means that number of platoons is less important, and cramming what you want into that 60% is the name of the game.
When 60% on, I can have 990pts (of 1650), this means:
- A full inf platoon
- A short inf platoon
- 6 6pdrs (ambush)
- 4 Sherman Crabs
- 4 Sherman Crabs
Compare that to V3 and you would only have three platoons plus the air support. With deep reserves, you get the Land Mattress on table as well.
This is a balanced list and can do a bit of everything. It has the anti-armour to deal with Russian tank hordes and has three good sized infantry platoons to defend or attack. Its mobility is in the form of 8 veteran Shermans and can dig out guns and infantry with a pie-plate FP+4 template and a set of mortars (also adding smoke).
As a British list, I can still night fight if attacking in a mission with minefields (3 of the 10 missions). Remember, night now stacks with concealment to produce a +2 to hit. Combine that with being beyond 16 inches and your forces will be basically be immune to all but the luckiest fire. Fantastically my pie plate starts ranged in and I don’t have to roll on the night table to fire at it. Because its ranged in, any infantry or guns in or around the objective will be re-rolling saves at FP4+. When needed, the mortars can use a pre-ranged in marker to drop a 16 inch smoke screen.
It isn’t all rosy though and risks have to be taken. You can’t have everything. In this case the issue is how to deal with enemy aircraft and King Tigers/Jadgtigers. With side armour 8 I can’t hurt them with the Typhoons cannons (the answer to Panthers); it will also be a struggle vs. Tigers 1s.
Additionally I have no AA to protect my own tanks however that would be my next purchase in a larger 1700 pts game.
The King Tiger issue is the biggest weakness. Looking at the list options, other than M10s dashing into a flank (harder to do than you think), there isn’t really a lot I can do about them. I am banking on there being German lists with 1 KT in support. With 2 shots I can mitigate it with smoke and manoeuvre. Also if they are defending its a lot of points to drop into 2 shots.
All this leaves is for me to purchase the additional forces I need and get ready to roll it it out.
Stay tuned as I will be running through a Soviet and German list in the coming weeks as well.