One of the first models I ever built was the Italeri 1/35 Commando Car, basically a SAS Jeep as seen in Northwest Europe in 1944-45. Given the fond memories I had I was sold straightaway.
Early examination led me to think of the list as a Comet delivery system with the two cheap, relatively speaking, core platoons of SAS jeeps being used as a means for getting a couple of platoons of Comets. However the thought of an aggressive swarming list appealed to me.
My play style suits being aggressive more than it does just sitting there and digging in and I like nothing more than having fast hard hitting armour getting all up in the opponents face and throwing him off balance before he has a chance to orientate himself. It makes up for my lack of tactical subtlety and skill!
The list itself is a Mechanised list so I knew that there is a possibility that I would be defending at least 50% of the time in either Defensive or Mobile battles. With that in mind I took the decision to take 4 SAS patrols to give me those vital recce moves if needed or to allow me to blitz forwards when they come on from reserves.
I upgraded two of the SAS Patrols to Armoured Jeeps with a .50cal in each patrol. The idea behind this was to give me another assaulting option. However with them being Recce teams I need to be realistic and only go after the softer targets like Company Command teams or Artillery platoons as going after anything else will lead to me getting bounced by defensive fire, after all it only takes 5 hits. If I get the assault in I’m counting on the Fearless rating to help me carry off counter attack after counter attack.
The other two SAS Patrols are normal jeeps with a .50cal in each patrol. All the other jeeps have Twin MGs. Their job will be to act as in the traditional light recce role of scouting targets (lifting Gone to Ground with Eyes and Ears) and killing soft targets of opportunity with their MG fire.
I also wanted to take some good, fast, hard hitting British armour so I decided on a full strength Armoured Platoon with 4 Comets. With its Fast Tank movement, Front Armour of 7 and Anti Tank of 14 plus some Semi Indirect Fire it can take most things out. It is also fast enough to really give the opponent something to worry about if they choose to ignore them.
I knew that having just 4 tanks wouldn’t cut it but I couldn’t justify another 4 Comets to myself, as the points just wouldn’t stack up so I took 4 Cromwells. Although the Front Armour isn’t as good and having just Anti Tank 10 it still retains Fast Tank movement so it fits in with the overall speed of the army.
Because I knew i’d probably be defending as much as I’d be attacking I knew i’d had to take something that could sit there and hold an objective. Taking a Lorried Rifle Platoon, albeit a short one, was a no brainer. My main worry is that there’s only 7 stands so it’s not a platoon to go slogging across the table with. However with their British Bulldog hopefully if they do get pushed off an objective in an assault I have a better chance of getting back in with a Counter Attack.
Last but not least was a 25pdr Battery. Mike Target is such a powerful rule for British Artillery with its rerolling of the first failed Range In attempt and teams having to reroll successful saves if they’re silly enough to hang around for a repeat bombardment on subsequent turns. It also gives me the ability to smoke stuff before I put an assault in.
So how do I see it all coming together? Well if I’m attacking in Mobile or Defensive battles I very much plan on using the recce moves of the SAS patrols to the fullest in order to get them in a position where they can strike the enemy’s rear, cautious movement should help in keeping them alive for long enough. This would be followed up by the Comets and Cromwells hunting the assets that can hurt me the most and possibly putting in those crippling assaults.
The SAS patrols with their Twin MGs and .50cals are ideal for taking out light vehicles and infantry in the open. For dug in and gone to ground infantry the key will be to use their recce ability of Eyes and Ears to lift Gone to Ground and then machinegun the Infantry with the .50cals.
Defensive wise it gets a bit more tricky, especially in missions with Mobile Reserves. If I’m defending I would probably leave most of the SAS patrols of the table unless I’m facing something fairly light like another Mechanised list in which case I’d probably try doing a massive counter attack such as a Reverse Breakthrough.
Build wise it was an easy army to source, build and paint. The Comets are the latest Battlefront plastics, I loved building these. They went together crisply and were a joy to paint. I much prefer plastic over resin tanks these days.
The Cromwells were from the Plastic Soldier Company and although they’re good models I wasn’t blown away. The 5 piece turret left something to be desired when building it.
The 25pdrs were Battlefront’s own boxset and it’s functional enough. Any regular British player should already have at least one of these.
The infantry were from the Plastic Soldier Company British Infantry Company box set. Again I wasn’t blown away here. I have had most of their infantry sets and there is a real difference in quality in my eyes between the Battlefront plastics and the Plastic Soldier Company’s offerings. The detail was often quite soft, especially on the rear of the figure and the individual moulds weren’t as crisp.
The SAS jeeps. Oh boy, these were a joy to build and paint. Check out Matt’s review here
for a more detailed overview. I found them quick to build and paint. Not having a moulded on base really enhances the look of the model and their footprint is just tiny compared to the amount of killing power on board.
So there you have it, 1750pts and 8 platoons of SAS hotness. Its just a shame I couldn’t fit in an Auster AOP for the points.
Is it a natural competition winner? Absolutely not. The fact that its a Mechanised list and as such will get done over by the Mobile Reserves rule puts paid to that, however in the hands of a skilled, aggressive player it will probably do quite well but not well enough to counter the likes of 7th Armoured in a final match up.
Is it a fun list? Absolutely. I promised myself this year that I wanted to build an army that I wanted to and not just one that was the latest, all coming, all singing take on all comers list.
I’m looking forward to trying it out in the heat of battle soon so look forward to a BatRep where you can how much this list either rules or sucks!
I’m now seriously contemplating getting another 1/35 SAS Jeep to relive my nerdy youth!