Ok, now that I already have several games under my belt playing Romanian Cavalry (from the Cavalerie PDF) I think it is high time to bring in some improvements.
Looking back at the games I played so far I now have a good idea of what are the weakpoints and strengths of the list. Overall, Romanian Cavalry seems to me to be a very good infantry list counter. It has the numbers and the firepower needed to remove stubborn defenders from their positions. If your skill/morale rolls are slightly above awful, you should get at least one veteran infantry platoon of death (13 bases + a Vanator de Care). Also, with so many guns, anything that cannot be assaulted, can be shot to pieces by the 20+ barrels/tubes.
However, there are two major weakpoints of the Cavalerie:
1. Lack of strong ranged anti-tank. The only valuable anti-tank unit in the list is the Pak40 platoon. It can easily deal with any kind of medium tanks but will struggle against heavies, like the KVs. Zero access to heavy artillery does not help too much either. This means that each time I have to fight the heavy Soviet tanks (especially while defending), my list will have a hard time, unless I decide to add a desperate option like the Stuka or the German 105s instead of the 75mm cavalry guns.
2. Vulnerability to templates. The footprint of the company is massive. Each time I get bombarded, the enemy is almost guaranteed to score at least a few hits on my guys. During the games I played, this issue was also aggravated by the fact, that I used dismounted platoons of Romanians. It meant that I usually stayed under fire long enough for the losses to stop being sustainable.
I think in the end, I can either try to mitigate these vulnerabilities during list design or accept them and avoid pairings with my obvious counters. Since I will most probably not be able to switch to a different army altogether, I need to do a bit of both :)
But before going into another round of list building, I also did a review of what worked and what did not work in the old version of my company. I worked under the assumption that I knew how to use my platoons and that they all had a chance to do something valuable during the games I played. Considering the above, I have built my list of best and worst performing platoons:
V Maxed out 75mms
V Medium-sized infantry platoons
V Maxed out 81mm mortars
V Maxed out Pak40s
V Maxed out 45mms
V Maxed out Pz35s
V Maxed out mounted scouts
It turned out that the worst idea that I had was to max out the mounted scouts and use them as an assault unit. It never worked. The unit was too small to make a difference and had too many tasks to perform on the battlefield to be effective. On the other hand, the 75mm guns are an amazingly flexible unit. Even if they cannot do any real damage to heavy tanks, they can at least shoot direct smoke after the Pak40s did their job. Awesome unit in my opinion.
Based on these facts, I have come up with a new version of my list to be tested:
HQ: 2x Cavalry Rifle/MG + 2x Vanator de Care
Platoon 1: 13x Cavalry Rifle/MG + VdC
Platoon 2: 13x Cavalry Rifle/MG + VdC
Platoon 3: 4x 81mm mortar
Platoon 4: 6x 45mm gun + transports
Platoon 5: 4x German Pak40
Platoon 6: 7x Pioneer Rifles (3x option to change to flamer)
Platoon 7: 4x Cavalry Rifle/MG scouts
Platoon 8: 12x 75mm guns + transports
These changes somewhat address the vulnerability of the infantry to templates (they do have bigger bases but also move a lot faster and can re-roll unpins while mounted) as well as give me some more anti-tank on the defense with the addition of the pioneers. I think these modifications are more a bandaid than a complete solution of the issue, but hey - what can you do - there are only so many options you can choose from! :)
Now I am off to search for some more cavalry models for my Romanians (although I already have around 8 bases painted and 12 waiting for their turn).
What are your experiences of polishing your lists?