Beyond the completely obvious part 3 - Mid War infantry lists analysis (ETC-wise)
Hello everyone, today I am coming back a bit to good old FoW :) I just checked my posts so far and it turns out that I am still missing a post in the 'Beyond the completely obvious' series that would cover Mid War infantry lists. So here it goes.
As with the previous posts from the series, I have selected 3 lists meeting the Mid War infantry criteria that I found interesting and that I would not refuse to play during the ETC. As a general remark, I have to say that both Mid War books have some interesting stuff in them in terms of infantry. I think that as far as tanks go, the choice is severly limited, Mech also has some constraints but with infantry lists you can really go crazy :)
My first selection is a British Rifle company from North Africa book. The pretty obvious reason for this is that the Brits can make a choice of whether to defend or attack in some of the missions (using their 'Night Attack' national special rule). This possibility gives all infantry lists of that nation huge flexibility. Mid War is the pinnacle period of Night Attacks as if I remember correctly, there is only one list that can counter it - Soviet Cossacks. Since they are an AA Mech list, they would be able to attack the British player's infantry company. Anyway, this is my proposal of a list:
British Rifle (Africa) - North Africa book
HQ: 2x Rifle + bagpipes + sticky bombs
Platoon 1: 6x Rifle/MG + light mortar + sticky bombs
Platoon 2: 6x Rifle/MG + light mortar + sticky bombs
Platoon 3: 6x Rifle/MG + light mortar + sticky bombs
Platoon 4: 3x Universal Carrier
Platoon 5: 4x 3" mortar + sticky bombs + transport
Platoon 6: 4x 6 pdr
Platoon 7: 4x 6 pdr
Platoon 8: 2x Valentine II + 1x Valentine VII (C/T)
Platoon 9: 4x Deacon
Platoon 10: 2x ML 4,2" mortar + sticky bombs
This list, in my opinion can go against pretty much any other force. It has tons of direct anti-tank shots, 3 platoons of C/V infantry for assaults, medium mortars for smoke or getting rid of enemy guns with direct fire and also a small unit of heavy mortars to make the enemy think twice before bunching up his tanks. Also, Universal Carriers provide the necessary recon capability.
Since the company's tank support is either Slow or Slow Wheeled, the Night Attack rules that limit the movement of mechanized teams do not affect them so much anyway.
The big weakpoint of the list is that most of the anti-tank guns are No HE. This means, that against a dug in opponent with a lot of guns, the modus operandi will be to use the light and medium mortars in direct fire and assault when a breach is made.
You might also be wondering what is the idea behind putting sticky bombs on mortars :) Well, if you do this, and you are defending against a tank list like the Mixed Tankovy, you can put them close to your infantry on the objective, to be able to pump out a few extra AT3 hits per assault phase! For 5 points per platoon, it can really add to your defensive capability.
Another interesting list that I found in the North Africa book is the German Pioneer company (15. Panzer Division). What i like about North Africa German infantry overall is the possibility to field decent anti-tank guns integrated into your compulsory foot platoons. This makes them very good on the defense, as it increases the number of guns on the table even if you are limited to only 6 platoons in your list. In any case, this is the sample list that I have built:
German Pioneer (Africa) (15. Panzer) - North Africa book
HQ: 2x SMG
Platoon 1: 7x Rifle/MG + 2x Pak38 + 1x 2.8 cm a-t rifle
Platoon 2: 7x Rifle/MG + 2x Pak38 + 1x 2.8 cm a-t rifle
Platoon 3: 4x Marder III (7.62 cm)
Platoon 4: 4x Pak40
Platoon 5: 2x 8-Rad
Platoon 6: 2x 8-Rad
Platoon 7: 3x 15cm NW41
Platoon 8: 3x Sd Kfz 10/5 (2cm)
The idea for this list is pretty simple: to be acting mostly in a defensive role but in case it has to attack, it will still be pretty good. Again, direct a-t is fairly decent with eight AT11&12 guns plus four Pak38s on the infantry platoons. Also, this list is built to have 4 platoons on the table while defending - 2 infantry, tank destroyers + pak40s which will give it a big edge compared to a 6 platoon list.
If you want even more defensive power, you can drop the anti-air unit and the Nebelwerfers down to 2 guns/tanks and upgrade the pioneers with supply trucks to put down up to 2 minefields or 6 barbed wire sections while deploying.
On the offensive, you still have all the assets you will ever need: pioneers to lead the charge, anti-tank for support, smoke for cover and Sd Kfz 10/5s to provide anti-air screen.
For the last one, I will copy a list by one of the Polish players - hope he does not mind. I already said a few words about it before our Mid War tournament in Poznań, so this is a bit of a copy-paste exercise. But at that time, I did not know that this company is actually Always Defend. I think in general, the only Always Defend lists are the Italian ones. In this case, these lists are a bit of a no-brainer for the ETC as in this competition being able to control whether your player is attacking or defending is crucial for the pairings. But without much more discussion, let me introduce the list:
Clarification: only Fusilieri and Bersaglieri have the Always Defend capability. Still, this does not make Alpini a bad list :)
Elite (66% to be vet)/ Artillery (83% to be vet)
HQ 2x Rifle
Platoon 1: 10x Rifle with improvised AT3 + anti-tank rifle
Platoon 2: 10x Rifle with improvised AT3
Platoon 3: 10x Rifle with improvised AT3
Platoon 4: 4x 65/17 gun (16", AT8, Rof2, no gun shield, crap bombardment)
Platoon 5: 4x 65/17 gun (16", AT8, Rof2, no gun shield, crap bombardment)
Platoon 6: 4x 75/27 gun (24", AT9, Rof2, crap bombardment)
Platoon 7: 4x Semovente 47/32 (3/1/0, AT7)
Platoon 8: 6x 75/39 gun (24", AT10, Rof2)
Platoon 9: 7x Pioneer Rifle + 2x Brixia mortar
Platoon 10: 2x 75/27 gun (24", AT9, Rof2, crap bombardment)
This is a list similar to what I have in my Romanian Cavalry (Mech) with slightly different accents. This one has shorter ranges on the guns but has a better ambush platoon in the form of the captured soviet equipment (6x 75/39). It also has a decent mobile semovente unit to go around the enemy flanks or harass light armor. Overall, I like the way this company is built. It has good chances to be veteran (up to fearless vet) and has a lot of hard-hitting units. Its main weakness is: little response capability vs the omnipresent Mixed Tankovy. In fact, it can turn out that the improvised weapons will cause more casaulties to the Italians than the assaulting KVs themselves :)
Also, on the offensive, the footprint of the company is huge, making it vulnerable to templates.
So, here are my proposals. Is there anything valuable that I maybe missed? :)