Andrew’s Rangers Lead the Way

with Andrew Haught

Wayne and I sat down to play a game of Flames Of War and we wanted to do a beach landing. Since I was still working my 29th Infantry Div beach landing Assault Company I decided to do something a little different than what I normally play for this Beach Landing game. I wanted to play Rangers. Rangers in V4 are incredibly cool. They are assault monsters and if they can get in close they will kill everything with their +2 to hit in Assaults.

Now, when brewing up a list for a Beach Landing mission, as an ally force you want to focus on the units that will cycle back onto the table: the infantry units, so I want at least 3 units, but the way the Rangers work I only get two per formation so I need to bring two formation. This is one of the strong aspects of the Rangers since their formations are small you can get multiple company commanders to help motivate your troops and keep your forces moving. With the core troops I wanted to add some artillery in the form of Mortars and Naval Gun Support. And since we are going D-Day let’s get some Duplex Drive tanks via the DD Sherman Command card.

Here is the list I ran against Wayne in our game:|
 Ranger Company 1

Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Mortar platoon with 6 guns

Ranger Company 2
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 4 tanks 14 Points

Command Cards
Lucky 1 Pont
Naval Gun Support 12 Points
Sherman DD 0 Points

If you add it up you can see we were playing below the normal 100 point level, at 75 points. This was due to the fact we were playing in a recorded battle report and we wanted to keep it short. But 100 points is where the game truly shines and if you wanted to add 25 more points to this list I would add the following,

Ranger Company 3
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Add a fifth tank to the M4 Sherman Platoon +4 Points

That gets you to 100 point easy and you will have even more troops on the table to harass your opponents.

Wayne and I were playing the FUBAR mission found in the D-Day: American book, we wanted to show off the basic mission and give players a look into how the mission is played. We could have played the Pointe Du Hoc Variant rules that would have let us play the beach landing the Rangers ran into on D-Day. Both missions work as FUBAR is a great representation of the Omaha beach landings.

I won’t tell you how the game went as you can watch our battle report video to find that out but I will go into the basic tactics of this list.

This list is all about attacking, you move your infantry in and you overwhelm your target with sheer numbers. During the FUBAR beach landing mission you have to take both objectives but your opponent’s resources are quite limited so try and mass up on both objectives. Your Shermans are limited resources so be careful with them and get them up the beach quickly and have them focus on taking out bunkers, start with the AT bunkers and once they are dealt with move on to the MG nests.
Something else to keep in mind when building non-Ranger Tank forces, Rangers formations are cheap point wise to add to your force. For 21 points you get two full units of Rangers and an HQ, so you get re-rolls and some of the best Assaulting units the Americans have to offer. Its easy to build a well forces list and slot the Ranger platoon in, for example,

M4 Sherman Company
M4 Sherman Company HQ with 2 Tanks 7 Points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 18 points
M4 Sherman (76) Tank Platoon with 5 tanks 23 points
M4 81mm Armoured Mortar Platoon 2 Points

Ranger Company
Ranger HQ 1 Point
Ranger Platoon 10 Points
Ranger Platoon 10 Points

Support 
Priest Artillery Battery with 3 Priests 8 Points
Sherman OP 3 Points

There is a hundred points and the Rangers are the perfect include, if you have to defend well you get two full strength Ranger platoons to dig in on the objectives, with their 3+ moral rating they will rally and stay in the fight longer than most other American infantry units. Add in their 2+ to hit in assaults and you have a defending unit your opponent does not want to assault into.
Ranger weakness to keep in mind, they are easy to hit, so HMGs and other high rate of fire hostiles are a big threat, you want to use your tanks and artillery to deal with those threats before the Rangers move into the assault.

To see the video of our game click here…

Well that’s it for this Army Spotlight, hope to see you on the battlefield,

Brandon’s Armoured Rifles

with Brandon Davis

At last it is finally here! D-Day American!

I have been really looking forward to this book so I can finally start my late war Armoured rifle and why not kick it off with the Veteran Armoured Rifle Company! I love the speed this company brings! Being able to zip around the board with all those MG’s. They can hold most positions against infantry while trying to grab objectives on top of creating barriers with half tracks them selves.  

Than of course you add in the support of the 57mm Anti-Tank platoon that will back up the half tracks zipping around. They are only AT 10 but that should be able to hold down or take out what I need in time to get into position.

The M4 81mm Mortar platoons and M8 Scotts will rain hell down on machine gun nests and pin down enemy troops until my rifle get into position as well. I also forgot to mention that the M3 half-tracks all have defensive AA!

Over all this army is fast, efficient,  and well rounded. They have all the weapons needed to get the job done. This is definitely going to be a fun army to field.

Fantastic Plastic Forces

with Lonnie Mullins

I’m a plastics guy from way back – if it’s not plastic I have a difficult time including it in my force.  I’ve always wanted to base an American army around a Tank Destroyer Company but didn’t relish the idea of resin M20’s and Jeeps in the security and HQ sections so I held off.  When I found out that we were changing those to plastic the game was afoot.

I’m building a full M10 Tank Destroyer Company – 12 x M10 3-Inch Tank Destroyers, 8 x M20 Scout Cars, and 3 x Jeeps for 59-points.  Being able to whack Panthers and Tigers from the front is not only exciting but will be a new experience for me as my previous American armies have been based around the ubiquitous Sherman Tank (mostly 75’s) and I’d lose 3-tanks for every Panther I took out.  I’ve got an Armoured Rifle Platoon from my mid-war Army already finished so adding them in for 15-points was a no-brainer. Their speed and versatility (and Bazookas, let’s not forget the 5-flippin’ Bazookas) make them an attractive option to take and hold objectives.  Being a BIG fan of air-power, I can’t help but add a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Flight (even though they’re not plastic) to the mix for a mere 9-points.
This leaves me with 17-points left to spend on support. Now I could have used those points to add 4 x M4 Sherman tanks, which I’ve already got assembled and painted from my Mid-War army, but instead I’m going with an M7 Priest Artillery Battery of 6, mainly for the smoke screen it can lay down to protect my M10s as they advance (or retreat) and to pulverize any enemy infantry they come across. With 1-point left it was time to peruse the Command Cards. I was tempted by the “Lucky” card from the command deck, but I just could not pass up the “2,000 lbs. Bomb Load” card for my P-47 Flight. With anti-tank 4 and fire power 2+, plus no penalty for having only 1 or 2 weapons firing, it seems like a winner to me and worth replacing my 500 lb. bombs and rocket load out.

US Recon Cavalry Army

with Blair Mackey

While building this list I had two words in my head: ‘mobility’ and ‘utility’. I wanted to create a fast moving force that has a tool for every situation. For this I chose the US Cavalry Recon Company Command Card owing to its relatively inexpensive base requirements, and the tools it has.
 The formation has integrally the HQ, and 3 Cav Recon Patrols which are all Scout and Spearhead units, giving me plenty of throw away units to deny enemy ambush locations and expand my initial deployment area, as well as to out deploy my enemy in Fair Fight missions.

The M8 Scotts will serve to lay out smoke ahead of assaults, pin enemy anti-tank assets, and dig out enemy infantry. Having a Veteran M4 Sherman 76mm Platoon gives me an option for dealing with heavy enemy tanks, with mobility on my side, and being cautious I can limit the potential return fire that I will face, while applying force to a specific part of the enemy line.
M5 Stuarts combined with hedge cutters and sandbag armor can exploit momentary gaps in the enemy lines, and cross terrain easily to assault enemy infantry positions.

The Rangers exist for the purpose of chasing down enemy tank destroyers and captured bailed out enemy tanks. The L4 Grasshopper allows me to engage in counter battery fire against enemy artillery, and have eyes
on anti-tank assets without exposing my Scotts.
Lastly, the P-47s give me another option to deal with Tigers and a Panthers from a safe distance, combined with Total Air Superiority to keep the enemy planes off table, and the Napalm from the 370th Fighter Group the P-47s are really a potential counter to anything that could be on the board.

29th Infantry List Tech

with Andrew Haught

The 29th Boat Assault Company have been near and dear to my heart since they first arrived years ago in the Bloody Omaha book, at that time I leaned heavily into numbers over elite units so it was an easy choice for me between the 29th and the Big Red One.

The US Assault Company is a unique Infantry company that has a mix of specialty weapons from Bazookas to Flame-Throwers, this unit has a weapon for every occasion. Along with this unique composition you have access to lots and lots of units in one formation. Having access to six core infantry units is a key aspect of this list.

Before getting into the list let’s look at what you get in a unit. For nine points you get:

5x M1 Grand Rifle Teams

2x M1 Bazooka Teams

1x 60mm Mortoar
1x Flame Thrower

As a bonus you can replace one of your Bazookas with M1919 LMG at no cost.

The version of the Assault Company I am running are Confident, Trained, and Aggressive. They also come with the Blood n’ Guts trait that gives them a 3+ to rally, that will keep my units moving forward. I could go with the Big Red One elite option, but the 29th is who I want to play. Since I am going for the cheaper version that is easier to hit, it is important then to make sure I have the numbers to absorb losses more easily.

To this end I am going to take 5 units of the Assault Boat Sections, adding in the HQ  and M1917 Machine Gun platoon that gives me an even 50 points. I am choosing to leave the 2 Bazookas in each unit instead swapping any for the LMGs. I don’t think those units need the rate of fire since I am going to run two units of the Support Boat sections with the M1917 Machine Gun platoon for 5 points a unit, and I have a unit of M1917 guns. Adding in those units brings me up to an even 60 points.

Next I want to add some artillery; this will be simple as I already have loads of small one gun templates, so adding a full strength mortar platoon for 6 points would be ideal.
So right now my army comes to 66 points and I have 10 units in my formation, so it looks pretty solid and I have enough artillery and machine guns to deal with most infantry lists I come across. I do feel that I am relying too heavily on my Bazookas to take care of all the tank threats that may be in the game.  To cover this weakness I decided to look in the book and see what I could get for 34 points tank wise. I quickly landed on M10s, as those give me 8 AT 12 tanks, and the downside of not being able to deal with infantry is covered by the rest of my list. An HQ and two units of 4 M10s comes to 34 points exactly, giving me a full 100 point list with 13 units- seems good on paper.

Now the list has some Achilles heels, I have no dedicated anti-air units so air-power can be quite effective against me. I am also weak against light tank lists, like a Stuart company. At a 100 points you can get 50 of them and at those numbers they will swamp me, my M10s don’t have enough shots to kill them all and the Stuarts AT is high enough to kill an M10 even when hitting front armour. But no list can cover all the bases and even against light tanks and air-power I will have a fighting chance, as I do still have loads of bazookas and my M10s have self-defence AA.

So here is my final list

Assault Company (66 points)

  • Assault Company HQ, 2 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Assault Boat Section, 9 Pts
  • Support Boat Section, 5 Pts
  • Support Boat Section, 5 Pts
  • M1917 Machine Gun Platoon, 3 Pts
  • Mortar Platoon, 6 Pts

M10 Tank Destroyer Company (34 Points)

  • M10 Tank Destroyer Company HQ, 2 Pts
  • M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon, 16 Pts
  • M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon, 16 Pts

As a list this works really well- it’s easy to split it up when figuring out reserves and it is flexible with the ability to both attack and defend quite well. On the defence you place one Assault Boat Section and Support Boat Section on each objective, freeing the rest of your force to be placed in such a way that they can delay and assault the incoming enemy models.  On the attack I would focus one objective, soften it up with the loads of artillery templates this list has and band all my infantry together and swarm the weakened objective. I will use my HMG and tanks to threaten any reinforcements to the attacked objective while also proving much needed fire support to my main attack.

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of how you want to build your beach landing company. Perhaps you want better quality of troops instead of numbers by swapping out the 29th with Big Red One, or maybe you do have a Stuart player in your area and you want Shermans instead of M10s. I highly suggest tweaking your lists to fit your local m eta and your playstyle.

Well that’s it until my next List Tech, hope to see you on the battlefield.

Currahee!

with Chris Potter, BF UK

For me nothing typifies Late War like the Normandy invasion. The largest seaborne invasion in history? Check. The largest airborne drop of troops to date? Check. And all this against a dug in and entrenched foe, led by none other than the Desert Fox himself: Erwin Rommel.

When the Late War journey was announced and the information about the books started to come to fruition, I was in my element like a kid in a sweet shop. I was at the front of the queue when we had the Late War sale clutching my list of ‘must haves’ begging the boss to let me get my blisters and box sets. Like a lot of others, I had to wait my turn, much to the better half’s relief as my list far outweighed my wages.

But boy did the factory deliver. I managed to bag myself two boxes of US Parachute Infantry, to get my Band of Brothers Airborne fix, as well as a box of 29th Infantry for the all important beach landings. This would be the start of my D-Day Force. Because on the horizon I was being tempted by the new plastic Airborne sprues and some rather tasty kit in the form of new plastic jeeps and rumours of 80mm mortars to rain fire on the enemy.

However, Matt managed to bring me back to the present as he reminded me that we needed to put together forces for Fortress Europe before I got carried away with the US D-Day book. Sorry boys of the 29th and 101st, you will have to wait whilst the glory boys of the 3rd Armored have their time in the spotlight.

I don’t want to reiterate what has already been said by a thousand others, but nothing screams US dominance on the Western Front like the wonderful Sherman tank. Whatever version of Sherman, you see a group of these coming, and you know that the rest of the US forces are not far behind. They are the breakthrough, the reason that prior to D-Day in 1944 the plucky Brits designed a Duplex Drive (DD) system to allow them to ‘swim’ up the beach to smash the enemy. They even fitted them with canvas flotation devices to literally float them through the surf.

From Omaha to Caen, throughout Market Garden to the German homeland, Detroit’s finest were leading the way and looking good doing it!

So when I saw that the new US Combat Command contained no less than 5 Shermans, which when combined with the 8 found in the Hit The Beach starter set, meant I had the solid core needed for a Fortress Europe Armoured Company. Add into that, the Priests for some artillery support and the M10 Tank Destroyers for some long range AT, all I need is some Armoured Rifles to take and hold objectives.

I am really excited to field Americans in Late War for V4. At heart this is all about getting as many models onto the table all at once. My usual modus operandi is to get what looks cool, then play a few games and work out the weaknesses before changing up the army composition. This time will be no different. My first game is against Gareth’s Germans. Let’s see how the Combined Arms list compares and performs!

Hobby League: German

with Andrew Haught

V4 Late War is here with loads of ways to get into playing Flames Of War— so where do you start? Well, if you want to just get a feel for the rules the FURY is an amazing box set for you, or if you want to get into the game with a friend, Hit the Beach gives you two awesome armies to play against each other. If you have some idea of what force you want to run, then picking up the corresponding Starter Force box set is what you want to do.

This German Box gives you a lot of stuff to play around with right away, like all the V4 boxsets you get a lot for your money. The German Starter Force has a total of 14 vehicles, 2 big 8.8 AA guns, a rocket artillery battery and a full Grenadier platoon, with the whole army adding up to 95 points using the German D-Day book. On top of models you will get a complete A5 rulebook, a Start Here booklet, and your Unit cards, so you can start playing games as soon as you’re done building your force.

In The Box
Panzer IV Tank Company HQ with 2x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (11 Points)

Panzer IV Tank Platoon with 3x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (16 Points)

Tiger Tank Platoon with 2x Tiger (8.8cm) Tanks (24 points)

Armoured Panzergrenadier Platoon at Full Strength (12 Points)

Fallschirmjäger Stug Assault Gun Platoon with 3x StuG (7.5cm) Assault Guns (17 Points)

15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket  Battery with 3x 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket Launchers (9 Points)

8.8 Heavy AA Platoon with 2x 8.8cm AA Guns (6 Points)

Total 95 Points

Creating a 100 Point List
This box gives almost a full 100 point list, only 5 points shy, so there is not much you need to add to make it a full 100 point list. I think after playing around with your Starter force you may get a good feel for what you want to add but for those who want to start off with a full 100 points I would simply add a Puma Scout Platoon, this only gets us to 99 points, so adding a 1 point Command Card (starting with D-Day: German) gets us to a total of 100 points. So to get to 100 points all you need to add is the following,

Puma Scout Platoon with 2x Puma (5cm) Tanks (4 Points)  

Lucky Command Card (1 Point)

Total 5 Points

Army Tactics
This army is well rounded with artillery, infantry, heavy anti-tank guns, and a great selection of tanks. With the core of your force I would recommend attacking with this force. Your mix of tanks gives you loads of good options to knock out your opponent’s tanks. The Tigers being some of your best anti-tank should focus more on your opponents heavy armour, supported by the 8.8 AA guns. Use your artillery to soften your opponent’s defences and use your German Halftrack infantry and Tanks to assault their objectives and to win the game.

Hobby League


If you are looking to get in on the Hobby League at your local store or club the Starter Forces are ideal starting armies for the league. If you add the units I talked about before in the Creating a 100 Point List section you can easily use it for the hobby league.

If you do not know what the hobby league is or want to learn more check out our video about the Hobby League above.

The main goal of the Hobby league is to create a Flames Of War community where players can come together to play games and work on their armies. To this end players are rewarded for hitting certain painting goals throughout the league. The first month players aim to paint 50 points, at the end of the second month players will aim to finish another 25 points and at the end of the third month players aim to finish their final 25 points and end the League with a fully painted 100 point army. The League also feeds into the upcoming TableTopGaming Global campaign, so if you finish painting your army for the League you will be ready to participate in the Global Campaign.

Month 1 has a 50 point goal; it also ends in a 50 point tournament, so you will want to focus on your core formation to make sure you have a legal list to run in the tournament.  For this I would paint the following units first,

Panzer IV Tank Company HQ with 2x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (11 Points)

Panzer IV Tank Platoon with 3x Panzer IV (7.5cm) Tanks (16 Points)

Tiger Tank Platoon with 2x Tiger (8.8cm) Tanks (24 points)

 

Strictly-speaking, this is 51 points but fine enough for the 50 point tournament as it is close enough, it will be up to your event organizer to make the final call on these things but all the core set 50 point armies listed in these articles are fine to run in the Hobby league 50 point tournament.

Month 2 you are looking to paint another 25 points, you just painted core so let’s work on some more support and some Recon,

  • Armoured Panzer Grenadier Platoon at Full Strength (12 Points)
  • 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket  Battery with 3x 15cm Nebelwerfer Rocket Launchers (9 Points)
  • Puma Scout Platoon with 2x Puma (5cm) Tanks (4 Points)  

For the Final month I would focus  on the last bits, tactically you can add your 1 point command card here to your list’s HQ, and this will round out your 100 point list,

  • Fallschirmjäge Stug Assault Gun Platoon with 3x StuG (7.5cm) Assault Guns (17 Points)
  • 8.8 Heavy AA Platoon with 2x 8.8cm AA Guns (6 Points)
  • Lucky Command Card (1 Point)

Now at the end of month three you have another tournament this time it’s a 100 point tournament so you will get to use your full army and get used to how it works in games. After that the Global TableTopGames Campaign begins having you and your friends fighting over Europe, you club or store with the rest of the world will be sending in their game results to contribute on the global scale making this one of the biggest campaigns you will ever participate in.

My final word of advice is to take time to enjoy painting your models your way and to learn as much as you can from others in the league to get the most out of the Flames Of War community.

 

Hobby League: British

with Andrew Haught

V4 Late War is here with loads of ways to get into playing Flames Of War— so where do you start? Well, if you want to just get a feel for the rules the FURY is an amazing box set for you, or if you want to get into the game with a friend, Hit the Beach gives you two awesome armies to play against each other. If you have some idea of what force you want to run, then picking up the corresponding Starter Force box set is what you want to do. This article covers the British Starter Force but if you want to learn about the other three Starter Forces, there will be more info to come.

This Starter Force gives you a lot of stuff to play around with right away, and like all the V4 boxsets you get a lot for your money. The British Starter Force has a total 17 armoured vehicles, a full 4-gun artillery battery, and an infantry platoon, with the whole army adding up to 82 points using the Fortress Europe book, the box can also be used for the upcoming D-Day: British book so it’s a great core set to pick up for players who want to play the British throughout the V4 journey. On top of models you will get a complete A5 rulebook. A Start Here booklet, and your Unit cards, so you can start playing games as soon as you’re done building your force.

In The Box
Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Stuart Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)
Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)

Total 82 Points

Creating a 100 Point List
This box gives you a lot of what you need but you will still need to pick up a few things to get a 100 points, but not much. After playing around with your Starter force you may get a good feel for what you want to add but for those who want to start off with a full 100 points I would pick up a few more Shermans and a Firefly and you will be good to go. To get to a 100 points you just need to add the following

Sherman Armoured Troop with 3 Sherman (75mm) Tanks and one Firefly Tank (17 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Total 18 Points

Army Tactics
This army is pretty Armour heavy, so you want to move fast and hit hard, use your Fireflies and M10 (17pdrs) to hunt your opponent’s heavy tanks while your Churchills and Shermans rush the objective. Your artillery and infantry can be left to hold your objectives or secure your flank, while the Universal Carriers and Stuarts help spear head your army forward and hit advancing enemy troops.

This list is well rounded but prefers to be on the attack, so when picking your battle plans it’s a good idea to pick attack with this army.

The Hobby League


If you are looking to get in on the Hobby League at your local store or club the Starter Forces are ideal starting armies for the league. If you add the units I talked about before in the Creating a 100 Point List section you can easily use it for the hobby league.

If you do not know what the hobby league is or want to learn more check out our video about the Hobby League above.

The main goal of the Hobby league is to create a Flames Of War community where players can come together to play games and work on their armies. To this end players are rewarded for hitting certain painting goals throughout the league. The first month players aim to paint 50 points, at the end of the second month players will aim to finish another 25 points and at the end of the third month players aim to finish their final 25 points and end the League with a fully painted 100 point army. The League also feeds into the upcoming TableTopGaming Global campaign, so if you finish painting your army for the League you will be ready to participate in the Global Campaign.

Painting Goals
Having painting goals can be daunting, but luckily the League makes it easier by creating a community of painters helping each other out and supporting one another during the process. Painting an army is rewarding and is a fun relaxing thing to do, whether you are alone or with a group of friends. To help those trying to figure out how to break up your 100 point army for the League I put together my guide on what I would paint to reach each month’s goals.

Month 1 has a 50 point goal; it also ends in a 50 point tournament, so you will want to focus on your core formation to make sure you have a legal list to run in the tournament. For this I would paint the following units first,

Sherman Armoured Squadron HQ With 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Start Recce Patrol with 3x Stuart (37mm) Tanks (8 Points)
Universal Carrier Patrol with 3x Universal Carrier (MG) Tanks (2 Points)
M10 SP Anti-Tank Platoon with 4x M10 (17pdr) Tanks (18 Points)
1 Sherman OP Observation Post with one Sherman OP Tank (1 point)

Month 2 you are looking to paint another 25 points, you just painted the tanks up so let’s work on some infantry and gun teams. This is what I would paint up for month 2,

Motor Platoon at Full Strength (7 Points)
25 pdr Field Troop with 4x 25pdr Guns (14 Points)
A spare Sherman to add to your Sherman Armoured Troop (4 Points)

For the Final month I am keeping it simple, this time you just have to paint up six tanks. This is what I am planning on painting for the last month,

Sherman Armoured Troop with 2x Sherman (75mm) Tanks and 1x Firefly Tank (13 Points)
Churchill Armoured Troop with 3x Churchill (6pdr) Tanks (12 Points)

Now at the end of month three you have another tournament this time it’s a 100 point tournament so you will get to use your full army and get used to how it works in games. After that the Global TableTopGames Campaign begins having you and your friends fighting over Europe, you club or store with the rest of the world will be sending in their game results to contribute on the global scale making this one of the biggest campaigns you will ever participate in.

My final word of advice is to take time to enjoy painting your models your way and to learn as much as you can from others in the league to get the most out of the Flames Of War community.

Historical Forces in Fortress Europe

with Phil Yates

Flames Of War is a varied hobby with many players with a wide variety of interests. Some are avid historians and others more interested in playing the game as a game. This article explores how you can research and create historical forces using Fortress Europe.

If you choose to go down this path, but don’t have a deep knowledge of history yet, the most important thing to note is that by and large most forces that you can make from Fortress Europe won’t be far off some historical unit somewhere. There are some notable exceptions where you could cross the wires, and I’ll look at them later, but mostly, if you build a force, it will probably be historical!

Start with a Loose Thread
The first step with building any historical force is deciding which bit of history you want to recreate. Start by grabbing some inspiration: a piece of equipment that you love, a battle that you find interesting, a unit that an ancestor fought in, or a historical figure that you have come across. Take hold of this thread and follow it, seeing what happens as you unravel the history behind it.

Hit the Books
With your loose thread firmly in hand, start looking for more information. Search the internet. Find a Wikipedia article on the subject (and if it is about a foreign unit, use Google Translate to read the Wikipedia article in that language too — it’s often very interesting to see both sides of the story!). Go to your local library and see what they have on the matter. There are lots of places to start looking for more threads to unravel.

As you dig, you’ll start refining what the force you want to field looks like. You’ll find references to units and equipment that will give you the basics. Add in information on the state of the troops, their strength and experience, and you’ll be in a position to choose between green troops and veterans, or between full-strength and weakened by previous casualties.

Make a Force
At this point, start building your force using what you have found. You’ll probably come up with more questions as you go along, things like ‘Was this division supported by these?’. If you can’t find an answer, ask around. It’s likely that someone on a forum will know. If you still can’t find the answer, the good news is that it is difficult for anyone to say you’re wrong!

 

Play Games
The ultimate goal is of course to play games, so get out there and enjoy the fruits of your labour, pitting your new force against others on the tabletop. Learn its strengths and weaknesses and see if you can recreate some of your unit’s battlefield exploits.

Don’t worry if your force doesn’t have the things that the ‘experts’ are saying are ‘essential’ in every force, trust me, they’re not. Every force has its capabilities and shortcomings. If you play to your strengths and mitigate your vulnerabilities, you can be successful, regardless of your force.

Making Unhistorical Forces
If you are using Fortress Europe, it’s not that easy to actually make an unhistorical force unless you start adding some constraints such as it has to be in 1944, or it has to be in Normandy. The best (only?) way of building an unhistorical force is putting things that really weren’t at the same place and time together.

Churchills in Italy
One example of this can be found in the Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron. If you just build a force with Churchill tanks and a Stuart recce patrol, you’re pretty much spot on for a Churchill squadron in Italy. However, some regiments wanted 75mm guns for better firepower, and were less worried about armour as there weren’t so many German tanks in Italy. As a result, they fielded mixed squadrons with both Churchill and Sherman troops. So far, so good. The Churchill Italy Armoured Squadron allows you to do that too. If you want to take it beyond history, the only way to do that is to put Fireflies in your Sherman troops. This is because, while Sherman armoured squadrons had Fireflies, the Churchill squadrons didn’t since by the time the Firefly came along, they had replaced their Shermans with 75mm-armed Churchills (you’ll have to wait for D-Day: British for that option though).

But you say, I want 17 pdr guns to give my Churchills some better anti-tank capability. No problem, the Churchill crews wanted that too. They often had M10 self-propelled guns attached for anti-tank support (although they weren’t armed with 17 pdr guns at this stage, just their original 3-inch guns). So now we have two ways we could make our Churchills unhistorical, and a solution. Which way you go is up to you.

The Eastern Front
OK, you say, that’s pretty specific, but what other unhistorical forces can I build? Well, if you want to fight in Normandy or Italy rather than on the Eastern Front, you could take German aircraft! If you are fighting in Normandy, you could field Panzer III tanks and flame-thrower tanks, or Hornisse or Ferdinand tank-hunters. But those same forces wouldn’t be unhistorical on the Eastern Front.

If you are playing a Soviet force and wanted to push the bounds of history, you could field KV-1, Churchill, or M3 Lee tanks as part of a tank or motor rifle force, since by this time they were obsolete and relegated to infantry support on quiet sectors of the front (not that Stavka let any sector remain quiet for long!).

As you can see, it’s not that easy to stray too far outside the bounds of history with Fortress Europe. Remember though, if you really don’t care about the history side of things, there’s no reason at all that you shouldn’t build an interesting force that recombines elements of history in new and wonderful ways!

Alex’s Hit The Beach Germans

                with Alexander Nebesky

Way back in the distant days of this time-mid 2018, myself and a friend split the very last copy of Battlefront’s Open Fire! Two-player box set from our local game store in Hamilton, an hour-and-a-half south of Auckland. My first foray into building and painting yielded a passably painted grenadier company, a V1 flying bomb that now sits on my desk, and a trio of StuGs that have fallen victim to a continuous cycle of stripping and repainting.

Now that I’m on the other side of the curtain as it were, I’m given the chance to expand on or replace my first starter set with our brand new one. To that end, I’m freshening up, repainting, and adding to Hit the Beach to see if I can’t put together a better force than I did last time around.

Grenadiers in Early Morning Fog
The first step is to replace the Grenadiers form my initial run at Open Fire! With a fresh pair of platoons. I’m not too disappointed with my initial work, but I did spray varnish the grenadiers in less than ideal conditions leaving them with a cloudy film over them, as if they were out on a foggy winter morning between 6 and 11 am. It’s not such a bad thing if I decide to pretend they have been standing out on a football pitch all morning, but I want to replace them anyway with a fresh pair of Hit the Beach platoons. Besides, if I need to I can always add one of the foggy platoons to my grenadier formation to give me even more bodies to man the defences.

The plan, based on what one gets in the Hit the Beach is to run with the Grenadier Company. I like painting up infantry, and Fortress Europe gives me the classic and robust Grenadier Company to field.

Each of my Grenadier platoons will carry the Panzerfaust rule for +2 points a platoon, allowing one of my teams to fire as a Panzerfaust team each firing step. I’m also going to attach a Panzerschreck team to each of my platoons to up my anti-tank for +2 points each.

My two Grenadier platoons from Hit the Beach will require some heavier weapons to fill out the roster, so I’ll add 4 sMG34 HMG teams at 6 points and 6 8cm Mortar teams for 9 points.

I’m also going to add the two Hit the Beach 7.5cm Tank-Hunter teams to my surviving Open Fire! Guns to give me a four-gun strong platoon for 15 points.

I’ve opted for a generic green plants and brown earth basing style because I have neither the skill nor inclination to faithfully reproduce a slice of beach or French countryside on teeny bases.

Fortress Europe Grenadier Company

Grenadier Company HQ- 2 pts
            +Paunzerfaust- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
+Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
           +Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

sMG34 Machine-Gun Platoon- 6 pts
8cm Mortar Platoon- 9 pts
7.5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon- 15 pts

FORMATION TOTAL—  56 pts

Guns That Are Bigger Than a Regular Sized Gun
My Grenadier company has plenty of gnarly small arms and infantry support weapons but I just can’t help but feel I need something a little gnarlier to get my point across. Now, when I started buying and painting Flames Of War models I obviously bought a box of Tiger Tanks so I could tear through my enemies with reckless abandon, and that’s very much an option for me currently.

I could add a three-tank Tiger Tank Platoon to my force, bringing the total up to 92 points and giving me 8 spare points to goof around with- a pair of HS 129s or a JU 87 Stuka Dive Bomber Flight would both fit into that setup. However, I do have a four-gun strong 10.5cm Artillery Battery left over from this force’s previous iteration, and that’ll set me back 14 points. I could take them as a 7 point pair and keep the Tigers, but I kind of feel like I don’t want to be re-rolling hits with only two guns and having such fragile artillery support so that’s not a particularly appealing proposition. 

Instead, I could take two Tiger Tanks for 24 points and all four of my 10.5cm Guns for a total of 94 points, with 6 to play with, but I think given that Hit The Beach generously comes with three Panzer IVs, there’s a better option on offer.

What I’ll do is add two Panzer IVs to the three already in Hit The Beach and field a five-tank strong Panzer IV Mixed Tank Platoon as Formation Support for 28 points, and keep all four of my 10.5cm Guns. That’s 98 points, plus one for a dinky little Panzer II OP Observation Post bringing my total to 99 points.

I had a gander at some of the Panzer IV Normandy camouflage schemes on the Flames Of War website and found a few options. I put the choice to a few friends, and they unanimously voted that the top scheme was the best, and that I should in no uncertain terms, avoid the middle scheme. So I painted my Panzer IVs in a general approximation the top scheme, and of course took the middle scheme as inspiration for my Panzer II’s camo.

Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).
Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).
Panzer IV H in Normandy, France 1944. Base Colour: Dunkelgelb (Dark Yellow). Camouflage: Olivgrün (Olive Green) and Rotbraun (Red Brown).|

Fortress Europe Grenadier Company

Grenadier Company HQ- 2 pts
            +Paunzerfaust- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
+Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

Grenadier Platoon- 7 pts
           +Panzerfaust- 2 pts
           +Panzerschreck- 2 pts

sMG34 Machine-Gun Platoon- 6 pts
8cm Mortar Platoon- 9 pts
7.5cm Tank-Hunter Platoon- 15 pts

FORMATION TOTAL—  56 pts

Support
Panzer IV Mixed Tank Platoon- 28 pts
10.5cm Artillery Battery- 14 pts
Panzer II OP Observation Post- 1 pts

SUPPORT TOTAL— 43 pts
GRAND TOTAL— 99 pts

So, assuming a friend and I decided to split two Hit The Beach boxes, and my friend took the US forces and I took the Germans, all I’ve added here is a few guns and some infantry weapons to give me a full army.

Not a bad force, and I’m looking forward to pitting it against another studio army.