Friday, 11 October 2013

Options for Oxford

So welcome to what has been my headache for the last month.

At the end of October Ben and myself are off to Oxford pairs, one of us has to be allies (Ben) one has to be Axis (Adam).

Now there had been quite a few messages flying around about this event in our local group, and with the thought in my head that I'd possibly be facing hoards of allied infantry I began to think about what to take.

On the one hand I was considering infantry - I have more experience running infantry, and I thought this might be the way to go. Now There were some issues initially, firstly I can't be anything than grenadiers really with the models I own (no FJ) and I dislike fortified lists.

So I thought first about my volksgrenadiers - I know them and I think I could do a decent list. The problem is as I want recon I will auto assault vs infantry - a double edged sword in my view - in bens view just bad for me!

We discussed this at length with Ben suggesting various German infantry lists he thinks are better like sturmkompanie, Estonian SS, KG Chill etc - but the discussion always came down to this - against allied infantry I either have a 50/50 chance to assault with no spearhead etc, or I attack 100% with spearhead - both ways though the question always was - how do the Germans survive against ToT spotted by an AOP - the answer is very little. About the only list that might work was the KG kastner list. 

But by this time I had given up on the idea of German infantry - so decided to look at tanks - and returned to the Meuse!

The list I've used a lot has 6 platoons and has 4/70's and no AA - having read a few AAR's I was getting worried about AoP's (again) and strangely having played lots of soviet heavy tank lists, really been non plussed by the 4/70's.

So I thought about improving this list! I spoke with our veteran player Robin about this as he was thinking of using the mech infantry version of the Meuse.

So I dropped the 4/70's, that's a lot of free points, 460ish. So what do I use to replace them - 1st choice is more smoke - my only option really is CV 10.5's - so that's 4 of them. Next is AA - I decide that I'll use my whirblwinds. And using the last points I add in 2 Puma's for more recon! I do have the points to upgrade the 8-rads to 234/1's but don't have the models...

So the final list is...
HQ 2 panzer 4's
2 platoons of 4 Panzer 4's
Full Aufklärungs platoon with tank hunter
2 Puma's
2 8 -Rad's
3 RT Nebs
4 10.5 howitzers
2 Whirblwinds

Let's see how it does hey? Oh wait! Whats that Ben can't make it?

Winner Dave can - but only as axis....

Lets restart

So with Ben bailing on me, and now having to be the allied player it was time to have a think. I considered just dusting off my british para’s but I felt like a challenge! You may remember my British infantry platoon I painted a while back, well I’ve also been working on the rest of the company, and as I started painting them I thought that I really should do a proper company of Brit infantry.

But which one? You have so many ratings and a diverse mix of different national rules, Brits, scots, welsh, Canadian, polish, etc. Well I though long and hard about what I liked and didn’t like about my other British infantry force, my Para’s.

The things I liked were artillery and Night attack, the things I didn’t were poor mobility and not enough mobile AT. So I thought and I thought, the easy answer for more mobility was tanks, but even then if they reach assault that’s only 4 of them, not really enough. Then it struck me, I needed transports, and as soon as that occurred to me I knew it was the Canadian Ram Tank that would be my tiny men’s chariot!

So lets go with the compulsory choices, the Rifle Platoons, HQ and Ram’s. Whilst I may have mentioned in list discussions before that I like having at least 3 infantry platoons, the cost of transports (both in points and in £) means that I’m only taking two platoons at this time. I also note I can give one platoon a load of SMG’s – this might be an interesting option.

Next I want some Anti Tank, now I’ve gone on Adinfinitum about the ratio of HE to no HE in a brit list. I like having access to 2 armour platoons, the problem’s though are expense – points wise. I knew I wanted at least one Sherman platoon with a firefly, but having two makes me feel nervous for lacking anti tank, and 2 platoons with 2 fireflies is so expensive. So I considered 4 M10’s but they were only just cheaper than the 3 Shermans and a Firefly – I then noticed the M10 3’’ – AT 12 – so not too shabby against Stugs and panzer 4’s – admittedly not great against tigers/panthers. But more importantly they have HE! Well I’ve never used them so I think this is a time to try them out! Also it gives me options when defending, as I’ll likely only have one of these units on the board, so I can tailor my force.

Having got the fairly unique Ram’s I think it’s a good idea to have the other unique Canadian unit, the Land Mattress. And frankly, I think having anything but all 4 would be rude! They’re just an awesome devastating bombardment which will hopefully obliterate large swathes of the enemy. I did spend a while considering 25pdrs and even 5.5BL’s – both of which have smoke and a direct fire mode! But in the end sometimes you have to go with what makes Canadians Canadian in FoW!

Next is recon – Universal carriers are my go too unit, but I also have had an idea. I think there is often the time when assaulting that you don’t just need the pin, you need to remove a couple of teams to help the fight – and as I have the models, I decided that one of my two patrols would become Wasps. This was a hard call as when I kept fiddling around for points I frequently thought of dropping them down to normal carriers. But in the end I grabbed them.

This had left me on 7 platoons, there was two aspects of the make up of the army I felt I was missing. The first AA, the second smoke. I realise that with the points remaining I can only take one of these, and whilst I have mobile AA (bofors) I absolutely hate the models! They were an arse to put together and I’m just not keen on the look. So I need more smoke, Ideally a template. There were three options competing for a space in the list, heavy mortars, a nice mix of smoke, and damage vs infantry. CT 25pdrs – hard to hide but ?help against anti tank, but also easy to hit amongst the vets. Or normal mortars. I think if I’d had another 20 points it would have been the heavy mortars, but I just lacked those points without sacrificing something else. So in the end I went for the normal mortars and added in a couple of AA guns on my shermans. So as of writing this post I’m 3 weeks away from the event, the Ram’s are all but done, but the land mattress and Universal carriers/wasps are unpainted and unbuilt. And I don’t even have the mortars (well I have my para ones at a pinch) but will try and find these cheaply online.

Wish me luck!


  1. Sounds like a nice list, lots of Canadian flavour. I run the M10 3" instead of the 17 pounders with my Canadian Armoured Squadron. Lower AT, but then I take more Fireflys to deal with the big cats, and the M10's have the ability to take on medium tanks and gun/infantry teams, so they create the balance I think. Rams are great, and they look cool too. Good luck!

  2. Nice looking game, love the snow ground...

  3. cheers for the feedback guys shoudl get some WIp picks up soon, currently shermans and infantry done, rams almost done and mattress and UC's well in progress

  4. Excited to see how you get on with the Canadians. Love mine and the Land Mattresses strike fear into the hearts of any infantry lists I face. (Not so hot versus Top Armour 2 though...)

  5. Nice list, I run very similar one, but I would advice droping the wasp carriers. I have tried them, but definitely dropped them after 3 or 4 games. They are so fragile with the 0 armor and rerolls on fp tests and more often than not they are just an easy point for opponent.

  6. Nice German armour! got me thinking (AGAIN, HA!) about my list for Breakthrough II