Friday, 28 November 2014

How to Camp Properly

Having been playing a lot of infantry armies, I've realised more and more that there is an 'art' to camping. As much as it is about hunkering down on the objective, you can't just do that and expect to win.
The reason for that is initiative. This was really brought home to me in the first game of my MW adventure at the BA Mid War One Dayer. I was facing off against a Mixed Tankovy Battalion and realistically I had nothing which could hurt him except my Heavy Mortars and AT guns (all two if them). Now at the same time he couldn't just roll into me due to close defense teams and weak side armour on T-60's etc. But he was able to dictate the game fairly easily by just sitting off and slowly wearing my army down before he assaulted. And this has been what I've realised I do with all my other defensive lists - I have something that will take the initiative back! I'll take you through my favourite examples of this below
Torni - Guaranteed snake eyes magnet!

Assaulting infantry
This is the easy option, and one which I think all camper lists should have. I'm thinking here of Finnish infantry led by Torni as the premier example though. They have some integral AT like panzerschreks/Fausts, are able to hit decently in close combat, and can move to where's needed effectively. The use of this unit is very situation dependent, it may be that the oppositions force has been whittled down as it's crossed the board and now you strike as they get into assault range, it may be that they've been bounced following a failed assault, or even as a desperate gamble to avoid losing 6-1 by risking the unit to try and take one of theirs. There is no hard and fast rules on this.

Direct fire assets
This I feel is again something you need, but carries risks if it goes wrong, and leaves you vulnerable too. Great examples of this are PaK40's or HMG's. As the enemy gets to within range (or ideally under 16) of these you open fire to soften them up - if used in conjunction with the above it can be a very potent strike. The question is always when? I remember the best time I called this was against Winner at the final round of the a Welsh Open 2013, his KV's were over 16 inches from my PaK 40's and under 10 from my infantry - he was now stationary and firing at the PaK's killing one - the question was, when to counter him? Too early and the poor PaK's are vulnerable to return fire with only a 5+ save, too late and the infantry are unsupported as there are too few guns! One if the best ways I've found to mitigate this involves some direct fire smoke e.g mortars, if you can smoke the target after, you are harder to hit, or they lose RoF.

Mobile back field asset
I think this is another key asset when camping properly, putting pressure on their own assets. So with my Westfalen I have the panzer platoon which can bumble off to shoot the enemy artillery etc. This has two main effects, firstly it degrades the enemy, secondly it slits his force frequently, as he has to deal with these backfield marauders. This splitting of the opponents force can often delay an assault, or leave units isolated for you to counter.

Another useful unit (though this also covers other templates like air and NGFS) not only can you hit the backfield support, but also again forces your opponent to move, as even just an 'all guns repeat' without the roll to range in - increases the odds in your favour. And if the enemy move then it's less shots coming back at you, as well as possibly nudging them into assault range etc.

Well I hope these thoughts help all you campers out there! But a good camping army has a strong counter punch inside it!

Until next time


  1. Great post. Nice to hear about this little discussed side of tactics. In a future article, it would be nice to hear some articles about the best ways to deal with camping infantry and fortified lists.

  2. I agree - interesting stuff; how is it dealt with?


  3. I wrote this article after someone wanted the opposite of this article - hope it helps