This list has been long in the making...
I have been itching to do a 4th Armoured Brigade company for quite some time now. The attached regiment; 3rd County of London Yeomanry had a squadron headquarters just minutes away from where I grew up and also have very strong ties to where I'm living now in Kent. I love learning about the histories of all these famous units and FOW has certainly helped inspire me with that. Probably the main reason I started playing the game in the first place to be honest!
Despite the above, I have found that up until fairly recently I've stayed firmly away from the bog standard Sherman tank. I lost faith quite quickly following some harsh introduction games playing the Open Fire scenario and decided to build on the German infantry initially instead. As I mentioned in a previous post however 2015 for me is the year of the tank - and what better occasion to roll out with the Black Rats than at the illustrious Corrivalry event!
So following some extremely late night emailing back and forth with Ben I have been able to get some ideas of what a competitive British tank list looks like. Ben suggested taking 4 platoons of 3 veteran tanks (including a firefly in each platoon) gaining as much High AT as possible, as well as a full Breaching group and then the 'usual' support such as recce, artillery for smoke etc. Following up on this and building the list for myself, I found that I could very easily fit 10 platoons into an 1800 point company! That's right I said 10 platoons.. mostly all vets in a tank company... Just wow!
As awesome-tacula as the above list might seem I do have some concerns with it. The first being that I don't have a Scooby Doo on how to use a Breaching Group! I intend to learn of course, but I'd like to get some solid practice in with them before using them at an event. I don't want to be 'that guy' constantly flicking through rulebooks, working things out on the spot/making them up and generally not having a clue what I'm doing - I can just imagine Marc right now saying this to me, "You don't have a clue what you're doing anyway and you are already 'that guy!!'"
I should add that I need to finish above Marc at this event come to think of it. The banter/ abuse that I'm getting for finishing below him at every event so far is causing irritation... I mean err.. I'm not competitive in the slightest so I'm not even bothered by it. Not bothered at all... ;P
So we've dropped the Breaching Group and freed up some points to put elsewhere. After playing around on Easy Army I have been able to get 8 solid platoons, including some dedicated AT in the form of the deadly M10. I also get 2 platoons of recce which is really nice. Here is my 'Vs Tank' list:
Sticking to 8 platoons and taking trained support has really allowed me to fill out the list. I can see the benefit of having platoons of 3 tanks to gain more Fireflys, but I'm guessing that this tactic only truly works well when you have 10 platoons. Reason being that you can afford to lose a platoon and still win 6-1 according to victory conditions. More importantly the opponent would have to destroy 6 platoons in order to force a company morale test.
Anyway I'm pleased with the list - 8 platoons in an armoured force is not to be sniffed at! I've got 5x 17 pounder guns, lots of smoke and the versatile Sexton for mobile artillery, smoke and direct fire support. Having two full strength platoons of Shermans offers them more survivability. Heavy tanks could present a problem for me of course, but if I can utilise the combination of Semi Indirect Fire, and Direct Fire Smoke then I could least force them to fight on my terms.
Onto the 'Vs Infantry' list:
So the major change is losing the 3 piece sherman/firefly platoon and replacing with 4x Shermans. This gives me a dedicated assaulting platoon with the primary aim of getting stuck into those infantry blobs asap, whilst the other two platoons sit back and enjoy their semi-indirect fire! The other swap out is the 25 pounders and AOP for the Sextons. I figure that I probably won't need the direct fire from the Sextons against infantry lists anyway, I'll mainly be utilising bombardments for pins and in-direct smoke - 25 pounders will do this job perfectly! Anyway enough of me, I'm off to paint some Sextons!
Wish me luck!