It was a learning experience, with only one previous game vs armour, I found defending - especially in a mobile battle tough. The Czech 38t is my nemesis! (On a side note I've ordered two boxes from PSC!) The difficulty with this list against the 38t is that I have units which can hurt them - panhards/lafflys and units which can take a hit from them - hotchkiss, not one which can do both. Combating them was also problematic for the hotchkiss, with the 38t having a longer range - and my one man turret getting to shoot at them effectively was tough.
The other problem was against infantry - with lots of no HE I needed to assault to clear people off objectives, and with lots of HMG's the recce Hotchkiss were not relied upon.
Thankfully I only faced barbed wire in one mission, but in my practice games it was noticeable how tough that made things for me.
The other surprising let down was the Laffly - they are a great deterrent - that's about it! Now I've not yet had a game where I could place them in ambush - so maybe I'm underwhelmed because of that. But I think 5 is overkill I only really need 4 of them, in all my games I think they may have accounted for two 38t's (out of 24 I faced) not a great return.
The other thing I learnt was tactically I have two options, the first is concentrating fire, best example is pairing up the two Panhard platoons to go tank hunting, or the two hotchkiss platoons to go ATG hunting. Secondly the other option is to have seperate battlegroups of a hotchkiss platoon and a panhard platoon operating in tandem, but either way I need mutual support!
So with all that what are my thoughts - well thought number one is the Somua! I think it's needed, the higher front armour is nice as the plethora of AT 6 from the Czech tanks/Panhards is almost nullified at long range. Alongside that the extra range and AT of the gun gives both enemy tanks and AT guns a headache!
I still like the AMR platoon - for two reasons, firstly with Somua in the list I'll need a 5 strong assault unit still, and the 3 shot FP5+ is a very effective weapon vs ATG's etc. The only other option here would be some infantry - I was against this as I agree with John Brock - one infantry platoon suddenly is an HMG magnet - so I'll ignore them for now
So what is the next iteration of the list? It's this.
Hq AMR 7.5mm
3 AMR 7.5mm and 2 13.2mm
3 hotchkiss (all short)
4 105mm howitzer
So big contentious first point - I could have 5 Panhards for all the AMR's - including one as an HQ - part of me views this as a far more sensible option, but the AMR's offer more assault power, and a better way to cross barbed wire! The transports are gone from the mortars and arty, which will leave me potentially more vulnerable in mobile battles, but with the Somuas able to deploy they should help keep my units safer...
And the Somuas themselves, able to take more punishment on defense (hopefully smoke from the arty mortars will keep off flak 88's etc) and more offensive power too. Be excited to try it out!
Thanks for reading Adam
Thanks for reading Adam