Friday, March 12, 2010

Tunisia? I hardly knew 'er!

I may clean this up a bit later, but basically it's two proposed Flames of War lists for the Tunisian theater. Looking for suggestions/criticism as usual:

1500 Panzerkompanie (Tunisia) (1500)

HQ: Company HQ: 2x Panzer III L or M, add SdKfz9(18t) recovery vehicle (235)

CP#1: Panzer Platoon: 3x Panzer III L or M (345)

CP#2: Panzer Platoon: 3x Panzer III L or M (345)

WP#1: Panzer Scout Platoon: 2x Scout Squads (115)
[1 Cmd MG teams, 2 MG teams, 3 Kubelwagens]

WP#2: Panzer Pioneer Platoon: 2x Pioneer Squads (120)
[1 Cmd MG/2 MG teams, 1 Kubelwagen, 2 Sd Kfz251/7 (Pioneer) halftracks]

DSP#1: Assault Gun Platoon: 2x StuG G (340)

And someone to fight them, of course:

1500 US Tank Company (1500)

HQ: Company HQ: 2x M4A1 Sherman, add M31 TRV (240)

CP#1: Tank Platoon: 5 M4A1 Sherman (575)

CP#2: Tank Platoon: 5 M5A1 Stuart (310)

WP#1: Recon Platoon, w/ Bazooka teams and AA MGs on Jeeps (90)
[Cmd rifle, Bazooka, 2xRifle teams; M2 half, 2 Jeeps]

WP#2: Recon Platoon, w/ Bazooka teams and AA MGs on Jeeps (90)
[Cmd rifle, Bazooka, 2xRifle teams; M2 half, 2 Jeeps]

DSP#1: Armored Field Arty Btty: HQ section (swap Jeeps w/ M2 Halftracks, 3x M7 Priest (195)
[Cmd carbine team, staff team, observer carbine team; 3 M2 halftracks, 3 M7 Priest]

I wanted two armored forces, but I also wanted them to have some differences in composition and playstyle. Will these two forces be too similar to make for a fun teaching/opfor duo for me to lend out?


  1. I think that if I were going to actually get into a minis game, FoW would be it. On at least two occassions, I would have bought the Core Rulebook if Sci-Fi Genre had it in when I dropped by (especially right after I listened to the d6 Generation's big review of the game).

    I was into Axis & Allies Minis a few years ago because of the WWI itch, and I think that at low-point-value games, even the miniatures management part of the game (painting and all) would be pretty do-able for FoW.

    Anyway, I'd definitely be interested in trying out a game or two sometime, if y'all'd be willing to teach me...

  2. We'd be glad to - although it might be more accurate to say "I'm sure Britt would be glad to" because a) he knows the rules better than I do and b) right now I don't have any minis and am borrowing his all the time. But the ruleset is fairly simple (infantry assault and counterassault is really the only time I find it gets even remotely fiddly), and you can get minis for just dirty cheap. Ordering Old Glory/Command Decision stuff from someplace like (who have them at 40% off list) means you could probably put together a 1500-point list (the 'standard' list size) for $50 or so - it'd be more expensive for stuff like armored infantry since you'd have to buy them halftracks or whatever, whereas tank-heavy forces would be cheaper since you'd be buying fewer models costing more points each.

    Anyway, I'm sure Britt will see this, but if not I'll mention it to him. He did a really good job of teaching me the game by introducing one element at a time. Game #1 was just armor vs armor, since it's the simplest part of the rules; game #2 he introduced infantry; #3 we got either artillery or air, can't remember which.

    The only real thing to consider is which theater and timeframe you'd be interested in building your first army from. Again, Britt might be the best one to talk to about this, as he's got a nice selection of stuff that can work for mid- and late- war; whereas I'm still thinking my first two lists will be North Africa mid-war stuff, which limits how much you can play them off as other theaters and/or timeframes. Is there any particular time, place or nation you're interested in?

    Also, remind me to lend you the mini-rulebook next time I see you. It comes in the starter box, and has all the same game rules as the bigger hardback version. For that matter, I'd be happy to lend you that one if you'd prefer!

  3. That '$50' figure I quoted there is wrong for anything other than the most extreme edge cases probably; I think a better back-of-the-napkin estimate might be $75 for a list with multiple tanks, some infantry and either organic transport for said infantry or some support stuff like arty. Also, the one thing I've never actually priced is planes, so if you are just dying to buy a squadron of something for close air support that might increase your numbers a good bit. Just correcting myself so I don't give a false impression of cheapness - but again, by wargame standards, 15mm WWII is really easy to buy stuff for.

  4. I would happy to introduce you to FoW, Chris.
    The rules are fairly straight forward with a few exceptions. I'd say that the game is somewhere between Memoir 44 and Squad Leader in terms of complexity. A 600 pt game can run 1 hour, while a 1500 pt game may take ~3 hours.
    I absolutely love painting the minis and they paint up pretty quickly. In fact, I can't wait for Spring Break and summer break so that I can get back to painting. It is relaxing and therapeutic for me.

    Kenny is spot on regarding cost. A 600 pt force doesn't require a lot of minis and most Mid War lists are 1500, while most Late War lists are 1750. Deciding which theater and which country you want to play will probably be your biggest decision. I enjoy MW and LW East Front. So I am collecting Germans and Soviets. Of course, many of my Germans can also be used on the Western Front, Italy and somewhat in Africa (but the paint schemes wouldn't look quite right).

    Anyway, FoW is a great game. Not too easy, not too complex, and the results are very similar to what you'd find in more complex rulesets.

    Let me know when you can take a drive to Raleigh, and Ill set up the tables for a game.

  5. Just looking at the German list, any thoughts on including some arti...or towed 88's? Perhaps replace the Stug G's?
    Heavy armor list, and it has a lot of punch.

  6. Britt -

    Some 88s are tempting, but I feel compelled to use the damn StuG Gs that I got in the starter set; ditto the 3 Shermans. Of course, I could hang onto the StuG Gs for use in some future Eastern Front list I suppose. If I did pull the StuGs, and replace them with a fully-tricked out unit of towed 88s, I'd have enough points left to increase each of the infantry platoons to 3 squads each instead of just 2. Hmmm... what do you think?

  7. ...or maybe a 3 squad platoon and man-packed mortars or infantry gun.
    Lots of neat potential here.

    Those 88's would be a headache for most opposing lists. They are nasty, esp in MW.

  8. Again, hmm... dropping the more expensive of the two infantry elements (the Scout platoon) would give me back 150 points (after having bumped them up to 3 squads in revision #2); that plus the spare 10 points that revision left means I've got 160pts to play with. That could buy me a light panzer platoon, a full platoon of quad 2cm AA halftracks, or (the most interesting to me at the moment) somewhere between 3 and 4 Nebelwerfer launchers and maybe some upgrades for that unit.

    If I'm reading the Panzerkompanie ToE correctly I don't think I can get any manpacked mortars - but would the Nebelwerfers be a good substitute for pinning enemy infantry and dropping smoke?

  9. Nebs cant drop smoke IIRC...but they are a cheap (and mobile) arti alternative....and as you said, they can pin opposing infantry. Plus they can harass transports and weakly armored vehicles.

  10. 1500 Panzerkompanie (Tunisia) (1500)

    HQ: Company HQ: 2x Panzer III L or M, add SdKfz9(18t) recovery vehicle (235)

    CP#1: Panzer Platoon: 3x Panzer III L or M (345)

    CP#2: Panzer Platoon: 3x Panzer III L or M (345)

    WP: Panzer Pioneer Platoon: 3x Pioneer Squads (165)
    [1 Cmd MG/3 MG teams, 1 Kubelwagen, 3 Sd Kfz251/7 (Pioneer) halftracks]

    DSP#1: Rocket Launcher Battery: 3x 15cm NW41s, w/ transport (120)

    DSP#2: Hvy AA Gun Platoon: 2x 8.8cm FlaK36s, w/ transport and extra crew (260)

    This leaves me with 30 points, which I can use to buy schurzen for all but 2 of my tanks; if I chuck in a few Panzer III N downgrades, I can buy it for them all. Having said that, I have no idea what the Old Glory minis look like, so I don't know if they'll be modeled with the schurzen, without them, or if they'd be included as parts for me to decide.

    Britt, I can't remember - do you even have any Panzer IIIs, and if so are any of them OG? What's your take on the schurzen issue (and will I ever bother to look up how to make the umlaut so I can spell it correctly)?

  11. PS- Britt, you're right, the Nebs can't fire smoke; they can drop smoke bombardments, which are different in some way I'm finding a bit difficult to parse this late at night.

  12. I do have Panzer IIIs. 5 FoW models and 3 (or is it 6) Old Glory models. None are modelled with schurzen. Schurzen only help against infantry in close combat.
    Ive never used a recovery vehicle, but if you need points, drop it, too.

    A smoke bombardment is like a HE bombardment, ranging in, etc. So they can drop smoke, just not as accurately as spotted mortars. Good to know.

  13. Ok, good to hear that about the schurzen. It does leave me with 30 unspent points, which is unfortunately 15 points less than I need to buy another Neb; but if I make one Panzer platoon all PzIII Ns, that's the other 15 I need. This might be the final variant of this list!

    Of course, now that I've done this I'm thinking of changing the US list from also being a tank company to either an armored or regular rifle company (using my 3 Shermans as a Div Support tank platoon) primarily so I don't wind up with two lists that are too similar. What do you think?

  14. Why not make multiple lists?
    There are only a few different pieces needed between them.

    BTW Warstore is running a clearance on LW US Paratrooper box set. (Band of Brothers, anyone?) Check it out!

  15. I'll wind up with multiple versions eventually for sure. If nothing else, buying packages of vehicles and weapons means I'll have spare stuff here and there to swap in and out!

    Thanks for the heads-up on the sale. Do you have the Bagration box set? I know it's like part boardgame, part scenario set for the wargame - worth grabbing at $36?

  16. Bagration is definitely worth buying at $36.
    The biggest knock on Bagration are the playing piece. Since FoW is a metal minis company, the playing pieces for the boardgame are metal, not plastic or wood. The metal minis are not very well made. The rules and the board are great though.

  17. Good to hear! I'll probably grab it tonight - hopefully The Warstore still has the old Partizans and Polizei box set too!

  18. Maybe Im being dull, but what do you need the Partisans set for?
    I cant remember anything of value for a reg game in it.

  19. Britt, I thought the Operation Bagration box set came with the little Partisans & Polizei mini-game or scenario?

    Even if not I might order them anyway if Warstore has them because I always thought they looked ace!