Friday, 3 June 2011

Beginners: Late war lists ready to go!

Right. Continuing the Flames of War for beginners theme I wanted to write a couple of 'starter' lists for the Late War period. In this post you'll find some introduction to the lists, the lists themselves and some discussion about the selections. I've also made your shopping experience pretty easy if you want to actually go ahead and buy that exact list. Cut, paste, email your LGS and ask for a quote!

Ok, for starters, it's tough to pick a book for the lists. Each Flames of War source book is specific to a time period in the war. Blitzkrieg deals with Early war. Eastern Front and North Africa deal with Mid War and pretty much everything else is focused on Late War. I've proposed the use of Fortress Europe as it's a good starter source book before but for specific reasons I'll explain further on, I think Turning Tide and Earth and Steel are wise investments for the new Late War players.

The choice between Infantry, Mechanised and Tank lists has significance in the cost and gameplay experience. When I started with Flames of War I picked an Infantry list and given that experience I'd firmly recommend beginners pick up a tank list first. If Flames of War is your first 15mm scale project you may find, like I did, the infantry are a bit of a grind to paint. Tanks are not only a lot easier but I found them more rewarding. Tank lists are generally less expensive to put on the table too, although there are exceptions to that rule. I've also written two tank lists to oppose one another. This has added benefits in that as beginners you'll get the opportunity to attack and defend. If I wrote an Infantry list and a Tank list then in any games with the 'Defensive Battle' rule, the Infantry list would be defending by default.

I also wanted to match veterancy level with both lists as this would hopefully mean similar cash outlay for each player. Fortress Europe only has a Confident Trained Allied Armor list to match the Confident Veteran German Panzer list in the same book. The difference can be fairly significant in terms of points and the Allied list would have been quite a bit more expensive to field. This flys in the face of common Allied logic really, as you're probably best served sticking as many tanks on the table top as possible. However, a Confident Trained list is approx $100 more expensive to start with. You can build up to that if you desire!

While on the subject of cost I could have written a very cheap German list but I think the units in my selected list actually serve the German player better, there are more 'core selections' which are widely utilised in many other lists. So instead of a cheap Schwere Panzer list featuring 5 or 6 Tiger 1Es, I've focused on the meat and potato Panzer IV.

At the end of the post, you'll find the list of exactly what you'll need to buy including product codes for Battlefront for both lists. I think it's unlikely there are many reading this that want to jump in without doing their own research and you'll want to change your list to suit your tastes but I did it anyway. Since the shopping list is arranged by unit order to match the army lists you can delete as appropriate. Just cut and paste that shopping list into your email and shoot it to a local gaming store for them to order. I can recommend Viv at Battlebunker in Northcote. You can email him at and if you want the measure of the guy you can check out his awesome Youtube Channel 'rubbishinrubbishout'. Anyway, enough of that. The lists!

German 21st Panzer Company - Earth and Steel - Confident Veteran
HQ - 2 PzIV H
Combat - 4 PzIV H
Combat - 3PzIV H, 1 Sherman III
Support - 2 Tiger 1Es
Support - Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Platoon, 1 Cmd MG, 6 MG, 4 U304 Halftracks
Support - Rocket Launcher Battery, 3 NW41s
Support - Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon, Sd Kfz 10/5 (2cm)

American 2nd Armored Division - Turning Tide - Confident Veteran
HQ - 2 M4 or M4A1 Shermans
Combat - 4 M4A1 (76mm Shermans)
Combat - 4 M4 or M4A1 Shermans
Weapons - Armored Mortar Platoon, Command Cbn, M2 half track, 3 M4 81mm MMCs
Support - Tank Destroyer Platoon, Command Cbn, Cbn, Jeep, M20 and 2 x M10
Support - Parachute Rifle Platoon, Command Rifle, 9 x Rifle, 1 x Bzka, 1 x 60mm Mortar
Support - Armored Recon Platoon, 2 x M8 Armoured Car, 1 x Mortar Jeep, 1 x Recon Jeep

Both lists have two platoons of core tanks, an anti tank element, an infantry element to learn with and some flavour units.

On the German side, the standard Panzer list doesn't really have any equivalent to the M10 tank hunters. Instead, you get two Tiger 1Es and I think they will provide valuable learning for both players. The big cats can be scary but there are ways of dealing with them. The Germans get the good value Nebelwerfer 41s and these are usable in a good number of lists. They also get a cheap AA unit to round out to six platoons. It's good to finish on an even number of platoons for when the 'Defensive Battle' rule forces you to leave at least half your army in reserves. I also had to squeeze some points so one of your Panzer IVHs becomes a Sherman III.

I've never played US. Might seem stupid that I'm therefore proposing a list. The list is based on theory and the units selected are pretty straight forward. Therefore I feel I have a good handle on how it will play and frankly I'd actually love to give it a shot myself. Looks like fun! Your main tank, the Sherman M4 / M4A1 is a solid match for the PzIV. The 76mm versions are awesome and should have fun against the Tigers. The armoured mortars do the job of pinning and smoking, equivalent almost to the NW41s on the German side. Instead of the Tigers you get a unit of 2 M10 tank destroyers. They have some interesting rules that are worth learning for the US and besides, the Allies never did get much in the way of solid armor so you're approach to dealing with the German big cats needs to be practiced! The Infantry selected are actually Fearless Veteran paratroopers and should proove to be a solid objective defensive tool. For flavour and because the points worked out right, I've put in a small recon platoon. These guys can help against ambushes and might just provide a small skirmishing unit to harrass the Germans.

So there we have it. A couple of late war lists for you to consider. I've put the shopping lists for these below. Entire playable army for less than $320 Australian RRP? Sweet. REMEMBER. Australian stores have been sufficiently protected from the strong AUD and Battlefront have adjusted their prices to keep local stores competitive with overseas. How novel. You can support Australian business without it costing you! If you want you can also look for cheaper than Battlefront options such as the Plastic Soldier Company.

Shopping List - German
2 x GBX10 Panzer IVH Platoon, Panzerkompanie @ AUD65.00 each.
1 x BR119 Sherman III @AUD13.50
2 x GE071 Tiger I E (Zimmerit) @ AUD15.00 each.
4 x GE245 U304(f) Halftrack @AUD13.50 each
2 x GE160 Sd Kfz 10/5 (2cm) @AUD13.50 each
1 x GE709 Artillery HQ @AUD13.50
1 x GE723 Panzergrenadier Platoon (Late) @AUD20.00
1 x GE590 15cm NW41 rocket launcher (x3) @AUD27.00

Total: AUD315.00 (This is RRP. You don't pay RRP through quality Gaming Stores. Target $260 ish.)

Shopping List - US
1 x UBX05 M4A1 (76) Platoon @AUD65.00 each (leaves one spare 76mm Sherman)
1 x UBX02 M4A1 Sherman Platoon @AUD65.00 each
1 x US042 M4A1 Sherman @AUD13.50 (need 6 x M4A1 total)
1 x US200 M2 half-track @ AUD13.50
3 x US202 M4 81mm MMC @ AUD13.50 each
1 x US411 Jeep (x3) @ AUD13.50
1 x US302 M20 utility @ AUD13.50
2 x US102 M10 3in GMC @ AUD13.50 each
2 x US301 M8 Greyhound @ AUD13.50 each
1 x US723 Parachute Rifle Platoon @AUD27.00

Total: AUD305.50 (Again, this is RRP... target some discount from your LGS!)

Other Stuff.
Buy Open Fire between friends and use the Shermans it comes with for both lists? Not to mention you get a copy of the small format rule book. Get the source books for both lists. Damn good reads anyway and useful as you progress into other lists in the Normandy theatre!

FWBX01 Open Fire (English) @ AUD45.00
FW107 Earth and Steel @AUD60.00
FW108 Turning Tide @AUD60.00 


  1. This is a really good post for beginners. I think people who area doing learning games or intro to FoW events could learn stuff from it. Thanks

  2. I wish You wrote that article few months ago Griddon:). I would avoid a lot of headaches trying to chose a proper army list to buy. Good job nevertheless!