Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adepticon LW Nats List and Thoughts

So, it is that time of the year where the first Nats tournament happens in the States.  This year, Adepticon will be LW.  I was expecting MW since 2012 was LW and 2013 was EW.  Oh well, LW it is.

The points were slotted at 1,650.  Last year was 1,780.  You wouldn’t think 130 points would matter that much, but it does.  My Canadian list at 1,780 did well – tied for 11th with over 100 people playing.  But to make that same list fit into 1,650 just wasn’t happening.  Now I could have tried to change it up, but I just wasn’t excited about bringing Canadians to two straight LW Nats.  So off to the drawing board I went.

I thought about going back to TFA.  I think folks have forgotten about the list and the potency of the list.  But 1,650 is too high of a point total.  TFA needs around 1,500 to really shine.  I thought about 2 ID, but that didn’t excite me.  I thought about a Citizen Soldiers list, but that too didn’t strike me.  Same for 7th AD with Patton (been there), Cromwells and a Stewie horde.

But I did think quite a bit about a Soviet list.  My favorite right now is something like this:

HQ – T-34

Platoon / Company 1: 10 T-34s

Platoon / Company 2: 8 T-34s

Platoon 3: Short Spetznaz

Platoon 4: 3 SU-100

Platoon 5: 3 SU-100

Platoon 6: 3 DshK Trucks (SPAA)

Platoon 7: 12 Zis guns plus Scout Cars with .50cals (13 of them)

This is a very good list and I believe I will see it at Adepticon.  Infiltrate 11 T-34s.  Use the Zis guns that Ed Forbes loves so much – it really is a great platoon.  SPAA to keep Rudel at bay.  This has it all.
But there is another list out there and one that I came very close to running last year.  Unfortunately, it is so full of cheese that it borders on offensive.  How’s that for an intro!

So what is the list?  US Assault Company out of Overlord.  Here is the list:

US Assault Company - Confident Trained

HQ: 1 and 2iC Carbine Team

Platoon 1: Boat Section (Cmd Rifle, 4 Rifle, 2 Bazooka, 60mm Mortar and a Flame-thrower)

Platoon 2: Boat Section (Cmd Rifle, 4 Rifle, 2 Bazooka, 60mm Mortar and a Flame-thrower)

Platoon 3: Mortar Platoon with 2 81mm Mortars and Cmd Carbine

Platoon 4: AT Gun Platoon with 3 57mm, 1 Bazooka and Cmd Carbine

Platoon 5: Recon Platoon with 3 Recon Jeeps and 1 .50cal Recon Jeep

Platoon 6: Cannon Platoon with 6 105mm Light Howitzers, Cmd Carbine and Observer)

Platoon 7: Towed TDs with 4 M5 3” guns, 4 bazookas, Cmd Carbine and 4 .50cal Halftracks

Platoon 8: Engineer Combat Platoon with 2 Bazookas, 2 HMGs / Pio Rifles (swap at game start) and Cmd Pio Rifle with Pio Supply Vehicle

Platoon 9: Field Artillery Battery with 4 105mm guns, Staff Team, Cmd Carbine and Observer with Jeep

Platoon 10: SPAA – one Quad .50cal and one 37mm Halftrack

NGFS: Heavy Cruiser

Air Cover: Limited P-47 (Air Cover mean they intercept on 5+, ground attack on 6)


10 Platoons at 1,650 points


My thoughts on the list:

First, NGFS is good.  Crazy good.  I can bring a Naval AOP or use a ground observer.  It is AT 6, FP 1+ on a doublewide template, with reroll misses.  Yes, you have to range in each turn.  Yes, the 1iC can spot, but no one else can do so.  Yes, you can’t combine it with any other arty.  But still…  The math is on my side.  Rerolling misses and you have to pass a Top Armor save needing a 6?  You roll a 5 and you are bailed, anything else kills you?!  Dead.  FP 1+ is a good thing…  Against open tops (TDs, Marders, Halftracks, etc.), you can only hope for a bail.  Dug in infantry will disappear (one out of three hits will fail the save).  And with the Naval AOP running around, I can find you pretty much anywhere.  Bringing AA?  Ok, either I use terrain to mask, go after your SPAA with everything I have, say forget it and arty the SPAA before it can shoot my AOPs or just bring the ground observer.  Lots of options!

Then I have my Cannon Platoon of 6 Light Howitzers.  How are they different that normal 105mm?  Slightly less range on bombardment, less range on direct fire and they don’t have a gun shield.  Otherwise, they are identical in every way.  AT 4, FP 4+.  And because they are a Cannon Platoon, any Platoon Commander can be a spotter.  And the 1iC does not have a +1 added.  And with 6 guns, that is a normal template with reroll misses.

Oh, did I mention the other artillery platoon yet?  The one with four 105mm Howitzers?  And the AOP to go with it?  Ok, so this platoon gets Time on Target.  Or I can combine with the Cannon Platoon and have another doublewide with reroll misses at AT 4, FP 4+.

And I have my Air Cover to protect the AOPs from enemy air craft.  If my opponent doesn’t have air, then I need a 6 to get a Ground Attack.  That’s ok because their primary role is to protect the skies.  Anything else is bonus!

Of course, I have to bring Towed TDs.  Dropping 8 AT 12, FP 3+ shots out of a mobile ambush and having bazookas running amok with .50cal halftracks is just too good to be true.

Then add the mobility of the Recon Jeeps – along with their limited ability to keep Spearhead and Recon moves in check – and you have a neat little platoon.

SPAA comes along for the ride to protect the artillery from air that get past my Air Cover.  Plus they can be used to help dig out infantry if necessary.  Sure, they are only two vehicles but they can pack a punch if necessary.

And my Pios.  My lovely Pios.  Facing an AA Mech or Armor list?  Drop three glorious stands of wire to slow it down.  Against tanks, lay down a minefield.  All I need to do is slow down the Spearhead and Recon moves and let the arty do the rest.

Am I worried about facing an AA Infantry list?  Not really since this list is AA against Infantry.  I could see a Brit player wanting to Night Attack.  Ok – we roll.  But most Defensive Battles have a 24” distance to the objective and moving 6” at a time will cause you to get there right around when night lifts.  I am ok with that.  And attacking infantry doesn’t bother me either.  I can close some distance and let the artillery take over.

What is funny (in a sad way) is that a friend of mine recorded over 60 turns in Free For All at Historicon last year.  It was arty fest.  I guess I am going to try to break that number.

So I ignore the first loss, I have great AT, I have four templates (air, FAB, Cannon and NGFS), I have two AOPs, I have two infantry platoons with zooks and flame-throwers, I have recon, TDs and Pioneers.  NGFS will be available every turn. You can’t pin it, kill it, smoke it, etc.  Sure, you could smoke the ground observer – if I bring it.  For half on / half off missions, I will have just under 1,200 points of my army on the table.

Yes, this is a silly list and full of cheese.  I know.  Effectively, I am bringing 22 artillery guns with only 10 of them being on the table.  A bit much, don't you think?