A guest piece by Bluestroll
In WWII, an infantrymen could tell what side fire was coming from by the sound of the guns. So what sound will your guns make. This can be a daunting proposition when planning your army because there are so many choices. Tactically, two factors make up style of your army. The most prominent is Type – Infantry, Mechanized, or Armor and the other is the Nationality. Let take a look.
Right now, Late War has 4 major nationalities. Commonwealth/British, German, Soviet, or American. If you are playing Mid War, you can add Italian, Hungarian, Finnish, and Romanian Forces to the Axis Lineup.
So lets look at the Main Players:
Commonwealth/British is an evolution of a military system that has not been defeated since the time of Sword and Shield. Artillery is the heart of the Army. But infantry is the soul of its Army. Most of the Doctrines reflect this. The British army is the most like a set piece army. To me, it excels on the defense. Infantry forming your main line of resistance. Artillery peppering the enemy, whittling it down so the infantry can meet the threat and defeat it. On the offense, Night attack allows the infantry to close, armor has semi-indirect to help main area of assault and artillery pounding the bejesus of the target. It’s bloody good at what it does, but it’s not very mobile or adaptable and German Armor can usually take British Armor.
British Armor tends to be clunky and unwieldy… Semi-indirect fire is worthless in mobile games.
Germany is a revolution born out of the trenches and defeat WWI. The German Army at its core is a direct fire, assaulting type of army. Generally, you have best infantry and better choices of tanks. Since your troops are better and your armor is better, you will be outnumbered. Its artillery is okay, but is outclassed by the Americans and British. Think of artllery as support weapon, not a killing weapon. Where it shines is direct fire gun team, infantry and of course, armor. The Stormtrooper rule allow you to “dance” in and out of LOS as well as grant 4 inches of additional movement. Mission tactics allow you to continue the attack in the face of the loss of officers. This army is meant to attack! But in defense, it has enough options to make it deadly. Besides, counterattack is a defense too.
Soviets are a unique army, a continual change in progress. Most players think this is just a mindless horde army and Battlefront does its best to portray it as that too. It just takes a different mindset. You have big platoons. Use them. You will out number your opponent. Use that! Your armor can stand up to most German tanks. Use that! With Hens and Chicks, its an either fire or move army. On the attack, once you have a plan, stick with it, even it’s the wrong plan. Use your infantry to take on the tanks, and your tanks to destroy infantry. SMG platoons are mobile death. Tankodesantniki are a bonus to help your tanks assault infantry. In defense, use your big platoons to slow the enemy, and tanks to counterattack. Artillery is a mixed bag. I have no luck with Soviet artillery, but your mileage may very. The Rota Radzveaki Army is the closest thing to an elite Western army you can get.
The American GI. The Dogface sports a very standard army. But unlike the British, its soul is the artillery, its heart is infantry. For the US, artillery are killing platoons. Infantry with the Truscott Trot rule are fast. They are big platoons as well that can inflict damage in the assault. US Armor is just death for infantry, but can‘t stand up to German armor. Use your artillery and anti-tank against enemy armor or use a bum‘s rush. The M4 Shermans just don’t have it at a distance. M4 with 76s help, but its not enough. Bazookas are your friends, associate with them as much as you can. LMGs are very useful to support your platoons of rifleman.
In Mid War.
Finnish, to me, are better German infantry without the good armor support choices. If you want to play Axis without the bad guy syndrome, then this might be for you.
Hungarians, The mobile (armor and mech infantry) forces are like Germans with 2nd rate weapons, but the infantry companies are very slow and deliberate. Very defensive minded. Average mass manpower
Italians – Bersaglieri are very good and the armor provides allied infantry list some problems. The Fucilieri and CCNN lists rely on average massed manpower. Avanti helps with movement and the 8 Million Bayonets rule changes the skill/motivation each game.
Romanians, The mobile forces are like Germans with 2nd rate weapons, but the infantry companies are very slow and deliberate. The Peasant Army rule can change things up from bad mass manpower to mediocre mass manpower and special artillery rules give their arty some punch.
*One world on Commonwealth troops, they provide some unique spice to the British Troops, but doesn’t necessary change how the army plays.
Meet ya at the table, and I’d love to hear which of these armies is most interesting to you?