Infantry Aces Round 2 Fight!

We’ve recently concluded the 1st round of infantry aces at the club, with round 2 commencing this week. I thought this would be a good opportunity to summarise my key learning points from round 1 and look forward to expand my list to 700 pts.

So 1st up a retrospective, below is my 500 pt list:

500 pt list

A quick recap of my games:

Game 1 vs Soviet Partisans 6-1 victory

Game 2 vs US 10th Mountain Divison 2 – 5 loss

Game 3 vs German Grenadierkompanie victory

Game 4 vs US 10th Mountain Division very narrow 3-4 loss

Key learnings so far (a lot of these are basics but it’s always good to revisit and remind yourself of the basics)

1) mortars are fantastic infantry support weapons. They are a very cost effective way to pin and smoke, making them vital to support your assault.

2) ROF on the move is something you really need to factor in. Having not used rifle teams much previously, I got caught out a few times when I moved and then realised I wouldn’t be able to hit anything with my shooting before going in to assault. I think it’s important to get a good mix of infantry weapons into your platoons where possible. In the case of Jaakari I think it’s essential to have at least 1 HMG combat attached to your platoon to give you cover fire when going into the assault plus the extra shots on defensive fire.  Without the HMG I don’t think Jaakari rifle platoons have enough stopping power. The other thing, which is worth considering is upgrading 1 platoon to SMGs to act as the assault platoon, with excellent ROF on the move.

3) When defending don’t hesitate to move a platoon if you can see your enemy is focusing on one objective.  In 2 games I had this happen to me where it was clear my opponent my was making a play towards one objective. I made the decision both times to move my platoon guarding the other objective and both times it paid off. In the game against the German grenadiers it provided me with the reserves to prevent an otherwise overwhelming assault. In another game against the US 10th Mountain in surrounded, the other platoon was able to swing around and attack the enemy platoon attacking from the rear, and although I went on to lose this game it made it a much closer game then the quick 6-1 loss it would have been had I stay still.

4) if you fail to pin, don’t try and push on with the assault if the odds of getting pushed back are against.  All you really do is provide your opponent with a free turn of shooting you.

 

So after taking all of this on board I’ve come up with the following 700 pt list:

700 pt list

The changes from my 500 pt list are relatively light.  I’ve dropped the Lahti AT rifle from the HQ and added a full strength Jaakari platoon with SMG’s. The SMG platoon will become my main assault unit and will work well with the aces skill I’m about to unlock which will provide a platoon with the cautious movement special rule.

On that note, I should highlight my infantry ace now has 2 aces skills that I’ve picked up.

The 1st one is Recon Scout which gives my ace the eyes and ears special rule, which will be helpful in getting the mortars to range in.

The 2nd ability is I need mortar support, this allows me to call in a 6 gun mortar bombardment once per game.

Looking forward to round 2 and unleashing massed SMG fire.

Not another Aces List!?

I’ll be honest. Unlike my colleagues here at AOA I wasn’t too interested in the Aces battles. The idea seemed cool, but timing (tournaments coming up and MidWar painting project on the go), and a lack of painted minis had not inspired much enthusiasm. I had played a couple of games as a bunny, but it was really just ‘making up the numbers’.

That was until Mitch gave me a look at his copy of Road to Rome. As the US Infantry player, prior to ROR coming out, I had to contend with Devils Charge lists or something from a PDF. I was keen, especially fielding trained Chaffees, but still had no real motivation to get involved any more than a ‘bye buster’.

Enter the 3rd Infantry Division from Road to Rome. These guys are just your normal US Infantry with a few ‘extra toppings’ to make them just that bit more interesting to field.

The get sharpshooter rules – nothing flash, but could come in handy, but most importantly they receive the excellent Medal of Hono(u)r Winners rule – effectively giving my platoon a second chance to fight in an assault after being pinned in defensive fire after a successful roll of a 3+ (to become a Medal of Honor Winner) and a motivation test to counter. Get Some!

With that in mind, I picked the following 500 pointer:

Company HQ 15pts
1 Rifle Platoon, with extra rifle in command section (9 stands total) 165pts
1 Rifle Platoon, with extra rifle in command section (9 stands total) 165pts
Four 1917 HMGs 140pts

Bringing me a grand total of 475 (maybe those extra 25 points will come in handy soon!)

Sure – it’s three platoons which will hurt, but it has some good firepower, Truscott Trot (which, incidently, the 2nd Infantary Division from Devil’s Charge lost in favour of Winter Training), automatic rifles and the aforementioned Medal of Honor Winners.

It also has some interesting options for support in the 700 and 900 point battles ahead.

And lastly, Sean had initially decided to run this as an Italy Aces Campaign, so it’s nice to run a company from that front, unlike someone else…

My Infantry Aces List

image

At the club, we’ve been running an infantry aces campaign. I’ve been running Gebirgsjaeger from the new Italy book. My list at 500 points is:

HQ, Coy Comd and 2ic teams, both SMG panzerknackers.

Combat platoons, 2 full Gebirgs platoons.

Weapons platoons, HMG platoon with command team and 2 x MG42 HMG’s.

Mortar platoon with command team and 2 x 81 cm mortars.

So the photo above shows the painting progress so far, with my 2 HMG teams completed, with a little more grass to go, then some dull coat.

Not sure what the 700 point list will be, but I need to start thinking about it…

Infantry aces and why I love small point infantry games

So we have started running an infantry aces campaign at our club, using the campaign rules from the Battlefront Italy battles book.

For those not familiar with the campaign, it’s designed to be an infantry only campaign played at small points levels.  You start out with 500 pts, this then escalates to 700 points and then finally 900 pts.  At 900 pts you’re able to include 1 armoured platoon.

You also have your infantry ace, who is your CiC, who gains skills as you progress through campaign.

Lauri Torni, the ultimate infantry ace!

Lauri Torni, the ultimate infantry ace!

I’ve decided to run a Jaakari company from the Finns in the Lapin Sota PDF.

My 500 pt list is as follows

HQ + Lahti Anti-tank rifle

2 Full Rifle Platoons

2 Heavy Machine Guns

3 Mortars

I’ve played 2 games so far in the campaign and I have to say I am absolutely loving small point infantry games.  They are played on smaller tables (4 by 4 instead of the usual 6 by 4) and the forces are quite similar which makes for very balanced, tactically challenging games.  At 500 pts, it’s essentially a company level engagement. It really forces you to use basic infantry tactics to try and win the game, as generally you’re only support is some mortars and machine guns. The other plus is they are quicker to play, so you can fit more games in 🙂

The 1st game I played was against Manni and his Confident Conscript Russian Partisans, with 40+ stands of rifle teams, however, only one support weapon in the form of a heavy machine gun.  At first I was worried about his massive platoons overwhelming my position, however, his lack of support weapons, meant he was unable to pin my platoons in order to move into an assault position.  In the meantime, I was able to use my heavy machine guns and mortars to whittle down his platoons, before I moved out to counter assault.  In the end the lack of firepower showed as I was able to capture my objective without losing a single stand of infantry.

This game was a very good learning experience for us as it really demonstrated the importance of having some support weapons, particularly mortars, as you really need to be able to pin your opponent to launch infantry assault.

The 2nd game was against Sean, using the new 10th Mountain Division PDF.  He had 2 rifle platoons, a platoon of 50 cals (these are such a good option in an infantry list) and 2 mortars.  We rolled up Surrounded as the mission and I ended up being the defender.  At first I was worried about defending in surrounded, however, this proved to be a really tight game with a lot of manoeuvring from both of us and was very tactically challenging.  It was probably one of the most enjoyable games I’ve had in a long time, even though Sean eventually went on to break my company.  We also learnt a fair bit about infantry rules, which generally don’t come up very often.

Overall, this campaign has really excited me about small points flames of war games. I’m also going to try and paint up some of my British infantry to use as an alternate force in this campaign to avoid the blue on blue.  At this stage, I’m thinking of taking the 51st Highland Division, i’ll keep you posted.

I’ll aim to get some mini campaign reports about on the blog, we may even try to record the campaign results on the blog.

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