Tactics

These tactics articles are not supposed to be a complete set of all tactics for everything.  Instead they will be a random selection of tactics based on my own experience.
 
Flames of war
I have played a British armoured car squadron in both mid war and late war for quite some time.  I usually use one from the Africa book for mid war or Festung Europa (which is a bit old these days) but an almost identical list is still available in Fortress Europe or pdfs. It's fun to play and can be very dangerous but isn't going to win any competitions.
 
The advice here ought to apply to any armoured car recce company from Britain, Germany or America  (I'm not sure about Soviets).
 
My typical list is available here on the army lists page.
 
It's got a few armoured cars and plenty of support.  If you have half your platoons as recce armoured cars then in scenarios where half your army is off table you can keep all your expensive support on table and leave the cheap recce off table meaning that most of your points are on the table.  Not bad for an 8 platoon company.
 
All the platoons are weak, so it is really easy to loose them, and you usually will loose a couple of platoons, which might not affect the combat effectiveness of the army but does mean that a 4-3 win is the best you can hope for.  It is this quirk of the Flames of war scoring system that means this company and other recce companies are not going to be competition winners.
 
Lets talk about advantages and disadvantages.
 
Obviously to be effective you need to make best use of all your advantages and minimize your disadvantages.
 
Advantages
Lots of mobile platoons
Lots of support
Recce abilities
 
Disadvantages
Weak platoons
Lack of decent anti tank (AT) (at least in my British list, it's less of a problem in German lists)
 
 
 
A key piece of advice I would give any new recce player is to think the unthinkable and aggressively attack tank companies.
Now you have to do it right otherwise you'll get slaughtered very quickly.
 
Lets take a simple game of Free for All (its quite a good scenario for recce companies even if it doesn't immediately look like it).
The enemy (tank company) will probably only have 2 to 6 platoons, but only 2 to 3 of those will be tough tank platoons.
Your objective as a fast recce company is to not get killed by the tanks while attacking the weaker platoons.  - Easy eh!
Well no it isn't easy but it can work.
 
If the enemy is short of platoons he will struggle to defend two objectives and attack you.
Where as you can easily defend your own objectives with your strong support (artillery and tanks/infantry/tank destroyers), leaving your recce armoured cars a free hand to rush across the table and annoy the enemy.
 
Annoy the enemy is key and I'm not joking.
 
Rushing across the table and trying to kill something is probably going to get you killed instead, unless the target is something that you stand a good chance of doing damage to.
The thing is, if the enemy tanks are trying to attack you then the stuff left behind defending the objectives probably IS a nice weak target your armoured cars can attack.
 
What's a nice target for a couple of platoons of armoured cars (usually 4 to 6 vehicles in flames of war)?
- Dug in infantry (lift gone to ground (GtG) with your recce abilities and shoot away just don't get too close you don't want those nasty panzerschrecks shooting back.)
- AA trucks
- Nebelwerfers (like shooting ducks in a barrel, an easy victory point (VP) and may be even an objective)
 
You can really annoy enemy artillery if you roll up close but don't shoot.
Wait for next turn when you're stationary and get your full rate of fire.
If the artillery shoot at your armoured cars they aren't shooting at something more important - so the enemy won't want to do that - but then again if they don't shoot at you you'll shoot at them next time. - So may be they do shoot at you, and you use your recce ability to disengage and run away into cover. - generally the artillery shot is wasted.
This puts the enemy player in two minds and they can only choose between two bad options!
 
This tactic also works really well against tanks.
I rush my AT7 armoured car down the flank of the enemy tanks and don't shoot.
Now the enemy can choose to engage the tank destroyers/tanks/artillery/AT gun to their front (which will kill them if they don't) or they can shoot at the armoured cars on their flank (which will kill them if they don't!)
Again it's a no win situation for the tank player - even the awesome German stormtrooper move doesn't help since the flank must be facing someone.
The safe option for the tank player is to back off and hide - Victory for the recce! 
The tanks ran away and we didn't fire a shot or loose our recce abilities.
 
STAYING ALIVE
It's hard, the best way to stay alive is not to shoot.  Eventually you are going to have to shoot something.
If and when you do start shooting with the recce and the support the best way is to do it on mass.
If support guns/artillery/tanks/tank destroyers shoot at the same target as a couple of recce platoons there is a good chance of doing a lot of damage.  If you do a lot of damage to an enemy platoon, or even kill it in a single turn then you suffer less in the return fire.
Even if you don't completely take out the enemy platoon, if there are three of your platoons shooting, the enemy usually has to choose only one of them to shoot back at.
 
Try not to get into one platoon versus one platoon fights because you tend to lose.
 
The best way to stay alive is to shoot at things that can't hurt you!
 

There is a lot more I could say but I think I have outlined some ideas that hopefully you will find useful.

 

 

FIELD OF GLORY

Wars of the Roses (WOTR) Yorkist Pretender tactics
This is the army I am using in the MAWS Warlord medieval competition

The way I use this army is to have maximum superior heavy foot heavy weapon types.
These form a solid wall to fight around.
They are good against all foot (including the nearly invincible Swiss pike) and can handle themselves in terrain because they don't loose POAs.
The nemesis for these guys are mounted, particularly knights.

So the rest of the army is built around improving the performance against mounted particularly lancers.
The addition of two units (battle groups) of pike is essential.  This can kept to the end in deployment and are added to the line of heavy foot heavy weapons where the lancers are expected to hit you.
You can actually place the pikes behind the heavy weapons in deployment and spend the first turn or two making gaps in the line for the pike to step into.  The heavy foot is drilled and you need to make use of that.

The other great addition are longbows.  In smaller games I usually prefer to take maximum heavy weapons and as many longbows as I can afford.  As opposed to taking maximum longbows and filling in with heavy weapon guys.
At 750 points I will typically have two battle groups (BGs) of longbows in 8's.  I prefer 8's to 6's because it is much harder for anyone, particularly skirmishers to shoot them down.  They are only average so amazingly they are actually susceptable to shooting, especially when they are often placed in terrain at the edge of the table.
The best way to not fail a cohesion test in FOG is to not have to take one!  In 8s your opponent needs 3 hits for the 1hp3 bases (1 hit per 3 bases) and 4 hits for the minus in the cohesion test for 1hp2 bases (1 hit per 2 bases).

The longbows are great at shooting up mounted and can even handle themselves in the open against mounted provided they aren't outnumbered.  They are good for chasing and shooting skirmishers.
The longbows are prone to failing cohesion tests so it's best not to let them get isolated and also good to have a general around, particularly an IC.
The longbows are also good against the nearly invincible Swiss halberds that back up the nearly invincible Swiss pike.

Generals
This is one of the rare armies that can only have a maximum of 3 generals.  Given that you can't therefore take 4 TC's the decision for me is easy, an IC and two TC's is the obvious choice.

The final key troop type in the army is the light foot (LF).  You can have loads of these.  If you read the restrictions for the Yorkist Pretender army you can have double the normal number of Irish Kerns.
I don't usually have loads of these, not because they aren't useful but because a few is usually enough.
The firearm LF are good to use in combination with the longbows to shoot up knights and other mounted, they aren't great against other LF though.
The Irish kerns are great for chasing off enemy LF.

I use the Irish kerns to achieve two things.  Chase of the opponents rubbish LF screening their knights.  I then aim to use my LF to make the enemy knights charge impetuously.  If you do it right and get a bit of luck you can make a knight unit hit your pike and heavy weapon line as a single isolated battle group.  If you do this you should beat it easily.
Once you have beaten one knight in isolation it should be much easier to beat the others in isolation.

The other purpose is to scare away the clouds of LF that usually accompany the nearly invincible Swiss.  If you can get the Swiss LF out of the way then again it is possible to force the Swiss pike to charge impetuously.  Again just like the knights if you can fight one Swiss block in isolation it is much more likely to lose.

Obviously these general tactics work against any shock mounted or shock foot armies.

Other army types are easier to handle.

Against shooty cav.
Chase them hard with the heavy foot.
Shoot them up with the longbows.
If you know you will be facing a shoot cav army then take more longbows.
Make sure you capture the enemy camp, it's an easy two points and if all goes wrong it could be the only ones you get!  A shooty cav player is unlikly to defend his camp and if he does you shoult pick up even more points.

Against shooty foot
Line up and charge!
The armoured superior heavy weapon backed up by an IC should survive the shooting and once into contact you will win.
The longbows shoot and cover the flanks of the heavy foot.
The light foot generally hide and try not to get shot up.



Hephthalite Hunnic tactics
A few elephants and some shoot cav.  This is not an easy army to use well.  In the MAWS Warlord competition I am experimenting with using the nobles (armoured superior bow sword cav).
When I have used this army previously I have taken the elephants, a Light horse (LH) or two and loads of unprotected, superior bow sword cavalry.  You get loads of battle groups that are great at shooting, however there isn't much that fights.
My "improved version" takes the two battle groups of nobles and more light horse.
This army has a nice selection of different mounted and they need to be used differently in perfect harmony with each other to be dangerous.
The elements are, 3 BGs of elephants, 2 BGs of nobles (armoured superior bow sword cav), Light horse (superior bow sword) and Cav (unprotected superior bow sword).
The elephants and nobles are the punch, the nobles go either side of the elephants and escort them into contact.  Anything is a good target except pike or spear
The light horse chase enemy skirmishers (foot and horse), if the enemy has skirmishers you should be looking to pick up a few easy points by taking out the enemy skirmishers.

The unprotected cav have a linking role and change what they do depending on the enemy.
If the enemy is mounted, then they skirmish and shoot
If they enemy has lots of LH, then they join my own light horse to ensure we win the skirmish fight.
If the enemy is foot, then they join aim to outflank the enemy foot and shoot them up before the punch of elephants and nobles get there.
Obviously this description is very simplistic, few armies are one dimensional so some of the unprotected cav can take on one role why others may take on a different one.

A word on protected bow sword cav.  I usually like protected bow sword cav, however in this army I feel they add cost for very little benefit.  Protected cav generally end up doing the same job as unprotected but aren't better at it in this army.  I find its usually better to spend the points on more battle groups.  Of course if you have a few points spare then adding protection is one way to spend them.
A clear example of this is, two battle groups of unprotected supperior bow sword cav fire, impact and melee exactly the same as two battle groups of protected superior bow sword cav against cataphracts, or knights, or armoured lancers cav or pike (most of the time).

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