Warning. Longish post ahead...The battle reports first!
Pelarel and I played a couple of games of V4 mid war desert Flames of War at the club between my Italians and his British.
Game One - Hasty Attack
Ariete Armoured Division attacking the Welsh Guards
Pelarel set up a Guards platoon on each objective, his Vickers bridging the gap and Kittyhawks loitering about the field. In reserve, the fearsome Churchills. I deployed a platoon of M14/41s facing each objective and my Lancia da 90s and captured 25 pdrs covering as much of the board as I could.
|The Italian view of the Objective at the end of turn 2|
In turn 3, I assaulted the objective covered by the 6pdrs, rode my luck through the 6pdr defensive fire and over a series of rounds of assault, this is where we wound up:
|The Italian view of the Objective at the end of turn 3|
|The reason for the Italian view of the Objective...|
Pel's list, without the Churchills on table, really wasn't well set up for Italian armour and the many many machineguns on the M14s did horrible things. Conveniently, Pel had brought his entire collection of desert Brits so he built an armoured list and we reset for another go.
Game Two - Counter Attack
Desert Rats attacking the Ariete Armoured Division
I deployed defending one objective with my 25pdrs and Bersaglieri platoon on the objective, with the rest of the army having a view of the second objective. Pelarel deployed all his Grants and Shermans in front of the objective in my deployment zone and his Crusaders out on his flank.
|The board. Sneaky Lancias are not deployed.|
|Italian reserves blat marshmallows into the back of the Crusaders.|
|The Crusaders can't hold off the aggressive Italian armour.|
|The end. Italian armour swarming the objective to deny the British.|
Pelarel's plan to force my Lancia da 90s right into the back of my deployment zone was sound, but did involve sending half a dozen hulls straight into my best AT guns and his dice really didn't help him get that to sing. He also noted he went too early, although I will say that if he'd been able to deal with the 25pdrs successfully, I think he could have held the objective as I would have had to do some fairly insane maneouvering to get onto his flanks (since AT6 against side 4 is....bad) while feeding whatever I had left in order to protect the objective.
The first game was a blowout but I think Pelarel's aggressive attack was the right plan to win the second game. His dice let him down again though. He did go on to a third game against Scotty and gave him what for!
There's something that still doesn't sit right for me about the Italians in V4. They really do seem a bit good. I mean, I'm not a particularly good general by anyones measurements and this army feels like it really almost drives itself and even accounts for my utterly appalling dice.
Not rolling for unit ratings any more has seen an across the board improvement in the quality of Italian troops in FoW V4. In V3, the Elite ratings ran from CT to FV. Now, an M14 platoon sits consistently somewhere between FT and FV and then has some extra granular ratings and that seems very good, given the insanely cheap platoons - (3 Shermans = 11 M14/41s).
Some of the pointing is definitely out of whack as well. 4 100/17 guns (RoF 1, AT9, FP2+) can be upgraded to Captured 25 pdrs (RoF 2, AT9, FP3+) for nothing and if you succeed in your 8 Million Bayonets roll, this platoon is better than the British equivalent for 2 points less. And this fills the gap for medium AT if I don't have Semovente 75s on the park. Air support is another one. I can upgrade a flight of CR42s (5 points) to JU87s for 2 more points, giving me German Stukas for 2 points less than the German army pays for them.
And then just yesterday I started looking at the Bersaglieri Rifle company and honestly, if you downgrade to Blackshirts (which in a current V4 Desert context, doesn't feel like too much of a downgrade - it's mostly somewhere between CT and FT) I can put a 9 core unit formation on the park for a touch over 40 points.
TL;DR? I'm going to park these guys for a while to work on some lists that don't feel like I'm using stuff in the list that feels a bit wrong. It might be time to look at my Iron Cross Germans...
An astoundingly good question. I've just got all my Marine LAVs back from Pelarel, who graciously airbrushed the base coat on for me (although you should have seen his face when I suggested that I could get a SECOND LAV company. Not so gracious!) so a couple of test LAVs and / or HMMWVs in MASSTER camo will be next week.