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Friday, August 3, 2012

List Dissection: Bersaglieri

I'm a huge fan of the Bersaglieri in Flames of War.  They certainly represent the cream of the crop for the Italian forces in North Africa which makes them not really representative of the "standard" Italian formation- but that's fine with me!  In Flames of War terms they're one of the more unique choices with their core combat units being comprised of such large numbers of multi-purpose guns.  These guys embraced the "Few Men, Many Weapons" ideaology with both arms.

In Flames of War, the Bersaglieri are a very interesting company. The combat platoons are very large and have a good chance at being elite. They have a 1/3 chance of being trained, a 1/2 chance of being confident veteran, and a 1/6 chance at being fearless vet, thanks to 8 Million Bayonets.  Their Combat platoons are comparable to US Armored Rifles- they can deal with almost anything on their own!  So let's build a list.  We're going for 1625, the current favorite for Mid War thanks to the 2012 US Nationals.

HQ and Combat Platoons (1625 Remaining)
In my opinion the biggest strength of the Bersaglieri is (surprise!) The Bersaglieri.  I'm going to go with 2 full-size Bersaglieri units.  I am not, however, going to add the solothurn AT Rifles.  Though I think their stats are impressive and they'd certainly be useful, that would leave my combat platoons with more guns than infantry!  My 2 combat units each have 7 Rifle/MG teams, 3 Elefentino AT Guns, and 3 HMGs - we are a prickly bunch that can deal with most anything!  I've also given everyone except the company command Passaglia Bombs -that extra AT bump is worth the "own goal" risk.

So now we have a (potentially...) elite force that can deal with most anything mid war can throw at them.  Whether they're machine gunning enemy infantry or popping open light armor, you can count on the Bersaglieri!  Time to add some mobile elements.

Tanks and Tank Hunters! (925 Remaining)

The M14/41 doesn't offer much in the way of anti-tank, but with a good chance of being elite and bristling with MGs, it's one of the best light tanks out there!  It can't go toe to toe with most of the armor you'll be facing though, so I tend to think of them as ultra heavy armored cars and point them in the direction of enemy man packed guns and infantry.  Shermans eat them for breakfast if you aren't careful!

What the M14 lacks in AT, the Semovente 75/18.. well.. sort of makes up for.  The Semoventes aren't spectacularly great at cracking enemy armor (they still suffer from substandard AT), but they're about the best direct mobile AT the Italians have unless you wanna risk taking Lancias (which don't perform half as well as they look!), or taint your Italian-ness by taking German armor!

I always equip my Semoventes with AA MGs.  These guys can find themselves susceptible to enemy infantry otherwise.  With the Semoventes, it's important to strike all at once- preferably along with your M14s flanking.  They're rated as artillery, so have a great chance of being veteran- use this to your advantage by staying in cover to minimize any return fire.  

Support to Tie it all together (280 remaining)
To round the list out, smoke is a necessity.  With even Shermans posing a serious threat to our armor, we need to be able to cut down on return fire.  Fortunately, the Bersaglieri have a very cheap unit of mortars available to them.  At 100 points, you can't beat 3 medium tubes with a spotter.  With just 180 points left, I know I want some AB41s.  Recon in Version 3 is very good- I try never to leave home without it!  I settle on 3 AB41s.  4 would be great, but 3 will force me to use them on the super sneaky!

That leaves me 90 points... or exactly enough for some sporadic Falcos!  Woohoo!  This gives me a little bit of reach, and at the very least forces my opponent to stay spread out a bit.

So there you have it!  1625.  6 platoons.  We've got 2 mobile units, 2 very beefy static units, smoke, recon, and air.  We've covered all our bases and discussed how it all fits together!

Here's the list in its entirety:

I've run that exact list in a tournament and did fairly well with it.  If I remember correctly Bill Dorais and I beat each other down in the third round in Dust Up (I think we got a draw, but i don't remember for sure), but my previous 2 games saw me successfully defeat a British light armour squadron in Encounter and then hold out against a Gurkha company in No Retreat.

Thanks as always to Easy Army for the lists!

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