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Thursday, December 13, 2012

List Dissection: French Escadron De Combat

With the recent changes to the French in FoW, their armor has become very good.  I've been a fan of the Frenchies from the get-go so I figured it was time they got their time in our list dissection spotlight!  I've decided to make an Escadron De Combat so I can have a large number of the excellent SOMUAs running amok.  German players beware!  I'll build towards 1500 points.

Let's start with the core:
HQ: 1x SOMUA S-34 (105)
No brainer, eh?

Now we get to the core.  I tend to prefer my medium tanks in groups of 4.  SOMUAs are pricey for early war tanks, so 2 groups of 4 is going eat up our points, but it will really provide the bulk of the army.

2x Medium Combat Platoons ea. w/ 4 S-34 SOMUAs.  (415x2 = 830)
These guys will be doing the brunt of our work.  Good AT, good armor, good mobility- they're combat tanks in the best sense of the word.  These should be outgunning the Germans, digging out guns and infantry, and generally being our mailed fist.  Move them up aggressively, pick a good spot, and then sit and blaze away.

Now we only have 565 points left and I'd really like to get to 6 platoons if possible!  So we better load up on some el cheapo support.

First up, let's take one more tank platoon.  This time we're going to take the small Hotchkiss unit with 1 long and 2 short guns.

Light Combat Platoon w/ 1 Long Hotchkiss and 2 shorts (160)
While this platoon isn't super lethal, it's also fairly tough to crack.  It's got good mobility and good armor.  I see this as a flanker/objective grabber.

At this point our core company is 9 SOMUAs and 3 Hotchkiss.  That is a scary force!  Good mobility, good armor, good weaponry.

Again, I'd like to get to 6 platoons and one of the better cheap options available is the Cavalry 25mm Anti Tank Gun platoon.  For 70 points, it's a good one to have.  If we leave it off board we aren't shooting ourselves in the foot.  Plus, it can do an okay job of holding some ground.

Cavalry 25mm AT Gun Platoon (70)
This platoon does have some serious drawbacks though.  Short range, No HE, and poor firepower really make it incredibly situational.  It'd be my first choice for reserves in most cases.  Still, it can scare the daylights out of armored cars and lighter tanks or sit intermixed with our infantry to hold some ground.

Fusiliers Portes Platoon (165)
Speaking of infantry, next up I'll add a platoon of Fusiliers Portes.  With 7 MGs and a rifle-grenade they can dish out the fire when stationary.  Again, combined with the AT guns they provide us with a porcupine of a defensive position making it difficult to assault with either tanks or infantry.  They're only trained though, and with a small platoon size they can fall pretty quickly in a world of light tank dominance.  They can take and hold ground but only after our own tanks have softened up a position.

Deep recon platoon with 5 Panhards (165)
Now we aren't left with much....and I think you know what's missing... Recon!  And nothing says french recon like Panhards!  We have 170 points left, just enough for 5 Panhards with 5 points to spare!

These guys are great!  Screening our tanks, advancing ahead of our army, flanking maneuvers, and lifting gone to ground for our SOMUAs.  Panhards are a great buy in early war.  Get them on some roads and they're great!  With armor and weaponry comparable to most other tanks, these are a great addition to the tank list.

So there we have it!  1495 on the nose.

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