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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

List Dissection: Canadian Infantry


List Dissection: Canadian Infantry
by Allen Smith.

Concept: Steve has asked me to put together a list dissection for a Canadian Infantry Company that would be a strong candidate for tournament play.  Based on the recent popularity of the list and the fact it is from the new Market Garden book, I was happy to oblige.  This list is a tournament worthy list and I will detail why certain platoons make sense in that setting.  However, the list is really fun to play and a tournament is by no means required to have a great time!

Overall Thinking:  The keys to the Canadians are the very good special rules.  The boys have talked about it on the podcast, but basically you lose British Bulldog and gain Mission Tactics, reroll unpin and unbails and they have access to Duckbills (wide tracks, but limited to 8” of movement).  There are some additional rules that apply to specific platoons, which I will detail below.

The Canadians also have the advantage of access to the single best armored transport in the game today – the Ram Kangaroo.  Roos are basically a Sherman hull with the guts ripped out.  This gives the infantry a warm flannel blanket of Canadian warmth called FA 5, SA 3 and TA 0.  So MG, HMG, .50cal and low caliber AA weapons do not touch the troops.  This means that any Canadian list really needs to have Roos.  Now some may argue for the armored trucks, but this list is all about the Roos.

List Details
HQ:
Not much choice here.  Two command stands.  Now you can add a carrier, jeep and / or snipers.  I would rather invest the 50 points that a sniper costs in other platoons below.

Points Used: 30
Total Used: 30
Core:

You need two infantry platoons.  Because these are Canadians, you really need transports.  And you have choices of armored trucks, Defrocked Priests, Roos or Buffaloes.  Armored trucks are good.  In fact, they have a jeep rating which makes for good mobility.  But at FA 1, they are still paper thin.  Buffalo has the same thin armor issue plus they are slow.  But they are loaded with MG firepower and can do some serious damage to infantry.  I also have to say the models are so cool that you might just decide to take them anyway.  Defrocked Priests are good, it is a standard tank and has a .50cal.  But still the FA 1.

My choice is Roos.  And to make them even better, load on a .50cal.  So why the Roos?  First, great armor.  Second, great firepower with the addition of a .50cal.  Third, good mobility with 12” during daylight.  Remember that in a Night Attack you will only be moving 8”.  But I like the extra mobility after day breaks.  Fourth, you can add Duckbills.  And this is actually key – Duckbills give you Wide Tracks.  If you think you are going to Night Attack and you have the Roos on the board, I suggest adding Duckbills.  That will give you a bit more comfort going into bogging terrain at night.  And not every platoon has to have Duckbills.  If you Night Attack and you also have Reserves (like Breakthrough), then put Duckbills on the Roos that will start on the board and leave them off the Roos in Reserve.  Night will probably have lifted when your Reserves hit the board.  Finally, the game of Flame of War is about mobility.  You either have it or you take weapons to limit it.  Roos give you very good mobility.

So grab two platoons of infantry, Roos and add the .50cals.

Points Used: 450 for two platoons.

Total Used: 480
Support:

Now it is decision time.  If you have followed some of the conversations on the WWPD Forum and on the BF Forum, you may have seen threads about “To Croc or Not to Croc?”  And this is where you need to decide.  For this list, we are choosing not to Croc.  However, there are some fabulous list options for Canadians with Crocs.  Check out those threads to see several lists.

If you are not choosing to Croc, then I believe you need to choose two Canadian Armoured Recce platoons.  Always.  Let’s expand…

Canadian Armoured Recce (CAR) – This is a Sherman platoon with options for adding Fireflies.  Like other Commonwealth lists and British LW armored platoons, you can have 4 tanks.  I have found the combination of 2 Sherman V and 2 Sherman Fireflies to be the best combination.  You get a smoke platform (Sherman V), guns that can shoot infantry (Sherman V) and AT 15 shots (Fireflies).  In addition, the Canadians get Cautious Movement and Eyes and Ears.  So I can move in cover at long range and be impossible to hit.  Again, you can also add Duckbills if you plan to Night Attack.  But the biggest benefit – by far – is the inclusion of Mission Tactics and reroll to unbail.  It effectively gives the Canadians Protected Ammo on everything and you do not need to worry about the Platoon Commander being killed.  In full disclosure, the cost for the platoon is high.  I feel that the cost is well worth the benefit.  Oh, throw .50cals on every tank.  You will need the AA cover and you need something for the Fireflies due to No HE on the Fireflies.  So you get Semi-Indirect Fire, Protected Ammo, ability to add Duckbills, Cautious Movement, Eyes and Ears, Direct Fire Smoke, .50call AAMGs, AT 15 and Mission Tactics.  As a friend of mine likes to say, what’s not to love?

Points Used: 950 for two platoons (2 Sherman V and 2 Sherman Fireflies)

Total Used: 1,430
Extra Support:

You still need some additional support for the platoons.  Since you are infantry and you don’t have as much integrated AT in the infantry platoons as the US infantry lists, I believe that you need to bring more AT.  Yes, you have the CAR, but you want them mobile and killing tanks.  You still should have a fallback platoon.  So good news!  The 6 pounder now has AT 11 with HE.  The thought of having 12 AT 11 shots coming out of Ambush is too good to pass up.  And since you need mobility, I am including the Troop Carriers and Loyd Carriers for the platoon.  This platoon makes for a great AT platform that can also be used to help shore up an infantry platoon.
Points Used: 155


For the last platoon, I have selected the ubiquitous 25 pounders.  And this was a tough choice for me.  I really like the new Land Mattress from Battlefront.  The model is fantastic.  I also happen to own four.  But the 25pdrs used in conjunction with the 6pdrs simply works better than the Land Mattresses.  In a pinch, the 25pdrs could serve as additional AT support.  So you get the British Special Rules for artillery, turntable, decent direct fire AT and smoke.  This is a solid choice.

Points Used: 195

Total Points Used: 1,780
Tactics:
Again, the key to the Canadians are the special rules.  Your platoon choices and tactics should reflect this.  You might use Duckbills a lot more than the US Armor lists simply due to Night Attack.  If you Night Attack, you may find less of a need for air support or the Brit / Canadian version of the AOP.  With the reroll for unpin and unbails, all of your vehicles now have Protected Ammo.  And you have access to the best armored transports in the game, which still allow you to take a Spearhead move when conducting a Night Attack.  So while your list is infantry, remember to think as an attacker.  Your best advantage will be conducting Night Attacks against armor in missions with Mobile Reserves.  You may also have noticed that I have not included any true recon units.  To be honest, I am using my points elsewhere and I feel that the Fireflies / Sherman V can lift Gone to Ground if I absolutely need it.  This is a tactic I use with US Tank Destroyers and it works here too.  Plus, I have found that most opponents will actually shoot me knowing that I will lift GtG the next turn.
I hope that you enjoy the breakdown of the list.  I certainly look forward to discussing the list on the forum.


About me:  When I am not curling in the winter, I stare at the mound of BF blisters and boxes that need to be painted.  I do golf in the summer, which is measured in days in Wisconsin.  My day job keeps me pretty busy.  I have been very lucky to have an understanding wife and a son that got me into the miniature gaming hobby.  When I was younger, I cut my teeth on Squad Leader and other Avalon Hill / SPI games.

You can follow me at http://fowarmymen.blogspot.com

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