Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NZ Masters- thoughts on the paras

I was pleased with how the force went. I was hoping it would be reasonably solid, in attack or defence, but didn't feel it was an "uber" force by any stretch of the imagination. I was especially susceptible to lots of tanks, or lots of artillery (having only 1x trained battery was always going to put me on the back foot- but the typhoons helped make up for this short fall somewhat) )and was not looking forward to facing either of the US rifle companies (with their maxed out artillery) or the KVs but felt that I would be competitive vs most of the others as I had a bit of everything to ensure I had a few different options vs different army types. No recce meant I was also going to struggle (as this force has in the past) vs gone to ground infantry forces and again this proved to be the case. So how did I think the different units fared?

US Para Platoons

Both platoons were at reduced strength (only 9 teams including the bazooka and light mortar) which at 1500 pts I found hard not to do. Even so, they were both solid on attack and defence and withstood a lot of punishment. As long as they were used supporting each other, or with guards rifles in support, they performed well. I simply could not justify spending 90 pts on the extra teams although I’m sure they’d have been handy. The light mortars were very handy as always and helped to pin platoons with random one gun barrages (which when they came in on turn 1 were no less effective than a couple of trained mortars) and knocked out a few AT guns both in direct and indirect fire.

Guards Rifles
This unit I was less sure of going into the comp. To tell the truth it was a toss up between: Household Cav (Daimlers + dingos), Guards Rifles or CT US Glider troops. All had costs and benefits. In the end it was a choice between the guards and glider troops (still waiting for my dingos to arrive) and I went with less veteran troops (7) as opposed to 11 trained ones- mainly as I was worried that if I went for the latter that players would target the trained guys with artillery and then also pin my paras. As it turns out the glider boys would have performed okay- especially as a reserve unit, and so may look at using them instead in future.

The guards were an effective little unit and a good way to squeeze in a third infantry platoon- which with so many infantry heavy forces present was a good thing. Only 7 teams they were always a bit vulnerable to stood up in all games and were never lost- thanks a couple of times to the Guards re-roll.

57mm AT
Again one of my more useful units- when used to cover objectives, the 105s and/ or knock out HMG teams- when they could pass a firepower test that is! When used with the Guards rifles to cover an objective they worked well and really were a solid wee force. The 57mm + guards rifles made for a great defensive combo that allowed the paras freedom to move with the shermans.

I don’t think I ever managed to lose the entire unit, which was a surprise! ToT helped now and then and the smoke template was always handy. Fortunately I never really had them targeted too much and when they were they managed to unpin themselves. Still, always a potential VP in the making but handy enough to warrant their continued inclusion.

My only “real” AT and as a result rather susceptible to enemy attack. They did okay- except vs the KVs where one firefly died far too quickly! They worked best when used with the 105s which would smoke the enemy to reduce return fire- the few times I didn’t do that was when it went pear shaped.

A good reserve unit to respond to threats but needed to be husbanded and avoid dealing with enemy tanks as much as possible unless on their own terms.

Worked well in almost all games, taking out a tank or two, or destroying/pinning artillery. Their best role was at pinning artillery batteries- and were especially successful at this vs Phil and Mike’s forces. They claimed an AOP and even drove off a couple of flights of enemy aircraft. As usual they force opponents to spread out more and this limited their effectiveness at times but they were always a potential threat that needed to be considered.

Post Comp Changes?
At 1500 pt the only change I’d make would be to the guards rifles, next time I think I’d experiment with the glider troops or the Household Cav as a mobile recce option but other than that the rest of the force would stay as it is.

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